The Tuzūkāt-i Tīmūrī as a Source for Military History Cover Image
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The Tuzūkāt-i Tīmūrī as a Source for Military History
The Tuzūkāt-i Tīmūrī as a Source for Military History

Author(s): Gergely Csiky
Subject(s): Military history, 16th Century, 17th Century
Published by: Akadémiai Kiadó
Keywords: Tuzūkāt-i Tīmūrī;

Summary/Abstract: The article investigates whether the Tuzūkāt-i Tīmūrī, a Persian work that became popular in Mughal India, was translated from a Turkic original written during Timur's reign. There are two possible hypotheses regarding the origin of the work: Abū Tālib really found a Turkic manuscript, he revised and translated it into Persian, producing the work entitled Vāqi'āt-i Sāhib-Qirānī, which under the titles of Malfūzāt or Tuzūkāt enjoyed great popularity in Mughal India. The other, more likely hypothesis is that no Turkic original did ever exist, as its existence cannot definitively be evidenced by the analysis of the text. In this case Abū Tālib merely compiled his work by utilising Timurid sources and his personal knowledge of contemporary Safavid Iran and Mughal India. In the following, the article submits the Turco-Mongolian military terms of the work to a thorough analysis on the basis of which three layers are distinguished in the work. The first layer undoubtedly goes back to the Timurid period: the compiler knew and heavily drew on the Zafarnāma of Šaraf al-Dīn 'Alī Yazdī. The second layer of the work derives from Safavid Iran. Abū Tālib Turbatī, the compiler of the work descended from Khorasan and may have been greatly impressed by the reforms of Shah 'Abbās I (1588-1629) the innovations of whom could be stimulating for him in compiling his work. The third layer is represented by the Mughal India. That the work became so widespread in India is a monument to the credit of the Mughal state-ideology, and it indicates how vigorous the Timur-cult was even in the middle of the 17th century. Nevertheless, it is questionable whether the contemporary readers considered the Tuzūkāt a serious historical work, or rather regarded it as a piece of popular fiction, the adventures and decrees of a well-known historical hero.

  • Issue Year: 59/2006
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 439-491
  • Page Count: 53
  • Language: English