chapter  4
The contents and purpose of Bal'amī's alterations to Tabarī's History
Pages 34

This chapter aims to test by these theories through a detailed comparison of key passages from the original Arabic History and its adaptation by It must be stressed that this analysis is offered only tentatively, for the textual tradition of the Tārīkhnāma places severe obstacles in the way of a more detailed study, as it is always difficult to be certain what, exactly, did write. Nonetheless, even if only on a hypothetical basis, it seems worthwhile trying to understand how and why

altered text. As in the previous chapter, conclusions about the contents of the Tārīkhnāma are based on Add 836 and three of the oldest complete Persian manuscripts, with all major variants recorded in the notes. Despite sometimes substantial differences, a

generally consistent picture of treatment of emerges. The passages studied below deal with themes likely to have been of special relevance

in fourth/tenth century Transoxiana. For instance, we will examine and

treatments of the Ridda wars, the fight against apostasy led by the Caliph Abu

Bakr after death. If, as Daniel and Meisami suggest, one of the motivations for the composition of the Tārīkhnāma was the fight against heresy, such a

1 J.S.Meisami, Persian Historiography to the End of the Twelfth Century, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999, pp. 29-30. 2 Ibid, p. 35. 3 E.Daniel, ‘The Samanid “Translations” of in H.Kennedy (ed.) a medieval Muslim historian and his work, Princeton: Darwin Press, forthcoming, [p. 12]. 4 Ibid, [pp. 11-12].