chapter  5
The Tārīkhnāma after Bal'amī
Pages 24

The Tārīkhnāma proved to be overwhelmingly popular, far more so than Arabic original. For nearly a thousand years it was the main historical source for Muslims wherever the Persian language held sway, from India to Central Asia, from Istanbul to Iran. Not only was the Persian itself endlessly copied and recopied but it was also translated into the three other main languages of Islamic civilization, Arabic, Ottoman and Chaghatay Turkish, as well as Urdu. As late as the twentieth century, the last chief

of the Khanate of Bukhārā, had a copy of the Persian Tārīkhnāma in his library, where it was apparently one of the most valuable manuscripts.1 In the neighbouring Khanate of Khīvā the poet and historian Bayānī had just translated the work into Chaghatay in the final years of the nineteenth century, the third translation into that language to be made. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries an Ottoman Turkish version of the work was printed at least six times in Istanbul and Cairo.