The first great flowering of Persian literature in the fourth/tenth century that produced the Tārīkhnāma has usually been associated with a growth in patriotic feelings amongst the Iranian population that had been subjugated since the early Islamic conquests,1 and it did coincide with the rise of rulers of Iranian origin. It was an age when the Caliphate, beset by internal disputes in Iraq, was increasingly obliged to devolve power to local dynasties. In the mashriq, as the eastern Islamic lands of Khurāsān and Transoxiana were known, these dynasties were usually ethnically Iranian, most notably the the
and the Sāmānids themselves. Yet the renaissance of Persian language and literature in this period cannot be
explained purely by reference to the ethnic origins of these rulers. Neither the
nor the for very different reasons, promoted Persian literature seriously, with the exception of a few fragments of verse composed as experiments at their courts.