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Persian Mirrors for Princes



The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (Literature)
St. George
Maria E. Subtelny

The Persian literature of advice on kingship and kingly ethics constitutes an important source for understanding medieval Islamicate political philosophy and concepts of rule and social organization. These works are sometimes referred to as “mirrors for princes,” although they are not consistent in terms of their contents. Excerpts from selected texts dating from the 11th to the 17th centuries will be read and analyzed, including such classics as the Qabusnameh of Kay Ka’us, the Siyar al-muluk of Nizam al-Mulk, and Nasir al-Din Tusi’s Akhlaq-i nasiri.