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Louise Marlow
Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA 02481-8203)
An Arabic Mirror for Princes: Study and Translation of the Counsel for Kings of Pseudo-Mawardi

During my upcoming sabbatical year, I wish to undertake a study and translation of a highly interesting but little known Arabic book, the Counsel for kings of Pseudo-Mawardi. The text has been edited twice (in Arabic) but it has yet to be translated into any other language, and it has yet to receive the scholarly attention it deserves. The book is a 'mirror for princes,' a work written to offer advice to the ruling classes on the foundations and practice of government. Though written in Arabic, it was produced in a Persian-speaking environment, probably eastern Iran, in the mid- to late-tenth century. A thorough study of the text promises to shed light on the cultural, religious and literary conditions of Iran during this period, in which New Persian (Farsi) was just emerging as a literary language alongside Arabic. The text may provide new information on the movement of translation from Arabic to Persian, and the interplay of Arabic and Persian cultural and religious ideas, especially in the important and still little studied field of Qur'anic interpretation.

Project fields:
Near and Middle Eastern Literature

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2004 – 6/30/2005