Qabus nama

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Seen here is the last page of a Qabus nameh manuscript located in the library of The Malik National Museum of Iran, dated 1349.

Qabus nama or Qabus nameh [variations: Qabusnamah, Qabousnameh, Ghabousnameh, or Ghaboosnameh, in Persian: کاووس نامه یا قابوس نامه, book of Kavus], Mirror of Princes,[1] is a major work of Persian literature, from the eleventh century (c. 1080 AD).

It was written by Keikavus,[2] the Ziyarid ruler of parts of Tabaristan, and was dedicated to his son Gilanshah.

The belles-lettres was written in 44 chapters and outlines princely education, manners, and conduct in ethical didactic prose.

Extant original copies[edit]

  • One of the earliest remaining copies of this work is one dating from 1450, translated into Turkish by Marjumak Ahmad ibn Ilias on the orders of the Ottoman Sultan Murad II. It is kept in the Fatih Library of Istanbul.
  • The British Museum keeps a copy of an early Turkish translation, dated 1456.

The Turkish version was then translated into German by Heinrich Friedrich von Diez as Buch des Kabus in 1811, and a source of inspiration for Goethe's West-östlicher Diwan as he was in contact with von Diez.

The text was translated directly from Persian into English by Reuben Levy with the title: A Mirror for Princes in 1951. French, Japanese, Russian, and Arabic language translations also followed.

Cultural references[edit]

This work is mentioned several times in Louis L'Amour's The Walking Drum as well as in Tariq Ali's "The Stone Woman".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, (Columbia University Press, 1977), 35.
  2. ^ J.T.P. de Bruijn ,"KAYKĀVUS Amir ʿOnṣor-al-Maʿāli" in Encycloapedia Iranica [1]. Oneline Edition