Tarikh-i Bayhaqi

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Tarikh-i Bayhaqi
AuthorAbul-Fazl Bayhaqi
Original titleتاریخ بیهقی
CountryGhaznavid Empire
LanguagePersian of Ghazni

Tārīkh-i Bayhaqī (literally "Bayhaqi's History") is a history book written by Abul-Fazl Bayhaqi, in Persian, in the 11th century CE.[1] Much of this extensive work is lost, but its remains is the most important source on the history of the Ghaznavid Empire. The work is of literary value as well due to its unique style of narration.


Tārīkh-i Bayhaqī (Persian: تاریخ بیهقی‎, literally Bayhaqi's History) has been referred to by various names, including Tārīkh-i Nāsirī (تاریخ ناصری, Nasiri's History), Tārīkh-i Masʿūdī (تاریخ مسعودی, Mas'udi's History), Tārīkh-i Āl-i Nāsir (تاریخ آل ناصر, History of the House of Nasir), Tārīkh-i Āl-i Sabuktagīn (تاریخ آل سبکتگین, History of the House of Sabuktigin), Jāmiʿ al-Tawārīkh (جامع التواریخ, Compendium of Chronicles), Jāmiʿ fī Tārīkh-i Sabuktagīn (جامع فی تاریخ سبکتگین, Compendium on Chronicles of Sabuktigin), and the Mujalladāt (مجلدات, The Volumes),[2][3]


The work is believed to have consisted of thirty books, of which only six books remain.[4] The main topic of the remaining books is the reign of Mas'ud I, sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire.[5] In addition to reporting political events, Tarikh-e Bayhaqi reports on geographical places and on the history of the Persian literature by mentioning notable writers and poets of the time. It is also well known for its rich use of language.

K. Allin Luther compared the epistemology of Bayhaqi's "History" to later Seljuq historians and advises a rhetorical approach to the Tarikh-i Bayhaqi. Marilyn Waldman also recommends a rhetorical approach through speech act theory, yet does not give a comprehensive break down of the text. Julie Scott Meisami also points to the analytical nature of the "History" and places Bayhaqi among the historians of the Islamic renaissance.[6]

The book has been compared to a historical novel.[7]


  1. ^ Truths and Lies: Irony and Intrigue in the Tārīkh-i Bayhaqī, Soheila Amirsoleimani, Iranian Studies, Vol. 32, No. 2, The Uses of Guile: Literary and Historical Moments (Spring, 1999), 243.
  2. ^ Abu'l Fazl Bayhaqi, The A to Z of the United Nations, (Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2009), 59.
  3. ^ Tarikh-i Bayhaqi, edited by Ali Akbar Fayyaz, the introduction
  4. ^ Abu 'L-fadl Al-Bayhaqi, Louise Marlow, Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia, Ed. Josef W. Meri, (Taylor & Francis Group, 2008), 8.
  5. ^ Truths and Lies: Irony and Intrigue in the Tārīkh-i Bayhaqī, Soheila Amirsoleimani, 244.
  6. ^ Truths and Lies: Irony and Intrigue in the Tārīkh-i Bayhaqī, Soheila Amirsoleimani, 244-245.
  7. ^ http://www.jofamericanscience.org/journals/am-sci/am0804/105_9025am0804_792_794.pdf