Collecting histories: Hafez-e Abru and the reception of Rashid al-Din
(Eastern Connecticut State University)
Hafez-e Abru, boon companion to Tamerlane and court historian to Shahrokh, famously wrote a continuation to Rashid al-Din's dynastic history of the Mongols and reconstructed a fragmentary copy of Rashid al-Din's world history. He also produced his own version of a universal history that embedded Rashid al-Din's dynastic history into a larger historical chronology. Beyond these works, however, his engagement with the works of Rashid al-Din was even more extensive than has previously been recognized. In this paper, I examine the numerous ways that Hafez-e Abru collected, corrected, and updated manuscripts of Rashid al-Din's historical writing. As a result of these activities, fully one third of the extant manuscripts of Rashid al-Din's work can be connected to Hafez-e Abru. As Rashid al-Din's first editor, Hafez-e Abru shaped the modern reception of his predecessor's work in ways that have both facilitated and complicated our study of Mongol history.
New Approaches to the Mongol Empire