Introduced, edited and annotated by Sacha Alsancakli and Mustafa Dehqan
Kurdish Studies Series editor: Maria Six-Hohenbalken

The Sharaf-nāma is a well-known history of Kurdish dynasties and ruling houses, written in Persian in 1005-7/1596-99 by Sharaf Khān Bidlīsī (949-1009/1543-1600), leader of the Rōzhikī tribe and amir of Bidlīs, southwest of Lake Van, in northern Kurdistan. The Sharaf-nāma is, without a doubt, the single most important source for Kurdish history before the contemporary era; however, there is to this day no critical edition of this essential text. The edition by Vladimir Veliaminov-Zernov, published in St. Petersburg in 1860-62, remains the reference work to this day. Another much used edition is the Cairo edition of Muḥammad ‘Alī ‘Awnī (1930), which was reprinted in 1964-65 in Tehran by Muḥammad ‘Abbasī, who added a new introduction. This volume is intended for publication within the Kurdish Studies Series, (Publishing House of the Austrian Academy of Sciences). The manuscript will comprise about 700 pages (including bibliography, index, tables chronology, critical notes) plus 50 – 100 images (partly in colour).

In terms of translation, the first substantial publication on the Sharaf-nāma was the work of the Dr. Heinrich Alfred Barb, director of the Oriental Academy (now Diplomatic Academy) in Vienna. In five articles published between 1853 and 1860, he gave an overview of the general characteristics and contents of the work and fully translated the books I, II and IV. H. A. Barb had had a manuscript copy of the Sharaf-nāma made for his own use in Jumadà I 1263/April-May 1847, while he was traveling in southeast Kurdistan; this manuscript is now kept at the library of the University of Vienna, with the reference number III.11697. H. A. Barb’s series of articles appeared a decade before the publication of the French translation by François Bernard Charmoy, in 1868-75.

For his edition, V. Veliaminov-Zernov studied six Sharaf-nāma manuscripts, and M. ‘Alī ‘Awnī added two more for the Cairo edition. To these eight manuscripts, we can add three manuscripts studied by François Bernard Charmoy for his French translation, arriving at a number of 11 manuscripts. Out of these 11 manuscripts, the very important Dorn 306 manuscript, dated Shawwāl 1007/May 1599, was studied, but two other equally important manuscripts, Elliott 332 (dated end of 1005/mid-1597) and Hunt. Don. 13 (dated Muḥarram 1007/Aug.-September 1598) were left out. Furthermore, these earlier editions do not contain a critical apparatus.

In view of these facts, the need for a new edition of the Sharaf-nāma is obvious. Based on the manuscripts of the work kept in various libraries worldwide, a critical edition is necessary for this foundational text, which remains a hallmark for the study of Kurdish history in the premodern and modern periods. This edition will be realised by Sacha Alsancakli (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris) and Mustafa Dehqan (Independent scholar, Iran), two specialists of the Sharaf-nāma who have each spent more than ten years studying the text, and publishing many articles on the subject in the process.

This edition of the Sharaf-Nāma will be based on 36 extant manuscripts of the book. It will be composed of an Introduction, the edited text containing all remarkable variants from the different manuscripts, and extensive endnotes detailing every aspect of the work, such as sources, place names, historical figures, concepts, etc. As Appendixes, the work will include a Catalogue, including plates from most of the manuscripts, a Stemma Codicum and Documents on Sharaf Khān, the book’s author. This edition should become the new reference edition for the Sharaf-nāma.

Maria Six-Hohenbalken

03/2020 - 06/2021

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