History in Tables: Muʿīn al-Dīn Naṭanzī's “Synoptic Account” of the Timurid History and its Complete Manuscript

Dr İlker Evrim Binbaş, University of Bonn
Wednesday, 6 February 2019

This seminar will provide a critical analysis of a newly discovered work of the fifteenth-century Timurid historian Muʿīn al-Dīn Naṭanzī, contextualised in comparison with his major works: the so-called “Iskandar Anonymous” and the Muntakhab-i tavārīkh-i Muʿīnī. This text – reconstructed from some materials discovered by Dr Binbaş at the Topkapı Palace Library in combination with fragments published earlier by Wheeler Thackston in the 1980s and attributed to Naṭanzī by John E. Woods – is actually a complete universal chronicle that starts with the legendary age of the Kayāniyān and ends with the Timurids. It provides a new window onto Timurid historiography that allows for a reconsideration of Naṭanzī’s relationship with that dynasty in general, and with Iskandar b. ʿUmar Shaykh in particular and contextualizes Naṭanzī’s historiographical oeuvre in connection to Iskandar b. ʿUmar Shaykh’s politics, driven by his absolutist ambitions.

Dr Evrim Binbaş studies early modern Islamic history with a particular focus on the Timurid dynasty in the fifteenth century. His award-winning first book on the Timurid historian Sharaf al-Din ‘Ali Yazdi (d. 1454) was published by the Cambridge University Press (Intellectual Networks in Timurid Iran: Sharaf al-Dīn 'Alī Yazdī and the Islamicate Republic of Letters). He is currently a Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter in the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of Bonn.