Reviews

The author divides local histories of Herat into three distinct literary genres, corresponding with different eras of the city’s history: pre-Mongol biographical dictionaries in Arabic language, Persian-language dynastic histories of the periods when Herat was the capital of a regional or imperial state (viz., under the Kartids and Timurids), and guides for pilgrims from the Timurid period to our days.  So doing, he shows how local histories of Herat offer an illustration of the general evolution of the genre: from a focus on scholars, particularly on transmitters of Hadith, in the pre-Mongol period, to works of general dynastic outlook in the fourteen and fifteenth centuries, when Herat was a real political centre, to more recent “guides for pilgrims” focusing on venerated religious figures from a Sufi background.  

The Redaction
CER: I-3.4.A-260