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Jami' al-tawarikh
Jami’ al-tawarikh. (2022, November 6). In Wikipedia.

Translated as Compendium of Chronicles, the Jami’ al-tawarikh (Persian/Arabic: مجموعه تاريخ/جامع التواريخ) is a fascinating literary work written in the Mongol Ilkhanate around the 14th century. It is the work of Rashid al-Din Hamadani, and its magnitude and scope led many to hail the Jami’ al-tawarikh as ‘the first world history’.

It came in three volumes and was published in both Arabic and Persian versions. The work not only covers major events and cultures across China and Europe, but it also touches on Mongol history and how the Mongols laid the foundation for their widespread cultural legacy.


“The greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms.”

– The Mighty Genghis Khan, as quoted in the Jami-al-Tawarikh of Rashid Al-Din Tabib


This superb work of literature is adorned with breathtaking illustrations and calligraphy, which required the effort of hundreds of scribes and artists. The intent was to create and distribute fresh copies of the Jami’ al-tawarikh to schools and cities around the Mongol Ilkhanate, in the Middle East, Central Asia, Anatolia, as well as the Indian subcontinent.

The Jami’ al-tawarikh is structured into four sections of different lengths:

  • The Taʾrīkh-ī Ghazānī – Covers the Mongol and Turkish peoples, as well as the history of the Mongols, from Genghis Khan to the death of Mahmud Ghazan;
  • The second part – The history of the reign of Öljaitü and of the non-Mongol peoples of Eurasia (pre-Islamic Iran, China, Jewish History, and the Indians, to name just a few);
  • The Shu’ab-i panjganah – Genealogies of the Arabs, Jews, Mongols, Franks, and Chinese.
  • The Suwar al-aqalim, a geographical compendium.

Sadly, not all the texts remain intact nowadays, except for roughly 400 surviving pages of the original work. Hence, it is our duty to preserve and cherish such ancient and fascinating texts at all costs. Trying to save a valuable part of human history should be one of our most desired accomplishments.

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