The cover art reproduces a miniature painting from a sixteenth century manuscript of the Zafarnama by Sharaf al-Din Ali-Yazdi. The image was housed in the British Library (shelfmark/page: Or. 1359, f.389v), and originally published/produced in Shiraz, Iran, 1552. It depicts soldiers filing before the Islamized Mongol conqueror Amir Timur-i-lang, or “Tamerlane,” holding heads of their decapitated enemies which they used to build a tower shaped like the minaret of a mosque, in Baghdad (1401).
The upper inscription embedded within the painting reads, *
How fate and destiny have cast awe in the minds of the “Tavaajis”! [king’s messengers, and herein, more generally, “traitors”]
In an orderly and numerical fashion,
They made minarets with the heads of the wretched “Tavaajis”
As a lesson to the inhabitants of the world.
While the lower embedded inscription states,
So that no subordinate would dare to challenge superiors and no fox acts like a lion, and threatens the kings; Under the temptation of the demon pride Continue reading