This paper examines a little known but important copy of the Iskandarnama of Nizami dated 1435 and dedicated to the Timurid prince Ibrahim Sultan b. Shah Rukh b. Timur, who was the governor of Shiraz from 1415 until his death in 1435.
Ibrahim Sultan was a man of letters and a calligrapher. He had two madrasas built, financed additions to the Great Mosque of Shiraz (1417-18) and contributed to the decoration of other buildings. He transcribed several copies of the Qur’an and designed inscriptions for monuments including the inscriptions of the two madrasas he founded. Four illustrated manuscripts are connected with him: an Anthology dated 1420 that carries a dedication in his brother Baysunghur’s name (Berlin, Museum für Islamische Kunst, I 4628), a copy of the Shahnama of Firdausi that carries a dedication in his name (Oxford Bodleian Library, MS Ouseley Add. 176), another Anthology of prose texts (Istanbul, Suleymaniye Library Fatih 3682) and a dispersed copy of the biography of Timur, the Zafarnama of Yazdi dated 1436. Ibrahim apparently “spent great sums” collecting and editing various accounts of Timur’s life from archives and libraries. The manuscripts produced for Ibrahim Sultan are significant examples of the Shiraz court production and provided models for the subsequent manuscripts produced at Shiraz during this century.
Ibrahim Sultan’s Iskandarnama, the fifth manuscript produced for him, will provide a further insight to the important patronage of this Timurid prince.