BANĀKATĪ, Abū Solaymān


BANĀKATĪ, Abū Solaymān Dāwūd b. Abi’l-Fażl Moḥammad (d. 730/1329-30), poet and historian. Nothing is known of his early career, except that he was presumably a native of Banākaṯ, the later Šāhroḵīya in Transoxania. His general history from Adam to the beginning of the reign of the il-khan Abū Saʿīd (q.v.), the Rawżat ūli’l-albāb fī maʿrefat al-tawārīḵ (or fī tawārīḵ al-akāber) wa’l-ansāb, was completed on 25 Šawwāl 717/31 December 1317 (Rawżat, p. 2; cf. p. 479, with the month alone); although toward the end of the work he refers to Abū Saʿīd’s enthronement at Solṭānīya in Rabīʿ II, 718/June, 1318 (p. 478), this event is known to have taken place in the previous year. The work is for the most part an abridgment of the Jāmeʿ al-tawārīḵ, the vast historical encyclopedia of Rašīd-al-Dīn, whom Banākatī admits he was attempting to emulate (Rawżat, p. 1), and is divided into nine qesms: (1) the prophets and patriarchs; (2) the ancient kings of Persia; (3) Moḥammad and the caliphs; (4) Persian dynasties contemporary with the ʿAbbasids; (5) the Jews; (6) the Christians and the Franks; (7) the Indians; (8) the Chinese; and (9) the Mongols. Only the final section of the ninth qesm, covering the years 703-17/1304-17, has any original value, and constitutes in fact our earliest source for the reign of the il-khan Ūljāytū (Öljeitü). At Ūjān, toward the end of Ḏu’l-qaʿda, 701/July-August, 1302, Banākatī had been awarded the title of malek-al-šoʿarāʾ by Ūljāytū’s predecessor Ḡāzān (Rawżat, p. 465). Some specimens of his poetry are preserved in the Rawżat, and one by Dawlatšāh (p. 227), who describes him as “learned and accomplished” (mard-e dānešmand o fāżel) and gives him the laqab of Faḵr-al-Dīn; otherwise he supplies scant detail.



Rawżat, ed. Jaʿfar Šeʾār, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969.

Dawlatšāh, ed. Browne, p. 227.

Storey, I, pp. 79-80 (q.v. for further references).

Browne, Lit. Hist Persia III, pp. 100-03.

EI2 I, p. 1011.

(P. Jackson)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: December 15, 1988