FALAKĪ ŠARVĀNĪ (ŠERVĀNĪ), Abu’l-Neẓām Moḥammad, a Persian poet of the first half of the 6th/12th century. The only ruler mentioned in his published poems is the Šarvānšāh Manūčehr II, who ruled ca. 516-55/1122-61 (for these dates see Storey and de Blois, V/2, p. 248, n. 2). It is thus likely that Falakī died during his reign. The date 577/1181-82, which Taqī Kāšī and others give for his death, is probably much too late since Ḵāqānī’s elegy on Falakī indicates that he died at a young age. A statement in the same poem that Falakī was “aware of the mysteries of the nine spheres” could be taken as evidence that he was a professional astronomer, which would explain his pen-name, Falakī, or it could be nothing more than wordplay on Ḵāqānī’s part. From his own poems we learn that Falakī was imprisoned for a time in the fortress of Šābarān and later pardoned and set free by Manūčehr (Ḥasan, 1929, p. 59). A fairly small collection of Falakī’s poems was assembled by Hādī Ḥasan (London, 1929), based mainly on a manuscript in Munich. He also published in another monograph a number of previously unknown poems from a Madras manuscript (Ḥasan, 1958). Among other things, the latter includes (pp. 63-67) a very interesting elegy commiserating with Manūčehr and, in particular, with his consort T’amar, on the death of her brother, the Georgian king Demetre I, in 1155. The so-called dīvān of Falakī published by Ṭāherī Šehāb (Tehran, 1345 Š./1966) is essentially a reprint of Hādī Ḥasan’s first collection.
Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References”):
Dawlatšāh, ed. Browne, pp. 103-4.
Haft eqlīm III, pp. 287-92.
H. Ḥasan, Falakī-i Shirvānī: His Times, Life, and Works, London, 1929.
Idem, Researches in Persian Literature, Hyderabad, 1958, pp. 29-94.
Ḵāqānī, Dīvān, ed. Ż. Sajjādī, Tehran, 1338 Š./1959, pp. 918-19.
Ḵayyāmpūr, Soḵanvarān, p. 454.
Ḥamd-Allāh Mostawfī, Tārīḵ-e gozīda, ed. ʿA.-Ḥ. Navāʾī, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983, p. 743.
Ṣafā, Adabīyāt II, pp. 774-76.
Šams-al-Dīn Rāzī, Moʿjam, pp. 392-93.
Jamāl-al-Dīn Šarvānī, Nozhat al-majāles, ed. M.-A. Rīāḥī, Tehran, 1366 Š./1987-88, nos. 853, 1970, 2203, 3652.
Storey and de Blois, V/2, pp. 325-28.
(François de Blois)
Originally Published: December 15, 1999
Last Updated: January 20, 2012
This article is available in print.
Vol. IX, Fasc. 2, p. 169