Meʿyār-e Jamāli wa meftāḥ-e Abu Esḥāqi


Meʿyār-e Jamāli wa meftāḥ-e Abu Esḥāqi (‘Jamāl’s touchstone and Abu Esḥāq’s key’), a dictionary of the Persian language (comp. ca. 745/1344), comprising the fourth part (fann) of a long treatise on poetics written by Šams-al-Din Moḥammad b. Faḵr-al-Din Faḵri Eṣfahāni (Šams-e Faḵri). Šams-e Faḵri was a poet, a specialist in poetics, and a lexicographer, the son of a poet, Mawlānā Saʿid Faḵri Eṣfahāni. Šams-e Faḵri is said to have been born in 674/1275-76, and to have died in 749/1348-49 (see Fehrest-e ketābḵāna-ye Āstāna-ye qods-e Rażawi II, p. 377). His treatise on poetics consists of the following parts: I—Prosody (ʿarūzµ), II—Rhyme (qawāfi), III—Rhetoric (badāyeʿ-al-ṣanāyeʾ), IV—Persian vocabulary (lōḡat-e Fors).

The Meʿyār-e Jamāli was compiled in southern Iran, some time between 733/1332 and 745/1344. The poet dedicated this treatise to his patron Jamāl-al-Din Abu Esḥāq b. Maḥmud-šāh Enju (743-754/1343-1353), ruler of Fārs and western Iran, whose name is incorporated in the title. Jamāl-al-Din was also a patron of Ḥāfeẓ, who dedicated some poems to him.

In the introduction to the Meʿyār, Šams-e Faḵri states that in 713/1313 he traveled to Lorestān, where he met local poets and scholars, and that at their request he wrote his first short treatise on poetics, titled Meʿyār-e Noṣrati, dedicating it to the atabeg Noṣrat-al-Donyā-wa-al-Dīn, who ruled Lorestān between 695/1296 and 730/1330. (Until recently, Meʿyār-e Noṣratī was known only from its title; in 1960 Abdurrahman T. Tagirdzhanov identified it in a previously unidentified manuscript on poetics: see Tagirdzhanov).

The dictionary Meʿyār-e Jamāli is not large: it contains 1,580 entries, while Asadi Ṭusi’s Lōḡat-e fors (which may have been one of its sources) has 1,658. Šams-e Faḵri glosses mostly archaic and borrowed words. His dictionary is subdivided into twenty-one chapters (bāb), following the order of the letters of a slightly abbreviated Perso-Arabic alphabet (words ending in –b and –p, –j and –č,–k and –g are not distinguished, though words ending in –d and –dò, –z and –ž are placed in separate chapters). Entries are grouped together according to the final letter of each word, as in Asadi’s Lōḡat-e Fors: essentially, the Meʿyār-e Jamāli functions as a dictionary of rare rhymes. Šams-e Faḵrī makes no mention of his sources, but Meʿyār-e Jamālī contains almost the entire vocabulary of Lōḡat-e fors. Possibly Šams-e Faḵrī also had recourse to the dictionary of the poet Qaṭrān Tabrizi (11th century).

A comparison between the Meʿyār-e Jamāli and Lōḡat-e Fors shows similarities not only in the choice of entries, but also in their definitions. However, Meʿyār-e Jamāli contains some words not found in Lōḡat-e Fors, such as tanumand (strong), kataḵ (curds), varsij (threshold), tabb-bāda (feverish trembling), zaduda (cleaned, polished), farsuda (worn out), baḵšuda (bestowed), pāluda (strained; a sweet decanted through a strainer). Some thirty entries in the Meʿyār-e Jamālī are defined as words of common knowledge (maʿruf), while in the Lōḡat-e Fors of Asadi Ṭusi such cases are rare. Šams-e Faḵrī resorts to citing qaṣidas composed by himself, in order to exemplify certain entries as rhyme-words. He justifies this procedure in his introduction to the dictionary by noting that in former treatises lexical citations consisted of separate bayts, not rhyming series, leaving the reader guessing as to the proper pronunciation of the word. The Meʿyār-e Jamālī also contains bayts by Ferdowsi, ʿOnṣori, Manučehri, Farroḵi, Maʿrufi, and Kamāl-al-Din Esmāʿil.

The dictionary of Šams-e Faḵri was used as a source for subsequent lexicographic works, notably the Toḥfat al-aḥbāb, Farhang-e Wafāʾi, Farhang-e Jahāngiri, Majmaʿ al-Fors, Farhang-e soruri, Farhang-e Rašidi, Borhān-e qāṭeʿ, and Farhang-e Jahāngiri. It was also used in the compilation of Persian-Turkish dictionaries such as the Šāmel al-lōḡā, the Qāʾema of Ḥalimi, and Lōḡat-e Neʿmat-Allāh (see DICTIONARIES i, p. 390).

Meʿyār-e Jamāli is Šams-e Faḵri’s best known work. It exists in many manuscript copies, and has been published several times. The Russian Iranist Carl Salemann (Zaleman) played a significant role in the study of the Meʿyār: he published the text of the dictionary in 1887, followed in 1888 by his study “Bericht über die Ausgabe des Miʿyār i ǰamālī,” in which he discusses the place of the Meʿyār in Persian lexicography and Šams’s introduction to the treatise on poetics, of which the dictionary is a part. In 1958 the Persian scholar Ṣādeq Kiā published a new edition of the Meʿyār-e Jamāli. Then in 1959 Solomon Baevskiĭ discovered in Leningrad a second manuscript of the Meʿyār, which had been acquired in 1915 by the library of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd, and published a first description of it in the same year. In 1969 Baevskiĭ published further articles in Russian and Persian, announcing that Salemann’s text was not the first publication of the Meʿyār-e Jamāli, but that the dictionary had appeared in a lithograph edition in Persia in 1856-57 (Baevskiĭ, 1969, 1969a). While studying a lithograph edition of the Arabic-Persian dictionary Kanz al-lōḡāt, at the end of the volume Baevskiĭ had noticed an appendix—an anonymous Persian text without a title—which he identified as the dictionary of Šams-e Faḵri. Though not a critical edition, this was evidently the first printing of the Meʿyār-e Jamāli.

The dictionary Meʿyār-e Jamāli was compiled more than three hundred years after the Lōḡat-e Fors of Asadi Ṭusi. Its greatest contribution to Persian lexicography is the preservation and continuation of Asadi’s legacy, since the influence of the Lōḡat-e Fors on later lexicographers was often mediated through the Meʿyār-e Jamāli.



Editions. Lithogaph text of Meʿyār-e Jamāli, without author’s name, title, preface or conclusion, included as last part (pp. 307-318) of Moḥammad b. al-Ḵāleq b. Maʿruf, Kanz al-loḡāt, copyist Moḥammad b. ʿAli, Tehran, 1273/1856-57.

Shams i Fachrîi Ispahânensis lexicon persicum, id est libri Miʿjâr i Gamâlî pars quarta, . . . ed. Carolus Salemann, Kazan, 1887.

Šams-e Faḵri ,Vāža-nāma-ye fārsi, baḵš-e čahārom-e Meʿyār-e Jamāli, ed. Ṣ. Kiā, Tehran, 1958.

Studies. S. I. Baevskiĭ [Bayevsky], “Vtoraya rukopis’ Shams-i Fakhri v sobranii Instituta vostokovedeniya Akademii Nauk SSSR” (The second manuscript of Šams-e Faḵri in the collection of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Soviet Academy of Sciences), Problemy vostokovedeniya 3, Moscow, 1959, pp. 122-125.

Idem, Opisanie persidskikh rukopiseĭ Instituta narodov Azii (Description of the Persian mss. in the Institute of the Peoples of Asia), fasc. 4, Moscow, 1962, pp. 10-12; fasc. 5, Moscow, 1968, pp. 58, 61, 67, 75.

Idem, “Noḵostīn našr-e farhang-e Meʿyār-e Jamāli,” Rahnamā-ye ketāb 11 and 12, Tehran, 1348/1969, pp. 689-690.

Idem, “Pervoe izdanie persidskogo slovarya Miʿyār-i Dzhamālī” (The first edition of the Persian dictionary Meʿyār-e Jamāli), Iranskaya filologiya, Moscow, 1969a, pp. 88-90.

Idem, “Pervoe neizvestnoe izdanie slovarya Shams-e Fakhrī Meʿyār-i Dzhamālī” (The first unknown publication of Šams-e Faḵrī’s dictionary Meʿyār-e Jamāli), Pis’mennye pamyatniki Vostoka: Istoriko-filologicheskie issledovaniya: Ezhegodnik, 1971, Moscow, 1974, pp. 5-8.

Idem, “Geograficheskie nazvaniya v rannikh persidskikh tolkovykh slovaryakh, XI-XV vv.” (Geographical names in the early Persian explicatory dictionaries, 11th-15th centuries), Strany i narody Vostoka 22, Moscow, 1980, pp. 83-89.

Idem, “Srednevekovaya persidskaya leksikografiya” (Medieval Persian lexicography), in Istoriya lingvisticheskikh uchenii: Srednevekovyĭ Vostok, Leningrad, 1981, pp. 115-129.

Idem, “Srednevekovye slovari (farha ngi)--istochnik po istorii kultury Irana” (Medieval dictionaries (farhangs) as a source for Persian cultural history), in O. F. Akimushkin, ed., Ocherki istorii kul’tury srednevekovogo Irana, Moscow, 1984, pp. 192-239.

Idem, Rannyaya persidskaya leksikografiya, XI-XV vv. (Early Persian lexicography, 11th-15th centuries), Moscow, 1989.

H. Blochmann, “Contributions to Persian Lexicography,” J(R)ASB 37/1, 1868, p. 6.

M. Dabirsiāqi, Farhanghā-ye fārsi be fārsi, Tehran, 1996, pp. 45-48.

V. A. Kapranov, Lugat-i furs Asadi Tusi i ego mesto v istorii Tadzhikskoĭ/farsi leksikografii (The Loḡat-e Fors of Asadi Ṭusi and its place in the history of Tajik Persian lexicography), Dushanbe, 1964.

P. de Lagarde, Persische Studien, Göttingen, 1884, p. 62.

D. N. MacKenzie, “Ḳāmūs: 2. Persian Lexicography,” in EI² IV, 1978, p. 526.

“Moqaddema,” Dehḵodā I, Tehran, 1959, pp. 189-95.

C. Salemann, “Bericht über die ‘Ausgabe des Miʿjār i ǰamālī’,” in Mélanges Asiatiques 9, St. Petersburg, 1888, pp. 417-595. Storey, III/1, pp. 9-11.

A. T. Tagirdzhanov, “Pervyĭ traktat Shams-i Fakhri Isfakhani po persidskoĭ poeµtike” (The first treatise of Šams-e Faḵri Eṣfahāni on Persian poetics), Vestnik Leningradskogo universiteta 14/3, Leningrad, 1960, pp. 61-66.

October 2002

(Solomon Bayevsky)

Originally Published: July 20, 2002

Last Updated: July 20, 2002