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8 History of Caucasia
(1,491 words)

In Volume 1-1: Qurʾānic Literature, History, and Biography | Section 2, History, Biography, etc.

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§ 602. In an article entitled K voprosu o proiskhozhdenii Derbendname, which was published in the Leningrad Academy’s shortlived periodical Iran (vol. i (1927), pp. 42–58), the late W. Barthold stated most of the ascertainable facts concerning the versions and manuscripts of the Darband-nāmah. The particulars given below are derived largely from that article.

Darband-nāmah, a history of Dāg̲h̲istān and especially of Darband extending (in M. Awwābī Aqṭāshī’s translation) from the time of the Sāsānid Qubād to the year 436/1044–5 (but in some manuscripts the narrative ends with Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd).

Persian original (?)1 by Ibrāhīm Qazwīnī:2 a ms. presented to F.I. Soimonov, afterwards Privy Councillor and Senator, in 1724 by the Nāʾib, Imām-Qulī, at Darband, was translated into Russian by Yusup Izhbulatov, in whose hands the ms. remained. [Another ms. Darband-nāmah presented to Peter the Great in 1722 by the same Nāʾib, placed in the College of Foreign Affairs at St. Petersburg and, according to Bayer, still there in 1726, but not now forthcoming, was evidently a copy of the Turkish version, since D. Cantemir’s Latin translation of the beginning of the work (see p. 334 infra) contains the mention of M. Awwābī.]

Abridged Turkish translation made from the Persian [of Ibrāhīm Qazwīnī ?] apparently in the 17th century by M. Awwābī3 Aqṭās̲h̲ī for a Dāg̲h̲istānī ruler, C̲h̲ōbān Bēg b. S̲h̲amk̲h̲āl, a descendant of Girāy K̲h̲ān: Moscow Lenin Library (= Rumyantsev Museum no. 261. This is the only known manuscript containing the translator’s preface and his name etc. The Turkish text of the preface is given with an English translation and a description of the ms. on pp. 224–8 of Kazem-Beg’s edition, which was nearly all in print when Kazem-Beg learnt of the Rumyantsev ms. Cf. Barthold in Iran i p. 49). A copy of this translation given to Peter the Great at Darband in 1722 (see p. 333 supra) seems to have disappeared.

Another (apparently later4) Turkish version: Dorn 541 (defective at beginning. ah 1099/1687), 542 (ad 1829).

Edition of the Turkish text with an English translation: Derbend-nâmeh, or the history of Derbend; translated from a select Turkish version and published with the texts and with notes [and with a reprint of Klaproth’s French translation] … by Mirza A. Kazem-Beg,5 St. Petersburg 1851 (“Tiré des Mémoires des Savants étrangers, publiés par l’Académie des Sciences, Tome vi.”).

Persian retranslation made by ʿAlī-Yār b. Kāẓim6 in the reign of S̲h̲aik̲h̲ ʿAlī K̲h̲ān [who became K̲h̲ān of Darband in 1796] from the Turkish version [of M. Awwābī Aqṭās̲h̲ī presumably]: Dorn 308 (ah 1244/1828), Dorn a.m. p. 383 (described by Kazem Beg in his edition pp. 230–2).

Russian translations (1) made from Soimonov’s ms. (see p. 333 supra) and completed at Ras̲h̲t in 1726 by Yusup Izhbulatov, a Tartar of Kazan who accompanied the Russian armies in northern Persia as chief translator to General Matyushkin: Sokrashchenie istorii o nachale i stroenii persidskogo goroda Derbenta i o proiskhodimykh mezhdu persidskim i skifskim gosudarstvami o tom branekh mezhdu imi v te vremena, sochineniya avtorom persidskogo goroda Kazbina mulloyu Ibragimom na persidskom yazyke. Perevedena na rossiiskii yazyk goroda Kazani oriental’nykh yazykov perevoāchikom Yusupom. V Ryashche MDCCXXIV [sic] godu: ms. Moscow Archives 219/379 (see W. Barthold in Iran, vol. i, pp. 52–3). The work begins with Qubād and goes down only to the conquest of Darband by the Muslims. (2) Tarikhi Derbend-name. Perevod pod red. M. Alikhanova-Arabskogo, Tiflis 1898 (see W. Barthold in Iran i p. 52, where this translation is quoted but not discussed).

German translation: Jacob Reineggs7 Allgemeine historisch-topographische Beschreibung des Kaukasus, Gotha and St. Petersburg 1796, pp. 67–119.

Latin translation of the beginning only by Prince D. Cantemir8 (d. 1723): ms. among the Bayer papers in the archives of the Asiatic Museum at Leningrad.

French translation (ending with Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd):9 Extrait du Derbend-nâmeh, ou de l’Histoire de Derbend, par M. Klaproth (in Journal asiatique, 2e série, tome iii (Paris, Jan.–June 1829), pp. 439–67 (and reprinted in Kazem-Beg’s edition)).

It may perhaps be worth mentioning here that there is preserved at Berlin (Pertsch, Turkish Cat. p. 33) another work on Darband translated from Persian into Ottoman Turkish by a certain ʿAdlī in 989/1581–2 for ʿUt̲h̲mān Pās̲h̲ā, the Turkish conqueror of Darband (see W. Barthold in Iran i p. 48).

§ 603. Colonel ʿAbbās-Qulī Āg̲h̲ā “Qudsī” Bādkūbī or Bākūk̲h̲ānov,10 a descendant of the K̲h̲āns of Baku, was born on 10 June 1794 at the village of “Emir-Hadschan” in the K̲h̲ānate of Baku. He grew up among disturbances and wars and spent all his life under arms. Towards the end of 1845 he went to Persia and thence via Constantinople to Mecca. Having just completed the pilgrimage he died of cholera on Mt. ʿArafāt in 1846.

He wrote (1) a short Persian grammar, Qānūn i Qudsī, published at Tiflīs in 1831, (2) Riyāḍ al-quds (in Turkish), biographies of 14 saints, (3) Kas̲h̲ f al-g̲h̲arāʾib on the discovery of America (see p. 337 infra), (4) Tahd̲h̲īb i ak̲h̲lāq (in Persian), (5) ʿAin al-mīzān (in Arabic), on logic, (6) Asrār al-malakūt (in Persian and Arabic), on astronomy, (7) a geography of the world (in Persian), (8) Mis̲h̲kāt al-anwār (in Persian), an ethical poem, (9) shorter poems (in Persian, Arabic and Turkish).

Gulistān i Iram, a history of Transcaucasia (S̲h̲irwān and Dāg̲h̲istān) from the earliest times to the Russian conquest (1813): Chanykov 99.

Russian translation (by the author himself11): Gulistan-Iram (edited from Russian and Persian mss. with introduction and notes by M.G. Bacharly) Baku 1926 (Trudy Obshchestva Obsledovaniya i Izucheniya Azerbaidzhana, 4. See Harrassowitz’s Bücher-Katalog 415 (1928) no. 324, 430 (1931) no. 1151).

[Mélanges asiatiques i (St. Petersburg 1852) pp. 167–8, ii (St. Petersburg 1852) p. 56; Ency. Isl. s.v. Kubba, bibliography; Türk halkedebiyati ansiklopedisi i pp. 18–22.]

§ 604. Mīrzā Ḥaidar Wazirov is the author of a Majmaʿ al-mulūk fī d̲h̲ikr i salāṭīn i ʿAjam written in 1841 (Chanykov 88).

Darband-nāmah i jadīd, written ah 1262/1846: Chanykov 98.

§ 605. Kitāb dar bayān i aṣl i s̲h̲ahr i Darhand u ahālī i Dāg̲h̲istān: Chanykov 156 (c).

next chapter: 9 History of Arabia


^ Back to text1. It is not known whether this was the original form of the work. There are statements of doubtful authority about copies of the Darband-nāmah in Arabic. For example, Karamzin (Ist. Gos. Ross., t. iii, prim. 292) found among G.F. Miller’s papers a ms. with the title Izvestie o goroda Derbente perevedennoe s arabskogo yazyka v Kizlyare v 1758 g. staraniem general-maiora i kizlyarskogo ober-kommendanta fon Frauendorfa. According to M. Alikhanov-Arabskii (Tarikhi Derbend-name. Perevod pod red. M. Alikhanova-Arabskogo, Tiflis 1898, pp. 9, 17) a copy of the Darband-nāmah in Arabic existed at the end of the 19th century. Barthold thought it probable that this, if it really existed, was a retranslation from the Turkish.

^ Back to text2. The name of this otherwise unknown author was ascertained by Barthold from the title-page of Yusup Izhbulatov’s Russian translation. It is not clear from that translation whether the Persian Darband-nāmah had a preface and whether the author indicated the date at which he wrote.

^ Back to text3. Barthold and his predecessors write Awābī (Avabi) without explaining the nisbah, which may be identical with that explained by al-Samʿānī and others as derived from al-Awwāb (in the Tāj al-ʿarūs Awwāb), a subdivision of Tujīb. Aqṭās̲h̲ is the name of a river, on which the town of Endery is situated.

^ Back to text4. See W. Barthold in Iran i (1927), p. 50.

^ Back to text5. Kazem-Beg based his edition on (1) a modern transcript received by him from Derbend in 1839 “through the friendly efforts of Mirza Kerim, Secretary to Ibrahim Beg of Gkartchagh” [A Turkī Darband-nāmah presented by the author, Mīrzā Karīm, to the Asiatic Museum at St. Petersburg is mentioned in Mélanges asiatiques iv (St. Petersburg 1863) p. 499], (2) a transcript made by Dorn from the two mss. in the Imperial Public Library at St. Petersburg.

^ Back to text6. ʿAlī-Yār’s preface as given in the mss. of the Asiatic Museum and the Imp. Pub. Lib. is printed by Kazem Beg in his preface pp. xiv–xv.

^ Back to text7. Reineggs made a copy of a ms. (defective at both ends and going down to Hārūn al-Ras̲h̲īd) shown to him at Kubten in northern Dāg̲h̲istān. This copy he presented to the Royal Academic Museum at Göttingen.

^ Back to text8. Cantemir translated from the ms. given to Peter the Great.

^ Back to text9. Klaproth used a ms. preserved then (but not now apparently) in the Royal Library at Berlin, which, like some of the other manuscripts, ended at this point. According to Klaproth another manuscript Darband-nāmah, differing considerably from that at Berlin, was presented by M. Steven to the Royal Library at Paris. According to Babinger, Geschichtsschreiber der Osmanen p. 413, there is now a ms. at Paris (suppl. ture 516).

^ Back to text10. Bākū-k̲h̲ānov is the spelling in Mélanges asiatiques ii p. 56, where the word is written both in the Roman and the Persian character. Minorsky writes Bākī-K̲h̲ānow (so also Harrassowitz’s Bücher-Katalog 415 and 430).

^ Back to text11. See Minorsky in Ency. Isl. s.v. Ḳubba, bibliography.

Cite this page
“8 History of Caucasia”, in: Storey Online, Charles Ambrose Storey. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2021

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