[A PORTION of this most interesting unique work was published by M. Reinaud, in his Fragments Arabes et Persans inedits relatif à l Inde, from the MS. numbered 62 in the Bibliothèque du Roi at Paris. The MS. has been described in the Journal Asiatique at different times, by M. Quatremère and M. Mohl, and it had been previously drawn upon by Anquetil Duperron and Silvestre de Sacy.]

[The chapter published by M. Reinaud, with which we are here concerned, was not written by the author of the Mujmal himself, but was borrowed by him from an older work, of which he thus speaks,—“I have seen an ancient book of the Hindus which Abú Sálih bin Shu'aib bin Jámi' translated into Arabic from the Hindwání language (Sanskrit). This work was trans­lated into Persian in 417 A.H. (1026 A.D.) by Abú-l Hasan 'Ali bin Muhammad al Jílí,* keeper of the library at Jurján for a chief of the Dílamites. The book I saw was in the handwriting of the author, and bore the date above given. It is the custom of the Hindu writers on philosophy to put speeches into the mouths of beasts and birds, as in the book Kalíla wa Dimna, and accordingly many such speeches are introduced into this book. I have here introduced the (account of the) origin of the kings and a short history of them, and I have copied it because it is not to be found anywhere else—but God knows.”]

[The date of the original Arabic translation does not appear; it may or may not have been written before the work of Biládurí, but the “extracts” relate to an ancient period, and more espe­cially to Sind, so that they come in most appropriately here at the beginning of the historical writings. The date of the Persian translation, and still more that of the Mujmal, would carry them onward to a later and less suitable position.]

M. Reinaud is of opinion that the translated Sanskrit work was composed about the commencement of the Christian era, certainly long previous to the Rája Taranginí, and probably to the Mahá-bhárata; and that the subsequent reputation of that poem threw the translated work into the shade. If so, it would go far to show that the Mahá-bhárata is, as Wolfe and Heyne say of the Iliad, a collection of older poems already current; for there are many passages in Mujmalu-t Tawáríkh which are almost verbatim the same as they are at present preserved in the Mahá-bhárata. Indeed, it might be said that the Mahá-bhárata was itself the work translated by the Arab, had not animals been represented as the speakers.

The learned Editor also thinks he has discovered in this ex­tract indications of the Bráhmanical influence being established over the Kshatriyas, at an epoch subsequent to the war between the Pándavas and Kauravas. The inference, however, rests upon very questionable grounds, so questionable, indeed, that we are tempted to exclaim, as the pious Persian translator does at the end of each Indian fable recorded by him, “God only knows the truth!”

The author of the “Mujmalu-t Tawáríkh,” says that his father was the compiler of an historical work, and that he him­self had written a history of the Barmekides from their origin to their extinction. M. Quatremère and M. Mohl say that his name is unknown, and give his pedigree as grandson of Muhallib bin Muhammad bin Shádí. He was a traveller; for he tells us that he had visited the tombs of Daniel, Ezekiel, and Jonas, and certain ancient buildings in Persia and Babylonia. He informs us that he commenced his book A.H. 520 (A.D. 1126), during the reign of Sanjar, son of Malik Sháh, Sultán of the Saljúkís, but he must have lived long after this, for he records an event of A.H. 589 (A.D. 1193.)

His work is a chronological abridgment of universal history to the sixth century of the Hijrí. He quotes several rare authori­ties and makes a critical use of them. The topic on which he appears to have exercised most of his researches is the history of Persia, on which subject he promises to write hereafter a more detailed account. He gives many curious and circumstantial details on geography, derived not only from books, but from his own personal observation.

The Persian translation, which he quotes from Abú-l Hasan, is badly executed, being much too literal, and without any pre­tensions to style; and the same neglect of the most ordinary grace and embellishment has been observed in the author's own composition, in the portions which are original.

The authorities he quotes are the history of Tabarí, the Sháh-náma, Garshasp-náma, Farámarz-náma, Bahman-náma, Kúsh­píl-dandán, Abú-l Muayyid Balkhí, Hamza Isfahání, and some others. He says that he quotes these in original, although they will be found to agree but little with one another, in order that his readers may know all that has been said upon the subjects he discusses; that he abridges their prolixities, and discards their quotations in verse; that if ever he quotes poetry, it is on account of its intrinsic excellence, or its peculiar adaptation to the subject he had to illustrate.

“The transactions of the kings of Persia,” he continues, “are the only ones which I propose to recount at length, because that country is placed in the centre of the universe, because it forms one quarter of the habitable globe, because it is the cradle of the human race, because it is the residence of the kings of the fourth climate, because other portions of the globe, such as China, India, Zanj, Arabia, Greece, and Turkistán are not to be compared to Írán, nor is any other country, whether east, west, north, or south,—because, moreover, in reading the history of Persia, any one can at the same time instruct himself respecting the state, position, peculiarities and marvels of other countries.”

This work, therefore, as far as it goes, may be considered an introduction to the History of Persia, and that the author com­pleted the entire work cannot be doubted, because he constantly alludes to the details which he has given in the subsequent part. The discovery of the complete work would be a matter of con­gratulation. It was at one time the intention of M.M. Saint Martin and J. Mohl to publish the Mujmal with a commentary, and there is great cause to regret that the death of the former interrupted the project.

The work, as at present preserved, consists of twenty-five chapters, of which many comprise merely chronological tables, such as those of the Prophets, kings of Rúm, Arabs, Sámánides, Buwaihides, Ghaznivides, Saljúkians, and Greeks, but enters into more particulars respecting the Hindú kings of India, the ancient kings of Persia, Muhammad, and the Khalifs, celebrated tombs, and Muhammadan cities. Without the last chapter, which is missing, the Manuscript contains 305 folios.*


HISTORY OF THE JATS AND MEDS.—As an account of the Jats and Meds is given in the first part of the original work, I shall com­mence mine by making them the subject of it.

The Jats and Meds* are, it is said, descendants of Ham. They dwelt in Sind and (on the banks of) the river which is called Bahar. By the Arabs the Hindús are called Jats. The Meds held the ascen­dancy over the Jats, and put them to great distress, which compelled them to take refuge on the other side of the river Pahan, but being accustomed to the use of boats, they used to cross the river and make attacks on the Meds, who were owners of sheep. It so came to pass that the Jats enfeebled the Meds, killed many of them, and plundered their country. The Meds then became subject to the Jats.

One of the Jat chiefs (seeing the sad state to which the Meds were reduced) made the people of his tribe understand that success was not constant; that there was a time when the Meds attacked the Jats, and harassed them, and that the Jats had in their turn done the same with the Meds. He impressed upon their minds the utility of both tribes living in peace, and then advised the Jats and Meds to send a few chiefs to wait on king Dajúshan [Duryodhana], son of Dahrát [Dhritaráshtra], and beg of him to appoint a king, to whose authority both tribes might submit. The result of this was satis­factory, and his proposition was adopted. After some discussion they agreed to act upon it, and the emperor Dajúshan nominated his sister Dassál [Duhsalá], wife of king Jandrát [Jayadratha], a powerful prince, to rule over the Jats and Meds. Dassal went and took charge of the country and cities, the particulars of which and of the wisdom of the princess, are detailed in the original work. But for all its greatness, and riches and dignity, there was no bráh-man or wise man in the country. She therefore wrote a long letter to her brother for assistance, who collected 30,000 bráhmans from all Hindústán, and sent them, with all their goods and dependents, to his sister. There are several discussions and stories about these bráhmans in the original work.