The relater (Nizámí) of the book of royalty (the Sikandar-Náma)
Gave freshness to the verse of the story, thus,

Saying,—Of all the crown-possessors of Rúm,
There was one, of that land and clime, favoured by fortune.

A renowned king,—his name Faylikús (Philip of Macedon),
Rúm and Rúss accepters of his command.


“Jawán-daulat” signifies—jawán-bakht; șáhib-i-iḳbál; or, he for whom fortune is happy, or on the increase.

See canto xvi. couplet 35; xix. 29.

“Pazíra” signifies—pazíranda.

The word is said to be composed of—, army, and , chief, and may be spelled—; ; .

Philippus became Fílibbús; Fílifús; Fílikús

His abode was in the Greek-land;
His place (dominion) more particularly in Makedonia.


He was the best of the kings of the world;
Was the maternal uncle-born one of 'Iys (Esau), son of Ishák (Isaac):

Was such a dispenser of justice that, by his own justice,
He bound the (powerful) wolf's tail to the (weak) sheep's foot.

He crushed the neck of tyranny in such a way
That Dárá bore envy in regard to that sway (of neck-crushing).

Dárá surpassed him in sword and crown (sovereignty);
He sent a messenger, that he (Faylikús) should remit tribute.

The King of Rúm (Faylikús) possessed true judgment;
He sought concord; and with him (Dárá) sought not strife.


The one (King of Rúm) whom fortune assists,
—Who is there who is able to exercise sway over him?

He (Faylikús) sent to him treasure and property to such a degree,
That the enmity of the malicious one (Dárá) went far from him.

The King of Rúm became pleased (at giving) that tribute;
He preserved the wax (his own body) from the fire, the burner (Dárá).


“Nau-á,in” signifies—árásta, pírásta; nau padíd ámada.

“Niya” signifies—the mother's brother, the paternal or the maternal grandfather.


The second line may be:—

Was of the offspring of …

“Kase” may signify—either Fayliḳús, or Dárá, to whom Fayliḳús was submissive.

As the passage is written, it is uttered by Niámí.

When Sikandar's victory came into action (occurred),
Time's revolution became of another kind.

He left—not sovereignty, nor the world, nor Dárá;
—He caused the spear-head to pass through the hard stone.—


In this tale (of Sikandar's birth) are many disputes:
My ear is intent on everyone's speech (to discover the true historian).

From the sages (historians) of Rúm thus it came
That of that land and clime (Rúm), the wife of a devotee

Became helpless on the day of bringing forth;
She became a wanderer from her city and husband.

When her time of burden-casting came near,
The pang of delivery became strong upon her.

She deposited her burden in a desolate place, and died;
She suffered grief for the child and resigned her life (to God),


(Saying:—) “I know not who will cherish thee;
“What wild beast will devour thee.”


“Guzáshtan” signifies—guzarídan.

The second line is uttered by Niámí.


In the second line, záhid-zane may signify—a devotee-woman.

As to Sikandar's birth, see—Malcolm's “History of Persia,” vol. i. p. 55 (Zínatu-l-tawáríkh); Shea's translation of the Early Kings of Persia, by Mírkhond, pp. 360, 369, and 378; Plutarch's Lives, by Langhorne, 1879, p. 459; the Sháh-Náma, by Firdausí; “The Life of Alexander the Great,” by Archdeacon John Williams, 1829; and an Ancient History, by Philip Smith, 1868, vol. ii. pp. 10-88.

Alexander, the twenty-second in descent from Caranus, who made himself master of Makedonia, B.C. 794, was thirty-eighth in descent from Hercules. His father was Philip of Makedon; and mother, Olympias, the daughter of Neoptolemus and sister to Arymbas. He was born in July, B.C. 354, on the day on which the temple of Diana at Ephesus was burned. Thus he traced his descent from Jupiter by the three different lines of Perseus, Achilles, and Peleus.

—Of this, news none hers,—how the Omnipotent
Would cherish him (Sikandar) in His bosom:

What treasures He would draw within his load;
What fortune He would draw into his bosom.—

When the woman died, that child remained friendless;
The person of the friendless ones (God) caused him to arrive at such a place,

That, by wisdom and judgment, King of the World—
He became; from Káf to Káf, territory-conqueror!


From the enjoyment of the plain, King Faylikús
Advanced, game-overthrowing, towards that woman.

He beheld a woman dead in that pathway:
At her feet a child, head uplifted.

From want of (the mother's) milk, the child sucked its own finger,
(And) bit its own thumb (in grief) for its mother.

He ordered,—so that the servants hastened;
They accomplished the task (of burial) of the dead woman.

He took up the child from the dust of the road;
He remained astounded at the sport of that day.


He took, reared, and cherished the child;
He made him, after himself, his own heir-apparent.


“Ash” refers to the devotee-woman.

Couplets 21 and 22 form a remark by Niámí.


It is the habit of babes, wanting (the mother's) milk, to suck the finger; and of Orientals, expressing grief or surprise, to bite the finger.


Here ends the first account of Sikandar's birth.

It is said that—Fayliḳús, having fought with Dárá Akbar (Darius Nothus, B.C. 425), the son of Bahman Daráz-dast (Artaxerxes Longi-manus, B.C. 465), and suffered defeat, took shelter in a fort, and sought quarter from Dárá. According to agreement Dárá (binding him to send yearly to his treasury 40,000 misḳals of gold), gave him the country of Rúm, and married his daughter Náhíd; but finding her foul of breath, he sent her back pregnant to her father. As a remedy she took the seed of garlic (sír), which the people of Rúm call Iskandarús, and became fresh of breath. Hence they called her son, Iskandar. See canto xiii. couplets 25, 39.

The villager, the fire-worshipper (historian), in another way
Makes his descent go back to Dárá.

When I took thought of (these) histories,
Also of the history of the man, God-knowing (Firdausí),

In those two accounts, was no credence;
In foolish speech, was no correctness.

From the language of every country it became true (certain)
That that monarch (Sikandar) was descended from Fay-likús.


When other sayings had not the proof-mark (of truth),
The orator (Nizámí) attached no credit to them.

That old man of ancient years (Firdausí) thus relates
The tale from the history of former kings:—

That, in the private pavilion of King Faylikús
Was an idol (a lovely woman), a delicate new bride:

In appearance, auspicious; in stature, tall;
Drawing, with the eye-brow, the bow; with the ringlet, the noose:

Like a cypress that in the parterre displays—
Violet from the ringlet, jessamine from the cheek.


The two accounts refer to Sikandar's birth—by a devotee-woman, or by the daughter of Fayliḳús.


The second line may be rendered:—

From the history of kings of former time.


“Pákíza” is compounded of—pákí and zah (contracted from záda).


They plant the rose and the jessamine near to the cypress and box trees.


A beauty, as the sun in mid-day;
The narcissus (the eye) half-asleep, glance-making:

Curling like the black snake, the ringlet-tip;
By it, the king's seraglio became musk-scented.

Towards that sun-lord (the lady of beauty as the sun), the king, so loving—
That save (the word of) recollection of her, naught came to his tongue.

One night, in love the king took her in (his) embrace;
The date-tree (the lovely one) reaped fruit from the date (seed) of the king.


“Nargis-i-ním-khwáb” signifies—the eye of the mistress intoxicated.

“Mushkú” signifies—but-khána; haram-khána,e mulúk.


The word “seraglio” is derived from—sará, a palace or house; and ahl, family.

In the first “mihrbán,” the word mihr signifies sun, and refers to the 42 lovely one of sun-like beauty.

“Bar giriftan” signifies—bárwar shudan.


The impregnating of the female date-tree is effected by inserting the flowers of the male date-tree into those of the female. The male flowers resemble ears of corn, of which one or two are sufficient to impregnate the female tree. The dates of the male tree are worthless; and so, those of the female tree, unless impregnated.

By mixing the species, different sorts of dates are produced. The Balúchís prefer the pullen of the wild male date-tree, growing at a distance from any grove, as the produce is finer.

The date-trees of Madína are celebrated. They have lofty columnar stems, unmutilated fronds, and clusters weighing eighty pounds, hanging by a bright yellow stem as thick as a man's ankle.

The Arabs reckon a hundred and thirty-nine varieties, of which sixty-seven are well-known, each distinguished by its peculiar name.

The best kind is El Shelebi, packed either in skins or in flat round boxes covered with paper. The tree is rare, and not so productive as the other species. The fruit, two inches in length, has an aromatic flavour and smell; its value is from two to ten piastres per pound.

The Ajwah date is eaten but not sold, a tradition of the prophet declaring that whoso breaketh his fast every day with six or seven of these fruits need fear neither poison nor magic.

The El Halwah derives its name from its exceeding sweetness; of this, the Muslims say that the prophet planted a stone, which in a few minutes sprang up and bore fruit.

The El Birní date “causeth sickness to depart, and there is no sick­ness in it.”

The Wahshí made salutation to Muhammad as he ate of its fruit, hence even now its lofty tuft turns earthwards.

The Sayhani (Crier), when the prophet, holding 'Alí's hand, passed beneath it, cried:—“This is Muhammad, the Prince of Prophets, and this is 'Alí, the Prince of the Pious, and the progenitor of the immacu­late Imáms!”

The people eat dates as medicine as well as for food.

In January and February the date-gardener (Nakhwalí) opens the female flower in each cluster, inserts the inverted male blossom, and binds them together. The fruit ripens in May.

The date-tree can live in dry and barren spots, but it loves the beds of streams and moist places. The trees depending on rain-water pro­duce fruit inferior and less in quantity.

The oyster (the lovely one) became fruit-possessing from the April-cloud (Faylikús);
A royal pearl appeared.


When nine months were accomplished in pregnancy,
The vein of escape (parturition) came into motion.

At the time of birth, the king ordered
That the sage (astronomer) should look towards the star (of nativity):

Should give to him a trace of the concealed mystery (of fortune):
And give ease to his soul, as to (by) that motion (of the natal star).

Those acquainted with astronomy took up their instru­ments (astrolabes);
Sought out the mystery from the revolution of the heavens.


The second line may be rendered:—

And give ease to his soul as to that motion (of parturition).


The Așrolabe (Arabic, Usarláb; Hindí, Gantra Raj) consists of a dial, on the back of which is a movable copper tube, attached to a flat narrow plate, each end pointed.

The border is divided into three hundred and sixty degrees, and sub­divided into fourths by a vertical and a transverse line, which intersect each other at the centre of the dial.

In the front (anterior) side of the dial the border is divided into sixty “ghárís,” each equal to twenty-four minutes, and subdivided into four minutes. A moveable brass circle, attached by a pin to the centre of the dial, bears on its border the twelve signs of the zodiac, each sign being divided into fifteen degrees.

To use the instrument—Raise the tube so that the sun's rays may pass through it; mark the position of the tube with reference to the degrees on the border, counting from the transverse line; ascertain from the Kalendar in what sign of the zodiac the sun is, and its degree; bring both the sign and the degree to bear both on the inner circle on the anterior side, and on the transverse line; mark the degree opposite to the projection of the inner circle. The degree marked on the posterior side of the dial should be traced on the flat plate on the anterior side.

Bring both the sign and the degree of the upper circle upon the plate, and mark again the degree opposite to the projection of the circle.

The “gharís” contained between the two marks opposite the projec­tion will be the time of day. See the treatise on the Așrolabe, by Chaucer, in A.D. 1390; and the “Journal” of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. ii. July-Dec. 18??2, p. 720, and “Journal,” No. 118.

Assembled for the (investigation of the) wandering of the heavens;
Raised the balance (astrolabe) of the stars.


Leo, the Lord of Force, was rising,
By which the eyes of enemies became blind (with envy):

The sun, honour obtained from Aries,
An incliner from theory to practice.

Mercury hastened to the Gemini;
The Moon and Venus in the mansion of the Bull consorted:


Leo, the most powerful of the constellations, is the sun's mansion.

The first line may be:—

Leo was the natal constellation of the Lord of Force (Sikandar).


Aries is the sun's place of honour in which it gathers force or light. Every star in its own house thus gathers power.

The second line may signify:—

The sun, after theory (in the winter), began (in the summer) wander­ing among the villas and gardens (stars).

They call Aries (ninth house from Leo) the house of theory ('ilm), and Taurus (tenth house from Leo) the house of practice ('amal).

Practice ('amal) is the fruit of theory ('ilm).

He who is born in Aries is a theorist possessed of practice.


They call the Gemini the third constellation, or Mercury's place of honour; and Taurus (in which conjunction between the Moon and Venus takes place) the second constellation, or the place of honour of the Moon and Venus.

Hence, their being there was auspicious. The Moon and Venus are regarded as the two beneficent planets of the heavens.

Jupiter adorned Saggitarius;
Saturn (was) as a sporter in Libra:

Mars (the soldier of the sky) made the sixth mansion (Capricorn) his dwelling;
Like servants, service-rendering become.


Such a horoscope, with which that son (Sikandar) came!
What shall I say? Bravo! Far, from him the evil eye.

When that precious one with such an omen was born,
The garden (the father and mother) became illuminated by such a plant (Sikandar).

When they engaged in the establishing of the horoscope,
They established his name—Sikandar, the king!

In the judgments of the seven stars it appeared
That the world desires the key (of fortune) given to him.

Of that prosperity—the man, star-understanding,
Gave news; so that the Khusrau (Faylikús) offered thanks.


These two positions are auspicious, each planet being in his own house.

Since Saturn is called—Hindú,e falak, the poet calls his action— bázígarí, because the bázígar (the sporter, or spectacle-maker) comes from Hind (India).


Capricorn is the sixth house from Leo.

See Bentley's “Astronomy of the Hindús”; the “Calcutta Review,” No. 1, p. 257, Astronomy of the Hindús; and No. 13, p. 65, Astronomy of the Orientals; Lilly's “Astrology,” Bohn's Series (circa 1729); the “Journal” of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, vol. xiii. July-Dec. 1844, p. 632; and Kazvin's 'Ajá,ibu-l-Makhlúḳát.


The latter part of the second line is not a prayer but an assertion of God's power.


If az be read in place of ba, the first line will be:—

When they finished the Kalendar.


If dád be read for dáda, the second line will be:—

That the world will give …


From love of the boy of victorious fortune, the king
Opened the door of the treasury and ascended the throne:

Turned to joy from grief and sorrow;
Gave much treasure to the beggars:

In triumph for that moon, musk-scented (Sikandar),
Poured wine and musk (both joy-exciting) by the marge of the stream.

When that cypress-branch (Sikandar), delicately nurtured,
Became the proud-mover, like the strutting-partridge,

He brought his foot from the cradle to the steed;
Went from the bondage of the cradle, plain (of battle) seeking:


Desired the bow from the wet-nurse; and the arrow from the quiver;
His butt was sometimes paper, sometimes silk (not hard material).

When he became further grown, he practised sword-contest:
After lion-overthrowing (with a weapon), he made contest (with the hand) with the lion.

And after that, he took pleasure in horsemanship;
He pursued royalty and sovereignty.

Come, cup-bearer! that wine mixed with odorous herbs (the sight of God's majesty)
Give to me, for Paradise has come much to my memory.

Perhaps, by that wine I may become one whose bark is well (over-) freighted,
And if I become drowned (in God's splendour), I shall be a dweller in Paradise.


The partridge is the lover of the cypress.


If chúba gír be read for—az ju'ba-tír, the first line will be:—

Desired from the wet-nurse the bow and the arrow-taker (the quiver).


Since the over-freightedness of a vessel is sometimes the cause of its foundering, the poet says:—If I founder I shall go to Paradise.

“Kishtí” may signify—a cup, in the form of a boat.

“A'bád kishtí” may signify—one whose bark is over-freighted; the filler of the wine-cup.