Moʿin Moṣavver | Manuscripts | Shahnama of Ferdowsi

Manuscript D, folio 110v

Šāpur''s Troops Put Down a Rebellion in Nasibin in Rum

When Bārānuš received a favorable reply to his letter (see f.109v) he proceeded to Ctesiphon where he and Šāpur concluded a peace treaty. The terms of the treaty required Bārānuš to cede certain Rumi lands to the Sasanians. When news of this reached the ciy of Nasibin the Christian population rebelled nd took over the city. In response, Šāpur sent in a large contingent of troops, that after a week of fighting, put down the rebellion and subjegated the populace.

The illustration is basically square in format with with an additional appendage in the right hand margin. The square, primary portion of the painting is divided vertically in the center. Šāpur's troops, represented by five mounted warriors wearing steel helmets, attack from the right. The local Rumi populace, represented by seven mounted fighters are portrayed defending themselves on the left: two are bareheaded with their hands raised in surrender or despair; the remaining five all wear turbans. Three of them are shooting arrows at the advancing Iranians, one defends himself with a shield, and the leader, dressed in red and sporting a beard and a moustache, has just been cleaved in two at the waist. In the background is a rocky crest, one small bush, and a gold sky in the far distance. Off to the right, in the margin, is the gate to the city, of uncertain spatial organization that includes a doorway with a soldier standing guard and a parapet with arched openings above it. There is a semicircular arch at the top, confining within it two trumpeters with long horns. Just to the left of them the heads of two additional soldiers peer from behind the frame. Several standards in yellow and purple emerge from the top of the structure and from behind the text.

There are four columns of text above and below the main portion of the painting. A rectangular ruled frame encloses the illustration and text on the top, bottom, and left side. On the right side the frame encloses only the text, but is omitted alongside the illustration, and the painting continues irregularly into the right margin. The painting is signed in the lower margin, to the right of center, in miniscule characters in Moʿin’s hand: raqam zad kamina moʿin-e moṣavver. (Drawn by the most humble Moʿin Moṣavver). Not dated.

Painting references:
Cambridge Shahnameh Project

Text references:
Warner, VI, pp.355-57.

Robert Eng
Last Updated: May 31, 2012 | Originally published: May 7, 2003

Photo: © The Trustees of The Chester Beatty Library, Dublin