Structural Explanation (Physical Dimensions) of the Manuscript of Ahmad Gholam`s Jung (Date of writing: 1722 - 1729AD/1135-1142 AH)

Document Type : Research Article


Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Esfahan, Esfahan, Iran


Jungs are manuscripts or collections of documents that contain a selection of historical, literary, religious, and scientific documents and texts. Ahmad Gholam’s Jung is from the second half of the Safavid period, especially from the late Safavid period (simultaneous with the Afghan invasion) and contains documents from this period and earlier periods. Its structural features consist of physical and formal dimensions such as the components used, the way letters are written and arranged, and their explanation.The achievement of the present article expresses the importance of historical values of the mentioned manuscript from a structural point of view. The research method used in this research is formal analysis with a phenomenological approach (analysis and empirical analysis and direct with a critical approach) and with reference to the present manuscript.



Documents are divided according to the type of subject, content, time intervals, place or executive and judicial institution, and appearance and characteristics. (Ghaem Maghami, 1350: Introduction).Manuscripts, therefore, can be divided into different ways:

  1. Types of manuscript in terms of content
  2. Types of manuscript in terms of the number of authors

Single-text manuscript, collection, Jung, ellipse, treatise, article, source and reference are names that indicate a diverse range of manuscripts with different definitions. "Jung" is a title that refers to copies of poetry collections and various other documents, including sources, Ekhvaniat, Diwaniat and financial and judicial documents.

Ahmad Gholam's jung has significant capacities to correct and amend historical information and data, due to indigenous materials, the rarity and scarcity of some available documents, the amount of information, considering recording date, literary and linguistic quality, overlapping the time of events with the author’s time, and having access to government sources and documents.

Owing to criticizing the structure of the manuscript, analyzing and describing the work, the approach used in this article is mainly considered a phenomenological approach (re-cognition of cognition).

Despite the historical references some researchers having cited, a large amount of the content of the manuscript has driven an individual or a group of individuals away from analyzing and improving it in depth so far. In addition, the types of handwriting, the huge variety of the content and the presence of several official languages like Arabic, Turkish and Persian, have made it difficult to correct and revise the mentioned version of the manuscript. This article struggles to decipher some of the historical facts behind it by examining the physical and formal dimensions.

One of the scribes of the manuscript is a person named Ahmad Gholam. There is no identity information available about him and his family. According to the interpretation of scholars and the availability of references in the manuscript, however, he has practiced as the staff of the Amira treasury[1] and the scribe of the royal library, and according to the author himself, he had been one of slaves in the court of Suleiman Safavid Shah, who had been serving to do version and revise.

There are two studies on this manuscript; One by Ehsanullah Shokrollahi Taleghani with a primarily literary approach and stress on the results and the other by Mansour Sefat Gol with a mostly historical method and emphasis on the assortment of topics and the classification of its historical content. Nevertheless, the main weakness of both is the one-dimensional view and general introduction of the work, which causes the details of its form and content remain unrecognized. Furthermore, some parts of the results of Ahmad Gholam's jung has been mentioned in the appendix of the book Bada'i al-Akhbar by Abdul Nabi  Behbahani. The editor of this work, however, points out that some of the results of this Jung have been appended through Shokrallahi's article, and therefore the original manuscript has not been observed by him (Behbahani, 2010: Thirty-five, Introduction).


  1. The manuscript scribe

Ahmad Gholam's Jung was written or compiled by a person of the same name who was known as the scribe of the royal library of the court of Shah Suleiman and Shah Sultan Hussein Safavid or the treasury specialist of Amira at the end of this period. The author of the work, while having direct access to documents and books, had been a crucial witness, observing the events and circumstances at the time of writing the manuscript, and in the "colophon ا"[2] of his documents he has referred to the presence of Afghans and events occurring in Isfahan at that time.

According to his own statements, his profession can be traced at the end of some documents or through the annual reports that he has presented to the Shah (Shah Suleiman (1693) or Shah Sultan Hussein (1728) about the income and expenditure account of the Amira treasury. Therefore, it is not true that some sources or cataloguing librarians of the Parliamentary Library of Iran have called him the scribe of the Royal Library and have not mentioned his position in the Amira treasury. One of the reasons is the lack of attention to the formal diversity of documents, which fill the content gaps to some extent. In fact, Ahmad Gholam's profession as a librarian of the Royal Library is not completely clear unless it can be proven that the treasury had not been keeping the precious, but also has been a place for conserving notable books or copies (Sefat Gol, 2004: 354). Otherwise, like other scribes, he has been working a second job in the treasury or library, which is reinforced by documents containing financial reports signed and submitted by Ahmad Gholam. It contains selected passages from ancient texts and documents, which clearly shows that Ahmad Gholam has been engaged in their reproduction.

In addition, he pays special attention to copying them, especially in the event of the attack and threat of Afghans in Isfahan. There is no information available about Ahmad Gholam's age, place of birth, name and lineage. Nevertheless, he has lived in Isfahan, his religion was Shi’a Islam, and he has appreciated and respected the Safavid dynasty (especially Shah Safi, Shah Abbas II and Shah Suleiman). In addition, his language was probably Turkish, and he was interested in astronomical and chronological issues, which can be recognized by analyzing and evaluating the assortment of documents (Shokrollahi Taleghani, 2003: 2, 8, 12).

The age of Ahmad Gholam can be determined if the correct date of the beginning of the manuscript is specified - the earliest and latest dates can be1649and 1729, respectively. However, the year1649has been considered as one of the dates in intertext and there is no testimony, indicating that it has been cited by Ahmad Gholam.

Similarly, it cannot be seen about the year 1652, which is considered by cataloguing librarians as the time of the beginning of writing manuscript, since, firstly, there is the year1649prior to it and then, there is no evidence, supporting that Ahmad Gholam has written it.

In some colophons, which have referred to the author’s name, there has been a devotional song in praise of Imam Ali (A) in prose and verse. For instance, at the end of a page, where poems of Shams Tabrizi had been quoted, using a poem having a theme about the succession of Imam Ali to Muhammad Prophet, Ahmad Gholam has used the word A.h.m.a.d- A.l.i in a special way that the word Ahmad is over the word Ali (Gholam, Ahmad, the version 3455: 229). This example of “colophons” has been arisen in Taleghani's article and review and remained an unanswered question. The response to this question should probably be sought in the relevant text, which is about the event of Ghadir and the appointment of Ali as the Prophet's successor.

Tax documents with Siyaq numbers related to the year 1777 have been also recorded in this manuscript (Ahmad Gholam, 3455: 232, 244). It is associated with the next owners of this document and its content comprises the governmental expense and income during the same year, which means the people who had access to the manuscript at that time, are more likely to fathom the financial value of it.

Therefore, through analyzing visual features of the manuscript, it would be possible to recognize the writer and his occupation, position, religion and approximate age.


  1. The manuscript chronograph

The date of the manuscript scribe is around the years 1722-1729 AD (1135-1142 AH), simultaneous with the fall of the Safavids caused by the Afghans. In this period, most of the texts have been written in Tahriri-calligraphy with the characteristics of cursive along with “colophon”. In other words, the writings of Ahmad Gholam are indicated by his own signature and name from1722 to 1729 AD, while any trace of his name and signature has not been left in the documents, which have not written in Tahrīrī script. It would be possible to make some hypothesis such as: 1) in order to prevent the destruction of authentic documents and copies in the Safavid treasury, this manuscript, with unknown author or owner, might have been completed by Ahmad Gholam in the time of the Afghan invasion. 2. The whole copy might be related to Ahmad Gholam, while only he has added his name to the script at the end of the documents in Tahrīrī script. 3. This script might have been written by several scribes, serving in the treasury of the Safavid, and Ahmad Gholam has been struggling to add some writings into it in those years as well. Nevertheless, the beginning of the manuscript is not obviously clear.

Moreover, there are some dates such as 1649, 1653, 1682, 1483 and 1622(1059, 1063, 1093, 888, 1031 AH) available in the manuscript, which have been mentioned in the main body of it, and there is no testimony, confirming that Ahmad Gholam has issued an order for them to be written. The other mostly significant point is that the dates of 1649 and 1653(1059 and 1063 AH) are seen at the bottom of the documents that have been inscribed with the phrase “written” in Herat, Bastam and northeastern Iran. It generalizes a hypothesis, concerning that starting to write the script has been done in some areas other than Isfahan and mainly in northeastern Iran. (Ahmad-Gholam, manuscript 3455: 371, 239)

Therefore,  the time length for writing, which has been considered from 1653 to 1728(1063-1140 AH) according to Shokrollahi Taleghani and Sefat Gol’s views need to be scrutinized thoroughly. There are some dates such as 1777 and 1874(1191 and 1291 AH), which have been added by the next unidentified owners of the manuscript at the bottom of the financial documents. Furthermore, the number of documents written in 1725 and 1726(1137 and 1138 AH) is more quantitatively than other times. Documents including these dates are often characterized with “Tahrīrī” script and cursive writing, small fonts and page compression in terms of volume.

Likewise, in the context and especially in the colophons of most documents, chronicles are mentioned, some of which are mentioned in the text of the document (do) and others by the scribe (colophon). Due to the chronicles in the documents, showing several years from the first decades of the Safavid rule to the end of it, scholars and cataloguing librarians have considered the time period of 1653- 1728(1141-1163 AH) for the introduction. However, in diverse documents, Ahmad Ghulam refers to the desperate political and security situation after the invasion and presence of the Afghans in the country. In this regard, there are documents, which indicate the author's apprehension and his/her speediness in writing. The repetitive sentence "I do not know what I have written" in the documents is connected with the periods of Safavid collapse and Afghan sovereignty(1723-1730AD/1135-1142 AH),displaying that the author has been quite petrified of writing and recording contents as more quickly as they should be. He has referred to the event of the Qom conquest, the destruction of the country and looting of houses from1724 onwards (1138 AH onwards) (Ahmad Gholam, version 3455: 49).

Therefore, a hypothesis can lie is that in the last years of the Safavid dynasty, the author has been struggling to clearly illuminate his manuscripts with much more content as possible in order to accomplish it more rapidly, while he has intended to preserve many library resources and governmental documents as much as they could be done. The colophons “I am the sinful one who have written it on 15th Ramadan, 1063 AH (9th month of the lunar year) in the city Bastam” or “it has been written on 25th Rajab, 1059 AH (7th month of the lunar year) in the city Herat (the royal city)” (Ahmad Gholam, version 3455: 239).It is obviously clear that this manuscript has not been solely written in Isfahan as Taleghani states.

However, Ahmad Gholam's writings (additions) have been quite totally compiled in Isfahan. In this case, through scrutinizing closely the writings in different pages, it can be noticeably seen that even the contents of one page have been written at different times, since there are different inks, faint or bold, as well as diverse dates on one page.

The other calendar feature of this work would be the existence of the types of calendars; chronologies and timelines used put a high value on this manuscript as the paratextual works, since they refer to the use of these calendars in the Safavid era. His classification assigns for daytime (even it mentions nighttime at the time of writing), week, month, and year; For instance, “On the night of Sunday, the 19thRabi al-Awwal 1138 AH, or 8th Safar 1140 AH in “Keshik Khaneh”, in the morning, Ahmad Gholam”. The latter example illustrates that a part of the administrative sections of the Safavid state has been also working in the Ashraf government in Afghanistan (Sefat Gol, 1383: 354; Shokrollahi Taleghani, 1382: 10; Ahmad Gholam, version 3455: 175)

The presence of chronologies in the text is not limited to "colophons", there are also dates linked to the manuscript. In the meantime, what most commonly used in this manuscript was the lunar Hijri calendars and twelve-animal Turkic Calendar, whereas the solar calendars are rarely seen. Likewise, one of the rare examples in this manuscript was the chronology done due to tax time. In the case of the comparative calendar, in most cases, the lunar Hijri calendars has been accompanied by twelve-animal Turkic Calendar. Undeniably, writing in detail along with dates gives more opportunity to readers to fathom how long these documents have lasted and how fast they have been written. For instance, there are two letters in one of the pages, one of which belongs to the order of Sultan Sanjar of the Seljuk Empire and another is Alexander Pasha’s, the minister of Sultan Suleiman the Ottoman, correspondence. The first has been written on 28 Jamadi Al-Awwal and the second at the beginning of Jamadi Al-Thani in the same year. Both pages have been chosen from the Hyderabad Assembly. (Ahmad Gholam, version 3455: 228). It illustrates that the author writes on daily basis and proves the hypothesis that he has followed his main occupation as a writer. Moreover, the presence of different places at the time and along with the dates at the end and in the midst of the documents is beneficial in the field of comparative and analytical studies.

The other feature of Ahmad Gholam's manuscript about time is the adaptation of dates based on the lunar Hijri calendar. For instance, the beginning of the collective owner until the two months of Sycqanʼ(y)il according to the year 1120 AH or at the same time that the 18 cities of Jamadi Al-Awwal 1080 AH, are taxāquy'(y)il (Ahmad Ghulam, version 3455: 219, 165).

The format of dating has been principally presented as numeric data. For instance, 1726/01/09, when writing one of the documents has been completed (Ahmad Gholam, version 3455: 247).

 There is no chronology in the documents, which stems from the nature of being as the Jung. For instance, a manuscript assigned to Sultan Sanjar of the Seljuq Empire on a page, whereas on the same page there is a text about the negotiations of Shah Tahmasb the Safavid dynasty. On the other hand, the author was himself obliged to write and record the date of the documents at the end of them, although a significant percentage of documents remain undated. It is important to note that dates often have been written in Tahriri-calligraphy along with colophons, which increases the value and prominence of colophons in documents and manuscripts. (Afshar, 1381: 40)

In some documents of the manuscript, the dates such as1777, 1776 and 1873, indicate that some content have been added by their owners in the following centuries and decades. The year1873 is the latest date in this manuscript. The three dates have been seen only in financial documents in Tahriri -calligraphy (Ahmad Gholam, version 3455: 262).


  1. Format features

Dimensions and formats: The format of this manuscript is of “elliptical” path, which involves the omission of a word by its length, with binding spine width, and is known among copyists and bookbinders as “Bayāz”. Elliptical format and bookbinding were typically used for liturgical books, scriptures and literary texts (provided in the demand of individuals).Likewise, the manuscript of Ahmad Gholam's Jung  has been written in this format at 15.5 x 33 centimeters (Safari Aq Qala, 1390: 223)[3]

This format was more common than any other type in the first Islamic centuries after several century breakdowns from the  8th and especially, the ninth AH onwards, this type of formatting was being used in writing the Qur'an, ritual and practice books and other documents. The mode and construction of this format had been designed in such a way that made it more easily portable during the trip and at the same time, the author of the script could take his/her quick notes in it.

The cover of this type of formatting can be seen as one of the few covers in which cardboard has not been generally used, probably that is why it is of much greater flexibility and  portability. Book covers have been made of leather in this type of bookbinding. These cardboard-free materials makes the cover bend much better (Safari Aq Qaleh, 2011: 223) having much greater awareness of these issues is really indispensable  in seeking the historical identity of Ahmad Gholam since the way of its writing, the duration of it and other problems can be examined and proved in several places and times .

Knowing the format of this manuscript  enables us to establish the document control strategy  and create  order out of chaos. After discovering the type of formatting and matching it with the page number formats of the manuscript available in the library of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, it was clearly found that the manuscript has been divided by even numbers in the beginning  and odd numbers in the end, which have been scanned into it. Consequently, the  concern about incompatibility between the manuscript available in the library of Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Rozati and the one in library of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, which existed at the beginning of the study, was dismissed. By collating other manuscripts written by Ahmad Gholam, especially the number 6522 in the Library of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, which is  in the form of elliptical, it is obviously clear that this type of formatting is one of Ahmad Gholam’s the decisive choices which the historical conditions of the late Safavid era has influenced enormously. Such conditions identifies that the author has not been working in a fixed location.

Scripts: Accuracy in the type of scripts and the way they are written in manuscripts requires great expertise. Mastering this issue helps to explore some relevant facts about structure and concept of it. At times, by distinguishing different calligraphic styles included in a manuscript, even one can figure out how many authors have written it. The scripts used in this work can be specified as Nasta'līq, cursive Nasta'līq, Naskh, Tahrīrī and Siyāq.

“Naskh” has been mainly used to write Arabic language texts, while “cursive Nasta'līq” has been popular in Persian. “Naskh” have been used to demarcate the content  in texts and to write the titles, headings and annotations. Amongst these scripts, “broken Nasta'līq” is more practical due to short verticals with no serifs, and long horizontal strokes. The quality of “cursive Nasta'līq” used  has varied from high to middle level and is determined one of  exclusive styles amongst the other calligraphic ones.

“Nasta'līq” script has been principally used in writing poems in the form of “Chalīpā”. An author takes certain scripts to write different topics according to his/her own taste. For instance, he uses the “ta'līq” script to write the endowment letter of Naghsh-e-Jahan Square(Ahmad Gholam, version 3455: 19) The script used in this work is much closer to “Nasta'līq” style, nevertheless, it lacks the principles of calligraphic art. The approximate quantity of this script in the manuscript comprises about 21% of the total documents. This figure includes documents, which have been written in “Tahrīrī” script in the margin of  original texts along with the other scripts.

Handwriting speed in this work can be seen evidently. However, the author has been struggling  to follow the rules of writing and based on its volume, a few mistakes could be noticed in it. Based on  some testimony revealed that the writing of the manuscript has been done by Ahmad Gholam, he has been known as one of the experienced calligraphers of “ta'līq”, “Nasta'līq”, “Naskh” and “cursive Nasta'līq”, since writing legibly with a few mistakes seems to be extremely difficult in the  situation in which he found himself. Another point is that “Nasta'līq and “Naskh,” are the most popular calligraphic styles in the version of the number 6522 from the library of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, and Haeri considers the complete writing of that manuscript has been submitted by Ahmad Gholam (Haeri, vol. 20, 1969: 96).

Under assuming that this view is accepted, it can be said that the mentioned historical conditions, from the fall of the Safavids to the fall of the Afghans, has led Ahmad Gholam - at least in the case of the manuscript of this Jung he preferred setting the record of the maximum content over the aesthetically elegant calligraphic style . One of the key differences between the version of the number 3455 and version of the number 6522 is that some colophons can be seen in the end of documents with official calligraphic scripts such as “Naskh” and “Nastalīq” in the version of the number 6522, whereas such documents do not exist in the manuscript number 3455. The colophons containing the name of Ahmad Gholam in the recent version are all written in “Tahrīrī” script in the end of the documents. Therefore, considering this concern, it can be obviously proved that the writer has been a calligrapher.

Types of Seals: There are a few seal impression on some pages of this manuscript with predominantly religious phrases, some of which are rarely reviewed or referred to them in the other texts. For instance, there are two types of seal impression one at the top and the other at bottom of a document describing physical diseases from the “Usul al-kafi” book with a religious phrase in Arabic[4], means “May Lord resurrect me in the religious of Ahmad in the hereafter”. This phrase is a part of “Munajat” (whisper prayer) in verse, recited by Imam Ali (A) addressing God (A). The prevalence of such  seals on this manuscript displays the fame and prominence of this phrase.

The similarity between the Shiite religious concept of the text and such seals used on one page look insightful. In reality, examining such raised questions such as “which groups these seals belong to?” and “which pages they have been placed?” are extremely controversial. Through scrutinizing the samples of documents and manuscripts in which authors had typically used their own seals, one can decide some questions and attribute them to Ahmad Gholam. “al-Mukhlis fi al-Hiyah”[5] can be seen as an example, which consists of the seals of the author (Afshar, 2002: 100-39).Among the seals, there is a seal at the end of the financial document, related to the year 1777 (1191 AH)[6]. The seal has been repeated on other pages (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript 3455: 271).



Figure No. 1” the page 271


Figure No.2: the page 242

Likewise, it can be referred to an important document in this manuscript written by Mollah Akmal, who had been Kerman magistrate in this document, after stating the preface, the types of seals and some explanations are introduced. At the end of the document, some records and notes have been brought by Ahmad Gholam. At the top of each record, he has introduced some people with their positions in the political and administrative systems. Among them, there are some prominent personalities such as : Mostofi Al-Mamalīk, Mohrdār Mubārak Homāyūn, Mohrdār Mehr Mubārak Sharaf Nafāz, Darughachi (Tax officer),  Mostowfi ul-Mamālik, Bailiff, the officer affiliation bonus, Arbab Mudakhl, Physician “Nāzem al-atebba’”, Awarjeh Nawab, editor-in-chef, Muster master “Laškar-nevīs”, bookkeeper, authors in court (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript 3455: 163)

Layout: in typography, one of the author’s tastes was to set margin with red lines. This was the least decorative characteristics, which has been used in the most pages. Red lines have also been used to create a grid for plotting  the contents,  titles, and topics. In the pages where there are verses of the Qur'an and in some cases, some hadiths, the author has crossed, continuous, not broken or dotted lines below and often at the top of pages to divide them and emphasis their significance. Besides these red lines, some red symbols can be seen at the top of different phrases, which seemingly need to have divided along with and punctuation marks such as comma within the text (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript 3455: 287, 310).Such subtleties were served to stress the prominent of readers to the author in an effort  to write simply to convey his meaning to them.

Writing in the form of different directions and sides with diverse scripts, generally “Nasta'līq” and “cursive Nasta'līq” can be viewed as one of  innovative approaches of Ahmad Gholam or the other scribes to decorate pages, considering a dual function of their writing. In addition to such elegance,  it has enabled the authors to fill the maximum space in their writings. Another reason for the author to do this was to cover one topic on one page as much as possible and to demarcate the content of diverse topics on one page. When this aim is combined with their calligraphic skills, it will allow authors to make better use of empty space more accurately, while maintaining visual texture with delicacy. However, this concern can be rarely seen in the pages, scribed with “Tahrīrī” script in the late period of Safavid dynasty (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript 3455: 22, 24). It is noteworthy to mention that the author has written in different colored inks, whether intentionally or whenever he might have written at different times. As a result, not only can it help readers almost perfectly understand the content of the texts, but also the writings can be broadly divided to grant great grace and glory to the texts. In general, although Ahmad Gholam seems not to have been accomplished at typographic design, he has been able to use his calligraphic art along with red signs to give the readers some guide as much as possible.


  1. Writing style

The languages ​used in this work consist of Persian, Arabic and Turkish, which can be accorded to the category of special documents. For instance, the colophons in the manuscript are generally written in Persian and in a few cases, in Arabic[7]or in Turkish[8], meaning: I am still in prison" at the end of a marriage contract (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript3455: 365). From the sociolinguistic perspective, despite the existence and abundance of three types of languages ​​(of which Arabic was mostly used in texts), it would be possible to find the presence and diversity of populations with diverse ethnical and cultural background even Late Safavid period. Although the Turkish language has been more predominantly used as the language of the court to interact well (with the Uzbeks and the Ottomans), the trace of its social function can also be viewed in some documents. In terms of the type of literary prose, in spite of a lot of delicate  expressions and words existing in the manuscript in total, the prose of it cannot be perceived as one of the literary genres or a fluent prose., Ahmad Gholam, however, seems to have been struggling to use simplicity through different ways, such as by putting some additional explanation, synonyms, and expanding the definition of difficult phrases and words below or in the margins of the main pages in the manuscript.



No. 3: The Turkish phrase "بازدوستاقم", one of colophons


Another point is the presence of sections such as table of contents with the page number and introduction at the beginning of the manuscript, which can indicate the author's intention to write a book or a codified work. The table of contents comprises several features. First of all, we can discover the trace of more than one list in the first few pages as the author has represented the phrase "Letters of Sultans" along with the page numbers at the top of the first list to introduce the letters belonging to sultans, and in the following pages, what can be clearly seen would be the list of numerous quotations from people and that of the parts of texts without mentioning the page numbers.

In other words, the author seems to have categorized the main text into two parts:

  1. Historical documents and sources
  2. Sections taken from texts (mainly religious ones)

Furthermore, the page numbers  have not been sorted as the indexes. In addition, an issue concerning the manuscript, that seems to have no other reasonable reasons than one, which may indicate the author, has mentioned essential and forgotten documents in the list section during his over readings.

In general, the author could not compile and suggest complete statistics on the content of the manuscript in none of the indexes. What can be said about the prominence of table of contents is that due to its nature as a Jung, it can be viewed as a kind of collection or compilation of historical documents. At the beginning of the manuscript, submitting a list, even an incomplete one, therefore, heightens the author's awareness of this issue and his purpose for compiling it. This necessity can be expressed in another approach through putting a question, that “Do the documents in this manuscript have content cohesion?” The short answer to this question would be No. The reason can justify this question might be  the nature of it, categorized as Jungs, which can generally constitute an extensive range of topics. Even topically, diverse contents may be involved in one document. Based on his interests, the government intervention and type of his job, the author has been struggling to get the most detailed table of contents from documents and manuscripts, while being concerns about the destruction of documents (by Afghan insurgents)., Consequently, there would be clues available for him to track down missing documents in future times if the original documents have been lost. Representing the list of letters and writing the sources is an action that can date back to the beginning of the Islamic centuries. Nevertheless, the variety of documents, terms and conditions  to write this manuscript in that period, and his efforts to compile and record various documents at optimal speed can put this manuscript miles ahead of the other manuscripts. On the other hand, owing to the nature of it as a Jung, his purpose for writing, and the historical context in which the author was experiencing no thematic cohesion can be found in this manuscript. Although inconsistency is considered a negative point, from another perspective, it can provide a clue to discover the missing historical sources and documents. Ahmad Gholam's efforts to write proofread and annotate some historical words and rare documents enables researchers to further study with broader perspectives.. In some cases, whenever the author needed to have provided any explanation about writing the text, he has offered them(including synonyms, antonyms and meanings , plural and singular words, presentation of a hadith or quotation) in the margins (with reference marks) and between lines (above or below the same word) with a smaller font than the context font. (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript 3455: 254, 272). The same approach has been applied for the missing letters and words. Additionally, translations and synonyms have been produced for both Persian words and Arabic and Turkish ones. This feature also involves the writing styles since there are many calligraphic features in the text. This issue is of the significance in historical linguistics the reason probably is that  these writing approaches are derived from the common oral reproduction in society.


Figure 4: Adding some explanations and meanings in the manuscript by Ahmad Gholam


Annotation: It is one of actions, which was taken by Ahmad Gholam. Some mistakes within the text have been mentioned by the author in the margins. The presence of some symbols such as«خ»and «ص»meaning “false” and ” “true”, respectively can be seen as an example in the margins of the pages and across the relevant lines or within the text and below or at the beginning of the same word. It should be noted that the sign «ص»or  «صر»referred to a missing word. One of the reasons why margin has been adjusted was the lack of adequate text space for writing. Likewise, Ahmad Gholam has reconsidered some mistakes above the same word without any signs. Moreover, some wrong words have been rectified through crossing them out and putting the correct phrases below or on the top of the words. The presence of these works ensures the authenticity of the document and the manuscript since the wrong illegible words and phrases are replaced by the correct words in copies of the manuscript.

Whenever the words needed to be added within the text, one of the handwritten subtleties has been displayed by the author was to drag the letter «ک» upwards to refer to a relevant text or phrase which shows  Ahmad Gholam has intended to write a historical document through collecting data. Similarly, it is not obviously clear why the letters " «ط» and «م» have been signed at the top and in the margins of some words and pages. Various symbols were regarded by the author to give the readers accurate guide. For instance, the letter «ح» and the figure  8in parentheses (8) was used to refer to the margin. The short bow symbol is also used for this purpose and refers to the margin.

Another advantage of this manuscript is the overusing punctuation marks properly (such as commas, parentheses) for proper guidance and writing. Therefore, in some pages including concise text or independent phrases, the author used comma at the end of the phrases, or short parenthesis at the top and the beginning of the next phrase and mainly in red to point out to the beginning of the next sentence or phrase. A symbol similar to the figure «5»has also been used extensively to separate the contents and reveal the completion of the data (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript 3455: 15, 16, 18, 42, 245, 223, 222, 221). Short parentheses used in other papers and documents has divided sentences and denoted the beginning and ending or emphasis on the type of sentence or short phrases. The decorative details of the documents dating back to the periods of Shah Abbas II (1666-1642AD/1052-1077AH) and Shah Suleiman (1693-1666AD/1077-1105AH)look more completely. Documents related to the years 1722  to 1729 AD (1135-1142 AD) lacked any decorative details. The other division is the use of some words in red within the text; they either are synonym of the words after and before them or are included for the continuation of the concept. Examining why these keywords had been selected would definitely follow other explanations. The three red dots (in the shape of a triangle) at the end of the stanza or verses identify the completion and demarcation of the poetic and prose content within the text (Ahmad Gholam, manuscript 3455: 310).



Figure 5: Example of text correction: 1. Note: The letter "ک" is added to the letter. 2. There is a faint line on the word "علیک" and "الشیطان" is written on it.


Figure 6: punctuation and writing symbols



Using the phenomenological approach, which is regarded as a critical approach along with doubts about the cognitions, reflection on the assumptions, and immediate and empirical understanding, it was obviously clear that the present manuscript involves several structural and content values. Ahmad Gholam’s Jung has been inscribed in historical context where written works with the similar genre were produced. These include a collection of various letters (Jung) written by the nephew of Iskandar Bey Turkman in the reign of Shah Abbas II or a book called "Jung" written by Zayn al-Abidin Yazdi in the period of Shah Safi.

Listing documents and books available in libraries is one of these actions carried out by the author. Jungs, apart from the tastes of their authors, are a kind of attempt made to preserve and describe vital and scattered historical texts and documents. It can be regarded as an action that has been probably increasing in the end of the Safavid period and from the time of Shah Safi onwards. Libraries, undoubtedly, needed to have taken charge of this task. Those libraries were viewed as ones that had been turned to have a complex and central function and structure since the period of Timurid Empire.

The experience of internal and external attacks such as foreign tribes has been one of the historical reasons for the construction and development of such institutions  as libraries and the creation of Jungs. Hence, the presence and multiplicity of manuscripts such as Jungs in the late Safavid era indicates two major issues; the existence of a large number of documents and concerns about the destruction of them.

In this article, an attempt was made to scrutinize the manuscript of Ahmad Gholam's jung in terms of diverse features and dimensions. Ahmad Gholam, whose reputation comes from a few works written by him, is an individual serving as staff in the treasury of books in the late Safavid government, particularly during the reign of Shah Abbas II until the end of the Safavid era (mainly Shah Suleiman). The Afghan invasion of Iran and the fall of the Safavids led Ahmad Gholam to a sense of uncertainty and confusion. Such conditions have inevitably affected the type and quality of his work. Through examining the formal and physical characteristics of the manuscript, two types of general writing styles we face ;one with the respecting the literary layout and decorative principles presented between1652 and 1722 (1063-1135 AH), and the other about speed in writing and Lack of quality (appearance) similar to the first style written between 1722 and 1729 (1135-1142 AH). Historical contexts of the second style coincided with the time of the Afghan attacks; A subject that specifies the writing or completion of this manuscript was to be treated confidential  with the major aim of categorizing and copying governmental texts or non-governmental one sat maximum speed, in a bid to introduce and pass them into the next generation.

Similarly, a hypothesis can be proposed that the first part is related to from another author or the other scribes and the second part additions which Ahmad Gholam has made to the collection. Furthermore, a comprehensive analysis of the features can show more facts about this manuscript and the author. For instance, the author's interest and attention to scientific issues, especially astronomical and chronological issues can be carefully observed in the number of documents in the final part of that the manuscript. Another feature is the appearance indicating the manuscript is handwritten and original so that the elliptical format can show during the travelling, the writing of it has been continuing. In addition, Tahrīrī script along with “colophons” makes it possible to compare and ascertain the time differences in writing and the distinction between authors. These benefits make it possible to discover new sources, new contents, to criticize works and pre-existing data in numerous historical texts to analyze more logically. It was served as the main purpose of this research and we struggled to grab the attention of researchers and copyists to further comparative studies about the appearance of different manuscripts through a phenomenological approach as much as possible. The subject can be regarded as an introduction to the content study of such resources to provide a fundamental basis for logical analysis of their content.


[1]The responsibility of Amira Treasury was for collecting, reviewing, calculating and maintaining Diwani tax funds (mainly cash as well as valuables such as gold, silver, and mortgages) from other forbidden property owners, the cities of Isfahan, and the tax of the guilds of the Sultanate and Isfahan.

[2] - Finally, the final word of the scribe (not the original author) is the version known as the "end, the final letter" and the "colophon". (Afshar, 1381: 39-100) This section is where the scribe provides extensive information about the daily life of the manuscript, which is essentially part of the life of the manuscript.

[3]http: //, Museum and Document Center, the Islamic Consultative Assembly)



[6]The phrase on the stamp contains “«الحمدللهکماهواهلهحمدهوعلی”



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