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Folio from a Mu'nis al-ahrar fi daqa'iq al-ash'ar (The Free Man's Companion to the Subtleties of Poems) of Jajarmi

Muhammad ibn Badr al-Din Jajarmi (active 1340s)
Object Name:
Folio from an illustrated manuscript
A.H. 741/A.D. 1341
Iran, Isfahan
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
6 5/8 x 9 1/8 in. (16.8 x 23.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Cora Timken Burnett Collection of Persian Miniatures and Other Persian Art Objects, Bequest of Cora Timken Burnett, 1956
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 453
This page from an anthology of Persian poetry illustrates a poem about the moon entering the houses of the twelve zodiac signs. In the three scenes illustrated here, the moon is shown visiting the Sagittarius, depicted as an archer who shoots an arrow against his own dragonlike tail, Capricorn, and finally the planet Saturn (the water carrier, or Aquarius) lifting a bucket from a well.
Inscription: -Translation of Persian text:
"With the Moon in Virgo, writing and teaching are good,
Seeing scribes and astrological calculations.
Bleeding and travel and building are good.
"Make marriages, wear new clothes," the wise man said.
"With the Moon in Libra, making marriages is good, and journeys,
The seeing of women and noble servants.
Donning new clothes and merriment are good,
And it is better to shun the making of pacts."
"With the Moon in Scorpio, taking medicine is good,
To make war and use wiles against one's enemies.
Stay at home. Do not travel. Do not put on new clothes.
It is good to plant new trees."

"When the Moon comes to the sign of Sagittarius
Make your requests from judges and men of learning.
Buy slaves, make marriages, and visit the bath.
Do not take medicine or weaken yourself with toil."
"When the Moon has come to Capricorn, hold entertainments.
Dig qanats and canals, if you are able.
Buy slaves and animals, if you have the money.
Toil to acquire learning; do not behave ignorantly."
"With the Moon in Aquarius, if you have money,
Buy furnishings and goods and Indian slaves.
To see agents and sheikhs is good.
There is a ban on bleeding, hunting, marriage making and travel."
(Translated by A. H. Morton in Swietochowski and Carboni, "Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images". NY: MMA, 1994)

Persian poem in Naskhī script is by Badr al-Dīn Jājurmī . The poem is about the positsion of the moon in different stars and what will happen when the moon is in that position. The positions of the moon on the front and back page is as:
The moon as a Bow, The moon as a goat, The moon as a pail, The moon as a cluster, The moon as a scale, The moon as a scorpion.,

(Muḥammab Badr al-Dīn Jājurmī, Mū᾽nis al-᾽Aḥrār fī Daqā᾽iq al-᾽Ash‘ār, ed. Mīr Ṣāliḥ Ṭabībī, Anjuman-I ᾽Āthar Millī, Tehran, 1350/ 1971, vol.2, p.1221).

Cora Timken Burnett, Alpine, NJ (by 1933–d. 1956; bequeathed to MMA)
Dimand, Maurice S. "New York, October 9 through January 7, 1933–1934." In A Guide to an Exhibition of Islamic Miniature Painting and Book Illumination. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1933. p. 23.

Ackerman, Phyllis. "The Iranian Institute, New York." In Guide to the Exhibition of Persian Art. 2nd. ed. New York: The Iranian Institute, 1940. no. Gallery VIII; case 31, p. 240.

Grube, Ernst J. "from Collections in the United States and Canada." In Muslim Miniature Paintings from the XIII to XIX Century. Venice: N. Pozza, 1962. no. 30, pp. 40-41, ill. fig. 30A-B (b/w).

Dimand, Maurice S. "New Accessions of Islamic Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin vol. 16 (April 1958). pp. 227-235, ill. p. 230 (b/w).

Welch, Stuart Cary. The Islamic World. vol. 11. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1987. pp. 128-29, ill. fig. 99 (color).

Swietochowski, Marie, Stefano Carboni, Tomoko Masuya, and Alexander H. Morton. "Persian Painting of the 1330s and 1340s." In Illustrated Poetry and Epic Images. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994. no. 6a–f, pp. 42-45, ill. pp. 42, 45, (color).

Rossabi, Morris, Charles Melville, James C.Y. Watt, Tomoko Masuya, Sheila S. Blair, Robert Hillenbrand, Linda Komaroff, Stefano Carboni, Sarah Bertelan, and John Hirx. The Legacy of Genghis Khan: Courtly Art and Culture in Western Asia, 1256–1353, edited by Stefano Carboni, and Linda Komaroff. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. no. 10, pp. 196-97, 246, ill. fig. 236 (color).

Ekhtiar, Maryam, Sheila R. Canby, Navina Haidar, and Priscilla P. Soucek, ed. Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1st ed. ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2011. no. 59, pp. 6, 89, 99, ill. p. 99 (color).

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