Gardens of Khurasan in Beyhaqi’s History

Document Type : مقاله کوتاه


Assistant Professor, School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University


The classic Persian literature constitutes a part of the most important sources of the history of Iranian architecture. Beyhaqi’s History (Tarix-e Beyhaqi) is among the most genuine Persian literaty texts. Originaly known as The Sebuktigin’s Family History (Tarix-e Al-e Sebuktigin), not more than six volumes of the initially voluminous book by Abolfazl Beyhaqi-e Dabir, from half of the fifth volume to half of the tenth volume, has been remained. The remaining part starts with the story of Mahmoud’s death, enthronement of Mohammad proceeded by Masoud and ends with Masoud’s last trip to India in evade from the Seljuq Torkmans. Beyhaqi, who exemplifies a shrewd historian, has written his history strictly on the basis of his direct experiences in the Qaznavid’s court. There are plenty of information about buildings and city in his book, although he does not show same level of sensibilty and accurateness as his contemporary scholar, Nasser-Khosrow, regarding architecture and its physical properties. His word proves the ability of Persian language in representing architectural atmosphere and space. Gardens appear in Beyhaqi’s History frequently. Masoud Qaznavi’s life was spent more in tents and gardens rather than in palaces. Beyhaqi has mentioned and explained some architectural aspects of different gardens of the greater Khurasan, such as those of Qazni, Balkh, Herat, Neyshabur, Ghor, Dasht-e Legan, while corresponding Masoud, and other Qaznavid rulers and their authorities’ lives.