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Master of Nujum-al-'Ulûm manuscript


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Nujûm-al-'Ulûm-Manuscript, Encyclopedia, scene

Nujum-ul-Ulum (Stars of Science) (AD 1570), is a manuscript commissioned during the Adil Shahi rulers of Bijapur, India. The manuscript is described as illustrated encyclopedia about ancient Indian astrology and astral magic. The book consist of total 876 miniature paintings and about 400 paintings consist of various angels, planets, signs, degrees, sufic talismans, magical spells Hindu goddesses, astrological tables and horoscopes, animals and weapons.


History

The manuscript was completed on 17 August 1570, in Bijapur during the regime of Ali Adil Shah I, it is a complete illustration on astrology and astral magic. The imprinted date and painting style directs that either the work was commissioned by the Bijapur sultan Ali Adil Shah (1557-1579) or a his court member. This hypothesis was strengthened by the length of the volume, the quality and quantity of its miniatures, the extensive use of gold in the manuscript, and the number of painters employed - all factors that seemed to suggest a royal patron.[1]

The author and professor O P Parameswaran writes that; This school of Bijapur was patronised by Adil Shah I (1558-1580) and his successor Ibrahim II (1580-1627), both of whom were patrons of art & letters while the latter was an expert in Indian music and author of a book on this subject, the Nauras Nama. The rulers of Bijapur used to have cordial relations with Turkey and Persia and the astronomical illustrations in this book are well derive from an Ottoman Turkish manuscript, such as the work of Fuzuli.
Description

Description about the manuscript as mentioned in the Chester Beatty Library says; Nujum al-‘ulum (‘Stars of the Sciences’) is a compendium of Muslim and Hindu beliefs mainly dealing with astrology and magic. Depending on how they are counted, the manuscript contains between four and almost eight hundred llustrations. The folios included here illustrate the northern constellations Andromeda (portrayed as a woman) and the Horse; the Sun in a chariot; the zodiac sign Leo (a lion) with accompanying naksatras (mansions of the moon) and degrees; Jupiter depicted as an elderly king in procession; and the Universal Ruler upon his seven-storied throne. The only other copy of this text known was also produced in Bijapur, about a hundred years later, and is also in the Chester Beatty Library.

References

Emma, Flatt (30 June 2011). "The Authorship and Significance of the Nujum al-ulum: A Sixteenth-Century Astrological Encyclopedia from Bijapur". Retrieved 30 November 2016.

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