The Introduction discusses the manuscript of Naṣīḥat al-mulūk and its history, the copyist’s attribution of the mirror for princes to al-Māwardī and the history of this attribution, and the arguments advanced by modern scholars for and against al-Māwardī’s authorship. Drawing on earlier studies, the Introduction takes Naṣīḥat al-mulūk to be a product of tenth-century eastern Iran, and sketches the geographical, cultural and intellectual milieu in which the book seems likely to have been written – a milieu shaped by a cosmopolitan literary culture, and the intellectual outlooks of the philosopher Abū Zayd al-Balkhī and the Muʿtazlite theologian Abū l-Qāsim al-Kaʿbī al Balkhī. The Introduction also discusses the several discourses and genres with which Naṣīḥat al-mulūk interacts.
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