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Nizamiddin Abdalvasi Shami


(died in 1411, Tabriz)
A historian and biographer of Amir Temur
He was born in Shama town (or Shanbi Gazan) in the suburbs of Tabriz. He got elementary education in Tabriz (South Azerbaijan), after that he moved to Baghdad in order to improve his knowledge. In 1392 when Amir Temur entered Baghdad, Shami was one of the citizens greeting the great ruler. Since that time the new stage of Shami’s life and creative work began. In 1401 Amir Temur told him to create the history of his ruling in “simple language”, avoiding difficult stylistic and word constructions. The result of Shami’s long lasting efforts was the creation of a monumental work, named “Zafarname” (“The Book of Victories”), which became the first Amir Temur’s life and activities description preserved till nowadays. The main part of that work contains the detailed descriptions of his ruling until the events of the end of March, 1404. This work has such a unique importance because it contains autobiographical messages from Amir Temur himself. In the last years of his life Shami was at the duty of Amir Temur’s grandson – Mirza Umar. Shami died in 1411 in Tabriz.
The main scientific works
Nizamaddin Shami’ s main work “Zafarname” as a historical work contains historical events that took place in Central Asia, Golden Orda, Azerbaijan, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and other countries during Amir Temur’s reign. It has a great importance because of the fact that it contains the description of events referred to Amir Temur’s war campaigns in the second half of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century. The work was completed in 1404, but the events before Timur’s death (events of one year) remained uncovered.
 Contribution to the World Science
Historical information in Nizamaddin Shami’s “Zafarname” was true. It is proved by the fact that in the 15-16th centuries it was widely used: Sharafaddin ali Yazdi (“Zafarname”), Abdurazzak Samarkandi in “Matla as-sadain majma al-bahrain” (“The place of rise of two happy stars and connection of two seas”), Fasih Havfi in “Mujamali Fasihi” (“Fasih’s arc”), Hatifi in “Temurname” (“The Book about Temur”), Mirhond in “Rausat аs-safa” (“The garden of purity”), Hondamir in “Habib as-siyar” (“Life-description’s friend”) and etc. This work has the ultimate meaning in studying the history of medieval East.
World Recognition
The handwritten copies of this work are saved in Istanbul and London libraries. The famous medieval historian and Amir Temur’s biographer Sharafaddin ali Yazdi (15th century) in his work told about Nizamaddin Shami as about an extraordinary stylist and marked the historical meaning of the Amir Temur’s chronicle made by Shami.
The famous Czechoslovak scientist, Felix Tower, published scientific-critical text of Shami’s work in two volumes. In 1949 in Ankara Nejati Lugali made an abbreviated translation into Turkish from F. Tower’s publication.
It all confirms the great importance of this work as the main source of political history of Muslim East of the second half of the 14th century and the beginning of the 15th century.
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