Per request from some very dear online friends decided to translate some tales from Kelileh & Demneh, two legendary Jackals. The goal is to show the influence of the Indian literature into Farsi and especially the Sufi literature. The origin of Kelileh & Demneh is the ancient Indian book called ‘Panchatantra’ which was first translated by a young Indian physician called Borzoyeh Tabib (Doctor) Marwazi commissioned by Anu_Sharwān Khosrow the son of Qabād the Sāsāni king but Borzoyeh did add more tales most of the from other Indian legends.

After the Islamization of Iran ‘Ibn Moqaf-fa’ translated the book into Arabic and called it the Kelileh Wa (&) Demneh and based upon the original Farsi and this Arabic rendition the legends were translated into many other languages. During the reign of the Sāmānian ‘Abu ‘Abdallah Roodaki translated (320 HQ or 900 CE) the ‘Ibn Moqaf-fa’ version into versed Farsi poetry. And during the reign of the Bahrām Shah Ghaznavi a writer called Manshā’ again translated the ‘Ibn Moqaf-fa’ version into Farsi prose (not versed like Roodaki). And the manuscript for this translation is indeed that of the Manshā’. (Manshā’ full name: Abul-Ma’āli Nizāmol Molk Mo’yed-din Nasrollah Ibn Mohammad Abdul-Hamid Ibn Ahmad Ibn Abdos-Samad)

Kelileh & Demneh were taught from the king’s courts down to the grammar schools indeed as a manual for teaching wisdom and conduct in the society.

I have dissected the chapters into more sections since it is hard to read and translated the longer tales.

Illustrations of Kelileh va Damaneh by Abolmaali Nasrolah, Harat school, early 15th century.

Chapter1: The Lion & The Ox
    Section1: The Jackals     

© 2004-2002,  Dara O. Shayda