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The adventures of Hamza (or Hamzanama) is a fantastic adventure story, based loosely on the exploits of Hamza, an uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, who travelled throughout the world spreading the doctrines of Islam. The narrative tells of encounters with giants, demons and dragons; of abductions and hair-raising chases; and of believers, as well as those who resisted the truth. The excitement of the tales was best captured in public recitations, in coffee-houses from Iran to northern India. Each recitation was given a particular flavour by the storyteller, who departed freely from the written text, which varies in composition and structure from manuscript to manuscript. An illustrated version of the Hamzanama was commissioned early in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) by the teenage emperor himself. It consisted of 1400 enormous paintings of unusually large format. This was one of the earliest products of the royal Mughal painting atelier, and it was to be perhaps its most ambitious. The size of the paintings, almost two feet high, can be explained by their role in complementing the recitations, while their sometimes broad and animated style conveys the vigour of t

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781898592228
ISBN-10: 1898592225
Format: Hardback
(320mm x 240mm x 32mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Azimuth Editions
Publisher: Azimuth Editions
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - John Seyller

John Seyller is Professor of Art History at the University of Vermont. Ebba Koch teaches Art History at the University of Vienna; she has published widely on Mughal arts. Wheeler M. Thackston is Professor of the Practice in Persian and Other Near Eastern Languages at Harvard University.

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