The Travelogue of Isfahan

افضل الملک، ميرزا غلامحسين. سفرنامۀ اصفهان. به كوشش: ناصر افشارفر. تهران: سازمان چاپ و انتشارات، وزارت فرهنگ و ارشاد اسلامى، ١۳٨٠ ، ١۵٩ ص

Afzal al-Mulk, Mirza Ghulam-Husayn. Safarnamah-yi Isfahan. Nasir Afsharfar (ed.). Tehran: Sazman-i Chap va Intisharat, Vizarat-i Farhang va Irshad-i Islami, 2001, 159pp.


The Travelogue of Isfahan

سفرنامۀ اصفهان

This book is an edited version of Safarnamah-yi Isfahan (The Travelogue of Isfahan), published for the first time in 2001. The author of the book, Mirza Ghulam-Husayn Afzal al-Mulk (1862-1929) was one of the most significant historiographers of the Qajar period. Employed by the Ministry of Press during the reign of Nasir-i Din Shah, he published several travelogues that detailed the history and geography of many regions in Iran. The book has been edited and compared against its main sources by Nasir Afsharfar. The original script of the book is available in the Library of the Iranian Parliament. The volume is organised around sections each of which focus on a different characteristic of Isfahan and function as chapters. It starts by describing the geographical location of Isfahan, its famous monuments, schools, mausoleums, inns and domes. The manuscript also provides information on Isfahan’s natural heritage, its rivers and famous bridges before listing the city’s major agricultural products. Other issues discussed in the book relate to the history of Isfahan, the reason behind the city’s naming and its various districts and villages. While the language of the book might seem slightly convoluted today, due to old prosaic style, it is still comprehensible to the contemporary reader. The appeal of the book lies partly in the fact that it contains mentions of many places which no longer exist. Moreover, it incorporates a comprehensive survey of the historical literature available during the author’s life time about Isfahan. The editor’s preface to the book as well as its appendices are very helpful in contextualising the main body of the text. This concise work contributes significantly to the study of history, geography and anthropology of Isfahan.

Taraneh Dadar
Dadar, Taraneh. “English abstract of 'The Travelogue of Isfahan'". Translated by Taraneh Dadar. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi. 113. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations abstract the Aga Khan University