This is a textual and contextual study of an early Arabic mirror for princes. 'Mirrors for princes' offer advice to rulers on the ethical and practical aspects of statecraft. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to an early Arabic mirror, the 'Counsel for Kings' of Pseudo Mawardi, this study evokes the mentality of the distinctive environment - the border region of eastern Iran - in which, it is argued, the text originated. Exploring the 'Counsel for Kings' as the product of a specific cultural milieu at a particular historical moment, as a substantial and influential work of Arabic literature, and as a critical commentary on the political and social conditions of the author's time, this book restores this multi faceted mirror for princes to history. The first volume in this two part study covers the literary, cultural, political and historical contexts and their confluence in Pseudo Mawardi's Nasihat al Muluk. The second volume gives direct access to a substantial portion of the text through translation and commentary.
Louise Marlow is Professor of Religion and Program Director for Middle Eastern Studies and Wellesley College.