Iranians History on This Day

 Apr 24 

Founding the First Publication and Translation Center of the World in Iran
The month of April, in AD 552, is documented as the time when the first publication and translation foundation was established in the world, which started its work in Iran. Some historians have calculated 19 April as the day when this foundation started operating. This foundation was established by the orders of Khosrau Anushiravan, the Sassanid king of Iran. This first publication and translation foundation of the world had its own library and the budget was provided by the king of Iran personally. In order to transfer books from all parts of the world to this foundation, for translation, Khosrau Anushiravan even sent his special physician, Borzuyeh, to India and the result of this visit was transfer of the book “Kalileh and Demneh” to Iran. This book was first translated into the Middle Persian language, then into Arabic and again into the Modern Persian language and Dari (Parsi e Tajik). In each chapter of the book there are plenty of advices and counsels and also statesmanship policies in the dialogue between two animals. For example, Demneh (a jackal) guides Kalileh (another jackal which in this story is a ruler) that if he discourages experienced experts and scares them away, on the other hand, appoints ignorant, narrow-minded and unwise people to important positions, spends his time on physical pleasures, like paying attention to the opposite sex, revelry and amusements, keeps punishing, and… the country would go towards ruin and the nation would be lost.
     Four centuries after Khosrau I, the Samanids established such a center, attached to the public library of Marv = Merv (in the southeast of Turkmenistan). Marv (Merv) was one of the principal Silk Road oasis-cities throughout its inhabited history, and one-time largest city in the world. The Marv Library, which was established by the Samanids dynasty and was functioning until Genghis Khan, s attack on the Transoxiana region, as the largest public library and center for publication and translation of books in the ancient world, where daily a minimum of 400 amanuenses (copiers) would copy and rewrite books. This same center played a major role in the restoration of Persian language and literature. The method used for managing Marv Library became a pattern for today, s world public library.
    Translation by Rowshan Lohrasbpour




 Contact Author: n.keihanizade [a]