Female Characters in Śukasaptatī and its Persian Versions

First workshop of Perso-Indica
14 décembre 2015

Lieu/Place : Salle des Placques, INALCO, 2 Rue de Lille, 75007, Paris
Organisation & Contact : Pegah Shahbaz

Programme en pdf



  • Fabrizio Speziale,


  • Iran Farkhonde
    “As long as You Know the Answer”- Women Characters in the Śukasaptatī : Their Wits and Behaviours

To introduce the Śukasaptatī, we will first give a sketch of the frame story. We will present in the main lines the elements of Indian civilization that are necessary to understand the whys and therefores of women’s behaviors in the Sanskrit text. We will suggest a typology of women’s characters in the book. Finally we will try to delineate the aims of the author. Is he of the opinion that, as long as a woman has the wits to get herself out of trouble, she could behave according to her wishes ?




  • Pegah Shahbaz,
    Women Characters and Their Roles in Jawāhir al-asmār

Jawāhir al-asmār (Jewels of Stories) is the earliest Persian translation, known thus far, of Śukasaptatī (Seventy tales of the parrot) realized in 713-715 H. /1313-1315 A.D. by a secretary named ‘Imād ibn Muḥammad Ṯaġarī at the court of ‘Alā al-Dīn Ḫaljī (r. 1290-1316). Jawāhir al-asmār could be the same Persian verbose rendering that Ẓiyā’ al-Dīn Naḫšabī (d. around 751/1350-51) mentions in the introduction to his popular Ṭūṭī-nāma, as the most prominent source he used for preparing his Persian version of the tales of the parrot. This presentation will focus on female characters in Ṯaġarī’s translation. Women’s inherent role in tales and their noteworthy strategies for overcoming the norms of male-dominated societies will be studied in detail. By means of concrete examples, we’ll discover how the use/misuse of imaginary by women could appear as a defensive tool for and against them in narratives.





  • Syed Akhtar Hussain,
    Thus Spake the Tuti

Since the translation of Kalīla wa Dimna into Pahlavi, Arabic and Persian, Indian Classics began to impact literature in the Middle East. Sanskrit texts namely the Panchatantra and Śhukasaptatī enriched Persian literature both in form and contents. The Ṭūṭī-Nāma, among others, is not only a translation of Śhukasaptatī but also a gem of Perso-Indic literature. Its translator Zia Naḫšabī presents the wisdom of India in a more impressive and elegant manner than it appears in the Sanskrit text. The Ṭūṭī-Nāma develops“Katha” into pure Persian literature and swells more in size and gives a full size picture of the Perso-Indic world wherein Prabhavati and Madan Vinod transform into Ḫujaste and Maymūn. Śhukasaptatī’s narratives reproduced with a twist here and a turn there in the Ṭūṭī-Nāma but however it transpires that the Indian threads are deftly woven in the Persian tapestry of the Ṭūṭī-Nāma.





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