An Interpretive Reading of Akhlaq-e Mohseni as a Mirror of Prince in the Timurid Era
Author(s)N. Tajik Neshatiyeh
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AbstractThe examination and interpretation of “Mirrors for Prince”, with regard to their historical context, necessitates an interdisciplinary study. With respect to the intertwinement of political thought and history, the mirrors for prince, as the most powerful current of political thought in the history of Iran, have normally been good sources for assessing the relationship between politics and ethics in different historical eras. Akhlaq-e- Mohseni, written by Hossein Va’izi Kashefi, as a important example in this genre, shows the relationship between politics, power and ethic in the critical Mongolian-Turkish era. In an era in which the practices of rulers had led to a critical situation, Kashefi, as an important figure in the Iranian intellectual tradition, recommends ethical politics and considers legitimacy and durability of ruling dependent on ethical principles. Thus, governance is defined based on principles such as justice and piety. In Akhlaq-e Mohseni these principles, which are based on ethics, are not complicated and have been approved of by different people with different ideas and religions in different eras and places. These principles highlight a common set of ethics that could satisfy the need of Kashefi’s era for justice and prosperity without ethnic-religious prejudices.