Qabus nama or Qabus nameh (variations: Qabusnamah, Qabousnameh, Ghabousnameh, or Ghaboosnameh, in Persian: کاووس‌نامه or قابوس‌نامه, book of Kavus), Mirror of Princes,[1] is a major work of Persian literature, from the eleventh century (c. 1080 AD).

Seen here is the last page of a Qabus nameh manuscript located in the library of The Malik National Museum of Iran, dated 1349.

It was written by Keikavus,[2] the Ziyarid ruler of parts of Tabaristan, and was dedicated to his son Gilanshah.

The belles-lettres was written in 44 chapters and outlines princely education, manners, and conduct in ethical didactic prose.

Extant original copiesEdit

The Turkish version was then translated into German by Heinrich Friedrich von Diez as Buch des Kabus in 1811, and a source of inspiration for Goethe's West-östlicher Diwan as he was in contact with von Diez.

The text was translated directly from Persian into English by Reuben Levy with the title: A Mirror for Princes in 1951. French, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, and Georgian (1978) language translations also followed.

Cultural referencesEdit

This work is mentioned several times in Louis L'Amour's The Walking Drum as well as in Tariq Ali's "The Stone Woman".

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ C.E. Bosworth, The Later Ghaznavids, (Columbia University Press, 1977), 35.
  2. ^ J.T.P. de Bruijn ,"KAYKĀVUS Amir ʿOnṣor-al-Maʿāli" in Encyclopædia Iranica [1]. Oneline Edition
  3. ^ Sadettin Buluç (1969). "Eski Anadolu Türkçesiyle Bir Kabus-name Çevirisi". Belleten (in Turkish). Turkish Language Association. p. 195.