History of a Caucasian Khanate
Derbend-Nameh, or a history of Derbend;
translated from a select Turkish version and published with the texts and with notes, illustrative of the history, geography, antiquities &c &c. St Petersburg Imperial Academy of Sciences 1851
First edition. 4to (32 x 23.5 cm), pp.[ii], [xvi], (iii)-xxiii, [1, blank], (3)-245, [1, blank], printed Turkish text in naskh. with English translation and notes. A very good copy bound in modern blue half morocco over cloth. Original printed wrappers bound in at rear; upper wrapper's top corner torn away. A few faint spots to title, otherwise clean.
An Azeri Turkish text with English translation and extensive critical notes of the Derbend-nameh, a history of Derbend (the modern city of Derbent) in Dagestan, now one of the Russian republics in the Caucasus, and the historical capital of the Derbent Khanate. With its location on the Caspian Sea, proximity to Persia and Ottoman Turkey, and strategic significance, Derbent was a frontier city whose allegiance swung from one neighbouring imperial power to another, Russian, Ottoman, and Persian alike. Kazim Bey recounts the anecdotal existence of three manuscripts of the Azeri Turkish text held by three merchants of Derbent, and laments that he did not buy one of these when resident in the city. Instead, his text derives from a manuscript copy of one of these three mysterious Derbent manuscripts, collated against Persian translations held in the Russian state collections. Muhammad Ali Kazim Bey, the editor and translator of this text, was raised in Derbent, where his father served as qadi until his conviction for spying on behalf of Persia, and subsequent exile. Kazim Bey was given a traditional, scholastic Islamic education, and was multilingual from an early age; he converted to Christianity in the early 1820s, and pursued his academic studies across Russia, settling at the Imperial University of St Petersburg, where he went on to found the Department of Oriental History in 1863.