The Miraculous Journey of Mahomet With Introduction and Commentaries

by Marie-Rose Séguy.Braziller, $35.00 prepreChristmas, $40.00 thereafter. In the fifteenth century, a sophisticated and literate court flourished at Herat in Khurasan, and this book reproduces a magnificent illuminated manuscript created there for the library of Shah Rokh. The subject is Mahomet’s journey through the seven bejeweled heavens to ecstatic contemplation at the feet of Allah, and his subsequent return through the seven sinister hells. Quite apart from the great beauty of the illustrations and calligraphy, there is an intriguing similarity between this Islamic material (centuries old when the Herat book was made) and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Notes, bibliography.