NASTA'LIQ Palaeography EXERCISE Lesson 53 - Prof. dr. Gabrielle van den Berg

The term nastaʿlīq is a contraction of two terms for calligraphic styles in Persian writing, namely naskh and taʿlīq. Taʿlīq is known as the ‘hanging’ script and appeared in Persian writing in the mid-13th century. Nastaʿlīq combined the advantages of the neat and balanced naskh and the esthetically attractive taʿlīq. In taʿlīq detached letters could be joined and the script thus allowed more speedy writing than naskh. Nastaʿlīq was developed in the second half of the 14th century and by the middle of the 15th century, it was the most common calligraphic style used in Persian manuscripts. Nastaʿlīq is a clear and compact script, characterized by round forms with regular dimensions.

Further reading:

William L. Hanaway and Brian Spooner, Reading Nastaʿlīq. Persian and Urdu Hands From 1500 to the Present. Mazda Publishers, 1995.

Paleo Shahnama f8b


Go to f 8v in the viewer (Shāhnāma, Or. 494) and transcribe what you read per line, including the text in the top and bottom borders. When ك stands for g, type (گ) for b type (ب) for p (پ). When ج stands for ch, type (چ).

It may be easier to open the viewer in a second tab, so that you have it in your screen next to the box below. Type one line in the manuscript as one line in the box below. Make sure that you insert no blank lines. After one line or more, click the button "compare". Three dots will appear in places where you have misread letters; you can retype the incorrect letters, and once no dots appear in the below, you have transcribed the text 100% correctly.