The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Libraries

The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Libraries Alamut was equipped with an impressive library.

Researched by Nimira Dewji

Hasan Sabbah acquired the castle of Alamut on September 4, 1090. This marked the foundation of what was to become an independent Nizari Ismaili state which lasted until 1256 when it was destroyed by the Mongols. According to the Persian chronicles, Hasan gave the owner of Alamut a draft of 3,000 gold dinars for the castle. Over the course of the next 150 years, the Ismailis acquired more than 200 fortresses in Iran and Syria including the settlements in the surrounding towns and villages, thus establishing autonomous states in these regions. The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period maintained a sophisticated outlook and placed a high value on intellectual activities. Several of the Nizari strongholds had become flourishing centres of intellectual activities. At many of the fortresses including Alamut, the community established impressive libraries containing not only a significant collection of books and documents but also scientific tracts and equipment. The libraries were open to everyone.

Reference: Farhad Daftary, A Short History of the Ismailis, Edinburg University Press, 1998

Next: The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Engineers
Also read: The Nizari Ismailis of the Alamut period: Astronomy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s