EMRĀNI


EMRĀNI (Imrāni; probably a pen name; 1454–after 1536), Judeo-Persian poet. Emrāni was born in Isfahan and died in Kashan. He is considered the second greatest Judeo-Persian poet after *Shāhin. Emrāni produced the following Judeo-Persian works, the majority of which were discovered after 1960.

1. Fath-Nāmeh ("Book of Victory") is an epic poetic paraphrase of the biblical books of Joshua, I and II Samuel, part of I Kings, and the Book of Ruth. This is Emrāni's longest composition. It was composed in 1474 and consists of about 10,000 couplets. In some Fath-Nāmeh mss. one may find other poetic compositions such as Shofetim-Nāmeh and Pilegesh al ha-Giva with interpolations which do not belong to Emrāni.

2. Ganj-Nāmeh ("Book of Treasure") is a poetic paraphrase of Pirkei Avot. Composed in 1536, this is apparently Emrāni's last important work and consists of about 5,000 couplets.

3. The following are relatively short poems by Emrāni found in collections of mss: (a) Vājebāt-e Sizdahgāneh …. a poetic paraphrase of Maimonides' Thirteen Principles; (b) Hanukkah-Nāmeh ("Book of Hanukkah") narrates the historical events of Hanukkah; (c) Entekhāb-e Nakhlestān ("Choice of the Palm Grove") is a didactic poetic work; (d) Sāqi-Nāmeh ("Book of the Cupbearer") is a mystical-lyrical poem; (e) Qesse-ye Haft Barādarān ("Story of the Seven Brothers"), written in prose and verse, narrates the story of Hannah and her seven sons who were murdered because they refused to worship the Greek idols; (f) Asarah harugei ha-malkhut ("The Ten Martyrs of the Kingdom"), in prose and verse, relates the torture and death suffered by ten Jewish sages of Mishnaic times; (g) a few other short poems mostly of didactic nature; (h) a few short prose works such as the story of the *Akedah (Binding of Isaac) and tafsir of Pirkei Avot.

Some selections of Emrāni's works have been published in Persian transliteration (Netzer, 1973). The manuscripts of Emrāni's works are kept in the libraries of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the Ben-Zvi Institute, JTS in New York, HUC in Cincinnati, and the British Library in London.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

A. Netzer, Montakhab-e ash ʿār-e farsi az āsāre yahudiyān-e Irān (Teheran, 1973); idem, Oẓar Kitvei Yad shel Yehudei Paras be-Makhon Ben-Zvi (1985); D. Yeroushalmi, The Judeo-Persian Poet ʿEmrāni and His Book of Treasure (1995).

[Amnon Netzer (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.