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Book: Miniature Books

Chapter: Diminutive Divination and the Implications of Scale: A Miniature Quranic Falnama of the Safavid Period

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.37764


This chapter investigates Adomeit Miniature Islamic Manuscript C12, a Safavid Qur’an preserved in the Lilly Library at Indiana University. Measuring 6.3 by 5.7 centimeters, the manuscript imbricates the amuletic function inherent to the Qur’an with a prognostic capacity through inclusion of a falnama (Book of Divination) attributed to the sixth Shi’i Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (d. 765). This chapter contextualizes the small-scale manuscript within Safavid bibliomantic practices, which reached their apogee during the reign of Shah Tahmasp (r. 1524-76). In so doing, it contrasts a miniaturized specimen against alternate manuscript formats of Safavid falnamas, thereby assessing the impact of drastically reduced scale on the user’s divinatory experience.

Chapter Contributors

  • Heather Coffey ( - hmcoffey) 'OCAD University'