Kalilāh wa-Dimnah (Kalilah and Dimnah)

Among Pococke’s collection is a fine fourteenth-century manuscript of Kalilah and Dimnah, a collection of fables with both animal and human protagonists, and for centuries one of the most popular books in the Islamic world. It is one of only four manuscripts of Kalilah and Dimnah to survive from the fourteenth century, and like all early copies of the work, it is richly and charmingly illustrated. ‘Images of the animals in varieties of paints and colours’, writes Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ, are intended ‘to delight the hearts of princes, increase their pleasure, and also the degree of care which they bestow on the work.’1