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Book/Printed Material Kalila and Dimna.

About this Item


  • Kalila and Dimna.


  • Kalila wa-Dimna (Kalila and Dimna) is a widely circulated collection of Oriental fables of Indian origin, composed in Sanskrit possibly as early as the third century BC. The fables were translated into Arabic in the eighth century by the Persian Ibn al-Muqaffa', a highly educated writer and influential courtier. To this day, al-Muqaffa's translation is considered an unsurpassed masterpiece of Arabic artistic prose, and numerous translations into European and Oriental languages dating from the 10th to the 14th centuries derive from his version. Influences of al-Muqaffa's translation also are apparent in such important Western literary works as La Fontaine's Fables and Goethe's Reinecke Fuchs. Kalila wa-Dimna is a kind of mirror for princes. Questions of social life and of princely wisdom are explained on the basis of stories taken from the animal kingdom. This well-known manuscript, produced in Egypt circa 1310, is probably the oldest of the four known Arabic Kalila wa-Dimna manuscripts from the 14th century. One of the relatively few Arabic texts to be illustrated, it contains 73 miniatures, which have a high artistic quality and are thus an important monument of Arabic book decoration.


  • Ibn al-Muqaffaʻ, died circa 760 Translator.

Created / Published

  • Egypt : [publisher not identified], 1310.


  • -  300 B.C. to 201 B.C
  • -  Arabic manuscripts
  • -  Fables, Indic
  • -  Legends
  • -  Miniatures (Illuminations)


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "BSB Shelfmark: 616"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: 129 sheets, parchment : illustrations (miniatures) ; 25.5 x 18.5 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Bavarian State Library.
  • -  Content in Arabic.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667224

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Ibn Al-Muqaffaʻ, Died Circa 760 Translator. Kalila and Dimna. [Egypt: Publisher Not Identified, 1310] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Ibn Al-Muqaffaʻ, D. C. 7. T. (1310) Kalila and Dimna. [Egypt: Publisher Not Identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Ibn Al-Muqaffaʻ, Died Circa 760 Translator. Kalila and Dimna. [Egypt: Publisher Not Identified, 1310] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.