Reza Qoli Khan Hedayat

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hedayat, Reza Qoli Khan


(pen name, Chakir). Born June 8, 1800, in Tehran; died there June 30, 1871. Iranian poet, philologist, historian, and state figure.

In 1829, Hedayat received the title “king of poets” from the shah of Iran. He entered the service of the court in 1838, eventually becoming assistant minister of education; in 1851 he became director of Iran’s first institution of general education, the Dar al-Funun. Appointed tutor to the heir apparent in 1867, he was soon forced into retirement by poor health.

Hedayat’s poetic legacy is limited to the confines of the classical tradition and comprises a divan of approximately 50,000 bayts (distichs), the romantic narrative poem A Flower Bed in the Garden of Paradise, and six mathnawis. His historical works include A Short History and a ten-volume supplement (published 1854–56) to The Garden of Purity of Mirkhwand (15th century) and Khwandamir (16th century). He also compiled the poetry anthologies An Assemblage of the Eloquent (vols. 1–2, published 1878), which he furnished with information about the authors, and Gardens of the Initiated (published 1888), which contains verse by Sufi poets (seeSUFI LITERATURE). Hedayat’s defining dictionary of the Persian language, The Dictionary That Enhances Assemblies, was published in 1871.


Komissarov, D. S. Ocherki sovremennoi persidskoi prozy. Moscow, 1960.
Kor-Ogly, Kh. Sovremennaiapersidskaia literatura. Moscow, 1965.
Istoriia persidskoi i tadzhikskoi literatury. Edited by J. Rypka. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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The seventh volume may have been finished by Mirkhwand's grandson, the historian Khwandamir (Khondamir), and in the 19th century Reza Qoli Khan Hedayat wrote a supplement to the work.