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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Investigating Persian manuscripts

Explore Persian manuscript production and its cultural context in Persia and beyond. Use the discussion questions and resources below to guide research.

This activity is linked to the Persian manuscripts & culture inquiry unit and targeted at VELS Level 5–6 students. Refer to the curriculum outcomes to see how this unit aligns with VELS.

Discussion questions

  • Who commissioned manuscript production, and for what purposes?
  • How were manuscripts prepared? By whom, and using what materials?
  • What are some specific features of Persian manuscripts?
  • How did Persian manuscript production compare with that of medieval Europe? What does this tell us about the broader cultural contexts of the two societies?
  • How is an awareness of Persian literature and book arts evident in the poetry and paintings of the neighbouring empires of Mughal India and Ottoman Turkey?
  • What can we learn about medieval Persian culture and society from looking at their manuscripts, poems and stories?


  • Useful websites – explore websites, apps and creative tools that expand on themes and stories in Love and devotion
  • Book resources – read about Persian art, culture and society as well as themes and stories featured in Love and devotion
  • ‘Medieval imagination’ education kit – deepen your understanding of Persian manuscripts by learning about and contrasting with European medieval manuscripts
  • the interactive timeline, interactive map and tips for reading a manuscript – see the links on the right

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

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