Persia is home to one of the few civilisations in the world that has had a continuous tradition of philosophical thought lasting more than two and a half millennia. From the time Zoroaster brought the Gathas, the sacred scripture of Zoroastrianism, till today, it has had a philosophical tradition comprising diverse schools and various languages including Avestan and Pahlavi as well as Arabic and Persian. The West has seen surveys of Persian art and anthologies of Persian literature, but this work is the first to present a millennial tradition of philosophy in Persia in the form of translated selections and introductory sections for each period and figure. Existing translations have been used where possible, but most of the selections have been newly translated for this work which, with the help of the explanatory introductions, makes possible an intellectual journey into a philosophical continent, much of which has been uncharted for Westerners until now.
The fourth volume of the Anthology of Philosophy in Persia deals with one of the richest and yet least known periods of philosophical life in Persia. The centuries between the seventh/thirteenth century, that saw the eclipse of the school of Khurasan, and the tenth/sixteenth century that coincided with the rise of the Safavids. The main schools dealt with in this volume are the Peripatetic (mashshaʾi) School, the School of Illumination (ishraq) of Suhrawardi, and various forms of philosophical Sufism, especially the school of Ibn ʿArabi, that had its origins in the works of Ghazali and ʿAyn al-Qudat Hamadani. This period was also notable for the philosopher-scientists such as Nasir al-din Ṭusi and Qutb al-Din Shirazi.