"Kalila and Dimna" or "The Fables of Bidpai" is one of the gems of world culture, having been translated through the centuries everywhere from China to Spain. "Kalila and Dimna", like the fables of Aesop or Lafontaine, are subtle and suggestive moral tales - a kind of repository of wisdom and understanding about the human condition. It was the most commonly illustrated medieval Islamic text. This book focuses on the group of seven Persian manuscripts from the second half of the 14th century, which contains several of the finest examples of Persian painting.
Bernard O'Kane is professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the American University in Cairo, where he has worked since 1980. He also lived in Iran for several years, where he was Assistant Director of the British Institute of Persian Studies.