A renowned scholar of Islamic art, history and culture, Oleg Grabar introduces in this book a wide range of illuminated manuscript masterpieces from the eighth to the seventeenth century. The heroes of grand epics such as Alexander the Great are found side-by-side with mythical monarchs, sultans, and even monsters. Illuminated manuscripts of the Koran, epic poetry, and scientific works from the Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, Mogul, and Ottoman Empires await discovery. The book opens with an essay which contextualizes the works-the originals of which reside in the Louvre, French National Library, National Library of Cairo, the British Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Topkapi Museum, the Freer Gallery of Art and the collections of the Aga Khan and Khalili families. Following is a selection of two hundred full-color illustrations accompanied by the author's insightful commentary. Including examples of some of the world's most beautiful artistic expressions, this collection of carefully chosen works not only illustrates an important period in art history but also serves as a monument to the achievements of Islamic culture.