The play (in both parts) was entered into the Stationers' Register on 14 August 1590. Both parts were published together in a single black letter octavo that same year by the printer Richard Jones; its text is usually referred to as O1. A second edition was issued by Jones in 1592, and a third reprint appeared in 1597, essentially reprinting the text of the first edition. The plays were next published separately in quarto by the bookseller Edward White, Part 1 in 1605 and Part 2 in 1606, which reprinted the text of the 1597 printing.
Although Christopher Marlowe was not actually cited as the author in the first printings of the play - no author is named - and the first clear attributions to Marlowe are much later than 1590, scholars attribute the play to Marlowe based on similarities to his other works. Many passages in Tamburlaine foreshadow and echo passages from others of his works, and there is a clear parallel between the character development in Tamburlaine and that of the majority of Marlowe's other characters. This evidence alone leads scholars to believe with virtual unanimity that Marlowe wrote Tamburlaine.