A map of Arabia from a manuscript of Istakhri (south on top)

 

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Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Hamdani:
Sifat Jazirat ul-Arab
(Geography of the Arabian Peninsula)
(d945) Yemen

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Taken from:
-The Berbers in Arabic literature by H. T. Norris
-alwaraq.net
-AI-Yaman and the Hadramawt: Translations from medieval
Arabic geographers and analysis; Bevens, Walter Bascom

 

 

 

 

P3

(the sun throws a shadow) on the inhabitants of the earth except those who are on the equator, a region of Middle-earth, they are the first residents to fill southern China and southern India and the country of Zinj and Al-Dybajat…

P4

(when talking about the great waves) .. blown up by the wind.. from which the Sea Zinj and the Sea of the East, how they are most difficult to handle in dimension and capacity…

 

As to latitude; there are those who count the first clime from the equator till its northern boundary. Others make of the sea of the Zindj something separate between the first climate and the equator, this is then at 8deg 25min. There are there no days longer than 12.5 hours.

 

Knowledge of the apportionment of the regions to Hermes the Wise

I: India,

II: the Hijaz and Yemen,

III : the land of Egypt,

IV: the land of Babylon,

V: Land of the Romans,

VI: Gog and Magog,

VII: the land of China,

 

Right the map of the seven climes from this manuscript


…The sea unites Oman to Jeddah the places of Yemen to the land of Zinj and Abyssinia…

P5

…in north India and Sindh where we will meet the green sea – To go to the Sea Al-Zenj - and the Sea of Basra, and get to the Arabian Peninsula, Mecca and the Hijaz, the sea of Qulzoum and Upper Egypt….

P17

… northern Maghreb the land of Rum that is west and north, in the Orient Khorasan and east and south, in the Orient Sindh and India, and eastern and southern Maghreb by Habash and Zinj …

P22

Section between Maghreb and the South: The fourth quarter to the south of Maghreb, the country of Sudan Zinj the Abyssinians, the Beja, the Nuba, the Fezzan, the land of al-Qayrawan; and from Ifriqiyya, al-Qayrawan, the Sus, the lands of the naked blacks and Ghana which are called by other names such as Numidia and Gaetuli in the Greek tongue, it faces the triangle of Cancer. It is ruled by Venus and Mars…

As for the Nuba and all the Abyssinians, the Zinj and those adjacent to them from southern India, they resemble in nature both Scorpio and Mars. For that reason their moral conduct has become more like that of savage beasts than that of men. They have become people who squabble, who harbour enmities and disputes and things which are hateful and abhorrent. They deem life to be of little worth and they are not compassionate among one another. They do not show care and affection for each other and sometimes they are cruel to themselves; they destroy each other by burning, by throttling and by destruction in the pit……….

p28

The island (peninsula) of Barbara is a piece from the edge of the coasts of al-Yaman extending into the sea at Adan from about the rising point of Canopus and going east from it and in what is adjacent to Adan. Facing it is Mount Dakhkhan and the island of Suqu.tra. Ascribed to it is Suqu.tri aloes. It and the island of Barbara are among what lies established on the route between Adan and the land of Zanj. When one leaves Adan to go to the country of Zanj, he would take a way as if he wanted to go to Uman and the island of Suqu.tra, heading parallel to it on the south until it comes to an end. Then he turns in the direction of the Sea of Zanj. The length of this island is eighty parasangs, and in it are representatives of all the tribes of Mahrah and in it are some 10,000 warriors who are Christian. It is mentioned that a people from the land of Rum (Byzantine Empire) were banished to it by Kisra. Subsequently, tribes of Mahrah settled with them and some of them became Christians.

In Suqutra are many date palms and ambergris reaches it. In it also is Dragon's Blood which is a tree called ayda, and many aloe plants.