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Extract from another book of Masudi : Kitab et Tanbih

(The book of warning)


Taken from: translation by B. Carra de Vaux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The people from the southern parts like the Zendj and the different branches of the Abyssinians and those who are to the south of the

equatorial line and who have the sun in its zenith of its clime, representing the opposite characteristics of the former; there the heat is
intense moister rare, they are black skinned, have red eyes, which is natural, because it is so hot that the children develop inside their
mothers so that they are burned, their hair is kinky through the effect of the radiation from the dry heat; it is like long hair brought close
to the fire it first contracts then they bent in rings as one brings them closer to the fire are then further away……….

The limit of the second climate is the sea from the region of Oman following the borders of Ech-Chihr and El-Ahkaf till Aden Abyan, then up
to
the peninsula of the Zendjs and the Abyssinians. The longest extend of the days there is 13 hours……..

The sea of Abyssinia and the sea of China, of Sind and from India, of the Zendj, of Basra, of Obollah, of Fars, of Karmanie, of Oman, of
Bahrein, of Chihr, of Yemen, of Eilah, of Kolzoum in the land of Egypt, and Abyssinia. In the whole world, there is no bigger sea….

The Nil ; Starts with sources situated in the mountain of the moon (Djebel el-Kamar) 7 and a half degrees behind the equator, what comes
to
141 parasangs and two thirds, or in miles 425 miles. From those sources leave 10 rivers that go 5 by 5 in two lakes which are situated to the
south behind the equatorial line. From each of these two lakes comes three rivers and all those river arms throw themselves in one lake in the
first climate. It is from there that the Nile of Egypt starts…..

And from the origin of the Nil in the mountains of the moon to the place where it throws itself in the sea of Roum, the distance is 748
parasangs
and 2/3 what comes to 2,245 miles. There are people who measure the distance from the origins of the Nile till its end to 1,130 and some
parasanges. In the neighborhood of the mountain of the moon are many villages and places from the Zendjs; after having crossed these one
arrives in the land of Sofalah of the Zendj and the island of Kanbalou where the inhabitants are Muslim, then to the land of Berbera and Hafouni……..

The same learned people teach that when the northern hemisphere is in summer, the southern one is in winter, and
when winter reigns in the
north, summer reigns in the south. This allows to explain why the rise of the Nile happen in summer, because it is the time of winter and of rain
in that part of the earth of the Abyssinians like Nubie, Zagawah, the land of the Zendjs, up to the mountains of the moon who are situated behind
the equator. It is from those mountains that flow the sources of the Nile.