Hudud al-'Alam, The Regions of the World
V. Minorsky


1. Prefatory

2. Discourse on the disposition of the Earth with regard to its cultivation or lack of cultivation

3. Discourse on the disposition of the Seas and Gulfs

4. Discourse on the Islands

5. Discourse on the Mountains and Mines which exist in them

6. Discourse on the Rivers


[§ I. Prefatory]


WITH bliss and happiness (bil-yumn wal-saāda)! Thanks (sipās) be to God, the Almighty (tuvānā), Eternal (jāvīdh), Creator of the World, Opener of difficulties (gushāyanda-yi kār-hā), guiding his slaves and manifesting himself (khwīsh-numā) through different sciences; and ample praises (durūdh) upon Muammad and prophets all!


Owing to the glory, victory, and auspiciousness (nīk-akhtarī) of the Prince Lord Malik the Just Abul-ārith Muammad ibn Amad, client of the Commander of the Faithful, may God prolong his existence, and owing to the felicity of his days, we have begun this book about the properties of the Earth (andar ifat-i zamīn) in the year 372 from the Prophet’s emigration, on him be God’s blessings. In it we have brought to light (paydhā kardīm) the properties of the Earth and its disposition (nihādh), and the amount of its cultivation and its lack of cultivation. We have also brought to light all the countries and kingdoms (spelt: pādshāy-hā) of the Earth, so far (ānch) as they have become known until now, and the state of each different people found in those lands, and the customs of their kings, as they exist in our times,


| and everything that comes forth from those lands.


We have brought to light every land (shahr) of the world of which we have found information in the books of (our) predecessors (pīshīnagān) and in the memories (*yādhkird ?) [1] of the sages, with particulars of that land as regards its greatness or smallness, its deficiency or abundance of amenities (ni'mat), wealth (khwāsta), and populations, and its cultivation or lack of the same; also, the disposition (nihādh) of every land with regard to mountains, rivers, seas, and deserts, and all the products coming forth from it.


We have brought to light the disposition (nihādh) of the seas all through the world, their broad and narrow (khurd va buzurg) places and the lagoons (murdāb), which are called gulfs (khalīj), with each thing coming forth from that sea.


We have brought to light all the great islands with their cultivated and desolate places (ābādhān va vīrān-i vay) and the state of their people and all their products.


We have also brought to light all the principal (a) mountains of the world and their manifold mines and the animals existing there.


We have also brought to light all the great rivers of the world, [2] from where they rise till where they fall into the sea or are used for



1. V.i., p. 145, l. 29.

2. Construction: all the rivers that are great in the world.





agriculture (kisht[-u-]barz), more especially those rivers which ships can navigate (gudhashtan); (and we have mentioned only the great rivers) because (az ān-k) of the small rivers the number is not known (padhīdh).


We have also brought to light all the deserts and sands which are notorious in the world, with their extension and breadth.




 § 2. Discourse on the disposition (nihādh) of the Earth with regard (az) to its cultivation or lack of cultivation


            1. The Earth is round (gird) as a sphere (gū’ī) and the firmament enfolds it turning on two poles (falak muī-ast bar vay gardān bar du qutb), of which the one is the North Pole and the other the South Pole.


            2. If on any sphere (har gū’ī ki bāshadh) you trace two large circles (dāyira) intersecting one another at right angles (zāwiya-yi qā’ima), those two circles will cut that sphere into four parts. The Earth is likewise divided into four parts by two circles, of which the one is called Horizon (dā’irat al-āfāq) and the other Equator (khaṭṭ al-istiwā). As regards the Horizon, it starts from the eastern parts (iyat), passes by the limit of the inhabited lands (ābādhānī) of the Earth, which (is) at the South Pole; then it passes by the western parts until it reaches again the East (bāz mashriq rasadh). And this circle is the one which separates this visible (āhir) inhabited (ābādhān) half of the Earth from the other hidden (pūshīdha) half which is beneath us. The Equator is a circle which starts from the eastern limit (add) and follows the middle of the Earth by the line farthest distant [equidistant] from both poles until it reaches the West, and it goes on in the same way until it comes back to the East.


            3. Within the northern quarter, the inhabited lands (ābādhānī) lie in that half (of it) which adjoins the Equator. And there are also some inhabited lands in the southern quarter, in the half (of it) adjoining the Equator. The amount of the inhabited lands of the North is: 63 degrees of breadth by 180 degrees of length (darāznā), because (az ān-k) the largest (mihtarīn) circle traceable round the Earth (gird-i zamīn bar gardadh) is of 360 degrees. The measure of the inhabited lands lying in the southern parts (iyat) is somewhat over 17 degrees by 180 degrees. The measure of the area (masāa) of these two (har du) forms one-ninth of the whole of the Earth (nuh bahr-i hama-yi zamīn). All the cities of the world, the different kingdoms (spelt: pādshāy-hā), the seas, the mountains, and the rivers and (in general) all the places possessing animals (jānavar) and fishes are within this ninth part (nuh yak) of the Earth which we have mentioned.





            4. In the eastern region (iyat) the farthest lying city is the capital (qaaba) of China (Chīnistān) called Khumdān on the shore of the Green Sea (daryā-yi sabz). The Greeks (Rumiyān) call this sea the Eastern Ocean (uqiyānus-i mashriqī) and the Arabs (tāziyān) the Green Sea (bar al-akhar). And so Aristotle says in the book Athār-i 'Ulwī (“Meteorologica”) that this sea surrounds the Earth like the Horizon and ships cannot work in this sea


| and nobody has crossed it (burīdha) and it is unknown where it ends. And on the whole stretch of the inhabited zone (har chand kī ābādhānī-st) the people see that sea but cannot cross it in a ship, except for a very short distance from the inhabited places.


On the other hand, the farthest of the lands (shahr-hā) of the western parts (iyat) is called Sūs-the-Distant (and is situated) on the shore of a sea called the Western Ocean. The latter’s water resembles that of the Eastern Ocean as regards the colour, taste, and smell. Likewise on the whole stretch of the inhabited zone in the West, both in the northern and southern direction (iyat), the said sea adjoins them, and the inhabitants can cross in ships only the part of it lying close to the inhabited lands.


Consequently the people judging by analogy (qiyās) said that the two seas were one (ocean) which surrounds the Earth on the East and West and passes by the two poles. And on account of this ocean (daryā) no one knows anything about what there is in that other (invisible) half (nīma).


            5. As regards the Equator, it passes through the said half (in its) largest extension (?) [1] (īn nīma-yi bīshtarīn) across the Great Sea. North of the Equator the inhabited lands stretch for 63 degrees; farther on the animals cannot live in view of the intensity of the cold that prevails there up to the North Pole.


As regards the region lying south of the Equator some parts of it are (occupied by) the sea, and, moreover, great heat prevails there (va dīgar sakht garmā-st) and the people of those regions are more removed from the character of humanity (ab'-i mardī). They are Zangīs, Abyssinians, and the like. And farther on, down to the South Pole, no one can live on account of the excess of heat. Assistance (taufīq) is from God!




             § 3. Discourse on the disposition of the Seas and Gulfs [2]


            1. The first is the Green Sea, which we have named the Eastern Ocean. Its extension (add), so far as it is known, is from the extreme



1. V.s., p. 50. ll. 28-9 ?

2. Khalīj means both “gulf” and “strait”.





limit (ākhir) of cultivation ('imārat) in the south down to the Equator, the island Wāqwāq, the lands of Wāqwāq, the country (iyat) of Chīnistān, and the confines of the lands (karāna-yi shahr-hā) of the Toghuzghuz and Khirkhīz. This sea has no known gulfs (straits ?).


            2. The other sea is the Western Ocean. Its extension, so far (ān-k) as it is known, is from the extreme limit of the countries of the Sūdān, the Maghrib, and Sūs-the-Distant, up to the Rūmī Strait (khalīj), up to the extreme limit of the countries of Rūm and aqlāb and up to the Tūlī (i.e. Thule) Island. This sea has a strait through which it joins the Rūmī Sea.


            3. Another large sea is the one called the Great Sea (Bar al-A'am). Its eastern limit adjoins the sea (called) the Eastern Ocean, and about one-third (miqdār-i si-yakī) of the Equator stretches across this sea. Its northern limit starts from China (Chīn), skirts the countries of Hindūstān and Sind, and the boundaries (udūd) of Kirmān, Fārs, Khūzistān and aymara [sic]. The southern limit of this sea begins at the Jabal al-ā'in, skirts the country (iyat) of Zābaj and reaches that of Zangistān and Abyssinia. The western limit of this sea is a gulf which surrounds all the Arab country (gird-i hama-yi nāiyat-i 'Arab andar gardadh).


This sea has five gulfs: (a) One of them begins (bar dāradh) from the limits of Abyssinia and stretches westward; off (barābar) the Sūdān it is called the Barbarī Gulf, (b) Another gulf (which) adjoins it, takes a northern direction ([ba] iyat-i shamāl furūdh āyadh) up to the confines (udūd) of Egypt, growing narrow till (tā ānjā-kī) its breadth becomes one mile (mīl); it is called the Arabian Gulf (khalīj-i 'Arabī), or the Gulf of Ayla (spelt: Īla), [1] or Qulzum. (c) The third gulf starts (bar gīradh) from the frontiers of Fārs and stretches in a north-western direction until the distance between it and the Gulf of Ayla amounts to 16 stages (manzil) on swift camels (bar jammāza); it is called the Gulf of 'Irāq. All the Arab lands lie between these two gulfs, i.e. the Gulf of Ayla and that of 'Irāq, (d) The fourth gulf is that of Pārs which starts from the limit (add) of Pārs, where it has a small breadth, and extends to the frontiers of Sind. (e) The fifth

(3 a)

| gulf starts from the country of Hindūstān and becomes a gulf while taking a northern direction; it is called Indian Gulf (khalīj-i hindū’ī).


Each portion of the Great Sea is called after the towns and countries (iyat) which adjoin it, e.g. (chunān-k) the sea of Pārs, the sea of Bara, the sea of 'Omān (spelt: ’Ommān), the sea of Zangistān, the Indian Sea, and the like. And this sea is the mine of all precious things (gauhar) [2] coming forth from the sea. Its length is 8,000 miles, and its breadth



1. Cf. § 7, 10.

2. Cf. p. 86, l. 25.





varies in each place. In this sea, from the limit of Qulzum down to the limit of Chīnistān, ebb and flow take place twice during the period of day and night. The flow (madd) is (when) the water swells and rises higher (bartar), and the ebb (jazr) is (when) the water decreases (bikāhadh) and falls lower. In no other sea do the ebb and flow exist, except by the increase and decrease of water in the rivers.


            4. Another (sea) is the Rūm Sea (daryā-yi Rūmiyān) in the western parts. The form of that sea is conical (inaubar). Its western limit adjoins the Western Ocean; on its northern coast lie the countries of Spain (Andalus), the Franks (Ifranja), and the Byzantines (Rūmiyān); on its eastern coast lie the towns of Armenia and some parts of Rūm; on its southern limit are the towns of Syria, Egypt, Africa, and Tangier. This sea has two straits, of which the one serves to connect it with the Ocean, and the other, similar to a river, traverses the middle of Rūm, skirts (kanāra) Constantinople and reaches the sea of the Georgians (Gurziyān). And there is no sea round which lie lands more prosperous (ābādhāntar). The length of this sea is 4,000 miles and its breadth is various. The greatest breadth of the strait (khalīj) of Constantinople is 4 miles, and the narrowest (bārīk-tarīn) part of the western strait (khalīj) is 10 farsakhs and from the one shore the other is visible.


            5. Another sea is the Sea of the Khazars. Its eastern [1] side (iyat) is a desert adjoining the Ghūz and Khwārazm. Its northern side (adjoins) the Ghūz and some of the Khazars. Its western side adjoins the towns of the Khazars and of Adharbādhagān. Its southern ride adjoins the towns of Gilān, Daylamān, abaristān, and Gurgān. This sea has no straits (khalīj). Its length is 400 farsangs with a creadth of 400 farsangs. It produces nothing but fish.


            6. Another sea is that of the Georgians (Gurziyān) and it is called Bonos (Black Sea). Its eastern limit is formed by the confines of the Alans (al-Lān); its northern limit is formed by the places (occupied by) the Pechenegs (Bajanāk), the Khazars, [1] the Mirvāts, the Inner Bulghārs, and the aqlābs; its western limit is the country (iyat) of the Burjāns; on its southern limit lies the country of Rūm. Its length is 1,300 miles with a breadth of 350 miles.


            7. Another sea is that of Khwārazm which is situated at a distance of 40 farsangs in the north-western direction from (the town of) Khwārazm. All round it are the places of the Ghūz. The circuit (gird-bar-gird) of the sea is 300 farsangs.


These are the seven seas. And outside (bīrūn az) these there are numerous lakes (daryāyak), sweet (fresh) and bitter (salt ?).



1. The word written twice.





The lakes which are salt (shūr) are eleven: the first is 8. Maeotis (Māws, “the Azov [1] sea”) at the extreme limit of the aqlābs towards the North. Its length is 100 farsangs with a breadth of 30 farsangs. From the Sea of the Georgians a strait (khalīj) joins it. And from this same sea a strait joins the Western Ocean. [2] Round it (i.e., Maeotis) lie desolate places (vīrānī). 9. The second is the lake Kabūdhān in Armenia. Its length

(3 b)

| is 50 farsangs with a breadth of 30 farsangs. In the middle of this lake is the village Kabūdhān and this lake is called after it. The lands round it are inhabited. In the lake on account of the saltness (shūrī) of its water there are no animals except worms. 10. The third is the Dead sea (daryā-yi murda) in Syria in which there is absolutely (albatta) no animal (life), on account of the bitterness of its water. Its length is three days’ journey and its breadth two days’ journey. 11. The fourth is the lake Nawya (*Fāria?) in Rūm. Its length is three days’ journey and its breadth two days’ journey. Round it lie inhabited lands (ābādhānī) and it has plenty of fish. 12. The fifth is the lake Mymāy (Smāy?), also in Rūm. Its length is three days’ journey and its breadth one day’s journey. Round it are inhabited lands. It has plenty of fish and it is said that it has also water-horses. 13. The sixth is the lake Yūn in Pārs near Kāzrūn, 10 farsangs long and 8 farsangs broad. Round it lie inhabited lands and it has many useful products (manāfi'). 14. The seventh is the lake Bāsfahrī (*Bāsafūya) in Pārs near Shīrāz, 8 farsangs long and 7 farsangs broad. Round it lie inhabited lands (but) it has little utility (kam-manfa'at). 15. The eighth is the lake J.nkān in Pārs, 12 farsangs long and 10 farsangs broad. It has some useful products and round it are inhabited lands. 16. The ninth is the lake *Bijagān [now: Bakhtagān] in Pārs, 20 farsangs long, 15 farsangs broad. In it salt is formed (namak bandadh) and round it are the places inhabited by wild beasts; from it rises (bigushāyadh) a spring towards the limits (udūd) of Dārāgird and it continues (hamī-ravadh) until it reaches the sea. 17. The tenth is *Tuz-kül (spelt: Tauz-kūk) in (the land) of the Khallukh. It is 10 farsangs long and 8 farsangs broad. In it salt is formed (and) from it comes salt for seven Khallukhian tribes (qabīlat). 18. The eleventh is *Issi-kül (spelt: Ayskūk) between the Chigil and the Toghuzghuz. It is 30 farsangs long and 20 farsangs broad. The town Barskhān is on its shore.


The number of the lakes with fresh water is not known. Some (bahrī) are called lakes (daryā) and some swamps (baīa). Among those called lakes seven are well-known. 19. The lake in Egypt called Buayra tinnīs is joined to the sea of Rūm and the river Nile flows



1. Confused with the Baltic? V.i., p. 181.

2. Cf. § 4, 25.





into it. This lake in summer is fresh, but in winter when (the water) of the Nile is low (rūdh-i Nīl andakī buvadh) it grows salt. In the middle of this lake are two towns, the one Tinnīs (spelt: Tinais) and the other Dimyā. All the costly textiles (jāma) exported from Egypt come from these two towns. This lake is 15 farsangs long and 11 farsangs broad. 20. The lake of Tiberias (abariya) is in Syria. It is 12 farsangs long and 7 farsangs broad. 21. The lake of *Nicaea (spelt: T.ntiya, < *Nīqiya) in Rūm. Round it are inhabited lands. It is 8 farsangs long and 5 farsangs broad. 22. The lake Riyas [sic] in Rūm. Round it are inhabited lands. It is 5 farsangs long and 5 farsangs broad. 23. The lake Arzan (*Arzhan) in Pārs, near Shīrāz. The fish of Shīrāz are from this lake. It is 10 farsangs long and 8 farsangs broad. 24. The lake Zarah in Sīstān. Round it are inhabited lands and villages, except on the side which adjoins the desert (ba biyābān bāz dāradh). It is 30 farsangs long and 7 farsangs broad. It happens sometimes (gāh buvadh) that the water of this lake Zarah (grows) so much (chandān) that the rivers rising from it overflow into the province of Kirmān (ba Kirmān bigudharadh) and form an enormous lake.

(4 a)

| 25. The Daryāzha lying within the limits (andar add) of Surūshana (spelt: Subrūshna) is formed by four rivers rising from Buttamān (kī az Buttamān gushāyadh). It is situated amidst mountains. From it comes (bigushāyadh) the river watering Samarqand, Bukhārā, and Sughd. The lake is 4 farsangs by 4 farsangs.


So much (īn) about those lakes (daryāyak-hā) which are known and which are mentioned in the information (akhbār) contained in the books [or: in the akhbār and books?]. [1]


And outside these (bīrūn az īn), small lakes are numerous, such as the lakes, [2] 26. one of which lies in the mountains of Gūzgān in Mānshān close to Bastarāb and is 1 farsang long and half a farsang broad, and 27. such as there are in the mountains of ūs and abaristān. But they are neither (well)-known nor ancient, and sometimes they dry up so that no water remains in them. Therefore (az bahr-i ān) we have not mentioned them.


As regards the waters called swamps they are numerous but the well-known ones (ānch ma'rūf ast) are nine: 28-30. three among them (lie in) the desolate lands of the south (si andar vay vīrāni-yi junub ast) beyond Nubia (Nūba) close to Jabal al-Qamar, from which [2] rise ten rivers. From each five of them one marsh is formed (batīa bandadh); then (āngah) from each of the (two) marshes rise three rivers, which (all) join in one place (ba yak jā gird āyadh) and from all the six of them one swamp (yakī baīa) is formed. Then from



1. mar u-rā andar kitāb-hā [*va] akhbār yādh karda-ast?

2. Cf. § 6, 62.





this swamp rises the river Nile which passes between Nubia and the lands of Egypt until it empties itself (uftadh) into the lake Tinnīs. 31.-32. The two other swamps are those of Bara, round which there are many inhabited lands, villages, and boroughs. 33. The (sixth) one is the marsh of Kūfa round which there are many inhabited lands, with many amenities (bā ni'mat-i bisyār). 34. The seventh is the swamp of Bukhārā which is called āvāza-yi paykand and is situated in the desert. 35. The eighth is at the upper end (a'alī) of Chīnistān, in the region (udūd) of the town Khumdān. 36. The ninth is in the North of Chīnistān.


All of these lakes and swamps have fresh water with much fish in it. Fishermen are active on them, whereas it (often) happens that the swamps other than these (juz īn) dry up; therefore we have not mentioned them.



 § 4. Discourse on the Islands


Any land situated in the midst of a sea above the surface of the water, or any mountain standing in the midst of a sea, [1] is called island.


            A. In the Eastern Ocean there is a (well)-known island called 1. Silver-island (jazīrat al-fiḍḍa) on which there are many teak-trees (sāj) and ebony-trees (ābanūs), as well as silver mines. It possesses seven big rivers which come out of seven different places in the same island (ham az in jazīra) and empty themselves into that sea. On the island there is a great and well-known city, which is considered as belonging to Chīnistān (az shumār-i Chīnistān) and called the City of the Silver-island. It is prosperous (ābādhān) and has a numerous population (bisyār-mardum).


            B. In the Great Sea there are thirteen known islands and 2. two inhabited mountains, of which the one stretches in a southern direction (az nāiyat-i junūbī āyadh) and protrudes into this sea; the other stretches (biravadh) in a northern direction and enters into this sea opposite the first one (barābar-i vay). These two mountains are mentioned in Ptolemy’s books (in du kūh rā . . . madhkūr-ast [sic]). A part of each of these (two) mountains is on the land, and a part in the sea. 3. The first of the islands of this Great Sea is called Gold-island (dhahabiya); its periphery is of 300 farsangs and it possesses gold-mines and many cultivated lands (ābādhāni), and its inhabitants are called Wāqwāqian Zangī (Zangiyān-i Wāqwāqi). All are naked and (all are) man-eaters (mardum-khwār). Chinese merchants go there in great numbers, carrying iron and food, (which) they sell



1. Peninsulas are also considered islands, v.i. B 2.





to the inhabitants for gold, using signs and without saying a word to each other.

(4 b)

| 4. Another island in this sea is called abarnā (*Taprobane). Its periphery is 1,000 farsangs. Round it are fifty-nine large islands both cultivated and desolate. On it are found numerous towns and villages as well as many rivers and mountains. It possesses mines of corundum (yāqut) of all colours. This island lies off the frontier (saradd) separating Chīnistān from Hindūstān, and in it there is a large city called Muvas; it is situated on the extremity (karān) which lies towards Hindūstān (ba Hindūstān bāz dāradh). Whatever this island produces is carried to that city and therefrom to the cities of the world. 5. The third island Rāmī (al-Rāmī) lies in the region (udūd) of Sarandīb, southward of it. There live black people, wild and naked. They are divers and this is the place of pearls (murvārīd'). The island produces ambergris ('ambar), Brazil wood (dār-i parniyān), and the animal (called) rhinoceros (karg-i jānavar). [1] They sell amber for (barābar) iron. The root of the trees of Brazil wood (bīkh-i dār-i parniyān) which comes from this island is an antidote to all poisons (tiryāk-ast az hama zahr-hā). 6. The fourth island is .rī (*Zābaj?), west [?] of Sarandlb. In it grow camphor trees, the people there are wild and snakes numerous. 7. The fifth is called Jāba and Salāhi (Sumatra). From it comes much ambergris, cubeb (kabāba), sandal-wood, spikenard (sunbul), and cloves (qaranful). 8. The sixth lies west of the said Jāba and is called Bālūs; between them there is a distance of 2 farsangs. The people there are black and man-eaters. From it come good camphor, coco-nuts (jauz-i hindī), bananas (mauz), and sugar-cane (nay-shakar). 9. The seventh, south of Bālūs, is called Kala, and it is the kingdom of the Indian Jāba. [2] Between Bālūs and Kala the distance is a two days’ journey. In it (Kala) grow numerous bamboos (khayzurān), and it possesses tin (arzūz) mines. 10. The eighth island, called Bankālūs (*Lankabālūs), is situated west of Kala. Between them there is a distance of six days. Its people are naked; they mingle (andar āmīzand) with the merchants. Their commodity is iron. Their food is bananas, fish, and coco-nuts. This island is at a distance of 20 days from the town of *Malay. 11. The ninth island, situated near Sindān, is called Haranj and produces much camphor. 12. The tenth island is Lāft which possesses a flourishing (khurram) town, (also) called Lāft. On it there are fields



1. To distinguish it from the bird karg.

2. could be alternatively translated: “The king of Jāba is an Indian” but our text is an exact rendering of I. Kh., 66:





(kisht-u-barz) and many amenities (ni'mat), and pleasant waters, and from all the world (people) go there for trade. This island is situated off Pārs. 13. The eleventh is Nāra, lying on the Equator line, in the middle (bar miyāna) of the inhabited world. Its longitude (ūl) from East to West is 90 degrees. The astronomical tables and observations (zīj va raad), as well as the positions of planets (kawākib-i sayyāra) and fixed stars (thābitāt), were calculated in the ancient tables (zīj) with regard to this island (badhīn jazīra rāst kardand). This island is called “equinoctial” (istiwā al-layl wa ’l-nahār). 14. The twelfth island, called Wāl (*Uwāl), lies off Pārs and possesses many pleasant villages. It is a port of call (jāy-i manzil) for ships. 15. The thirteenth, called Khārak, lies south of Bara at a distance of 50 farsangs. It possesses a large and prosperous town called Khārak. Near it excellent (murtaf') and costly pearls (murvārīd) are found. 16. The other two islands are small and lie close to each other. They are called Socotra (ū rā Saqī [sic] khwānand) and are situated near the country 'Omān. It is a place of little amenity (kam ni'mat) but has many inhabitants.


In that sea there are (other) numerous islands but they are desolate, unknown, and small. Therefore we have not mentioned them.


17. And in that sea [1] off the Syrian desert (bādiya) lie the rocks (kūh) called Fārān and Jubaylāt. The sea

(5 a)

| there is always billowy and agitated (bā mauj va āshufta).


            C. In the Western Ocean there are twenty-five known islands of which the names are found in Ptolemy’s book. Of them (az vay) six lying off the Land of the Sūdān are called 18. Al-jazā’ir al-khāliya and possess gold-mines. Once a year people from the region (iyat) of the Sūdān and the towns of Sūs-the-Distant go to fetch gold from the mines but nobody can settle down there (kas muqīm natavānad shudan) on account of the intensity of heat. 19. The seventh island is Ghadīra (spelt: 'Adīra) which lies at the point where the sea of Rūm joins this Ocean; from it rises (bigushāyadh) a large spring of water. The mouth of the strait opens into the Rūm Sea (dahna-yi khalīj daryā-yi Rūm gardadh). The eighth and the ninth are two. islands situated close to one another: the one is called 20. Rhodes (spelt: Rūdhas) and the other 21. Arwādh ; they lie off the lands of Rūm. (The position of) the stars was observed by the Greeks (raad-hā-yi Yūnāniyān) from (andar) these two islands. The tenth and the eleventh are two islands situated half a farsang from one another, off the last limits (ākhir-i add) of Rūm in the northern direction. They are called 22. Island of men and 23. Island of women. On the



1. i.e. in one of the gulfs belonging to it, v.s. § 3,3 (b).





former the inhabitants are all men, and on the latter women. Each year for four nights they come together for the purpose of procreation (az bahr-i tavālud rā), and when the boys reach the age of three years they send them to the Island of Men. On the Island of Men there are thirty-six big rivers which rise there and fall into the sea, while on the Island of Women there are three such rivers. Beyond these islands in the northern direction of the same sea (iyat-i shamāl-i in daryā) there are twelve islands called 24. Briāniya, of which some are cultivated and some desolate. On them are found numerous mountains, rivers, villages, and different mines. The twenty-fourth is the island called 25. uwas (or ūs) and situated north of the islands of Britāniya. It is 100 farsangs long and from it comes a large water (āb-i buzurg) which overflows the dry land (bar khushk rīzadh) and flows straight to the sea of Maeotis (spelt: Mars) situated north of the aqlāb, as we have mentioned. [1] The twenty-fifth is the island 26. Thūlī (Thule). For some of the northern cities the longitude was fixed (girifta-and) from those islands [sic]. This is the island where the circle parallel (muzvāzi spelt: mawāzi) to the Equator and passing through this island touches (gudharadh) the (extreme) limit of the inhabited lands (ābādhānī) of the world, in the northern direction.


The known islands of the Western Ocean are those which we have enumerated.


            D. In the sea of Rūm there are six inhabited islands and two mountains. Of the latter the one is called 27. Jabal-āriq (Gibraltar). One of its extremities (sar) is in the land of Spain (Andalus) and the other, in the strait joining the sea of Rūm to the Ocean. In it there is a silver mine, and from it come the drugs (dārū) usual in that land, e.g., gentian (jiniyānā) and the like. The other mountain is 28. Jabal al-Qilāl near the Roman land (shahr-i Rūmiya ?); [2] west of it (andar maghrib az vay) there is a mountain [3] of which it is said that no one has been able to climb on to its summit on account of its height, and from it come game, timber, and fuel.


As regards the six islands, the one is called 29. Cyprus (spelt: Qubras), of which the periphery is 350 miles (mīl). It has mines of silver, copper, and plasma (dahanj). It lies off Qaysāriya, 'Akka and Tyre (ūr). The second island, lying north of Cyprus, is 30. Qurnus (spelt: Qrys), of which the periphery is 350 miles. The third is called 31. Yābis (spelt: Bālus); its periphery is 300 miles. The fourth is 32. Sicily (spelt: aqliya), near the Roman country (Rūmiya); a high mountain encircles it.

(5 b)

| In the days of old, Roman treasure used



1. Cf. § 3, 8.

2. Less probable: “town of Rome”, v.i., 32.

3. The Alps?





to be (kept) in that island on account of its strength (ustuvāri). Its length is 7 post stages (manzil) and its breadth 5 stages. The fifth island is called 33. Sardinia (spelt: Surdāniya). It lies south of the Roman country (Rūmiya); its periphery is 300 miles. The sixth is 34. Crete (spelt: Iqrīas), situated off Arābulus, (and) north of it. Its periphery is 300 miles.


These six islands are cultivated (ābādhān) and have many amenities (ni'mat). They have many towns and districts (rustā), a numerous population, many merchants, troops, and much wealth (khwāsta). These islands of the Rūm Sea are more cultivated than any islands of the world.


            E. In the Armenian Sea lies one island with a village called 35. Kabūdhān. It is a rich locality (jāy) with many inhabitants.


            F. In the Caspian Sea (daryā-yi Khazarān) there are two islands. The one lies off the Khazarian Darband and is called 36. Jazīrat al-Bāb. It produces rūyan (madder, rūnās) exported to all the world and used by the dyers. The other island is 37. Siyāh-Kūh; a horde (gurūh) of Ghūz Turks who have settled there loot (duzdī) on land and sea. There is another island on the sea, but one of its corners is joined to the land off Dihistān; it is called 38. Dihistānān-Sur, and on it are found a few people (andakī mardum): hunters of falcons and pelicans (ayyādān-i bāz va awāsil), and fishermen.


In the whole world there is no other extensive, reputed, and inhabited island, except those which we have mentioned here. We have represented on the Map (ūrat kardūm) the seas, the gulfs, and the islands as they are, and at their proper places. The might is in God!



 § 5. Discourse on the Mountains and Mines which exist in them


The nature (nihādh) of the mountains is twofold. Some are real (a) mountains, stretching from one region (iyat) into another, growing now thin and now thick (siabr), going, now straight and now curved, till the place where they finish (bi-buradh); these are called ridges of mountains ('amūd-i kūh). The other (kind) are the ramifications (shākh) of the mountains which branch off (bar gīradh) from the ridge of the mountain and also go on till the place where they end; they are called branches (shākh), just as a tree has numerous branches. And it may happen that those branches also have branches. Such is the likeness (mithāl) of the mountains. The mountains of which the ridge passes through (andar miyān) countries and districts





(rustā) have (usually) many branches, while those that stretch in the deserts and along the border of a sea, or of a river, have few branches. The ridges of the mountains are mostly joined to one another.


            1. The first mountain in the eastern direction is the one which we have called al-ā'in Fil-bar (“Thrusting into the sea”). Half of it is on land and the other half in the sea.


            2. The other mountain is Sarandīb, of which the length is 100 farsangs and it is so high that in some places no one can climb (up it). From (the top of the) Sarandīb to (its) foot (dāman) is a distance of two days. The mountain possesses mines of corundum (yāqūt) of different colours. And in its river-beds (rūdh-kadha) diamonds are found. In the whole world there is no other place of diamonds. Its soil is of emery (sunbādha). In (Sarandīb) there are costly pearls (which are extracted from) the sea that is nearer to it. It produces plenty of spikenard (sunbul), cloves, cardamum (qāqula), nutmeg (jauz-i bavā) and all kinds of spices (afvāh). It has numerous coco-nut trees, Brazil wood (dār-i parniyān), and bamboos. There are found in it musk-deer, civet-cats (ayvān-i zabād)

(6 a)

| and rhinoceroses (karg). On it the trace of a human foot is found impressed upon a stone (nishān-i pāy-i mardum ba-sang furū shuda). It is said to be the trace of Adam’s foot, on him be peace! The people (mardumān) of Sarandīb are naked. This mountain lies in the first clime.


            3. From the corner (gūsha) of this mountain starts (bar dāradh) (another) mountain adjoining it (which passes) between (miyān) the end (ākhir) of Hindūstān and the beginning of Chīnistān. It is called Mānisā. It follows (furūdh āyad) a northern direction until it reaches the place where Hindūstān ends and Tibet begins. It follows again a northern direction between Tibet and China (Chīn) up to the farthest limit of Rāng-rong (?) belonging to Tibet. Then (ān-gah) it turns ('atf) westwards and goes between China and the country (iyat) Nazvān belonging to Tibet in a north-western direction up to the farthest limit of Tibet; then between (miyān) Tū and the confines (va miyān-i udūd) of China [1] to the farthest limit (ākhir) of the desert situated at the extreme end (ākhir) of Chīnistān; (then stretches) between (miyān) the towns of Transoxiana and the towns of Turkistān up to the confines (udūd) of arāz and Shiljī, and there the ridge of the mountain disappears (ānjā in 'amūd biburradh).


            4. And at the end of Hindūstān and the beginning of Tibet a branch (of the Mānisā range) shoots off (bar gīradh) eastwards into Chīnistān (ba Chīnistān andar) for a distance of 50 farsangs. And likewise from [2] the place which is the end of Tibet numerous branches



1. Perhaps Khotan? See Notes.

2. Small erasure, but the text is complete.





shoot off east and westwards and spread out (va andar parāganadh). And at the confines of Transoxiana numerous branches shoot off, and from each of them too numerous branches spread out in every direction (hama nāiyat) of Transoxiana. And in those branches mines of silver and gold are found, as well as much lead (surb) and iron and many drugs (dārū).


            5. In the provinces (nawāī) of Chīnistān there are eighteen mountains, small and big, separate (burīdha) from each other. And in each locality there are some mountains scattered (parāganda) in every direction. In fourteen of these mountains gold-mines are found.


            6. Then another mountain is at the farthest limit of the Toghuzghuz Turks where they adjoin China (Chīn). Its length is 4 farsangs and it is called afqān.


            7. And also in the neighbourhood of afqān, in the Toghuzghuz country (iyat), a mountain shoots off (bar gīradh) in a western direction between (andar miyān) the Toghuzghuz, the Yaghmā, and various encampments (khargāh: “felt-huts”) until it joins the mountain Mānisā. In the neighbourhood of the river Khūland- ghun this mountain is called Ighrāj-art, and each part of this mountain (har yakī az īn kūh) has many names, because (zīrāk) every part of these mountains is called by the name of the region (iyat), or by that of the town (ya ān-iān shahr) which is nearest to it.


            8. Another mountain shoots off (bar gīradh) from the beginning of the Toghuzghuz frontier (add) in the neighbourhood of the lake Issi-kül (spelt: Iskūk). It continues till the end of the Tukhs (Tukh-siyān) and the beginning of the Khallukh frontier, then it bends ('atf), and a branch separates [1] from it (bāz gardadh) into the land (iyat) of a Khirkhīz tribe. This mountain is called Tūlas and in it are found many sable-martens (samūr), grey squirrels (sanjāb), and musk-deer (āhū-yi mushk), while in that branch ('atf) which stretches off (bāz kashadh ?) towards the Khirkhīz country musk-deer (ayvān-i mushk), khutū-[horns], grey squirrels, and sable-martens are found.


            9. Another mountain stretches from the district of Kulī in Kanbāya (spelt: Kanbāta) belonging to Hindūstān. It follows an eastern direction till amur [2], then takes (furūdh āyadh) a northern direction, passing between Dahum’s country (mamlakat-i D.h.m) and that of the raja of the Hindus (rāy az Hinduvān) up to the limits (udūd) of Hītāl (sic). Then this mountain splits into two branches (ba du shākh gardadh).



1. Turns back? Cf. under 17. [See p. 286, n. 1].

2. Indistinctly written:





            9 A. One branch going northwards enters (furūdh āyadh) the confines (udūd) of Tīthāl (?) and Nītāl (*Nēpāl ?), and passes between (miyāna) the farthest limit of India and Tibet, going north of the confines (udūd) of Bolōr, Samarqandāq, Shaknān [sic], and Vakhān (spelt: Khān), and south of the desert; then, on the confines (udūd) of Zhāsht (*Rāsht?), it takes (furūdh āyadh) a north-western direction and passes

(6 b)

| through the confines of Buttamān belonging to Transoxiana, until it reaches (bar āyadh) the confines of Surūshna (spelt: Sarūshana). This mountain has numberless (bisyār va bī-'adad) ramifications in the districts (az udūd) Shaknān, Vakhān, and Zhāsht.



            9 Aa. From the interior (miyān) of Vakhān and Zhāsht start many mountains (which) spread out (parāganadh) inside the limits (andar udūd) of Khuttalān, and mines of gold and silver are found there. Of the branches of Khuttalān, one branch separates (bar dāradh) and becomes one with another (coming) from the district (udūd) of Buttamān. From them separate numerous branches directing themselves (uftadh) into the district of Chaghāniyān, where they scatter. And where the said original ridge of the mountain ('amūd-i a) comes near Buttamān, (the chain) splits into two, but alien (these two branches) come to the confines (udūd) of Surūshana (spelt: Shurūshna) they unite again. From the confines (udūd) of Buttamān a branch shoots off (bar gīradh) which passes between the Buttamān-of-Daryāzha and Chaghāniyān (andar miyān-i Buttamān-i Daryāzha va miyān-i Ch.) and skirts the confines (bar udūd) of Samarqand and Sughd down to the confines of Bukhārā. And likewise, each of these branches has a few or many offshoots.


            9 B. As regards the other branch, from the frontier (add) of Hibtāl [sic] it traverses (az miyān) Hindustān, follows the confines (udūd) of Qinnauj (Kanauj) and passes between the country of the continental (?) Jāba (mamlakat-i Jāba-yi khushk) [1] and the kingdom of Lrz [2] where it is called the mountain of Q.s.k (?), and so it runs north (andar shamāl) of the confines of Qashmīr, Vayhind (spelt: Vbhnd), Dunpūr, and Lamghān,and south of Bolōr, Shaknān, Vakhān, and Badhakhshān, passing south (bar junūb) of the districts (rustā-hā) of Khuttalān. Then it enters (uftadh) the limits (udūd) of ukhāristān, sketches between (miyān) Tāraqān, Sakalkand, Khulm (and) Simingān, and south of Balkh, and enters the confines of Sān and Chāryak relonging to Gūzgān.


            9 Ba. Then it turns westwards (and) in a north-western direction penetrates into the country of Ghūr (passing) south of Aspuzār (Isfizār),



1. Khushk, “dry land”, cf. § 4, 25.

2. Small erasure, but the text is complete.





Herat (Harē), Būshang, and Nishāpūr. Then between Nishāpūr and Sabzavār (spelt: Sqrvār < *Safzavār), it takes the direction of the road (following the latter) on its northern side (ba rāh furūdh āyadh az sūy-i shamāl) and again turning westwards passes north of Simnān and Rayy and enters (uftadh) the region (iyat) of Daylamān, (stretching on) up to the end of the limits (udūd) of Gilān.


            9 Bb. And when this mountain after having turned aside from the province of Balkh (az udūd-i Balkh 'atf kunad) (reaches) the frontier (andar add) of Madr belonging to ukhāristān, so many small and large branches spread out of it (bar dāradh) in those districts (navāhī) that only God knows their number. And from each of its branches many (other) spurs shoot off which spread (parāganadh) in the region (andar udūd) of ukhāristān, Andarāb, Panjhīr, Jāriyāna (spelt: Khāriyāna), [1] Bāmiyān, Bust, Rukhadh, Zamīndāvar, and Ghaznīn, and (further) stretch (bikashadh) down to the limits (udūd) of Sind. In those branches mines of gold and silver (are found). And when the (principal) ridge of this mountain reaches the districts of Ghūr, a branch shoots off from it and forms a circle (gird andar āyadh) like a finger-ring; then the branches unite (again) into one chain, and inside the ring a tribe . . . [2-3 words missing]. And from this ring of mountains a large branch shoots off, which together with those other branches takes an eastern [?] direction and spreads out in the limits (udūd) of Bust and Ghaznīn. Likewise in the locality of Aspuzār this mountain possesses small offshoots which spread out (andar parāganadh) in the districts (rustā) of Aspuzār (Isbzār).


{Likewise in the region (iyat) of Kuhistān and Kūmish, and the limits (udūd) of Daylamān this mountain has many ramifications.} [2]


            9 Bc. On reaching the locality of Sān and Chahāryak belonging to Gūzgān, this ridge of mountains splits into two:

(7 a)

| the one branch is that which we have described (padhīdh); [3] the other one goes north of it taking a western direction between Kundarm and Anbīr. It passes between Gurzivān and Jahudhān, between Bashīn and Diza, between *Marrūdh and Baghshūr and south of Sarakhs. Then it takes a northern direction and goes to the limits (udūd) of ūs, Bāvard, and Nasā until it reaches the limits (udūd) of Gurgān. Then comes a valley, three days long but narrow, which is called Dīnār-zārī. And the mountain, which (stretches ?) on the other side of the valley, takes a direction through the limits of Sibarāyin (*Siparāyin > Isfarāyin) until it reaches the limits of Gurgān (az udūd-i S. furūdh āyadh tā ba udūd-i G. rasadh). Then it turns south-westwards going on (hamī ravadh) south of Āmol and the towns



1. Jārbāya ?

2. This sentence ought to come under 9 Ba.

3. See above, 9 Ba.





of abaristān down to the limits (udūd) of the town Rayy. Then it joins the other chain ('amūd) which we have described (ifat). The two chains united go up to the end of the province of Gīlān, as we have explained. From the limits of Hindustān where this mountain begins till the limits of Gīlān where it ends this mountain is called “Belt of the Earth” (kamar-i zamīn), or in Arabic “Mintaqat al-Ard”.


            10. Other mountains are in the province of Kirmān. They are separate (burīdha) from each other, (but jointly) are called the mountains of Kirmān. One of them called the Kūfij mountain is in the midst of the desert. It stretches from the sea to the limits (udūd) of Jīruft and consists of seven mountains joined to one another. Each of them has a chief (har kūhī rā . . . mihtarī dāradh) and the representatives of the government ('āmil-i sulān) do not go (nashavadh) to those mountains, and those chiefs (ān mihtarān) every year collect and send in the amount of tribute-money (muqāa'a gird kunand). These seven mountains do not obey each other, and the people of these mountains are called Kūfijiyān. They have a special language. It is a place of great amenity (ni'mat) and great strength (ustuvār) and cannot be conquered by armies and war. Between Jīruft and this mountain there are hills (shākhak-hā-yi kūh) and the locality is called Bū Ghānim’s Kūhistān. Another mountain is Bārijān. It runs along (darazā) from the frontier of Jīruft to the frontier of Bam, possesses mines of lead (surb), copper, and lodestone (sang-i maghnāīs), and has two villages: Kaftar and Dihak. Another mountain of Jīruft has a length of two days’ journey and possesses numerous mines. Another mountain called Kūh-i Sīm (“Silver Mountain”) consists of two small mountains joined together. It lies between Khatr (*Khabr ?) and Jīruft and possesses silver-mines.


            11. Another mountain in the province Pārs begins (bar gīradh) between Pasā and Dārāgird and stretches eastwards till the frontier (saradd) of Kirmān. Then it takes a northern direction till (it reaches) the frontier of Tās (Unās ?) and Raudhān (*Rodhān). Then it turns westwards and runs on to the frontier between Pārs and Khūzistān. Then it takes a northern direction, passes (furūdh āyadh) between Bū-Dulaf’s Kara (i.e., Karaj) and Sipāhān, and enters the lands of the Jibāl (ba shahr-hā-yi J. furūdh āyadh) until it reaches the confines (udūd) of Hamadān. Then it passes south of Hamadān, following a north-western direction until it reaches the confines of Marāgha, belonging to Ādharbādhagān, and then stops (biburradh). This mountain in the districts (kuwar) of the Jibāl

(7 b)

| sends out so many offshoots that there remains no town but possesses near it a spur of this mountain.





Likewise in the province of Pārs this mountain has many ramifications and (other) mountains lie there, both joined (to one another) and separate (burīdha), so that in the neighbourhood of each city of Pārs there is a mountain. This mountain has also ramifications near Sipāhān, which spread out (parāganadh) in Khūzistān. Near Sipāhān this mountain is called Kūh-Jīlū.


            12. Another mountain lies in the northern parts (iyat), between the frontier of the Kīmāk and the beginning of the Khirkhīz. It starts from the frontier of Kīmāk and stretches eastwards to the frontier of the Khirkhīz. Then it follows a northern direction till where the inhabited part (ābādhānī) of the world finishes in the north. In the northern region this mountain is called by the Kīmāk, K.ndāv.r-bāghī (*Kundāvar, Kandā'ur-taghi).


            13. Another small [?] mountain situated in the province (iyat) of Adharbādhagān near Ardabīl, is called Sabalān (spelt: Sabilān?).


            14. Another mountain lies in the districts of Armenia. It starts from Takrīt in 'Irāq, where it is called Kūh-i*Bārimmā, and so it goes between the frontiers (bar miyān-i add) of Armenia and Adharbādhagān until it reaches the limits of Barda'.


            15. In the same region (iyat) are two other mountains separate from each other. The higher one is called ārith (Ararat). It is impossible to climb up to its top on account of the difficulty of the road; it is constantly covered with snow, and cold (reigns) there. Numerous towns of Armenia (procure for themselves) game and fuel from that mountain. The other mountain, called uwayrith, is similar to ārith but smaller than it.


            16. In the province of Jazīra there are two separate mountains. The one, called Judī, is the mountain on which Noah’s ark (kashtī) came aground (biīstādh). The other, called the Mountain of Mārdīn, is situated near Nisībīn (spelt: Naībīn).


            17. In the Arab country there are many small mountains; thirteen of them are called Tihāma. One mountain is near Mekka and is called Ghazwān. Another called Shibām (spelt: Shiyām) is near San’ā; on it sown and cultivated lands are found. This place is strong, and in the days of old the residence of the king (added: of the kings) of Yemen was on this mountain. Another mountain (there), having a periphery (chahār sū andar gird) of 20 farsangs, lies at the end of the mountains of Tihāma. Its summit is flat (hāmūn) and has villages (ābādhānī), agriculture (kisht), and running waters. In the days of old, Muammad ibn Fal al-Qarmaī conquered it. Another hill (kūhak) called Rawa stands near Madīna; the Mekkan whetstones (sang-i fasān) come from there. The other two hills (kūhak)





are near Fayd on the right hand of the road at a distance of two days; they are called the Two mountains of ayy (Jabalay Tayy).


            18. In the province of Syria a mountain starts from the Syro-Egyptian frontier from the place which is called the Tīh of the sons of Israel. Near, and joined to it, stands a high mountain called ūr sīnā. And so this mountain runs on straight through (andar) Syria in a north-eastern direction to the limits (udūd) of Zughar (spelt: Za'r), and farther (hamchinīn) to the limits of Damascus, Ba'albakk, im, passing north of these towns and north of Baghrās and crossing the river Jayūn between Armenia and Rūm. Then it takes a straight northern direction (and continues) between Armenia and Rūm to the beginning of the frontier of the Sarīr belonging to (az) Rūm. Then it turns eastwards passing between the Sarīr (spelt: Surīr)

(8 a)

| and Armenia and (between) Arrān and Qabq till (it reaches) the neighbourhood of the Khazar sea. Then it changes its direction and turns back (bar gardadh) westwards, passing between the Sarīr and the Khazars and reaches the beginning of the frontier of the Alans (al-Lān). Then it goes straight northwards as far as the end of the Khazars. Then it traverses the country of the Khazarian Pechenegs (miyān-i nāiyat-i Bachanāk-i Khazarī biburradh) and separates the Inner Bulghars from the Rūs (miyān-i Bulghār-i dākhil [*va] Urūs [sic] biburradh) as far as the limits of the aqlāb. Then it takes a northern direction, traverses (andar miyān) the aqlāb (country) and skirts that town of the aqlāb which is called Khurdāb, after which it reaches the end of the aqlāb and there stops (biburradh).


From the ūr Sīnā to Zughar (spelt: Za'ur) they call this mountain Mountain of the Khiārijites (shurāt, spelt: sh.rāh) and on it are many villages (ābādhāni) and near it all the people are Khārijites (khārijiyān). From *Zughar to the limits of Damascus they call it Balqā. From Damascus to ims, Lubnān; from ims to the limits of Baghrās, [the Mountain of the] Bahrā (spelt: Dahrā) and Tanukh; from the limits (udūd) of Baghrās to the beginning of the Sarīr frontier, Lukkām; from there, until having curved in the above-mentioned way (tā an 'af-hā bikunadh) it reaches the beginning of the Alāns, it is called Qabq; after this, until finally (tā ākhir hi) it disappears (munqai'), each place is called after the town and the district which adjoins it, as is the case with the other mountains.


            18 A. When it reaches the end of Syria and the beginning of Armenia a large branch separates from it and enters the region (iyat) of Rūm. It (also) has ramifications, and numerous gold-mines exist in it.


            18 B. And from the beginning of the frontier of the Sarīr a branch starts which finally joins the Sea of the Georgians (Gurziyān).





            18 C. And when it reaches the middle of the Sarīr a huge ('aīm) branch shoots off from it and thus it runs on eastwards (az sūy-imashriq) between those two mountains until it reaches a fortress. The latter is a town on the summit of this mountain, of which the wall (bāra) is every day guarded in turn (ba-naubat) by (a detachment of) 1,000 men. [1] Mines of gold and lead are found there.


            18 D. And when this mountain reaches the limits of the Alans a very great (sakht 'azīm) branch separates (from it) which goes in a western direction as far as the Alan Gate and there, on the summit of this mountain, stands a town, which is the most flourishing of the Alan towns. There this branch ends.


            19. Another small mountain stretches between the end of the Rūs frontier (add) and the beginning of the Kīmāk frontier; it runs on for a distance of five days.


            20. In the country (andar add) of Rūm there is a mountain in the province called Rustā-yi Awās (Ephesus ?) and therein is a large and frightful cavern (shikaft . . . bā aul) which is said to have been the place of the “Companions of the Cavern” (i.e., the Seven Sleepers).


            21. Another mountain in Rūm, situated near the town (or land ?) of Afrakhūn, stretches in length for a distance of six days.


            22. Another mountain stands near the Georgian mountain (Kūh-i Gurz) and in it are mines of silver and copper.


            23. In the province of Egypt there are two mountains: the one is situated on the eastern side of the river Nile (bar sūy-i mashriq az rūdh-i Nīl). From the frontier of Uswān and the beginning of the frontier of Nubia (Nūba) it runs straight north and enters Upper Egypt (a'īd al-a'lā). It skirts the limits (udūd) of Busīr (spelt: Tawīr) and Fusā, which is the capital (qaaba) of Egypt, until it reaches auf [al-Sharqī: “eastern bank”] (spelt: Khauf) and the place where the Jifār (spelt: Jifāra) sands are situated, and there it ends. In that mountain mines of silver and gold are found and it is (called) Muqaṭṭam (spelt: Mu'aẓẓam).


            24. The other mountain is on the western side of the river Nile. It also starts (bar gīradh) just (rāst) from the beginning of the Nubian frontier and takes a northern direction until in the region (udūd) of Fayyum it reaches Ibrīq (*Abwai ?). [2] Then a small branch shoots off (bāz kashadh) westwards and disappears.

(8 b)

| In this mountain there are mines of garnets (bījādha), emeralds (zumurrud), and chrysolites (zabarjad). And on this mountain wild asses (khar-i washī) are found striped (mulamma') with black and yellow, but if you take



1. This detail outfit to come under 18 D., cf. § 48, 3.

2. See note, p. 204-5.





them out of this climate (hawā) they die. [1] This mountain is called Mountain of the oases (kūh-i al-wāāt).


            25. And in Rūm there is a small mountain beyond the gulf near Seleucia.


            26. Another mountain is within the limits (andar udūd) of Spain; it starts from (az add) Malaga (spelt: Māliqa) and in an eastern direction runs down to (tā bi add) Shantariya; then it turns northwards and enters (furūdh āyadh) the province of Lerida (Lārida); then it bends westwards to the province of Toledo (ulayila), and (the city of) Toledo is situated at the foot of this mountain; and there it ends.


            27. Another mountain stands in the country of Spain on the frontier of Coria (bi add-i Qūriya) and Truxillo (Tirjāla). And from it come many drugs (dārū).


            28. Another mountain stands in (andar udūd) Western Rūm and is called Bulgharī. It is an inhabited mountain with many amenities (ni'mat).


Commentary of V. Minorsky to § 3. The Mountains (page 205):


. . .

            25. If the author means here the Seleucia (now Selefke) situated northwest of the Gulf (khalīj) of Iskenderun, this mountain corresponds to the Cilician Taurus.


            26. Here the eastern watershed is meant, which separates the basins of the Guadalquivir, Guadiana, and Tagus from the rivers flowing eastwards towards the Mediterranean. Shantariya corresponds to Shantabriya whence, according to Iṣṭ., 42, the Tagus comes, cf. § 41, 4. Then the watershed between the Tagus and the Guadiana is taken for the continuation of the range (in the opposite direction NE. to SW.). This watershed is naturally continued by the Sierra de Toledo.


            27. It is quite natural that after the range stretching south of the Tagus the one stretching north of it (Sierra de Gredos-Guadarrama) should be mentioned. Coria is more or less suitable for the southern point of it, but Turjāla (Truxillo) situated south of the Tagus on the slope of the Sierra de Guadalupe (which continues towards the south the line of the mountains of Toledo), is entirely out of place. Morón (Maurūn) would be a suitable point to mark the northern limit of the range starting from Coria.


            28. The Balkans, cf. § 42, 17. The name Balqan belonging originally to the mountain east of the Krasnovodsk bay, on the eastern shore of the Caspian, was probably transferred to the Balkans by the Turcomans who remembered the toponymy of their ancient country; see Barthold, Balkhān, in EI. Cf. note to § 3, 5.


All these mountains which we have enumerated are those situated in the northern quarter of the inhabited lands of the world. As regards Southern Inhabited Lands — so far as people can penetrate — they possess nine mountains.


            29. The one, called Jabal al-Qamar, possesses mines of silver and gold, and the river Nile comes out of it. Its length is 500 farsangs.


            30. The other eight mountains vary in longitude, latitude, and extension (ūl va 'ar va masāfat); their places and dimensions are such as we have shown (paydhā) on the Map (ūrat). And assistance is from God!




 § 6. Discourse on the Rivers


Rivers are of two classes (arb). The first are natural and the others artificial (inā'i). The latter are those of which the beds (rūdhkadha) have been dug out and the water brought (therein) for the benefit (ābādhāni) of a town or for the agriculture (kisht-u-barz) of a district. Most of the artificial canals are small and ships cannot navigate them. There are towns with ten canals, or more or less, the water of which is used for drinking, for the fields (kisht-u-barz), and for the meadows (giyā-khwār); the number of these canals cannot be fixed (na-madūd) because at every moment it is subject to an increase or decrease.



1. Cf. infra, § 39, 10.





The natural rivers are those great waters which (are formed) by the melting of snow, or by the springs coming from the mountains or from the surface of the earth; (and) they make their way, while their beds become now broad (farākh) and now narrow, and continually flow (hamī ravadh) until they reach a sea, or a marsh. Some of these natural rivers are not very large and are used (ba kār shavadh) for the benefit (ābādhānī) of a town, or a district, such as the rivers of Balkh and of Marv, and it may happen that from a natural river numerous canals are derived (bar dāradh) and utilized while the original stream (ān 'amūd-i rūdh) goes down to a sea, or marsh, as is the case of the Euphrates.


            1. The first river in the eastern parts is the Khumdān river coming from the Sarandīb mountain. After having flowed for a distance of twelve days it forms a swamp (āngah baīa bandadh), [1] of which the length and width alike are 5 farsangs. Then from that marsh too comes out such a large (chandān) river as to flow for a distance of seven days down to Khumdān. Some of it is used for cultivation, and the rest flows out into the Eastern Ocean.


            2. Another river called Kīsau [sic] rises from the east of the mountain Mānisā and reaches the place situated in the centre of a Tibet (badh-ān jāy kī ba-miyāna-yi udūd-i Tubat) ,

(9 a)

| And it flows on, following that mountain (badh-īn kūh), among mountains and cultivated lands, until it comes opposite the Tibeto-Indian frontier (tā barābar-i add-i miyān-i Tubbat va Hindūstān rasadh). Then it cuts through many mountains and traverses them down to the limits of Kujān and Bughshūr [sic]; then it passes between the Chinese provinces (iyat) of Ī and Khū and flows out into the Eastern Ocean. This river, after it has entered the limits of Bughshūr (B.ghsūz?), is called *Ghiyān (spelt: 'Inān).


            3. Another river, called *Wajākh ( *βajākh ?), rises on the eastern side of the said mountain Mānisā at the extreme limit (ākhir-i add) of the desert. It skirts (karān) the towns (districts?) of Thajākh [sic], Barīa, and Kūskān, flows on through the province of Khotan, and while passing through the region of *Sha-chou (chūn az nāiyat-i Sāju andar gudharadh) forms a swamp. Thence it flows down to the limits of Kuchā, then passes through (andar miyān) the province (iyat) of Kū (?) and the province of F.rāj.klī and empties itself into the Eastern Ocean. On the western bank of this river are the houses (nests ?) of the birds 'akka (magpies ?), and in springtime (ba vaqt-i bahārān) all the banks of the river are (strewn) with the little ones of these 'akka. The breadth of this river is



1. “A swamp is formed”! ?)





half a farsang and this breadth can never be crossed [1] (va hargiz pahnā-yi īn āb naburrand ?). When the river reaches the limits of Kuchchā [sic] it is called the River of Kuchchā and as such is known in the books. And from the same neighbourhood (ham az ān nazdīki), (but) nearer to Transoxiana, come out three rivers, of which the one is called S.māy.nd-ghūn, the second Kh.rāy.nd (Khwāy.nd ?) -ghūn, and the third Khul.nd (Khūk.nd ?) -ghūn. Between Gh.zā and K.lbānk all the three rivers flow into the river of Thajākh [sic].


            4. From the Kīsau river a big river separates which comes near this [?] fortress of Tubbat-khāqān and to *Ūsāng (ba nazdīk-i īn qal'a-yi Tubbat-khāqān va ba-Karsāng [sic] āyadh) and there it is used for the fields and meadows (kisht-u-giyā-khwār).


            5. Another river is called Īlā. It comes from the mountain Irghāj-ārt [sic], takes a northern direction, and falls into the lake Issi-kül (spelt: Absikūk) [?].


            6. Another river is Jayūn which rises from the region of Vakhān and follows the frontier (bar add) between the limits of Bolōr and those of Shaknān, (which is) of Vakhān, [2] down to the limits of Khuttalān, ukhāristān, Balkh, Chaghāniyān, Khorāsān, and Transoxiana, (then) down to the limits of Khwārazm, (finally) to fall into the sea of Khwārazm.


            7. Another river is called Kharnāb; it rises to the west of the mountain Qasak and flows into the Jayūn between Badhakhshān and Pārghar. This Kharnāb is larger (mihtar) than the Jayūn, but everybody gives the name of Jayūn (to the latter) because (this) Jayūn follows a longer course (az rahī dūrtar ravadh).


            8. Another river flows behind (az ān sūy) Buttamān for a distance of 60 farsangs; it flows from the mountains which stretch from north to south (az nāiyat-i shamāl ba junūb dāradh), till it reaches Munk and Hulbuk; and having reached Pārghar it flows into the Jayūn.


            9. Another river called Vakhshāb rises from the Vakhsh mountains and near Vakhsh flows into the Jayūn.


            10. Another river rises from the limits of the Kumījīs (Kumījiyān), flows through their mountains, passes through (bar miyān) Nū-diz, and flows into the Jayūn near Qavādiyān.


            11. Another river is Chaghān-rūdh, which rises from Chaghāniyān and falls into the Jayūn near Tarmid [sic].


These four rivers (8.-11.) flow from north to south.


            12. Two other rivers, of which the larger is called Rūdh-i Darghām



1. So in view of § 2, 4. Less probably: “cannot be dammed in”.

2. Or: Shaknān [va] Vakhān, “Shaknān and Vakhān”. Cf. § 10.





(spelt: D.z'ām), come from the limits of ukhāristān, unite into one river, and having passed between Valvālij and Khulm,

(9 b)

| fall into the Jayūn.


            13. Another river rises from the mountains on the confines of Lamghān and Danpūr [sic] and passes south [north ?] of *Nīnhār (bar add-i bigudharad az sūy-ijunūb). It is called the River of Lamghān. It flows past the region (bar udūd) of Mūltān (spelt: Mūliyān) and the towns *Rūr (spelt Divin), Sadusān, Bulrī, Manūra, and Manjabrī, and near Kulī empties itself into the Great Sea.


            14. Another river called Sind-rūdh rises on the west of the mountain Qasak, which is also called the Mountain of Ice (Kūh-i yakh). The river flows southwards (az sūy-i junūb), enters the confines (udūd) of Mūltān, and joins the river of Lamqān [sic] from the eastern side.


            15. Another river (called) Hīvān, comes from the mountain Hīvān, passes between Jalavvat, Balavvat, and Bīrūza (spelt ), enters the province of Mūltān, and falls into the river of Lamghān from the western [read: eastern] side.


After the junction of these three rivers the river is called Mihrān.


It is said that from the summit of the Mountain of Ice, which is Qasak, a water springs up like a fountain (bar damadh chūn fawwāra) and also [that it?] separates into two in such wise (hamchinān) that one half flows northwards, and it is the river Kharnāb, and the other flows southwards, and it is the river Sind-rūdh, which afterwards becomes the Mihrān.


            16. Another river is the Lesser Mihrān which rises in the Indian mountain (Kūh-i Hinduvān) and, separating the frontiers (miyān-i add) of (the dominions of) Dahum and (those of) the Rāy, passes between (miyān) Hamānān and B.lhārī and between (miyān) Nu’nūn and Nu’nīn; it skirts (bar udūd) Qandahār, reaches the limits of Kūlī, and flows into the Great Sea.


            17. Another river is Ūzgand which rises from behind the mountain of the Khallukh and skirts Ūzgand, the town of Bāb, Akhsīkat, Khūjand, and Banākat, down to the limits of Chāch (spelt: Chāj). Then it skirts S.tkand, Pārāb, and numerous boroughs down to the limit (tā bi-add) of Jand and Javāra (Khavāra ?), and flows into ( sic) the sea of Khwārazm.


            18. Another river is Khursāb (spelt: Khirsāb) which rises from the extreme limit (ākhir-i add) of Buttamān on the northern side of the mountain, and near the town of Khursāb joins the river Ūzgand.


            19. Another river is Ōsh, which rises in the same mountain, passes between (bar miyān) Ōsh and Ūrasht (Ūrast) and joins the Ūzgand.





            20. Another river is Qubā which rises in the same mountain and joins the Ūzgand near Qubā.


            21. Another river is Khatlām [sic] which rises in the mountain Mānisā and at the point which is the frontier between the Khallukh and the Yaghmā skirts (bar) the town of Khatlām. Then it flows to the neighbourhood of Bāb and joins the Ūzgand river.


            22. Another river is Parak which rises from behind the Khallukh mountain and takes a southern direction, flowing through the limits of Chāch. Between Banākat and the wall of Qalās it joins the Ūzkand.


When all these rivers have united, their joint course is called the Chāch river and the Arabs (Tāziyān) call it Sayūn.


            23. Another river is that of Bukhārā. Four rivers rise in the mountain of Middle Buttamān. They flow for a distance of 6 farsangs; then all four form a swamp (baīa) called Daryāzha; out of the latter flows a river which skirts the confines (bar udūd) of Surūshana, Samarqand, and Sughd, and cuts through (andar miyān) Bukhārā; some of it is utilized for cultivation (kisht-u-barz) in Bukhārā, while some falls into the Avāza of Paykand.

(10 a)


            24. Another river is that of Balkh which rises in the region (udūd) of Bāmiyān, skirts (bar udūd . . . bigudharadh) the confines of Madr and Ribā-i Kirvān [sic], and reaches Balkh. All of its waters are used up for cultivation in Balkh.


            25. Another river is Hīdhmand which rises at the frontier (add) of Guzgānān. In the neighbourhood of Ghūr it flows past (bar) Durghush [sic], Til, and Bust and makes a sweep round the region of Sīstān (az gird-i Sīstān andar āyadh). Some of it is utilized for agriculture, and some flows into the lake Zarah.


            26. Another river is that of Marv which rises at the limit of Gharchistān, on the frontier separating Gūzgānān from Ghūr (az add-i miyān-i Gūzgānān va Ghūr). It flows past (bar) Bashīn, cuts through the middle of the valley (miyān-i dara biburradh), and flowing past Marūdh, Diz-i inaf [sic], Lōgar, B.r.kd.r (*Barakdiz ?) and Gīrang, reaches Marv where it is used up in the fields.


            27. Another river is that of Herat (Harī < Harē) which rises at the limits (udūd) of Ghūr and is used in the fields of Herat. Herat possesses also other considerable (buzurg) rivers formed by torrents (sayl), but at times there remains no water in them. Therefore we have not mentioned them.


            28. In the province (iyat) of Kirmān there are no considerable rivers and no lakes, except the Great Sea and a small river capable of turning ten mills, coming from the limits of Jīruft and flowing fast;





most of it is used in the hot lands of Kirmān; the rest (of the rivers) flow into the Great Sea near Hormuz.


            29. Another river is Sakān in Pārs which rises in the mountains and the district (rustā) of Ruyagān; changing its direction it flows round the town Kavar (az girdi Kavar andar gardadh) and between Najīram and Sīrāf joins the Great Sea.


            30. Another river is Khūyadhān rising from the district (iyat) of Khūyadhān in Pārs. It passes east of Tavaj and joins the Great Sea between Ganāfa and Najīram.


            31. Another river is Shādhagān which rises in the region (iyat) of Bāzranj in Pārs and flowing past the western corner of Tavaj joins the Great Sea.


            32. Another river is Sīrīn (Shīrīn?) which comes from the mountain Dhanbādh (Dīnār?) in the district of Bāzranj. It passes between Vāyagān and Lārandān; on the confines (bar udūd) of Arragān it passes through the town [ba-shahr read: *ba Rīshahr “through Rīshahr”] and joins the Great Sea between Sīnīz and Ganāfa.


These four rivers flow in a north to south direction.


            33. Another river is Kurr which rises from the limits of Azd (*Urd?) in the district (rustā) of Karvān belonging to (az) Pārs. It flows in an easterly direction until it has passed south of Iṣṭakhr (hand tā ba-Iṣṭakhr bigudharadh) and joined the lake *Bijagān [now: Bakhtagān].


            34. Another river is Farvāb which flows from the district Farvāb, also in Pārs, in an easterly direction; having reached Iṣṭakhr, it changes its direction and east of Iṣṭakhr flows into the river Kurr, which is the healthiest (durusttarīn) and best water in Pārs.


            35. Another river is āb, which rises in the Kūh-Jilū, situated on the confines (ba udūd) of Sipāhān, follows the frontier between Khūzistān and Fārs (ba add-i miyān-i Khūzistān va Pārs) and falls into the Great Sea. The town Māhīrūbān stands in the sea between (two branches of) this river (andar miyān-i īn ābast bayn-i daryā). [1]


            36. The river Sardan rises also in the Kūh-Jilū and falls into the river āb (ba rūdh-i āb andar uftadh). The town Sardan (spelt: Surdan) is between these two rivers.


            37. Another river is that of Shūshtar in the province of Khūzistān. Its beginning is from the confines of the province of Jibāl (shahr-i Jibāl). It flows [2]

(10 b)

| through Shūshtar, Sūq al-Arba'ā, Ahwāz, Jubbay, and Bāsiyān until it reaches Dahana-yi Shīr (“The Lion’s Mouth”) and in Mahdī. Then it falls into the Great Sea.



1. On the position of this town, cf. § 29, 15.

2. On the margin: al-juz' al-thānī, “second section” (?).





            38. Another river in Khūzistān is Masruqān. It separates (bar dāradh) from the Shūshtar river and flows down to Ahwāz watering all the fields; the rest falls again into the river of Shūshtar (bāz rūdh-i Sh. uftadh) near Ahwāz. The town ‘Askar-i Mukram (spelt: 'Askar va Makrum) is situated between these two rivers.


            39. Another river also separates from the river of Shūshtar off (az add) Bāsiyān and irrigates the fields [1] of Bāsiyān, Khān Murdūna [sic], and Dauraq up to the limits of Rām Ūrmizd.


            40. Another river is that of Shūsh which rises in the neighbourhood of Karkha (az add-i Karkha bar-dāradh) from one of the spurs of the Jibāl mountains and it flows to irrigate the countryside (sawād) of Shūshtar [?] and Shūsh. It passes between Shūsh and B.dhūshāvur [?], but before reaching the limit of Baunnay all of it is used up in the fields (tā . . . rasadh hama andar kisht-hā ba-kār shndha bāshadh).


            41. Another river is the Ras (?), flowing up in the North (andar add-i shamāl), in the country of the Ghūz. It is a large river of which (the waters) are black and bad-smelling (siyāh va ganda); it rises from the mountain which is on the frontier between the Kīmāk and the Khirkhīz, traverses (andar miyān) the Ghūz country and falls into the Khazar sea.


            42. Another river is the Artush (Irtish ?) which rises in the same mountain. It is a large water, black yet drinkable and fresh (shūrīn). It flows between the Ghūz and the Kīmāk until it reaches the village Jūbīn (*Chūbīn) in the Kīmāk country; then it empties itself into the river Ātil.


            43. Another river is the Ātil [sic] which rises in the same mountain north of the Artush; it is a mighty and wide river flowing through the Kīmāk country (andar miyātia-yi Kīmākiyān) down to the village Jūbīn (*Chūbīn); then it flows westwards along the frontier between the Ghūz and the Kīmāk until it has passed Bulghār (tā bar Bulghār bigudharadh); then it turns southwards, flowing between the Turkish Pechenegs and the Burās, [2] traverses the town of Ātil belonging to the Khazar (az add-i Khazarān), and flow's into the Khazar sea.


            44. Another river is that of the Rūs which rises from the interior of the aqlāb country and flows on in an eastern direction until it arrives at the Rūs limits. Then it skirts the confines (bar udūd) of Urtāb, .lāb, and Kūyāfa, which are the towns of the Rūs, and the confines of Khifjākh. Then it changes its direction and flow's south- wards to the limits of the Pechenegs (ba udūd Bachanāk) and empties itself into the river Ātil.



1. Read: kisht, instead of kashtihā.

2. V.i., p. 463.





            45. Another river is the Rūtā (?) which rises from a mountain situated on the frontier (sarhadd) between the Pechenegs, the Majgharī, and the Rūs. Then it enters the Rūs limits (andar miyāna-yi add-i Rūs) and flows to the aqlāb. Then it reaches the town Khurdāb belonging to the aqlāb and is used in their fields and meadows.


            46. Another river is the Tigris which rises in the mountains of Diyārbakr (Āmid; spelt: Īmidh), flows past (bar) Balad, Mauil, Takrīt,and Sāmarra,cuts into two both Baghdād and Wāsit (miyāna-yi B. biburradh), and finally reaches Madhār, Bula (*Ubulla), and the limits of Bara; then it empties itself into the Great Sea. Near Fat a river separates from the Tigris, which is called canal of Ma'qil and flows to Bara. Another river too separates from the Tigris off Bula (ba bar-i Bula) and is called Bula-canal (nahr Bula). It flows straight westwards until in the limits (udūd) of Bara it joins the Ma'qil canal. Then it passes through (az) Bara, where it is called Dubays-canal. Finally it once more (bāz) joins the Tigris near ‘Abbādān. Between Wāsi and Madhār a canal separates from the a Tigris, and forms two swamps

(11 a)

| called Bara Swamps.


            47. In the Armenian mountains rise two rivers called the Two Zābs (Zābayn, spelt: Zābīr), the Lesser and Greater Zāb. Both flow in a south-western direction and empty themselves into the Tigris between the towns adītha and Sinn.


            48. Of the other two rivers, the one called Sās (Sābus ?) rises in the Armenian mountains and is utilized in the fields; when it reaches the town ‘Ukbara (spelt: 'Akbura) nothing remains of it. The other river, rising in the same mountain and called Nahrawān, is utilized in the fields, and when it reaches Nahrawān none of it remains.


            49. Another river is the Euphrates, which rises in the mountain 'Ulayq ('Alīq ?) and flows through the Rūm country, cutting the mountain Lukkām (az miyān . . . biburradh). It arrives at the limits (udūd) of *Malaya (spelt: Malaiya) and thus (hamchinīn), turning southwards, skirts Shumayshāt, Sanja, and Bālas (*Bālus?). Then it takes a north-easterly [read: south-westerly!] direction until it has skirted Raqqa, Qarqīsiya, Raba, 'Āna, Hīt, and Anbār. Then again it changes its direction and flows towards the south-[east] (miyān-i junūb [*va mashriq]), till it reaches the Kufa swamp. After Anbār a canal called Nahr-'Īsā separates from it, goes down to Baghdād (tā B.), and empties itself into the Tigris, and the people navigate (ba-kashtī ravandh) this canal from the Euphrates to the Tigris. Lower down (az zīr-i Nahr-'Īsā), another canal larger than the Nahr-'Īsā separates from the Euphrates (ham az īn rūdh); it is called Nahr-arar and is utilized in the fields of the town arar. Still





lower down, a canal larger than the Nahr-arsar, which is called Nahr al-Malik, separates (from it), and is utilized in the fields of the town of the Nahr al-Malik. Still lower down a canal starts in the region (udūd) of Karbala. It is called Nahr-Sūrā and flows until it too [i.e., like the Euphrates] empties itself into the Wāsi swamp. The town Jāmi'ayn is between these two rivers, i.e., the chief stream ('amūd) of the Euphrates and the Sūrā canal.


            50. Another river in the province (udūd) of Khorāsān is called Hirand. It rises from the mountain of ūs and skirts the region of Ustuvā (spelt: Āsatavū) and Jarmagān. It cuts into two (the town of) Gurgān (miyāna-yi G. biburradh), flows to the town of Abaskūn, and empties itself into the Khazar sea.


            51. Another river in the province abaristān is called Tīzhin-rūdh. It rises in the Qārin mountain in the neighbourhood of Pirrīm, skirts Sārī, and (empties itself into the Khazar) sea.


            52. Another river, called Bāvul, rises in the Qārin mountain, skirts Māmaīr, and empties itself into the Khazar sea.


            53. Another river, called Harhaz, rises in the mountains of Rayy and Lārijān on the frontier (az add) of abaristān and flows down to the neighbourhood of Āmol, (where) most of its water is utilized in the fields while the rest empties itself into the Khazar sea.


            54. Another river, called Sapīd-rūdh, rises in the mountain uwayrith in Armenia, flows westwards [read: eastwards], traverses (miyān) Gīlān, and empties itself into the Khazar sea.


            55. Another river, called Aras (spelt: Arus), rises on the eastern side of the Armenian mountains, from a place adjoining the Rūm. Taking an eastern direction it flows on until, having skirted Vartān and followed the frontier between Adharbādhagān, Armenia, and Arrān, it joins the Khazar sea.


            56. Another river called Kurr rises in the province Arrān in the mountain lying between Arrān and the Sarīr. Taking an easterly [1] direction it flows down to the limits of Shakī and Qabala (spelt: Qibla) and skirts Bardīj (*Bardej).

(11 b)

| Then it unites with the river Aras (spelt: Āris) and their waters flow between Mūqān and Bāku to join the Khazar sea.


            57. Another river in the ‘Arab country [2] is Bayān (spelt: Mījān). It rises from the farthest end (ākhir-i udūd) of the Tihāma mountains, i.e., from the easternmost part of it (ānk ba mashriq nazdīktar-ast), skirts the town of the Wādī Bayān (spelt: Mījān), Shabwa (spelt: Saywa), and the towns of aramut, (then) traverses the Aqāf sands, and flows into the Great Sea.



1. So instead of: westerly.

2. So instead of: Arrān.





In the Syrian lands (bilād-i Sham) there are no large rivers.


            58. Another river, called Nahr al-Karūm (*Kurūm?), rises in the province (‘amal) of Buqallār (Buccellariote theme) in Central Rūm (as miyāna-yi Rūm), and flows into the Sea of the Georgians.


            59. Another river rises in the theme of Paphlagonia (Iflākhūniya) in Rūm, skirts the town of anābrī (*Kāngrī ?), and falls into the Sea of the Georgians.


            60. Another river rises from the Opsikian theme (Ubsīq) of Rūm, skirts the town of B.ndāq.lus (?) and Dīdūn (B.d.ndūn, N.dydūn?), to flow into the *Nīqiya (spelt: Tanqiya) lake in Rūm.


            61. Another river also rises here (īdhar) and follows the frontier (bar miyān-i add) between the theme of Anatolicon (*Natlīq spelt: Batlīq) and the Buccelariote theme (Buqallār). Then it turns southwards, flowing between Khāk and *Nīqiya, and empties itself into the *Nīqiya lake.


            62. Another river is the Nile in Egypt. South [read: north?] of the Jabal al-Qamar rise ten great rivers. [1] From each five (of them) a swamp is formed (batīa bandadh); then from each of the swamps come out three rivers. From all these six rivers a swamp is formed (yakī baīha bandadh) outside the limits of Nubia towards the south (bīrūn as udūd-i Nūba andar junūb). Then the river Nile comes out of these marshes and enters Nubia (ba miyān-i N.), flowing northwards until it has traversed (biburradh) all of the province of Nubia. Then it turns westwards down to the town of Sukar (spelt: Sakra), then it turns back (bāz gardadh) eastwards until it has skirted (bar araf) the Mountain of the Oases (Kūh-i al-Wāhāt) and flowed past (bar) Uswān (Assuan). Then it flovvs straight northwards and crosses all the province of Egypt. It skirts Akhmīm, Fayyūm, and Fusā, and empties itself into the lake Tinnīs.


            63. And from the sands which lie between the districts (nāwāi) of Egypt and the Qulzum Sea rises a great river which flows westwards and crosses Nubia in its breadth (miyān-i Nuba biburradh ba pahnā). At the place where the town of Kābīl is situated, which belongs to the Nubians and is their capital, it falls into the Nile. This river is called the River of the Raml al-Ma'dan. [2]


            64. From the Nile a large canal separates near Fusā and is constantly utilized (ba kār hamī shavadh) in the fields until it reaches Alexandria; the remainder of the water flows again (bāz) [3] into the lake Tinnīs.


            65. In the lands (andar shahrhā) of Ifrīqiya, in Tanja, and down



1. Cf. § 3, 28.            2. Cf. § 59, 63.

3. Perhaps: ba . . . bāz “towards”, cf. p. 50, l. 20.





to the region (iyat) of Sūs-the-Distant there are no great and important (kull) rivers, except such as (magar chunānk) serve for drinking (khurd) and (the irrigation of) the fields.


Likewise we have not found any information in the books and reports (andar kitāb-hā va akhbār-ha) about any rivers in Sūdān.


            66. Another river rises in the west of the country Rūm, from the mountain Bulgharī, and follows (hamī ravadh) an easterly direction until it reaches the place (jāy) of the aqlābians living in the Rūm country. After having traversed the country of the Burchān (ba nāiyat-i Burchān [sic] bigudharadh) it skirts the theme (bar 'amal) of Thrace (spelt: Burāqiya), and in this (reach?) traverses the town Qusanīniya (andar īn [miyān ?] miyān-i Q. bigudharadh), while the remainder (of the water) flows out into the strait. This river is called Bulgharī.


            67. The river Tagus ( *Tāju) rising in the mountains of Spain near Toledo, flows round the town of Toledo (az gird-i shahr-i ulayula andar āyadh), following a westerly direction, then turns eastwards, (then) again westwards. And it flows on till the limits of *Merida (spelt: Hārda) and Santarem (Shantarīn). At the latter place it empties itself into the Western Ocean.

(12 a)


And in all this world there are no rivers on which ships can go except those which we have mentioned. As regards the southern parts (iyat) we have found absolutely (al-batta) no mention of any big river there, except of the 68. Buja [sic] river of which it is said that it rises in a mountain situated in the south, traverses (miyān) the Buja, and falls into the sea near Abyssinia (abasha). God is omniscient and there is no might but in God!


Commentary of V. Minorsky to § 6. The Rivers (page 221):


. . .

            64. The western branch of the Nile, called after the town Tarnū.


            65. The river must be the Maritsa erroneously combined with the aqueduct supplying water to the capital, as suggested by Barthold, v.s. p. 41, note 1. I.R. 126 (= Ibn Rusta, BGA, vii, p. 176), says:


“Constantinople possesses a water-conduit which enters it from the town of Bulghar. This water flows for a distance of 20 days and on entering Constantinople is divided into 3 parts.”


The town Bulghar stands here for the locality Belgrad situated only a few miles north of Constantinople. Cf. § 42, 16. and 18.



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