§ 43. Discourse on the Slav Country (Ṣaqlāb).
East of this country are the Inner Bulghārs (Bulghār-i andarūnī) and some of the Rūs; south of it, some parts of the Gurz sea and some parts of Rūm; west and north of it everywhere are the deserts of the Uninhabited Lands of the North. This is a vast country with extremely numerous trees growing close together (payvasta). The people live among the trees and sow (kisht) nothing except millet (arzan). They have no grapes but possess plenty of honey from which they prepare wine and the like. Their vessels (casks) for wine (khunb-i nabīdh) are made of wood, and there are people (mard buvadh kī) who annually prepare a hundred of such vessels of wine. They possess herds of swine (ramma-hā-yi khūg) which are just like (ham chinānk) herds of sheep. They burn the dead. When a man dies, his wife, if she loves him, kills herself. They all wear shirts and shoes over the ankles (pirāhan va mūza tā ba ka'b). All of them are fire-worshippers. They possess string instruments (ālāt-hā-yi rūdh) unknown in the Islamic
§ 43-4 "The Regions of the World" 159
countries (andar musalmānī), on which they play. Their arms are shields, javelins (zūpīn), and lances. The Ṣaqlāb king is called S.mūt-swyt (or Bsmūt-swyt, ) The food of their kings is milk. They spend the winter in huts and underground dwellings (kāz-hā va zīr-zamīn-hā). They possess numerous castles and fortresses. They dress mostly in linen stuffs. They think it their religious duty (vājib andar dīn) to serve the king. They possess two towns.
1. VĀBNĪT is the first town on the east of the Ṣaqlāb and some (of its inhabitants) resemble the Rūs.
2. KHURDĀB, a
large town and the seat of the king.
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