Beta
You are viewing a draft
Not for citation.

Al-Muqaddasī, Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions 54

   https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/394

Context

Shams al-Dīn Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Muqaddasī (334-390 AH/945-1000 CE) was an Arab geographer and traveler during the mid- to late 10th century. Born in Jerusalem, al-Muqaddasī began studying history, jurisprudence, and matters of religion at a young age. As a member of the Balkhī school founded by Abū Zayd al-Balkhī (d. 322/934), al-Muqaddasī researched and wrote only on the lands under the authority of Islam. His major geographical work Aḥsan al-Taqāsīm fī l-Maʿrifat al-Aqālīm (Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions) draws upon a robust literary genre that emerged in the 9th century, al-masālik wa-l-mamālik ("routes and realms"), but also incorporates scientific and religious principles. Best Divisions includes Al-Muqaddasī’s own experiences and observations after 20 years of traveling across the Abbasid empire and beyond. This passage enumerates the cities across Syria-Palestine by district.

Text

ولحمص سلمية تدمر الخُناصرة كفرطاب اللاذقيَّة جَبَلَة جُبَيل انطرسوس بلنياس حصن الخوابي لجُّون رَفنَيّة جُوسِيَة حماة شيزر وادي بطنان ولدمشق دَارَيَّا بانياس صيدا بيروت عرقة أطرابلس الزبدانىُّ ، وناحية البقاع مدينتها بعلبكُّ ولها كامد عرجموش ولطبريَّة بيسان أذرعات قدس كابل اللَّجُّون عكَّا صور الفراذية وللرملة بيت المقدس بين جبريل غزَّة عسقلان يافة ارسوف قيساريَّة نابلس اريحاء عمَّان. قيساريَّة وباعيناثا وخجندة والدينور ونوقان أو بخمس نواح الصغد والصغانيان ونهاوند وجزيرة ابن عمر وسابور فاختر ما شئتَ منها فإنها مَنَازِه الإسلام، وامَّا الأندلس فيقال انها جنّات ومستفاض جنَّات الدنيا اربع غوطة دمشق ونهر الأبلَّة وروضة الصغد وشعب بوَّان.1

Textual Note

ed. de Goeje 1906

Translation

The district of Ḥimṣ has the cities of Salamiyya, Tadmur, al-Khunāṣira, Kafarṭāb, al-Lādhiqiyya, Jabala, Jubayl, Anṭarsūs, Bulunyās, Ḥuṣnu al-Khawābī, and next to Lajjūn, Rafaniyya, Jūsiya, Ḥamā, Shayzar, and Wādī Buṭnān. The district of Dimashq has the territories of Bāniyās, Ṣaydā, Bayrūt, ʿArqa, Aṭrābulus, and al-Zabadānī. The district of al-Biqāʿ has the city of Baʿlabakk, and the towns of Kāmid and ʿArjamūsh… [The district of al-Urdunn] has the capital of Ṭabariyya, and has Baysān, Adhriʿāt, Qadas, Kābul, al-Lajjūn, ʿAkkā, Ṣūr, and al-Farādhiyya. [The district of Palestine] has the capital al-Ramla, and the towns of Bayt al-Muqadis, Bayt Jibrīl, Ghazza, ʿAsqalān, Yāffa, Arsūf, Qaysāriyya, Nāblus, Arīḥāʾ, and ʿAmmān.Qaysāriyya, Bāʿaynāthā, Khujanda, Dīnawar, and Nūqān—or five districts—Ṣughd, Ṣaghāniyān, Nahāwand, Jazīrat Ibn ʿUmar, and Sābūr. Choose any of these places, for they are beautiful lands of Islam. As for al-Andalus, one says that it is a paradise. But the abundant paradises of the world are four: the Ghūṭa of Dimashq, the river of Ubulla, the meadows of Ṣughd, and the valley of Bawwān.2

Translation Note

Trans. T. Marashi with ref. to Ranking and Azoo 1906 and Collins 1994

Works Cited

  • 1 Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Muqaddasī, Aḥsan Al-Taqāsīm Fī l-Maʿrifat al-Aqālīm, trans. George S. A. Ranking and R. J. Azoo, Bibliotheca Indica 137 (Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1906), p: 54.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Muqaddasī, Aḥsan Al-Taqāsīm Fī l-Maʿrifat al-Aqālīm, trans. George S. A. Ranking and R. J. Azoo, Bibliotheca Indica 137 (Calcutta: Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1906), p: 95.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Additional Bibliography

  • Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Muqaddasī, The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions: A Translation of Aḥsan al-Taqāsīm Fī l-Maʿrifat al-Aqālīm, trans. Basil Anthony Collins (Reading: Garnet Publishing, 1994), p: 132.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Copyright and License for Reuse

Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License.

How to Cite This Entry

Joseph L. Rife et al., “Al-Muqaddasī, Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions 54,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, last modified September 30, 2022, https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/394.

Bibliography:

Joseph L. Rife et al., “Al-Muqaddasī, Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions 54.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman and David A. Michelson., edited by Joseph L. Rife et al.. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2022. Entry published September 30, 2022. https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/394.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Al-Muqaddasī, Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions 54

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman, and David A. Michelson, editors, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson and William L. Potter, technical editors, “Al-Muqaddasī, Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions 54
  • Joseph L. Rife and Taryn Marashi, entry contributors, “Al-Muqaddasī, Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions 54

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by Joseph L. Rife
  • URNs and other metadata added by Joseph L. Rife
  • Electronic text added by Taryn Marashi
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
Show full citation information...