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al-Yaʿqūbī, Book of Lands 115-116

   https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/395

Context

Aḥmad b. Isḥāq (Abī Yaʿqūb) bin Jaʿfar bin Wahb bin Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī (died Egypt, ca. 284 AH/897 CE), or al-Yaʿqūbī, was a Arab historian and geographer of the 9th century who wrote Tāʾrīkh Ibn Wāḍiḥ (History of Ibn Wāḍiḥ) and Kitāb al-Buldān (Book of Lands). While much of his early life is difficult to reconstruct, we know that he traveled across the Levant and wrote down his experiences and encounters with various local communities. Under the patronage of Ṭāhirid governors in Khurasan, al-Yaʿqūbī reportedly wrote his history and compiled his geographic text after his tenure. In Book of Lands, al-Yaʿqūbī refers to Caesarea in the section on the military districts of Palestine.

Text

جند فلسطين: ومن جند الاردّن الى جند فلسطين ثلث مراحل ومدينة فلسطين القديمة كانت مدينة يقال لها لدّ فلما ولى سليمان ابن عبد الملك الخلافة ابتنى مدينة فلسطين ولها نهر صغير منه شرب اهلها ونهر ابى فُطْتُس منها على اثنى عشر ميلًا وشرب اهل الرملة ايضاء من ماء الابار ومن صهاريج يجرى فيها ماء المطر واهل المدينة اخلاط من الناس من العرب والعجم وذِمّتُها سامرة، ولفلسطين من الكور كورة ايلياء وهى بيت المقدّس وبها اثار الانبياء عليهم السلام وكورة لدّ ومدينتها قايمة بحالها الا انّها خراب وعمواس ونابُلُس وهي مدينة قديمة فيها الجبلان المقدّسان وتحت المدينة مدينة منقورة في حجر وبها اخلاط من العرب والعجم والسامرة وسَبَسْطية وهي مضافة الى نابلس وقَيسارية وهي مدينة على ساحل البحر كانت من امنع مدن فلسطين وهي اخر ما افتتح من مدن البلد افتتحها معوية بن ابى سفيان في خلافة عمر بن الخظّاب ويُبنا وهي مدينة قديمة على قلعة وهي التي يُروى ان أُسامَة بن زيد قال امرنى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلّم لمّا وجّهنى فقال أَعدْ على يُبْنَا صباحًا ثم حَرِق واهل هذه المدينة قوم من السامرة ويافا وهي على ساحل البحر اليها ينفر اهل الرملة وكورة بيت جِبْرِين وهي مدينة قديمة واهلها قوم من جُذام وبها البُحَيْرة الميّتة التي تخرج الحُمَرَة وهي المُوِميا ومدينة عَسْقلان على ساحل البحر ومدينة غَزّة على ساحل البحر وهي راس الاقليم الثالث وبها قبر هاشم بن عبد مناف واهل جند فلسطين اخلاط من العرب من لَخْم وجُذام وعاملة وكندة وقيس وكنانة، افتتحت ارض فلسطين سنة ستّ عشرة بعد طول محاصرة حتّى خرج عمر بن الخطّاب فصالح اهل كورة ايلياء وهي بيت المقدّس وقالوا لا نصالح الّا الخليفة فسار اليهم حتّى صالحهم وافتتحت اكثر كور فلسطين خَلَا قيسارية فخلّف عليها ابو عبيدة بن الجرّاح معوية بن ابى سفين فافتتحها سنة ثمان عشرة، ومبلغ خراج جند فلسطين مع ما صار في الضياع يبلغ ثلثمائة الف دينار. ومَنْ اراد ان يسلك من الشام على فلسطين الى مكة سلك جبالا خَشِنَة حزنةً حتّى يصير الى أيْلَة ثم ال مَدْيَن ثم يستمّر به الطريق مع اهل مصر والمغرب.1

Textual Note

ed. Juynboll and de Goeje 1892

Translation

Section on the military district of Palestine: From the military units of Jordan to the military units of Palestine is three stages. The old city of Palestine was a city called Ludd. When Sulaymān ibn ʿAbd al-Mālik became caliph, he erected the city of al-Ramla; he destroyed the city of Ludd and relocated its inhabitants to al-Ramla. Al-Ramla is the main city of Palestine. It has a small river from which locals drink, and the river Abū Fuṭris is 12 miles away. The inhabitants of al-Ramla also drink from well water and from cisterns containing rainwater. The people of the city are a mixture of Arabs and non-Arabs, and its non-Muslims are Samaritans. Palestine has these districts: Īlyā, which is Jerusalem, and in it are the monuments of the prophets (God’s peace be upon them); Ludd, which is an old city with its original condition, except that it is in ruins; ʿAmwās; Nāblus, which is an old city and the site of two holy mountains, under which is a city carved of stone. Its people are a mixture of Arabs, non-Arabs, and Samaritans; Sebasṭiyya, which is connected to Nāblus; Qaysāriyya which is a city on the shore of the Sea. It was one of the most fortified cities of Palestine, and it was the last of the cities erected. Muʿāwiya ibn Abī Sufyān established it during the caliphate of ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb; Yubnā, which is an old city, lies on a hill. It is this city where it is narrated that Usāma bin Zayd said, “The Messenger of God—God’s blessing and peace upon him—commanded me, and turned to me saying, ‘Hasten to Yubnā in the morning, and then burn it down.’ The city’s inhabitants are a group of Samaritans. Also Jaffa, which is on the coast of the Mediterranean, which the people of al-Ramla use as a port. Bayt Jibrīn is an old city, and its inhabitants are people from Judhām, and near it is the Dead Sea, from which al-ḥumara, i.e. bitumen, is extracted. The city of ʿAsqalān is on the coast of the Mediterranean; the city of Gaza is on the coast of the Mediterranean, and it is part of the third clime, and contains the tomb of Ḥāshim bin ʿAbd Manāf. The members of the Palestine military districts are a mixture of Arabs from Lakham, Judhām, ʿĀmila, Kinda, Qays, and Kināna. The land of Palestine was created in the year 16 AH after a lengthy siege, until ʿUmar bin al-Khaṭṭāb left and granted a treaty to the inhabitants of the district of Īlyā, which is in Bayt al-Maqdis. They said, “We will not agree to a treaty except with the caliph himself.” So he went to them until he made peace with them. He erected most of the districts of Palestine except for Qaysāriyya. Abū ʿUbayda bin al-Jarrāḥ made Muʿāwiya bin Abī Sufyān his deputy over them, and he erected the city in the year 18 AH. The amount of land tax of the military district of Palestine, with what came from the land estates, amounts to 300,000 dinars. Whoever wants to travel from al-Shām by way of Palestine to Mecca travels along a rugged, crude mountain area until he reaches Ayla and then Maydan. He then continues on the road to the inhabitants of Egypt and North Africa.2

Translation Note

Trans. T. Marashi with ref. to Gordon et al. 2018


Works Cited

  • 1 Aḥmad b. Abī Yaʻqūb Al-Yaʻqūbī, Kitāb al-buldān, ed. Abraham Wilhelm Theodorus Juynboll and Michael Jan de Goeje, Bibliotheca geographorum arabicorum 7 (Leiden: Brill, 1892), section: 117-118, p: 37.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 Aḥmad b. Abī Yaʻqūb Al-Yaʻqūbī, The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ Al-Yaʿqūbī 1: An English Translation, ed. Matthew Gordon et al., Islamic History and Civilization (Leiden & Boston: Brill, 2018), section: 117-118.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-Yaʿqūbī, Book of Lands 115-116,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, last modified September 30, 2022, https://caesarea-maritima.org/testimonia/395.

Bibliography:

Joseph L. Rife et al., “al-Yaʿqūbī, Book of Lands 115-116.” 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/395.

About this Entry

Entry Title: al-Yaʿqūbī, Book of Lands 115-116

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-Yaʿqūbī, Book of Lands 115-116
  • Joseph L. Rife and Taryn Marashi, entry contributors, “al-Yaʿqūbī, Book of Lands 115-116

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
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