1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Muḳaddasi

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[ 958 ]

MUḲADDASI[1] [the appellation of Shams ad Din Abu Abdallah Mahommed ibn Ahmad] (fl. 967-985), Arabian traveller, author of a Description of the Lands of Islam which is the most original and among the most important of Arabic geographies of the middle ages. His family name was Al Bashari. His paternal grandfather was an architect who constructed many public works in Palestine, especially at Acre, and his mother's family was opulent. His maternal grandfather, a man of artistic and literary tastes, migrated to Jerusalem from Jurjan province in Persia, near the frontier of Khorasan. His descriptions rest on extensive travels through a long series of years. His first pilgrimage was made at the age of twenty (in A.H. 356 = A.D. 967), but his book was not published till A.H. 375 (A.D. 985-986), when he was forty years old.

The two MSS. (at Berlin and Constantinople) represent a later recension (A.H. 378). The book became known in Europe through the copy brought from India by Sprenger, and was edited by Professor M. J. de Goeje as the third part of his Bibliotheca Ceographorum Arabicorum (Leiden, 1877). See also the English translation (unfinished) by G. S. A. Ranking and R. F. Azoo, in Bibliotheca Indica, New Series, Nos. 899, 952, 1001 (Bengal Asiatic Society, 1897-1901); Muķaddasi's Syrian chapter has been separately translated and edited in English by Guy le Strange (London, Palestine Pilgrims Text Society, 1886); in German by J. Gildemeister in Zeitschrift des deutschen Palästina-Vereins, vol. vii. (1884).


  1. Al Muḳaddasi = “the Jerusalemite.”