Anonymous Suwar al-Aqalim

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[p. 524]

ANONYMOUS

(before 1358 A.D.)

"Ṣuwar al-aqālīm", a geographical treatise, in Persian, written for Prince Mubarizuddin (d. 1358 A.D.).

MS.: Paris, Bibl.Nat., MS Pers. 666 (Suppl. pers. 364) of 1596 A.D. Exc.: MC 1256 v.

T.: MC P:1


...The Nile flows through lands burnt by the sun, full of ashes, part of which it carries away. This is the reason why its water is so dark and is called "Nīl", which means "indigo".[1] (Paris MS, fol. 18 r-v; MC 1256 v).

... South of these regions [bordering on the Sea of Maghreb] there is a town called Nūbah[2], which is a famous town in the western regions. To the south of Nūbah dwell a people called Lamlam, who are totally black and live like animals; they are bad and eat men. Men and women go naked. The distance between the Nūba and the Lamlam is more than seventy parasangs. (Paris MS, fol. 34 r-v; MC 1256 v).

  1. Indigo ("Indigofera argentea"; Arabic: "Nilah" or "nīlī") was found in plenty on the Nile banks in Egypt and the Sudan in the past.
  2. This "Nūbah" is a town in Ifrīqiya.