Buzurg b. Sahriyar

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[pp. 143-144]


(after 953 A.D.)

A sea captain who wrote a description of the Indian archipelago from sailors' stories.

Brockelmann SI, p. 409f; EI (s.v.)

K. 'ajā'ib al-Hind

Ed.: P.A. van der Lith, Livre des merveilles de l'Inde, Leiden 1883-1886, Cairo 1326A (1908 A.D.).

Engl, translation: P. Quennal, London 1928

T.: MC 624 (Lith) A:1

As I entered Miṣr, on seeing that great river with [fresh] water which they call 'Nile', I asked: 'Where does it come from?' They said: 'Its sources are in a country belonging to the Zanj.' I asked: 'From what direction?’ They said: 'From a great town called Aswān, [p. 144] which lies on the borders of the land of the Blacks (as-sūdān). Then, I followed the bank of the Nile upstream, going from a district to the next one. I begged my food from the natives, who always gave me something. This became my habit. At last, I fell among a people of Blacks who ill-treated me, put me in irons and forced me to carry burdens heavier than what I could take. I ran away until I arrived among a people who seized and sold me. Again I escaped and continued doing so from the time of my departure from Miṣr until I arrived at a certain place near the country of the Zanj. There I disguised myself and hid. ... At last I reached the coast and took a vessel (markab) sailing to a country so and so. There I embarked again for another place: during the night the vessel put me (ramā-nī) ashore in my own country.<ref>For trade and customs on the East African Coast, see: Ar. Ist. I, pp. 191-204, where the full story of the Sofala King is given.</ref> (Le Livre des Merveilles, pp. 57 - 58).