Giovanni Vantini's Oriental Sources Concerning Nubia

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by G. Ruffini, R. Seignobos, A. Simmons (last update 02/03/2015) for this site's Source Book:


Father Giovanni Vantini FSCJ's Oriental Sources Concerning Nubia (1975), published as a field-manual for archaeologists of medieval Nubia, has long been a standard reference guide in Nubian studies. With the permission of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Missionari Comboniani del Cuore di Gesu, we present excerpts from this monumental collection.

Note that Vantini’s original corrigenda and addenda to these texts have been incorporated along with further standardisation of spellings and diacritics. The use of brackets have been standardised so that round brackets are used for translations and square brackets include additional information. Scholars of Nubian studies are aware of the acute need to revisit the editions and translations of the literary sources in Vantini's collection, and are invited to use the Medieval Nubia wiki as a forum for discussing these issues. Some mistakes may still remain and notifications of such to the administrators of the website are most welcome.

The entries already including bibliographic updates and remarks are marked with an asterisk.


Preface by the Editors [pp. vi-vii]

Introduction [pp. viii-xi]

Acknowledgements [pp. xii-xiii]

Abbreviations [pp. xiv-xviii]


The Sources:

Cosmas Indicopleustes* (547 A.D.) [pp. 1-3]

Skariphos (about 555 A.D.) [p. 3-4]

Malalas* (about 570-580 A.D.) [pp. 4-6]

John of Ephesus (about 580 A.D.) [pp. 6-26]

John of Biclar* (born 540 A.D.) [pp. 27-28]

Ecclesiastical Hierarchy in Africa (650-700 A.D.) [p. 28]

Coptic Documents (ca 650-700) [pp. 28-29]

Thronos Alexandrinos (675-703 A.D.) [p. 30]

John of Nikiou (686 A.D.) [pp. 30-35]

Abba Mina (about 700 A.D.) [pp. 36-38]

Jacob of Edessa (d. 708 A.D.) [pp. 39-40]

John the Deacon (about 770 A.D.) [pp. 40-45]

Arab Nicene Canons (700-800 A.D.) [pp. 45-47]

al-Waqidi* (about 790 A.D.) [pp. 47-48]

al-Fazari* (before 800 A.D.) [pp. 49]

David of Beth Rabban (about 800 A.D.) [pp. 49-50]

al-Khuwarezmi* (before 833 A.D.) [pp. 50-52]

al-Farghani (before 861 A.D.) [p. 53]

al-Jahiz (776-869 A.D.) [pp. 53-55]

Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam (d. 871 A.D.) [pp. 56-59]

Eldad Ha-Dani (about 883 A.D.) [pp. 60-64]

Ibn Qutayba ad-Dinawari (about 800 A.D.) [p. 64-67]

Ibn al-Khordadhbeh (about 885 A.D.) [p. 68-69]

al-Ya'qubi (wrote 872-891 A.D.) [pp. 70-79]

al-Baladhuri (d. 892 A.D.) [pp. 79-83]

Kitab Surat al-Ard (before 900 A.D.) [p. 84]

al-Battani (d. 929 A.D.) [pp. 84-85]

Moses Bar Kepha (d. 903 A.D.) [pp. 85-86]

Ibn Roste (d. before 913 A.D.) [pp. 86-88]

Ibn al-Faqih (about 902 A.D.) [pp. 88-92]

as-Sayrafi (about 916 A.D.) [p. 93-94]

Ahmad al-Kufi (d. 926 A.D.) [pp. 94-95]

at-Tabari (d. 923 A.D.) [pp. 95-103]

Abu-l-Faraj Qudama (about 930 A.D.) [pp. 103-107]

Eutychius of Alexandria (d. 940 A.D.) [pp. 107-110]

al-Istakhri (932-950 A.D.) [pp. 111-115]

Suhrab (Ibn Serapion) (before 945 A.D.) [p. 116]

al-Hamdani (d. 945 A.D.) [pp. 117-119]

Mahbub ibn Qustantin/Agapius (before 950 A.D.) [pp. 120-121]

Ishaq ibn al-Husain (about 950 A.D.) [pp. 122-123]

al-Mas'udi (d. 956 A.D.) [pp. 124-143]

Buzurg b. Sahriyar (after 953 A.D.) [pp. 143-144]

Yusuf al-Kindi (d. 971 A.D.) [pp. 144-146]

Abu Nasr Mutahhar al-Maqdisi (about 966 A.D.) [pp. 147-148]

Ibn Hawqal (d. 988 A.D.) [pp. 149-170]

Hudud al-'Alam (983 A.D.) [pp. 170-175]

al-Muqaddasi (d. 985 A.D.) [pp. 175-176]

al-Muhallabi (d. before 996 A.D.) [pp. 177-178]

Ibn Zulaq (before 997 A.D.) [p. 178]

an-Nadim (d. about 998 A.D.) [pp. 178-179]

al-Balawi (about 950 A.D.) [pp. 180-184]

The Constantinople Synaxary (10th cent. A.D.) [pp. 184-186]

"Haismavourk" The Armenian Synaxary of Ter Israel (13th cent. A.D.) [pp. 187-188]

Assaph Hebraeus (9th-11th cent. A.D.) [pp. 188-189]

Severus (Sawirus) (d. about 1000 A.D.) [pp. 189-222]

Ibn Yunus (d. 1009 A.D.) [p. 223]

al-Miskawaih (d. 1030 A.D.) [pp. 224-226]

Avicenna (d. 1037 A.D.) [p. 227]

al-Biruni (d. 1048 A.D.) [pp. 227-232]

Nasir-i Khusraw (about 1050 A.D.) [pp. 232-237]

Ibn Butlan (about 1050 A.D.) [pp. 237-240]

Ibn Ridwan (about 1050 A.D.) [pp. 240-241]

Ibn Hazm (994-1063 A.D.) [p. 241]

al-Bakri (1028-1094 A.D.) [pp. 242-244]

Ibn Sa'id al-Andalusi (1029-1070 A.D.) [pp. 245-247]

Ellath Kul-'Ellan (end of the 11th cent. A.D.) [p. 248]

Coptic Documents of the 10th-12th Century [p. 249]

al-Marwazi (d. after 1120 A.D.) [pp. 250-253]

al-Kharaqi (d. 1138 A.D.) [pp. 253-254]

az-Zamakhshari (d. 1143 A.D.) [p. 254]

al-Zuhri (scr. 1137-1150 A.D.) [pp. 255-263]

al-Idrisi (before 1170 A.D.) [pp. 264-284]

al-Idrisi Abridged (about 1192 A.D.) [pp. 284-285]

Ibn Qalanisi (1073-1160 A.D.) [pp. 285-288]

Abu Hamid al-Andalusi (1080-1166 A.D.) [pp. 288-289]

Abd al-Karim as-Sam'ani (1172 A.D.) [p. 289]

Benjamin of Tudela (about 1173 A.D.) [pp. 290-292]

Ibn Jubayr (1145-1217 A.D.) [pp. 292-297]

Ibn Wasif Shah (d. 1203 A.D.) [pp. 298-300]

Usama Ibn Munqidh (1095-1188 A.D.) [pp. 301-304]

Kitab al-Istibsar (about 1192 A.D.) [pp. 305-306]

al-Isfahani (about 1196 A.D.) [pp. 306-307]

al-Qadi al-Fadil (d. 1199 A.D.) [pp. 307-308]

Michael the Syrian (d. 1199 A.D.) [pp. 308-321]

Coptic Scalae 12th-14th Century [pp. 321-323]

Abu Salih the Armenian (before 1200 A.D.) [pp. 323-340]

al-Harawi (d. 1215 A.D.) [p. 341]

Yaqut ar-Rumi (d. 1229 A.D.) [pp. 341-348]

Ibn al-Athir (1160-1234 A.D.) [pp. 348-363]

al-Marrakushi (d. about 1262 A.D.) [p. 363]

Abu Shama (1202-1267 A.D.) [pp. 364-372]

al-Makin (1205-1273 A.D.) [pp. 372-379]

Nasir al-Din al-Tusi (d. 1273 A.D.) [pp. 380-381]

al-Qazwini (d. 1274 A.D.) [pp. 381-385]

Yahya al-Intaki (d. 1276 A.D.) [pp. 386-389]

Ibn Muyassar (d. 1278 A.D.) [pp. 389-395]

Ibn Khallikan (1211-1281 A.D.) [396-399]

Ibn Sa'id al-Maghribi (1206-1286 A.D.) [pp. 399-416]

Barhebraeus (1226-1286 A.D.) [pp. 416-424]

Ibn Abd az-Zahir (1223-1292 A.D.) [pp. 425-432]

Ibn Wasil (1209-1299 A.D.) [pp. 433-438]

Synaxarium Arabo-Jacobiticum (13th-14th cent. A.D.) [pp. 438-443]

Synaxarium Aethiopicum (14th cent. A.D.) [pp. 443-444]

Ibn al-Ji'ani (14th cent. A.D.) [p. 445]

al-Harrani (about 1295 A.D.) [pp. 445-449]

Yusuf the Egyptian (about 1316 A.D.) [pp. 450-451]

Rukn ad-Din Baybars ad-Dawadari (d. 1325 A.D.) [p. 452]

Ad-Dimishqi (d. 1327 A.D.) [pp. 453-458]

ash-Shirazi (d. 1312 A.D.) [pp. 458-460]

Abu-l-Fida' (1273-1331 A.D.) [pp. 460-467]

an-Nuwayri (d. 1332 A.D.) [pp. 467-492]

Safi ad-Din al-Baghdadi (d. 1338 A.D.) [p. 493]

al-Mufaddal (d. 1358 A.D.) [pp. 494-502]

al-Edfuwi (1286-1347 A.D.) [pp. 502-504]

Zayn ad-Din...al-Wardi (d. 1348 A.D.) [pp. 504-505]

Adh-Dhahabi (1274-1348 A.D.) [pp. 505-506]

al-'Umari (1300-1348 A.D.) [p. 507-516]

Gadla Ewostatewos Acta S.Eustathii (14th cent. A.D.) [pp. 516-518]

Ibn Battuta (1304-1377 A.D.) [pp. 519-523]

Anonymous Suwar al-Aqalim (before 1358 A.D.) [p. 524]

Ibn ash-Shatir (1304-1379 A.D.) [p. 525]

Ibn Duqmaq (d. 1407 A.D.) [pp. 525-528]

Ibn al-Furat (1334-1405 A.D.) [pp. 528-547]

Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406 A.D.) [pp. 547-563]

al-Bakuwi (d. 1413 A.D.) [pp. 563-566]

al-Qalqashandi (d. 1418 A.D.) [pp. 566-584]

Maqrizi (1364-1442 A.D.) [pp. 585-586]

1. al-Khitat [pp. 586-673]

2. as-Suluk [pp. 673-704]

3. al-Bayan [pp. 705-706]

4. al-Muqaffa [pp. 706-722]

5. adh dhahab al-masbuk [p. 723]

Siraj ad-Din... al-Wardi (d. 1457 A.D.) [pp. 723-725]

at-Taghribirdi (1411-1469 A.D.) [pp. 725-740]

Acta Mercuri / Gadla Marqorewos (15th cent. A.D.) [pp. 741-743]

as-Suyuti (d. 1505 A.D.) [pp. 743-744]

David Reubeni (d. 1535 A.D.) [pp. 745-757]

Ibn Abd as-Salam al-Manufi (d. 1525 A.D.) [pp. 758-771]

Ibn Iyas (1448-1542 A.D.) [pp. 772-774]

Leo Africanus (about 1526 A.D.) [pp. 775-783]

Tabaqat Dayfallah (about 1700 A.D.) [pp. 784-785]

The Fung Chronicle (final redaction about 1870 A.D.) [pp. 786-796]