Ibn al-Khordadhbeh

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[pp. 68-69]


(about 885 A.D.)

'Ubaydalla b. Alī b. Abū-l-Qāsim al-Khordādhbeh (al-Khorradadhbeh), a Persian who was appointed director of the post in the Jibāl (Media) province.

Kitāb al-masālik wa-l-mamālik

Brockelmann 1, 225 f; EI (s.v.)

Ed.: De Goeje, BGA 6, Leiden 1889; C. Barbier de Meynard, Le Livre des routes et des provinces, Paris 1865, with French translation.

T.: Barbier de Meynard A:1

Titles of the Kings of the world ... The king of the Nubians (an-Nūba) is called "Kāmīl", (var. Kābīl), the king of the Abyssinians (al-Ḥabash) is called "Najāshī''. (BGA 6, p. 17).

The slaves who come from across the Western Sea are from Sicily (al-khudam as-siqillīyyūn), from the country of the Blacks (Sūdān), young men from the Rūm (al-ghilmān min ar-Rūm) and Spanish girls (al-jawārī al-andalusīyyāt). (p. 81).

[In the land] above Egypt there are the Nūba, the Buja and the Ḥabasha. 'Uthmān b. 'Affān made peace (sālaḥ) with the Nūba against [the delivery of] 400 slaves per year. (p. 83).

Whosoever enters the country of the Zanj will surely be killed (yujazzab). (p. 170).

"The Nile flows out of Jibāl al Qamar towards the countries lying north of the equator, traverses Nubia and enters Egypt." (p. 176).

[p. 69] The editor added the following note (BGA 6, p. 92):

In a Bodleian MS which contains Ibn Ḥawqal's work, a few pages are to be found (p. 283 ff) which seem to belong to Ibn Khordādhbeh. They are introduced by the following note written by a different hand from that of the MS.:

The peoples who settled along the Nile are children (wūld) of Ham, viz. the Blacks (Sūdān), the Barbar and the Copts (aqbāṭ) of Egypt. The latest nation (ākhir umma) among those who settled along the Nile is al-Qibṭ. The Nile flows from the country of the Nūba (bilād an-Nūba) and ends in the Green Sea (al-baḥr al-akhḍar).

No other nation (umma) dwells along the Nile than [those who are] enemies to Islam. An exception to these are the Qibt and the Nūba. Between them [Muslims and Nūba] there is a peace agreement (muwādi'a) stipulated by ‘Uthmān b. 'Affān, when he sent 'Uqba b. Nāfi' to Nubia.

The muslim horsemen, led by him, entered Nubia, but were met by the "pupil-smiters", and many [Muslims] lost their eyes.

When 'Abdalla b. Sa'd became wālī of Egypt, he made a peace-treaty with them on the agreement that they should deliver three-hundred slaves (ra’s), as a present (hadiyya), not as jizya or as a tribute (kharāj), and should receive from the Muslims goods of equal value. They have giraffes, of which they make presents to the Caliphs. (BGA 6, p. 92).