Kitab al Aqualim [Book of Routes and Regions]

Kitab al Aqualim. Book of Routes made in the 13th century, describing the regions and routes of the Islamic world. This work is based upon the 10th century writings of Ibrahim Al-Istakhri, a scholar who travelled and collated information from other travellers and traders of the period. The National Maritime Museum’s copy preserves the majority of maps with full colours.

The work divides the the Islamic world into 20 regions/kingdoms (aqalim): Bilad Al-‘Arab (Arabia); Bahr Fars (Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf); Maghrib (North Africa west of Egypt and Spain); Misr (Egypt); Al-Shom (The Levant); Bahr Al Run (The Mediterranean); Al-Jazird (North Iraq); Iraq; Khuzistan; Fars (Iran); Kirman (Kerman); Sind (Indus Valley and India); Armenia, Al Run and Adherbayjan; Al-‘ibal (North Iran); Daylam, Tabaristan and Jurgan (South of the Caspian Sea); Bahr Al-Khazar (Caspian Sea); The Desert; Sijistan (South Afghanistan); Kurasan (Afghanistan); Ma wara Al-Nahr (North Afghanistan and north of Afghanistan). It then gives names and details of the major cities starting with the capital; indicates the size, position and importance of each of them; discusses the characteristics of the local population; details the exports of the region; details the routes connecting the cities.

Leather bound; ‘The Book of Kings and their administration, 1300' on spine; pages repaired with Bodleian handmade mould paper; 139 pages; 17 maps. Ownership inscription dates the volume before 1282. Iranian customs export stamp dated 1935.

Object Details

ID: P/3
Collection: Charts and maps
Type: manuscript
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Istakhri, Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al
Date made: 13c; before 1282
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Parts: Atlases, Maps And Plans (manuscript)
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