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The conquests and settlements of the Arabs iu the south of Europe may be ranked among 
the events best calculated to engage our curiosity and attention. The followers of Mo- 
hammed, whether considered as the enthusiastic warriors whose victorious arms spread terror 
and consternation over our continent, or as the cultivated race who led the way for us 
in the career of letters and civilisation, are certainly entitled to a prominent place in the 
annals of modern Europe. That part of their history especially which relates to the occupa- 
tion of the Spanish Peninsula merits a careful investigation. It was from Spain that issued 
those dreaded expeditions which threatened more than once the liberties of Europe; in Spain 
shone the first rays of that civilisation which subsequently illumined the whole of the 
Christian world; in the Arab schools of Cordova and Toledo were gathered, and carefully 
preserved for us, the dying embers of Greek learning; and it is to Arab sagacity and 
industry that we owe the discovery or dissemination of many of the most useful and 

important modern inventions. 

However palpable and undeniable these facts may now appear, it was long before men of 
letters in Europe conld be brought to admit them ; and the Arabs, instead of being com- 
mended to the gratitude of modern ages, as they assuredly deserved to be, have been often 
charoed with corrupting the Infancy of modern literature. In no country of Europe, perhaps, 
were" the pernicious effects of this unjust accusation so sensibly felt as in Spain, once the 
seat of their glory, and the country which participated most largely in the benefits of their 
civilisation. Mariana, and the best Spanish historians, actuated either by violent national 
hatred, or by a spirit of religious bigotry, have always manifested the greatest contempt 
for the writings of the Arabs, ^vhom they frequently stigmatise as " a ruthless warlike 
" nation, hostile to science and polite literature." Kejecting the means of research af- 
forded them by the abundant historical records of the Arabs, as well as the advantages 

* * * 


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VIU THE translator's PREFACE. 

likely to result from a comparison between the Christian and Mohammedan accounts of 
the same events, they compiled their histories chiefly from one-sided national authorities ; 
andj without attending to the successive revolutions of the Arab states, their internal wars, 
divisions, and numerous dynasties,— without stopping to consider their social condition, 
or to inquire into the causes of the rise and fall of their power, — topics all so closely 
allied with the subject they had in hand, — those historians proceeded on their course wholly 
unmoved by the vicissitudes of the Mohammedan kingdoms, and as if not deigning even to 
cast a glance on the enemies of their country and religion. The effects of such illiberahty 
on their \mtings need scarcely be pointed out. The history of Spain during the middle 
ages has been, — and still is, notwithstanding the labours of modern critics, — a tissue 
of fable and contradiction. What else could be expected from authors who confidently 
beheved and blindly copied in their writings the wretched production of the Morisco Miguel 
* de Luna, whose work,' it might be plausibly argued, was intended rather as a hoax upon the 
grave inquisitors at whose command it was written, than as a history of the Spanish 
Moslems; inasmuch as his ignorance of the language of his ancestors, — sufficiently evinced 
in the etymologies interspersed throughout his work, — cannot adequately account for his 
not knowing that Ya-'kiib Al-mansiir, in whose time he places the invasion of Spain, lived 
five centuries after that event ! 

It would, however, be unfair to attribute the neglect above complained of solely to the 
bigotry— real or affected— of authors othenvise commendable for their criticism or their 
learning. The real cause of it must be sought for in the superstition and intolerance of the 
Spanish Government. No attempt was made at any time to repair the awful injury inflicted 
on literature in general, and, above all, on the history and antiquities of the Spanish Peninsula, 
by the barbarous decree of Cardinal Xiraenez, who caused eighty thousand Arabic volumes ^ 

' Historia verdadera del Rev Don Rodrigo, con la perdida de Espana y la conquista que della hizo 
Mirammolin iUman^or, Rey que fue del Africa, y de las Arabias, y vida del Rev lacob Alman^or. 
Compuesta por el, Sabio Alcayde Ahulcacim Tarif Ahentarique, de nadon Arahe. Nuevamente traduzida 
de la lengiia Arabiga por Miguel de Luna vezino de Granada. Interprete del Rey Don Felipe nuestro 
Senor. Granada, 1592. This work was reprinted in Granada, 1600; Zaragoza, 1603; Valencia, 1606 
and 1646 ; Madrid, 1653, 1654, and 1675. No better illustration can be given of the utter contempt in 
which t!ie study of Arabic literatm-e was held in Spain during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, 
than the fact that this wretched production should have gone through so many editions, whilst the 
"Historia Arabum '* of Rodericus Toletanus, an invaluable treasure of Spanish history, was never 
pi-inted but out of that country. 

^ According to Robles, who wrote a hfe of Cardinal Xiraenez, the number of volumes consumed in this 
literary auto de fd, was one million and five thousand,— no doubt a monstrous exaggeration of that writer, 
who thought thereby to increase the merits of his hero ! Kehel, de los Moriscos, p. 104. 

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THE translator's PREFACE. ix 

to be burnt in the public squares of Granada, on the pretence that they contained doctrines 
adverse to the diffusion of the Gospel among the vanquished people : on the contrary, the 
works' still remaining in the hands of the Moriscos were eagerly sought out and committed 
to the flames. The Arabic language was anathematized as " the rude language of an heretical 
"and proscribed race/' unworthy of being learned by a Christian, unless for theological 
purposes ; and the few works that escaped the general destruction remained in the hands 
of ignorant priests, the only persons deemed capable of perusing them without danger of 


However, towards the latter half of the last century, the Spanish Government, stimulated 
by the example of other nations, and actuated by a more hberal pohcy, began at last to 
encourage the study of Arabic literature. The fire which broke out in the Escurial, and 
which is said to have consumed more than three-fourths of the magnificent collection of 
Eastern manuscripts therein contained, roused the Spanish Government from its lethargy, and 
the task of making a catalogue of the remaining manuscripts was intrusted to the learned 
Casiri. His " Bibliotheca Arabico-Hispana Escurialensis," which appeared in the years 
1760-70, bears traces of great assiduity and labour, and, considering the time in which it 


was written, displays considerable learning. It is, however, hasty and superficial, and 

I " 

contains frequent unaccountable blunders. The historical extracts given in the second ; 
volume are for the most part incorrectly printed, and the version is far from being either 


accurate or faithful, Yet^ with all its imperfections^ Casiri^s work must ever be valuable 
as aifording palpable proof of the literary cultivation of the Spanish Arabs, and as containing^ 
the first glimpses of historical truth, afterwards so successfully developed in the work of the 
Jesuit Masdeu.3 Nearly contemporary with Casiri lived Don Faustino de Borbon,^ an author 

3 Historia critica de Bspana, Madrid, 1783-1800. Twenty vols. 4to. 

^ Great obscurity hangs over the family and the name of this writer. He was born at Madrid in 1 755 
or thereabouts, and was reputed to be the natural son of the Infante Don Gabriel, brother of Charles III., 
then the reigning monaTch. He nevertheless passed as the son of a Maltese gentleman who filled the 
office of Eastern interpreter to the Government. His printed works bear the name of ' Faustino de 
Borbon,' or the initials * F. de B. ; ' but in other productions of his pen, which are preserved in manuscript 
in the library of the British Museum, he styles himself ' Bon Faustino Juan Nepomuceno de Borbon, 
Vandoma, Guzman, vulgo Muscat.' He wrote the following works: i. Algunos puntos btblicos para la 
inteligenda d^ varios lugares del viejo testamento. Mad, 1794.— ii- Cartas para ilustrar la historia de la 
E^pam Arahe^ ib, 1796. — iii- Discursos 6 preliminares CronoUgicos para ilustrar la historia de la ^spun& 
Arabe, ib, 1797, The following have not been printed: iv. Diaciomrio topogrdfico de la E^mu 
Arabe, 5 vols. 4to. — v. Demostraciones CronoUgicas, 5 vols, 4to. — vi. Dicciomrio topogrdfico M Prin" 
cipado de Asturias, — vii- Topografia de las Asturias de Liebana hasta la raya de Vizcaya. — viir, Topografia 


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THE translator's PREFACE. 

who seems to have passed most of his life in the Escurial Library, with a view to the 
illustration of the history of his native country during its occupation by the Moslems, 
but whose works are little known, and, from circumstances not easily explained, have 
become "exceedingly scarce. His Curias para ilusfrar la kisforia de Espana, — the only 
Jjroduction of his pen which I have been able to obtain, — were printed at Madrid in 1796, 
in monthly parts. They relate to a period of Spanish history which is, of all others, the 
inost important, namely, from the insurrection in the mountains of the Asturias to the 
death of Pelayo in 727- The author has shown vast erudition and learning in the historical 
aiitiquities of his country, and occasionally displayed great sagacity in the unravelling of tlie 
historical difficulties in which he found himself entangled at every step ; but he was evidently 
fto critic, and, whilst defending with great ardour untenable historical points, he often 
indulged unnecessarily in the wildest speculations, as I shall have occasion to show in the 

Aotes to this volume. 

: Theii came Don Jose Antonio Conde, to whom literary Europe is indebted for the 

only complete history of the Spanish Moslems drawn entirely from Arabian sources, — an 


aptiiojr whose name cannot be mentioned otherwise than respectfully by those whOj Hke 
" ioei follow in his steps. But^ popular as his work may have been, — and may still be^ 
tvith a certain class of readers, — there can be no doubt that it is far from fulfilling the 
expectations of the scholar; and competent judges have lately put it on a level with that 
of Cardonne, a French writer by no means Conde's equal in learning or literary accom- 
phshments. Disparaging as this judgment may appear on a work which has been the 
foundation of all our knowledge on the history of Mohammedan Spain^ it is, nevertheless, 
in some manner justified by the uncouth arrangement of the materials, the entire want of 
-' critical or explanatory notes, the unaccountable neglect to cite authorities, the numerous re- 
petitions, blunders, and contradictions. But the defects of Conde's work will be more clearly 
perceived, as well as more readily excused, if we first form an idea of the materials used in its 
composition. By some strange fatality, the hbrary of the Escurial, though rich in works 
valuable for their antiquity or their contents, is yet particularly deficient in the very depart- 

de hs: Prbvincias de Leon, Vierzo, VaUadolid, Zamora y Toro. — ix. Diccionano topogrdfico de las Pro- 
vincias de Valladolid, Toro, Zamora, Segovia, Avila y parte de la de Salamanca d medio dia del Duero, — 
X. Diccionario topogrdfico de Vizcaya, 'Alava, Guipuzcoa, Toro, Merindades de Costilla, Palencia y Partidos 
de Carrion. — xx, A Spanish translation of the life of Salddin by Boh&u-d-dln, All these MSS., with the 
■ "0 exception of the first-mentioned, which is in the Bodletan Library, (Caps. Or, C. 19-24,) and of the last, 
4^^.^^v ■■ V^5 v^^^^ i have seen at Madrid m private hands, are now preserved in the library of the British Museum, 

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THE translator's PREFACE 



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ment which ought to have constituted its chief treasure, namely, the history and geography 
of the Peninsula during its occupation by the Moslems. The reason for this deficiency ^is ; 
obvious enough : the coUection of Eastern manuscripts now in the Escurial is not theresiiltj 
as elsewhere, of the constant solicitude of an .enlightened Government, but the mere work ef 
accident; and had not two Spanish galleys, while cruising in the Mediterjaneaii, captured .' 
three Moorish vessels having on board an extensive collection of books belonging;: to Ml^l^|;;, 
Zidan, Emperor of Morocco, it may be presumed that the Libraries of Spain would.not;^iio?y, 
contain a single Arabic manuscript; for, whilst those of Paris, Vienna, and Leydeh, whieh 
scarcely counted a few volumes at the beginning of the last century, have increased their 
stocks to a number double and treble that of the Escurial, the Government of Spain has made 
no effort to augment that rich but dUapidated collection. The few works of any historical 
value which exist in that Library are Biographical Dictionaries,— a favourite .branch, of. 
literature with the Arabs,— where the genealogy, the year of the birth and ;deatb> *he 
masters and pupils, of the individual . panegyrized, together with a list;of his.Wfitirigs^ :?: ; 
some extracts from his verses, are given at full length, while those important hist«)^.3d^V^^ 
with which he may have been connected are dispatched in a few; words.. Tf the individuaV ;^;.. 
moreover, happen not to be a poet, or a patron of literature, whatever his militaryii;aleilt$K; : 
may have been, or however important the transactions m which he was engaged, he is takp ..r ^ 

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no notice of. 

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From such rough materials Conde's work is chiefly composed, and with th^:exGe^^9i|:pJ 
of the second vohime,-which is an unfaithful and rambling yei^on of >^ 
the remainder is but a confused mass of biographical articles borro\ved frQm:i^^gpi:;f^§p>^ 
and joined together without the least regard to the age or style of the composition^ The 
incoherence of the narrative, and the numerous blunders resulting from such an assemblage of 
heterogeneous materials, need scarcely be pointed out. Events are frequently related twice 
in quite different moods, and the same individual is made to appear repeatedly on the stage, :. 
under various names.^ If to this it be added that Conde, a victim to mental anxiety an4 

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5 A Portuguese translation of this work by Jos^ Maura has since been published at Lisbon, 1828, .4J6;-.:;-: 

6 The mistakes in Conde's work, though unnoticed- by the generality of its translators Or cdiniiilers|: ; : .; 
must be palpable enough to all those who peruse it with the least attention. The last three ch^terstM ^.^ 
the second volume are repeated, with very slight verbal alteration, m the third; He^Writ^ t6^j^^>^-x 
of Ibr&hJm Ibn Humushk, a celebrated warrior, in six different ways, ^eh Hurtiuaqui (vol. ii;;^^^| -^ 
AbenHemsek(p. S23) ; Aben Hamusek (p. 362) ; Hamasek (p.373) ; and Aben Hamasec<p.|g^^S; ,: 
Ibn Okk^shaK the general of Al-mSmiin, King of Toledo, is also variously c'alled-v-Hari^tp||^^kaKeffi 

(p. 29) ; Hariz Ben Alhakim Ben Alcasha (p. 38) ; Harlz Ben Hakemhen Ok^% (i)v^;^;^d Saentioiied 

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Xii THE translator's PREFACE. 

suffering, was surprised by death in the midst of his labours/— that his unfinished manu- 
script fell into the hands of parties totally unacquainted with the subject, and who increased, 
instead of remedying, the confusion, — that his work has since been terribly mutilated by 
translators- and compilers, who, with very few exceptions, have suffered his most palpable 
mistakes to pass uncorrected,— the reader may form an idea of the degree of confidence due 
to the more modern works on the history of the Spanish Moslems. 

No sooner had I become sufficiently master of the language of the Arabs to be able to 
peruse their historical writings, than I was impressed with the idea that, until these were 
printed in the original with a literal translation, and their narrative compared with those of 
the Christian chroniclers, no great progress^could be made towards the elucidation of Spanish 
history. I imparted my idea to the venerable President of the Royal Academy of History at 
Madrid, who not only agreed with me as to the necessity of such an undertaking, but pointed 
out the manner in which it could be best accomplished, communicating to me, at the same 
time, the plan of a similar project which had once seriously occupied the attention of that 
learned body. An application made by me to the proper quarter met, however, with no 
success, and I was obliged to postpone, if not to rehnquish entirely, my undertaking. It was 
then that I first thought of translating the history of Mohammedan Spain by Ahmed Al- 

in a manner as if these names applied to three distinct persons. Limiting, however, my observations 
to the first volume, — for which alone Conde can be made answerable, since he himself saw it through the 
press, — I can point out many glaring errors. Abii 'A'mir Ahmed Ibn Shoheyd, the celebrated Wizir 
of Abdu-r-rahman IIL, is called at times Ahmed Ibn Sahid (p- 432), at other times Ahmed Ben Said 
(p. 446). The same might be^said of Bahliil, who at p, 223 is represented as in arms against Hisham I., 
and a few pages afterwards, is called Wizir to Al-hakem I. 

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Cpnde haying, like others of his literary friends, espoused the cause of the French during their partial i 

occupation of the Peninsula, ■vras appointed by Joseph Buonaparte chief librarian of the Royal Library of I 

Madrid, which charge he filled as long as the French were in possession of the capital. On the evacua- ' 

tion 0f the Peninsula by the French troops, Conde retired to Paris, where he passed some years in 
arranging the materials he had collected for his history of the Arabs. When his task was completed, 
he returned to Madrid in 1819, intending to give it the last touch and commit his work to the press; 
but, instead of meeting with the protection and assistance to which his arduous undertaking entitled 
him, he was, owing to his political offence, persecuted and oppressed; every possible obstacle was 
thrown in his way by the members of the Government, and, if I am not misinformed, the use of the 
Oriental manuscripts in the Escurial was refused to him. These marks of indifference to his pursuits, 
and animosity towards his person, on the part of his countrymen, and the extreme poverty to which he 
was reduced by the refusal of Government to grant him any portion of the emoluments of his former 

; office, seriously affected the health of Conde, who died in 1820, in a state of almost entire destitution 

r; just as his friends were about to print his work by subscription. 




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THE translator's PREFACE. 

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makkari. I knew that, by command of Charles IV., a copy of that work, made under the 
snperintendenee of the celebrated French orientalists De Sacy and Langles from a manu-: 
script in the Koyal Library at Paris, had been transmitted to Madrid as early as 1816; and 
although Conde, for whose use the transcript was made, had never been able to ascertam to. 
what recess it had been consigned, I still hoped that, by searching the Libraries, I should be, 
able to find it. In this expectation, however, I was likewise fbUed; and notwithstandmg W| 
personal exertions and the most diUgent inquiries, I have not yet been able to discover ^hat 
has become of it. Good fortune procured me at that time the acquaintance of Dr. Frederic 
William Lembke, a Hanoverian gentleman, the author of an excellent history of Spam,' who 
possessed a copy of Al-makkar!, diligently collated by him with those of Gotba and Par.s. 
Having obtained the loan of the manuscript, X transcribed it entirely, and soon after began a 
Spanish translation. This I had nearly completed and illustrated with notes and copious 
extracts from other Arabian manuscripts in the public libraries, or in my own collection^ 
when, in one of my visits to this country, I had the honour of becoming acquainted with . 
the President of the Oriental Translation Fund, who kindly suggested to me the idea of 
offering to the Committee a translation of Al-makkari's work, copies of which were to be 
found in the library of the British Museum. My offer being accepted, I fixed my residence,n 
London, and recommenced the version in English,-a language in which, owing to my famdy ; 
connexions and my long sUy in this country, I am, fortunately.for the accompLshmBut ^r V 

mv wishes, tolerably weU versed. ' / ^ - ' ' : : , ^ J! ;. -, I" ^ ^ 

In undertaking a translation of Al-makkarf's wori., I was well aware that ,la.^e ^xfrjc^j , 
from it had been made by Professor Shakespear from a copy in his possession,-and printed 
in Murphy's History of the Mohammedan Empire in Spain ; that Cardonne and Desguignes 
had known and consulted it, and that Dr. Lembke had also borrowed from it. All this, added 
to several defects of composition to which I shall presently allude, rendered a translation of 
that manuscript less desirable, perhaps, than it would have been under other circumstances, 
especially as several historical pieces of undeniable merit stiU remain untranslated. Yet, 
with aU these disadvantages, I fixed upon Al-makkari's text as being the only one, to my. ; 
knowledge, presentmg a continuous history of the conquests and setdements of the ^o- . -; 
hammedans m Spain, and thus offering a vast field for such illustrations and additions fro^ , r 

s aescMcMe .on Spanien. Hamb. 1831. fomaing part of the hist^<^ f^'^^t^W 
ier EuropUiscl^ Sta.,^. by Heeren ^d Ukert. I have only seen the «-' '■*;'^|«|^^ 
from its conciseness, and the use the author has made of the writings of Nuwayn, Al-^a|kari, and 
Mohammedan Ustorians, promises to be one of the best written histories of theSemrisula,; 


YOL. I. 

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Other historians as I proposed to collect, so as to form a sort of " Critical History of the 

Spanish Arabs." 

The work of Al-makkari is divided into two parts; one relates to the history of Spain, the 

other contains the life of the celebrated historian and Wizir, Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn 

■'Abdillah, better known by the surnames of Ibnu-1-khattib (the son of the preacher), and 

liisanu-d-din (the tongue of religion),— a writer whose works are still highly prized and 

eagerly read by the learned of Fez and Morocco, and who was himself a pupil of Mohammed 

Ibn Mohammed Al-makkari At-telemsani, one of our author's ancestors. As Al-makkari 

himself informs us (see Preface, p. 10), his first intention was merely to write a biography of 

that celebrated individual. This he had compileted, and divided into eight books, in which 

he treated of the Wizir's ancestors and birth, of his youth, education, writings, &c., when the 

thought struck the author that his work might be rendered more interesting, were he to write 

an account of the conquests and settlements of the Moslems in Spain. He then composed the 

historical part, which he likewise divided into eight books. Al-makkarl seems to have met 

at first with considerable difficulties in the execution of his task from the scarcity of historical 

records, having, as he informs us, left the whole of his books in Africa, including a very 

complete history of Spain under the Moslems, on which he had bestowed considerable labour. 

He must, however, have procured books in the East, for he introduces quotations from the best 

authors of Mohammedan Spain,— quotations which, as far as I have been able to ascertain by 

a comparison with the original works cited, are always correct, and show that he must really 

have possessed copies of their writings. Indeed, the work of Al-makkart is entirely composed 

of passages transcribed or abridged from more ancient historians, (the author himself seldom 

Eipeaking in his own words,) and chronologically arranged, so that the title of "Historical 

; -^ifecti^ri^" ^ould perhaps be better suited to it than that of "History." The plan 

MhiwM-by the author is this: when relating a particular event, he either transcribes at 

or abridges the words of a historian; immediately after which he relates it 

agaii in two or three different ways from other sources; thus affording several versions 

' ' of the same event. If to this it be added, that in transcribing the words of a historian 

he frequently makes longer extracts than are necessary, and perhaps quotes three or four 

pages merely to tell us the opinion of that historian respecting a matter that might be 

related in two lines,— that his narrative is continually interrupted by the introduction of 

^ poems and long extracts from rhetorical works nowise connected with his subject,— that 

5 in his historical information he is at times exceedingly difiuse, while he is often as much 

t:lft Jop laconic, relating in few words the most important event, or wasting several pages in 

?^3;;"Sh6 discussion of another of little or no interest, according as his inclinations as an author 


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THE translator's PREFACE. '^ ■- ■ -^W^^^^S 

'■■'./ .■-■■":"-:fe-- 

_ _ r 

-. - 

or the abundance or scarcity of his nnaterials prompted him, and that he but seldom in^ ; 

I - ■ ^ 

troduces critical or explanatory remarks of his own,— the reader wUl form a very mean 
estimate of Al-makltari's qualifications as a historian. : ; 

Yet with all these imperfections, and notwithstanding the defects which he has in common 
with the generality of the Arabian writers and historians; Al-mafclmri: possesses: raatiy ad- ^ 
vantages not easily to be met with in other authors. He gives • an. ;unintertii^fce(l:haiT^tij^ 
of the conquests, wars, and settlements of the Spanish Moslems, from their firStiflfasion 
of the Peninsula to their final expulsion,— which, as far as I am aware, does: not occur 
in any other author : and besides, his mode of writing history, though involving repetitions, 
is in my opinion the best he could have adopted; for, if the historical facts recorded by 
contemporary writers had been garbled and disfigured by a Mohammedan author of the 
seventeenth century, the utility of such a production would have been i 
with its authenticity. As it is, Al-makkari transmits to us a collection o£ higtori^^a est^cts; ;;: 
and fragments relative to the history of Spain, taken from works, tiie titles of .wUich,^^^ 
as tU names of tiieir authors, are in most instances given ; awl tiiuspres^nt^-the Origiji^^xt^^ 

_ \ _ ^ _ _ _ 

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of ancient historians whose writings are now probably lost 
The deficiency m certain periods of his history, occasioned, no doubt, by his; want m^,g^ 

proper materials, is an evil of a more serious natin:e; but to I have attempted tois^§|^p^ 

by inserting, in an Appendix, such fragments from vaiuabk «npt#i^hed:,inaxmsc^^^ 

were calculated to fill the void, while. I have thrown 

additional matter 

by borrowing considerably 

I'have endeavoured, as far as was in my power, to augment the real value of tMs work. 

I now proceed to state what parts of the work I have selected tor translation. From the 
second part, vi.., that treating of the life and writings of the Mohammed Ibnu- 

1-khattib, I have made only a few short extracts rdating to the history of the kmgdom. 

of Granada. Of the first part, however, I have availed myseH in the fallowing manner:. 

Book I., giving a physical and topographical description of Mohammedan Sp^^^ .1 . f*| ;; 

entirely translated, with the exception of various poetical Extracts, .nd some lengthy n,.fe^:, 

or epistles, which, hesides being strewed with difficulties of no ordinary ™ture, ;eor>||^,p 

no historical fact of any importance. Book II., which det^ls the invasion and oon<luest||, 

Spain by ti>e Moslems, I have also translated entirely, a. weU,aa Book^III.,c||gp||| KJ| 

chronological account of the various Mohammedan dynasde. which ruled^^gpg,,:,.,.:^ 

and Book VIII., in which the historieaV narrative is continued till,|||||f Sf®?^ 0* 

the Mohammedans from the Peninsula. Book IV., ,givJRg::A|^^^:W-Wt ^ 

^> n _ ■_ , ( 

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-: H^ 

\ - 

XVi THE translator's PREFACE. 

Cordova^ together with a description of its principal buildings and great mosque, I have 
likewise translated. Of Book V., which contains the lives of illustrious Spanish Moslems 
who travelled to the East in search of knowledge, I have made little or no use, except in 
the Notes. Not so with Book VL, which contains those of eminent Moharamedans who 
left their native towns in the East to settle in Spain; this being perhaps the portion of 
the work which affords the most abundant and valuable information, since it treats of the 
Arabian Amirs who governed Spain in the name of the Eastern Khalifs, — of ^Abdu-r- 
rahman I., the founder of the dynasty of the Beni Umeyyah, — of other illustrious Moslems 
who either commanded armies or filled high offices in the st^te, — in fact, of almost every 
individual of eminence who figured in Spanish history during the first fonr centuries after 
the invasion. Book VII.^ being almost entirely composed of poetical extracts, intended 
as proofs of the extent of genius and wit of the Andalusian poets, I have thought fit to 
suppress, excepting merely a precious fragment on the literature of the Spanish Moslems, 
which occupies the fourth and fifth Chapters of Book II. of this translation, and a few 
anecdotes therein related in proof or illustration of the superiority of the Andalusians to 
every other nation. In order to render the translation a little more readable, I have changed 
the order of the Books, and divided the matter into Chapters. I have also suppressed 
repetitions, and inverted in a few instances the order of the narrative, which I found fre- 
quently arranged without the least regard to chronology. 

The copies of Al-makkan^s work which I have used for this translation are the following : 
I. A large folio volume^ of upwards of 1200 pages, written in the neskhi character, 
upon thin glazed paper of Eastern manufacture. The hand-writing is extremely hand- 
some and uniform, but so minute as to render the reading almost painful to the eyes, 
each page containing fifty-one lines. The title-page is tastefully illuminated, and the in- 
t^oductory part of the preface enriched with gold ; each page of the remainder of the 
-mahuscript is enclosed within a thick line of hlue and gold. A note at the end of the 
yolume^ states that the transcript was completed in the night of Friday the 29th day of 
Safar^ A.H. one thousand one hundred and sixty-three (a.d. 1750). The copy is correct^ 

^ I here translate it; — " We terminated the composing and writing of the present work on the 
*' evening of Sunday the 27th of Ramadh^, a,h. one thousand and thirty-eight (a.d. 1629). Praise 
" be given to God, in whom only we place our trust ! May the peace of God be on his servants, those 
" whom he selected! Having, however, after the above was written, thought of adding to our work, 
*' we subsequently made considerable additions, so that the whole was not completed until the last 
'' day of the month of Dhi-1-hajjah, a,h, one thousand and thirty-nine (a,d, 1629), May the blessing 
*^ of God be on our Lord Mohammed, and everlasting salvation be the share of his people and com- 

W^/$'-^^' '^ .;\^^^^^&iiions until the last day of judgment ! " 


■J x-> ^ in 

■i=,. -----^ 

^-. > 

.■;--^i.f.; ■^i_,---'= ■^■. ■■ 




^^ -"k 

THE translator's PREFACE. 


and may in every respect be considered a valuable one. (Bibl. Rich in Brit. Mns., 


No. 7334.) " . 

n. A small folio volume, containing the whole of book the fifth of the first part.- The 

transcript, which from a note at the end appears to have heen executed at TMnis, and_ com- 

pleted on the last day of Jum^da n., a.h. one thousand and ninety-nine (a.d. 1688), is 

fairly written in a small but plain African hand. (Brit. Mus., No. 9593.) :-^ ^^^> /V:; 

III. A small folio volume, containing book the sixth, and the greatest part- of tbe 

seventh, of the first part. The hand-writing, if not the same, is Tery simUar to that of the 

preceding volume. {Brit. Mus., No. 9592.) 

XV. A volume of the same size, but belonging to a different set of the work. It is written 
in the African hand, but so badly as to be in some parts almost illegible; the text, besides, is 
far from being correct. It contains the greatest part of book the seventh, and the whole of 
book the eighth, of the first part; also the first two books of the second part.. ,{Bnt. 

Mus., No. 9594.) 

V The first and second volume of an abridgment of the work made in the.year- 1165,o|,the 
Hijra (first day of DM-1-hajjah), by an author named Sidi Ahmed Ibn >A'mh-Ibn:^Abdi-rr 
rahmaii Ibn 'A'mir Al-jezayri (from Algiers). The transcript, which is not only badly 
witten but incorrect, was completed on Friday the 14th of Jumdda i., a.h. one thousand 
two hundred and five (a,d. 1791). Brit. Mus., Nos. 9591-9595, ■' V 

VI. Besides the above copies in the library of the British Museum, I^ave used,Qjie;o?|iy 
own, taken from Dr. Lembke's manuscript, and since carefully ^coUateavb^^ , me ^^^gfe 
several copies of the work in the Royal Library at Paris, Nos. 704, 705, -758, 759. v: . ;: . 

vir. I likewise possess the first volume, of a work purporting to he an abridgment of 
Al-makkari, made in the year one thousand one hundred and eighty-five (a.d. 1771-2), 

f f 

£ f 


f C 






f c 

Imniediately after this comes the following note by the transcnber of the work. 

-This fair transcript of the work (may the Almighty permit that it meet every where w,thh.s 
Wessin... !) was completed on the night of Friday the 29th of the month of Safar (the good and the 
blessed) one of the months of the year of the Hijra one thousand one hundred and sixty-three 
U D 1750). by the hand of the weakest of the scribes and the dust of the feet of the poor, the Lprd 
b;ahim. son of 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of Ibrahim, son of Ahmed, son f^'''!^^^^:^ 
.nder the surnames of lbn«-l-hakem. Al-hanefi. Al-bakshandi, Al-khalwat. Al-Udn:. Odl^ 
epithets bemg significant of the profession of reUgious opinion. foUowed by ^^f f ^f :^ ^^^^ 
Id this 00^ 1 written under the direction of our master, the Sheikh 'Ab^-I-gh^>,^^; 
nabhsi. in whose company and friendship we lived for sixteen years. tranBcnbing,,^:g^ .;J^ 
profiting by his lessons, at his dwelling in that .^rter of the city of , Dan^cns ji^^^^J^, 
close to the spot known as the Markad Ibni-Warahi" - > 

^'' -■■-■" w^'- 


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4 r 1 

XVIU THE translator's PREFACE- 

by Abii ^Abdi-r-rahman Yusuf Ibn 'Abdi4-nialik Ibn Ibrahim At-telemsam, Unlike most 
abridgments of Arabic worksj the present is made with great judgment and care, and 
that too by a person fully conversant with the subject. Indeed, such as it is^ the work 
cannot be adequately styled an abridgment^ inasmuch as it occasionally contains some ad- 
ditional matter. The author states in the preface^ that happening to have in his possession 
some of the works quoted by Al-makkari, he bethought him of giving the cited passages 
entire whenever it was expedient* He has also in many instances most judiciou>sly changed 
the order of the events recorded^ and suppressed such passages as were repeated. In short, 
he has cleansed and recast, as it were^ the text of Al-makkari; and as this has been done 
with the utmost judgment and criticism, I need scarcely say that in most instances I have 
followed this text in preference to that of the original author^ regretting that I should 
possess only one out of the four volumes of which this valuable rifaccimento seems to have 

been composed.^** 

As I have cited various Arabic works in my notes, I think it proper to apprise the reader 
what: they are, and where they are to be found; but, before I proceed, I must state a fact 
wliich, however painful to my feelings, I feel myself called upon to disclose. Having 
decided oh publishing this work in English, and my arrangements for coming to this country 
having been completed, I felt that unless I could spend some time at the Escurial, and 
ramble amidst the hallowed treasures of its Library, many of the historical points which it 
was my wish to ascertain, and to elucidate in those notes, would remain, for want of proper 
research, as obscure as they were before. I accordingly petitioned the Ministers of Her 
Catholic Majesty for permission to visit that Library; but, strange to say, notwithstanding 
repeated applications on my part, and the interference of persons high both in rank and 
influen6e,f-notwithstanding the utility, not to say necessity, of the work I contemplated, — 
riiy request was, as often' as made, positively denied, professedly on the plea that the 
Library could not be opened, (a contention having, two years before, arisen between the 
Government and the Royal Household as to the possession of it,) but, in reality, from no 

1^ It \70uid have been highly satisfactory to me to have procured a sight of a complete copy of 
Al-inakkari's work, once belonging to Dr. Carlyle, but which is now in the possession of Professor 
Shakespear, who was the first, in 1816, to make that work known to the public, through his valuable 
extracts inserted in Murphy's History of the Mohammedan Empire in Spain. His copy, which seems to 
be a very good one, would have aiforded me additional confirmation in the readings of proper and 
geographical names, an object which the translator of an Eastern work ought always to bear in mind ; 
but I regret to say, that although I applied in time for the loan of it, it has been out of the 'power of 
that gentleman, with whom I am personally acquainted, to gratify my wishes. 

-. ^ 

r ^- 


- - i 



. ..■.■■.- ■■■■--.- .^ :^- vv'" "^i^':^?M<^^4j^^^? 

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_ _. ;^ 

_ ^- ■- "n- - 

>^-_v - * 

■_ ■ ■ - ^-HA^-^-'^ ■ O 

■=^1 - 

^1- - 

THE translator's PREFACE. 


--^ .^H 













^ - 

r - 







-J ^ 


other motive than my having publicly avowed the intention of making use of my materials in 
this country. This remnant of inquisitorial jealousy about its literary treasures ill suits a 
country which has lately seen its archives and monastic libraries reduced to cinders, and 
scattered or sold in foreign markets, without the least struggle to rescue or secure 


Owing to the above reason, my quotations from the MSS. in the Escurial Library will be ; 

scanty, being limited to a few short extracts taken on a former occasion. I have, however, 

availed myself fully of some transcripts from historical works in that Library, which 

the Spanish Government caused to be made at the close of the last century by two 

Maronite Christians, and to be deposited in the Koyal (now National) Library at Madrid. In 

this number are the Silah, by Abd-l-k^sim Khalf Ibn Bashkuwdl ; the Bighyatu-l^ultamis, 

by Adh-dhobi; the milatu-s-seyrd, by Ibnu-1-abbdr ; the Tekmilah liUtdbi-s-ailahy by the 

same, &c. ; a description of which may be read in Casiri {Bib. Ar. IRsp, Esc. vol. ii. pp. 

31-121, 133-140). Of these and other Arabic manuscripts in the same establishment; I ; 

have made a veiy ample use ; and it is but just to add, in contrast to the iUiberality: above^ 

complained of, that I am indebted to it« enlightened and zealous Librarian, Don Joaquin 

Patifio, for the most unreserved perusal of all the valuable works therein contained. 

I need not dwell on the statement, thitt, whilst in this country, I have met with everj^;. - 
possible kindness and encouragement on the part of my friends,^^ as well as of the severali)er-: -;:.... 
sons intrusted with the custody of Oriental books in the libraries:!: have visited:rl:4^ 

_K - \f -j- 

^^ - -■- ■, 

accordingly, haye frequently ~to acknowledge in the course of my ^ note &rlium8r<|Si 
obligations for kind assistance, or the loan of scarce and valuable manuscripts. ' " : 

The works which I have consulted and cited are the following : 

Kuld,jidu-l-'iMydn fi mahdseni-l-'aydn^' (gold necklaces on the brilliant actions of the 
illustrious) ; a biographical dictionary of poets and learned men who flourished in Spain 
during the fifth and part of the siKth century of the Hijra, by Abu Nasr Al-fafh Ibn 
Mohammed Ibn 'Obeyd-iUah Ibn Khftfa Al-kaysi. There are two copies of this work 
in the library- of the British Museum. One marked Add. MSS., No. 9679, is bound 
up with a commentary on the Makssurah, a celebrated poem by Ibn Hazem, of Car. 
tagena- the other (BM. Rich, No. ?525) is also bound up with the M^ekhahO-loghft^ 

r--- _ _ -r 

n To Dr. John Lee I am particularly indebted for the loan of several valuable manu8cripts,|:v|ich I 
shall dulv notice whenever I happen to quote from them. ' ^.. ■" v ^ 

^2 ^La-cHS ^ 

i ...LO^l ^.^ 

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H - 

_^_ _ _^ 

^ ■- '■' 

-jt - - -r > 

XX THE translator's PREFACE. 

by Ibn Koteybah. It contains only the second part out of the four into which the work 
is divided; but though incomplete, it is valuable for its antiquity^^^ and I have frequently 
used it to correct the readings in the former- Besides these two copies of that valuable 
workj I have used one in my possession: it is a volume in quarto^ of 236 folios, transcribed 
about the middle of the sixteenth century of our era by Al-hasen Ibnu-1-huseyn Al-is'haki. 

MattmahvA-anfuB wa masrahu-t-tdnnus fi milki akli-l-andalus^^ (the spot of recreation 
for the eyes and the field for familiarity on the witty sayings of the people of Andalus) ; 
another biographical dictionary, by the above-mentioned writer. The copy in the British 

w I 

Museum (No. 9580) is a volume in octavo^ very badly and incorrectly written in the 
month of Rabi^ II*, A-H. one thousand one hundred and ninety-two (a,d. 1778-9). The 
work is ill described in the Catalogue of Additions for 1833, where it is given as a 
copy of the KaldyidU'l-lUydn. 

Al-miiktabis fi tdrikh rejdli-l-andalus^^ (the imparter of information, or the fire-striking 
SteeJ on the history of the eminent Spanish Moslems); being a history of Mohammedan 
Spain' by Abu Merwan Hayyan Ibn Khalf Ibn Hayyan, a historian of the twelfth century 
of our era. The third volume^ out of the ten which compose the work, is in the Bodl. 
Lib. (Nic. Cat. cxxxvii.) It contains the reign of 'Abdullah, son of Mohammed, the seventh 
Khalif of the family of Umeyyah in Spain. 

Jadh'watu-l-^muJitabis ^^ {the sparkle of fire from the Muktabis) ; or an abridgment of 
the above work by Mohammed Ibn Abi Nasr Fatuh Ibn 'Abdillah Al-azdi Al-homaydi, 
a native of the island of Mallorcaj who died at Baghdad in a. h. 488. This work is also 
in tlie Bodl. Lib., H-unt. 464, Its contents are the lives of eminent Spanish Moslems, 
divided into ten parts, and preceded by a valuable historical introduction. The transcript, 
:Which appears to bave been executed towards the middle of the sixteenth century of our 
eraj is a fair and correct one. 

^^ A note at the end of the volume states that the transcript was made by Abii-l-walid Ibn Zeydun. I 
need scarcely point out the inaccuracy of such a statement, which has also found jts way into the 
Catalogue of the Rich MSS. How could Abi'i-l-walid Ibn Zeydiin, who died in a.h. 463, make a 
transcript of a work which was not composed until nearly seventy years after his death, and in which he 
himself figures among the iUustrious men of his age ? The fact is, that the name of Abii-l-wa!id Ibn 
Zeyddn being written in large letters at the head of the biographical notice of him, with which the worlt 
begins, gave rise to that strange mistake. This shows that an Oriental scholar cannot be sufficiently 
on his guard against the ignorance or the knavery of an Arabian bookseller. 

,. _ C J6 t,^ 



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THE translator's PREFACE. 


Adh-dhakhirah fi mahdseni ahli-l-jezirak »? (the hoarded treasure of the commendable 
deeds of the natives of Spain) ; or a biography of illustrious Spanish Moslems, divided 
into three parts, and each part into two books, by Ibn Besdm or Bess^m, of Cordova, 
nie second volume of the second part, containing . the Uves of eminent men born or 
residing in the western districts of Spain, is in the Bodl. Lib. (Uri Cat., No. dccxlix.) 

Al-holalU'l-mausMyyah fl akhbdri-l-marrekoshiyyah'^ (variegated silken robes froin. the 
history of Morocco); or a history of the Almoravides and Almohades who reigned. in 
Africa and Spain, compiled from the best authorities. This work, a copy of which is 
in my possession, appears to liave been written towards the close of the fourteenth century 
of our era, but the name of the author is not ascertained. It is true that both my copy 
and another of the same work in the Royal Library at Paris (No. dcccxxv.) attribute it to the 
celebrated traveller Ibn Battiittab ; but, as I shall show hereafter, this can hardly be the case. 

The history of Spain under the Almoravides and Almohades, by Ibn Sahibi-s-saiat, 
a historian of the thirteenth century of our era. The second volume of this valuable 
work, containing the narrative of events which happened in Spain from a. h. 554 to. 568, 

is in the Bodl. Lib. {Marsh. 433.) 

Tdrikh Ibn HaUb '^ (or the history of Spain, by 'Abdu-l-malek Ibn Habib As-solaml). This 
is a miscellaneous work, mostly treating of theological subjects, traditions, the beginning 
of the world, the prophets, the life of the Prophet Mohammed, predestination, the doctors 
who first introduced in Cordova the sect of M^Uk Ibn Ans, &c. Some of the^ chap^sj^ 
however, relate to the history of Spain, giving an account-of the conquest /of ; tlmt;^ynti7 
by the Moslems; the series of the Amirs who governed it in the name of^the Kh^lifs; a 
short history of the first seven Sultans of the house of Umeyyah who reigned in Spain, &c. 

Tdrikh Kodhdt Kortobah (the history of the Kadis of Cordova) ; or a biographical dictionary 
of all those who discharged there the functions of that office, from the conquest of that city 
by the Moslems to the year three hundred and fifty-eight of the Hijra (a. d. 968-9)^ by 
Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn Harith Al-khosham or Al-khoshni. 

Both these works, which were transcribed in a.h. six hundred and ninety-five (a. d. 
1296), by 'Abdullah Ibn Mohammed Ibn 'Ali Al-lawati, are bound up in one volume iii 
the Bodl. Lib. (Nic. Cat., No. cxxvii.) 


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THE translator's PREFACE. 

Kitdhu-Uftifd fi akhbdrU-kholafd'"' (the book of sufficiency in the history of the 
Khalifs), by Abu Ja'far Ibn 'Abdi4-hakk Al-khazreji, of Cordova, a writer of the twelfth 
century, of our era; containing a history of the Mohammedan empire, both in the East 
and the West, beginning with Abu Bekr, and ending with Al-mamun Mohammed, son of 
Al-muktafi bi-amri-llah, of the house of 'Abbas, who began his reign in a. h. 560. 

Ahddithu-l-imdmati wa-s-siydsati =' {traditions of commandment and government) ; a 
very ancient history of the Khalifs from Abu Bekr to Harun Ar-rashid, with a full 
account of the conquest of Spain. See Appendix E., p. \. 

.Mtaln^t-te^rif bitabakati-l-amam'^^ (the book of acquaintance with the races of man- 
rkipd),-by Abu-1-kasim Sa'id Ibn Sa'id, Kadi of Toledo. (Bibh Arund. in Brit. Mus., 

No. 6020.) See Appendix C, p, xxxix. 

The history of the Western Arabs and Berbers, by Abu Zeyd 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 

KhEddun. (Brit. Mus., Nos. 9574-5.) 

Kitdbu-l-aUttaU fi tdrikU ghamdttati'^ (the book of the circle of the history of 
Granada); or a history of Granada, followed by a biographical dictionary of eminent men 
bom at or domiciled in that city, by the celebrated historian Abu 'AbdiUah Mohammed 
Ibn Sa'id As-salmdm, better known by his surname Ibnu-1-khattib. A fair transcript of 
the first Volume of this work is in my possession. It is a thick folio, written in the 
African hand at the beginning of the sixteenth century of our era. It contains the 
lives of one hundred and seventy-nine individuals whose names began with the first 
eleven letters of the Arabic alphabet, passing afterwards to those whose first name was Mo- 
hammed. A copy of the second part is preserved in the Escurial Library, No. mdclxviii. 
There is in, the Royal Library at Paris, No. 867, an epitome of this valuable and scarce work, 
m^^\^:M0rham^-<Mttaiifi adabd gharndttatP^ (the central point of the circle of the 

"■ _ ' " 

literary men of Granada). 

:>IbWatu oM-l-abssdr fi idrikhi momU^amssdr^' (admonition to the clear-sighted on 
the history of the kings of countries) ; or a general histqry of the world, by 'Omddu-d-dm 


-^ " . 

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page xlii. df the Appendix, where some extracts from it have beeu introduced. 


21 L.UwJI 5 ^UH! Lj^pU 



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THE translator's PREFACE. 

* ■ » 


Isma'il Ibn Ahmed Ibn Sa'id Ibn Mohammed, better known under the surname of 
Ibnu-l-atMr. This work is but a commentary upon and a supplement to a poem called 
'Abduniyyah, from the name of its author, Abxi Mohammed 'Abdu-l-mejid Ibn 'Abdun, 
Wizir to 'Omar Ibn Al-afttas, the last King of Badajoz. After the death of his royal 
master, who, together with his two sons, was executed by order of Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, 
into whose hands he fell a prisoner, a. h. 487, Ibn 'Abdun composed an el^iac: poem:^^ 
to commemorate that catastrophe, as well as the tragical events attending the rise and fall of 


the dynasty to which he was attached. In order better to exemplify the instability of human 
fortune, the poet takes a short review of all the once powerful empires that fell into 
decay. This poem, which, from the tenderness of its strain, and the rhetorical beauties 
with which it abounds, is justly considered as one of the brightest gems of Arabian literature, 
was, shortly after the death of Ibn 'Abdun (a. h. 534), commented upon by the most eminent 
authors of that nation. Ibnu-1-athi'r, among others, continued the poem down to his own 
days, adding fifty-two verses to the forty-one of which it was composed^ and then;coin- 
mented upon the whole, or rather gave a detailed account of every one Of the dynasties, 
whether Mohammedan or not, that are mentioned in it. An ancient copy of this valuable 
work is in the British Museum (Bibl. Arund,, No. 9969). I also possess one which must 
have been written soon after the death of the author; for in the note at the end of the 
volume I find that the transcript was completed on the 6th of DhU-kaMah, a.h. 73^^ 
and, according to Hfiji Khalfah (voc. 'Ib'ratu), Ibnu-l-athir died in 699. 

Raudhatu-l-mandthir fi akhbdH-Uawdyil wa-l-awdkhir^^ (the garden :;0^;thej ovt^tping 
places on the history of the first and the last) ; or a compendious history: from the -beginniiig 
of the world to the year 806 of the Hijra, by Abu4-walid Mohammed Ibn Shihnah, who 
died in eight hundred and eighty-three (a.d. 1478). There is a good copy of this work 
in the British Museum (Bibl. Rich, 7328), but I have generaUy used one in Dr. John 
Lee's collection, which, besides being very ancient, having been written shortly after the 
author's death, is filled with valuable marginal notes. 

Murdju-dh-dhahdb wa ma'ddnu~l-Jauhar'' (golden meadows and mines of precious.stones)^ 
by the celebrated writer Abd-l-hasan 'Ah Ibnu4-huseyn Al-raes'udt I have used a fi^e 

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se A Latin translation of this poem has lately appeared in the collection entitled Spe»^^iii^f?^^-^ 
Orientalihus exhihens Diversorum Scriptorum locos de regia Aphtasidarum familia et (fe Ibn AhAm J^ai 
by Marinus Hoogvliet, Leyden, 1839- - : 

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copy of this work, in two folio volumes, in my possession, the readings of which I have 
occasionally collated with those of another in the British Museum. 

Al-khamis ft ossul nafs nafis^^ (the book of the five divisions on the principles of a 
reasoning soul) ; a voluminous general history from the beginning of the world to the 
year 820, by Huseyn Ibn Mohammed Ibn Ahmed, a native of Diarbekr. A copy of 
this work, in two thick closely-written folio volumes, is in my possession. It is also m 

the Royal Library at Paris, No. dcxxxv. 

Kitdbu-l-jumdn ft ahhhdri-z-zamdn ^^ (gathered pearls from the history of the times), 
by Sidi Al-haj Mohammed Ash-shatibi (from Xativa, in the kingdom of Valencia). It 
is a general history, divided into three parts. Part I. embraces from the beginning of 
the world to the birth of Mohammed. Part II. is exclusively dedicated to the life of 


the Prophet. Part III. gives the history of the various Mohammedan dynasties that 
ruled in the East or the West, including an account of the Berber tribes, and a chrono- 
logical notice of the sovereigns of the house of Umeyyah who reigned in Spain. The 
work appears to be an abridgment of a larger one which Shehabu-d-din Ahmed Al-fasi 
wrote under the same title. (See Not. et Ext. des MSB. vol. ii.) The copy of the work 
which I possess is fairly transcribed in the African character. 

Reyhdnu-lrlehdb wa rey'arm-sTi-shebdh fi mardtibi-l-adab ^' (the sweet gales of the prudent, 
and the flower of youth shown in the various degrees of education) ; a sort of Cyclopeedia, 
treating of various subjects, but especially of history, by Mohammed Ibn Ibrahim. 

Al'Wdfi bv-l-wafiydt'^^ (the complement to the fFafiydt); an extensive biographical work, 
intended as an addition to and a continuation of the Wafiydtu-l-a'ydn (the deaths of the 
illustrious) by the celebrated Ibn Khallekan, composed by Salahu-d-dm Khalil Ibn Ibek 
A^-safadi, who died in seven hundred and sixty-four (a. d. 1362-3). An ancient and 
beautifully written transcript of one part of this work, containing the lives of illustrious 

Moslems whose names began with any of the letters 

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c c IS m my possession. 

'OydnU'l-anbd fi tabaHti-l-utibhd^^ (the sources of intelligence respecting the classes of 
physicians); being the lives of the eminent Arabian physicians, by Ibn Abi Ossaybi'ah. 
See Appendix A. 



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THE translator's PKEFACE. 


Kitdhu4^ja'rdfiyyah IJaghtafiyyd^ fi masdhati-l-ardh wa 'ajdyihi-l-makd' wa-Uolddn^' 
(the book of geography respecting the extent of the earth and the wonders of districts 
and towns), by an anonymous writer of the seventh century of, the Hijra. It is a geo^ 
graphical description of the inhabited part of the world, divided into seven climates. The 
author occasionally quotes the words of Ibnu-l-j ezz^r, an African geographer, who wrote a 
work entitled ^ Ajdyibu-Uardh (the wonders of the world), MesMdl, Al-bekrf, Idrisi^slbnu 
Hayyan, &c. The copy I have used is in my collection. It is a volume in quarto, Cf about 
200 pages, written in Egypt towards the close of the sixteenth century of our era. There 
is in the Royal Library at Paris another copy of the same work, with which I have carefully 
collated aU the readings of that part which relates to Spanish topography. 

Al-mesdlek wa-l~memdlek^^ (the routes and kingdoms), by Abd 'Obeyd-illah 'Abdullah Ibn 
'Abdi-l-'aaiz Al-bekri, a geographer of the fifth century of the Hijra. An ancient and 
correctly written copy of the second part of this valuable work, containing the description . 
of Africa, is in the Hbrary of the British Museum, No. 9577- I possess, likewise, a -copy , 


■ - ^ J . - 

of a portion of it. 

Al-ikhtissdr min Htdbi-l-bolddn'' (an abridgment of the [Kitdbu4-boldH book of countries). 
Bibl. Rich in Brit. Mus., No, 7496. A volume in quarto, of the greatest antiquity, 
written upon coarse brown paper, of Eastern manufacture. The names of the author arid 
epitomiser are nowhere stated, but I believe it to be an abridgment of the Kitdbu-l-boUdwy&. 
voluminous geographical work by Ab^-1-hasan Ahmed Ibn Yahya Al-beladhorl, a -^writ^r 
of the third century of the Hijra. My reasons for thinking. so are: 1. I find-M;^^^ 
Khalfah that Al-beMdhori \vrote a work on geography entitled as above.~2, The cdHteritS of 
the volume in question seem to agree with those of the Kitdb fotdhi-l-boUdn by the sarne 
author, as described by Hamacker, Spec. Cod. KSS. Or. Bib. Uigd, Bat p. 7.-3. I read, at 
fo. 15, that the author wrote it during the Khalifate of Al-mu'atadhed, and he often relates 
events of the year 279, a date reconcilable mth that of Al-beladhorl's death, which, according 
to Abu4-mahasen, happened in a.h. 289.-4. I have collated some passages with the works 
of Ibn Khordddbah, Mes'udi, and Ibn Haukal, who wrote after Al-belddhori andscopied him 

in their writings, and find them the same. 

'Ajdyibu-l-maklukat'^ (the wonders of creation). Such is the title of a work (Bibl. 




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THE translator's PREFACE. 

Rich in British Museum, No. 7504) on physics, natural history, and geography, compiled 
from those of Yusuf Al-warrak, Al-'azizf, Ibuu-1-beyttar, and Al-harawi, by Abu Hamid 
Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-rriahman Al-andalusf, who, as stated in the preface (fo. 2), wrote 
it during his stay at Baghdad in a. h. 555. It is a small quarto volume, with 106 leaves. 
A note at the end states the transcript to have been made at Baghdad, a. h. one thousand 
one hundred and seventy-one (a.d. 1757-8), by Ahmed, son of ^Abdu-r-rahim, a native of 
that city. There is in the Bodl. Lib. (Uri Cat., No. cmlxix.) another copy of this, which I 
beJieye to be only an abridgment of a larger work. 

Nashahi-Uazhdr ft 'ajdyibi-l-akttdr^^ (the sweet odour of flowers from the wonders of 

the earth), by Abu ^Abdillah Mohammed Ibn lyas (Bibl. Rich in British Museum, No. 

Nozhatu~l4ebdb fi-l^alkdb^^ (the pleasures of the wise set forth in surnames); or a treatise 
on the surnames of the Arabs, arranged alphabetically, by Shehabu-d-din Abii-l-fadhl 
Ahmed Ibn Hajr Al-'askalani (from Ascalon). 

Tohfatu-dham-Urah fi mushMli-Uasmdi-n-nasab ''^ (a gift oifered to those desiring to be 
instructed in the difficulties of patronymics) ; a treatise on patronymics by Nilru-d-din 
AbiS-th-than^ Ibn Khattib. (Brit. Mus., Bib. Rich, No. 7351.) 

NehdyaPu^Uardb fi mdrefati kabdyiU-' ardb '' (the fulfilment of wishes for those who desire 
to gain a knowledge of the Arabian tribes), by Shehabu-d-din Abu-l-'abbas Ahmed Ibn 
'Abdillah Ibn Suleym^n Ibn Isma'il Al-kalkashandi (Bib. Rich in the British Museum, Nos. 

Kashafu-n^nikdb ani-l-asmd wa-l-alkdb^^ (the tearing of the veil from before names and 
pal^rpnymics), by Jem^lu-d-dm Abu-1-faraj 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn 'AH Ibn Mohammed Ibn 
:^^i^Ph^^^ died a. h. five hundred and ninety-seven (a.d, 1201). 
}^^h4tu-^i.-7mkdb fi-l-alkab -^ (the imparter of immediate knowledge on the surnames of per- 

- ^ ■ 

so.^s); being a risdleh or short treatise on proper names, by Shemsu-d-din Abii 'Abdillah 
Mohammed Ibn Ahmed Ibn 'Othman Adh-dhahebi, who died in seven hundred and fort}'- 
eight (a.d. ,1273-4), These two tracts, bound together in one volume, and transcribed a. xi. 
one thousand and seventy-six (a. d. 1666), are in Dr. John Lee's collection. 


*^ ^ 


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tiuil ^\s 


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^-'r.- -->- ^^Oi-1 ^^^. 

^. . ^,^yi, . X , S -,- J^^'.-J -^l-^ i^^fr^^ ^ 
L: -^'.y . ^, .y „'.^J- - ^ .V -:--. -^?* -<^^> '^ 

/^ =:>i- , ??:^T^.vH.H^^-x- 

^ J. 



Haydtu-l-haywdn'^^ {the lives of living creatures); a zoological dictionary by Kemalu- 
d-din Mohammed Ad-demiri Ash-shafe^i^ who died in a.h- 808. Of this work I possess 
a handsome copy^ in two thick volumes in folio. There is also one in the library of 
the British Museum (Rich MSS, No. 7512), but although a very correct one^ and of great 
antiquity^ it is deficient^ like most copies of the same work which have passed through 

my handsj in the history of the KhaHfs, which the author introduces under the word y^ Iwaz 

(goose),^^ Ad-demirPs work was abridged by Mohammed Ibn ^Abdi-1-kadir Ibn Mohammed 
Ad-demiri Al-hanefi^ who entitled his work Hdwiyu-l-hossdn min Haydtu-l-haywdn^^ (the ex- 
cellent collector from the Haydlu-l-haywdn). A splendid copy of this epitome^ beautifully 
written in a large Eastern hand^ in the month of Rabi' ii.^ a.h, one thousand and sixty-three 
(Marchj a.d. 1653)^ is likewise in my possession.^^ 

Kiidbu-l-Jdmi' likuwi-Umuf^riddti-l-adwiyah wa-l-aghAiyah ^® (the collection treating of 
the virtues and properties of simples used as medicaments or as aliments); a dictioniiry of 
simplesj by the celebrated botanist Abu ^AbdiDah Mohammed Ibnu-l-beyttar [theSon^of the 
farrier], known also by the honorific surnames of Dhiyau-d-din (bright light of religion);^ 
JeraalU"d-din (glory of religion)^ a native of Malaga. The copy of this work which I have 
used and cited occasionally in the notes is in my collection. It consists of three thick 
volumes in small folio, written in Egypt in the year nine hundred and fifty-three of the Hijra v 
(a.d. 1546-7), by Mohammed Ibn Isma'il Ibn Ahmed Ibn ^AK Ibn Ahmed AUanbabrAl^-: 


■- - ^ 

- ^*.> - 

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^-- - . 

r-" r-- 

_ _ ^-. ^ ■ r ^ > 

y - -1- iV H K H - -^ 


^^ o _ 

Al-mugh'rib ft tartihi-l-mv^ arrib fi-V-logfiah^^ (the eloquent speaker on the classification 

- ^ 

of language) ; or a dictionary of the Arabic language, by Borhanu-d-din N^sir Ibnu-1-mu- 
karim 'Abdu-s-seyid Ibnu-1-mutarrezi Al-hanefi, a celebrated philologist and rhetorician^ 

->- --^ ^ _ t ' 

- ^ -.- 

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r ■ >- 

V V . 


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J* - H ^ ^ 


J.J_^^' [g 




■^^ This may easily be accounted for by the fact that Ad-demiri published two different editions of his 
work, one with a short history of the Khalifs, the other without it. See Hfiji- Khalfah, voc. /f«y<fitt-^- 

^. - 



Jl St 


C.L— ^' 


^^ Hlji Khalfah knew of six different abridgments of Ad-demiri's work; but the present, which, to . 
judge from the author's name and patronymic, is likely to have been the work of a grandson orsomel 
other descendant of that author, was unknown to him. 

^ ^■-.\ 

^ ^.^y) _j L>_jjiil i^\^jj^]^ ^^ ^^U) ^[jj 




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^ ^ ^ 

born A. H. 536, at Jorjfoiyyah, a town in Khawarazem, and who died in R20. There is 
a copy of this work in the library of the British Museum (Bib. Rich, No. 7438). I also 
possess one, the transcript of which was made in the author's lifetime by Abd-1-hasan 
'All Ibn Ahmed Ibnu-1-huseyn, and finished on Tuesday the 18th of Safar, six hundred 
and eight (a. d. 1209). At the end of my copy is an appendix, written by the same 
author, and transcribed by the same hand, entitled ^1 J 3L, ' an epistle on grammar,' 

which is not in the copy in the British Museum. 

BAjidu-l-fam bi-'awdli-l-asdnidi-s-sahdh" (the searcher for early food on the eleyated 
grounds of true allegation), by Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ibn Mohammed Ibn Ahmed Ibn 
'All Ibni-l-'Sfiyyah Al-meknSsi (from Mequinez), better known by the surname of Ibnu-1- 
kfidhi. This work, of which my copy is an autograph, written in a.b. 1599, by the pre- 
ceptor of Muley Zfdfa, Emperor of Morocco, before the latter ascended the throne, is one of 
those permissions (S,U) not unfrequently granted to pupils by their masters, authorising them 
to quote them in writings or conversation. The author divides the moral, religious, and other 
sciences into various sections, giving the titles of all the works he read on those topes, and 
also the line of doctors through whom the contents of the several works were transmitted to 
him The number of works thus quoted exceeds five hundred ; and as the name as well as 
the country and age of their respective authors are in most cases stated, it forms a sort of 
bibliographical repertory, if not so considerable as that of Haji Khalfah, yet much more full of 
correct information respecting the literarj- history of the Spanish Moslems. 

Fa^rasat kuM v,a tawdlif- (an index to books and works), by Ahi Bekr Mohammed Ibn 
Kheyr Ibn Khalifah Al-andalusf, a writer of the twelfth century of our era. This also is a 
kind of bibliographical compilation, giving the names of the authors and the titles of the 
book., many hundred in number, which the author read in the course of his literary career. 

The work, which is exceedingly valuable in its kind, is in the Escurial Library (Cat., 

No. MDCLXVil.), where I once made considerable extracts from it. 

I shall now terminate my prefatory remarks by saybig a few words on the system of 

orthography which I have foUowed throughout my translation. 

It is customary for the translator of an Oriental work to state in the Preface his system 

of writing proper names, or rather of expressing in European characters the multifarious 

sounds of the Arabic alphabet. Hence have originated almost as many systems as there 


1^1 joiUK! Jlyo ^\ A.1; 

^1 tJuJl^jJ ^ L^^^J-S" C>^_^-v-J 


"-"-"■^^■^>Sr^ ^ 



have been translators, each scholar considering himself entirely at liberty to alter or modify 
those of his predecessors. The evil, as regards the experienced reader^ is not so great as it 
appears at first sights it being an easy matter for the scholar to distinguish an Arabic proper 


name in whatever disguise it may be found, whether written by a German, a Frenchman, 
or a Spaniard: not so for the reader who is unacquainted with the languages of the East, 
for he will find himself stopped by difficulties to all appearances insurmountable j 'and: 
unless a proper system be afc once established, uniting under its banners the scholars of 
every nation of Europe, it is to be feared that the confusion will shortly wax so great as to 
make the ordinary reader lay aside his book in disgust. Had this work been written in 
Spanish, as was at first intended, I might perhaps have considered myself fully competent 
to decide upon a system that should express the Arabic sounds in the letters of the Spanish 
alphabet; since, besides the innumerable Avords left by the Arabs in that language, it is 
a known fact that for upwards of three centuries the Moriscos were in the habit of writing 
Spanish with their own letters: but as such was not the case^ and I had fix upon^orie 
of the many systems used in this country^ I chose that adopted by the Corfimittee of the 
Oriental Translation Fund, although it is, in my opinion, one of the most defective. Ac^ 

\ ^ ■ — _ _ ^ 

cording to that system the vowels are always sounded as in Italian; the letters li^^;j 

are all represented by dh; k^ i- by k; and i:& by A- The k) and cij are niade 

as well as the ^ and ^^^ — In this, however, I have deemed it necessary occasionally to 

deviate from the rule, rendering ]p by tt^ and ^ by ss^ whenever a word written .:^ 

either of those letters could be mistaken for one written with a tji^ or a 


c I have always expressed by a -» to show that the vowel before or after which it is placed is to 

be pronounced with a sort of guttural aspiration. There is another very material point in which 
1 have by necessity been compelled to differ from the system alluded to, viz,, the pronun- 
ciation, in certain cases, of the letters . and I when they are used as ^ letters of prolongation/ 

These are invariably rendered, by Enghsh writers, by an accented a or u. But I do not 
hesitate to say that such is not the sound which those letters are intended to convey, and. 
that they ought to be rendered by o and 4. There can be no doubt that the conquerors: 
of Spain pronounced as the inhabitants of the coast of Africa still do, who say Karm6nah, 

. -^ c-'-r 


_: _- - -^^ - .^i^X--^> 
_ ^--^^ 

.X — ^y^ -. ^ 

■ " - --Tf.'-i 

J L X "^ - 

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r ■■ >-■-^ 



r ;■■■ 

^ ^ - 

^^ - r _: 

- - K^ -.>. 

■_ j^ 

■> L, ^^- 
_\ ,_ r 

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J. V. 



L ^ J ^ J b 


■. -^ -.r 

X ^ _ 

r*^ - 


L.^ ^^^ H 


^ ^. -xL -i^ 

> ^.J -^ 

-_^ >r * 

■J - ^■^-.- 

Or.--X^ "^t 

w r- 

^ - 

(J ¥- J^ - 

- 1 ^ ^ 

^■i-n ^-yx±^ 

- J J- ^ 

^ r ^ ^ .4 

- < 


^ _ _yvj 

J ^ d. vj^r 

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^Vl -rfc-H^ 

: -- -■>■ 


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^. ^ ^ r , 


■ ■ ■ 

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< -.<. ^ *^ \ 

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^-, - '■-A\, 

,- ■'^V 7- ^ 

"t t\ ^_ L \ 

■"- V-? 


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r. ^- 2, 

-- .'^ '^ 

- f - ^ 

u '<■ 7j^ 

X -_ _ J 

J "^ -^Jt J 

r- - ' ' 

-I r - ^.^ 

- ^ - r 

■.- _^ 

- ^^ ^.' f-j 

■^ -^-5 - 

W^ -J- 

.v\' X .-o. 

. > L,^ 

-y- . J > 

-.-■ ^ 

^_ _ _*^ 

■- ^ ^ ^ 

^ ■ 


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- ■■■l - 

:■■-- ■■-■ 

^ ^ - ^ 

■■ . . . ^^ 

- X- f T 

" -^ r 


^ - ^ - 

^ ^ >- 

': .'.--. /3,^-r;: 

> - ^L ^ 

- |V^_- - J- 

^ - 

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_,-_ -_ -^J:' 

i-i ■- X 

1 \- 


- - L 

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_ ^ 

^ ^^ 

■ _ ^ 


- -. y_v _ 


Tm-rakSnah, Barshelomh, Al-manssor, Bonah, Lishbmah, {'^.j^ ity .v^v'l ^jlA;J 'oXV '^SV") 
not as English scholars are in the habit of pronouncing, Karmunahy Tarrakunak, BarshelMahy 
Almansur, &c. The same observation may be applied to the words X^b Z^ds> ''lj[^^:-^ 

-> - -. J-''- - 

^U^" ^_^U which are to be pronounced Kartajemh^ Manhmahy Bej4nnahi:SeJahf Fh, Te- 

L - - 

VOL. I. ■ io 

'•^-^ - 

- --^ ^ r" 

_ _^ ■,-, 

-J -,^^ 
- - - ^^ 

- r -^ 


■:'.-./..:-./-:T'- -■ ^' - 
> - > - -^ 






"J- r 

l&msh., and not Kartajdmh, Marshdnah, Bejdmah, Bdjah, &c. I need scarcely remark, 
that whenever I have had to mention a city or town in Spain preserving its ancient Arabic 
- name, and thus affording traces of the correct pronwciation, I have taken upon myself 
to depart from the rule which I have most scrupulously followed in all other instances. 

There is still another case in which I have deviated from the general rule. I have 
frequently observed in conversation, and whilst hearing the Western Arabs read poetry, that 
the word Jbn is by them pronounced in certain cases with additional emphasis. For instance, 
a i!«;j6. in the West will say ZJw Sa'id, when alluding to an individual whose father's name 
was 'SaHd,'- but he will pronounce Ibm. SaHd with a strong emphasis upon the u of Ibnu, if 
Sa'id happen to be the family name of the individual. In the former case the word Un 
means the son, in the latter ' the descendant/ 'he of the posterity.' According to this rule I 
have written Ibnu Khaldiin, Ibnu Sa'id, Ibnu Hayyan, Ibnu Bashkiiwal, because the authors 
to whom these names apply were the members of ancient and illustrious families, known in 
. Spain as the Beni Khaidun, BenI Sa'id, BenI Hayyan, BenI Baskilwdl, &c. ; and in order to 
render this translation the more intelligible to the generality of readers, I have adopted 


the common spelhng of words already admitted into the English language, and written 
' Khallf,' ' Wizir,' * Kadi,' instead of the more correct orthography, ' Khalifah,' ' Waztr,' 
' Kidhi/ &c. 

^ ■- .- 

- s 

-: — ■ _ ^ - 

- i ^ . J^ ^ ^ _ 

:_ * 

au^r ._. _w . . L_^ J. .- 

■^ --^ ^'^ -^ H 

■■' - - ■--- 

' - ■ ^ - - - ^ .-L. _ 

r^ J ■ ^^^ -^._ , 

■■ X r^^. ^■■J 

-.-■ -/^ -> ■^. 

\ ^ - -^^\^ x\ nj _ ' 
4^ ■ -^- 

^ r ■- _ t_ -\ 

^ _ ^ 

-. ^- " --L-^ V 

^[-^y - T_ 

/^■-|:'^-^,.:.,\-.;\ ^ ■ ■ 

- ^^ 

■T - .^-^ 

■> -"^H 



-y — 

^^^>r^V V ^ 

::v^: y^. 

_ ■ -^'' ,^^^ '^jisfi^-^^v^^^^^ 

- - - ■^"_ ■_ _ - r-' r ■-;^. F -r* -■ - -iiT-^-r^Kia^-^, 

^ 1 ■ _ ^^-i.ri^ '--^ — -^H^■^ ^"^n ±-i- - -^>^— ■^r-'^'p i-Ti 

. .^^ ^J--^^ ^ ^ ^ -X -^' Ti'^--^n- ^*:y'j -^^1^^. 

'>.^^ J ^^^ J. -K - X^J -^ V ^ If \-jj Vx*+^>^ 

^ -^ ^L^^/^^ ^ _ _-r;-^^_-j Cj^v^^ 

- - ---r i ^, ^ > ^^-^-^^ ^^^^_x, 

- i -^ - --' , ^ - ■- V^-.^5rt*r-- _-7 

^ -■ J ^ y^y _"--5^ _^-:WSj:-y= 

- ■ - r-H- ^- ^ LX " -'-■ L^-^^-i^V^O 
,. r.^^ . r>jT_^rti^r ^ 

^ ■- . ^ -^'.-^ ^ ■-■--'" 5^; ^-^Ht^-' "^ 

■^ - ■\"' -^ -^-"■'''- 

- ^O -X^O > 

" " . - A ^ r ^ . .^>J^ ^^ 

- .4- ^. r^.^ - 

V . _^* ^ ^■^i■^ .. 

- ^ H " ^^S'^-T 
^ ^^ ^ ^---^^^ L^B^-^i^rT-V 

. . . ^ " ^ " -yV^V^-^ 

^ ^ ^- - '^ .■.■^^^^:;^ 

— . --^ ^\-i- - 

- - - - — - -r^V- - 

. ^ . -g - -n ^->- 

- -. ^ ^ - ■-' \ >x.-^^ ^ V 

-■-.--- ' - -: : :^--v:S£^ 
' '" -- ^ "^ -"" 'V.-.^^-,i 

SOME ACCOUNT -■ ' - ■ -^■:-:-.^--. " ":;-:^vrggg 

^- y ' -" '= - -- -^« ^ - ^ -.-" S^.--> ' " ' - -- -y^ -.- - JH>n 

- . 7_^ * - — ^" , r -■ ^^ :^-_-, - 

:" _ _ - -T X. r _ ^ _-_--. _ ^^. 

/"llJ ■■ " -_ ■- ■- ^ ^ ^ **^-- .. 

Ur - . , -■ : O ■\--*r - 

^ ,- ' --^■ ■ ^-V ^--,-rfc- 

" " - " - ^ - -^ -,- ^, iJ:^ 

■-. .7^- . 

\ \ A ^ ^1 ^lA ^ - X 

- ^ _^-UxtV^- 
^ .>i ^ ^_ 

- ^ H^ .- -^-> 


p " - '. . H^ V 

_ , - . . ^ _ ^-^ 

P . r^-.. .^^ ^ 

- ■-" f^ ^ ^ "C" 
r \ - - - ^1^ \ 

_-^- — ^™ — ..^^. — ^ — ._^- — — — ^. ^ , :, ' .-.■- ^ 

J ^ - - ^ - .^^_, , 

. ^ ■ ^ "^ ' - -x-^ v ^ ^ V 

Ahmed Al-makkari At-telemsdnl descended from an ancient and iUustrious family esta- ,:::,-r||g 

Wished at Makkarah, a viUage not far from Telems^n, since the invasion- of Africa, byn^e • X:'" 5Jf ; 
Arabs. He was the son of Ahmed, son of Yahya, son of >Abdu-r-rahm^,son^of Ab^^y^^^ ; ■ i : : " C^vlf 
son of Mohammed Abd4-'abbd8, son of Mohammed, son of Ahmed, son of AMfBel##sdir^o*- ^ .,., -^^^::|^p 
Yahya, son of 'Abdu-r-rahmgn, son of Ab,l Beki^ son of 'AK, gf the tribe^of 'Koraysh, . He . M^^^f^ 
was known in the East by tbe honorific surnames of Al-hdfedk Al^affhreU (^y^e^-'^-^^^^^^^ 
traditionist), and ShehSu~d-dm (bright star of religion). He fbUowed the sect of Mil^lbft- f > J;^f:||| 
Ans, and partook of the religious opmions of ^he AsVarls, or disciples of Ash'ar. Abifted^s;::.: ■; ^^^ ^^ 
born at Telemsdn, where he passed the first years of W lifej learmtig:thBVi^r^-^^^:^f^^^^^^ 
traditions under his uncle, Abu 'Othmdn Sa'fd Ibn Ahmed, who ^tto held a«ficf#P«; ^^ ■ , ^^ :f 
in that city. Under the tuition of this learned man, who was himself the.^Uthdi..oM^r'; V^ ;.■ 5^ 
important works on various topics, Ahmed early imbibed that love of science, and .cqmred , ; | 

that taste for literature, by which he was so much distinguished in after-life. Having com- .|, 

— - 

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.^_„ — ' ' — — — — ^ " ■ : ^. . '-': 

. Al-makkarl having Hved in times comparatively modern, it was long before I could meet with any ', : ■ .|^ 
Arabic work giving 1 account of his life and writings. H4jl Khalfah, who menfons h.m occas.onally , ., 

his death, and the titles of some of his works. Having perused m vam many ^^f^^^ A T : I : 

I was on the eve of giving up my task in despair, when nay '^-^ :^ ^^^^ ^M; A A ; £ 

Renoaard, of Swanscombe, was kind enough to point out to me a very fuU notice of Al-makkar,. oc umug - .. ,,^. 

ta a Whical Dictionary of learned men who flourished at Damascn. during the el.venth,ce,*,r|.<^:, . ,: . j ; ,|: 

the H^ra, entitled y^ ^.^J^ ^1 ^Ul J P^ X.xi ' the best part of^fresh1»||.p. ," ,, j, 

inustrious men of the ele;enth century., by An^n Jelebi. ^'^ '^^'f' °tf ^fig^^ ' : : ^1^ 

possesses a handsome transcript, executed ..... one thousand one hundred and |^one^(A.». ^ . ^.^^ _. 
1757-8), by Isma'il Ibn 'Abdi-l-kerim Al-jeri^S, the above notice of Al.maHkart»al«Migsa.,-fl -.^aM 

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pleted his education^ he quitted his native place in a.h. one thousand and nine (a.d. 1600-1 )j 
and repaired to Fez^ where he sought and frequented the society of the learned men 
of the dayj with many of whom he contracted an intimate friendship. He then returned to 
Telemsan^ which place he again left for Fez in 1013-. After a stay of fourteen years^ wholly 
spent in literary pursuits and in the society of the learned^ Ahmed quitted Fez towards the 
end of Ramadhan^ one thousand and twenty-seven (a,d. 16X8)^ and soon after sailed for 
Alexandria^ intent upon a pilgrimage to Mekka and Medina. He arrived at the former place 
early in 1028^ andj having made a short stay at Cairo^ started for Arabia in the month of 
Rejeb of the same year. After duly fulfilling all and every one of the sacred duties incumbent 
upon a good Mohammedan on such occasions^ he returned in Moharram^ 1029^ to Cairo, 
where he took a wife and settled. In the month of Rabi' i. of the ensuing year he visited 
Jerusalem and returned to Cairo^ whence he generally started every year on a pilgrimage to 
Mekka; so that in 1037 he had already visited that place five times^ and Medina seven. He 
returned to Cairo in Safar^ a.h- one thousand and thirty-seven (Sept a.d. 1627), and left 
immediately for Jerusalem^ where he arrived in Rejeb of the same year (Feb. a.d. 1628), 
After a, stay of twenty-five days^ he proceeded to Damascus^ which city he entered at the 
beginning of Sha^ban (March^ a.d. 1628)- Immediately after his arrival^ Ahmed Ibn Shahin 


Ash-shahrnxj a rich and influential person^ and a liberal patron of literature, which he himself 
cultivated with success^ gave Ahmed suitable rooms in the college of Jakmak^ of which he 
was the director, and conferred upon him several other distinctions. At the persuasion of this 
individual^ Ahmed afterwards wrote the historical work of which the present is a translation. 

While at Damascus, where he stayed only forty days^ Ahmed occupied his time in various 
literary pursuits. He used every day after sunrise to sit under the dome of the eagle in 
theygreat mosque, and there deliver eloquent lectures on the Sahtk of Bokhari; but the 
auditory increasing, and being no longer contained within that narrow space, Ahmed re- 
moved to the spacious court of the mosque. These lectures, which generally lasted several 
)i,9ursj from sunrise to near noon, were attended by the principal citizenSj as well as by 
all the scholars and theologians of Damascus; the number of people thus assembled 
amounting to several thousands. Ahmed left Damascus on the 5th day of Shawwal, a.h. 
1037, and returned to Cairo. He again visited that city towards the end of Sha'ban, 
A.H. 1040, being received by Abmed Ibn Shahin and his other friends as kindly as on a 
former occasion. He then returned to Cairo, andj after a short stay, divorced his wife. 
He was preparing for another journey to Damascus, where he had determined to settle 
for, the remainder of his days^ when he was attacked by a violent fever^ which caused his 
death in the month of Juraada n.^ a.h. 1041. 

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Alimed Al-iiiakkan wrote the following works : — i. Blooming buds and flowers of the 
gardens on the history of the Kadi 'lyadh.'^ — ii. The dissipation of obscurity on the re- 
ligious duties of an orthodox Moslem.^ — iii. Sweet odour of the flowers on the history of 
Damascus.'' — iv. The lean and the fat, the threadbare and the costly.' — v. The garden of -the 
sweet-smelling myrtles, or an acconnt of those learned men whom I met during my stay at 
Morocco and Fez.^ — vi. Valuable pearls on the names of Allah, our guide and our fcnistj and 
marginal notes, for a commentary on the Koran.^ — vn. Bunch of grapes symmetrically 
arranged on abridged history.^ — viii. The gifts of AUmakkari towards the completion of the 
lesser commentary (upon the Koran).^ — ix- The beginning and the growth-, a work written 
entirely in elegant prose or verse. ^^ — x. An epistle on the final point with five dote to it, 
l>ut without having any in the middle." — xi. The eminent victory, or a description of the 
slippers of the Prophet.^^ 

^ •- 

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Library at Paris (No. 1377, ancien fond). Abil-l-fadhl 'ly^dh Ibn Miisa Al-yahsebi> better known as 
the Kfidi lyadh, was a celebrated theologian^, native of Ceuta, but who resided most of his life at 
Granada. He was born in a.h. 476, and died at Morocco in 544. His life is in Ibh KhallekSn (Tyd: 
Ind., No. 522). See also Casiri, Bib. Ar. Hi^.Mc. vol. il p. 112, et passim, tie wrote a history of his" 

^ ... 

native city, and a life of the Prophet Mohammed, entitled JiLa^! i\^ u-ftJ jo' J jU>iJl WJUS 

' efficient means to ensure the knowledge of the true history of the elected,' which is in the library of tbe^ 
British Museum, No- 9513, ■ ,. :")7>-.:> 


*• 1 * 

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■J! , .,x^\ . C^l It is not easy to say, from the title of tliis work, what its 

contents may be. ^ Haji Khalfah makes no mention of it, nor indeed of most of those named here. I should 
have thought that this title and the following ought to have been joined together, as belonging to the 
same work, had not the rhythm required their separation. 

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• Besides the above works, Al-makkari appears to have written, according to Haji Khalfah 
{voc. Tdrikk Ibn Khaldun, Mukaddamdt, &c.), a commentary upon the historical prolegomena 
of Abu Zeyd 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Khaldun. I find also (fo. 647) that he entertained an idea 
of writing a life of the Prophet Mohammed j^^ and that he began, but did not complete, a 
Biographical Dictionary of illustrious men born at his own native place, Telemsan, under tliis 
title, " The time of Nisdn '* on the eminent men of Telemsan." 




who mentions this work (voc. Fatah), gives the title differently— J UaJ! ^^^ ^ (Ji*V^ f^ 
and says that it was a poem ending with the letter ra. 

^1 _5 Xokll uJl/Hb JU M £.^ U Jc ^jLJ^\ _j " And I once had in mind to write 

on this special subject a work, which I was to have entitled ' The garden of instruction on the act of 
invoking God's favours (salat) and his salutation (tesUm) upon the Prophet,' treating of the sublime 
conceptions of his mind, and the eloquence of speech with which the Almighty endowed him." 

^*: ^^l^ 'Tul J .-Uxi!! Jl Nisdn is the name for one of the Syrian months, answering to 
our month of ApriL 

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The AuTHOii's Preface 


H. —r 




Etymology of the name of An dalus- Climate—Geographical divisions— Dimensions of the 
country— Shape— Ancient divisions— First settlers— Vandals— Africans— Romans— Ishb dp, son of 
Titus— Bishtilikdt— Goths— Iskhander • " * ' ' 

. . . \ 


Division of Andalus into three great districts-The central-Cordova-Granada-Toledo- 


Malaga — Almeria— -Jaen 


CHAP. Til. 

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Western district-Seville— Xerez- Gib r altar-Tar ifa-Bqja-B a dajos-Merida-tisbon—Sayes .^m^ 

J ■ V .^ ^ . .j.n .. ^j r. ... 
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'-^. - ^" 

Easterndistrict—Saragossa— Valencia— Murcia-Cartagena—Albarracin 



Islands surrounding or dependent on Andalus— C adiz- 
Algesiras— Tarifa— Mallorca— Menorca— Iviza 

■Canary Islands— Fortunate Islands— 




Ruins and ancient remains-The aqueduct of Tarragona-that of Cadiz-Roman caaseways- 
Idol of Cadiz-The pit of Cabra-Iron pot of Kal' atu- A urM- Ancient tradition concerning the 
conquest of Andalus— Extraordinary olive tree— Water-clocks of Toledo , . - 


'i . 

^ -. / 


Anecdotes respecting Andalus— Population— Productions of the soU 


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. _ . .^. 

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G6vernment — Public functionaries— WJzir—Kdtib-r-S^hibu-l-ashghSl 
Mohtesib — Ad-ddrab^n, or night watch — Revenues . . . i . 


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Religion — Orthodox sects — ^That of M^ik Ibn Ans — When introduced — Faquirs — Costume of 
the Andalusians — Their weapons and equipments in time of war — Their eminent quaUties — Their 
similarity to the Greeks — Their skill as workmen — ^They teach the Africans the useful arts of life . 112 

CHAP* 11. 

Character of the Andalusians — Their hospitality — ^Their courage in battle — Their haughtiness of 
teinper — Devotion to their friends — Their justice — Forgiveness — Generosity . . . .121 

CHAP. iir. 

State of science in Andalus — Passion for books — Education — Ethics and metaphysics— Rhetoric 
and grammar — Language — Hand-writing — Story tellers — Quickness at repartee — Memory — ^Their 
love of science — Their talent for poetry — natural in children — Jewish and Christian poets 



State of literature in Andalus^Epistle on the subject from Ibnu-r-rabib At-temimi to Ahu-I- 
mugheyrah Ibn Hazm — Answer of Abi1 Mohammed Ibn Hazm — Traditions respecting Andalus — 
Review of the Andalusiau literature — Theology and jurisprudence — Works on the &ect of Malik — 
Commentanes on the Koran^Legal decisions founded on the Koran — Biography of the companions 
of: the Prophet— Grammar and lexicography—Medicine — Philosophy — Poetry — History — Meta- 




The same subject continued— Ibnu Sa'id's addition to Ibn Hazm's epistle — Sciences relative to 
the KorSn — Traditions — ^Jurisprudence — Dogmas of religion — History — Polite literature — Grammar 
-;^Geography — Music — Medicine — ^Natural philosophy .191 

i- - 

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Various descriptions of Cordova — Ancient history of the city — Etymology of its name — Size and 
extents-Suburbs — Gates— Royal Palace — Pleasure-houses and gardens belonging to the Khalifs— 
Bridges on th^Guadalquivir — Jurisdiction of Cordova—Revenue — Productions of the land round 
the city — Increase of Cordova during the administration of Al-manstir 200 


The great mosque of Cordova- — Built on the site of a Christian temple — Begun by 'Abdu- 
; jrf ;^ ■ : r-rahmdn — Continued by his successors — Its dimensions — Makssiirah — Mihrab — Copy of the 

^ '■' ':■-" --'- ^^' "■ 

^ll^ v^: > ,- .;.Kordn written by *Othmfin — Tower — Al-hakem's addition — Alms-houses — Al-mansi3r's addition— 

^^: o^Hiiiiii^ — Attendants 217 

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A _ J - 

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V^ ^.; 




City and palace of Az-zalird — Cause of its foundation — Expenditure — Materials used in its 
erection — The two fountains — The hall of the Khalifs — Mosque in Az-zahrd . , • . 



■----■ - : .-■-'■'■■■-. vr.'^ 

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Aqueduct of Cordova — Built hy 'Abdu-r-rahmSn III,— The palace and city of A^-z^hirali- 
Christian churches in Cordova — Tribunal of appeal . - - - - . . ; 


■1 — i ■■ -" . 

V _ _^_ 

r ^^ J \y-, -t. 

■■":r- < ---^ 

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^ - 

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Causes of the conquest — Appointment of Mfisa— Takes possession of the government of Africa 
— Severe drought and famine— His conqnests — Takes Tangiers — General submission of the 
Berbers— Miisa meditates the conquest of Andalus— Siege of Ceuta by TSrik— King Wittiza 
sends reinforcements to the besieged — His death— Usurpation of Roderic — Ily^n, lord of Ceuta 
—His discontent— His daughter's dishonour— Spells constructed by the Greeks for the pre- 
servation of their country , . . • , • , ■ .' 


Ilyan goes to see Mi'isa— Makes a successful incursion— Miisa acquaints AUwalld -with the vie- - • 
tory— Sends TSrif Abii Zar'ah— His landing at Tarifa— Miisa sends Tdrik Ibn ZeySd— He lands 
at Gibraltar— Is attacked hy Theodomir— Roderic hastens to the defence of his kmgdom— Arrives 
in Cordova— Writes to the sons of Wittiza—TSrik sends to Africai for reinforcements-^Dis- ' - '^ 
content of the Gothic nobles— Treason of the sons of Wittiza— Roderic encamps on the?baiiB-^^f^*^:-=^ 
the Guadalete— Tarik addresses his men— Battle of Guadalete— Roderic's fafe-^Tal^ng >fc,^; . 


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Sidonia, Carmona, and Ezija 





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T6rik divides his army— Mugheyth besieges Cordova—Takes the governor prisoner— Malaga 
and Granada taken by T^'ik's Heuten ants— Theodomir attacked— Besieged in Orihuela— Capitu- 
lates— Siege and taking of Toledo by Tarik— Spoils found by Tarik— Mfisa prepares to cross 
over to Andalus— RebeUion at Seville— Miisa goes to Toledo— The table of Suleym^ described 



CHAP. lY. 

Miisa's reconciliation with Tarik— They invade France— Arrival of Mugheyth with amessage : . 
from the Khalif— Galicia and Asturias invaded— A second message from Al-w§lid— Mtisa departs 
for the East— Leaves Africa for Syria— Arrives in Damascus— Falls into disgrace— Is imprisoned 
and fined— His death— Opinions concerning his family and origin— His character ' . - ' , ■ 288. 

Notes and Illustrations 

VOL. I. 

,:^ ^'M'^vJt'I 301 


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Appendix A. 

^ _ _ 

The Lives of Abii Merwan 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Zohr, Abu Bekr Ibn Zohr, Ibn Bdjeh, Abd-L 
walid Ibn Roshd; and Ibn Joljol; translated from the work of Ibn Abi Ossaybi'ah, No. 7340 

in the British Museum. 

I. The Life of 'Abdu-l-malek Ibn Zohr, fo. 143, verso 

II. Abii Bekr Ibn Zohr, fo. 144 

III. Ibn B^jeh (vulffo Avempace), fo. 142 . 

IV. Abii-1-walld Ibn Roshd (vulgo Averroes), fo. 146, verso 

V. The Life of Ibn Joljol, fo. 137 .... 






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... > . . . 

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Appendix B. 
Extracts from the historical work of Waliyyu-d-din Abti Zeyd 'Abdu-r-rahmdn Ibn Khaldun Al- 
hadhrami Al-ishbih Al-mSleki . 


Appendix C. 
An account of. Al-hakem's Library and its destruction, extracted from the work of Sd'id, of 

Appendix D. 
Extract from the Kitdhu-l-iktifd f{ akhhdri-Uhholafd (the book of sufficiency on the history of 
the Khalifs) . 

An account of the conquest of Andalus 

Appendix E. 

Extracts irbm an historical work entitled AUdUhu-l-imdmati wa-l-siydsati (traditions of com- 
mandment and government) . 

Appointment of Miisa Ibn Nosseyr 
■ Mtisa's interview with 'Abdu-l-malek 
'.Mtisa's appointment to the government of Africa . 
. Miisa's address to his soldiers ... 
Miisa'sfarriYal in Ifrikiyyah . . - • 
^^:^^^ M the men ob his arrival in Ifrikiyyah 

How the conquest of Zaghw^n came to pass . 
How the news of these victories reached 'Abdu-l-'aziz 
How the KhaUf 5Abdu-l-malek was displeased with Mi^sa 
The answer of ^Abdu-l-'aziz to his brother 'Abdu-l-malek 
•Ahdu-l-'aziz acquaints his brother 'Abdu-l-malek with Mdsa's victories 

'Ahdu-1-malek's answer 

MiSsa's conquests in the territories of Haw&rah, Zenitah, and Kot^mah 

Subjugation of the tribe of Senhdjah 

The taking of Sej6md, and how it happened . . 
Arrival of the news of this victory to 'Abda-l-'azJz Ibn Merwin 
Incursions at sea, and how they came to pass .... 

.:.: Expedition to Sus-al-aks^ . • • • • • • 

s appointment 

- > - 

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How and when the news of these victories was brought to Al-walid 

Taking of the castle of Ausaf 

The conquest of the opposite land of Andalus 

Al-walid meditates the removal of Miisa .... 

'All Ibn Rabah is introduced to the presence of Al-walid 

What MUsa found in the palace of Toledo where the table was 

On the spoils which God granted to Mi'isa and his followers . 

Musa's letter to the Khalif, apprising him of the conquest of Andalus 

Mi'isa makes war on the Bashkans (Basques) and Afranj (Franks) 

Musa quits Andalus 

Description of the stupendous table 

Arrival of Miisa in Eastern Africa 

Arrival of Miisa in Egypt . . - ■ ■ , ■ 
Arrival of Miisa at the court of Al-walid .... 

Musa's arrival at the court of Al-walid . . . 
Sulevman's accession to the throne, and his conduct towards Miisa 

The number of MiSsa's maulis 

Suleyman questions Mdsa about Maghreb . _ . . 

Various other opinions current upon Sulevman's treatment of Miisa 
Transcript of the sentence issued against Miisa . . • 

The questions which Suleym&n put to Musa on his doings and his conquests 

A Chronological Table of the principal events recorded in this Ti^ansktion or in the Notes 
Additions and Corrections • - • • ^ • 






Ixxv : 
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In the name of God, the compassionate, the merciful ! 

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Praise be to God, the Lord of Kingdoms ; and his benediction be upoti his 
messenger Mohammed, our refuge from perdition; the favour of God be likewise 
on the family of the Prophet and on his Companions, whose radiant lights iUnraine 
the shadows of the deep, as well as on the learned theologians who-^plurigediTO' 
the unfathomable sea of science, and who reached in their "writings the superior 
regions of eloquence. '-:'., 

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Thus saith the humblest and most despicable of God's servants, the sinner ;^itee:,>-^}yix:f:M 
who stands most in need of the abundant, mercies ctf. his ;iiOrd;: the ■ weakest|a^^^S^4^ ;^^M 
most abject of his creatures; he who is retained >by,Me-hbiids-a§his^ 

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strength, and who is bound by the chains of obsen^ance^to lhe^^lS%Si(te&iif i- i '^^:^ 

to the prophetic mission, (all this being effected through the favour of the AliSiighty, 

in whom he trusts, and who is his safeguard ;) the contemptible, the perishaHe, 

the sinner, the criminal, he who is entirely destitute of the garments of piety, 

Ahmed Ibn Mohammed, known by the patronymic surnames of Al-makkarl, Al- 

maleki, Al-raaghrebi, Al-isha'ri;* born, educated, and having passed the first yeatS 

of his life at Telemsan, and resided afterwards in Fez the magnificent, and in Misr 

the victorious (Cairo) ; — may God Almighty make him good both in thought and in\ 

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action, endow him with pure qualities, and blameless habits ; showhim the right path::'; 
in whatever he may think, plan, or undertake ; render him fit for the working of gopd; -^ 
and meritorious deeds, acts of obedience, and other works, actions, and intentioM : ^ 
agreeable and acceptable to Him; save him from contaminaticni^ EOid pdlWiPHi^-iA/^;;^ 
protect him against the deceptions and hes of the Deceiver,: defend him .frdlSStf ■ ?- 
venomous shafts of calumny and envy, and change his: pr^j^^pj^^ 
action, his insignificance, and unworthiness/ into such a .form v^'i^^^ 

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to him. — Amen. 


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I'^V : 2 THE author's preface. 

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[,| V . "When the Lord, whose decrees are infallibly executed on his servants, and from 

I": : ; whose will there is no escape, ordered that we should travel away from our country, 

!? I: f ; arid migrate from the place of our birth and infancy, our steps were first directed 

C;?:J towards Al-maghrebu-Udksd (the extreme west), a country whose excellences and 

t'-i ''- advantages would be complete, were it not that the demons of discord have been let 

:i: v=: . loose in its peaceful districts, and the foaming waves of civd wars have inundated 

f ; its fields. This we accomplished at the end of the holy month of Ramadhan of the 

fc : year one thousand and twenty-seven of the Mohammedan flight (.Sept. a. d. 1618), 

■ after having humbly implored the Ahnighty to facilitate our return to our native 

land, and to restore us to the country where good things are most abundant. 

O Lord! said we, before starting for our expedition, with the utmost humility and 

devotion, listen to our prayer ! — permit, through thy infinite bounty, that we may 

meet, whether in the East or the West, with whatever is good, and that we may find 

: through our course in life such means for our maintenance as thou in thy wisdom 

V tot destined fi)r us,— that we may participate, wherever we reside, in thy ample 

=: ? ffcurs, and live in entire obedience to thy holy precepts, as communicated by thy 

p V ■: bfessed Messenger, whom thou didst send with the prophetic mission to all nations 

■ of mankind, whether red or black, whether Arabs or Barbarians, —(may thy favour 

^:^; and benediction the most complete visit him, and those of his family, and his 

illustrious Companions arid their Followers, who followed them in the path of good 
and meritorious deeds !) Show us the way through the cultivated plains, and the 

^^ - r - 

J:f; V . sandy deserts, that we may not miss through fbrgetfalness or sloth any of the places 

iSA''~y'' , ffiieritioned in the holy traditions ; ahd that we may be Mly awake to the sense of 
llvii^:^;;: j^ direct our course through plain and mountain, through 

|:fc^ k;'/: l-"^ we enibark on the sea, when we find ourself placed 

lySf :l4f Jlf^rinfeit^^ horrors, when we witness the continual dashing 

||;5 c-f:' ^^^^ and comfort our soul, prepare us to meet its 

ik-'---:- ^rrniteless perils; "and defend us 

X ::^ " : ■ ' ^ - ■ "^ ■ - - ■ ' 

|§ ;^ :.^'VThe sea is a^ cruel and implacable enemy; and we expect no mercy at his 

K=;> ; ; :" Knowing the.^ea to be water, and ourselves to be made of clay; who will 

Wm^^t--';-,. :^' wonder if we sufifer from its attacks?" ^ 

Ug^vx v^ After this prayer we set out on our travel, and, having reached the sea shore, we 

ijij J:: ; O;: t itow ourself mto the hands of the perfidious element. But when we encountered 
IfcJ'llv- Si terrific waves, when the bone-breaking eagles, disturbed from their nests by the 

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THE author's preface. 

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hands of the wind, came flying in onr faces, when we heard the mountains in. M 

distance whistle, while the winds groaned and sighed oyer our heads, we placed;^ ^ 

our confidence in the Almighty God, and trusted to surmount all ohstacles>]#|iSv3 

help and protection; for whoever finds himself in danger on thesea, and:tru8ti|^::; 

any but in God, is sure of perdition. We were in this state of anxijty,;^^!^;/^ 

behold! the tempest increases, and the sea joins its terrific yoicetp the di^|j;Jp 

of the hurricane; the waves, agitated by an irresistible power, go an|^^^n(iei;" 

approach and disappear, and, frantic and mfuriated as if they had tasted 'ol; the : 

cup of madness, they knock and dash against each other, then disperse,, thep rally 

again as if they had lost nothing of their vigour, now rising in the air as if the 

hands of the sky were taking them by the top and dragging them out of their, deep 

cavities, or as if they threatened to snatch the reins of the clouds out of Uie If Ji^S; ; 

of their conductor; and now throwing open their frightful and dark .abyss|S,-^a^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^ 

the bowels of the earth became visible. In this critical situation every new-;g\^^2;:|»:^^ 
the howling hurricane, everj^ fresh attack of the roaring elements, .were, ^ 

of our certain perdition ; and the perpetual flapping of the shattQ;e^ ^$M 

of the waves advancing in close ranks to accomplish Our ;d^tni^t^(%|ft& 

crashings of the groaning deck upon which we stood, like so many worn^ ^^ ^^^^_^^^^ 

log of wood, all were harbingers of our approaching death ;-~-our tongue, thl!QUftt:45|3fcl 

fear, clove to our mouth, our heart sank under the wei 

and we deemed ourself the victim oflered in sacrifice .to 

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thought ourself the only object in the worid, besides the^ un»(«l^^«v«^-:..^| 

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those who might be buried in its dark abysses. 

But our situation was rendered still more miserable and precarious through the ; .: 
watch we were obliged to keep, owing to our proxhnity to the territories pf^^.:;/ 
infidels (may God Almighty exterminate them all. and place their,country;m^;^:.,; 
possession of Uie Moslems !) especially Malta, that ax;cui^ed island, frpm the i^^tey;::;>; 
bouriiood of which whoever escapes in safety may weU say that he.hasdesei^fgp,.,,; 
favour and protection of the Lord,-that dreaded spot, which; throws, its .-^^.^-.r 
shade on the pleasant waters of the Mediterranean,— that den of iniqU|^|pgvf:.n; 
treason,— that place of ambush, which is hke a net to circumvent the-^pg^^tegrj 
navigate its seas. So what with the danger of, the treacher(M^:Chri#5^^^p|y^:.;. 
horrors of the sea, we were kept in a continual state of agUatipii^^^^^^^ 
ing every moment to meet with our death ; for we weU kne^v the:^^^^^g^^ ,^ ^ 
of the element -with wluch,w:e:were:Strjiggling,,we^newa.9.,B"ft*r^*^i^M^/^^^ 

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knew^ that no courage would be sufficient to tame our adversary and break his 
po#er, no virtue enough to overcome him and humble his pride ; and that no force 
could be mustered to prostrate him and make him obedient ; we knew him to be an 
eiiemy who ought on no occasion to be trusted, and who makes no distinction 
between friend and foe, between poor and rich, between weak and strong, between 
armed and unarmed, between him who sheds tears, and him who affects sorrow. 

■ " There are three things without remedy in this world, and from which nobody is 
''safe ; the sea, time, and a SuMn." ^ 

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; .However, God Almighty was pleased that we should escape both from the perils 
0|f the sea, and from the ambushes of our treacherous and impious enemies, the 
Christians ; and that we should discover land, after having lost sight of it for many 
days ; that our eyes should be invigorated and refreshed with the view of the port, 
after having gazed so long on the horrors of the sea ; that our nostrils should be 
delighted with the smell of the scented gales of security, after having been affected 
by,:the nauseous and putrid exhalations of the irritated waves ; lastly, that joy and 
contentment should succeed to sorrow and affliction. We then reached Alexandria, 
find after a short stay proceeded up the river to Cairo, where we began to think 
seriously of carrying into execution our project ; so, after passing a few days in that 
city, full of that subhme conception and blessed object which makes the happiness 
and joy of all the true believers, namely, a visit to the two holy and illustrious 
spots of Mecca and Medina, we started for our expedition, and, leaving the sea 
behind us, took the route of Hejaz, trusting in God, and relying on his pro- 
t^btion and assistance. 

j_ ■- ,.- V V. 

_ ■-" > 


x^_-L- * 

-_ t^-" X_ - - ^ '- ^^>^ ^ _? h" -^_i - 

;;t|5^1 areived at Mecca, and visited its illustrious temple, and other holy spots, in 
35 Contemplation of which life almost left us, and our soul sank under the excess 
of its. joy. Having fulfilled all the duties incumbent on a pilgrim, we besought God 


to inake us of the number of those who pass their lives in his service; and Ave 
rernained in Mecca, under the shade of its sanctity, and reaping the fruits of its 
blessedness j until the time for a pilgrimage to Medina arrived. This was in the 
first days of the month of Dhi-1-ka'dah^ of the year one thousand and twenty-eight 
of the Hijra (in the month of September, a.d. 1619) ; and when the season for 
visitiUig that and other blessed spots came, we prepared for departure without delay, 
and set out on our intended expedition. 

■ ^ 

And. when, after visiting all the sacred spots which lie between Mecca and 

*^f>rr^T:^^p-^:^^r:y-'*'f^^ '- F'^T^T^JS^;^^^ 






■, __ ^ - Mi_x 


Medina, we set our feet in that latter city, a place which far s-urpasses in excellency 
any other country in the world, we exclaimed, in the words of a poet,— - , 

■- J i^r_^_-^J/--^hy: 

■ ■^_ -^ '-^?^— ^T>^^ 



" Blessed be the purpose which brought us to the mother of cities (Mep^||jS;51;lK 
restrained by the bonds of our faith. ~" - .■-■-■:■ ■■ i / f -Bl^^/^'-str^'f^S 

- When we quenched our thirst in the waters of Zemz^m, and thiw^M^P^-t^i^^T 
useless what remained of our travelling supply."^ ■ 


J-- -t r- --. ^ - ^V'J 1*-^ 

■^- iV t-P . ^tT '-X-' 


1 ^ — >H I- -"x T V^I*-^^_J-- 
- -^ ^ I j-i-^^>rtb- X 

. _ -x. ^ *H-jl->T^H^ 

■ _^ >^^-^ ---^-^ ■- 

- - *^^ "+V x-r^ .**^ r-X 

H^ j-.-l -^-^"^■^ -^ ^ 

^- . .-^.^^^y.L. ^-x^■-^ 

'.^ I -- ■- - ,u - -d- - 

From Medina we returned to Cairo, where we arrived in Moharram of the: year 
one thousand and twenty-nine. Soon afterwards we started on a visit to Al-Kods 
(Jerusalem) , and arrived within its blessed walls in the month of Rabi' of the same; 
year. When we had penetrated inside its famous temple, and gazed on its wonder^- 

-. _ - - r* -^ r 

ful structure, of which no words can give an idea ; when our eyes had been almcJ^t 

dazzled, and our mind had nearly gone astray in the contemplation of: the \ra0W -^ vf^Si^S 

— 1 ^--^i-^.-j_-j- 

y - ^ L. ^ ._ ^. _^^-^ .>^>■._ 

^ o-i.^_\ -■ "xVx -^ ijyu-ji 

\- - J--\i'jjV r>Ar. -^iS^ .- 

^ > > j-Jv-Xj -» -- . 

K ^ f^ j^-lV x^ 1-1 ^ 

--, ^ - - V ■-•-.-. L-^^ .J^^^ 

, - -rri-.. - --. ■^^rL '^t 

_ _ - H . _.^ _ ..^ _^^^V-_t^^^ 

^ ^ - 'j _ l^ . -x ^^l;^r^^.-^.H,. 1] ^ 

. _^ _ ._ ^ ,y _^ .-^+<^'.^,_ _^;^ ' L 

-j_^ - -^ .- 

-I -. - ^ ^_T — \n ^ ^"^ ^ ■_■ ' 

beauties with which it is illumined, and through which God appears in morCsMi|W;;lS{f^^^P 
brightness to man, we anxiously inquired for the sacred ladder ; and. havi%:Met5l^% ;^^: S^^S 

--h>^^--V_ -L- .■^■- -i 

our steps to the- spot pointed out to us, we saw the place where the b^st and {laStc;';^'!:^^ 

- ^ 

of Prophets had stood. 


■-\j - -V -^— - - - J J. B^^-^ .-1-vJ K-^ r- 
__j x_ ^*. ^. _..-:*_ ^ y.',r 

-^ -.^ ^ ^ +^ "_ Vy" . V■x^- - A^-' - 

^^■-- y- ■. A ' y f r"-- ,^ -S". .-^"l^*- -i 

l^ . y j^i, > -.^ a:v '--'i- ■J^'^> 

r -ly --L ^ ^ -■+?"-'-^ ■'-JLt ^ ^ r ^mf^-yiVi^ 

^ -^ . ..ny., ^ C- . _,^r -^ V^^ - x.-^iry "^ 

.- -^:^;4^^=:i:T;^r^ 

\"-\" J- -^ yi.\-_^ ^ i^-f ^'^^X -i^ ^ ry_^ Oc*J"^^yp-^' ^ 

^ ^'n r , ^ ^^^ _l _ O - -. t^ . ■- - -^ -- ^"V- ^ ^ .^i^'"V-^rfO .'"-Vj^^ ' 

. . r --^^^^^ - >. ^^jv^ -.-.--^-^ "--^x -'i^^^^^'^SJl^r^ 

- - -- ■ ^ 1-^,- - S.\^ "^_ ,-i _ ---S >-;?-? -;?ft>->^'^j!?*-i 
>n- ^,lI, _ ^^,j ^■_^ y ^^.'^ -,V- - r- -^^Vi^yVpiJ^> 

After visiting all and every one of the sacred spots contained within the preeM@f;v::;;;|-|!i^^ 
the holy temple, and makmg a seasonable stay m JeniSalein, we once more -- ^'-■^'"^ '"'■-'■ ^■■■''■■^'■■■'^''"^''■' ■ 

to Cairo, where we fixed our residence, and whence we contiiauedihaldng-r^^ 

journeys to the pure valleys ; inasmuch as, up to the! jpresent year^l^bemg^Bll^Sl 

thousand and thirty-ninth of the Hijra (a. d. 1629-30), we have \i^6:^Mmi^^e: 

times, and as many times has our heart leapt with joy at the approach of it, — ^aS iriany 

times have we trod under our feet the roads of the desert leading to it. (May the 

Almighty God give us sufficient strength and life to persevere in this good practice!) 

Moreover, after the performance of our last pilgrimage, we returned to Cairo infth^; 

month of Safar of the year one thousand and thirty-seven of the Hijra (Nov^niber,: 

A. D. 1637), and stayed some time in that splendid capital, until, towards the ttlorith. 

of Rejeb of the same year, we were suddenly seized with a great desire of visitii 

again the holy house of Jerusalem ; we therefore took our departure, and^ arii'^J^r-;;:^^^ ■ : ;-:^ 

-J - :*^-. _-. L ->r-/ ^^^^L.>^1^, 
■_'_j\ _-y -.- --^ \ f ---J^^v-^J -h' <> -^j-- 
■-■"^■^ -f L ^^ *y^ - ^y-, ^-hV . ^^^-r-- 
1 >u \ i_^_ xy^rj_^'-c ^- ^ 

>.-■>' 'i .. ■ -.^-- ■ r. ^ V " ^'^.^ ^--^ 

J ^-^ ^ _i-^"- .^_'- -yii-^i .>, J- .— i^ r, 

V ^ ■- ♦'^ ^ -"^^ ^■'-'i■>.^ 

^" r> -^-. ^ ■" >V^ ■^^J'l' 

L X .— - ' ^ r .^^ ' ■■ X r^ I-- ^ 

> - -- ^-- - - ^.^L --_ -^ 

^__ T _■_ ■_ ^-|^ __J^yi 

-■> y " ,Oys'j — ^ 

p __ _ ^|-^ ^ i-^-^>J-_^^_->__x 

■ L ^^ - j' ■ V~ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

1 ^ _ \ ^ V_ -^^^ -" "^ ~ 

^_j I ^^^-n^x ^^ ^^ r 

^j -■- \^'_vJ> fj^v 

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^ --- y 

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- - '-■^ ■ - -A - 

- ^ - -^J r- X- - \- 

"-■■j I "-Vl^'— L-" ■ -■- 

therein at the end of Rejeb, and stayed five-and- twenty days, or thereaboti%:^|i:^:£ i£" v^:^ c 
beine pleased durino; that time to furnish us with whatever was necessary: foi|:jSttfer A; ^ ; vtf 

wants, and to give us the company of virtuous and learned people,^frpni :v^bgi^^;u;/;:-i-^:H^ 
derived both admonition and information. 

. .. ;.:i:^^i£^i 

We also visited with thd ^f^^^t- 
devotion the tomb of our father Abraham,: and such among the ■;^|ifpj|i^^|f|#'" :;';.:. 

buried with him. ■• . ■ :■.."■ "" ■■ -^^::■^":^-:x■■6:rf:3Wfftf5#> 

^_ A - . \ ■ _ ^ _\ _\ 


■-' ■ -^- 

-. X _-^' 

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< —r 

At last, after having accomplished all the duties of a devout pilgrim, having 
visited most of the sacred spots, such as that of Moses, he who spoke with God, it 
came into our mind, towards the middle of Sha'ban, to travel to a city, whose excel- 
lences and beauties are apparent and manifest, — we mean Damascus, tliat splendid 
and magnificent capital, which shines with all sorts of perfections; which has large 
trees rocking before the wind, sweet-smelling gales which perfume its territory, 
places of worship and meeting frequented by the believers, houses which are the 
abode of the great and the honoured ; a rich and luxuriant meadow, with enclosed 
orchards and vineyards, which are continually inviting the inhabitants to partake 
of then- produce," a perpetual shadow, to keep off the rays of the burning sun ; 
flowers which look as if they were smihng, and whose sweet exhalations embalm the 
air ; young trees whose tender shoots spread in the atmosphere a fragrance similar to 
that of the everlasting Paradise ; and lastly, (to embrace all these perfections under 
one head,) a garden blooming with every variety of natural and artificial beauty, 
and glittering with the thousand hues of its innumerable flowers ; a city which not 
only stands the first among those of its class, but which is abundantly provided with 
every thing that is useful or desirable in Ufe, and of which a poet has said, — 

" The beauties of Damascus increase with time, as the qualities of wine improve 

•' in the bottle. 

" Damascus has an advantage over other Eastern countries ; which is, the 

" distance of her moons from the West."^ 

We entered Damascus towards the latter end of the said month of Sha'bfin, and 
had to congratulate ourselves upon our having come to it, and to thank God for 
having inspired us with the idea of visiting it ; for no sooner did we begin to wander 
through its streets, and to gaze on the numerous objects that invited our attention, 
than our eyes were dazzled with their magnificence, and we forgot all the wonderful 
things that we had seen in other countries. In this way we visited some of its 
splendid buildings, and saw some of its great curiosities ; and we were so much 
pleased, that, although our intention had been to stay only three days, a month 
passed without our thinking of our departure ; and during that period of time we 
had ample opportunity to witness such proofs of its magnificence and beauty, as 
could not be contained within the limits of a volume, and which it would not be in 
our power to describe, were we endowed with all the talents of eloquence : for, 
indeed, the excellences of Damascus are so numerous, that it would be an act of 
madness in us to attempt their description, especially being, as we are, restrained 
)^ by the principal object of this work, and pressed by the reader to expose the motives 


^ - x^' - ■-^>J 0^^^_^J-^_ \--l4_4/_ >_^TJ^ r.--i "i^i- "> O -"^ 

_ - _ _ --,-_jL_ -_-.J_^*-?,X . -^^^( 

^ _x r-ij. _^^-i4^ ^ ^ - ^>j 

-^ ^— -A ^X t^\'^' --^i-ju 

-. y _ a^ A ^ , _ ^ r ^ ^h ^^X "^—j 

r - ^1 ^- ^ — —' -^ -^ ^ - \l 

- n, -i.^, ^-X- ■-" HLV 


_ ^_ _ 

_ ^ _ 

X r-.^ 




-1 1- _■ 

of our undertaking. "VVe cannot, however, abandon the subject, without stating 
that Damascus is the abode of happiness, comfort, and contentment ; its mosque' 
a building uniting in itself more beauties than the most fanciful imagination can 
conceive, and its meadow a spot of blessedness and joy, abounding in beauties of 
all kinds ; — 

I- - ^ 

r I ^ 


" a place of pleasure and delight, an earthly Paradise." 

We had, before our arrival at this city, heard and read so much about it and its 
inhabitants — (may God prosper and defend them !) — that we had the greatest desire 
of meeting them ; and long before we could put our project into execution we were 
anticipating the pleasure and utility which their company and society would afford 
us. We were not a little confirmed in our desire through our acquaintance : in 
Mecca with one of its noblest and most illustrious citizens, one of those virtuous 
Shaikhs who are hke unique pearls strung in the string of time, the right hmwi of 
the nobles, and the centre of theologians and preachers; he who is renowned for 
his writings and his wisdom in judicial matters, whose sentences were always like a 
discriminating line between truth and falsehood, between innocence and crime ; the 
author of works whose number and merits it would be a hopeless task to describe ; 
the inheritor of science without its troubles, and the endowed with learning and talents, 
of the first order, — the Mufti of the Sultan of those districts, in the sect of An-no * 
man,^ our Lord A'bdu-r-rahman, son of the Shaikku4~isldm O'mm^du-d-din,- who 
never through life left the path followed by the directed. This holy .mm,''with 
whose company and society God was pleased to favour us morning and evening, 
often told us of the city of Damascus, and of its worthy inhabitants, and strengthened 
us in our wish to visit it, and live amongst its people, praising in the highest 
terms their hospitality, their amiable disposition, their love of science, their gene- 
rosity, and a thousand other brilliant qualities ; so that, when we arrived at 
Damascus, and began to mix in company with the noble and the learned amongst its 
citizens ; when we had witnessed enough of their excellences and virtues to dazzle 
our eyes, and make us lose our senses, we discovered not only that the information 
bestowed upon us by the learned judge was correct, but that his most vivid atid 


eloquent descriptions, his most lavish praises, still fell short of their realmeritSj 
and that, in the words of a poet, — ; „:: 4-; 


" We were surrounded by their qualities shining in every direction :^ - j 

" And although we had heard much in their praise, the report :proved. to be true 

" when the meeting took place. "^ 


•- ^ m^ r^ 

■_ -. 
_ _.— . I .- - -J- , 

-■- -^-^r 

-H, . . 

^ . ■■' 

^ ^.\ jym 

_: - J- - I , -, 

K - 
jm _ 



h — 

^ i 


>M*i . A^^fli^-^C^j-T- ri 1 -^-^ -w 

^^p^^^.r^b:^^^^^^^'^^ ■" 

r K - ■- 

■■^■v*:^ ^ 

■-1 _ 

■-. r ^ 




L r 

. P 

t ■- ^ 

■-: ^ 

We were received by them with the greatest regard and distinction ; they hastened 
to show us aU the wonders of their land ; the noble and the great honoured us with 
their consideration and their friendship ; the learned imparted to us their science, 
and furnished us with precious information ; everj^ one made us the centre of his 
affections and the mark of his generosity. (May God remunerate them as amp]y as 
they deserve !) We experienced, wherever we went, the most cordial and amicable 
reception ; we M^ere extolled and praised in spite of our ignorance, honoured and 
esteemed in spite of our wickedness ; thanked in spite of our inutility ; and, lastly, 
such was their kindness and good behaviour towards us, that we fancied ourselves 
one of their family. 

Among the most polite and obhging was our Lord Ahmed Ibn Shahin Effendi ;'" 
he whose praises ornament the pages of the books, and whose panegyrics fall with 
more abundance than the autumnal rains ; he who is the revolving axle of the noble 
and the honoured, and the prince of writers and poets ; he who, taking us by the 
hand, led us to the discovery of unfrequented paths of literature, and who poured 
; the torrents of his generosity. 


Encouraged by the favourable reception we had met with, we then came to the 
determination of settling for some time at Damascus— (may God preserve the city 
and its inhabitants !) — and began to give all our attention to the scrupulous and 
careful contemplation of all and everj' one of the beauties contained in its mosque, 
public buildings, palaces, houses, and streets, as well as to a minute perusal of the 
natural charms scattered over its fertile meadow : we thus saw and observed many 
things which might as so many incomparable pearls be threaded in the string of 
description, while we passed the evenings in eloquent and learned conversations, 
under the roof of excellent and generous friends, especially under that of the above- 
mentioned illustrious individual (Ahmed Ibn Shahin), in whose company we spent 
the greatest part of the night in pleasant confabulations, exercising and inuring 
ourselves to the practice of literature and eloquence, drinking of the limpid waters 
of conviviality and friendship, presenting to each other the marrow of our hearts, 
spreading the carpet of mirth and good humour, unloosing the strings of formality 
and respect, discussing literary points, investigating the sources of tradition, diving 
into the unfathomable sea of theology and jurisprudence, wading through the 
tortuous maze of history, and travelling over distant lands and unknown regions, 
calling to our assistance, whenever we were assailed by doubt, the authority and 
.testimony of the various masters in the respective sciences. It was then that such 
among the company as were eager for science, and covetous of information, began 

^ -A 


■'<. - 

^. >.--^ 

■_ ■ .^ X H- ^j^^ 

- ^ . -^ -y ^' - ^ -^ .'I'j- :^--^otHV^ 

_^ pV_ ^j-^^, *_^i__ j..^> -^i^^-^.-.o 

. . .^_^y^ ^■^^*^.>y■ j-L--rfT_W^ 

Trf_ f^-r -^ ^' ^- A'-"t.\ 
^-- ^ ^ r'^-: ^ r" ^ ^K— J-^J^-I^y "--^ 

^. _ ^ y- . ^^ J r -. . , ■ S> --I-K - 

. . -j-i^^.^ . ^ --^■-■"^7^^ 

^ _ ^ ^ .- ^ ^ ^ ^ ^_ -^ . jy ^-^ ^ . 

^. _. 

THE author's preface. 


to inquire about Andalus, and to entreat us to speak of its fertility and productions, 
to praise its excellences and advantages, to record passages of its history, which 
eloquence itself could not describe, and to repeat to them the precious sentences, 
the inestimable maxims, and the invaluable beauties that lie scattered in the 
writings of its historians and poets. It was then that, holding the reins of justice, 
and following the road of impartiality, we were imprudent and inconsiderate enough 
to undertake such a difficult and laborious task, and began to recite such passages 
of its eloquent writers and poets as we knew by heart and God was pleased to put 
upon our tongue, especially from the illustrious Wizir Lisanu-d-din Ibnu-1-khattib 
As-salmam," (may God pour upon him the torrents of his mercy, and make 
him a participant in his ineffable graces !) whom we frequently represented and 
described as the knight of prose and verse composition, and the champion who 
always won the prize in the literary races of his time. And when we had, on 
many occasions, exhausted our powers in praise of the nobie Wizir, wheii we 
had represented in the most brilliant colours his merits and virtues, our words 
happened to make an impression on the ears of our auditors ; they would hear of 
no one but him, and talk of nothing else but his works, until he became the 
object of their search, and the end of their wishes and hopes ; the topic of their 
conversation, and the idol of their hearts ; and, when they had gathered with the 
hands of desire the abundant crops from his writings, their minds became impressed 
with his superiority in all the sciences, and their nostrils inhaled the scent of the 
flowers scattered over his writings. .Then our Lord Ahmed Ash-shahini, the gUc^e 
illustrious individual in whose praise we have expatiated, the endowed with. laudaMe 
intentions, asked us to quench his thirst of knowledge respecting the Wizir LisAnu- 
d-din, in a work that should relate his origin, education, adventures in life, character, 
productions, intercourse with kings, poets, doctors, and other learned and eminent 
men among his contemporaries, — ^liis glorious deeds, which he strung like so many 
unique pearls on the necklace of time, and his Uterary remains, on some of which 
the fatal north wind has exercised his deadly blast : he also requested us to 
reproduce some of the inestimable jewels, whether in prose or verse^ which lie 
scattered in the Wizir's voluminous works, — those that dazzle with their vivid 
flashes the eyes of the readers, that surpass in merit all the literary productions 
of other countries put together, and which have travelled the roads of the sun and 
the moon. ) 

^^ r" ^ 

But our answer was, that the undertaking was by no means an easy oti.e> God 
having granted science only to a few among his most favourite creatures ; we 

- n . y . r - --■ 

therefore declined the task upon the three following considerations:': first, our 



y_ ^ I ■. V \ ■■ f 


-r X ,-- -> ^ 


y ^ 




^ \"- - - -.J- ■- ■- 

V _ \ _ _ ^ 

^ - ■ \ < 


1- - ■■ -B^ r 

J _ _ _ X _ ^ T*^ ^ 
^ _ - ^^ X 


_ ^ _ ^ L- ^r-_- - .- 

, J^ 

- — ■ 

y - 

VOL. I. 


^r - 

^— -.- --^ J_r-|--^ T^^,^ i-r**-*^ rj^ 

■i ^^ 

r H 

^ 1^ ^ ', _ 

^^ ^-^' _ ^ -- - ■- r 

■V "- -^ 

-^1 ^ 

L - 

^ - ■ ^ - . - ^ 

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-^.A-^-^^- - \ - 

-■r^^'^-^; \^. . . . — 


J _ - 
-: ■-■ 

i - - - 



,f- -■■. -.- 

insufficiency to conquer the manifold difficulties of a subject which required almost 
universal knowledge, and a perfect acquaintance with all the branches of literature ; 
secondly, our want of the necessary books to assist us in our task, since we had 
left our library in Maghreb, and most of the works we wanted were in the East 
more scarce than the griffin ; '^ and thirdly, the nature of the enterprise abounding 
with cases of a most extraordinary kind, occurring with double force to a mind bent 
upon melancholy, as ours is, and the division of our attention between the diffi- 
culties of the subject and the unhappy events we had to relate. 

However, our reasons having been completely disregarded, and our excuses not 
accepted, we, after some time, seeing the demand reiterated, thought of complying 
with it by way of acknowledgment for the great favours and attentions we owed to 
that illustrious individual, and promised him to undertake the task as soon as we 
should have returned to Cairo. We therefore set off for that city, and quitted 
Damascus with the greatest sorrow and regret, leaving our heart with the kind and 
benevolent people by whom we had been so hospitably received, and so generously 

V r 

Agreeably to our promise, some time after our arrival at Cairo we began the task 
we had taken on our shoulders, and before many weeks had elapsed we wrote a 
good portion of it, which would have charmed the eyes and hearts of the lovers of 
composition; we followed in its arrangement the most frequented paths, we orna- 
mented it with the most precious jewels from the East and West, and we spared no 
labour to make it acceptable for the learned. But after this w^e were suddenly 
seized with a desire to leave our work unfinished ; and our idleness representing to 

: us:>this resolution of ours as an equitable one, we were first led to postpone it, as the 
debtor ^postpones the payment of his debt to his generous creditor, and little by httle 
to Uy it aside, and then at last to think of not completing what we had begun ; thus 
striking the long space of time we had spent in its composition from the sum of our 
deserts, deviating from the mark of the arrow of our intention, and leaving in the 
deep shadows of night descriptions of things and ideas which had never occurred to 
the mind of any other author. We were persevering in this determination when 
a letter of that noble Lord came, announcing to us that no excuse whatsoever would 
be received for the non-fulfilment of our promise, and that he waited in the greatest 
anxiety the completion of our task ; so we were obliged to return to our work, 
and, spurred by his eloquent and affectionate letter, in which he urged us on to the 
pursuit, we once more took the pen in our hand, decided not to lay it aside until we 

. Jiad brought our undertaking to an end.'^ 

" --V- .: : 


-t ^ 



- V 


- - -T 

■>f ^ 

^ -::;■- 

v-'^-O >-h--bT' 

- i- - ^^- 




We were fast advancing in our work, when it occurred to us that were we to add 
to our former plan the history of Andalus, and what Islam performed hi it, aa. 
well as a description of the manifold advantages which that country possesses, ajid 
the heroic deeds of its inhabitants ; were we to transcribe such select pieces in prose 
and verse as would give the scholar an idea of the hterary accomplishmeiits ^^■ 
Andalusians, and to say enough of its history and antiquities to fill the cuppf.ffie;, 
lover of those sciences, we might, without deviating from our path/ (since a^thJ^ 
falls within the scope of our subject,) make an important addition to our intended 
work. We had, it is true, while residing in the Maghreb (West), when the shades 
of youth were declining towards their evening, and when the high regions of 
thought were getting out of the reach of the attacks of fate, laboured hard on .the 
history of Andalus ; we had collected for the description of that country and its 
inhabitants (two subjects to fiU with delight the hearts and souls of the lovers of 
science) the most interesting and valuable documents, and the most curious. snd 
complete written as well as oral information; we had described minutely ;;t^e 
aptitude and superiority of the Andalusians in the sciences, theij-'fprwardn^?; 
and courage in attacking the cruel enemy of God; the enchanting beauties of tlie 
spots which they formerly inhabited, the sites of their contests and hattles ; of gB 
which we had amassed treasures enough to satisfy the wishes and ambition of.t|r. 
most excellent and scrupulous historian, and collected a sufficient number of uritqtt^ 
pearls to bewitch the mmds of the readers, and gathered in the dehghtfulpaths,:||. 
their hterature flowers enough to gratify the senses of the ,s.tudi 
together many useful and hitherto unknown things, in : a. manner; to j 
of the learned and ingenious start out of their orbits with pleasure and astonishment : 
all this, moreover, was written by us in such an elevated and pleasing style, that 
had it been publicly delivered by the common crier, it would have made even the 
stones deaf. 


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But, alas ! the whole of this we had left in Maghreb with the rest of our hbraiy ; 
so that we had nothing to assist us in our gigantic undertaking but what littlestill 
remained impressed on our mind and memory, and a few detached leaves of our 
work, which, when inquired for, answered our summons, and happened by chance 
to be among our papers : for had we at present with us all we had collected for,:,the 
purpose, and what we had ornamented with the inestimable jewels .of nm^^^ 
all eyes would have been dazzled, and all hearts rejoiced; for certainly, it ::^|^| 
have been the most extensive and complete work ever written on thersu}yeqt.i ppi 
such as it is, we ofier it to our readers ; for man is the ^on of ;tuneg^anfeff^^ 

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stances, and every one spends according to his means : so if the arrow of our 
action falls short of the mark of our intention ; if we remain behind in the path that 
we propose to follow ; if our style, instead of being elevated and sublime, becomes 
humble and low ; if, while extracting the account of an historian, we swallow too 
quickly the milk of the breasts of abridgment; if, instead of joining and connecting 
the accounts of the various writers, we leave them separated and disjointed ; let our 
excuse be the liability of all God's creatures to error, and the facility with which 
authors, by over-rating their strength, fall into mistake and delusion. However, we 
have done our best to make it as useful and complete as possible ; for he whose 
stock of learning is but scanty can only avoid falUng into error by extreme and 
scrupuloxis. attention and care, as the weak cannot avoid temptation otherwise than 
by continually repeating prayers. 

Know ye, then, O readers of this book! that when we had determined upon the 
completion of our work, we began to think seriously about the most suitable 
division of its parts, and the proper arrangement of the information contained in 
it. We therefore, after much consideration, divided it into two separate parts, 
to each of which we gave a different title, although both make, as it were, the soul 
and body of the work, and are equally deserving of the unreserved attention of the 
studious. The first part, in order to attain better the object of our work, and for 
the sake of brevity, as also in order to curtail some accounts which it would have 
been impossible to abridge, and which would have appeared too long, we thought of 
dividing into eight chapters. 

Chap. I. will contain a description of the island of Andalus, and of its beautiful 
climate and mild temperature, which is the same every where ; as likewise an 
account of the manifold advantages and gifts with which God was pleased to endow 
it ; its limits and geographical dimensions ; the fecundity of the ground fertilized by 
copious rains ; the fruits and productions of its soil ; the imposing ruins and 
magnificent remains scattered over its surface ; as also a detailed account of some 
of its principal provinces, with the most remarkable cities contained in them. 

Chap. II. will show how the Moslems conquered Andalus ; and how and at what 
time the whole of that extensive country was subdued by their victorious arms, 
under the command of Miiza Ibnu Nosseyr, and Tarik Ibnu Zeyad, his freedman ; 
how its rich plains became the hippodromes wherein the Arabs exercised their 
generous steeds, and its fields were converted into pasture -grounds and halting- 

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places for their camels : it will also contain the narrative of the conquest, borrowed 
from the most authentic sources, and such information about the early times 
of Islam in Andalus as we have been able to collect. 

Chap. III. will be a chronological history of such illustrious Moslems as were, 
by their sanctity and virtues, the firm supporters of religion, or who, engaged in 
perpetual battle with the enemy of God, defeated him morning and evening, never 
resting from the fatigues of the holy war, but prosecuting it with incredible ardour 
through pain and toil, over hill and dale : it will likewise contain an account of the 
disposition and forwardness of the Andalusians to face the enemy on every occasion, 
relate some of their heroic deeds and praiseworthy actions, and inform the readers 
of their constancy and ardour in observing the holy precepts of their Sunnah, and 
defending them with drawn swords against the attacks of the infidels. 

Chap. IV. will give the history of Cordova, that illustrious capital and seat 
of the Khalifs, from which the conquerors salhed out who trod on the necks of the 
impious Christians, and brought down their pride ;— of its great mosque, built by the 
Sultans of the family of Merwan, and decorated with gfittering magnificence, and 
works of art dazzling to the eye ;— of the manifold beauties contained in the two 
royal seats in its neighbourhood, namely, Medinatu-z-zahra, built by An-n^sir, and 
Medinatu-z-zahirah, which Al-mansur erected ;-~of the numerous pleasure-gardeii^ 
and other spots of recreation in which its environs abound; the extensive .and 
fertile territory, with its productions of every kind ;— and lastly, several anecdotes 
and historical accounts which are intimately connected with this subject, aiid will 
fill with delight the hearts of the acute and the studious. 

Chap. V. will be entirely consecrated to the history of those Andalusians who 
quitted their native country to travel into the distant regions of the East, and to 
enter the territories pure from contamination, and free from heresy; as also to 
commemorate the praises which the said eminent doctors, the endowed with superior 
minds and virtuous propensities, lavished on Damascus, that mole on earth's cheek, 
that terrestrial Paradise; together with such information respecting its principal 
orators and best writers among its present inhabitants as we deemed necessary to 
illustrate our narrative. It will also contain the conversations which these illus- 
trious individuals, whose well-directed arrows always hit the mark of their ,^in^. 
tention, notwithstanding that their modesty and self-denial are excessi^>f;teld 
with the despicable and unworthy writer of the present work, wheiiy =.disniOiiintiiig 
from the camel of peregrination, he alighted amongst them> m' tlve;;year one 

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thousand and thirty-seven of the Hijra, and had tlierefore an opportunity of 
witnessing their rare excellences, and being almost offuscated by the brightness of 
their virtues. 


Chap. VI. A biography of several Eastern worthies, who, guided by the torch 
of direction, which was rapidly being extinguished in their own country, bent their 
steps towards Andalus, where they implanted, by their stay, the seeds of virtue and 
learning ; and who, on their return to their native land, delighted the ears of their 
audience with tales respecting the countries they had visited. 

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Chap. VII. A sketch of the manifold gifts that God Almighty has lavished upon 
the people of Andalus, such as quickness of intellect, power of reason, strength of 
imagination, and retentiveness of memory ; — their prodigal expenditure in the acqui- 
sition of knowledge, and their wonderful efforts to arrive at fame ; — their superiority 
in all the branches of literature, as likewise some of their witty sayings and clever 
answers, their jokes, epigrams, satirical traits, and some selections from their 
writings ; all tending to show their aptitude for science and literature, and their 


undeniable pre-eminence and superiority in all the branches of learning. 

Chap. VIII. How the impious enemy of God subdued the island of Andalus, after 
putting in practice all his treasons and deceits against it, surrounding it with his 
circumventing nets, and exciting dissensions and civil wars among the kings and 
chiefs of the Moslems ; — how the shrewd Christian acted, and how he conducted 
himself, until (may God confound him, and extirpate his progeny to the last !) he 
conquered all the territories which acknowledged the sway of Islam, and obliterated 
from them the worship of the only God, substituting that of the Trinity and its 
?ibominahle; rites,, inscribing its name with the hands of sacrilege and impiety on the 

■ _ ^ _ 

thr^hold of the temples and other places of worship consecrated to the only and 
indivisible God. — How the Andalusian Moslems (of Granada), surrounded on every 
side by the enemies of their faith, solicited in eloquent epistles, either in prose or 
verse, the assistance and help of their Moslem brethren of the East and West ; and 
how, their entreaties being disregarded, under the plea that the enemy guarded all 
the avenues to that city, and that their forces were not sufficiently numerous to con- 
tend with the various nations of Christians who besieged it, they fell helpless and 
unarmed into the hands of their cruel enemy. May God restore to it the words 
of Islam, and re-estabhsh in it the laws of his blessed messenger, the Lord of the 

-Creation, (upon whom be blessing and salutation !) and expel from it and the sur- 

■/rounding countries all the infidel nations ! 

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Such will be the division^* and arrangement of the first part of this work, in 
which we have not introduced any chapter respecting the Wizir Lis^nu-d-din ; for, 
as the reader will see, the second, which forms the hulk of this work, is exclusively 
consecrated to him, the first part being only, as it were, an episode in the life of that 
eminent and illustrious individual. 

- - > 

As to the title which we have chosen for our work, we must state that- our first 
thought was to name it " Sweet Odour emanating from the History of the Wizir 
Lisanu-d-dm Ibnud-khattib ;"^' but, when we determined upon adding to our plan 
the history of Andalus, we changed our mind, and entitled it, " Fragrant Smell from 
tender shoots of Andalus, and the History of the Wizir JUsdnu-d-din Ibnu-l- 
khattih."^'^ We must add that we were not a little stimulated to the composition 
of the work, and to divide it in the manner we have just described, by several 
reasons : the first and principal, because the individual who was the cause of the 
composition of this work was himself a native of Syria, and born in the illustriou^s 
city of Damascus; the second, that the conquerors of Andalus were for the most 
part Syrians, all men of courage and determination; the third, that the greatest 
part of the Arab families who settled in Andalus in the first centuries after the •- 
conquest, fixing therein their permanent residence, and carrying with them wherever 
they went prosperity and power, were originally from Syria; and lastly, that the 
city of Granada was chiefly inhabited by people from Damascus, who, struck by the : 
resemblance which that former city bore to the capital of Syria, in its palaces j 
rivers, abundance of trees, and profusion of flowers, named it after their native dity. 

We shall now beseech the readers to look at this our book with the eyes of 
indulgence ; not to inquire further into the motives of its being written, nor to 
think about him who was the principal cause of its composition ; but, putting aside 


all these and other considerations, to place all their reliance and trust in its contents, 
to forgive such errors as they may detect, and to pardon the mistakes and want 
of judgment of the author. We farther request them not to examine our narrative 
with the eyes of close criticism, whenever they see us struggling either with the 
obscurities of the language, or with the insurmountable difficulties of history ; but 
to treat us with indulgence, and to consider, that although our work may not satisfy 
their wishes, yet it is not altogether devoid of utility and interest ; and it may lead 
them to the discovery of more precious information. For our part, we are satisfied [[ 
with our most intimate conviction of not having spared either time,- expense,' or 
labour, to render this book as useful and agreeable as possible, aiid feel .confident 
that very few works will be found to surpass the present, or even . to dbmpete with 


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it, in point of abundance and diversity of matter. We therefore consider it as a 
valuable gift, and as sucli we hope that it Avill be received with open arms by all 
lovers of learning and information . 

In the course of our narrative we have occasionally introduced quotations, in 
prose and verse, from various writers, especially whenever we deemed it expedient 
or necessary for the illustration of our subject ; and we have likewise brought in 
such anecdotes of Kings, Wizirs, Kadis, Poets, and other learned men, as we 
thought would be an example for future generations, and a salutary admonition for 
all our readers. 

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Etymology of the name of Andalus—CHmate— Geographical Divisions—Dimensions of the Coimtiy-- 
Shape— Ancient divisions— First settlers — ^Vandals—Africans— Romans — Ishbdn, son of Titus^Bisht- 

ilikat — Goths — Iskhander, 

In the name of God, whose assistance we humbly heseech and implore, we shall 
begin by describing the Island of Andalus,— a countiy whose excellences are: so; ;" 
numerous, and of such a kind, that they cannot easily be contained within the limits 
ofabook, and that no words can be found sufficiently strong to give an ideajof; ;: 
them. For our part, we consider Andalus as the prize of the race -ft^ ;;;l^Jie 
horsemen who, at the utmost speed of their chargers, subdued the regions of the 

East and West. 

Respecting the etymology of its name different opinions prevail ; some authors, f^""^^' "^ 
like Ibnu Sa'ld,' derive it from Andalus, son of Tubal, son of Y^feth, son of Nuh, " AndaW 
who settled in it, and gave it his name, in like manner as his brother Sebt, son 
of Yafeth, peopled the opposite land, and gave his name to the city of Sebtah 
(Ceuta). Ibnu Ghaiib^ follows the same opinion, but makes Andalus to be the son 
of Yafeth. Ibnu Hayyan,^ Ibnu Khaldun,* and others, derive it from Andalosh,^ 
a nation of barbarians who settled there. This latter opinion seems the most 
probable; but God is all-knowing. 

The country of Andalus (may God restore it entire to the Moslems !) has. be^iiGiimate. 
described both by native and foreign writers in the most pompous terms. jT^e^ 
Wizir Lisanu-d-din^ Ibnu-1-khattib, (may God show him mercy !) in bne-.pS'^Ms 
historical works, says as follows : " God Almighty has. distinguished^rtliis ; p^ 
" country by endowing it with gentle hills and fertile plainSySweet^MS /Wholesome 

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" food, a great number of useful animals, plenty of fruits, abundance of waters, 
" comfortable dweUings, good clothing, beautiful vases, and utensils of every 
'' description ; fine weapons, a pure and wholesome air, a slow succession of the 
" seasons of the year. He has also endowed its inhabitants with great aptitude for 
" the sciences and the arts of domestic life ; acuteness of mind, quickness of intel- 
" lect ; courage, ardent love of every thing which is noble, and many other brilliant 
** qualities, which are not to be found united in people of any other country." 

Abu 'Obeyd-illah Al-bekri Al-andalusi' compares his native country to Sham 
(Syria) for purity of air and sweetness of waters, to Yemen for mildness of tempera- 
ture, which is every where the same, to Hind (India) for drugs and aromatic plants, 
to Al-ahwaz« for the magnitude of its snakes, to China for mines and precious 
stones, to 'Aden for the number and security of its coasts and harbours. 

Abu 'Amir As-sal^mi,^ in his work entitled " Durru-UkiUyid wa ghurruru-l- 
fawdyid, (pearls of the necklaces, and stars of useful things,) says that Andalus 
belongs to the chmate of Shdm (Syria) ; that which, of all those into which the 
earth is divided, is reckoned the best and most temperate, which has the finest land 
and waters, and which abounds most in animals, fruits, and productions of all kinds : 
" that climate," he adds, *' occupies a middle place among the other climates, and 
'* is therefore considered the best, it being well known that the most preferable 
'' po'rtion of any thing is that which is in the middle." 

The Sheikh Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ibn Musa Ar-razi^" says that Andalus 
is situated at the extremity of the fourth chmate towards the "West, and that 
all learned authors agree in describing it as a country with delightful valleys, 
ahd fertile lands, rich in all sorts of agricultural productions, watered by many 
large rivers, and abounding in springs of the sweetest waters. It contains but 
few wild beasts, or venomous reptiles; the air in. winter is mild, and the coolest 
breezes temper the beat of, summer. The climate is so temperate all the year 
rbund as to make the transition from one season tq another almost imperceptible ; 
in fact, - it may be said that a perpetual spring reigns aU over Andalus, this 
being -the reason why most of the fruits of earth grow in all seasons, and the 
crops sticceed one another without interruption ; owing, too, to the different 
quahties of the . soil, the same produce may be obtained all the year round m 
various provinces of Andalus ; as, for instance, on the coast and the lands adjommg 
to it all fruits of the earth are very fonvard, while in the Thagher^^ and its 
districts, and especially on the mountains, where the air is colder, they are, on 
the contrary, very backward. Most of its fruits, also, partake of a flavour and 
beauty which are not common to those of other countries.^^ 
i-^lliat Andahis is situate in the fourth chmate appears sufficiently demonstrated 



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CHAP- I.] 

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by the words of the geographer Idrisi, as quoted by Ibnu Sa'id : '* Ajidalus," 
says that author, " has no portion of its territory within the thurd dimate, but 
the fourth passes by its southern coast, and includes Cordova, Seville, Murcia, 
and Valencia; thence it goes towards Sicily, encloses this and other islands in 
' the neighbourhood, leaving the sun at the hack. The fifth passes by Tsleyt&leh 
(Toledo), Barakostah (Saragossa) and the environs; ihen hj Arghon^^ 
at the southern extremity of which is the city of Barsheldnah (Barcelona) , 
" it proceeds to Rome and the country subject to that city, divides the BaAm-/- 
" Banddilceh (Gulf of Venice) into two parts, and comprises Costantiniyeh the 
' ' great (Constantinople) and its territory, leaving behind the planet called 
" Az-zahrah (Venus). The sixth passes by the northern coast of Andalus, 
that which is washed by the waters of the circumambient sea, includes "part of . 
Castile^* and Portugal,^^ a great portion of the country of the Franks,' Gfeorgia, 
and the country of the Sclavonians and Russians, leaving behind the :planet 
" called 'Ottdrid (Mercury). The seventh comprises the circumambieiifc sea-/to : 
the north of Andalus, the island called Alinkilterrah^^ (England) ^M^^-^tMrs^ 


in the neighbourhood, as well as the remainder of the countries of the Fr^ks- 

and Sclavonians, Georgia, and Berjan.^'' — According to Al-beyhaki^« .the island^ 

" ofTuli,^3andthe two islands of Al-ajb^P" (N6n\^ay) and An-nisd" (Aiiiazones); ^^ 

"and several other districts of Russia, fall within the , limits of this seYeiith-:and, / 

- _ _ ^ ^ _ 

" last chmate, which has the moon at its back.'' .-,..: .^tv:^^.-. ■ 

Respecting the name of ^Z-je^j/r^A (the -island) by.which :aH authorjSr^i^Ma ft 
designating Andalus, it must not be understood by it that that'cOunti^isiv^pi'Opleliy^ 
speaking, an island ; since it is well known to be joined to the great land (dontinfiiat).^ 
by the chain of mountains called AUbort^^ (Pyrenees), but the Arabs in general 
call by this name all those countries which are surrounded by water on every side 
but one, and this being the case with Andalus, it was called Al-jezirah. Two 
principal seas wash the shores of Andalus; on the northern and western side. 
the circumambient sea (Ocean), on the southern and eastern the sea of SJid-m 
(Mediterranean). By the sea of Shdm we understand that sea which begins at: 
the lower extremity of Andalus, at a place on its south-western coast called 
Jeziratu4-]chadhrd^^ (Algesiras), between Tangiers in Africa and the coast of. 
Andalus, taking from thence its course towards Syria. The width of this sear. - 
at the said spot is generally stated at eighteen niiles ; which is also the dis-; ■ 
tance between Jezirah Tariff* (Tarifa) and Kasr Masmtidah^^ (Alcasjo*), .nefe- 
Ceuta. Between these two last mentioned places there was once a:-:J|ij|gfe>S 
which, according to common opinion, Iskhander (Alexander) ordered .io^l|e|b' 

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that he might pass from Andalus into the opposite land of Africa. But of this 
more will be said in the course of this narrative. 

The narrow sea thus emerging from between the two coasts was called 
Bahru-z-zoUW^^ (the narrow sea). Although the distance between the two 
shores is so small, as we have aheady observed, this strait is nevertheless 
very difficult to be passed, owing to the continual agitation of its waves, and 
the frightful whirlpools occasioned by the meeting of the two seas. We have 
said that the width of the straits at the narrowest part was eighteen miles ; it 
is double that width at Ceuta, and from thence the sea begins to grow wider 
and wider, until at some places it reaches 800 miles in breadth, or perhaps 
more ; as happens at Stir (Tyre), on the coast of Syria. This sea contains 
many islands, which some geographers estimate to be twenty-eight in number, 
and of which the principal are Sicily, Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, Crete, Corfu, and 

so forth. 
Dimensions of The dimensions of the country are differently stated: Ahmes'udi,^^ in his 
thecountry. » q^j^^j^ j^g^^o^g^.. s^ys, '* Audalus is very thickly peopled ; nearly two months 

'* of continual marching are required to traverse it from one end to the other. 
'* It contains nearly forty cities of the first rank." Ibn AUsa' ^^ agrees with 
Al-mes'udi in this particular ; his opinion is that the length of Andalus from 
Aridnah^^ (Narbonne) to Ishbdnah (Lisbon) is equal to the distance that a horse- 
man well mounted may travel in sixty days ; but this is decidedly an error, first 
of all because Narbonne is, by that author, placed within the limits of Andalus, 
while it is evident that it belongs to another country ; and secondly, because the 
distance between those two cities is much overrated, as most of the authors who 
have written on the subject estknate it at only one month and a half's march. 
=;:ihmx Sa'id, however, endeavours to adjust the difference by supposing that 
: ibh;AJisa' meant a horseman not well mounted, and travelling by short stages, 
^ ^ and that his text was vitiated by the copyist. He himself adopts the computation 
of the Sherif Idrisi as that which deserves more credit, namely, that the length 
of Andalus is of one month's march. The same opinion is followed by Al-hijari,^° 
who, having, as he informs us, consulted with well informed and trustworthy 
travellers on the subject, learnt from them that a httle more than a month's 
good travelHng was sufficient to traverse Andalus in its whole length. 
. The last mentioned author (Al-hijari) estimates the distance from Lisbon to 

- ^Z-%'i^*^ (the Pyrenees) at more than one thousand miles, but whoever wishes 

to obtain more information on the subject may consult Ibnu Sa'id, who has 

\A ■■- treated the matter at full length. 

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CHAP. I.] 



The width of Andalus measured at the top, towards the north-east, is forty 
miles, this being the length of those mountain barriers which separate it from 
the country of the Franks, and which stretch along from the Mediterranean to 
the Ocean; if measured at the centre, as for instance drawing a line to pass by . 

Toledo, it is sixteen days' march. 

Its shape, according to all accounts, is that of a triangle ; much difference, shape, 
however, exists among geographers respecting its north-eastern ^^ ^ngle, namely, 
that which falls in the neighbourhood of Narbonne : some authors, like Ahmed 
Ibn Mohammed Ar-razl and Ibnu Hayyan, placing it in Narbonne, a city imme- 
diately facing Bordhil (Bourdeaux) ^^ on the north-east ; while others only place 
it in the neighbouring districts. But this, as well as other points concerning 
the topography of Andalus, has been decided by the Sherif Idrisi, an author 
in whose accounts imphcit reliance may be placed, not only because he traversed 
that country in all directions, navigated its seas, and surveyed its coasts, but 
also on account of the great knowledge he acquired in the science of geography. 

The words of Ar-razi on the subject are as follows: " The shape of Andalus ;i 
*' is that of a triangle, the angles of which are placed, one at Kddis (Cadiz), wh^re 
" stands the famous tower with an idol at the top, or rather at that spot on the 
" extreme south where the Mediterranean begins, directing its course to the east. 
*' The other to the east of Andalus, between the cities of Narbonne and Bordhilr : 
'* which are now in the hands of the Franks, falling diametrically opposite to tli0;. 
"two islands of Mayorcah (Mallorca) and Mendrcah (Menorca), and at an eqg# ; :; 
'* distance from the Ocean and Mediterranean, which in those parts are separStfed 
' ' only by an intervening tract of land called Al-abwdb (the Gates) , being gdrges 
" or passes which serve as a communication between the island of Andalus and 
'* the great land (continent) of which Afranjah (France) forms part. At this 
" place the distance between the tw^o seas is of two days' march, Narbonne bemg 
" on the coast of the Mediterranean, and Bordhil facing the Ocean, The third 
*' angle is placed in the north-west, in that spot of the country of Jalikiyah 
" (Galicia), where there is a mountain near the sea, and on it a very high tower, : 

with an idol on the top, similar to that of Kddis, and looking towards Birtdniah 

(Britain)." ;: 

Ibnu Sa'id says, " having once asked the opinion of several men learned in ,; 
" these matters, I was told that Idrlsi's statement seemed the most worthy .:of. 
" being received, namely, that neither Narbonne nor Bordhil were within ^tK'^v 
" hmits of Andalus, and therefore that the angle in the east niust;-b^i|®|ed ^ 
"between the cities of Barshelonah (Barcelona) and Tarkdnah ; (Tarr^gpHa)V >* 
"a spot called Wddi-Zanlakalto,^^ close, to the mountain ^ba;^e|awhich^ tte 



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[book 1. 

Ancient divi- 
sion ». 

" divides Andalus from the continent, where naany different languages are spoken. 
" These mountains have several passes or gates, which a Grecian king^^ ordered 
*' to be opened in the rock with fire, vinegar, and iron, for before his time there 
*' was no communication whatsoever by land between Andalus and the continent. 
" The said gates or passes face that part of the Bahru-z--zokdk (Mediterranean) 
" which divides the two islands of Mallorca and Menorca, this being a fact which 
''is corroborated by the assertions of ail travellers in those districts. The second 
" and third angles are placed by Idrisi in the same situation that the authors 
/'before mentioned agree in giving them, viz., in the promontory called 'Ajma'u- 
" l-hahrdni^^ near the city of Shant Yakdh (Santiago) in GaUcia, where the 
"famous beacon stands; and in the mountain of Al-aghar,^'^ near Cadiz, the 
"site of the well-known tower which has an idol on the top of it. Near this 
" mountain, in a south-west direction, is the spot where the Bahru-z-zokdk (narrow 
" sea) emerges from the Ocean, and from whence, after washing the southern and 
" eastern coasts of Andalus, it reaches one side of the Pyrenees." 

Andalus was divided, following the words of Ar-razi, into two parts -.—Andalus 
AUgharli (Western) , and Andalus Ash-sharU (Eastern) , the division having been 
made according to the prevailing winds, the fall of the rains, and the course of 
the rivers. The GharU (western) was that part of Andalus whose rivers empty 
their waters into the Western Ocean, and where it rains when the winds blow 
from the western quarter ; the SharH (eastern) , which was also called Al-aksd, 
or the remote, being, on the contrary, that whose rivers flow to the east, and 
where it rains when the easterly winds blow. The dividing Une between these 
two .districts was placed by Ar-razi in the mountains of. the Basques (Ai-bashkans) 
tovsrards the east, from thence drawmg a hne to the city of Santa Maria,^^ then 
incHning a. little towards the district of Agreda, in the neighbourhood of Toledo, 
and at, l^st. approaching that part of the Mediterranean which washes the shores of 
the modem .Cartagena, which belongs to the district of Lorcah (Lorca). All the 
countries falUng eastward of this line were therefore comprised within the hmits 
of Eastern Andalus, and those to the west within those of Western Andalus. The 
boundaries of the latter were : to the north-west, and west, the Ocean ; to the south 
the Western Sea, whence the Mediterranean, which the ancients called also 
Bahr Tirren^^ issues to take its course towards Syria. Bahr Tirren means the 
sea that divides the globe : it was called also the Great Sea.*" 

Abu Bekr 'Abdullah Ibn 'Abdi-1-hakam, known by the surname of Ibn An- 
^;L!: "^ nadhdham,*^ treating of the said division, adds a few particulars which we repeat 
^^v::i- J :::(.; here for the sake of information. " Andahis," he says," was divided into two 
.^J^S^^^^ viV^ by ancient geographers, who observed that whenever winds from the west 

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CHAP. I.] 




* 1 





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, Vandals- 

' prevailed, it rained much in Western Andalus, and there was drought in the 
' Eastern ; and, on the contrary, when the wind blew from the east^ rain fell 
' in abundance in the Eastern, and the Western was dry and parched. The 
' same difference was observed respecting the course of rivers, for aU the rivers 
' in Western Andalus flow from the east to the west, forcing their way through. 
' those mountains'*^ that traverse it in the middle, and are only a branch detaejigd^ 
' from the mountains in the north-western districts. In the Eastern all rivers 
' flow from west to east, for although, some of them take a more southern 
' direction, yet they all spring from the said mountains in the centre of Andalus, 
' and discharge their waters into the Mediterranean, which goes on to Syria, 
' and is known also by the name of Bahru-r-rtimi (the sea of Greece). As to 
' the rivers of the north-western districts*^ (Al-Juf), including those of the 
' country of the Galicians, and its dependencies, all empty themselves into the, 
* great ocean (Atlantic), which washes the shores of those countries," 

The same author (Ibn An-nadhdham) says that the first people who, after -tlie wseuiew 
deluge, settled in Andalus, according to the accounts of foreign writers, were ;a; 
nation called Andalush, M'ho gave their name to the country. This word Andalusk 
being in the course of time corrupted by the Arabs, who changed the letter shm . 
into sin, it was written and pronounced Andalus, which is the present namj^ of. 
this country.** Those barbarians came to Andalus and settled in it; and their 
numbers having increased considerably, in the course of time they filled the whole, 
country and established different kingdoms in it. But. being idolaters; (^Ma^*"'^''-^ 
and otherwise inclined to depravity and corruption, they lived in entire diso 
to the divine precepts, until God Almighty, perceiving their obstinacy, ;Wit 
the rain from them, and the whole country was thereby exposed to the most 
dreadful sterility ; fountains sank into the bowels of the earth, rivers altered their 
course, trees dried up, plants withered, and both men and beasts experienced 
the most raging thirst, owing to which most of the inhabitants perished, with the 
exception of a few who escaped from death by flying into distant lands: Thtis 
freed from these people, Andalus became a desert, and continued so for one 
hundred years,*^ for that great calamity was not confined to any part of its territory,- 
but ravaged the whole country from the Pyrenees to the farthest extremity in the 
Western or Green Sea, The reign of the Andalnsh had lasted one hundred and .: ' 

odd years- /.\.\ ■ ^v; 

At last, after Andalus had remained in that state for the said ^period of ye|if i|iMesns. 
God Almighty was pleased to send other settlers ; these were ; certain^iiefiipfe-v 
whom the king of Africa had banished his dommions, because; of ;th^|c::&vihg 
excited sedition in his state, and instigated his subjects to;:^^y0i|>.ag^nSt- him. 

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After making war against them until they were nearly exterminated, he caused 
the few who remained to he embarked on board some vessels, and giving them 
for commander an officer of the name of Batrikus, he allowed them to go whither 
they pleased. Batrikus and his men first cast anchor at a place on the western 
shore of Andalus, and settled at Cadiz. Having afterwards advanced into the 
interior of the country, they found that, owing to the fall of rain, the land had 
recovered its former aspect, the fields were adorned with verdure, the rivers flowed, 
the fountains ran, and the trees were covered with leaves. Encouraged by what 
they saw, they proceeded still farther, spread themselves about the country, 
extended their settlements, built cities and towns, and increased their numbers 
by marriage. However, they settled in preference in that part of the country 
between the place of their landing in the west, and the country of the Franks 
in the east, and appointed kings to rule over them and administer their affairs. 
Their rehgion was the same as that of their predecessors in the country, that is, 
they worshipped idols. They fixed their capital at Talikah (Itahca), a city now 
in ruins, and which once belonged to the district of Ishbihah (Seville). But, 
after a period of one hundred and fifty-seven years, during which eleven kings 
of that race reigned over Andalus, God Almighty permitted that they should all 
be annihilated by the barbarians of Rome, who invaded and conquered the country. 
" After the defeat and destruction of the Africans, the empire of Andalus 
" devolved to the people of Rome and their king Ishban, son of Titus,« after 
whom Andalus was called Ishhdniah. Some authors assert that the real name 
of this king was Isbah^n, and that he was called so on account of his being 
Vborn in the city of Isfahan; only that the barbarians corrupted it and called 
him Ishban; but, be this as it may, certain it is that this king Ishban founded 
Seville, and called it after his name Ishhaniah, which in after time became also 
-Me a^eUation of the whole country, owing to the numerous ruins of works 
». and edifices erected by him, which are still visible in many parts of Andalus. 
'' This king Ishban is generally held as one of the conquerors of the earth. He 
" invaded Andalus, and by the favour of God, who gave victory to his arms, he 
made war against the inhabitants, dispersed their armies, slaughtered and cap- 
tured their men, and besieged them at last in their capital, the city of Itahca. 
Tlie Africans made a most desperate resistance, and, the place being very strong, 
" held out a considerable time, until Ishban, impatient of the delay, caused the 
- city of Seville to be built opposite to Itahca, and, pressing on the siege, took it 
^' by storm. By the taking of Italica, which he ordered to be demolished, and 
■ '-' its marbles and effects carried to his new city, the whole of Andalus submitted 
B « to Ishban, who, having completed the building of Seville, chose it for his court 









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'' and residence, established his authority permanently, increased his armies, and 

" pursued his career of conquest. Scarcely two years had elapsed when he 

" sailed from Seville with a fleet, attacked Ilia,*' which is the same as Al-Kods 

" (Jerusalem) the illustrious, plundered and demolished it, killed one hundred 

" thousand Jews, spared one hundred thousand, and caused its marbles : and 

"effects to be transported to Andalus. This Ishbdn further subdued all his 

" enemies, and his reign was very prosperous." The preceding account is taken, 

word for word, from Ibn An-nadhdham. We may add to it what a certain historian 

says to prove the taking of Jerusalem, although he attributes the conquest to 

another king, namely, that most of the wonderful things which the Moslems 

found among the spoils of Andalus at the time of the conquest, such a& the 

table of Suleyman, son of Daud, (upon whom be peace !) which Tarik Ibn 

Zeyad found in a temple at Toledo, and the pearl necklace taken by Musa Ibn ' 

Nosseyr from the church at Merida, as well as a great many other precious objects 

and jewels, of which a more ample description will be given hereafter, were.part 

of the share in the spoil which, at the taking of Jerusalem by Bokht: Nasser,. ; 

fell to the lot of a king of Spain, whose name was Berian,*^ and who was present ; .- , --^ ] -'_0^^ 

at the conquest of that city. The whole of these precwus objects had been in :,/ VW:, 

former times the property of the Prophet Suleyman, son of Datid, for whose use ■/^'^■''■:1i:M 

^ _ ^ ■ ^ _ _ 

the Jinn had constructed them. How the contradictory accounts of these tvy:p ...:■■ 

historians are to be adjusted we cannot decide, unless Ishban and Beridn he\fhie,,. , ; 
sameperson: God only is all-knowing. .: ::. ■'. ■.■\r _'-<:: ■'.■-■■■:-■,: -?^B., ■':-.- ■" -^ 

To return to Ishban. Ibnu Hayyan, in his historical :work; entitled "the ^hpplkrshban. 
" of the seeker of information respecting the History of the Barhariahs,"*^ says 
that this Ishban was once a very poor man from the lower ranks of society, and 
as he was one day engaged in ploughing a field with his oxen, Al-khadher ^° (on 
whom be peace !) appeared before him, and addressed him thus : *' O Ishban, thou 
" art destined to perform great deeds ; thou shalt reign, and thy fame shall spread 
"far and wide. When thou takest Ilia, be kind to the descendants of the 
" Prophet." And Ishban answered, " Thou art jesting, no doubt, or I am npt 
" the person thou meanest, for I am a poor and weak man, and am obliged to 
*' hire out my services to gain a living, and certainly it is not for people of my 
" class that the empire is reserved." "No matter," rephed Al-khadher, " what ,- ^^. 
" I tell thee is the plain truth; it is predestined, and it shall happen: He.hEjS 
"decreed it who has the power to change that dry rod thou bearest j^.41^ 
"hand into a green bough." Ishbdn looked, w^hen lo ! it suddenly:; -tii|^ed 
green, flourished, and was covered with leaves; Ishban was astpuj^e^^wMU^he 
saw the miracle ; he tried to speak, but his tongue clove to-Ms ;mp:C|fi j'He looked 

VOL. I. : : ■ . E 



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for Al-khadher, but Al-khadher was gone, he had vanished from his sight. How- 
ever, the words of the Prophet remaining deeply impressed on his mind, he began 
to turn over what had been said to him, and the result was that he soon after- 
wards left his master's service, and associated with men of courage and deter- 
mination, amongst whom he became conspicuous for his prowess, until he arrived 
at power and performed what has been related. His reign lasted twenty years, 
and he transmitted the empire to his posterity, of whom fifty-five kings ruled 
over Andalus. 
or : After this the country was invaded by other barbarians coming from Rome, 
and called Bishtilikdt,^^ who, with their king Talubush,^^ son of Beytah, at their 
head, arrived in Andalus, after conquering on their way the country of the 
Franks, which they governed by their prefects. This took place about the 
time of the resurrection of the Massih (anointed), son of Mariara, (on whom be 
peace !) They conquered the whole of Andalus, and fixed their court at Merida, 
remaining in undisturbed possession of the country during the reign of twenty- 
seven monarchs, until they themselves were subdued by the Goths, who with 
their king at their head invaded Andalus, and separated it for ever from the 
empire of Kome. 

The Goths fixed their capital at Toleyalah (Toledo). However, Ishblliah still 

continued to be the abode of the sciences, and the dwelling-place of the most 

noble among the Ishbanians. About this time the Apostles sent by Tsa Al-massih 

(the anointed) began to wander about the world, calling the people to his 

rehgion. In some countries their words were heard, and thousands of people 

embraced the rehgion which they preached ; in others they were unheard, and 

put to death. Among those who adopted their creed, and honoured the Apostles, , 

;was Khoshandinus^* (Constantine), king of the Goths, who not only embraced 

: Chnstianity, But called upon his subjects to do the same. This Khoshandinus is held 

■ by the Christians as the greatest king they ever had, and as the most accomplished, 

upright, vh-tuous, and wise monarch that can be imagined. It was he who 

introduced Christianity into his dominions, where it has flourished ever since, 

and used to decide in all law cases with the assistance of the Gospels, those books 

.upon which various opinions prevail, as also upon their writers or compilers. 

Several kings of the posterity of Khoshandinus reigned after hhn in Andalus, 

until that country was finally subdued by the Arabs, by whose means God 

Almighty was pleased to make manifest the superiority of IsUm over every 

; other religion. 
, The number of kings of Gothic descent who reigned over Andalus is stated 

L in the old Christian chronicles to have been thirty-six, from Atanauinus,^* who 

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reigned in the fifth year of the Emperor Filibus,^^ in 407 of the era of Safar^ 
from which the barbarians compute their years, to Ludherik, their last king, 
who reigned in 749 ^' of the said era ; and in whose time the Arabs conquered 
Andalus and overthrew the Gothic empire : their domination, moreover, is said 
to have lasted 342 years. ' - ; "'■ 

However, there are not wanting authors who make of the Goths and the 
Bishtilikat only one nation, but the generality think, as we have said, that they 
were distinct people, that the latter were the barbarians of Rome, that they fixed 
their court at Merida, and that the kings of their race were twenty-seven in 
number ; that the Goths came afterwards, subdued the country, and made the 
city of Toledo the seat of their empire. All agree, however, in stating the number 
of their kings to be thirty-six. The Goths, according to Ar-razi, are the sons 
of Yajtij, son of Yafeth, son of Niih ; others give them a diiferent origin. 

Before lea-ving the subject of the ancient history of Andalus, we deem it proper 
to transcribe here the words of the Kadi-1-kodd Ibnu Khaldiin Al-hsi^hramS^? 
in his great historical work. " The opposite land," he says, " which the :'barbariang 
*' call Andalush, is inhabited by various nations of western Franks, anSong which 
" the most powerful and numerous are the Jalalcah (Gahcians). Hundreds of 
" years before the manifestation of Islam, the Goths, after fighting ma&y battles 
*' with the Latins, laid siege to their capital, the city of Rome; after this, peade^^ ; 

"was made between them, one of the conditions being that the G^ths. should ;; : 
" go to Andalus ; and they accordingly went to that countrj^ and tpokx jibSs^si^ift ■ 
" of it. When the Greeks and Latins embraced Christianity, the3c;:induM''tne" 
" nations of Franks and Goths who dwelt heyond them in the west ^ to do the 
*' same, and they accordingly became Christians. The Goths, who had possession 
" of Andalus, established their capital in Toledo ; but it was not always so, for in 
'* the course of time their kings resided by turns in Seville, Cordova, or Merida,^^ 
* ' besides the above-mentioned city. Their dominion lasted for nearly 400 years, 
" until God Almighty was pleased to spread Islam and conquest over their 
*' countrj'. Their king at that time was named Ludherik, an appellation generally 
*' given by the Goths to their kings, as the Romans call their emperor Kaysar 
" (Csesar), and the Sicilians name their king Jerjiz.'*^* ,..:;. 

If we are to believe the ancient traditions, Iskhander (Alexander) must also have, Iskhander 
resided in Andalus ; the remains, too, of a bridge erected by hitn, between T^ngiers Andalus. 
and Algesii"as, are reported by Idrisi as ^still existing in his time. Tlie hmi^fig^ 
of the bridge originated thus: It is generally asserted that, in tim^ ioi|^:0lfr^the 
Mediterranean was a lake smTounded by land on every sid0ij. Me.lpef^a o 

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Tabaristan (the Caspian sea), whose waters have no communication whatsoever 
with those of other seas, and that Andalus and the opposite land of Africa were 
joined together so as to form only one continent, owing to which the people 
of the remote West {Maghrehu-haksa) were continually making incursions into 
Andalus, and visiting its inhabitants with destruction and war. On the arrival 
,of Iskhander in Andalus, the people appeared before him, and humbly besought 
him that he would put a stop to the hostile incursions of their neighbours, upon 
which Iskhander, having taken the subject into consideration, called together 
his architects and geometricians, and bid them appear in his presence on the 
spot now occupied by Bahru-z-zokak (Straits of Gibraltar). He then commanded 
them to measure the level of the two seas (the Ocean and Mediterranean) , which 
being done, the first (the Ocean) was found to be a little the higher. This being 
reported to Iskhander, he issued immediate orders for the demolition of all the 
cities which stood on the coast of the Mediterranean, enjoining at the same time 
that they should be rebuilt farther into the country on more elevated situations. 
He next caused a deep trench or canal to be dug between Tangiers and Andalus, 
and the digging was carried so deep into the earth that the crests of the mountains 
of the lower world became visible.^' Wlien the excavation was completed, a 
wharf,^'* of great dimensions, and built with stone and mortar, an admirable work 
' of art, was erected all along the coast of Andalus, measuring in length twelve 
miles, the distance which then separated the two seas. Another wharf of similar 
dimensions was constructed along the coast of Tangiers, and the space left between 
the two was six miles, which is exactly the width of the straits at that spot. This 
being done, he caused another great excavation to be made on the side of the 
Ocean, and, when every thing was ready, the waters of the great sea (Ocean) were 
let jnto the excavated space between the two wharfs, but with such a fury did they 
riish into the Mediterranean that its bed was Med, the neighbouring countries 
were inundated, many cities were submerged, and thousands of people perished in 
the waves. The waters covered both the wharfs, and rose to a height of eleven 
ells. The wharf nearest to Andalus is sometimes visible at low water, when it 
looks like a great parallel hne ; the inhabitants of the two islands ^^ call it Al- 
kantarah (the bridge). As to the African one, it is no where visible, having been 
completely swallowed up by the waves, which inundated on both sides a piece 
of ground measuring twelve miles, and were only checked in their progress by 
the mountains on either side. The ports in this strait are, on the side of Africa, 
Kasru-l-majdz (Alcasar), Tangiers, and Ceuta; on the side of Andalus, Jebel Tarik 
rn\\.r^aUov-\ TPT-^rnli Tanf fTarifa). Jeziratu-1-khadhra (Algesiras), and others. 

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preceding has been abridged from Idrisi, who treats the subject at full length.^* - J : 

We shall now pass to the description of some of the principal cities of Andalus ; 

but before engaging in this we deem it necessary to state, that, owing to the plan we ;-;{:- 

have adopted in writing this work, it may happen that in transcribing or extractiii|; . ! :^/ 

the accounts of different historians some facts are repeated, and others entirely ; .v;,/- 

contradicted ; but let our excuse be that we have been obliged to connect, one with ■ Ji/^ 

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Division of Andalus into three great districts— The central— Cordova— Granada— Toledo— Malaga— 

Almeria — Jaen. 

Let the reader know that the Island of Andalus, (may God Almighty restore 
it entire to the Moslems !) was divided uito three great districts, the central, the 
eastern, and the western.^ The central comprised many cities of the first order, 
and which might be called kingdoms, as their jurisdiction extended over populous 
districts and large governments, as, for instance, Cordova, Granada, Malaga, 

Toledo, Jaen, Almeria. 

Among the great cities of Andalus, Cordova has no doubt the preference. Its 
mosque, of which we shall treat elsewhere, and the famous bridge called AUjezr,^ 
built, according to Ibnu Hayyan, in the Khahfate of 'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz, and 
under the direction of the governor who then administered the affairs of Andalus ^ 
in his name, are objects which have occupied the imagination and wit of the poets. 
Amongst others, an Andalusian doctor has said — 

" Cordova surpasses all other cities on earth in four principal things : its 

"bridge over the Guadalquivir, its great mosque, the city of Az-zahra, and 

"the sciences therein cultivated." 

The following description occurs in the Al-mishah of Ibnu-1-hijari:— '' Cordova 

" was, during the reign of the Beni Merwan, the cupola of Islam, the meeting place 

" of the learned, the court of the Sultans of the family of Umeyyah, and the re- 

" sidence of the most iUustrious tribes of Yemen and Ma'd. Students from all 

'' parts of the world flocked thither at all times to learn the sciences of which 

" Cordova was the most noble repository, and to derive knowledge from the mouth 

"of the doctors and ulemas who swarmed in it. Cordova is said to have been 

" to Andalus what the head is to the body. Its river is one of the finest in the 

.;'* world, now ghding slowly through level lawns, or winding softly across emerald 

i *> fi^Ws sprinkled with flowers, and serving it instead of robes ; now flowing 

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through thickly planted groves, where the song of birds resounds perpetuaUy in 
the air ; and now widening into a majestic stream to impart its waters to the 
numerous wheels constructed on its banks, or communicating to the plants and 

" flowers of the vicinity freshness and vigour." 

It is related of the Sultan Ya'kub Al-mansdr,* son of the Sultan Yilsef, and 
grandson of the Sultan 'Abdu-l-miimen Ibn 'All, that he once asked one of.Jiis . 
generals what the people said about Cordova. His answer was the foUowing saying, 
so common amongst the people ; the North of Cordova is Shammdm, the West 
Komdm, the South Moddm, she herself and Baghdad are paradise ; meaning by 
Shammdm the beauty of the mountain of Roses, by Kommdm the sweetness of all the 
fruits growing in her meadows, and by Moddm her river .^ 

Another anecdote is told of his father the Sultdn Yusef : they say that he Once 
asked Abti 'Omran Musa Ibn Sa'id Al-'ansi ^ to give his opinion about Cordova, 
and to describe its advantages, and that Abti 'Omran having declined: to do so 
unless he heard before what the Sultan himself thought on the subject, the.Pdnce 
of the faithful then said, "What I know about Cordova is this, that duringrthe 
" dynasty of the Beni Umeyyah, and when it was the capital of their empire, its 
"limits were considerably enlarged, and its population increased most rapidly; 
" that its streets, houses, public buildings, and palaces were almost innumerable; 
* ' the revenues arising from taxes very considerable, and the productions of ^ agri- 
" culture exceedingly plentiful; that a very fine river washes its walls, that th^ 
" temperature is mild, and lastly, that it is placed ift the heart: of Andalus* . 'EbrS: 
" is aU I know about Cordova." " What then remains for me^ to saj^ £^l|finc§pf : 

" the faithful!" said Abu 'Omran. " - 

The Imam Ibnu Bashkuwal,^ quoting the words of Abu Bekr Ibn Sa'^deh,* 
gives another anecdote respecting Cordova. "Abu Bekr," he says, "and his 
" brother travelled upon a certain occasion to Toledo, where, soon after their arrival, 
" they went to visit the Ustedh Abu Bekr Al-makhzumi, who having asked them 
* ' whence they came, Abu Bekr answered ' from Cordova ; ' 'and when ? ' said 
*' Al-makhzumi ; ' just now,' replied Abu Bekr. * Then,' said the Sheikh, 'come 
" nearer to me, that I may smell the air of Cordova on thy garments,' *I 
" approached him,' says Abu Bekr, 'and he began to smell my head and to kiss 
" it, and then, bidding me to take a pen and paper, he dictated to me the following 

" verses extempore: ■ 

' O my beloved Cordova! when shall I see thee again ! when shdl'the 

* time come .. -^- 

j-j^— Ji -- --'"^ 

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^ When I may see the clouds pouring torrents of rain upor 
' quarters, and the thunder shaking with violence therpofs of &f ti 

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' Thou art like an enchanted spot ; thy ifields are luxuriant gardens, thy 

* earth of various colours resembles a block of rose-coloured amber.' " 

But the most elegant description of Cordova that we have read any where is 

undoubtedly that contained in the risdleh (epistle) of Ash-shakandi.^ As we shall 

often have occasion to refer to it in the course of this work, we deem it necessary to 

acquaint the reader with the motives which led to the writing of that composition. 

r ^^ 

Ibnu Sa'id tells us, on the authority of his father, who was an eye-witness, that a 
dispute once arose in presence of Abu Yahya Ibn Abi Zakariyya, Lord of Ceuta, 
between Abti Yahya Ibnu-1-mo'allem, a native of Tangiers, and the Sheikh 
Ash-shakandi of Cordova, on the advantages of their respective countries, Africa 
and Andalus, each claiming the superiority for the land of his birth : the con- 
versation growing warmer, Ash-shakandi said to his opponent, "Were it not for 
" Andalus, Africa, thy country, would never have been knowTi, nor would its 
" advantages, whatever they may be, have been justly appreciated, had not our 
" historians and poets pointed to them in their writings : were I not afraid of 
" annoying the illustrious individuals in whose company we are, I would soon 
'^prove to thee the truth of what I advance." " By the Lord," exclaimed the 
Amir, who was lending an attentive ear to the arguments of the contending parties, 

" go on, that is just what we want," and his countenance was all of a sudden 
illumined by the rays of vehement curiosity. Ibnu-I-mo'allem then replied — 
" Dost thou really mean to say that excellency and power reside any where else 
" but amongst us ? Prove it." Ash-shakandi was on the point of undertaking 
the defence of his country, when the Amir interposed and said " the subject is 
*'. too important to be treated thus extempore ; let each of you retire, and com- 
". pose a risdleh (epistle) in praise of his own country ; you may then treat the 
' ■ subject at large, and I shall be enabled to decide between you." Ash-shakandi 
then,, produced the master-piece of eloquence and learning to which frequent 
allusion will be made in the course of this narrative, and from which we borrow 
the following: 

'* Praise be ascribed to God who permitted that there should be in Andalus 
" people to take into their hands the praises of those who distinguished them- 
" selves ; Him who makes lasting whatever he pleases, and who has no one to 
'^ oppose him, and ho one to find fault with him ; since who will call the day 
" darkness ? who will say ugly to a handsome face ? I have found a subject 
** abundant with matter, since I have been endowed with a tongue to express and 
" utter. I praise Him because he made me one of his creatures, because he chose 
^' me to be one of those who acknowledge and adore him, because he caused me 
** to be sprung from a noble and illustrious race, because he gave me a mind to 

-■ - 




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admire and a tongue to praise the meritorious deeds, and the worthy quaUties 
of my countrymen ; and I ask his blessing and favour for our Lord Mohammed, 
his illustrious messenger, and may God's everlasting peace and salvation be on 
his family and companions — those of the good deeds and pure intentions ! 
*' But to proceed,^ — I have been stirred out of my tranquil state, and disturbed 
out of my peace ; I have been driven out of my pacific disposition to defence and 
contradiction by a disputer on the excellences of Andalus, who wishes to separate 
what is joined, and that we should bring to him things which neither spectators 
ever saw nor hearers ever heard of before, or if any did, they never transmitted 
their knowledge to us, since neither those who saw, nor those who heard, were 
authorized to do so.^"^ He pretends to make Africa superior to Andalus, which 
is as much as to say that the left hand is better than the right, and that night 
is brighter than day; and, O wonder! he wishes to oppose glass beads to 
inestimable pearls, and to put pebbles by the side of rubies, and low lands! on a 
level with inaccessible mountains ; he might as well blow on a hearth where 
there is no fire, or go a hunting provided with stones instead of hawlrs, as 
presume to make great what God Almighty created small, and to lead astray 
what He decreed should be a guide. - 

' ' Where are thy wits gone ? what is become of thy wisdom and penetration, 
when the love of thy country has induced thee to extinguish both thy lights, that 
of thy eyes, and that of thy reason? As to thy expression 'our sovereigns,' J 
must say that they are ours too, as can be proved by those words of apOet'-T-'' -^ 
' One day against us, and another for us; sometinies wpinen, arid soine- 
' times eagles.' ^^ 
' ' For although it be true that the court of the "West is now held in one of your 
cities, owing to the Khalifate being in the hands of the Sultans of the family of 
'Abdu-1-mumen, (may God Almighty perpetuate it in their hands !) we also 
have had Sultans of the Korayshite family, of whom an Eastern poet has said— 
' I belong to a family of noble and generous people ; a race whose march 
' is proclaimed by innumerable minarets. 

' Khalifs among the Moslems ; powerful conquerors among the infidels : 
' the source of every generous action, the fountain of honour and glory.' 
" And of whom a Western poet has said also — 

' Are we not one of the Benl Men\^an ; whatever may be our fate, what- 

' ever may be the turn of fortune's inconstant wheel? ■ 4;-\:' 

' Whenever a birth takes place among us does not the earth asiium^;:- at 

' his aspect the appearance of a full moon ? do not the minarets.^ qjiiake, at 

' the sound of his proclamation?'" ;:^-r? i ■-' - 

VOL. I. . . F 



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*' During their reign this country produced authors and poets enouLdi to 
" ornament all the rest of the world, and whose names alone were to the pairc>s 
" of the book of time what the collar is to the neck of tlie ring-(k)ve ; 

* Whose fame found its way to all regions which the sun illununes with 
' its rays, and travelled over aU the seas and lands where the wind reaches 

' with its blast.' '* 
'' Kings, who never ceased one moment ruling over mankind, and of \vh()ni a 

" poet has said — 

' The Khalifate in your family seems to be eternal, and the Sultans ha^■e 

' succeeded each other as the pearls in a necklace united by the thread. ' 
" Until God Almighty decreed that their thread should be cut; and their 
" empire should vanish. They disappeared, and their history with them ; they went 
'* away, and their very traces have been obliterated. 

' The ornament of earth they were while they lived ; after their deatii, alas ! 
' their names will only embellish books and give value to history.' '*■' 
" For how many noble actions did they not furnish the historian with ? How 
" many of their memorable sayings became the property of the jioet, to drive 
" both him and the historian to despair with the difficulty of the subject ? 

'Since man always leaves behind him some memorial ; and thine will he 
' a real treasure for the collectors.' '^ 
" One of their greatest kings was Al-mansur Ibn Abi A'mir, of whom i shall 
" merely mention to thee a few circumstances, for I know of no other Moslem 
" who, in his conquests of the Christian territory, reached, sword in hand, to 
" the very shores washed by the gi'een sea, who did not leave in the intidel 
" country a single Moslem captive, who surpassed Herkal (Heraclius)'^ in the 
" number of his armies, Iskhander (Alexander) in prudence and mUitary talents, 
" and upon whose tomb, when his doom was decreed, the following verses were 

" engraved ; 

' The traces he left behind will tell thee who he was, as if thou sawest 

' him with thy own eyes. 

' By Allah, the succeeding generations will never produce his equal, nor 

' one who knows better how to defend our frontiers.' ^^ 

" More praises have been sung of this Al-raansur, and more books have been 

" dedicated to him, than is easy for me to enumerate and inform thee of, so 

" much so that the fame of his name reached as far as Baghdad, and the most 

" remote corners of the globe were filled with the report of his good and had 

** qualities. 

*' However, when, after the breaking of the necklace and the scattering of its 



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pearls, the kings of small states ^^ divided among themselves the patrimony 
of the Bern Umeyyah, the cause of science and literature, instead of losing, 
gained considerably by the division, since every one of the usurpers disputed 
witli each other the prize of prose and poetical composition, and overstocked 
their markets with all departments of science ; encouraged literature, arid treated 
the learned with distinction, rewarding them munificently for their^ Iabpul*s ; 
their principal boast was to have people say, the learned man such a one is 
held in great esteem by the king so and so — or the poet such a one is niuch 
beloved by the king so and so ; so that not one is to be found among them 
who has not been distinguished by the most brilliant qualities, or who has 
not left behind him traces that the hand of time will never obliterate, and 
which will be transmitted to future generations in the writings of orators and 
poets. Such, I am told, was the case with the Sclavonian Eunuchs of Al- 
mansur, who rose in their governments after his death, such as Muj-^id, 
Mundher, and Khayran, not to mention the Arab sovereigns of the dynasties 
of Beni Abbad, Beni Somadeh, Bern Al-afttas, Bern Dhi-l-nrin,^! Beni HM. 
all of whom were so much praised and extolled by poets, that had the sainde 
praises been bestowed on night she would have become lighter even than 
day; and the poets never ceased presenting each other with the offerings of 
the sweet-scented gales playing among the flowers, and making upon itheii* 
treasures the attacks of Al-baradh,^^ until their - ambition grew such that ^©life 
of their poets swore that he would not praise a king in a Kassideh /6xid$^ 

^ _ _ 

one hundred dinars, and Al-mu'atamed Ibn 'Abbad; having heard fbfut;. sent 
for him and ordered him to WTite one, and used all sorts of persuasion to 
induce him to do it, but he obstinately refused to comply with his wishes 
unless he agreed to give him the sum he asked, it being worthy of remark 
that Al-mu'atamed was not only the most powerful sovereign of his time, 
but one who could bear the least opposition on the part of a subject. 
' ' One of the greatest acts of generosity that ever a monarch performed towards 
a subject appears in the following anecdote, which is a further illustration of 
what I have advanced. It is related that Abu Ghalib,^^ the philologist, having 
once written a very fine work, Mujahid Al-'amiri, who was then king Of 
Denia, sent him as a present one thousand dinars, a horse, and a rich sifit 
of dress, requesting him at the same time to say that the work had been 
written by his orders.^* This, however, Abu Ghalib refused to do, and, sending 
back the present, he gave the following answer — ' This book I^.wrote^mi 

for the use of the pubUc, and in order that my name, haJttded down 
to posterity; were I to put at the head of it any other name but mine, all 


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" the honour would be his. No, I will not consent to it.' When this answer 
was brought to Mujahid, instead of being offended, he was much gratified and 
astonished to see the high temper of his soul, and his courage and determmation ; 
" he returned him the presents, and said—' he might at any rate have mentioned 
" me in his book ; this is a thing happening every day ; however, I shall not uisist 

*' any longer.' 

" But it being a notorious fact that all the Mugs of Andalus known by the name 
*' of ' Kings of small states ' vied with each other in filling their capitals with 
*' learned men and poets, and encouraging by their unusual profuseness all the 
•' branches of literature, I shall not stop to detail their actions. I shaU merely 
" remind thee of the princes of the illustrious dynasty of the Beni 'Abbdd, with 
" whom, as God Almighty has said in his Koran, reside fruit, palm, and pome- 
" granate, under whose reign every day was a solemn festivity, and who showed 
" a greater passion for hterature than was ever shown by the Beni Hamdan m 
*' Aleppo,^^ and who became, together with their sons, relatives and Wizirs, the centre 
- of eloquence both in prose and in verse, labouring assiduously and unanimously 
*' in the various departments of science ; who left behind them brilliant traces, and 

" everlasting fame, and whose history abounds in generous actions and noble deeds 
" that will last through succeeding ages, and live for ever in the memory of man. 
" And if what I advance be not true, by Allah, do tell me the names of countrymen 
" of yours who have distinguished themselves in any path whatever before the 
" establishment of the present Muhadite dynasty. Dost thou mean Sal^mut the 
" Hajib,^^ or Saleh Al-baraghwatti ? ^v or perhaps Yusef Ibn Tashfin, who, if he 
" acquired any fame, owed it merely to his connexion with Ibn 'Abbad, who, being 
." the centre of the poets of his time, and the target to which they directed their 
" praises and their verses, whenever they treated about him the name of Yusef was 
" necessarily introduced; otherwise, I ask you, would he have been known, an 
" ignorant and rude Beydawl as he was ? and if not, I will relate to thee the words 
*' which they attribute to him. They say that Al-mu'atamed Ibn 'Abbad asked 
" Yusef once, ' O Prince of the Moslems ! dost thou know what these poets say ?' 
No, by my soul,' said Yusef, ' unless it be that they ask for bread.' But what 
I am' going to state proves still more his ignorance : when Yusef, some time after 
this, parted from Al-mu'atamed, and retired to his capital in Africa, the latter 
wrote him an epistle, in which was the following distich : 

' Thou art gone, and my sides shake for want of thee, and the water of our 

' desert has dried up. 

' Thy departure has changed our days into nights, the obscurity of which 

* only thy presence can dissipate.' ^^ 

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'' When these verses were read to Yusef, he exclaimed, ' "What does he ask for? 
Does he not say he wants us to send him black and white slave girls ? ' 
'' ' No, O master! ' replied the reader ; *he only means to say that his night 
becomes a day at the approach of the Prince of the Moslems ; since the nights 
spent in pleasure are called white^ and those passed in affliction and sorrow black. 
Thus he expects that with thy return day will again dawn for him/ ' Very well/ 
■replied Yusef, * answer him that our tears are dropping for his sake, and that our 
heads are aching for love of him.' Such was Yusef s answer; and would to God 
that Al-'abhas Ibnu-l-ahkaf ^^ were living, in order that he might have learnt 
from him to show tenderness of love. 

" But to proceed, — since thou hast dared to dispute with us the superiority in 
the sciences, tell me, has thy country ever produced a theologian like 'Abdu- 
1-mahk Ibn Habib, w^hose decisions are in force to this day? or like Abu4~ 
walid Al-baji ? or like Ahu Bekr Ibnu-l-'arabl ? or like Ahti-l-walld Ibn Roshd, 
the elder? or like Abu-1-walid Ibn Uoshd, the younger, his son,*° — all of whom 
Avere the shining luminaries of faith, and the bright torches of the religious 
observances instituted by our holy prophet ? Canst thou bring forward in the 
science of traditions men like Abu Mohammed Ibn Hazm,^^ who adhered strictly 
to his principles of austerity and devotion in the midst of honours and riches, 
and while filling the high situation of Wizir, and who showed himself more 
ambitious of literary fame than of any other, and who said^ when he heard that 
his books had been consumed by fire — 

' Do not speak to me of burnt vellum and paper; do not lairient the 
* information contained in them, and destined for mankind. 

' For if the books are burnt, their contents are not so ; since they are 

' still ahve in my head.' ^^ 
' * Canst thou point out men of the merit of Abu ' Amru Ibn ' Abdi-l-barr, the 
author of tht Al-istidhkdr (recollections) and AUamUd, (the book of levelling) ? 
or like Abii Bekr Ibnu-1-haddad, who is justly called the Hafedh of Andalus under 
the present dynasty ? Has thy country ever given birth to men equal to Ibnu 
Sidah/^ the author of the book entitled ' foundations of language,' and the 
book of nouns, of whom if it be true that he was deprived of the organ of sight, 
it is no less true that his intelligence and acuteness were unbounded? Has 
Africa produced grammarians like Abu Mohammed Ibnu-s-seyd, or works that 
can be compared to his ? or like Ibnu-t-tarawah, or like Abii *Ali Ash-shalubin, 
who is one of the most eminent men of the present day, and whose vrejputation 
has spread far and wide over the East and West ? Where are those ;that can be 
compared to Ibnu-hbajeh for their acquirements in the science Vbf music and 
philosophy ? What king of Africa canst thou oppose to Al-muktadir Ibn Hud, 

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" Sultan of Saragossa,^* who was a real prodigy of nature in astrology, geometiy, 
" and natural pliilosophy ? Canst thou produce in medicine men of the merit of 
'' Ibnu Tofayl, the author of the epistle of Hiyyi Ibn Yokttan,^^ and well known 
' ' also by his labours in georaetr>^ and natural philosophy ? or like the Bern Zohr, 
" first Abu-l-'ola, then his son 'Abdu-1-malik, then his son Abu Bekr, all three in 
F " succession ? ^^ Name to me historians like Ibnu-Hayyan, the author of the 

" AUmatin ^' and Al-moktabis, or philologists and hterati like Abu 'Amer Ibn 
" ^Abdu-r-rabbihi/^ the author oi the Al-'iM; or men that have exerted themselves 
" more in preservmg and transmitting to posterity the traditions, events, and 
" advantages of their respective countries than Ibnu Besam, the author of the 
" Ad-dakUrah: certainly thou art not able to do so; hut even supposing it 
" gralrited, that thou couldst produce one like them, would he not look like a 
'' treasure in an empty house? Canst thou boast of eloquent poets like Ahfat'h 
" Ibn 'Obeyd-illah, 6f whom people used to say, that if he praised, the object of 
" his praises rose in estimation; and on the contrary, if he reviled, he abased him 
*' against whom his attacks were directed, the proofs of which abound in his 
" Al-JcaUyid,^^ a work to which I refer thee? What shall I say of Ibn Abi-1-Khassal 
" and his Tarsilah P'^^ What of Abu-1-hasan Sahl Ibn Malik," who is one of our 
'' most eminent preachers of the present day ? 

" Have you a poet like the Sultan Ahmu'atamed Ibn 'Abbad, when he said 

*' respecting his father — 

' The general on the morning of battle awakes thousands ; after which he 

' himself goes to sleep ; certainly he is not to be blamed. 

' He has a hand which the proudest men kiss ; were it not for the dew of 

' generosity which flows from it, we should think it to be the stone at 


'' Have you a king who wrote on the various departments of science, and all and 

'* every one of the branches of Hterature, a work composed of one hundred volumes ? 

" I can then point out to thee Al-modhdhafer Ibn Al-afttas, king of Badajoz, whom 

" neither the wars that raged in his time, nor the grave duties of the state, deterred 

/ ' from cultivating the sciences with the greatest ardour, 

" Canst thou name to me Wizirs like Ibnu 'Ammar,*^ who wrote that famous 
" ode without a rival in its kind, and the melody of which is sweeter to the ear 
" than news of the arrival of a beloved object, and which begins thus : 

' Thou madest thy spear flourish from amidst the heads of their greatest 
' kings, when thou sawest the branches of the trees pining for the blossom ; 
' Thou didst stain thy breast-plate in the blood of their bravest warriors, 
.. ' when thou sawest the fair decked with crimson robes.' ** 







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" Or like Ibn Zeydiin,*^ the author of another celebrated ode, the like of which 
" has never been written in point of tenderness and melody, and of which the 
' ' following verses form a part : 

' We passed the night alone, with no other companion but friendship and 
' union ; and while happiness and slumber fled from the eyelids- of our 
' detractors, 

* The shadows of night retained us in the secret bonds of pleasure, until 
' the tongue of morning began to herald our names.' ^^ 
" Where are your poets like Ibn Wahbun, who uttered extempore, and in the 
presence of Al-mu'atamed Ibn 'Abhad, that well-known composition which 
begins thus — 

' Am I not taught that death is the end of man's peregrination, and the 
' tomb is the habitation and comfort of the weak ? 

' And that the perils of death and perdition are the best token for the 

' brave that the reward after them is abundant ? ' *' 

" Where is there a poet like the poet of Andalus, Ibnu Darr^j,*^ whom Ath- 

th'alebi'*^ pronounced to be the Motennabi of Andalus, and who used to praise 

kings in so eloquent a strain that I take my oath if a prince of the Beni 

Hamdan had heard him, he would undoubtedly have dismissed all the poets of 
' ' his court ? 

"Name to me one of your poets who has described the colour which a 
draught of pure wine imparts to the cheeks of the drinker, in verses similfir- to 
these, which are the composition of the Sherif At-talik. ;: 

' The wine has coloured his cheeks, like a rising sun shining upon his 
' face ; the west is his mouth, the east is the lively cup-bearer's hand. 

' When the sun had set behind his mouth, it left upon his cheeks a rosy 
' twihght.' ^" 
" Canst thou point out to us a poet, who, in the act of reciting some verses in 
public, seeing the audience show signs of astonishment and disapprobation at 
hearing him compare a smiling mouth to the camomile flower, the cheeks to 
anemones, and the flowers of a garden to stars, uttered extempore the following 
verses in excuse, as an exculpation for having used such comparisons ? 
" The first, comparing the lips to a camomile flower, are as follows : 

' Morning has gone round Uke a cup-bearer with the vase of light' in her 
' hand, and from her copious pouring day has been produced. 

* The gardens offer us their anemones, whose fragrance pervades the^; air, 
' like the perfume of the sweetest amber. , : i 

'Tell us, we asked, where is the camomile flower ? We were- answered. 







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* I left it behind, I destine it for the lips of him who shall taste the 

* cup. 

' The drinker then tried to deny her words ; and from their mutual 

* smiles dawn was produced.' ^^ 

*' The following is his apology for comparing the flowers to stars : — 

' Dew is making the round of these gardens, and morning has exercised 
' her power on the flying shadows of night. 

' The jars of scented wine are only waiting for the arrival of a cup, to put 

* us in possession of their inviting contents. 

' When the stars in our globe vanish before our eyes, it is not in the West 

* that they hide their luminous orbs ; indeed they come to deposit them in 
' the midst of these parterres.' ^^ 

" This is his excuse for using anemones in comparison with cheeks — 

' The gardens shine with anemones, and the light fresh gales are perfumed 

* with their scent. 

' When I visited them the clouds had just been beating the flowers, and 

* making them as deeply tinged as the best wine. 

' What is their crime ? said I, and I was told in answer they stole from 
' the cheeks of the fair their beauty.' ^^ 

But it is high time that I should lay down the reins of poetry which I have held 
so long in my hand, and that I should proceed to the description of the mag- 
nificent cities, well populated districts, fertile fields, impregnable castles, copious 
" rivers, luxuriant valleys, well cultivated plains, and inaccessible mountains, in all 
" of which this country is as superior to thine as day is to night, as the lion is to 
" the ant, as the hawk to the sparrow, as the spirited horse to the broken-down 
" ass. I shall begin with Cordova, the court of the Khalifs of the West. 

"Cordova was in former times the seat of the Andalusian empire, the repository 
" of science, the minaret of piety and devotion ; the abode of magnificence, su- 
" periority, and elegance. It was the dwelling-place of the first conquerors, and of 
" their followers, and became afterwards the court of the Sultans of the house of 
" Merw^n. Among its numerous advantages, that of having been the domicile of 
" the famous traditionists, Yahya Ibn Yahya^'^ and 'Abdu-l-mafik Ibn Habib,^^ 
" both of whom held traditions from the mouth of MaHk Ibn Ans, is not the least 
" important. 

" They say that when Ibnu Sareh,^^ the poet, entered Cordova, he extemporized 
" the following verse : 

' God be praised, I am in Cordova, the abode of science, the throne of the 
' Sultans ! ' 


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" Cordova may be properly called the military camp of Andalus, since it was 
" at one time the common meeting-place of those splendid armies which, with 
" the help of God, defeated at every encounter the worshippers of the crucified. 
"It is said of Al-mansur Ibn Abi 'A'mir, that when his authority had been 
" firmly established both in Andalus and in Africa, and his armies and treasures 
" had been considerably increased, he held a general review of his troops previous 
" to an incursion which he meditated into the enemy's territory (which was carried 
into effect, and the country subdued) . The number of troops which, from the 
various provinces of the empire, assembled on the outskirts of Cordova on this 
memorable occasion is generally stated at 600,000 foot, and 200,000 horse." 
It is true that since that time the glory and power of Cordova has been 
considerably reduced, but its precincts still swarm with valiant soldiers who 
are continually coming to blows with the infidel, and whose hands are never 
at rest, and many a captain might be named into whose heart fear never 
" entered, and whose name is well known in the distant Christian kingdoms, 
" where the memory of his deeds will live for ever. 

" I have heard also of its famous mosque, which was lighted with bronze lamps 
" made out of Christian bells ; and of the great addition made to it by Al-marisur, 
" which was entirely built with the materials of demolished churches brought 
" to Cordova on the heads of Christian captives. 

" I have heard it said that the cities of Cordova, Az-zahra and Az-zahirah, 
" together covered at one time a piece of ground measuring ten miles in length, 
' ' which distance might be traversed at night by the light of lamps, placed close 
" one to another.^* I have heard also of its magnificent bridge, and of the 
" innumerable mills which the river puts in motion, and which are estimated at 
" no less than five thousand. I have heard of its canhdniyah^^ (meadow), and 
" of the great fertility with which God Almighty has endowed the earth of its 
" districts, and the abundance and good quafity of grain and other agricultural 
" productions which it yields every year. 

" Every one who has been in Cordova must have heard of the mountains called 
Jebalu-l-warad (the mountains of the rose), owing to the innumerable rose trees 
that grow on them. Indeed their numbers are so surprising, that although a 
roba (five-and-twenty pounds weight}^" of rose leaves will at times fetch .at 
Cordova four dirhems, or perhaps more, which makes it a great source of 
revenue to proprietors, yet no one prevents the people from plucking thjem on 

*' his grounds. - .::>-r^;; . 

'' The Guadalquivir at Cordova is by no means so fine a streani as -it is at 
'' Seville, yet its waters are sweeter, and there is not so much d^ger of being 

VOL, I. G 






;; ■■.■.■.v.i?;^;p 


"drowned; its banks are besides more pleasant, being covered with orchards, 
" plantations, and pastures, which enliven the eyes of the spectators, and have the 
" most brilliant effect." The preceding has been copied literally from Ash-shakandi. 
The character of the Cordovans is thus described by Ibnu Sa'id. " They are 
" very fond of power, and haughty, but at the same time modest ; riches and 
*' science among them are hereditary, and they exhibit as much zeal in the 
*' gaining of the former as in the acquirement of the latter. They are generous, 
" bravej and kind to their equals or inferiors ; but they are the worst people on 
■ ' earth to obey, and the most difficult to be governed: indeed their disobedience 


*' to their kings and rulers has become almost proverbial. In proof thereof I 
*' shall quote here the words attributed to Sidi Abii Yabya,^^ brother of the Sultan 
** Ya'kiib Al-mansur. He had been governor of Cordova for some time, and when 
*' on his return to Africa he was asked to give his opinion on the people of 
" Cordova, he is said to have answered, — 'They are like the camel, wliich fails 
*' not to complain whether thou diminishest or increasest its load, so that there 
" is no knowing what they like, to give it them, nor what they dislike, to avoid 
*' it. It seems as if God Almighty had created them to be continually engaged 
*' in war, or in the midst of civil dissensions : indeed in this respect they are worse 
" than the people of Irak. They say that I have been removed because I treated 
" them with too much severity, and yet they solicit me to return to them, but 
*' my answer is, — the scalded cat dreads the fire.* '"^^ 

Cordova was the city, of all the earth, where the greatest number of books was 
to be found. Abii-l-fadhl At-tifashi^^ relates the following anecdote: — "I was 
" once before Al-mansur Ya'kub when a dispute arose between the faquih Abu-1- 
'' wahd Ibn Roshd and the Kaid Abu Bekr Ibn Zohr, and the former said, in 
"praise of Cordova, ' I know not what thou sayest, but what I know is that when 
*' a learned man dies at Seville, and his heirs wish to sell his library, they 
*' generally send it to Cordova to be disposed of, and when on the contrary a 
** musician dies at Cordova, and his instruments are to be sold, the custom is 
*' to send them to Seville.' " 

But of the cultivation of science in Andalus, and especially in Cordova, as well 
as the description of its great mosque, the famous bridge, the royal seat of Medinatu- 
z-zahra, and so forth, it is our intention to treat in a separate chapter of this 
work (if God Almighty permit us). The cities formerly belonging to the juris- 
diction of Cordova were Ezija,^ Bolciin,^^ Ronda, Cabra, Ghafek,^^ Al-modovar,^' 
- Estepa, Baena, Lucena, Alcozer.^^ 
Granaaft. -^-Another of the great cities of Andalus is Gharnattah (Granada), which some 

authors are of opinion ought to be written with a hamza, A'gharnattah,^^ a word 

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which means a pomegranate in the language of the Christians. If that city could 
reckon no other honour but that of having been the birth-place of the Wizir 
Lisanu-d-din Ibnu-l-khattib, that alone would be sufficient. 

The following verses of an Andalusian poet will show the great estimation in 
which this city was held by them. 

" Granada has not its hke in the world ; neither Cairo, Baghdad* nor 
" Damascus, can compete with it. 

" We can only give an idea of its great value by comparing it to a beautihil 
*' bride, of whose dower those countries should form part."^** 
Lisanu-d-din, in one of his poetical compositions, where he introduces some 
verses in praise of Granada, has the following : 

" What has Cairo to boast of with her Nile, since Granada has one thousand 
'' Niles within its Shenil." 

But in order to understand this it is necessary that the reader should know that 
the numerical value of the letter shin (which is the first in the word Shenii) is 
among the western Arabs one thousand, so that when we say SheniV^ itis as if 
we said one thousand Niles. 

Shenii is not the only river that passes by Granada ; according to Ibnu M^lik 
Ar-ro'ayni there is another considerable stream called Daroh (Darro), and number- 
less brooks ;72 several bridges for the use of the inhabitants are erected over them. 

When the traveller Ibnu Battuttah^^ arrived in Andalus on his return from his 
long travels, he visited Granada, which he describes in the following ^ terms. 
'' Granada is the capital of Andalus and the husband of its cities, its: ehvirons 
" are a dehghtful garden, covering a space of forty miles, and have not their 
'' equal in the world. It is intersected by the well-known river Shenii and 
" other considerable streams, and surrounded on every side by orchards, gardens, 
" groves, palaces, and vineyards. One of the most pleasant spots in its neigh- 
" bourhood is that known by the name of ' Aynu-l-adamar (the fountain of tears),'* 
" which is a spring of cold and limpid water placed in the midst of groves and 
" gardens." 

All authors agree in designating Granada by the name of Sham (that, is, 
Damascus), although they diifer as to the way in which it acquired that name; 
some pretending that the district of Elvira, of which Granada was formerly a 
dependency, was called so from the Arabs of Damascus having settled in it at 
the time of the conquest ; while others refer its origin to the striking similitudfe 
which that city bears to the capital of Syria, in the numberiess brooks that wind 
through its meadows, and the infinite number of trees with which its territory is 
covered. The author of the Minhdju-l-fahar^^ (open way to reflection) concurs 


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in the latter opinion, but the former is the most common ; besides, the opinions 
of these authors may be easily reconciled, for Ibnu Malik Ar-ro'ayni says that the 
people of Damascus were sent thither on account of the similitude the country 
around Elvira bore to the place of their birth, and thus both the above-mentioned 
circumstances might be pointed out as having led to the origin of its name. 

Elvira was an ancient city close to the site now occupied by Granada ; this is 
sufficiently demonstrated by the words of Ibnu-1-khattib, Ibnu Jazzi-1-kelbi,''^ Ibnu 
Sa'id, and almost every author who has written on the subject, and who all 
unanimously agree in saying that Elvira existed before Granada, and that when 
1 As-sanhaji" founded the latter city, bnilt its cassdha, and surrounded it with walls, 
the inhabitants of Elvira removed to Granada. Badis,'^ son of As-sanhaji, went on 
building and increasing his new capital until it reached the degree of splendour and 
magnificence to which it was brought by the Sultans of the Merinite dynasty, in 
whose time Granada became the meeting-place of the Moslems, the resort of their 
troops and armies, and the strong bulwark of Andalus ; for when the Franks 
subdued the greater part of Andalus the inhabitants of the conquered cities and 
districts all flocked to it as a place of security and protection. 

At some distance from Granada to the south-east are the mountains called 
Sholayr^^ whose crests are covered with snow all the year round; the snow, adds 
Ar-ro'ayni, congeals so hard that it becomes as impenetrable as the rock itself. These 
mountains are nevertheless inhabited by a race of stout and hardy people, and the 
soil produces the most exquisite fruits, and many exotic plants of India, although 
none of its drugs. According to some authors the number of towns and villages 
over which Granada extended its jurisdiction was two hundred and seventy. 

"We shall terminate our account of Granada with the words of Ash-shakandi in 
}i\& risdleh (epistle). " Granada," he says, " is the Damascus of Andalus, it is 
'* the delight of the eyes and the place of contemplation of the soul. It has a 
cassdba with high walls and strong buildings, and a river which intersects its 
markets, streets, and houses, supplies with water its baths and mills inside and 
outside of the walls, and winds through the gardens and orchards of its meadow. 
God has besides ornamented Granada by making it a sort of watch-tower ^'^ in 
the midst of its extensive plain, where the melted gold of its rivers floAvs betwixt 
the emeralds of its trees, where the sweet gales of its Nejd^'^ (or mountainous 
district) cool and perfume the air. Indeed, what with its luxuriant gardens 
and its majestic cypress trees, the prospect is so fine that both the heart and the 
" eyes are suspended in a kind of silent admiration, and the soul is wrapped up 
I' in the contemplation of its manifold beauties. The soil is so fertile that every 
:'>-thing which is required for man's comfort or delight grows in it. It is not 




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wanting in illustrious individuals of all kinds ; great ulemas, distinguished poets, 
accomplished soldiers, men fit in every respect to serve as models, are bom in: it ; 
and had it received no other favour from God than that of his having made it the 
birth-place of so many poetesses as adorned its soil, such as Nazhiin,^^ Al-ka- 
la'iyeh,^^ Zeynab, daughter of Zeyad,^* Hafsah Ar-rakuniyeh, daughter of 
Al-hejjaj,^^ and many others, this indeed would be sufficient to; for- all 
these women, and many more whose names have not reached us, may for their 
wit and literary compositions be placed among the greatest poets of the time. Or 
if not, can any thing more ingenious or witty be imagined than the answer Hafsah 
gave to the Wizir and Poet Abu Ja'far,^^ son of the Kaid Abu Merwan Ibn 
Sa'id, when, after separating at Maumal, where they had met and passed the night, 
he asked her to describe in verse the garden, the brooks, the cypresses, the sweet- 
smelling gale, and all the beauties of that enchanting spot. 

' God has given us a placid and beautiful night ; we have seen the 
' cypresses of Maumal 

' Inclining their heads before the mountain breeze, the sweet-perfuriled 
' gales that smell of gillyflower, 

' The dove singing her love on the branches of the dauk, and the sweet 

' basil inchning its boughs to the limpid brook.' 
" A few days after their separation Abu Merwan addressed to her some verses on 
the same subject, knowing that she would answer him; when she wrote to him 
these three verses, which are really invaluable. , i i: . 

' By thy life (thou sayest) that the garden has been rejoiced with -'our 

' arrival ; I say, on the contrary, that it has only shown us hatred and ill- 

' will 

' The brook has not murmured with pleasure at our approach ; the dove 

' sung only to the object of her love. 

' Heaven did not diminish the number of its stars, that we might observe it 

' more freely.' " 
Among the districts appertaining to Granada, the following deserve more . par- 
ticular mention. 1st. That of Loshah (Loxa), whence the Wizir Lis^nu-d-din 
draws his origin, and w^hich extends a considerable distance 'through the country, 
comprising many towns, villages, and castles. The capital Loxa^^ stands on a 
charming spot on the banks of the river of Granada (the Shenil), and in the 
midst of groves, and brooks of limpid water. The distance from Loxa to Grana-get 
is one day's march- 2nd- Beghah, commonly called Beighah, and the . patroAJ^^c 
formed from which is Beyghy. The capital of this district is the town of Beghah 
(Vega), whose environs abound in wheat and fruits, andare watered-hyixiany springs 



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which irrigate and fertilize the neighbouring fields. Its territory produces also ex- 
cellent saffron. 3rd. That of Wadi-ash (Guadix), which others call Wddiu-l-eshit ,^^ 
and the capital of which is the city of that name, (Guadix,) a very fine city sur- 
rounded by orchards and brooks. The inhabitants are endowed with the gift of 
poetry, and great love for the sciences ; the poet Abil-l-hasan Ibn Nasr/^ describing 
this city, gives the following verses in praise of its river. 

" O "Wadiu-1-esMt ! my soul falls into ecstasies whenever I think of the 
" favours the Almighty has lavished upon thee. 

" By God, thy shade at noon, when the rays of the sun are the hottest, is so 
" fresh that those who walk on thy banks cannot stop to converse together. 

" The sun itself, seeking a remedy to its own ardour, directs its course 
" through thy shadowy bed. 

" Thy current smiles through the prismatic bubbles of the waters like the 
'* skin of a variegated snake. 

*' The trees that hang over thy soft inclined banks are so many steps to 

" descend to thy bed, while their boughs covered with blossom, and devoured 

*' by burning thirst, are perpetually drinking of thy waters." ^" 

But this enchanting river is not the only gift which God has lavished upon that 

privileged land. The district of Guadix is besides famous for its pure and wholesome 

air, its sweet waters, the delicacy of its fruits and vegetables, the richness of its 

mines, and the great profusion of medicinal plants that grow in its soil.^' It 

extends its jurisdiction over many towns and castles ; among the latter is Hisn- 

Jahanah,^^ a fortress which is almost as large as a city, and whence the celebrated 

apples called Al-jalidni take their name. Hisn-Jalianah is twelve miles distant from 

Guadix. Another of the pecubarities of this district is that it contains one of the 

-two chesnut trees that are famous all over Andalus for their size, and are described 

by several authors, and among others by Ibnu Jazzi-hkelbi, the editor of the 

Travels of Ibnu Battuttah,^^ whose words are as follow: — " Among the wonders of 

" Andalus, one is the two chesnut trees, in the trunk of which a weaver may sit 

" weaving; this is a known fact." One of these prodigious trees is to be seen 

on a mountain in the neighbourhood of Guadix, the other is in the AUhusherah ^'^ 

(Alpuxarra) of Granada. 

Al-munekab^^ (Almunecar) is a sea-port belonging also to the government of 
Granada. It was there that 'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel first landed when he came 
from Africa to conquer Andalus, 
Toledo. Another of the great cities belonging to the central division was Toleytalah, 

(Toledo) ,^^ which at the beginning of the 6th century of the Hijra became the 
, ycapital of a kingdom founded by the Beni Dhi-l-niln,^^ one of the petty dynasties 


■■ "-TT^H ■> >^ XT 

- ^ \ 


which sprung out of the ruins of the Cordovan Khalifate. Kaysar (Ceesar), who is 
said to have founded Toledo, caUed it in his language Zaleytah,^^ which means in 
Arabic " thou art content ; " but in the course of time the name was corrupted by 
the Arabs, who changed it into Toleytalah (Toledo). 

During the reign of Beni Umeyyah all the territories subject to Toledo were desig- 
nated under the generic name of AUhagheru-l-addni, or lower frontier, to distinguish 
it from Saragossa and its districts, which were called AUhagheru-l-a'ali, or upper 
frontier. Toledo was further known under the name of Medinatu-l-moUk, the city 
of the kings, owing to its having been the court of seventy-two kings of various 
infidel dynasties. We have said elsewhere that the Goths made it their capital ; it 
is also supposed to have been for some time the residence of Suleyman, son of 
Daud, (on whom be peace !) as w^ell as of Jesus, son of Mariam, and Dhti-l-kameyn 
(Alexander). It was there that Tarik, son of Zeyad, found the table of Suleyman, 
which formed part of the treasures which Ishban, king of the Romans, and founder 
of Ishbiliah, (as we have said elsewhere,) brought from the sack of Jerusalem. The 
table was made out of one solid emerald, and when presented by Musa to the Khalif 
Al-walid was valued at one hundred thousand gold dinars. It is generally believed 
now to be at Rome, bnt God only knows. This inestimable jewel was not the only 
treasure which Tarik found at Toledo ; there were among other things one hundred 
and seventy royal diadems, set with pearls, rubies, and other precious stones ; a 
spacious temple all filled with gold and silver vases, which temple is forther said -to 
have been of such dimensions as to have afforded, when its riches were, remdved, 
sufficient room for the Arab cavahers to exercise in throwing the spear and other 
military sports. This latter circumstance indeed would seem almost incredible, had 
it not been related by trustworthy people and eye-witnesses. But God is all- 

Toledo is built on the banks of the river Tajoh (Tagus), over which there once 
stood a magnificent bridge, consisting of only one arch, supported by large stone 
piers on both sides of the river. It measured three hundred bd'as in length, and 
eighty in width ; but when the Amir Mohammed besieged and took Toledo he 
ordered the bridge to be destroyed. 

The Amir 'Abbas Ibn Firnas has alluded to the taking of Toledo and the de- 
struction of its bridge in the following verses : 

" When morning came Toledo appeared deserted, and (like a bird) in: the 
" claws of a falcon. . . . 

" Its houses uninhabited, its streets without people, the whole -city, as 
'' empty and as silent as a tomb. 

" The wrath of heaven has fallen heavily upon it; even ;the' bridge through 

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[book I. 


" which the inhahitants held communication with the infidels has not been 

" spared." ^^ 

All authors who have described Toledo say that it has pleasant orchards, a 
beautiful river, gardens, groves, fine fruits of every kind and description; that 
its jurisdiction embraces extensive districts, good arable lands, rich meadows and 
pastures, fine cities, and strong castles : one of the peculiarities of the place 
being that wheat will keep under ground for a great number of years without 
decaying, and is transmitted in inheritance from father to son as any other article 
of property. The saffron, of which large quantities are yearly exported in caravans, 
is of itself a source of wealth to the inhabitants, as well as the tincture made 
with it, and which dyes of a beautiful butter colour. 

The two following verses of an Andalusian poet on Toledo deser\^e to be tran- 
scribed here. 

" Toledo surpasses in beauty the most extravagant descriptions. She is 

'' indeed the city of pleasures and delight. 

" God has lavished upon her all sorts of ornaments ; he has given her her 
" walls for a turban, her river for a girdle, and the branches of trees for 

" stars." '"« 
The cities depending upon Toledo are AVadi-1-hajarali (Guadalaxara) , Kal'atu 

Rabah^**^ (Calatrava), and others; but we shall not say at present any more about 
Toledo, and will return to it in the course of our narrative when we relate some 
of the events that took j^lace within its walls. 

The city of Malakah (Malaga) is another of the great capitals comprised in this 
division; we shall describe it in the words of Ash-shakandi, the author to whom 
frequent allusion has been already made in the course of this work. " Malaga," 
he says, " unites land and sea prospects, thus partaking of the advantages and 
" productions of both; its environs are so covered with vines and orchards as to 
" make it almost impossible for the traveller to discover a piece of ground which 
" is not cultivated. Its towers, which I have seen, are like the stars in the sky— 
" as numerous, and shining as bright. It is intersected by a river which comes 
" to visit it in two seasons of the year— in winter and in the spring, when, rolling 
" its precipitous waters through deep ravines and down lofty hills, it empties 
" them into the sea within the very precincts of the city. But what ranks Malaga 
" far above any other country in the world is its figs called Ar-rayi, from Rayah,^**^ 
" which was the ancient name of the city; I was told that they may be procured 
" in Baghdad, where they are considered as the greatest delicacy, and as to the 
" quantity annually exported by sea both in Moslem and Christian vessels, it is 
■f^ so enormous that I shall not venture upon a computation, for fear of falling short 


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"' of the real number. During my residence in that city I once travelled along 
" the sea coast from Sohayl to Tish.^o^ ^ distance of three days' march, and I 
" declare I saw nothing else on the road but fig trees, whose branches, loaded 
'' with fmit, almost touched the ground, so that the little urchins of the villages 
- plucked them without the least trouble, besides the great numbers that were 
" scattered on the ground. Those of Tish are reckoned to be the best; it was 
" of one of these figs that a Berber said, when he was asked how he liked it, 
" * thou askest me how I like it, and it has all melted down my throat,' and, by 
" Allah, the Berber was right, for I never tasted better figs in my life, and 
besides they are a blessing which God has refused to his country (Africa) . 
'' Another of the peculiarities of Malaga is the fabric of allowed and forbidden 
liquors, that called /Malaga wine' having become proverbial. An anecdote 
is told of a Khalif, who, being on his death-bed, and on the point of breathing 
his last, was induced (as is the general custom) to ask the favours of God 
before departing from this life. They say that the Khalif, raising his hand, 
exclaimed, ' O Lord ! among the many delightful things which thy pa^adise^ 
contams I ask thee for Malaga wine and Seville oil.' 
" Malaga is also famous for its manufactures of silks of all colours and patterns, 
" some of which are so rich that a suit made out of them will cost many 
1^ thousands ; such are the brocades with beautiful drawings, and the names of 
" KhaUfs, Amirs, and other wealthy people, woven into them.^"* 

" All the coast of Malaga may be compared to a port, so full is it at aU tim# 

" of vessels belonging either to the Moslems or to the Christians." 
Thus far Ash-shakandi ; what follows is borrowed from other writers. 
Malaga figs are famous all over the world for their sweetness and flavour ; 
they are exported as far as India, China, and other remote countries, and are 
universally acknowledged to be superior to any growing in other lands. The 
poet Abu-1-hejaj Yusef, son of the Sheikh Al-balawi,'"^ quoted by Ibnu Sa'id 
and other writers, says, speaking of them — 

" Malaga indeed bestows hfe with its figs ; but it also causes death bv 
" them. -^ 

" During my illness my physician forbade me to eat them; how little does 
" he care for my life !" 

Another poet, the Imam and preacher Abii 'Abdi-l-wahhab, from Malaga, has said, 

" Hems has no figs equal to those of Malaga, but its oils deserve partiMaf- 
" mention/"os -:.--: 

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Hems is here intended for Seville, a city which was called SO owinf to a party 
of Synans fi-om Hems (Emesa) having settled in it soon after the- conquest. 

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VOL. I. 

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The compiler of the travels of Ibnu Batttittah, who quotes the preceding verses, 
attributes the first to the preacher Ahu Mohammed 'Abdu-1-wahhah, a native of 
Malaga ; the second he gives as the composition of the Kadi Abu 'Abdillah Ibn 
'Abdi-1-mdlik, but God only knows. 

The said Ibnu Battiittah, or rather the editor of his travels, describes this city 

in the following terms: " Malaga," he says, '' is one of the principal cities of 

" Andalus; it has an excellent territory, and abounds in fruits of all sorts; I 

" saw once eight rctU^"' of grapes sold in its market for one small dirhem ; the 

." celebrated pomegranate named Al-mursi, and another kind called Al-yacoti (the 

^"rubyrcoloured), grow on its soil; figs and almonds form a considerable sta'ple 

; " C)f trade, and are exported in great quantities to distant countries in the East 

""'■ and West, as also its golden pottery, which is quite wonderful. It has a 

" large mosque, jdmi', very much renowned for its sanctity, with a very fine 
" open court, all planted with beautiful orange trees." 

To the west of Malaga lies an extensive district which comprises many towns 
and villages, and is known by the name of Sohayl/^® owing to a certain mountain 
there, which is said to be the only spot in Andalus from whence the star Sohayl 
(Ganopus) is visible. To the east, on the sea shore, is the city of Belesh ^"^ (Velez), 
which very much resembles Malaga in the abundance and good quality of its 
fruits ; farther on, on the coast, is Nerjah (Nerja),^^** which Ibnu Sa'id describes as 
a very large town, almost resembhng a city in size, surrounded by orchards and 
gardens, and with a river so pleasant that it tempts the traveller to halt on its 
banks. Another fine town depending upon Malaga is that of Al-hamah "^ 
(A Iharaa) , where there are springs of hot water close to the banks of the river. 
But let us pass to the description of Almeria. 
Aimcria. _.]. Ali-meriyah (Almeria) is situate at the bottom of a deep valley formed by two 

mountains, on one of which stands the famous castle of Kheyran, so well known 
by its strength. This castle was built during the Khalifate of 'Abdu-r-rahm^n 
An-nassir, but was afterwards considerably improved and enlarged by Kheyran ^^^ 
the Sclavonian, a freedman of Al-manstir Ibn Abi 'A'mir, who, having usurped 
the royal power, appointed his friends and adherents to the government of the 
principal cities, and gave to this Kheyran that of Almeria, where, during the 
civil war which followed the death of Al-mansur, he declared himself independent. 
The castle was named after him. On the other mountain is built one of the 
suburbs, which, together with the city, is enclosed within very strong walls. 
; Almeria, on the whole, is a very strong place, for besides its fortifications, and 
;:-Jte:^ig^ towers that surround it on every side, the city is as it were enclosed 
i f!|^^^^ ^ natural barrier formed by immense primitive rocks, as sharp and naked 
;; ;^Ait they had been passed through a sieve. 








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All authors agree in saying that the inhabitants of Almeria were at one time 
the wealthiest people in all Andaius, and those who carried on the most extensiye 
trade, owing to which the population is said to have been very considerable,. and: 
the number of pubhc baths and inns to have amounted to no less th^i one: 
thousand, without counting those of its western suburb, called MahadM~l-ko^l 
(the suburb of the cistern), which was also amply provided with inns,^aj^^>^; 
public baths, and manufactures of all kinds. ^ ^/j : ■; . 

The river, which is the same as at Beija,^^^ ^i^^ contributes no ht tie to the 
ornament of the city and its environs, for out of the one hundred and twenty 
miles which make up the length of its course, the last forty, before reaching .the 
sea, are through orchards, gardens, and groves, where the singing birds dehght 
with their hamiony the ears of the traveller. 

We find in a certain author that one of the gates of Almeria was .called 
Bdhu4-'oMh (the gate of the eagle), owing to a figure of this bird which .stood v 
on the top of it from times of old, and was beautiful to behold. This, hpweyier,^ 
was not the only ancient rehc to be found in the city, for it abounded in- old ■ 
remains of buildings, and all along the coast might be seen wonderfni palaces^ 
and other stupendous stractures of the ancient kings of the country. 

There was in Almeria a dock-yard"* where very fine vessels were built;, the 
coast was safe and weU frequented. But what made Almeria superior to J^ny 
other city in the world was its various manufactures... of silks, and: otherrarti^ef ^ 
of dress, such as the dihdj,''^ which is a sort of silken cloth surpassingyaigu#i^ 5^ 
and durability any thing else manufactured in other countries; the; #*r^?^Mat- 
costly stuff on which the names of Sultans, Princes, and other wealthy individuals 
are inscribed, and of which no less than eight hundred looms existed at one time— 
of more inferior silks, such as the holol,''"^ and brocades, there were one thousand 
looms ; the same number were continually employed in weaving the stuiFs called 
iskaldton.'^^ There were also one thousand for weaving robes called Al-jorjdni 
(Georgian), and another thousand for those called Isbahdni (from Isfahan), and : 
a similar number for the 'AtdbV'^ The manufacture of damask for curtains and : 
turbans for the women, of gay and dazzling colours, employed a number.of hands 
equal to that of those engaged in the manufacture of the above-mentioned articles;: 
Almeria was also famous for the fabrication of all sorts of vases arid utensils,;- 
whether of iron, copper, or glass. ;.:::%:jf^ 

AU fruits growing on its soil partake of a sweetness and flavour rarely Jo-.E^;iiif^^- 
with m other countries ; to describe . them all would be a hopeless task^-^SMIir-- 
who wishes to acquire more information on the sulyect mayiconiufc^Sifent 
history of this city composed by Abu Ja'iar Ibn; Khatim*^?S5«:&s: title, 

.^_ . . 

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« Advantages of Almeria over other cities in Andalus." It is a very thick 
volume, of which we possess a copy, but it is in Africa with the rest of our 
Hbrary ; we trust in God, who has the power of collecting what is scattered 
and joining what is separated, that he will restore us to the possession of our 

books and chattels. 

But we cannot leave the description of this city without copying the words 
of Ash-shakandi, for although by foUowing this method we may now and then 
be guilty of repetition, yet it is evident that our information is considerably 
increased by comparing the accounts of different writers. " Almeria," says 
Ash-shakandi, ** is an opulent and magnificent city, whose fame has spread far 
'^ and wide. God has endowed its inhabitants with various gifts, such as a 
" temperate chmate, and abundance of fruits ; they are handsome, well made, 
*' good natured, very hospitable, very much attached to their friends, and are 
" above all things very refined in their manners, and very elegant in their dress. 
" Its coast is the finest in all the Mediterranean, as well as the safest and the 

" most frequented. 

" In Almeria are found agates of different shades, which the nobles and other 
" wealthy people of Morocco put in their bardrid,^'^' as also the polished marbles 
"called AUmaUU (Royal). Its river, called Wddi Bejenah,^'''' is one of the 
" pleasantest streams in the world, both its banks being planted with orchards, 
" gardens, and trees, so that it looks like a half-smiHng mouth in the midst 
" of two rosy cheeks covered with whiskers ; and certainly the poet was right 
" who, describing the territory washed by this river, said, 

' It is a land where if thou walk the stones are pearls, the dust is musk, 

' and the gardens paradises.' ^^^ 
"Almeria was at one time under the sway of the famous K^id Ibn Maymun,'^* 
"who made himself so conspicuous by the great naval victories he gained over the 
" Ghristians, and who, scouring the seas in all directions, stopped the navigation 
" of the infidels, ruined their trade, made an incursion into Romaniah (Italy), 
" attacked its ports, and filled the hearts of the inhabitants with terror and 
" consternation. Such was the terror of his name that, quoting the words of 

" a poet, 

' If the enemy was awake, he dreaded him, — if asleep, his sharp-edged sword 

' played upon his throat.' '^^ 

" Almeria was the greatest mart in Andalus ; Christians of all nations came 

" to its port to buy and sell, and they had factories ^^^ estabhshed in it. From 

"thence the Christian merchants who came to its port travelled to other parts 

■.'*jaid markets (in the interior of the country), where they loaded their vessels 


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'* with such goods as they wanted, owing to which, and to its being a very 
" opulent and large city, filled with passengers and merchants, the produce of 
" the tithe imposed upon the goods and paid by the Christian merchants 
" amounted to verjr considerable sums, and exceeded that collected in any 
" other sea-port. . . 

" Costly silken robes of the brightest colours are manufactured in Almeria." 
Thus far Ash-shakandi. 

Some of the districts surrounding Almeria deserve mention. One of them is 
that of Berjah (Berja), where lead is to be found in great abundance. Its capital, 
Berja, is situate on a very pretty river called Wadi-'Adhra ^^^ (the river of Adra), 
whose banks are covered with trees and flowers. A poet has said very happily, 

" When one comes to Berja on the road to Almeria there is no remedy 
" but to stop there and desist from the journey, 

" For indeed its houses and gardens are so many paradises, while the roads 
" leading to them are so many hells." '^^ 

Hisn-Shinsh^29 jg ^ ^^^ ^^^^ distant one day's march from Almeria. Its territory 
abounds in mulberry trees, by means of which a prodigious quantity of silk-worms 
are reared. The river of Tabemash (Tabernas) passes close to this town. 

•* Jayy^n"'3« (Jaen), says Ash-shakandlin his nstf^eA, " is the citadel of Andalus ; jaen. 
" for no city can be compared with it for abundance of grain, number of valiant 
" soldiers, nor for the strength and solidity of its fortifications. Indeed during 
" the last ci^^l war and its disastrous campaigns the mfidels had more than .one 
" opportunity of showing their inabihty to compete with the Moslems, since as 
" many times as they appeared before the walls of that city they were severely 
" repulsed, obliged to raise the siege, and to fly further than the Pleiades,^^^ and 
" to make themselves as scarce in the surrounding districts as the eggs of the 
" pelican are among the rocks.^^^ 

" Jaen is not destitute of ulemas and poets. It is the birth-place of many 
" illustrious individuals in all professions, and the sciences are cultivated in it 
" with as great an ardour and enthusiasm as in any part of Andalus. It is generally 
" known by the name oi Jayyenu-l-harir^^^ (Jaen of the silk), owing to the extensive 
" cultivation of mulberry trees for the rearing of silk worms within Jaen and in 
" the environs. 

'* It may also be said in praise of Jaen that it extends its jurisdiction over 
'' districts like that of XJbedha (Ubeda), where the vines are in such abundance 
" that their fruit cannot be sold on account of its excessive plenty^: arid;^iike 
" that of Baydsah (Baeza), which is famous for its saffron which is i^^OTted in 
" great quantities by land and water. .' ■'■ '"'^^'-^''^f-- \' 

I _ - ^, 

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•' The first-mentioned district (Ubeda) ofFers another very striking peculiarity, 
" viz., that its inhabitants are all very fond of music and dancing ; so that thou 
"wilt find among them dancing girls who are famous for their beauty and 
" admirable shape, and who dance with great elegance and taste. They are 
" also very expert in playing with swords, and cups, in drawing horoscopes, 
" untying knots, and finding out hidden things." ^^* 

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Westerndistnct—SeviUe—Xerez—Gibraltar—Tarifa—Beja—Badajos—Merida— Lisbon— Siives. 

IsHBiLiAH (SeviUs) was one of the finest cities of Andalus. We have stated Sevuic. 
dsewhere (following the words of Ibn An-naththam) that it was founded by. 
Ishban, king of the Romans. However, the building of this city is by others : 
attributed to another king of the Romans whose name was Julius, and who was 
the first to take the title or appellation of Kaysar (Cssar) . Which of the two was 
its real founder we are unable to determine. They say that when C^sar came to 
Andalus, and saw the spot which is now occupied by Seville, he was very much 
struck with the beauty, extent, and apparent fertihty of the country all around 
him ; that he was also very much pleased with the luxuriance and fine vegetatiOtt 
of the mountainous district (now) called Asharaf (Axarafe), and %erefpre ^defe ^ 
mined upon building a city in that spot. Having chosen a convenient sitiiatibh 
on the banks of the Wddi~l-' adhem (Guadalquivir),^ he began the building of his^ 
city, which he surrounded with strong stone walls, and in the centre of which he 
erected two citadels of wonderful structure, which he named Al-ahhdwin (the two 
sisters).^ Kaysar, moreover, fixed his residence in his new city, which became thus 
the capital of his kingdom, and was known ever after by the name of Juliah^ 
Romiyah,^ which its founder gave to it, being a compound of his own name 
(Julius) and that of his native country (Romah). 

Seville, as we have already remarked, became also the capital of Andalus during 
the Gothic domination, for the kings of this race used to divide their court between : 

four principal cities, viz. Seville, Cordova, Carmona, and Toledo; and to reside in- 
one of these four cities, according to the different seasons of the year. ^ k 

One of the authors who has described Seville expresses himself in the followifl^- 
terms :—" Seville is built on the banks of the Guadalquivir, also kaM^fcySfe 
" name of Wddi Kortubah (the river of Cordova). A very handsc^'Sag^ of 
" boats, fastened together by means of iron chains, serves as a^^ommmiication for 

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the people living on the two banks of the river.* The city itself is fine and well 
bnilt ; the squares are large, and the market-places commodious and abundantly 
" provided with every necessary, as also with articles of trade of the most expensive 
" kind, which afford great gain to the merchants. The people of Seville are said 
" to be wealthy; their principal traffic consists in their oils, which they ship to 
" distant parts of the East and West. The olive tree grows very luxuriantly in all 
the districts dependent on the city, but above all, in that called Axarafe,^ which 
is an extensive tract of land measuring about forty miles in length, and nearly 
as much in width, formed of gentle hills of a reddish earth, and where there are 
forests of olive and fig trees planted so thickly as to afford the passengers who 
" travel through them a complete shelter in the hottest summer day. The Axarafe 
" contains besides a very large population scattered in farm houses, or living in 
" towns and villages, which have also their market-places, their baths, — fine 
'' bmldings, and other conveniences and comforts only to be met with in cities 

'* of the first order." 

The author of the Minhdju-l-fakar (open way to reflection) says that Seville 
was one of the handsomest cities in the world, and its inhabitants famous for their 
indolent habits, and their love of pleasure, which in them was almost proverbial. 
They led a most luxurious and dissipated life, which, the author observes, " was 
" chiefly owing to the delightful river that flows through their territory, and which 
" has not its equal in the world. It is navigable for large vessels, and is always 
" filled with pleasure-boats kept by the inhabitants, and by fishing or trading 
" vessels : in the opinion of some it surpasses in beauty the Euphrates, the Tigris, 
"and the Nile. Its banks are covered with fruit trees, forming a sort of canopy 
" over the river, so that one may sail in it sheltered from the rays of the sun, and 
'' listening to the charming melody of the singing birds. The journey along its 
" banks is equally pleasant, and one may travel the distance of ten parasangs 
" (thirty miles) through clusters of buildings and farm houses, high towers and 
" strong castles, forming a continued city. The tide is perceptible in the river of 
'* Seville at a distance of seventy -two miles from the sea. It also abounds in fish, 
'" of which the daily consumption is almost incredible. The amount of taxes paid 
" by the city of Seville only, during the Khalifate of Al-hakem Ibn Hisham, is stated 
'' at one hundred and thirty-five thousand dinars." 

Seville and its territory was also known by the name of Hems (Emesa) , as we 
have said elsewhere ; for when the lands of Andalus were divided among the Arab 
settlers it fell to the lot of the people of Emesa in Syria, whose banner imme- 

.: {pately follows that of the people of Damascus in the processions at Medina. 

■ M. Various are the works of art and splendid buildings described by the authors 

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who have written about Seville ; but the most amazing of all is unquestionably the 
tower attached to the great mosque, which was built during the reign of Ya'kiib 
Al-mansur. As a piece of architecture it is unparalleled in the world. Ibnu Sa'id 
mentions also several spots in the vicinity of Seville to which the inhabitants used 
to resort for the sake of recreation and indulgence; one was Tarayanah (Triana),^ 
one of the suburbs attached to the city, the other Kahtdl,"^ an island on the 
Guadalquivir. '-. 

Another of the peculiarities of Seville is that figs and oil will keep for a consider- 
able length of time without being spoilt ; the sugar cane grows in its territory ; and 
the worm called hermes,^ which dyes of a colour superior to the lac of India, is 
also found in great abundance on the oak trees. But, indeed, were we to enumerate 
all the excellences of its soil, we should protract this work to an interminable 
length. However, as Seville is one of the cities described by Ash-shakandi in his 
risdleh, and this with his usual accuracy and eloquence, we shall here quote his 
words; — ''Seville," says that learned and most accomplished writer, "is to be 
*' praised for many things: mildness of temperature, purity of air, fine buildings, 
" good streets, picturesque environs, and abundance of provisions and . commodities 
*' of all sorts. This latter requisite indeed gave rise to that saying, so common 
" among the people of Andalus— ' If thou seekest for birds' milk, by Allah thou 
" Shalt find it in Seville.' Nor can I pass in silence its beautiful river, the 
'' Guadalquivir, in which the ebb is felt at a distance of seventy-two miles,: and 
" which the poet Ibnu SafFar describes in that very ingenious distich--^ ; ; ; ri-^-^ '' 
' The breeze falls playfully on the river, and, lifting up the skirts of its robe; 

' agitates the surface of its waters ; the stream, resisting the outrage, hastens 

' down to revenge it. 

' The ring-dove laughs on its banks from the excess of his love, and the 
* whole scene is covered with the veil of tranquillity and peace.' ^ 
" But this is neither the time nor the place to explain the phenomenon of 
•' the tide. Both banks of the Guadalquivir are covered with pleasure-gardens, 
''orchards, vines, and yew trees,^" in such profusion that I doubt whether there is 
*' any river in the world to compete vfith it in this respect; and let this not be 
*' taken as an exaggeration, for I once questioned a very intelhgent man, who had 
^' travelled through Egypt, about the Nile, and he told me that that famous river 
" had neither the verdure, nor the orchards, gardens and pleasure-grounds, which: 
" the Guadalquivir has on its banks. I also asked a traveller who had fesided};^in^ 
"Baghdad, and he gave me a similar answer about the Tigris :. in rfac^e^t^e^ 
" Guadalquivir can only be compared to a paradise, for not only rare^the. districts- 
" watered by it the most delightful regions that caii be imaginedybukthe: inhabitants 

VOL. I. I 

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on both its banks are the merriest people on earth, always singing, playing on 
various instruments, and drinking wine, which among them is not considered 
forbidden, as long as it is used with moderation, and does not cause intoxication, 
which leads to perversity and vice. It is true that there have been at times in 
Seville governors and Sultans, who, being firmly attached to religion, and the 

" strict observance of its ordinances, have done every thing in their power to check 
the evil ; but all their attempts have been vain, and they have never succeeded 
in eradicating it entirely. The Sevilhans are generally believed to be the most 
frivolous of men, and the most witty and jocose ; they are very much inclined to 

" jesting, but sometimes their satirical propensity leads them to break out into the 

" grossest injuries and calumny ; this is indeed so inveterate an evil among them has become like a gnawing worm, and has contaminated all the classes of 
society ; and the corruption has gone so far that whoever follows not their 
example, and indulges not in all these excesses, — ^whoever is not a calumniator 
and a slanderer of his neighbours, is sure to be hated by them most cordially. 
*' Respecting the Asharaf (Axarafe) of Seville much has been said by various 

" authors ; it is thus described by a poet, in a composition which he addressed to 

" the Sultan Al-mu'atamed Ibn 'Abbad, — ■ 

' Seville is a young bride ; her husband is 'Abbad ; 

* Her diadem Asharaf; her necklace the river.' '^ 

*' This district has already been described by me : I shall only add here that it 
surpasses in beauty and fertility every other spot on the face of the earth ; that 
the oil of its olives is exported as fer as Alexandria; that its hamlets and villages 
are much superior to those of other countries in the extent and commodi- 
ousness, and the fine designs and ornament, of their houses, which, from the 
'* continual white-washing, look Hke so many stars in a sky of olive trees. An 
" Andalusian, who had visited both Cairo and Baghdad, being once asked whether 
" he thought either of those cities superior to Seville, is said to have answered, 
" after expatiating long in praise of Seville and its Axarafe, — 

* Axarafe is a forest without wild beasts ; its river a Nile without 
* crocodiles.* '^ 

" I have heard also of the mountains called Jehalu~r~rahmah, (the mountain of 
mercy) ,^^ which are in the neighbourhood of Seville, and where fig trees of the 
species called Al-kutti^^ (the Gothic), and Ash-sha'ri ^^ (the hairy), grow in great 
abundance ; and I have been told by people who have travelled into almost eveiy 
quarter of the globe that these two kinds of figs grew nowhere in such perfection 

" as at Seville. 

: ."Musical instruments of all sorts may at any time be procured io Seville, where 




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" they are manufactured with the greatest skill. Thou wilt find there the khiydl,^^ 
" the kerbehh, the 'oud, the rdtteh, the 7-abdb, the kdnun, the wdnis, the kanne'rah, 
" the ghindr, the zalemi, the shakarah, the nurah, (these two last instruments 
" being both flutes, with this difterence, that the former has a very deep tone, and 
" the latter a very delicate and melodious one,) and the ftt^ft {clarionet).; Many of 
" these instruments may, it is true, be found in other cities of Andalus, as also 
" players on them, but nowhere in such numbers as in Seville, where they are manu^ 
" factured in great quantities, and then exported to Africa, no instruments being 
" fabricated there but those pecuhar to the country, such as the d-df,^'^ the akivdl, 
" the bard, the Ahu Karun, the dabdahah of the blacks, and the hameki of the 
" Berbers. 

" As to their means of conveyance by land and water,^^ their cookery, their 
" fresh and dried fruits, their vegetables and other productions of their soil, it 
" w^ould take us too long to describe them. 

" I have also heard of the magnificence and good design of its buildings; most 
" of which, not to say all, are abundantly provided with running waters, and 
" spacious courts planted with fruit trees, such as the orange, the lemon, the lime, 
" and the citron tree. The sciences and the arts are cultivated with more or less 
" ardour, with more or less success ; the number of their authors is indeed too 
" considerable to be stated, and their writings too well known to need description ; 
" the list of its poets '^ is so long, that were they to divide: among themselves the 
" whole of the opposite land (Africa) they would hardly be contained in. it • they; 
" have been at all times amply remunerated by Sultans and wealthy citizens.'' - 

Such are the words of Ash-shakandi in his risdleh. Let us now pass to the 
description of cities dependent upon Seville. 

Al-hijari says that Sherish (Xerez) is the daughter of Seville, and its river 
the son of the Guadalquivir ; he adds that Xerez is a very fine city, with a large 
population, and extensive markets, and that it very much resembles the city of 
Sa'd in Upper Eg\^pt. Its inhabitants he describes as people of great imagination 
and talent, very elegant in their dress, and in the interior of their houses; re- 
markable for their good manners and courtesy, and so sensitive and tender- 
hearted that it is not an uncommon thing among them to see people of either 
sex die from the excess of their love. 

Xerez is famous for the confection of the mojabemh,'^^ which are. a sort o/ 
cake kneaded together with cheese, and fried in good oil. Their celebrity may 
be ascribed to the superior quality of the cheese with which they.m-erm^dl;! It 
is a common saying among the Andalusians, " Whoever, has resided: ih ferez; and 
" not tasted its mojab^nah, ought to consider himself altogether unhappy." 


^V.7ir-;^5*;;ftiMH>L;i:^^^r^~-+-4^ ■^'- 



[book I. 




Talikah (Italica), a city now in ruins, was formerly the capital of a flourishing 
district. There was once found a marble statue of a woman with a boy,^^ so admirably 
executed that both looked as if they were alive ; such perfection human eyes never 
beheld, nor was it ever heard of in history ; and if we are to believe the accounts 
of those who saw it in one of the public baths of the city, where it was afterwards 
placed, some Sevillians had been so much struck with its beauty as to become 
deeply enamoured of it. A poet, a native of this city, who has alluded to it in a 
beautiful distich, says that in his time it was in the baths called Ash-shatarah.^^ 

Another of the districts which acknowledge the jurisdiction of Seville is that of 
■Jebal-Tarik (Gibraltar), which stands as a lasting testimonial of the conquest of 
Andalus by the Moslems. This mountain was called after Tarik, freedman of 
Musa Ibn Nosseyr, who was the first Moslem who landed on it ; it is also called 
Jebalu-l-fatah (the mountain of the entrance or victory). The sea surrounds the 
mountain of Gibraltar on almost every side, so as to make it look like a watch- 
tower erected in the midst of the sea, and facing Aigesiras. A certain Granadian 
poet alludes to Gibraltar in the following distich : 

" The mountain of Tarik is like a beacon spreading its rays over the seas, 
" and rising far above the neighbouring mountains : 

" One would say that its face almost reaches the sky, and that its eyes are 
" watching the stars in the celestial tracts. 

And this is by no means exaggerated, for when travellers approach it, coming 
from Ceuta, they see it at a distance shining as bright as a lamp. " I sailed once," 
says Abu-1-hasan Ibn Miisa Ibn Sa'id, *' with my father from Ceuta to Gibraltar, 
" and had an opportunity of verifying the truth of this assertion. When we came 
" near the coast my father told me to look in the direction of Gibraltar ; I did so, 
" and saw the whole mountain shining as if it were on fire." 

Jezirah-Tarif (the island of Tarif) is another dependency of Seville. Tarif, after 
whom the island was named, was a Berber and a freedman of Musa. They say that 
by his master's command he invaded Andalus before Tarik, and landed at Tarifa 
with four hundred men. This happened in the year ninety-one of the Hijra 
{a. d. 709-10), but of this more will be said, if God be pleased, in the course of 
this work. Tarifa is not, properly speaking, an island, but was so called on account 
of one that stands before it in the sea ; the same might be said of Jeziratu-1-khadhra 
(Aigesiras) . 

Beja ^ is the capital of an extensive district, which, during the dynasty of the 
Beni.'Abbad, formed part of the kingdom of Seville. It was famous for its tan-yards 
and manufactures of cotton goods. The territory abounds in silver mines, and it has 
besides the glory of being the birth-place of Al-mu'atamed Ibn 'Abbad. 

'> 23 

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Merida was once a large and populous city, and during the dynasty of the Bern Menda. 
Umeyyah it reached such a degree of splendour as to be only second to Cordova, 
the capital, in size, population, and magnificence of buildings. But owing to the 
seditious character of its inhabitants, who were continually revolting either against 
their governors or against the Sultans of Cordova, the City was destroyed during 
the reign of 'Abdu-r-rahman, and never afterwards restored. Merida is built on th6 
banks of a considerable river called Wadi-anah (Guadiana).^^ 

On the same river, about thirty miles to the west, is the city of Bathalids ^^ Badajoz. 

(Badajoz), which is also a very considerable city, extending its jurisdiction over 

a rich and extensive country. Badajoz became the capital of a powerful kingdoiUj 

formed by Mohammed Ibn Moslemah ; ^^ one of the generals, who, at the death of 

Al-mansur, declared themselves independent in their provinces. He transmitted 

his empire to his posterity, of which three princes reigned, until the last, 'Omar 

Al-mutawakel, was slain by Seyrin Ibn Abi Bekr, general of the Almoravides, 

The following distich in praise of Badajoz is the composition of the Wizir and 
poet Abii 'Omar Ai-falUs.^s ; ' 

" O Badajoz! I shall never forget thee as long as I live; by Allah, the 

" hills that surround thee look as delightful and green as the higher regions of 

" Arabia. 

" The fruits of thy deeply-laden trees shine every where with the deep hue 

" of maturity ; and thy river is like a string of solid ice." 

The Beni Al-fallas were a principal family of Badajoz, and this 'Omar one of its 

most illustrious individuals; the author of the Ad-dakhireh^^ devotes an article 

to him. 

Lishbona (Lisbon) is a large city on the coast of the Western Ocean, and at Lisbon. 

the mouth of the river Tajoh. Its district, and that of Shantareyn (Santaren), 

which are contiguous, abound in gold mines. They produce also a kind of honey, 

very much resembling sugar in appearance, and which is never found in a liquid 

state ; the inhabitants keep it in cotton bags. Another of the peculiarities of this 

coast is the amber which is thrown up by the sea in great quantity, and which in 

its kind is superior to that of the Indian seas, and is only equalled by the 


Between Lisbon and Talavera, a city placed on the banks of the river that comes Bridge of the 

from Toledo (the Tajoh), stands the famous bridge known by the name of Al-kant- 

aratU'S-seyf (the bridge of the sword), the construction of which is attributed. to 

the first Csesar, and is one of the wonders of the world. It is very highj tod bas 

only one arch of about seventy cubits in height, and thirty-seven in width,- under 

which the whole stream passes. On the top of this arch is a tower /rising to la 

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height of forty cubits above the bridge, which, as well as the tower, is built of 

large blocks of granite, each measuring eight or ten cubits in length. At the 

summit of the tower, and in one of the stones of which it is built, is a brazen 

sword fixed into it, with this wonderful pecuHarity, that whoever seizes the handle 

and draws it may extract about three spans of it, but no human efforts have yet 

succeeded in drawing it out further ; when the handle is let go the sword goes with 

great violence into the stone, as if it went into a scabbard.^^ 

Close to the district of Lisbon is that of Oksondbah (Ossonoba) , the capital of 

which bears the same name, and is a very fine city, to which many towns, villages, 

^nd castles are subject. Further down towards the coast is the city of Shilb 

Siives. (Silyes), which was once the capital of an independent state formed by the Wizir 

Abu Bekr Mohammed Ibn 'Omar, known by the surname of Dhu-1-wizarateyn. 

But when the BenI Lamtumnah subdued the greatest part of Andalus, this and 

other western districts were joined by them to the government of Seville. Siives 

is seven days' march from Cordova ; it has the honour of being the birth-place of 

Dhti-l-wizarateyn Ibn 'Omar,^^ (may God show him mercy !) and of the Kaid Abu 

Merwdn 'Abdu4-malik Ibn Bedrdn, by others called Ibn Badritn, a literary man of 

great repute, and who is known as the author, among other works, of a commentary 

on that famous ode of Ibn 'Abdun ^^ which begins thus : 

" Succeeding generations shall be afflicted at the recollection of his 
"virtues." 3^ 

This commentaiy is too well known to need a fuller description ; we have found 

it in most of the great cities in the East, where it is held in great estimation. 

The author, Ibn Badriin, was himself a very good poet. 

SUves is likewise the birth-place of the famous grammarian Abu Mohammed 
.'Abdullah, son of As-sid Al-Bathliosl.^s 

;iEhe whole of: western Andalus was at one time under the dominion of the Beni 
'Abh^, kings of Seville, the most powerful Sultans of the time. The great 
revenues they derived from their states enabled them to keep considerable 
armies, and to surround their court with learned men and poets, who, encouraged 
by their liberality, cultivated the sciences with the greatest ardour, and sung 
their praises in eloquent and elaborate compositions. Liblah (Niebla), Jeborah 
(Ebora), Shant-Mariah (Santa Maria), Mertilah (Mertola), Jezirah Shaltish (the 
island of Saltes), Shintarah (Cintra), are among the cities of the West which 
once acknowledged the supremacy of the Beni 'Abbad. The last named city 
(Cintra) presents, according to Ibn Alisa', a very curious phenomenon, which 
is, that wheat and barley are generally ripe forty days after having been sown ; 
r V the country produces also a very large kind of melons,^^ measuring three spans 


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ill circumference. Speaking of this fruit, Abu 'Abdillah Al-yakuri,^' an author 
on whose writings great reliance is placed, states that he was once sitting with 
Ai-mu'atamed Ibn 'Abbad, king of Seville, when a peasant from Cintra entered 
the room, and presented the Sultan with four of those melons, which not only 
measured five spans in circumference each, but weighed so much that the man 
could hardly carry them in a basket on his head. The Sultdn was very much 
surprised to see so fine a fruit, and began to question the peasant, who answered 
that those melons did not always grow to so great a size, but that they could 
easily be obtained of those dimensions by cutting off all the branches of the plants 
but ten, aim then supporting the stem by means of props of wood. 

^ ^- 

^ ^ 





[book I. 


Eastern district — Saragossa — ^Valencia — Murcia — Cartagena — Albarracin. 

The eastern district of Andalus contains also many cities of the first order, such 
as Saragossa, Valencia, Murcia, Cartagena, Santa Maria, and others. 
Sai-agossa. Sarakostah (Saragossa) was, according to some authors, built by the first Ctesar, 

the emperor of Rome, in whose reign begins the era called safar,^ which preceded 
the nativity of Christ, and by which the Christians compute their years. Sarakostah 
means, in the language of the Christians, "the palace of the Lord," ^ and was so 
called on account of the said Ocesar having fixed his residence in it while he stayed 
in Andalus; others attribute its foundation to Alexander, but God only knows. 

It is generally acknowledged that there was no city in Andalus to which more 
cities, towns, hamlets, and castles, were subject, than Saragossa, nor which abounded 
more in fruits of all kinds, nor which was more plentifully supplied with provisions 
of all sorts, nor which counted at one time a larger number of inhabitants. It was 
surrounded by orchards and gardens for a space of eight miles ; and the Andalusian 
authors often compared it to the cities of Chald^a for the number of its trees, and 
the abundance of its waters. It is by them described as a city of great importance, 
extending its jurisdiction over several large provinces and wealthy districts, some of 
which, teeming with an industrious and active population, covered a space of forty 

Among the productions of its territory is counted salt, which, according to some 
historians, is to be found near the capital, white, pure, and transparent, and such as 
cannot be procured any where else in Andalus. We find also recorded by more 
than one historian and collector of traditional stories that a very curious pheno- 
menon has been observed in the neighbourhood of Saragossa. No scorpion, thev 
say, will enter the territory of Saragossa of its own accord, and if taken there by 
any one, the moment it touches the ground it will lose all its power of action, and 
remain motionless : the same phenomenon has been remarked in the East with 

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respect to other reptiles, and has been explained by philosophers and naturalists 
as the effect of the talismanic influence which some countries are known to 
exercise over certain animals ; at least such is the solution given to this curious 
circumstance by all the Eastern authors who have treated the subject. One 
thing, however, is certain, namely, that all Western writers agree in saying that 
no scorpion or snake ^ ever entered the territory of Saragossa without dying 
immediately, and that the experiment was repeatedly tried of bringing them 
from distant lands, but no sooner were they within the precincts of the city than 
they died suddenly on the spot. To this wonderful quality of the soil about 
Saragossa we may add another very striking peculiarity, which is recorded by 
almost every author who has undertaken the description of that city. They say 
that no provision or article of food, however long it may be kept, will ever 
mildew or be spoiled ; wheat will keep for a hundred years, and grapes suspended 
to the ceiling for six ; figs, peaches, cherries, apples, and piums, are preserved 
in a dry state for several years, while it is not uncommon to see beans and 
garhanzos which have been gathered thirty years ; wood never rots, and no 
article of dress, whether of wool, silk, or cotton, is ever moth-eaten. 

We have hkewise read somewhere that when Musa Ibn Nosseyr came to 
Saragossa, and tasted the waters of the Jelk,"^ he found them so sweet and 
good that he swore he had never drunk any thing better since he came mto 
Andalus ; and that having inquired about the name of the well, when he heard 
it called Jelk he threw a glance aU around him and compared the country, to the 
ghautah (meadow) of Damascus. 

The city of Saragossa became, towards the middle of the fifth century, the 
seat of a powerful and extensive empire, founded by Suleyman Ibn Hud,^ one 
of the generals who, during the calamitous times of the civil war, proclaimed 
the sovereignty of the extinct house of Uraeyyah, and declared themselves inde- 
pendent in their governments. Several authors who have written the history of 
the Beni Hud dynasty describe most minutely a famous palace called Ddru-s-sormr 
(the abode of pleasures) , built by Al-muktadir Ibn Hud, one of the Suitdns of that 
family, and in which was a golden hall of exquisite design and admirable work- 
manship, decorated in the most magnificent manner. This palace is alluded to 
in some verses by the Wizir Ohu-1-wizarateyn Ibn 'Abdi-shelb. 

Saragossa has been called Ummu-l-k6r (the mother of the provinces), and its 
territory Thagheru-l-a'ali, the meaning of which has already been explained.^ 
Lerida.« Kal'at-Rabah (Calatrava), which is also called Al-baydhd,-Tiiteyhh 
(Tudela) with its city Tarasdnah (Tarazona), Weskah (Huesca) and; -its" capital 
Tamarit, Medinah S^hm (Medina Ceh), Kal'at Ayub (Calatayud): and its city 

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VOL. I. 


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Molina, Birtanieh, Barweskah (Bribiesca), and others, are among the districts 
over which Saragossa extends its jurisdiction. 

Among the great kingdoms of the east of Andalus is that of Valencia, which, 
after the overthrow of the Beni Umej^ah dynasty, made one of the independent 
states into which the inheritance of the Khahfs was broken up. Valencia, the 
capital, is one of the finest cities in Andalus ; it is described by Ibnu Sa'id as a 
place of great recreation and entertainment, owing to the purity of the air, the 
fertility of the land, which makes its environs look as green and luxuriant as a 
garden, and the amiable and cordial disposition of its inhabitants, who ^re always 
disposed to pleasure and mirth. The same author (Ibnu Sa'id) says that Valencia 
was known under the name of Medinatu-Utarah (the city of mirth), and that he 
once heard his father say that Merwdn Ibn 'AbdiUah Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz,^ who had 
been king of that city and had retired to Morocco after the loss of his kingdom, 

used to say, in praise of Valencia, 

" I may compare Valencia to a beautiful maiden dressed in a green robe 

" of delicate texture ; if I approach her she conceals under her green gai-ments 

- " her white and transparent bosom." 

: The said author (Ibnu Sa'id) says that the territory of Valencia produces very 

fine saffron, as also certain pears called Al-arrozaK^ not larger than a grape, 

but very delicate in taste, and which have so delightful a smell that one may 

tell directly by going into a house if there be any of that fruit in it. He asserts 

also, on the authority of various witers, that the atmosphere at Valencia is clearer 

and more transparent than in any other part of Andalus, and adds that adjoining 

to the city are several pleasant gardens and pubUc walks for the use of the 

inhabitants, such as the Rissdfak,^ and the Munyatu-bn AM 'A'mk.'' The RissdfaK 

e^ecially, is described by him as a most delightful and charming spot, full of trees, 

orchards, and brooks, and from which a commanding view of the country may be 

obtained ; no other spot in Andalus had that name but the gardens of Cordova 

and those of Valencia. 

Abu-1-hasan Ibn Harik has said, in his reply to Ibn 'ly^sh, 

" Valencia is a spot of great beauty, and its fame has filled both East 

** and West. 

If they tell thee that when water is wanting it is afflicted by famine and 

plague, and the whole city becomes the abode of misery and desolation,— 
Tell them that, notwithstanding all that, Valencia is a paradise whose 

lovely spots are at all times free from war and famine." 
^^ Valencia is also in the number of the cities described by Ash-shakandi in his 
Mdleh; we shaU therefore transcribe his words. " Valencia," he says, " is known 

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Among the districts surrounding Valencia is that of Shdtiheh " (Xatib^f -^^^tf 
whose beauty and fertility have become proverbial, and where wiitii^J*^^ of 
excellent quaUty is manufactured. This city is the birth-place <rf ^Bu^lk^im Ibn 

^ ^/J - r L 


" amongst us by the name of Al-mitydbu-Uandalus (the scent-bottle of Andalus), 
" owing to its numerous orchards and flower-gardens, with the sweet exhalations 
" of whicii the air is always embalmed. The garden called Ar-riss^eh is one of 
" the pleasantest spots in the world. Near it is a large lake of limpid and 
" transparent water,'' which, they say, reflects the rays of the sun in such a 
" manner that the light in Valencia is increased by it : this, indeed, is a lactto 
" which all authors who have written upon Valencia bear ample testimony. 
" Among the manufactures of this city that of the nedj, which is exported to 
" all parts of the West, deserves particular mention. 

" Valencia is not wanting in sons who have distinguished themselves in arms, 
'' and in the sciences. It has given birth to distinguished theologians, eloquent 
" poet:5, and, above all, to many valiant warriors, who have withstood with courage 
" the attacks of the infidels, and won the crown of martyrdom in bloody fields of 
" battle. 

*' The Vaiencians are veiy honest, — they are people of very good morals, and 
" strongly attached to religion, which they observe most scrupulously in all its 
" practices ; they are also constant in their affections, social, and very hospitable 
'* to strangers." 

The illustrious poet Abu Ja'far Ibn Mos'adeh Al-gharndtti has said, in allusion 

to Valencia, 

" Valencia is a terrestrial paradise; such it is considered to be jby its 
"inhabitants; there is only one thing to make it disagreeable, andit^iatls 
"the musquitoes." ;:;:;;: 

Another poet has said, alluding to these insects, 

" There is one thing in Valencia which annoys me most, and puts me out 
" of humour — 

" Which is, that the fleas are continually dancing to the music of the 
" musquitoes." 

We shall close our account of Valencia with the follow^ing verses of an excellent 
poet, Ibnu-z-zakkak,'^ a native of that city : 

" When I think of Valencia every other city vanishes from before my eyes. 
*' The more I think of it, the more I am struck with its incomparable 
" beauties. 

_ _ ^ 

" God has given it for a dress its green meadow sprinkled with flowers, of ■ 
" which the sea and the river form the skirts." 



Feyroh Ibn Khalf Ibn Ahmed Ar-ro'ayni, the author of the Hirzu-l-amdni (refuge 
of the wishes), of the 'AUleh (handsome pearl), and other works. Another is that 
oi Jezirah ShuJcar^'^ (Alcira), which is also very extensive and well populated; 
then comes Deniah^^ (Denia), on the sea shore, an ancient city ; Almansaf 
(Almansa), the birth-place of the austere and devout faquih Abu 'AhdiUah Al- 
mansafi, who is buried at Ceuta, where his tomb is visited, and held in great 
veneration ; Bartdnah (Partana) , a town famous for the battle fought in its 
neighbourhood between the Christians and Moslems, in which the former were 
completely defeated. To this battle the poet Abu Ishak Ibn Ma'ali At-tarsusi ^^ 
alludes, in those verses which say — 

" The Christians were clad in bright armour, but ye were arrayed in silken 
" robes of various colours. 

** Partana is the spot where your valour and their cowardice became 
" once more manifest." 
Mateytah (Matet) is another town dependent on Valencia ; a great many theo- 
logians and learned authors derive their patronymic from it. Ondali (Cala-onda), 
which has a mountain in the neighbourhood with iron mines. It is important not 
to confound this city (Ondah) with another whose name is spelt with a ra, Ronda, 
and which belongs to the central division, and has also a castle called Ondah. '^ 
Murcia, The Other great province of this eastern division is that of Tudmir, which was 

also called Misr (Egypt), on account of the similitude it bears to that country, for, 
like Egypt, the territory round Tudmir is at certain fixed periods of the year 
inundated and fertiUzed by a river called Wddiu-l-ahiadh^^ (Guadalaviar). As 
soon as the waters withdraw the land is sown, and the crops are gathered, as in 
Egypt, before the next inundation. The capital of this province was formerly the 
city of Tudmir, but in progress of time it was joined to Murcia, and both cities then 

" " " ^ 

formed one under the latter name. We find that Murcia was also called Al-hostdn 
(the garden) , owing to the great fertility and fine vegetation of the valley in which 
it stands. A considerable river (the Segura), after watering the greatest part of 
its territory, empties itself into the sea south of Murcia. 

" Murcia," says Ash-shakandi, *' is the court of eastern Andalus ; its inhabitants 
** are famous for strength of body, as also for their obstinacy and disobedience to 
" their rulers. Its river is the brother of the Guadalquivir, since they both spring 
" from the same source in the mountains of Shekurah (Segura). ^^ Its banks to a 

great extent are covered with orchards and gardens, and planted with fine trees ; 

and the pendant boughs, the music of the water-wheels on its banks, the 

charming melody of the singing birds, the sweet perfumes exhaled by the 
>v flowerSj are indeed beauties which baffle all description, Murcia is perhaps the 





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" city of Andalus M'here fruits of all sorts, and odoriferous plants and shrubs, 
" abound most, owing to which, as well as to its mild temperature, to the beautiful 
" landscape around the city, and to the great fertility of the earth, the inhabitants 
" are perhaps of all the world the people who enjoy most comforts and luxuries, 
" and who show most disposition to gaiety. "We can only do justice to Murcia 
" by comparing it to a house from which a young and handsome bride should set 
" out (to her husband's dwelling), arrayed in all her ornaments and finery. 

"As in Malaga and Almeria, there are in Murcia several manufactures of silken 
" cloth called aUwasUu-thalathdt ?^ It is likewise famous for the fabric of the 
" carpets called tantili, Avliich are exported to all countries of the East and West ; 
" as also a sort of mats, of the brightest colours, with which the Murcians cover 
" the walls of their houses. Besides the above-mentioned objects, there are in 
" Murcia fabrics of several articles of trade which it would take us too long to 
" enumerate. 

'' Murcia has given birth to many learned theologians, eminent poets, and 
" valiant captains." . . : 

The preceding are the words of Ash-shakandi in his risdleh (epistle) . We shall 
now borrow from other writers the account of the districts, cities, and towns, 
comprised within the limits of the province of Tudmir. 

The first in importance after Murcia is Kartajenah (Cartagena), which all authors Cartagena, 
agree in representing as a very ancient city, surrounded by a fertile territory, where 
whatever is sown grows with such rapidity that it is not uncommon to see in some 
of its districts the corn springing up after one day's rain. It is also said that 
Cartagena was in ancient times one of the wonders of the world, owing to its 
magnificent buildings, and other stupendous structures, showing the wealth, and 
power of its former inhabitants. Ruins of these great buildings are to be seen 
to this day, with columns, arches, inscriptions, idols, and figures of men and 
beasts, in such profusion that they dazzle the eyes of the beholders : the most 
important of these gigantic constructions is, following the words of a geographer, 
the Ad-dawdmis ,'^^ which consists of twenty-four piles of free-stone, all equal in 
size, and over which are twenty-four arches, measuring one hundred and thirty 
paces from pier to pier, and sixty in width, the elevation being upwards of two 
hundred cubits : over these arches, and at a giddy height, the water flows through 
perforated stones from one pillar to another, the whole of the structure being 
raised by dint of mathematical science, and finished with the greatest skill. 2^: V 

Such is the description which a famous geographer has given of Cartagena, \>vX 
in our opinion he is mistaken, for the Cartagena here alluded to is in Africa; and 
not in Andalus. The author of the Minhdju-l-fakar (open way to reflection) has 

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not fallen into So gross an error ; on the contrary, whenever he happens to mention 
in his work either of these two cities he always makes a proper distinction, and 
calls the African one aU'atikah (the ancient), and that which belongs to the 
district of Murcia, and which we are at present describing, al-khalfd (the modern). 

The city of Lorcah (Lorca) is another dependency of Murcia ; its territory 
abounds in mines of lapis-lazuli. Hisn Mulah (Mula), Auriwe'lak (Orihuela), Lecant 
(Alicante), are among the districts which acknowledged Murcia as their capital 
during the fifth and sixth centuries of the Hijra, when it formed a powerful state, 
sometimes attached to the kingdom of Valencia, and sometimes to that of Almeria, 
until it was finally subdued by the Almoravides.^^ 
Aibaii^cin. We have still to mention an extensive territory lying half-way between Valencia 

and Saragossa, and which, after the overthrow of the Beni Umeyyah, was erected by 
its governor into an independent state, and continued to be such during all the 
time of the civil war. It is the district of Assahlah,^'^ which others call Al-kartdm, 
and the capital of which is Shant-Mariah (Santa Maria) , Abii Merwan 'Abdu-1- 
mahk Ibn Razin, known by the appellative of Jesamu-d-daulat (the body of the 
state), and Al~hdjib (prime minister) , was the founder of it. 



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CHAP, v.] 




Islands surrounding or dependent on Andalus — Cadiz — Canaiy Islands — Fortunate Islands— 

Algesiras — Tarifa — Mallorea — Menorca — Iviza. 

Andalus is surrounded by islands, or countries called islands by the Arabs. 
Among the latter is Jeziratu- Kadis (Cadiz), which belongs to the jurisdiction of 
Seville, although Ibnu Sa'id places it in the territory of Sherisk (Xerez) ; but, well ; 
considered, it comes to the same thing, for Xerez and its district belong also to- 


Cadiz is filled with the remains of buildings, temples, aqueducts, and other Cadiz, 
wonderful constructions of the ancient kings of Andalus. " The most remarkable of 
" these monuments," says Ibnu Ghalib, in his work entitled ' Contentment of the 
' soul in the contemplation of ancient remains found in Andalus/ " is undoubtedly the 
" tower and idol at Cadiz, which has not its equal in the world, if we except 
" another of the same shape and description which stands on a high promontory in 
" Galicia. It is notorious that so long as the idol on the tower at Cadiz stood, 
*' it prevented the winds from blowing across the straits into the Ocean, so that no 
" large vessels could sail from the Mediterranean into the Ocean, or vice versa; 
" but, on the contrary, when it was pulled down in the first years of the reign of 
" the Beni 'Abd-al-mumen, the spell was broken, and vessels of all descriptions 
" began to furrow the sea with impunity.*' 

This idol, in the opinion of some writers, held some keys in his right hand, but 
the contrary has been proved by the author of the Ja^rafiyah, as we shdl have 
further occasion to show. It is also stated, that according to an ancient traditioa 
the belief prevailed all over Andalus that underneath the idol an immense treasure 
lay concealed from times of old : that the tradition existed no doubt can be enter- : . 
tained, since various writers, who saw this idol, agree in saying that whe^.M 
Ibn Musa,^ nephew of the Kdid Abu *Ahdillah, who held the charge of Admiral 
of the Sea, revolted, and declared himself independent at Cadiz, he realised the 


- ^ - - ■, 


_.y _ 

- - y- 



[book I. 




idol to be pulled down, and a search to be made for the supposed treasures, 

but that nothing was found. 

In the same sea where the island of Cadiz stands there are others called the 
eternal (AUJchdliddt) y^ which are seven in number, and which lie to the west of Sale. 
These islands may be seen a great distance off at sea, and in clear summer days, 
when the atmosphere is quite pure and free from vapours or mist, they are dis- 
covered rising far above the horizon. According to the geographer Ibnu-1-wardi, 
there is in each of these islands a tower, one hundred cubits high, on the top of 
which is an idol of brass, pointing with his hand towards the sea, as if he meant 
" there is no passage beyond those islands." Ibnu-1-wardi ^ adds that he could 
not remember the name of the king who erected those towers ; but we find that 
Idrisi attributes them to Iskhander dhii-l-karneyn. 

In this sea (Ocean), and farther towards the north, are the islands called 
As-sa^dddt^ (the fortunate), in which there are many cities and towns, and from 
whence the Majus, a nation of Christians, came. The nearest of these islands is 
that of Birtanniyah (Britain), which is placed in the midst of the Ocean, and 
has no mountains or rivers. The inhabitants drink rain-water, and cultivate 
the land. 

The island of Shaltls,^ which is at the lower end of Andalus, is populated, and 
has a city which bears its name. The seas in the neighbourhood abound in fish, 
which is salted and sent to Seville, where the consumption is very great. 

Shaltis belongs to the district of Liblah (Niebla) , which is contiguous to that of 

These are the islands of the Ocean ; those of the Mediterranean are Algesiras, 
Tarifa, Mallorca, Menorca, and Iviza, which we shall presently describe. 

Algesiras and Tarifa we have already described elsewhere : they are not, properly 
speaking, islands, but are so called owing to their topographical situation. The 
same may be said of Shaltis. Further into the sea towards the east are three 
islands, called May6rkah (Mallorca), Menorkah (Menorca), and Yebisah (Iviza) ; 
the two former are at a distance of fifty miles one from the other. That of Mallorca, 
which is the largest in size, may be traversed in one day from one end to another. 
The capital is a fine and populous city, and has a canal in which water flows all the 
year round ; but we shall describe this island in the words of Ash-shakandi. 

" The island of Mallorca," says that elegant writer, " is one of the most fertile 
" and best cultivated countries that God ever made ; it is also the most abundant 
'* in provisions of aU kinds ; for were it by some accident to be deprived of an 
" intercourse with other lands, it would still produce every article necessary for 
■ * the maintenance or the comfort of its inhabitants. It possesses, besides, many 

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" Other advantages, which we pass in silence for the sake of brevity ; suffice it 
" to say that it has a magnificent capital, well populated towns, extensive districts, 
" good lands, and more water than it requires for the irrigation of its fields; and, 
" lastly, that it has given birth to many emhient ulemas, and illustrious warriors 
" who liave valiantly defended their country from the attacks of the Christians 
" who surround it on every side — 

*' Like a pack of hungry wolves, intent upon their prey." 
We think it proper to add here some verses which the poet Ibnu-l-labbdnah ^ 
wrote in honour of the capital of this island. 

" It is the city to which the ring-dove has lent the prismatic colours of his 
" collar, and the peacock his beautiful variegated plumage." 
The preceding verses are part of a kassidah which the said Ibnu-1-labb^nah 
addressed to the king who reigned at that time over the island, and who, it 

appears, did much good to the country, and built more than Iskh under himself 
ever did. . 

Next to Mallorca, towards the east, is the island of Menorca, which the author Menorca. 
of the Ja'rafiyah describes as very small but very fertile, and abounding in grain 
and fruits of all sorts, especially grapes. He also says that meat in this island 
is particularly good and well-flavoured, and better than any where else ; so much 
so, that beef, when roasted, will melt as if it were grease, and turn into oil. Sheep 
abound in the island, but they are of a very small breed. 

West of Menorca and Mallorca is another island smaller than either, called iviza. 
YebisaV (Iviza). It may be about thirty parasangs in length, and nearly as much 
in breadth ; it supplies great part of Africa proper^ with wood and salt. The island 
is well peopled, and the inhabitants are very industrious ; the land produces all 
sorts of grain and fruits, but sheep do not thrive; they have goats, and feed 
upon their flesh. Raisins, almonds, and figs are among the articles which the 
inhabitants grow and export to the neighbouring island of Mallorca. Olive 
trees do not grow in the island ; indeed the inhabitants do not know them, 
and they receive their oil from Andalus. 

Besides the above-mentioned islands, there are in this sea (the Mediterranean) 

many more, such as Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Malta, but, as they never belonged 

to Andalus, although in the possession of Moslems, we shall abstain from the 

description of them for brevity's sake ; for, indeed, were we to relate aE the 

remarkable things contained in these islands, the wonders of the. two seas that 

surround Andakis, we should neglect the principal object of this our.jT#ni ; 

in fact, we might as well consecrate a whole volume to the 'deseription of 
them. ::;.-,-;.; 

\" _ _ ^ 

VOL. I. T 

■"1 " •■' 

fK.\ T -. -i 



We shall now say a few words about those cities in Andahis which fell early 
into the hands of the Christians, and where Islamism was rooted up by the 
obdurate infidels who attribute partners to God. Alas ! at the moment we 
write this the whole of that delightful and highly-gifted country, where the 
unfiirled banners of Isidmism waved triumphantly for so many ages, where the 
sweeping tide of Isldm incessantly rolled its mighty waves over the shores of 
polytheism, and where the unity of the Almighty God and the mission of liis 
holy Prophet were unanimously and daily proclaimed from the tops of countless 
minarets, is now in the possession of the cruel enemies of God ; the heroes who 
.«o long withstood the attacks of both Franks and Goths are no more ; the virtuous 
ulemas who instructed the people in the duties of religion, and who opposed their 
breasts to the impetuous torrents of idolatry, are either scattered over the world, 
:or enjoying in paradise the recompense due to their virtues ; the temples once 
consecrated to Divinity are now places of scandal and impiety, and not one 
Moslem remains in the vast precincts of Andalus to praise the true God, and to 
bless by his presence the spots that were once the abode of piety and science. 
God is great ! God is great ! There is no strength or power but in God ! 

Thecountiyof MarsheUnoh^ (Barcelona), on the eastern coast of Andalus, is situate in a sort 

jof valley formed by the Jehalu-l-hort (the Pyrenees), which separate Andalus 
from the country of the Franks. Barcelona is close to the sea, and has a harbour, 
but it is a bad one, and vessels cannot go into it except with a pilot. Barcelona 
is a middle-sized city, being neither large nor small ; it was several times taken 
by the Christians, and retaken from them, during the first centuries after the 
conquest, till at last it was ultimately subdued by the infidels ^° in the year 383 
of the Hijra (a. n. 993-4), and has since remained in their hands, constituting 
one bf their greatest kingdom^. 

cOn jthe opposite side of Andalus, that is to the west,, inclining a little towards 
■the. north, as the country of Jalikiyah (Galicia), the capital of which is the city 
of- Shant-Yakoh (Santiago). The author of the geographical work entitled Kitdbu- 
l-ajdyih '' (the book of wonders) says that there was in this city a very large 
!Ghurch,;held in great veneration by the Christians, who considered and worshipped 
it as ithe Moslems do Jerusalem. " Christians," he adds, " from Constantinople, 
"France, and other infidel countries, came every year to this city, and visited 
"its ;church, not because, of its being the seat of a patriarch, but because they 
"\:pretend :-that the church was built, by one of the Apostles of Jesus, son of 
"tjMariam, whose name was Yakoh, others say Yacdb ; the church which he built 
"- was called Shant-Yakoh, that is, the church of Yago, for Shant, in the language 

„: "of the Christians, means a temple, a place of worship, and is an equivalent 

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'' of our word mesjid (mosque). Every Christian who comes to this city, and 
"visits its temple, is held in great respect by his countryxnen, his ^authority 
"increases, and he calls himself hdji (pilgrim). The church is bnilt. in the 
" midst of an island formed by an arm of the sea, and has only one door." 

The same author says that there is in GaHcia a lake calm ■ AlSuheyratu- 
l~meytat ^^ (the dead lake), and that that name has its origin in a very wonderful 
peculiarity of its waters, for no human being, animal, fish, or bird, will live- in 
It, or, if taken thither from other parts of the country, it -will die immediately, 
with the exception of the peacock, which is known to live, and feed, and lay 
its eggs in it. Ibnu Jezzur, who speaks also of this lake, places it in the heart 
of Galicia. 

Some other cities, like Uy6n (Leon), 8am6rah (Zamora), BanhiUnah (Pamplona), Barbarous na- 
are occasionaUy mentioned by geographers, but we shall not stop to describe them'; oX£"'' 
let whoever wishes to acquire more information on the subject consult the works 
of Abii 'Obeyd AUbekri, Idrisi, and other writers, who have not only described 
the cities that were in the hands of the Christians, but given the most ample 
and circumstantial account of the manners, customs, and habits of their inhabitants. 
However, as it is important that the reader should know who were the nations 
of infidels with whom the Andalusian Moslems had to contend for such a length 
of time, we shall here transcribe the words of the Katib Ibrahim Ibnu-1-kasim 
Al-kar^wi, known by the surname of Ar-raUk-heladi-l-andalus '^ (the slave of 
Andalus), who, treating of the barbarous nations who live on the border of 
Andalus, expresses himself in the following terms. " The Andalusians are a 
" brave and warlike people, and great need have they of these qualities, for they 
" are in continual war with the infidel nations that surround them on every side. 
"To the west and north they have a nation called Jalalcah (GaUcians), whose 
" territories extend from the shores of the Western Ocean all along the Pyrenees. 
"The Galicians are brave, strong, handsome, and well made; in general the 
" slaves of this nation are very much prized, and one will scarcely meet in Andalus 
" with a handsome, well made, and active slave who is not from this country. As 
" no mountains or natural barriers of any kind separate this country from the 
"Moslem territories, the people of both nations are in a state of continual war 
" on the frontiers. 

" To the east the Moslems have another powerful enemy to contend with ; that 
"is the Franks, a people stiU more formidable than the Galicians, on account- 
"of the deadly wars in which they are continually engaged among themselves, 
" their great numbers, the extent and fertihty of their territory, ^nd^ltM^ great 
"resources. The country of the Franks is well peopled, and M^ of cities and 


l'^ X- 


" towns ; it is generally designated by geographers under the name of Ardhu-l- 
'* keUrah (the great land). The Franks are stronger and braver than the Galicians, 
'< — they are likewise more numerous, and can send larger armies into the field. 
" They make war on a certain nation bordering on their territory, and from 
''whom they dissent in manners and religion; these are the Sclavonians, whose 
" land the Franks invade, and, making captives of them, bring them to be sold 
'* to Andalus, where they are to be found in great numbers. The Franks are in 
'* the habit of making eunuchs of them, and taking them to castles and other 
"places of safety in their territory, or to points of the Moslem frontier, where 
" the Andalusian merchants come to buy them, to sell them afterwards in other 
■' countries. However, some of the Moslems who live in those parts (near to 
'* the frontiers) have already learnt that art from the Franks, and now exercise it 
" quite as well as they do." '* 

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Ruins and ancient remains — The Aqueduct of Tarragona— that of Cadiz — Roman causeways — Idol of 
Cadiz— The pit of Cabra — Iron pot of Kal'atu-Aurdd — Ancient tradition concerning the conquest 
of Andalus — Extraordinary olive tree — Water-clocks of Toledo. 


Abu 'Obeyd Al-bekri sd.js that Andalus contains ruins of buildings erected by 
the Greeks, and talismans constructed by their philosophers : he includes in the 
number of these the tower of Cadiz, that of Galicia, the amphitheatre of Murbiter 
(Murviedro), the water-works of Tarragona, the bridge of the sword, and many other 
stupendous buildings scattered all over the country ; and which that author asserts 
are for the most part attributed to one of the ancient kings of Andalus, whose name 
was Herkiles (Hercules). 

Some of these structures are fully described bylbnu Gh^lib in the historical worlc AqHeduct at 
entitled ' * Contentment of the soul in the contemplation of the ancient remains found 
in Andalus," as for instance the aqueduct of Tarragona, which he says conveyed the 
water from the sea to the city by a gentle level, and in the most admirable order, 
and served to put in motion all the mill-stones in the town, the whole being one of 
the most solid, magnificent, and best contrived buildings that ever were erected.' 

Another wonderful aqueduct was that of Cadiz, which conveyed fresh water Aqueduct 
from a spring in the district of the idols ^ to the island of Cadiz, crossing an arm 
of the Ocean. It consisted of a long line of arches, and the way it was done 
was this I whenever they came to high ground, or to a mountain, they cut a passage 
through it ; when the ground was lower they built a bridge over arches ; if they met 
with a porous soil they laid on a bed of gi'avel for the passage of the water; wheh 
the building reached the sea shore the water was made to pass under ground,- arid 
in this way it reached Cadiz. That part of the aqueduct nearest to the . sea/Ibnti 
Sa'id tells us was still visible at the time he wrote.^ 

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Another of the vestiges of the ancient kings of Andalus wer&vthe -cgcuseways Ro^a" canse- 
which traversed it in all its length. '' We read," says Ibnu GhaUb;^' m' some of the 

.. . ^ -.n f- 

Idol of Ca(iiz. 

- J _ 


" histories of Rome that when Julius, known by the surname of Heshar (Ceesar), 
" began to reign, he ordered the earth to be measured, and roads to be constructed. 
*' According to his injunctions causeways were made from Rome to the east, west, 
*' north, and south of the earth, until they reached half the circumference of the 
" globe. One of these causeways led to Andalus, and ended to the east of Cordova, 
" near the gate of 'Abdi-I-jabbar. Another, beginning at the gate of Al-kantarah 
" (the bridge), south of that city, led to Shakandah, Estijah (Ezija), Karmonah 
" (Carmona), Seville, and the sea.* Both these roads were by the orders of 
" Jniius provided with mile-stones, on which his own name, that of the city to 
" which the road led, and the distance from Rome, were engraved ; they say also 
* ' that he ordered that the mile-stones should be furnished with a roof in some 
" parts of the road, intending them as halting-places for travellers, who might 
" shelter themselves from the rays of the sun in summer, and from cold and 
" rain in winter ; but that these buildings being in the course of time converted 
'* into places of corruption and iniquity, and into so many haunts frequented by 
" robbers and vagabonds, owing to their situation in the midst of uninhabited 
" districts, and far from towns, the work was discontinued, and the mile-stones 
" left in the state in which they are at present." 

The author of the Ritdbu-l-ja'rafiyah ^ has furnished us with details concerning 
the tower of Cadiz. We shall quote his own words. " In this city," he says, 
(meaning Cadiz) " there formerly stood a square tower, upwards of one hundred 
" cubits high, and built of large blocks of stone, admirably placed one on the 
"top of another, and fastened together by hooks of brass. On the top of the 
" tower was a square pedestal of white marble, measuring four spans,^ and on it a 
" statue representing a human being, so admirably executed in form, proportions, 
" ^^^ ^^^^'' ^^^* ^^ looked more like a living man than an inanimate block. His 
" face was turned towards the Western Sea; he had his back to the north;' 
" the left arm extended, and the fingers closed, with the exception of the fore- 
" finger, which he held in a horizontal position, pointing towards the mouth of 
" that sea which issues out of the Ocean, and lies between Tangiers and Tarifa, 
" being known by the name of Bahru-z-zokak (the Straits of Gibraltar). His 
'' right arm was close to the body, as if holding his garments tightly, and in 
" the right hand he bore a stick, with which he pointed towards the sea. Some 
" authors pretend that what he held were keys, but it is a mis-statement ; I 
" saw the idol often, and could never discover any thing else but the above- 
" mentioned stick, which he held in his right hand in a vertical position, and 
" somewhat raised from the ground ; besides, I am assured by the testimony of 
5^ trustworthy people, who were present or assisted at the pulling down of this 

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" idol, that it was a short stick, of about twelve spans in length, having at the 
'' end some teeth like a curry-comb. Who was the builder of this tower, with 
"the idol on the top, does not sufficiently appear. Mes'iidi, in his ' Gol4en 
"Meadows,' 8 attributes its construction to .Ahjabbar,^ the same who built the 
" seven idols in the country of Zinj, which are one in sight of the other: but 
" the most probable opinion seems to be that it was built by some of the ancient 
" kings of Andalus to serve as a guide to navigators, from the fact of the idol 
" having his left arm extended towards the Bahru-z-zokak (straits), and pointing 
" to the month, as if he was showing the way. There were not wanting people 
" who thought this idol to be made of pure gold; for whenever the rising or 
" setting sun fell on the statue it sent forth rays of light, and shone in the 
"brightest hues, like the collar of a ring-dove, blue being the colour. whiph 
" prevailed. Thus placed on the top of the tower the idol was like a signal for 
" the Moslem navigators to go in and out of the Ocean, and whoever wanted to 
" sail from any port in the Mediterranean to places in Al-maghreb, such as Lisbon, 
"and others, had only to approach the tower, and then put up the sails,^Mid 
"make for the port whither they wished to go, whether Said, Anfa,^* or any 
" other in the western coast of Africa. When in after times this idol was pulled 
" down, it ceased of course to be a signal for navigators : its demolition happened 
" thus. In the year 540 (a. d. 1.145.6), at the beginning of the second civil war, 
" 'Ah Ibn Isa Ibn Maymiin/^ who was Admiral of the Fleet, revolted at Cadiz,.and 
" declared himself independent. Having heard the inhabitants say that the idol nn 
" the top of the tower was made of pure gold, his cupidity was raised, and he gave 
" orders for its immediate removal. The statue was accordingly brought down by 
" dint of great exertions, and when on the ground was found to be made of brass, 
" covered only with a thin coat of gold, which, when removed, produced twelve 
" thousand gold dinars. It is a general opinion among Andalusian and African 
" Moslems that this idol exercised a sort of spell over the sea, but that the charm 
" ceased the moment it was thrown down. They account for it in the following 
" manner. There used once to be in the Ocean some large vessels which .the 
" Andaiusians call kardkir,'^ provided with a square sail in front, and another 
'' behind; they were manned by a nation called Majus, people of great ..strength, 
" determination, and much practice in .navigation, and who at their landing on. the 
"coasts destroyed every thing with fire and sword, and committed iinhear(^of 
" ravages and cruelties, so that at theb appearance the inhabitants fted,witk4^: 
" vahiables to the mountains, and the whole coast, Avas depopulated,-;^^i|n- 
"vasions of these barbarians were periodical— they;evej^^i^drSeven 
'* years; the number of then- vessels .was never Jess, than -.forty^itVsQmetimgs 

.- . ^^ 

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■- V— .?•: ^ 



" amounted to a hundred; ^^ tliey devoured any one they found on the sea. The 
"tower that I have described was known to them, and, following the direction 
*' pointed at by the idol, they were enabled to make at all times for the mouth 
" of the straits, and enter the Mediterranean, ravage the coasts of Andalus, and 
" the islands close to it, sometimes carrying their depredations as far as the coasts 
'' of Syria. But when the idol was destroyed by the command of 'All Ibn Maymiin, 
" as I have already stated, no more was heard of these people, nor were their 
" kardkir (vessels) seen in these seas, with the exception of two that were wrecked 
'* on the coast, one at Mersu-l-Majus (the port of the Majus),^* and the other close 
"■ to the promontory of Al-aghar." 

Pitof Cabra. Among the wonders of Andalus one is the pit of Kabrah (Cabra), which, in the 

opinion of Ar-razi, who mentions it, is one of the gates of the winds. It is to be 
seen at some distance from Cabra,'^ and whatever efforts have been made to find 
the bottom of it have proved ineffectual. 

Iron pot at Ibnu Sa'id also mentions a mountain in the neighbourhood of KaVatu-Aurdd'^ 

where, says he, is a rock with a wide gap, and within it an iron pot hanging by a 
chain. Whoever goes to the spot will see it, his hands will touch it, but all his 
attempts to take it out will be fruitless ; for no sooner will his hands come in 
contact with it than the pot will sink in the cavity of the rock and disappear ; 
however, if the person desists from his undertaking it will return to its former 
position. This is related by Ibnu Said on the authority of Ibnu Bashkuwal, who, 
among some ancient traditions, and other wonderful stories, concerning Andalus, 

mentions the following : 

" It has been related to us on the authority of a traditionist, w^ho had it from 
" Seyf, that 'Othman Ibn 'Affan said ' that the conquest of Constantiniyeh (Con- 
" stantinople) would be made from Andalus.' Perhaps he meant Rome instead of 
"Constantinople, but God is all-knowing." 

Such are the words of Ibnu Bashkuwal; but this point requires elucidation. 
The tradition to which that illustrious writer alludes stands thus. 'Othman is said 
to have sent an army from Cairwan to the conquest of Andalus, and to have written 
to the generals who were to command the expedition : " Know ye how the conquest 
" of Constantinople shall be made, passing first through Andalus ; so, if ye quickly 
" subdue those regions whither ye are bound, ye shall participate of the favours 
" of God." Such is the tradition ; but let the responsibility of it he on its 
preservers, for as to us, we wish to be considered entirely pure and free from 
it ; for although it be true that it has been adopted and repeated by Ibnu Bash- 
tuw^l, by Ibnu Sa'id, and other respectable waiters, yet we cannot give credit to 
it, for it is not only improbable, but entirely devoid of foundation. For at what 

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time, we ask, did 'Othman send troops from Africa to conquer Andalus ; when 
it is evident, nay, it rests on incontrovertible proofs, that the Arabs never invaded 
Andalus until the times of Ai-walid, and that Cairwan, the city from whence 
the expedition is said to have departed, was not built until twelve ^^ years after 
the death of that Khalif? However, let not these objections of ours be taken 
as uttered in contempt of the authors of the tradition : we merely state them 
as a proof of our ardent wish to warn our readers against error, and to assist 
them in the investigation of truth. 

Another of the wonders of Andalus we would pass over were it not that all Extraordmaiy 

. . olive tree. 

the historians of that country mention it. It is an olive tree, which is said to 
blossom and produce fruit on a certain day of the solar year. But this is rather 
a proof of the difficult task an historian takes upon himself, and how easily 
authors as trustworthy and learned as Ibnu Sa'id may be led into error by the 
adoption of facts which they have not ascertained, or by transcribing the accounts 
of over- credulous writers. This phenomenon, which Ibnu Sa'id relates on the 
authority of people who are said to have witnessed it, is nothing more than 
the effects of light on an olive tree of the common species, as the author of 
the Ja'rafiyah tells us. We shall quote his words : " In this mountain (meaning 
" that of Sholayr, in the neighbourhood of Granada,) is the famous olive tree 
" of which people talk wonders. I happened once to pass by it early in the 
" morning of the day of Pentecost, when all the inhabitants of those districts 
" collect round it. I saw nothing on it to deserve attention ; both its appearance 
'* and its fruit were the same as those of similar trees at that season of the year, 
" only that, in proportion as the day advanced, the leaves looked of a bright 
" green ; at noon they looked white, as if the tree was covered with blossom, 
" and later in the day, a little before sunset, they partook of a reddish hue, 
** With the exception of this circumstance, which I believe to be common to 
" every tree of the same species, I saw nothing wonderful either in the fruit, 
" the branches, or the leaves of the tree." 

Several authors, and amongst them the last -mentioned writer, describe most water-ctoeks 
minutely two water-clocks which Abii-l-kasira Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman, known by 
the surname of Az-zarkal,^® built in Toledo, when he heard of the famous taHsman 
which is in the city of Arin in India, and which Mes'udi describes as marking 
the time with a hand from sunset to sunrise. These clocks consisted of two 
basins, which filled with water or emptied according to the increasing or wariihg 
of the moon. Az-zarkal placed them in a house out of the city, to the ; south- 
west, and on the banks of the river Tajoh (Tagus), near to the spot Mled Bdhu-l- 

VOL. I. M 

, y - , --^< , L O " r - 




dahhdgUn'^ (the gate of the tanners); their action was as follows. At the 
moment when the new moon appeared on the horizon water began to flow into 
the basins by means of subterranean pipes, so that there would be at day-break 
the fourth of a seventh part, and at the end of the day half a seventh part, of 
the water required to fill the basins. In this proportion the water would 
continue to flow until seven days and as many nights of the month were 
elapsed, when both basins would be half filled ; the same process during the 
following seven days and nights would make the two basins quite full, at the 
same time that the moon was at its full. However, on the fifteenth night 
of the month, when the moon began to wane, the basins would also begin to 
lose every day and night half a seventh part of their water, until by the twenty- 
first of the month they would be half empty, and when the moon reached her 
twenty-ninth night not a drop of water would remain in them ; it being worthy 
of remark that, should any one go to any of the basins when they were not 
filled, and pour water into them with a view to quicken its filling, the basms 
would immediately absorb the additional water, and retain no more than the 
just quantity; and, on the contrary, were any one to try, when they were nearly 
filled, to extract any or the whole of their water, the moment he raised his 
hands from the work the basins would pour out sufficient water to fill the 
vacuum in an instant. These clocks were undoubtedly a greater work of science 
than the Indian talisman, for this latter is placed in a country under the equinoctial 
line, where the days and nights are of the same length, while in Andalus, which 
is in the temperate zone, it does not happen thus. They remained for a long 
time in Toledo, until that city was taken by the Christians, (may God send 
confusion amongst them 1) when the tyrant Al-fonsh^« (Alfonso) felt a great 
curiosity to know how they were regulated, and caused one of them to be 
excavated, which being done the interior machinery was damaged, and the 
water ceased to flow into the basins. This happened in the year five hundred 
and twenty-eight of the Hijra (a. d. 1133-4).^^ Others say that the cause 
of their being spoilt was Honeyn the Jew,^^ he who conveyed all the baths 
of Andalus to Toledo in one day in the said year of five hundred and twenty- 
eight, and who predicted to Alfonso ^^ that his son would conquer Cordova, 
as it happened. This accursed Jew, being anxious to discover the motion of 
the clocks, said once to Alfonso. " O king ! were I to look at them in 
*' the inside, and see how they are made, not only could I restore them to 
" their ancient state, but even construct two others still more wonderful, and 
"which would fill during the day and empty at night." Alfonso granted 

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him his request, and the Jew then had one opened ; but when he afterwards 
tried to restore it to its former state he was unable to accomplish what he 
had promised, and the machinery being damaged the works were stopped. 
The other basin, nevertheless, continued still to fill and empty in the same 
wonderful manner ; but God is all-knowing, — he knows the truth of the 


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Anecdotes respecting Andalus — Population — Productions of the soil. 

Anecdotes re- We have read in a certain book that when the Amiru-l-moslemin (Prince of the 

spectmg Au- ^ 

daius. Moslems) 'All, son oi the Amir u-1-mosleminYv.^ei Von Tashfin Al-masufl,^ Sultan of 

Maghreb and Andalus, crossed the Straits, and landed in the latter countiy, — 

when he had traversed it in all directions, and observed its shape and configuration, 
he compared it to an eagle, making the city of Toledo the claws, KaVat-Rahdh 
(Calatrava) the breast, Jaen the head, Granada the bill, and placing its two wings, 
the right far into the west, and the left in the east. 

We have also read that the said Sultan and the Africans who formed his court 
were very much struck with the beauty of the prospect, the fertiUty of the land, the 
abundance of provisions, the mildness of the temperature, the magnificence of its 
buildings, and other advantages which make Andalus superior to any other 
country in the world, and that their admiration gave rise to many witty ex- 
pressions and curious anecdotes in which the African histories abound; but 
unluckily the work in which we have read these and other particulars is not in our 
possession, as we have left it with the remainder of our library in the Al-maghreb 
(West), so we must content ourselves with quoting that which we know by heart, 
and fill up the deficiency with such works as we have been able to procure in 
this country. 
Population. Ibnu Said, the author of the book entitled Al-mugh'mh fi hoH4-maghreb ^ (the 

eloquent speaker on the ornamental beauties of the West) , a work w^hich we have had 
frequent occasion to quote, and which has been of the greatest assistance to us, when 
describing at large the population and agricultural resources of Andalus expresses 
himself in the following terms. " Were I called upon to give an adequate and just 
'* description of Andalus, I would say that it is a country surrounded by sea, 
** abounding in fruits and productions of all kinds, full of cities and towns, and so 


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thiclily populated that if a traveller goes any distance through it he will find at 
every step on his road hamlets, towns, farms, orchards, and cultivated fields, and 
will never meet, as is more or less the case in other countries, with large tracts 
of uncultivated land, or desert. This, united to the habits of the A-ndalusians, 
w^ho, instead of hving together, as the Egyptians do, grouped in towns and 
villages, prefer dwelling in cottages and rural establishments in the midst of 
the -fields, by the side of brooks, and on the declivities of mountains, gives 
altogether to the country an aspect of comfort and prosperity which the tra- 
veller will look for in vain elsewhere ; their houses too, which they are 
continually white-washing inside and out, look exceedingly well by the side of 
the green trees, and, to use the words of the famous Wizir and poet Ibnu-1- 
himarah^ in his description of Andalus — 

* Its hamlets brightening among the trees look like so many pearls set in 
' a bed of emeralds.' 
And he was right, for if thou goest to Eg}'pt after having staid any length of 
time in Andalus, thou wilt be surprised to see the wretched appearance of the' 
Egyptian villages, placed as they are at great distances one from another, with 
" their narrow, badly constructed, ill-shaped houses, looking gloomy and dismal to 
" the eye. In Andalus, on the contrary, the traveller will find many districts 
" where large cities and populous towns almost touch each other, without counting 
the numberless villages, hamlets, farms, castles, and towers which lie between/ 
So, for instance, going out of Seville, the first day's march will take him to 
Sherish (Xerez), a very handsome city, placed in the midst of a fertile territory, 
and surrounded by villages ; close to Xerez is Algesiras, and then comes Malaga, 
one of the finest ports in the Mediterranean ; and let not the reader suppose that 
this excessive population is only to he met with in that particular district, for 
the description is applicable, as well, to any other province of Andalus, this 
" being the reason why historians and geographers who have described this country 
mention so many large cities and wealthy towns. Most of these are strongly 
fortified, and surrounded with walls, as a protection against the incursions of the 
enemy ; some, even, will 1be found so strong by nature, or so well fortified by 
art, as to have been besieged by the Christians during twenty years without 
falling into their hands. This, indeed, is not so much owing to the strength of 
" their fortifications as to the undaunted courage of their defenders, — their aptitude 
" for all military exercises, to which they are trained from their infancy, and their 
" early and continual acquaintance with the perils and horrors of wan dv^iri^ to 
'' the proximity of the enemy with whom they are in perpetual hostility: To this 
*' must be added the facility they possess of keeping their corn for several years in 


y ^ ^ ^ ^ 


" subterranean granaries, owing to which any city might, if necessary, stand a 
" siege of one hundred years ; and what I state here concerning the strength of 
'* their cities is appUcable not only to the prosperous times of Islam, but even 
" to the present disastrous epoch ; for although it is true that at the time I write 
" the enemy of God has penetrated far into the heart of Andalus, and considerably 
'' diminished the dominions of the Moslems,* yet there are stm remaining in the 
" hands of the true believers cities like Seville, Granada, Malaga, Almeria, and 
" others; ruUng over extensive and populous districts, full of cities and towns, 
'Vand provided with sufficient strength to resist and defeat, with God's help and 
" assistance, all the attacks of the unbelievers." 

Alas:-! the bright hopes of this holy man have been blighted, and his good 
wishes frustrated, for God Almighty bad decreed that the contrary should happen, 
and that the worshippers of the crucified should every where subdue and over- 
power his own servants. Such was the will of God—Him who can change 
sorrow into joy, and pain into delight— the high ! the great ! May He permit 
in his infinite wisdom that the words of Islam resound again in Andalus, and that 
its, present inhabitants be annihilated and destroyed ! 

But to return to Ibnu Sa'id's account. " I shall conclude," says that most 
elegant of writers, " by stating one thing in praise of Andalus which will establish 
*' its fame much better than any thing else I can say. When I quitted it I 
" travelled along the northern coast of Africa, and visited its great cities, such 
" as Mare hash (Morocco), Fez, and Ceuta; I afterwards went to Africa proper, 
** and the neighbouring districts of the Maghrehu-Uausatt (middle West), and saw 
" Tehamah, Bejayeh, and Tunis; from thence I proceeded to Egypt, and resided 
*' in Alexandria, Cairo, and Fostat ; I then went to Syria, and entered Damascus, 
*^ Aleppo, and other intervening cities. Well, I must confess that in the course 
" of my rambles I saw no country whatever which could be compared to Andalus 
" either in beauty, fertihty, abundance of water, or luxuriance of trees, with the 
*' exception of the environs of Fez in the Maghrehu-Uaksd (remote West), and the 
" country round Damascus in Syria. Neither did I see in the East or West any city 
*' which QQuld compete with those of Andalus in the size and sofidity of its buildings, 
" for nowhere- could I find such magnificent edifices and public works as I saw in 
" almost every city of Andalus, unless it be some of the works lately raised at 
• ' Morocco by the Sultans of the dynasty of the Beni ' Abdu-1-mumen, and perhaps 
*' one or two at Tunis, where all the houses are built of stone as in Alexandria, 
" owing to the great quantity of ancient stones (dug out from the ruins), only 
" that the streets of Tunis are not so well levelled or so broad as those of 
*' that; city. Great buildings may also be found in Alexandria ; Aleppo may 

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" likewise be placed in the number of well-built cities, for the good design and 
" interior accommodation of its houses, which are built of hard stone, but no- 
" where did I find combined the elegance, the magnificence, the excellent distri- 
" bution, of the houses all over Andalus." 

To this account of the population of Andalus by Ibnu Sa'id we think it proper 
to add what an anonymous writer says on the subject. 

" Andalus contains eighty cities of the first order, and upwards of three hundred 
of moderate size ; as to its towns, villages, hamlets, castles, and towers, their 
number is so considerable that God only can count them. It is stated that the 
towns and villages on the banks of the Guadalquivir only amounted to no less 
than twelve thousand ; ^ and Andalus is generally believed to be the only country 
in the world where a traveller meets with three, four, or even more cities in the 
course of a day's ride ; finding besides at every two parasangs springs of Htnpid 
water, and villages with markets and shops well provided with bread, fruit, ineat, 
" fish, cheese, and all sorts of provisions." - 

The before-mentioned author (Ibnu Sa'id) says in another part of his work that Produetious of 

, . . the soil. . 

Andalus far outstrips every other country in the world in thfe fertility of the land, 
which yields abundant crops of all kinds ; in the delicacy of its fruits, the riches of 
its mines, the wonderful productions of nature, and the number of its manufactures. 
We shall now proceed to bestow on each of these topics such information as lies 
scattered in the authors that we have consulted. ; 

Andalus has been compared by many authors to a terrestrial paradise ; some even 
go so far as to advance that God, having forbidden the Christians the entrance into 
the celestial paradise, had given them instead one in this world ; for indeed by what 
other name can we designate the countries which the Christians inhabit from the 
gulf of Constantinople down to the ocean of Andalus ; since they are well known 
to be a perpetual paradise, wherein the acorn, the filbert, the nut, the chesnut, and 
other fruits of the northern climate, grow at the same time with the banana, the 
sugar cane, and others which are the productions of warmer countries alone? 
Andalus is the country which has been most favoured by God, and in point 
of fruits and other produce of the land even the most fertile regions of India 
cannot compete with it. The sugar cane grows in great luxuriance all along its 
southern coast, and in more temperate^ regions the banana and other deliciotis 
fruits. In general, except dates, which do not thrive, all the fruits of; other; 
climates may be found in abundance, as well as many which are either sc&xc^-W^ ■ 
not produced at all, in other countries, such as the two species of figs ^lleu^^/^Mm 
and Ash-sha'ri, which grow in the neighbourhood of Seville^ as we liave: stated 

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elsewhere, and which Ibnu Sa'id says he never saw any where Oiitof Andalus, 

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nor ever tasted after his departure from that country. Tlie same might be said of 
the Malaga fig, or the raisins of Almuiiecar, or those called al-aseli (sweet as 
honey), the peaches, the apricots, the pomegranate called Safari,'^ the walnuts, 
almonds, and several other fruits which grow in great perfection, and which w^e 
shall not stop to enumerate and describe for fear of making this our work too 


Another of the productions for which Andalus is famous is its aromatic w^oods 
and roots ; in this respect indeed it has often been compared to India, that privileged 
country of drugs and perfumes, which it resembles in some of its productions, as for 
instance the mahleb,^ that sweetest of all perfumes and choicest of drugs, which is 
only to be met with in India and in Andalus, and which, according to Ar-razi, is 
found in great abundance in the western districts. Ibnu Ghalib, quoting the words 
of Al-mes'udi in his Golden Meadows, says that in Andalus are found fiA^e-and- 
twenty different perfumes or odoriferous substances, such as spikenard, clove, 
gillyflower, sandal wood, cinnamon, Kassdhu-dh-dharirah,^ mahleb, and others, and 
that out of the five substances which are considered to be the principal ingredients 
of perfumes, viz. musk, camphor, aloe wood, saffron, and amber, the two last 
are found in great quantities in Andalus. Ar-razi also, after describing some of 
the properties attributed to the mahleb, says that in the district of Dalayah (Dalia), 
which falls within the jurisdiction of the Alpuxarras, grows a root called At-t6laj,^° 
which yields not to the Indian aloes in fragrancy ; and which, he adds, grows in 
the crevices of rocks, and w'as collected for the use of Kheyran, the Sclavonian king 
of Almeria, who liked its smell exceedingly. Kost ^^ (costum) and spikenard 
grow also in great abundance, and the gentian, which is exported to all parts of 
the world, is held in great estimation for the sweetness of its smell, and commands 
a very high price. Myrrh is found in great quantities in the neighbourhood of 
Calatayud ; and various authors speak of a plant with which the mountains near 
Ossonoba ^^ are covered, and which when burnt sends forth a smell similar to that 
of the aloe wood. This account is confirmed by Ibnu Sa'id, who says that there 
are in Andalus several mountains covered with odoriferous plants and shrubs, where 
if a fire be lighted the air becomes impregnated with a fragrant smell vei^ much 
resembling that of burnt aloe wood, and that in the mountain of Sholayr, in that 
part which is nearest to Granada, grow many of the plants that are peculiar to India. 

Respecting amber, it is found in great abundance all along the western coast of 
Andalus,'^ especially at Shidhunah (Sidonia), where it is particularly fine, and 
very much prized, owing to its good quality and its resistance when exposed to 
the fire. It is known in the East by the name oi Al-gharbi Cwestern), and according 
to Al-mes'iidi one drachm of it sold in his time for several drachms of that 


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produced in other countries. But let us hear what Al-mes'tidi himself says in his 
Golden Meadows. " The seas that wash the shores of Andalus, and especially the 
" Mediterranean, abound in amber, which is exported to Egypt and to other 
" countries. That which they use at Cordova comes from a place on the western 
"coast called Shantareyn (Santarem), as also from Shidonah (Sidonia) . One 
'* ounce of this amber is sold in Andalus for three gold mithcals — in Egypt it mayibe 
" procured for twenty gold dindrs, although inferior in quality : the ounce used in 
" Andalus is equal in weight to that of Baghdad. As to the pieces of amber which 
" are now and then picked up on the coasts of Egypt, it is probable that they come 
from the Mediterranean, and are impelled there by the w'aves. Andalus abounds 
in mines of silver and quicksilver, which have not their equal any where in the 
world, either in the countries subject to the Moslems, or in those which the 
infidels occupy. It produces also ginger root, saffron, and several other aromatic 
roots, as well as five kinds of musk; aloes and camphor may also be pro- 
cured, although they do not grow in the country, being imported in great 

quantities from India." 

The preceding has been transcribed from Al-mes'udi's work;"' for although he 
adds nothing new to what we have already stated, yet his account is not altogether 
devoid of interest. About the formation of amber very little is known; some 
authors, like Ibnu Sa'id, believing it to be the sahva and excrements of marhie - 
monsters, while others, hke Ibnu-1-hijari, say that it is a plant growing at the 

^ _ \ _ _ _ 

bottom of the sea. _: r 

Mines of gold, silver, and other metals, abound in Andalus; according to the Mines, 
author of the Ja'rafiyak there are three places from which, during the occupation of 
that country by the Moslems, gold was extracted in great quantities ; one was the 
river Daroh (Darro) , the other a spot on the western coast close to Lisbon and at 
the mouth of the Tajoh (Tagus), and a third in the river of Lerida, that which falls 
into the Ebro.^^ According to Ibnu Said mines of all the seven known metals '^ 
were to he found in the north and north-west of Andalus, in those countries which 
were in the hands of the infidels. " The richest gold mine in all Andalus," says 
that author, "is in the neighbourhood of the city of Santiago, the capital of 
Galicia. Silver is also very common ; it may be procured near Tudmir, and iti 
the mountains of Al-hamah,'^ near Bej^nah, and in the neighbourhood - of 
Kartash,^^ a town belonging to the district of Cordova. At Ossonoba ^^ . are 
mines of tin, a metal very much resembhng silver; it is also found, in; ftgat 
abundance in the country of the Franks and at Liydn (I^on) . . Th0 ; Pyrp^ees 
are likewise fiill of that metal as well as of quicksilver." : -. - ::;^ ^ ^ 
Mines of red and yellow ochre were also very abundant, aiid in :a village close 





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VOL. I. 





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to Vera, called Baternak (Paterna),^'' was found excellent tutty, which was used in 
giving colour to copper. Tutty was also met with in the mountains near Cordova, 
hut inferior in quality to that of Paterna. In the neighbourhood of Tortosa were 
mines of collyrium, as good as that of Isfahan, and of which large quantities were 
annually exported ; quicksilver abounded in the territory of Cordova, lead near 
Almeria, copper in the north, as also a kind of metal called as-sofar,^' which very 
much resembles gold; as to those of alum^^ and iron, they were so numerous that 
it Would be a difficult task to mention them all. The foregoing account of the 
mineral riches of Andalus has been for the most part extracted from the works of 


Other writers assert that the primitive inhabitants of Andalus called every one 

of the seven known metals after the name of that planet which was known to 

exercise an influence over it, — for instance, they called lead, Saturn ; tin, Jupiter ; 

iron, Vulcan ; gold, the Sun ; copper, Venus ; silver, the Moon ; and quicksilver, 

Precious A great variety of precious stones was likewise found in Andalus, according 

to the accounts of different writers : for instance, not far from a place called 
Hadhratu-l-warikah,'^^ in the jurisdiction of Cordova, as likewise in the mountain 
of Shaheyran,^* to the east of Beyra (Vera), are mines of beryl. ^^ Rubies 
may be found near the castle of Montemaydr,^^ in the province of Malaga, 
only they are very small, which makes them very difficult to be worked. The 
golden marcasite, which has not its equal in the world, is extracted from the 
mountains of Ubeda,^^ and is exported to all distant countries on account of 
its beauty, as also another stone called Al-maHisisd,^^ and talc, which are found 
in great quantities. Pearls may be fished in the seas adjoining to Barcelona, 
but when they are large they are wanting in transparency and colour ; as to 
the smaller kind, they are found in such abundance all along the coast of the 
Mediterranean, that at Vera, a sea-port in the jurisdiction of Almeria, eighty 
arrobes^^ weight are often collected in less than a month's time. 

In the district of Bejenah, not far from a deep valley called Kariatu Ndsherah,^^ 
there are quarries of a stone resembling the ruby, of various hues, and which stands 
the fire. HhQmagnetes (load-stone), which is well known to possess the property 
of attracting iron, is found in great abundance in the district of Tudmir, and 
close to Lisbon there is a mountain so impregnated with the stone called 
An~najddi^^ that the whole place looks at night as if it were illuminated with 
lanterns. The stone c^Hed Ash'Shadenah^"^ abounds on a mountain in the neighbour- 
hood of Cordova — its use in gilding is sufficiently known.^^ The stone called 
L stone,^* which is acknowledged by all the physicians to be the most 

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efficacious remedy for pains in the kidneys and in the bladder, is dug out in the 
environs of Hisnu4-b6nah ; and the territory round Lorca, a city belonging to the 
district of Tudmu", is full of mines of lapis-Iazuli of the finest quality, which rare 
and precious article may also be found in other parts of Andalus. 

We cannot pass in silence the spring of Liblah (Niebla), which pours :0ut 
glass 35 of the best quahty ; nor a mountain in the neighbourhood, of Toledo galled 
Jehalu-t-tafal, where tafal,^^ surpassing in quaUty any other in the East oj^ West; 

grows in prodigious quantity. 

Andalus is equally rich in marbles, and stones for building. Ar-razi says that Marbles, 
the mountains of Cordova abound in marbles of all sorts and colours, such as the 
purest white without any spot, and that having the colour of wine ; the green is 
also to he found in the Alpuxarras in large blocks, from which columns are cut ; 
and in the neighbourhood of Vega, a town depending on Granada, are several 
quarries of the most exquisite marbles, such as the spotted, the red, the yellow, and 
others. Almeria is famous for some small pebbles^' (agates) which, are fouji4, in 
its territory, and which are exported to distant countries, owing to their .similarity 
to pearls, which they strongly resemble in brightness and transparency. In shprtj 
Andalus is, in the opinion of historians and geographers, the country which abounds- 
most in marbles and jaspers, white, black, red, and of all colours. 

If from the productions of nature, or the fruits of the soil, we pass, to the apijnal A«imaU. 
kingdom, we shall find that Andalus contains a larger number of the animals /^sefial 
toman, while it has fewer wild beasts, than any other country in. th0 worlds ft^i^a 
proof of what we advance we shall quote the words of Al-hij^ri in hJ^lM-mashab. 
" Andalus," says that author, " abounds in antelopes, deer, zebras, oxen, and:Other 
" quadrupeds common to other countries ; but there are neither elephants nor 
" giraffes lions, tigers, nor other beasts of warmer countries ; instead of these we 
" have an animal peculiar to our country which we call al-lub^^ (lupus), somewhat 
" larger than a jackal,^^ but equally cruel and ferocious, and which, when insti- 
" gated by hunger, attacks and devours men. The mules are strong and sure- ■ 
" footed, and the horses powerful and swift, and equally fit for sport and for battlCi 
*' enduring fatigue and weight most admirably, since in time of war they will ;not 
" only carry a cavalier armed cap-^-pi^ with ail his provisions, but be th^mselv^ : 
" caparisoned and barbed in steel." . -'V "; 

Birds of all sorts, whether small or of prey, are found in such quantiti^ iha|: :\ 
were we to stop to enumerate them we should protract this our narrative to^^g^. 
length; the same might be said of the fishes, and other monsters of the S^/^f^J^f"^ 
of the Ocean, where many are to be found so prodigiously large th^tv^rl^j^T^ " 
even to guess at their, dimensions lest we should still remain :%|f«p^:-tte truth. 

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Ibnu Sa'id tells us that he once saw one of these monsters, while on a sea voyage, 
and that it was so large that the crew of the vessel were trembling lest it should by 
a sudden jerk overturn the vessel. " "We looked at it in amazement," says Ibnu 
Sa'id, " and were filled with horror and consternation, for a long time unable 
" to utter a word, and expecting every moment to be drowned, for whenever 
'* the monster breathed it raised large columns of water to a height really sur- 
" prising." 

We find likewise in those authors who have written on the natural history of 
Andalus that frequent allusion is made to an amphibious quadruped, whose skin is 
used as a garment, and whose scrotum is reckoned to be a specific in several 
diseases. As the name of this animal is differently written, and there are besides 
many extraordinary circumstances attached to it, we shall transcribe here the words 
of the dififerent writers who have mentioned it. 

Ibnu-1-hijari, in the Al-mashah. — " The Andalusians make jackets of the skin 
" of a certain amphibious quadruped called al-wabrah*^ (seal), whose skin is very 
" much prized ; they are found in great abundance on the shores of the Ocean, and 
*' in that part of Andalus which faces the island of Britannia. Thence they are 
"brought to Saragossa, where the skins are dressed, and then made into jackets." 

Ibnu Ghalib, mentioning these jackets, which he observes were also manufactured 
at Cordova, says *' the skins here alluded to and called samur'^^ are very much used 
" in Cordova for jackets, but I am unable to say to what animal they belong, whether 
" to some quadruped pecuhar to that country, or to the wabrah (seal) ; in case of 
" their being those of the latter animal, it is a well-known amphibious quadruped, 
" very strong and muscular." 

But the best account is that given by Hamid Ibn Samjun*^ the physician, in his 
work on the simples employed as remedies in medicine. It reads thus : " the seal is 
" a quadruped whose scrotum is used as a remedy in several diseases ; they abound 
" in the Mediterranean, where they generally live in the water, although they often 
" come on shore, and are pursued by huntsmen, who catch them, and after cutting 
" off their scrotum, let them go. I have heard the people who practise this trade say 
"that if one of these quadrupeds happens to fall a second time into their hands, 
'* he fails not to throw himself on his back, to show his pursuers that he no longer 
"has the object of their wishes, upon which the men let him go unhurt."*^ 

Another author says that the remedy to which we allude is also called jendu~bd- 
dastar, from the animars name, which is likewise jendu-bddastar ;'^^ that it is con- 
sidered a great specific in all diseases originating from cold temperaments, on 
account of its being held by the physicians and naturalists as hot and dry in 
the fourth degree. Some say that in size this quadruped is Hke a hare, others 

Ix' - _ . , '. . .,_^ _ ,_-.^- JS(Pl. 

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that he is somewhat smaller, and that his flesh has a better taste ; others again make 
him much larger, — but God only knows ; one thing is certain, that the skins of the 
wabrah (seal), or some other quadruped resembling it, were used as an article 
of dress, and much worn by Christians as well as Moslems. 

But it is quite time that we should say a few words about the different manufac- Mamifactures. 
tures that existed in Andalus, which are generally acknowledged to have reached the 
utmost degree of perfection, so much so that when an Andaiusiau begins upon this 
subject there is no end to his praises of his native land : we shall here sUghtly 
mention a few; as, for instance, its manufactures of sashes,*^ which were famous 
all over the world for brilliancy of colours and fineness of texture ; its silver and 
gold tissues manufactured at Almeria, Malaga, and Murcia, with such perfection 
that when taken to Eastern countries the people were amazed and bewildered 
at the sight of them. Of the manufactures established at Almeria we haVe 
already spoken elsewhere, when we gave the description of that city; we shall 
only add here, by way of supplement, that all the stufis woven by its industrious 
inhabitants were at all times in great demand in the East and West, and. that a 
very considerable trade was carried on in this, as well as in other products of: their 
industry, both with Moslems and Christians. At Tentala, a town depending on 
Murcia, there were manufactures of carpets called Tentali*^ which, when exported ; 
to the East, brought a very high price. Both Granada and Baza were famous for 
the manufacture of certain warm stuffs for winter called Al-mulabhadf^ — they were 
generally of woollen, stamped,*^ and dyed of the most beautiful and delicate colours. 
Murcia was likewise famous for the manufacture of coats of mail, breast-plates, arid 
all sorts of steel armour, inlaid with gold ; saddles and horse-harness richly set in 
gold; all kinds of instruments of brass and iron, as knives, scissors, and other 
trinkets, inlaid with gold, such as are used in weddings to present to the bride ; and, 
above all, weapons and other warlike instruments, which were so highly finished 
and wrought in such perfection as to dazzle with their brightness the eyes of the 
beholder.*^ All these articles, Ibnu Sa'id informs us, were exported to Africa and 
other more distant countries, where they were held in great estimation. Murcia 
was likewise renowned for the fabrication of glass and pottery, of both which 
materials they made large vases of the most exquisite and elegant shapes ; they 
manufactured also glazed pottery, and another kind which was washed over with 
gold. The manufactures of Malaga have already been described by us under the 
head of that city ; it was famous above all things for its glass and pottery, and for 
many articles of clothing. -5/; 

We find also that there were in Andalus several manufactures of- al-mafssms,^'* 
which is known in the East by the name of al-foseyfasd (mosaic), as well as of a sort 

. ^-" -^ ^ 


of tile called az-zulaj^^ (azulejo), which they used in paving the floors of their 
houses. The azulejos were made of all sorts of gay colours, and very much re- 
sembled the al-mafssass; they were exported in great quantities to the East, and 
used instead of marble flags to make mosaic floors, to pave fountains, and other 
similar ornaments. 

As to weapons and military stores of all kinds, such as shields, swords, spears, 
helmets, breast-plates, bows, arrows, saddles, bits, bridles, and all kinds of horse- 
trappings, the manufactures of Andalus exceeded those of any other country in tlie 
world ; and according to Ibnu Sa'id (froni whom the preceding narrative is abridged) 
that part of the country which was in the hands of the infidels was likewise famous 
for the manufacture of arms, so highly polished as to dazzle the eyes ; amongst 
which he makes particular mention of certain sharp-edged, well-tempered swords, 
called al-hordheliat ,^^ from Bordhil (Bourdeaux), a city placed at the north-eastern 
extremity of Andalus. The same author speaks in the highest terms of the swords 
manufactured at Seville, and which, he says, were not inferior to those of India. 
Seville is likewise represented by him as a city of great trade, and where several 
manufactures of rich clothing and costly articles existed. The town of Xativa, near 
Valencia, was well known for its paper manufactures, of which a large quantity was 
annually exported to Maghreb, and to other parts of Africa. But we shall not 
dwell any longer on this topic, inasmuch as we have already given some details, 
under the head of those cities and districts where the objects were manufactured, 
and we may again occasionally allude to them in the course of this our narrative. 

- - -^ 


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Government— Public functionaries~Wizir--Kki"b—Sahibu-l-ashgMl—Sahibu-sli-shartah—Mohtesib— 

Ad-darabiin, or night-watch — Revenues. 

Having thus far sketched some of the pecuharities of Andalus, we shall now Government, 
proceed to say a few words on its government and institutions, as well as on the 
customs and manners of its inhabitants. Our narrative will be mostly borrowed 
from Ibnu Sa'id, an author who has treated the question at large in his Kitdbu-l- 
muglirab, in a chapter entitled " Shining stars in the just and impartial descrip- 
tion of the eastern and western governments."^ These are that author's words: 
'* Andalus, which was conquered in the year 92 of the Hijra, continued for many 
" years to be a dependency of the Eastern Khalifate, until it was snatched aWay 
" from their hands by one of the surviving members of the family of Uirieyyah, 
" who, crossing over from Barbary, subdued the country, and formed therein an 
" independent kingdom, which he transmitted to his posterity. During three 
*' centuries and a half, Andalus, governed by the princes of this dynasty, reached the 
' ' utmost degree of power and prosperity, until civil war breaking out among its 
" inhabitants, the Moslems, weakened by internal discord, became every where the 
" prey of the artful Christians, and the territory of Islam was considerably reduced, 
" so much so that at the present moment the worshippers of the crucified hold 
" the greatest part of Andalus in their hands, and their country is divided into 
" various powerful kingdoms, whose rulers assist each other whenever the Moslems 
*' attack their territories. This brings to my recollection the words of an eastern 
" geographer who visited Andalus in the fourth century of the Hijra,^ and during 
"the prosperous times of the Cordovan Khahfate, I mean Ibnu Haukal An- ; 
" nassibi,^ who, describing Andalus, speaks in very unfavourable ternas^Jtf fi^ . 
" inhabitants. As his words require refutation I shall transcribe hereUh^; whole 
" of the passage. 'Andalus,' he says, 'is an extensive island^ a Uttle -less'Hhan a 
*' month's march in length, and twenty and odd days in width; It abounds in 

- 1 



" rivers and springs, is covered with trees and plants of eveiy description, and is 
" amply provided with every article which adds to the comforts of life ; slaves are 
** very fine, and may be procured for a small price on account of their abundance ; 
*' owing, too, to the fertility of the land, which yields all sorts of grain, vegetables, 
•' and fruit, as well as to the number and goodness of its pastures in which innu- 
" merable flocks of cattle graze, food is exceedingly abundant and cheap, and the 
*' inhabitants are thereby plunged into indolence and sloth, letting mechanics and 
" men of the lowest ranks of society overpower them and conduct their affairs. 
" Owing to this it is really astonishing how the Island of Andalus still remains in 
" the hands of the Moslems, being, as they are, people of vicious habits and low 
" inclinations, narrow-minded, and entirely devoid of fortitude, courage, and the 
" military accomplishments necessary to meet face to face the formidable nations of 
" Christians who surround them on every side, and by whom they are continually 
'* assailed.'* 

" Such are the words of Ibnu Haukal ; but, if truth be told, I am at a loss 
" to ^ess to whom they are applied. To my countrymen they certainly are 
" not; or, if so, it is a horrible calumny, for if any people on the earth are famous 
*' for their courage, their noble qualities, and good habits, it is the Moslems of 
" Andalus ; and indeed their readiness to fight the common enemy, their con- 
" stancy in upholding the holy tenets of their religion, and their endurance of 
" the hardships and privations of war, have become almost proverbial. So, as 
" far as this goes, Ibnu Haukal is decidedly in error, for as the proverb says, 
^' ' the tongue of stammering is at times more eloquent than the tongue of 
"eloquence.'^ As to the other imputation, namely, their being devoid of all 
*' sense, wisdom, and talent, either in the field or in administration, would to 
*' God that the author's judgment were correct, for then the ambition of the 
"chiefs would not have been raised, and the Moslems would not have turned 
*' against each other's breasts and dipped in each other's blood those very 
*' weapons which God Almighty put into their hands for the destruction and 
" annihilation of the infidel Christian. But, as it is, we ask — ^were those Sultans 
" and Khalifs wanting in prudence and talents who governed this countiy for 
" upwards of five hundred years, and who administered its affairs in the midst 
'* of foreign war and civil discord? Were those fearless warriors deficient in 
" courage and military science who withstood on the frontiers of the Moslem 
*' empire the frightful shock of the innumerable infidel nations who dwell within 
*' and out of Andalus, whose extensive territories cover a surface of three months' 
'' march, and all of whom ran to arms at a moment's notice to defend the religion 
*' of the crucified ? And if it be true that at the moment I write the Moslems 


" have been visited by the wrath of heaven, and that the Almighty has sent down 
" defeat and shame to their arms, are we to wonder at it at a time when the 
" Christians, proud of their success, have carried their arms as far as Syria 
" and Mesopotamia, have invaded the districts contiguous to the country which 
' ' is the meeting-place of the Moslems, and the cupola of Islam, committed all 
"sorts of ravages and depredations, conquered the city of Haleb (Aleppo) and 
" its environs, and done other deeds which are sufficiently declared in the 
" histories of the time ?^ No, it is by no means to be wondered at, especially 
" when proper attention is paid to the manner in which the Andalusian Moslems 
" have come to their present state of weakness and degradation. The process 
" is this : the Christians will rush down from their mountains, or across the 
" plain, and make an incursion into the Moslem territory ; there they will 
" pounce upon a castle and seize it; they will ravage the neighbouring country, 
" take the inhabitants captive, and then retire to their country with all the 
" plunder they have collected, leaving, nevertheless, strong garrisons in the 
"castles and towers captured by them. In the meanwhile the Moslem king 
"in whose dominions the inroad has been made, instead of attending to his 
" own interests and stopping the disease by applying cauterization, will be 
"waging w^ar against his neighbours of the Moslems; and these, instead of 
" defending the common cause, the cause of rehgion and truth, — instead of 
" assisting their brother, Avill confederate and ally to deprive him of whatever 
" dominions still remain in his hands. So, from a trifling evil at firsts it will 
" groAv into an irreparable calamity, and the Christians will advance farther 
" and farther until they subdue the whole of that country exposed to their 
" inroads, where, once established and fortified, they will direct their attacks 
" to another part of the Moslem territories, and carrj"" on the same war of havoc 
" and destruction. Nothing of this, however, existed at the time when Ibnu 
' ' Haukal visited Andalus ; for although we are told by Ibnu Hayyan and 
" other writers that the Christians began as early as the reign of 'Abdu-r- 
" rahman III. to grow powerful, and to annoy the Moslems on the frontiers/ 
" yet it is evident that until the breaking out of the civil wars, which raged 
' ' with uncommon violence throughout Andalus, the encroachments of the 
" barbarians on the extensive and unprotected frontiers of the Moslem empire 
" were but of little consequence. . 

" But to return to our subject. During the first years after the conquest Hie 
"government of Andalus was vested in the hands of military 
"appointed by the Viceroys of Africa, who were - themselves named by the 
" Khalifs of Damascus. These governors united in their hands ithe command 

VOL. I. O 



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" of the amiies and the civil power, but, being either removed as soon as 

'* named, or deposed by military insurrections, much confusion and disorder 

" reigned at all times in the state, and the establishment and consoUdation 

*' of the Moslem power in Andalus were thwarted in their progress at the 

" very onset. It was not until the arrival of the Beni Umeyyah in Andalus 

" that the fabric of Islam may be said to have rested on a sohd foundation. 

" When 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Mu'awiyeh had conquered the country, when every 

" rebel had submitted to him, when all his opponents had sworn allegiance to 

•'him, and his authority had been universally acknowledged, then his importance 

" increased, his ambition spread wider, and both he and his successors displayed 

" the greatest magnificence in their court, and about their persons and retinue, 

*' as likewise in the number of officers and great functionaries of the state. At 

" first they contented themselves with the title of Benu4-Jchaldyif (sons of 

•' the Khalifs),^ but in process of time, when the limits of their empire had 

" been considerably extended by their conquests on the opposite land of Africa, 

*' they took the appellation of Khalifs and Omard-l-mumenin (Princes of the 

" beUevers). It is generally known that the strength and solidity of their 

" eitipke consisted principally in the policy pursued by these princes, the mag- 

*' nificence and splendour with which they surrounded their court, the reverential 

^' awe with which they inspired their subjects, the inexorable rigour with which they 

*' chastised every aggression on their rights, the impartiality of their judgments, 

" their anxious solicitude in the observance of the civil law, their regard and 

" attention to the learned, whose opinions they respected and followed, calling 

•' them to their sittings and admitting them to their councils, and many other 

^ ' brilUant qualities ; in proof of which frequent anecdotes occur in the works 

*' of Ibnu Hayyan and other writers; as, for instance, that whenever a judge 

*' summoned the Khalif, his son, or any of his most beloved favourites, to appear 

"in his presence as a witness in a judicial case, whoever was the individual 

"summoned would attend in person— if the Khalif, out of respect for the law 

« —and if a subject, for fear of incurring his master's displeasure. 

" But when this salutary awe and impartial justice had vanished, the decay 
■" of their empire began, and it was followed by a complete ruin. I have already 
" observed that the princes of that dynasty were formerly styled Omard-hnd-U 
" kholafd (Amirs, sons of the Khalifs) ,9 but that in latter times they assumed 
" the title of Omard-l-mumenin (Princes of the beUevers). This continued until 
" the disastrous times of the civil war, when the surviving members of the 
.".royal family hated each other, and when those who had neither the nobility 
fnor^the qualities required to honour the Khahfate pretended to it and wished 

- ^: ■ ■!■■ -.^. >^^;V,C>j^^ 

_ _ ■- ^ r__ I ^ r\- 


'^ for it; ^vhen the governors of provinces and the generals of armies declared 
" themselves independent and rose every where in their governments, taking 
- the title of MoUku-t-tawdyif' (Kings of small estates), and when confusion 
"and disorder were at their highest pitch. These petty sovereigns, of whom 
" some read the khotbah^' for the Khalifs of the house of Merwdn— in whose 
" hands no power whatsoever remained— while others proclaimed the Abbasside 
" Sultans, and acknowledged their Im^m, all began to exercise the powers and 
" to use the appendages of royalty, assuming even the titles and names of 
"former Khalifs, and imitating in every thing the bearing and splendour of 
" the most powerful sovereigns,— a thing which they were enabled to accomplish 
" from the great resources of the countries over which they ruled,— for although 
" Andalus was divided into sundry petty kingdoms, yet such was the fertility 
of the land, and the amount of taxes collected from it, that the chief of a 
limited state could at times display at his court a greater magnificence than 
the ruler of extensive dominions. However, the greatest among them did 
not hesitate to assume, as I have already observed, the names and titles of 
the most famous Eastern Khalifs ; for instance, Ibnu Rashik M-kairwani^^ g^ys 
that 'Abbad Ibn Mohammed Ibn 'Abbad took the surname of Al-mu'atadhed. 
and imitated in all things the mode of life and bearmg of the Abbasside Khahf 
Al-mu'atadhed-biUah ; '' his son, Mohammed Ibn 'Abbad, was styled Al- 
-mu'atamed; both reigned in SeviHe, to which kingdom they in process of 
" time added Cordova and other extensive territories in the southern and western 
" parts of Andalus, as will hereafter be shown. 

- As long as the dynasty of Umeyyah occupied the throne of Cordova, the 
" successors of 'Abdu-r-rahman contrived to inspire their subjects with love of 
" their persons, mixed with reverential awe ; this they accomphshed by sur- 
" rounding their courts with splendour, by displaying the greatest magnificence 
" whenever they appeared in public, and by employing other means which I have 
already hinted at, and deem it not necessary to repeat : they continued thus until 
the times of the civil war, when, having lost the afi'ections of the people, their 
subjects began to look with an evil eye at their prodigal expense, and the estra- 
" vagant pomp with which they surrounded their persons. Then came the Bent 
" Hamud,'* the descendants of Idrls, of the progeny of 'All Ibn Abi Taiib, who, 
- having snatched the Khalifate from the hands of the Beni Merwan, ruled for soine 
<* time over the greatest part of Andalus. These princes showed also great p^t^-; 
" taUon, and, assuming the same titles that the Abbasside Khalife had bo«,Jiey 
" followed their steps in every thing concerning the arrangement, of their /courts 
" and persons; for instance, whenever a mwwsW wanted , to extemporize some 




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verses in praise of his sovereign, or any subject wished to address him on 
particular business, the poet or the petitioner was introduced to the presence of 
the Khalif, who sat behind a curtain and spoke without showing himself, the Hdjib 

or curtain-drawer standing all the time by his side to communicate to the party y 

" the ^ words or intentions of the Khalif. So when Ibnu Mokena Ai-lishboni 
(from Lisbon), the poet, appeared in presence of the Hajib of Idris Ibn Yahya 
Al-hamudi, who was proclaimed Khalif at Malaga,^^ to recite that kassidah of his 
which is so well known and rhymes in mm, when he came to that part which 
" runs thus — 

' The countenance of Idris, son of Yahya, son of 'Ah, son of Hamud, prince 
* of the believers, is like a rising sun ; it dazzles the eyes of those who look 
; at it— 

* Let us see it, let us seize the rays of yonder light, for it is the light of the 
' master of the worlds '■ — *'' 
the Sultan himself drew the curtain which concealed him, and said to the 
poet — 'Look, then,' and showed great affability to Ibn Mokena, and rew^arded 
him very handsomely. 

But when, through the civil war, the country was broken up into sundry petty 
sovereignties, the new monarchs followed quite a different line of politics ; for, ^ 

wishing to become popular, they treated their subjects with greater famiharity, 
and had a more frequent intercourse with all classes of society ; they often 
" reviewed their troops, and visited their provinces ; they invited to their presence 
the doctors and poets, and wished to be held from the beginning of their reign as 
the patrons of science and literature ; but even this contributed to the depression 
of the royal authority, which thus became every day less dreaded ; besides, the 
arms of the Moslems being employed during the long civil wars against one 
another, the inhabitants of the different provinces began to look on each other 
with an evil eye ; the ties by which they were united became loose, and a number 
of independent states were formed, the government of which passed from father to 
son, in the same manner as the empire of Cordova had been transmitted to 
" the sons and heirs of the Khalifs. Thus separated from each other, the Moslems 
" began to consider themselves as members of different nations, and it became 
" every day more difficult for them to unite in the common cause; and owing 
" to their divisions, and to their mutual enmity, as well as to the sordid interest and 
" extravagant ambition of some of their kings, the Christians were enabled to attack 

',' them in detail, and subdue them one after the other. However, by the arrival of I 

'^ the Beni 'Abdu-l-mumen all those little states were again blended into one, and 
'^ the whole of Andalus acknowledged their sway, and continued for many years to 



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" be ruled by their successors, until, civil war breaking out again, Ibn Hild, 
" surnamed Al-inutawakel,'« revolted, and finding the people of Andalus iU-dis- 
" posed against the Almohades, and anxious to shake off their yoke, he easily made 
" himself master of the country. Ibn Hiid, however, followed the policy of his 
" predecessors (the kings of the small states); he even surpassed them in folly and 
" ignorance of the rules of good government, for he used to walk about the streets 
" and markets, conversing and laughing with the lowest people, asking them 
" questions, and doing acts unsuitable to his high station, and which no subject 
" ever saw a Sultan do before, so much so that it was said, not without foun- 
" dation, that he looked more like a performer of legerdemain than a king. Fools, 
" and the ignorant vulgar seemed, it is true, to gaze with astonishment and 
" pleasure at this familiarity, but as the poet has said — 

' These are things to make the fools laugh, but the consequences of which 

' prudent people are taught to fear.' ^^ 
" These symptoms went on increasing until populous cities and extensive dis- 
" tricts became the prey of the Christians, and whole kingdoms were snatched 
" from the hands of the Moslems. Another very aggravating circumstance added 
" its weight to the general calamity, namely, the facility with which the power 
" changed hands. Whoever has read attentively what we have just said^** about 
" the mode of attaining and using the royal power in Andalus, must be convinced 
" that nothing was so easy, especially in latter times, as to arrive at it. The process 
" is this: whenever a knight is known to surpass his countrymen in courage, 
" generosity, or any of those qualities which make a man dear to the vulgar, the 
" people cling to him, follow his party, and soon after proclaim him their king, 
" without paying the least regard to his ascendancy, or stopping to consider 
" whether he is of royal blood or not. The new king then transmits the state as 
" an inheritance to his son or nearest relative, and thus a new dynasty is formed. I 
" may, in proof of this, quote a case which has just taken place among us: a 
" certain captain ^^ made himself famous by his exploits, and the victories he won 
" over the enemy, as likewise by his generous and liberal disposition towards 
" the citizens and the army ; all of a sudden his friends and partisans resolved 
'' to raise him to the throne, and regardless of their own safety, as well as that 
" of their families, friends, and clients residing at court, and whose lives were 
"by their imprudence put in great jeopardy, they rose in a castle, and prof 
" claimed him king ; and they never ceased toiling, calling people to their ;m|sj 
"and fighting their opponents, until their object was accomplished,:. and N|heir 
" friend soUdly established on his throne. Now Eastern people are Mot^ cautious 
" about altering the succession, and changing the reigning. dynasty j.tHfey will on 


■^■*^L^-TvS:-."-x^~^ ^"- ^■^■" ''■- [-'- -'^^"' ' 

^>.- -J J- - 



"the contrary avoid it by all possible means, and do their best to leave the power 
" in the hands of the reigning family, rather than let discord and civil dissen- 
" sions sap the foundations of the state, and introduce dissolution and corruption 

" into the social body. 

" Among us the change of dynasty is a thing of frequent occurrence, and the 

" present ruler of Andalus, Ibnu-1-ahmar, is another instance of what I have 
" advanced. He was a good soldier, and had been very successful in some ex- 
'* peditions against the Christians, whose territories he was continually invading, 
" sallying out at the head of his followers from a castle called Hisn-Arjonah 
" (Aijona),^^ where he generally resided. Being a shrewd man, and versed in all 
the stratagems of war, he seldom went out on an expedition without returning 
victorious, and laden with plunder, owing to which he amassed great riches, and 
the number of his partisans and followers was considerably increased. At last, 
being prompted by ambition to aspire to the royal power, he at first caused his 
" troops to proclaim him king ; then sallying out of his stronghold he got 
'* possession of Cordova, marched against Seville, took it, and killed its king 
" Al-baji.^^ After this he subdued Jaen, the strongest and most important city 
^* in all Andalus, owing to its walls and the position it occupies, conquered likewise 
" Malaga, Granada, and their districts, and assumed the title of Amiru-l-moslemin 
" (Prince of the Moslems) ; and at the moment I write he is obeyed all over Andalus, 
" and every one looks to him for advice and protection. 

The preceding has been transcribed from Ibnu Sa'id's work, where the subject is 
treated at length : we shall now extract from him and from Ibnu Khaldun some 
particulars concerning the charges or pubhc offices which composed the government 

of the different dynasties in Andalus. 
Wizfn The charge of Wizlr during the times of the Bern Umeyyah was common to 

several iunctionaries, to whose deliberation and inspection the chief of the state 
submitted the affairs of the government. The historian Ibnu Khaldxin, who in his 
book of the subject and attribute has defined the functions of these and other officers 
of the court of the Khalifs, says that the title of Wizlr, under the Sultans of 
Cordova, was given to certain functionaries in whose hands rested the management 
of public affairs, and each of whom had under his care one branch of the admi- 
nistration ; for instance, the financial department, the foreign relations, the ad- 
ministration of justice and redress of injuries, and, lastly, the care of the frontiers 
and the provision and equipment of the troops stationed on them, would each 
constitute a separate and independent office under the special care of a Wizir. 
These functionaries enjoyed besides the right of sitting in the audience^room with 
the Khalif, and it was from among them that he chose his Nayib, called in the East 

" 24 



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chief, or grand, Wizir, but "who in Andalus was designated by the name of Hajib. 
These dignities were moreover conferred on certain noble families, until at last 
they became almost like an inheritance ; ^^ so that notwithstanding the governors 
and generals, who shared among themselves the dominions of the Khalifs, soon 
began to assume the signs of royalty, they still considered the titles of Wizir and 
Hajib as a very honourable distinction, and styled themselves Hajibs of the Beni 
Umeyyah, as if they were merely governing their states in their name.^^ Some 
even thought that no title could be more honourable, for we see them continually 
designated under that appellation either by poets singing their praises, or by 

historians relating their actions. 

The appellation of Wizir was therefore given to all those who sat in council 
with, or were admitted into the privacy of, the sovereign; so that the Wizir, 
who to the right of sitting in council united the duties of the administration (in any 
particular branch), was distinguished by the title of Dhu-l-wizdrateyn, that is, the 
holder of the two offices ; and he had therefore to unite to the general accomplish- 
ments in literature which were required from the other functionaries a profound 

knowledge of the science of government. 

The office of Kdtib or secretary was of two kinds : the most important was called KStib. 
Kitdbatu-r-rasdyil (the office of the correspondence), the chief of which had under 
his care the direction of the correspondence of the Sultan with his allies or enemies, 
as likewise the drawing up of orders from the sovereign, and other documents for the 
inspection of the subjects : this office was also the most important, and that which 
required the greatest abilities in its holder, for he had to write (as it were) in the eyes 
and hearts of the people. The second was called Kitdbatu-dh-dhimdm (office of pro- 
tection), and corresponded exactly to that of the Kdtihu-l-jikhadheh^^ in the East : 
the person intrusted with this office had, as its name sufficiently indicates, to attend 
to the protection and security of the Christians and Jews ; and it may be said without 
exaggeration, that so long as this office subsisted in Andalus and in the Maghreb 
no Christian or Jew ever needed the protection and assistance of the great and 
powerful.^^ Both these functionaries were called Katibs, a title in which they 
gloried, and which they considered as the most honourable which they could 
receive ; so that whoever wanted to honour or praise them never failed while 
addressing them, either verbally or in writing, to call them Katibs ; besides, the 
Andalusians showed always the greatest respect for all individuals entitled to that 
denomination, and never by any means forgot to do so when they addressed .qiie 
of them ; for had any one by mistake or otherwise omitted this, or suppressed, ari^ 
other of their honorific titles, neither the rank, riches, nor high :station of the 

J- J_ 

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™^H^i_iTTLi> ^ff-^? 

^ - ^ - 



[book I. 




offender would have prevented him and his friends from being ill-treated in words 
or action. 

No public office whatever equalled that of the Sdhihii-1-ashghdly or collector of 
taxes, in authority and importance, and the person who was at the head of it ^^ was 
considered more powerful and influential than a Wizir ; he had more followers, and 
could count a greater number of friends ; the emoluments attached to his place 
were also more considerable, all necks bowed before him, aU hands were stretched 
out to him, and he kept the provinces in awe by means of his overseers and in- 
formers. Yet with all this, and though this was a most desirable appointment — 
one which gave so much influence and importance to its holder, and in which 
considerable riches might be amassed in a very short time — it was a dangerous one, 
and full of hazards and cares. But this does not belong to our subject, as it 
depends upon the changes of fortune, and the character of the Sultan. 

The charge of Kadi was always reputed in Andalus as the most honourable of all, 
not only on account of his spiritual jurisdiction^ all religious affairs being exclusively 
intrusted to his care, but also owing to the great independence and power which 
that office gave to its holders ; for, as we have observed elsewhere, if a Kadi sum- 
moned the Khalif to his presence, the latter would immediately obey the summons, 
—at least such appear to have been the prerogatives annexed to that office during 
the reign of the Bern Umeyyah, and such of the sovereigns of the petty dynasties as 
followed their system of government. The title of Kadi ought in strictness to be 
applied to those only who exercised the functions of judges in a city or large town ; 
if the place was small he was called Hakim. The Kadi-1-koda (or chief Kadi) was 
also called Kddiu-l-jamd'h. 

The office of the Sdhibush-shartah ^^ was the same as it is in our days, and its 
functions nearly similar to those now attached to that post in Africa. The vulgar 
called him jS(i?ti6M-^mefZ'(?iaA (city magistrate), and Mhihu-l-leyl (night magistrate) . 
The. functions of this office were at one time of a most formidable description, for 
if he were at all in favour with the SuMn, and had his confidence, he could sentence 
to death any one he pleased, and have the sentence executed without any previous 
leave from the sovereign. However, this appears to have been but of rare oc- 
currence ; neither was the appointment much used, being only to be met with in 
great capitals, and at the court of the Sultan. Abu Zeyd Ibn Khaldun treats at 
length of the functions of this officer,^^ which seem to have consisted in the detection 
and punishment of crimes against morality — such as adultery, the drinking of in- 
toxicating liquors, and so forth. Other civil oifences fell also under his jurisdiction. 
In former times, however, this office could not exist without the express consent 




^ ■_ - - >> 

7 ^ - -\hj - 

105 ' 


Of the Kddi. by whose sufferance only it continued, and whose authority was much 
more respected, at the same time that it stood on more legal grounds. 

TheTffictof the Mohtesib3^ ^^s generally conferred in Andalus on -n ofM»«-. 
probity, experience, and learning, and who belonged to the class of tb^^^ 
The duties of this officer consisted in riding, early m ^e mormng. th^ngh^ 
market, followed by his guards, one of whom carried a pair of scales in his . han^ 
to weigh the bread ; for in Andalus the weight and price of bread was at aU jimes 
fixed by the authorities ; so, for instance, a loaf of a certam weight would sell for 
the fourth of a dirhem, and another of half its size for the eighth of a dn:hem^ 
These measures, moreover, produced so good an effect, that whoever wanted 
provisions for his daily consumption might send to market a l.tUe boy or a 
simple girl, with directions to buy whatever he wanted, and yet be perfectly , 

satisfied that no imposition was practised upon him, and that every article had 
its proper weight. The sale of meat was likewise subjected to the same rule, 
it being enjoined to every butcher to have over his stall a label, with an mscnptioft 
IS the price fixed'by the authorities of the town. So neit^r bak^ i« 
Ldiel dared to sell their articles fbr a higher price, nor cheat - J^^ei^^^^ 
were the Mohtesib to entertain the least suspicion about one of tiiem, he would 
soon put him to the test by sending a boy or girl to buy some br^d or meat from , : , 

L, and if, when weighed, it was found to be in the least deficien , he wou d 
punish the infractor, and fine him heavily; this for the first tmie, for^if.he^re to 
be found in fault again, the magistrate would sentence him to be publicly ^flogged, 
and exposed in the market-place for the sdutary warning of f *«/f ' °^^ **"> 
dealers! after which he would banish him the city. The office of the Mohtesib was 
further made to extend to all articles of sale, and those who filled it had to leam 
certain practices or rules before being fit to obtain it ; in the same manner as a 
Faquih would among us study the decisions of the law before he would be con- 

sidered fit to fill the situation of a Kadf 

As to the night-watch, whom we call in the West Tawdfu-l-Uyl, and who m the M^e^*.. «r 
East are called As'hah-arW ,'^ they were generaUy designated in Andalus under the 
name of Ad-ddrabun (gate-keepers) , on account of certain interior gates which most 
of the cities in that country had, and which it was the duty of those guards to shut 
every evening after the prayer of -atemah, thereby preventing any communication 
between the various quarters of the city during the night. Every one ^^ t|sse 
gates had its watchman, who, besides being weU armed, was|^, 
lantern, and had with him a dog to warn him by his baric if any noise gW^lS^^d. 
" AU these precautions," adds Ibnu Sa'id, " are indispensable m the large cities 
" of Andalus, owing to the great number of thieves and vagabonds who either 

VOL, I. 

_ — ^4 -■_ 



'- disturb the public tranquillity at night by their brawls and clamours, or commit 
' ' the most daring robberies ; for it is by no rneans an uncommon thing in our 
" times to hear of a gang of robbers assembling at night, attacking a strong house, 
'* penetrating into it, plundering it of whatever property they find, and murdering 
" all its inmates for fear they should offer any resistance, or assist the next day in 
" their discovery and apprehension. It is therefore a thing of frequent occurrence 
" in Andalus to hear people say,—' Last night robbers broke into the house of such 
" a one, or such a one was found murdered in his bed.' " It is true, observes our 
author, that crimes of this kind are not equally common all over Andalus, and 
are generally confined to large cities, and, even there, they are more or less frequent 
according to the severity or indifference shown by the authorities ; but in general 
it must be owned that although the greatest rigour has been at times employed 
against robbers, so much as to inflict capital punishment for stealing a bunch of 
grapes out of a vineyard, and that the sword of justice has dropped with their 
blood, Andalus has never been quite free from that scourge. A very entertaining 
anecdote is told of a famous highwayman, cBlled AUbdziyu-l-ashfab (the Grey-hawk), 
who lived in the time of Al-mu'atamed, King of Seville. He was renowned for his 
dexterity and courage, and soon became the scourge of the country ; for at the 
head of £^ small band of chosen followers he began to scour the fields, surprising 
the inhabitants in their farms and villages, and depriving them of their valuables. 
I^ng did he baffle the search of justice, and escape from every troop sent for his 
apprehension ; but, at last, he fell one day into the hands of the king*s officers, and 
the event being reported to Al-mu'atamed, he was sentenced to be crucified by the 
side of a much-frequented path, in the midst of the very district which had been the 
principah theatre of his depredations. The sentence having been duly carried into 
execution, the poor man was hanging miserably stretched on the cross, when, behold ! 
hi^ wife amd daughters came up, and began to sob, and wail around him, exclaiming, 
in the midst of their tears, " Our doom is signed, and our deaths are certain ; who 
" shall provide for us when thou art no more ?" They were thus lamenting over 
thei^ Xnisfoi-tune when a peasant happened to pass by, riding on a mule, and having 
before him something hke a large bundle of clothes or goods. — "Friend," said the 
robber ont the cross to the passenger, "take pity on me, and, since thou seest me 
" in this condition, grant me a last favour, which will prove beneficial to thee too." 
*■ And what is it, pray?" said the peasant. *' Go to yonder well," rephed the 
robber, " and thou shalt find at the bottom one hundred dmars in a purse, which, 
" as I was closely pursued by the eoi^tables, I thxm therein ; if thou succeed m 
" getting them out, half shall be thy reward ; the remaining half thou must 
f^e to my wife and daughters here, tliat they may support themselves for a 

_ ^ _ 

■ ■ -- ■ .---■---- -'r-^rcff^-^ 



" while after my death. Go, hasten to the spot, and do not he aftaid ; my wife wiU 
■■ Tssist thee in thy descent by holding a rope, and n.y daughters wdl.take care 
.. o hy -le." The peasant consented, npon the offered condit on., and bent ht 
steps towards the weU ; there he tied a rope round his ^wa,st, -^^f^^ 
woman, began to let himself down, but no sooner had he reached the hot om than 
re robber's' wife cnt the rope, and the poor wretch was left in the w«^"trng#nag 
and screaming, while his deceiver, a« may ea«ly be imagined, "-^^-^""^^^ 
where his mule was, seized on whatever property he earned^ and q"«W dis- 
appeared with her daughters. The poor man, in the meanwhile, findmg the depth of 
he well, and that he had not the means of getting out, began to cry out as loud a 
he could in hopes of calling the attention of some p.senger rand the lio«.w ^ ^ 
well rang with his cries of " help ! help ! " It was summer time, and the Wea her 
::;^ hot' so that many travellers approached the well to <^- ^^^ J^ '^^"^^ 
and their beasts ; but the moment one of them oame near to it and heard the vmce 
"the poor pea ant inside, he ran away from it in great fiight and fionsternato| 
1 knLng what caused the pitifol lamentations and waihng. that .s^ ^^to- 
water For many a long hour did the unhappy man remain m this miserable 
St, until some'of the p'assengers having aequainted each other with the ciroum. 
Lnc e they came to the resolution of returning to the spot, and ascertaining to 
cause of the strange noises they had heard. Hastenmg back to the w^, they 
soon discovered the peasant lying at the bottom of it, who, by ™ "^/-"^ 
thrown him, was speedily extricated from the dangerous situation in .diieh he^^ffir 
S asked how he hil come by his misfortune, he toMthem ^"^^^^^^ 
deceived, and pointing to the highwayman on the cross, "Yonder knave, said he. 
.. was the cause of it, in order to give hi. wife and daughters an ^'^^--^T^l 
" plunder me," However, the adventure soon became known m Seville, whither the 
peasant directed his course, and being reported to Al-mu'atamed, be wa. surprised 
to hear of the robber's cunning and impudence ; and wishing to see h.m, and 
interrogate him on the subject, he commanded that Grey-hawk should he made 
to appear in his presence. Agreeably to his orders, the robber was let down from 
the cross, and brought before the King, who addressed him thus: "Telhme O 
'. Grey-hawk ! how eouldst thou be guilty of such a crime as that now imputed to 
" thee, and that too, being, as it were, under the dutch of death? ^^^^ 

replied the robber, " if thou knewest how strongly nature mipete me to,#| 
"perpetration of such acts, and how great is the pleasure I enpy^Mm^ 
" l7m, I have no doubt but that thou wouldst relmquish the -f ^rPSf^J 
.' embrace my profession." Al-mu'atamed could not help smrimg;*|en.he heaid 
this ; he th«n said, after some time, " O Grey-hawk ! were I to, set- thee at hberty, 

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" and treat thee kindly, — were I to act generously towards thee, and allow thee a 
" pension for thy maintenance and that of thy family, — tell me, wouldst thou repent 
" of thy misdeeds, and forsake thy criminal practices ? " " If repentance," said 
Grey-hawk, " is to be my only way to salvation, I do not hesitate to accept life under 
" such conditions." Upon which, Al-mu'atamed, having previously made him swear 
to keep his engagement, hberated him, and gave him the command of a resolute 
band for the prosecution and detection of thieves in a particular quarter of the city. 
But to return. 

These appear to have been the principal offices during the reign of the Beni 
Umeyyah and those of the petty sovereigns who usurped the power after them ; 
there are still some civil as well as military appointments which we have 
passed in silence for brevity's sake, such as the Wall, or governor of a 
province, the Kdyidu-Uasdtil (admiral of the fleet ^^), and others. In general, 
the Sultans of the house of Merwan were distinguished for their care in 
naming to these offices the individuals, most fit for their several duties, as 
also for having vied with each other in distinguishing and honouring the 
learned, raising them in rank or command, and admitting them to their 
privacy and favour : they were never known to appoint an undeserving Wizir 
nor a Kddi, nor to grant a seat in their council-room but to those who 
had given ample proofs of sagacity and learning. They always showed the 
greatest respect for the opinions of the learned, as is well known in the case 
of Al-hakem, who, persuaded by some strict theologians who were averse to 
wine, commanded that all the vines in his dominions should be rooted up, 
although, on the suggestion of some of his favourites, who represented to him 
that he could not prevent wine being made in other countries, and intro- 
duced into Andalus, he relaxed in severity, and the order was never carried 
into ;execution.^^ They never appointed any to the charge of Mufti, or to the 
examination of witnesses, but men of great learning and experience, and well 
read in the Kordn, and in the decisions of the law. They were also to he rich, 
or at least to be possessed of a decent income, lest their poverty should induce 
them to covet the property of others, and sell justice to the pleaders. Ash- 
shakandi, from whom the foregoing details are borrowed, relates an anecdote 
which we shall transcribe here, as illustrative of what we have advanced. "Al- 
" hakem, surnamed Ar-rabadhi^'^ (he of the suburb), wishing once to appoint 
" one of the most distinguished theologians of Cordova to the special charge of 
" receiving the declarations of witnesses, consulted with Yahya Ibn Yahya,^^ 'Abdu- 
; v: /' 1-malik,^^ and other doctors, upon the propriety of his nomination, and asked 

;:: **:them to give him their opinion on the person of his choice. The doctors then 

-■- J _ ^ 

_F-( _ 


" said in reply -' O Prince of the believers ! the individual thou hast chosen is 
" no doubt an able and very worthy man, but he is exceedingly poor, and 
" whoever has not an independent fortune to live upon ought by - mea^Jo 
" be intrusted with the decisions of the law, and be made the judge between 
.. the Moslems ; especially if thou wishest him to derive utihty and profit from 
.. his office, and yet to be just and impartial in his^judgments when he^-has 
to decide between the executors - of a wiU and the heirs appointed an .t. 
On hearing this Al-hakem kept silence, and did not seem inclined to accept of 
.. their remonstrances; on the contrary, he appeared to be angry and disappointed 
.. at seeing the doctors oppose his will. The counsellors then left the room, and 
.' Al-hakem remained thoughtful, until his son 'Abdu-r-rahm^n, who succeeded 
" him in the empire, happening to come in, and seeing sorrow and anger pn his 
.. cl enlace, inquired 'the cause of it. ' What ails thee O father! who has 
.. displeased thee 1' ' Hast thou not seen,' said Al-hakem, '^^^^ 
" extolled and raised above all others, and whom I ^aje distinguished sc^far^^s 
to consult them on matters which neither concerned them, nor afie^ted^them 
.. in the least, wishing us to turn our faces from our intention, and ^hutting 
"upon us the gates of intercession ?'- and then he told his son what had 
■' occurred ' O, father!' replied 'Abdu-r-rahman, ' thou art the dispenser of 
" justice, and thy uprightness exceeds that of any other Sultdn on the earth-, 
"in appointing and distinguishing the men of whom thou now complamest, 
" thy object was, no doubt, not to raise and extol them, but to honour, sgi^cey 
" through their means ; so I see no remedy for it unless thou removest; them 
"from their situations, and take away their dignities and honours to confer 
" them on ignorant people.' ' Certainly not,' said Al-hakem, that^I t^'iU 
" never do ' ' Well, then,' continued his son, ' be just with them, and since 
" science and virtue have no other language, leave them in their offices, that 
" they may enjoy the pleasures of this world, and afterwards participate m the 
" blessings of the other.' ' Thou art right, son!' interrupted Al-hakem. 'As 
" to the objection raised by them,' continued 'Abdu-r-rahmin, ' respecting 
" the scantiness of his means, and his liabiUty to be corrupted, the remedy rests 
" in thy hands, and thou mayest stop their mouths by a single act of thy wonted 
" generosity ' ' And what is that?' replied Al-hakem. ' Give to thy prot^g^, 
" answered 'Abdu-r-rahman, ' from thy treasury, a sufficient sum to enable hmvio 
" fiU his station with honour ; this will remove aU the scruples of thj,^^«p 
" and will besides being an action in which none of thy predecessQJ* ®PS?«i 
"thee, raise thee highly in the estimation of thy subjects.' '/VM;.Sa^Kra- 
"claimed Al-hakem, his countenance suddenly brightening with; joy J and satis- 

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[book I. 


-y- ^ 1 L 

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^- - - L- V 

"faction ; * come to me, I see that generosity is natural to thee; and that the 

** poet was right who said — 

• The sons of kings are generous and magnificent lords ; the smallest 
• among them is greater than the greatest of his subjects.' ^^ 

" After this, Al-hakem ordered 'Abdu-1-mahk Ibn Habib into his presence, 
" and asked him how much he thought would be sufficient for the support of a 
'' functionary in that situation ; and when the sum was fixed by 'Abdu-1-malik, 

the KhaHf issued an order on his treasury for the amount ; and not only was 

the allowance paid regularly out of the royal coffers as long as the judge 
''lived, but he himself rose high in the estimation and favour of his sovereign, 
?.": who gave him a horse out of 'his own stables, and conferred on him all sorts 
;*' of honours and distinctions. And this was certainly a noble and generous 
" action, the merits of which cannot be concealed, nor its memory be obhterated 
" by time. Thus provided with means sufficient to resist the temptations of 
"bribery, and having sufficient piety and virtue to avoid the committing of 
"acts offensive to God, and the requisite learning to guide him through the 
" maze of legal decisions, and to inspire him with equitable sentences in all 
:"-trials and judgments, the new functionary fulfilled his duties in the most steady 
" and upright manner, and his legal decisions became so many oracles among 
" those of his profession." 

In the first years of the conquest the Moslems of Andalus were subject to 
the payment of those legal taxes designated in the Bunnah, and which every 
Moslem is bound to contribute. This, joined to certain customs paid by the 
Jews and Christians, was more than sufficient to meet the expenses of the court 
and carry on the government, but in latter times the splendour assumed by 
the Sultans of the family of Merwan, their prodigality towards the learned, and 
-the numerous armies they were obliged to keep constantly on foot, made it 
■necessary for them to impose new tributes on their Moslem subjects, although 
every exaction of the kind is expressly forbidden by the text of the law. The 
amoimt of taxes thus collected in the time of the Sultdns of the house of XJmeyyah 
has been differently estimated by various writers. The geographer Ibnu Haukal 
says that under 'Abdu-r-rahman I. they amounted only to 300,000 dindrs, a 
sum which was collected from the principal cities according to their trade and 
the wealth of their inhabitants, each contributing a fixed quota towards the making 
up of the total sum. The contributions thus levied were divided into three equal 
portions : one-third was spent in the maintenance of the army ; another went to 
pay the salaries of civil officers and judges, and to defray all the expenses of 
ihfe administration ; while the remainder was deposited in the coffers of the Khalif 

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to meet cases of emergency, sudden iavasions of the enemy, and so forth. But, ^ 
in our opmion, this statement is not correct; Ibnu Haukal can only speak of ; / ;: ^^g 
the legal tax called zaJcah,'' and not of aU the other contributions, or else they -^.^ 

were enormously increased under the reign of his successors, for we are told that ; v^. r 

under 'Abdu-r-rahm^n al-ausatt*' the sums levied amounted to one milUoii;Gf / ■v.gS; 
dindrs every year, and that under his father's administration they were computed ^ ::i-^ 

at seven hundred thousand, which makes more than double the sum stated by j^g... 

that geographer. Moreover, the revenues of Andahis must have increased in a 
stiU greater proportion under his grandson 'Ahdu-r-rahman lU., since, in the 
words of Ibn KhaUekan, Ibnu Bashkuwdl, and other historians, they are said to t;;:^! 

have amounted to five millions four hundred and eighty thousand din^rs,^* without --/.y 

including in that sum either the duties raised on aU articles of sale, or the con- 
tribution called al-mosthhaldss,'' which amounted to seven hundred and sixty-five 
thousand dindrs. But of this more wiU be said when we come to the rei^^f , ;-..;. 

-.' - r -y- 

'Abdu-r-rahman An-nassir. ;.;, V . ; : :^:ix 

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[book II 





_ V ■ 


Religion— Orthodox sects— That of M^lik Ibn Ans— "When introduced— Faquirs—Costume of the An- 
' dalusians — ^Their weapons and equipments in time of war — Their eminent qualities — Their similarity to 
the Greeks— Their skill as workmen— They teach the Africans the useful arts of life. 

It now behoves us to say something on the manners and customs of the inhabitants 
of Andalus ; their piety, their aptitude for the sciences, their courage, their gene- 
rosity, their wit, and a thousand eminent qualities by which they have become 
famous among the nations. We shall begin with their attachment to the internal 
dogmas as well as the exterior practices of rehgion. This may be said, in a certain 
measure, to have been more or less strong according to time and circumstances, 
and to have been determined by the religious habits and the conduct of the head of 
the state himself. However, it must be owned that, with a few exceptions, the 
precepts of religion were always held in the greatest awe and veneration, and all 
innovations or heretical practices abhorred and looked upon with contempt. 
Indeed, the. disapprobation of the people in matters of this kind was so strong, 
Mt we are told by the historians of the time that it would have been a dangerous 
thing for any theologian, whatever might have been his birth or authority, to show 
the least deviation from the true spirit of religion ; and that had a favourite or a 
relation of the Khalif been guilty of any heretical practice, and had the Sultan 
countenanced him in it, or not shown in some way his censure, the mob would 
have soon penetrated into his strong palace, and, in spite of his body-guard, seized 
on theu- victim, torn him to pieces, or expelled him from the city. This was of 
frequent occurrence during the reign of the Beni Umeyyah, as also the pelting 
of judges and governors whenever the inhabitants thought that proper justice 
was not given to them in their trials, or that they were despotically treated by 

their rulers. 
:;f (In former times the Andalusians, like the inhabitants of Syria, followed the 

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sect of Al-auza'ei,^ but during the reign of Al-hakem, son of Hisham, son of ^fft: 

'Abdu-r-rahman Ad-dakhel, the third Sultan of the family of Menv^n in Andahis, ; 

some learned doctors began to utter legal decisions in conformity with the opinioiis ;; ,; 

of Mahk Ibn Ans and the people of Medina, whose doctrines soon became known r;:-^zl 

and spread all over Andalus and A6-ica; the change being in a; 'great m^^i^^^'^^^g 

brought on by Al-hakem's conviction and firmness. There are various opinion^ ■--./-y'^jjZ 

entertained as to the reasons which induced the Suhan to make that innovatioii; ; ; f ^ 

the most current being that several Andaiusian doctors happening to go to Medina, 

and having become acquainted with the Imdm Mahk, then residing in that city, 

and having heard from his own mouth the exposition of his sublime doctrines, 

were deeply impressed with their truth, and on their return to Andalus began to 

spread and preach them every where, expatiating in praise of their master, boasting 

of his virtues, his influence, his wide-spread fame, and the high estimation in 

which he was held by all classes of the people. This having reached the eare of 

Al-hakem, he held several conferences with them, and the result was that, being. 

convinced of the purity and advantages of their doctrines, he issued immediate 

orders for the establishment of the sect of M^ik Ibn Ans throughout his do-^- 



_,.., . -i 

Others assert that the Imam Malik having once interrogated an Andaiusian gg^^^gg 
doctor, whom he happened to meet at Medina, as to the habits and mode of : 
life of the sovereigns of the house of Merwan, was very much surprised ^a^d^ : \. 
gratified to hear that Al-hakem led a most exemplary and irreproachable life, ;; .; 
offering a contrast to the conduct of the 'Abbasside Khahfs, and especially of Abu 
Ja'far Al-mansur, who, as is well known and may be read in the history of the " 
time, was then persecuting the descendants and partisans of 'Ah, casting them into 
prison, and subjecting them to all manner of ill treatment, for which reason : . 
Malik never failed to censure his proceedings : hearing, therefore, of the praise- 
worthy conduct of Ai-hakem Ibn Hisham, he is said to have exclaimed in rapture, .; 
" God grant that he may be one of ours," or words to that purport.^ This wish;: . 
having been communicated to the Sultan by the doctor in whose presence it-wa^; - 

L _ __ _ |J_ ^ - J- 

expressed, they say that Al-hakem, who was already informed of the great repu-; : 
tation which his virtues and sanctity had gained him, decided immediately -upon ; - 
adopting the sect of Malik and forsaking that of Al-auza'ei. Among the. Ahd^P ^ 
lusian doctors who contributed most efficaciously to bring about tHs cnange,' ^tJiff J^^ 
by" their words or by their writings, are counted 'Abdu-lrmalik Ibn 
Ibn Yahya AUeythi, and Zeydd Al-lakhmi ; but of , this -more:^ gl j^Mg 
hereafter.^ ' 

We find that in Andalus, as in the East, faquirs; niughtbe^^to Faquirs, 

VOL. I. . Q 

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mimbers ; tKey wore their general dress called danvdzah,'^ but so tattered and torn 
that it almost fell to pieces. There, as in the East, they were well acquainted with all 
the arts and tricks of their profession, and knew how to give the face the appearance 
of extreme hunger, in order to beg in the streets and market-places ; indeed their 
filthiness and impudence seem to have been beyond description. However, we are 
incUned to believe that they never were so numerous as in the East, nor did they 
obtain in Andalus the same success which they had there, for Ibnu Sa'id tells us 
that it was a general rule among his countrymen not to encourage idleness by 
■bestowing alms on people capable of gaining their Uvelihood by labour, and that if 
an Andalusian happened to meet a strong and healthy man under such a disguise, he 
would, instead of giving liim alms, abuse him, and, by denouncing him to the 
■m?igistriates, have him cast into prison ; this is the reason why beggars were at all 
■times scarce in Andalus, — those, however, always excepted, who, through some 
corporeal defect, could not earn their living. However, the judgment that we 
have passed on the faquirs of Andalus must be apphed to the generality, not to all, 
for there were among them men who, moved by sentiments of piety and devotion, 
left the world and its vanities, and either retired to convents to pass the remainder 
of their lives among brethren of the same community, or, putting on the darwdzah 
and grasping the staiF of the faquir, went through the country begging a scanty 
pittance, and moving the faithful to compassion by their wretched and revolting 
Appearance. The following anecdote, which we extract from the celebrated work by 
Ar-ra'ii, entitled " the book of luminous introduction to the knowledge of those 
" quahties which a faquir ought to have,"^ will convey some idea of their customs 
and habits. " It happened once," says that author, *' that the Sherif Abu-1-ma'ali, 
"son of Abti-l-kasim Al-huseyn, Kadi-1-kodd of Granada,^ and commentator of 
^* the Al-khazrajiyeh, and the UaksmraV of Hazem, a man not only illustrious by 
,',' his birth, — for both his father and mother were descendants of Hasan, and 
*' consequently of the family of the Prophet, — but by his virtues and emuient 
" quahties, renounced at once aU liis dignities and employments, and gave himself 
** up. entirely to devotion and abstinence. Being a man of profound learning and 
great piety, of amiable disposition and courteous manners, he won the esteem of 
everyone of his fellow-citizens, and became the object towards which the fingers of 
'' the people of this world and of the world to come were universally pointing. He 
" had a brother whose namewas Abu4-'ahb£is Ahmed, Kadi of a town in the eastern 
'' districts of Andalus, hut who was then residing in Granada; with him Abu-1- 
^* ma'ali dwelt, but he would never eat any thing in his house because he was in 
rrthe employment of the Sultdn : he would, whenever he felt hungry, go to his 
I'^^rother, andsay to him, ' Brotlier, I am hungry, give me a dirhem that I may buy 

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CHAP. I.] DYNASTIES IN SPAIN. :'n5.. -.. . /^j; JJ 

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"food,' and he used to go to market, and procure such -provisions as ;he most ;..; ?S^ 

" wanted. In this way he lived for several years, ^persevering in his resohxtion, vS IS 

" and depriving himself of every one of the comforts which the world bestoWs, ■'■'';MM 

" until one day he bent his steps towards a convent in the .outskirts lof Grarjada, r :^M 

" caUed Zdwiyatu-l-mahrik (the convent of the ^bumt),» -and -addressing ifeipself - :'l|i 

" to its inmates, whose superior at the time was Abu Ja^fer Ahmed ^Al^mah^ii ;he ^SSf 

"said to them, 'My friends 1 I had a lamp to light myself with, and: I Jiavetot it, 'i-'&M 

" so that I cannot see at all;' and the superior repHed tohim, ' O Shertf ! Icannot ■ r.g| 

" answer thee, but the first man who happens to come here shall do it to thy vg 

" satisfaction.' Few minutes had elapsed before one of the many holy noen who ^;^;;.;| 

" used to visit the convent made his appearance, and sat liunself:by the side of v j/.^ 

" Abu Ja'tar, who addressed Mm thus,—' Brother, this Sherif has just now put a ' :^;ff;% 

" question to our community, and I have told him that the first man wlio shpi^ld 'J^i 

" enter here would answer it for him ; so hear what he has got to say, ^^d.ref^ ■;:;;; I 
" to him.' Abii-l-ma'ali then repeated his words,—' I had^a lampii^ lighfem^eif ; V,; J-gl 

" with, and I have lost it, so that I cannot see at,;all:' .the:stranger-3thgn Baid^ - : v ■ ^^tij 

" '"Well, that only shows a breach of discipHne, -thou nmst; tell me ^ more:: :th^n ■:: : :;-:;|Jp| 

" Abu4-ma'ali said, ' I do not remember any fault I have committed,, unless it be ■- rf^^^g§ 
" that when so and so incurred the displeasure of the Sultan, and concealed himself ■ -:^.-f^g^ 

" for foar of the approaching chastisement, I passed one day by hia house,: and.lie '. .-. :V;f r? 

" called me through the wicket of his door, and begged me to pray to Qo4i'fl^^s , '-)-fr.i 

" behalf, and 1 said to him— repeat such and sucha prayer,-T-meamn^pne-^eh |J - -^ 

" contains aU the iUustrious names of the Almighty. God, and/^well.lknbwn ^ v ;;V^^":: 

" to be an efficacious remedy against all calamities present and,fo come;: a^ayer '■:'.: E%^ 

" which is recorded by Al-buni in his AUmuntekkah ,^ and has repeatedly produced ^. / g 

" the most miraculous effects, and was communicated to me hy my brother Ahmed v/cf 
" Ash-sherif, who had it from one of his disciples.' When the faquir heard this, 

" he said, 'And when this took place hadst thou permission to admonish him?' ' .■;^: 
" ' No,' answered Abu-1-ma'ali. ' WeU then,' said .the:faquir, ^ it vis of no use ; 
'' asking for thy lamp, thou shalt never recover it, and the light : sh^ never Be 
" restored to thee, for. thou hast committed a. breach of the mles^ which, e\^^:^\::;v ;^ 
" faquir ought to observe.' And so, it happened ; for: some tirpcsaft^^.thfe 
" Abu-l-ma'^i returned to the world, and, putting; an end to his:;aT^te^M 
"abstinence, accepted, the office of Kadi which was. offered ; to. MPlvM^;^^ 

"kings, ate at their tables, and accepted their presents. ^This. ani?|pM#^#;; . V- 

" known, all:: over Granada, as well as Abu-l-ma'^U's; appst^,v|^l^# ; : -ici 
" beseech:God not to make us one of the number of those ^wtearClilWMconi 
'^ his grace and iavours!" .^;i;";-^^ 

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the Andalu- 


Costume of » The inhabitants of Andalus," says Ibnu Sa'id, "dress somewhat differently 
'^' ""^""' ." from their Moslem brethren of Asia. They have left off the turban, especially 

/* in the eastern provinces; in the western, however, it is still used by people 

of rank and wealth, or those holding situations under government. Thou wilt 

never see in Cordova or in Seville a Kadi or a Faquih without his turban ; in 

" Valencia, Murcia, and other provinces of the east of Spain, bn the contrary, it is 

" quite common to see men of the highest rank walk about the streets with bare 

." heads ; as to the lower classes, they never use the turban. I recollect once 

"seeing in Murcia one of the most distinguished and respected Ulemas of the city 

"appear before the Sultan who then reigned in those districts; he wore nothing 

" oa his head, and his white hair, shining bright among his black locks, had the 

" most ludicrous appearance. Military officers, soldiers, and men of the inferior 

" classes, have likewise left it off, even in the western provinces. Ibn Hiid,^" 

"formerly King of SaragosSa, and who in our days reduced to obedience the 

" greatest part of Andalus, never used a turban ; I accompanied him in most 

" of his military expeditions, and always saw him without it. I might say the 

:.".same of Ibnu-l-ahmar, who is the present ruler of this country. 

"."The cloak called taylasdn^^ is used by all classes of the people, men of rank 
"as Well as plebeians, so that thou wilt never see an Andalusian go out into the 
," street without having his cloak on, the only difference being that Sheikhs and 
" other people of distinction throw their hood over their heads, whilst common 
" people never do so. "Woollen caps are generally used as a substitute for turbans ; 
" the colours most worn are 'either red or green ; yellow is reserved for the Jews, 
"who, on no occasion, are allowed to use any other. The hair is cut short, only 
"K^dis and Ulemas wear it long; but instead of letting it hang over their 

- - r 

*'ishotilders, as is the fashion in the East, they wear it loose underneath the 

*' '"**^ eat; 

- — ^^ 

• "f'Eyen the people who use turbans follow a fashion of their own, and seem 

i'; entirely to disregard the multifarious shapes used by people of rank and dis- 

-"- trnction in other Moslem states ; so if an eastern Arab happens to come among 

r them, wearing a turban in the Syrian or Hejazi fashion, — and large high things 

''they arci looking like towers,' — they will show great astonishment, and appear 

" much struck with the novelty; but instead of admirmg its shape and structure, 

"they will burst out laughing, and jest at the expense of the wearer, for in general 

" the Andalusians are very slow in adopting the fashions of other nations, and 

■-^^.neither admire nor like any thing but their own. They are also the cleanest 

^y.people on earth in what regards their person, dress, beds, and in the interior 

j^'¥4^r:'^:\t%;M of their houses ; indeed, they carry cleanhness to such an extreme that it is not 

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" an uncommon thing for a man of the lower classes to spend his last dirhem in 
'* soap instead of buying food for his daily consumption, and thus go without ; :/ 

" his dinner rather than appear in public with dirty clothes. y 

SuMns, miUtary officers, and even the common soldiers, followed the fashions -p'f^^^^r^^^ 
of the infidels; in time of war, especiaUy, they wore a dress veiy:;SunUm-^:tp5ntUneffifmr.:^; 
that of the Christians, their neighbours. They used Hkewise the same weapons^ 
and, like Ihem, were clad in mail, over which they threw a short scarlet tuhic, 
in the Christian fashion. They fought on horseback with shield and spear, 
but knew not how to use either the mace or the bow of the Arabs ; instead of 
which they adopted the cross-bow of the Franks, and used it in sieges, or in 
marches, to defend the infantry from the attacks of cavalry, for without that 
requisite they would certainly be defeated. However, we are informed by Ibnu- 
1-khattib that under the Merinite Sultans, who reigned at Granada, the Anda- 
lusian troops were again clad and armed in the real Arabic fashion; instead 
of the heavy steel helmet and thick breast-plate of their ancestors, . tUey;the^ 
wore a slender head-piece, and a thin but well-tempered cuirass ;, instead;, af; 
the huge spear with a broad end in the Christian fashion, they : took ^^ the long 
and slender reed of the Arabs, and they substituted for the clumsy and ill-shaped 
Christian saddle the more military-looking and more convenient horse furniture 

of the inhabitants of Arabia. ^'^ 

The character of the Andahisian Arabs has been thus described by IbniiiCMg)^^^^'"*^* ;; , 

in his Kitdb forjati-l-anfus (the book of contentment of the soul), ;a:wor^kf:-tb^ ; ;.: ^ :^- 
which we have more than once referred in the course of our narrative.; ^^^THe : ; ; 
" Andalusians," says he, " are Arabs by descent, in pride, in the -haughtiness of 
" their temper, the elevation of their minds, the goodness of their heart, and 
" the purity of their intentions; they resemble them in their abhorrence of every 
''thing that is cruel or oppressive, in their inability to endure subjection or 
" contempt, and in the liberal expenditure of whatever they possess. They are 
" Indians in their love of learning, as well as in their assiduous cultivation 6f 
"science, their firm adherence to its principles, and the scrupulous attention ., -;: 
" with which they transmit down to their posterity its invaluable secrets. They 
'* are like the people of Baghdad in cleanliness of person and beauty of fornij ; 
elegance of manners, in mildness of disposition, subtilty of mind, power ef;;; : 
thought, extent of memory, and universality of talent. They are 'Turifs^;^; 
" their aptitude for war, their deep acquaintance with every one o^At^^W^^i^^i: 
" and their skilful preparation of the weapons and machines ii^ed ;ih%itiKp^#eJr . 
" as their extreme care and foresight in all matters conceniing it^ Jftey^; h^ 
"been further compared with the Chinese (by an And^ysiani^a^^^ 

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" Ibnu Hazm) for the delicacy of their work and the subtiity of their manufactures, 

-" and their dexterity in imitating all sorts of figures. And, lastly, it is generaUy 
" asserted that they are of all nations that which most resembles the Greeks 
" in their knowledge of the physical and natural sciences, their ability in discovering 
- " waters hidden in the bowels of the earth, and bringing them to the surface; their 
" acquaintance with the various species of trees and plants, and their several 

/' fruits, and their industry in the pruning and grafting of trees, the arrangement 
. "^and distribution of gardens, the treatment, of plants and flowers, and all and 

.".every one of the branches of agriculture: indeed, so great is their proficiency 
"in this -^science that it has, almost become proverbial, and some eminent 
" writers - among them have composed works which are generally approved of 
*' and r consulted in the East and in the West. Such is the treatise on agriculture 
** by Ibn Bass^,^^ an Andalusian, which is in the hands of every farmer, and 
"the merits of which have been sufficiently appreciated by all those who have 
" followed its valuable instructions. The Andalusians, moreover, are the most 
" patient of men, and the fittest to endure fatigue ; they are thereby well qualified 
"for labour of every description; they hkewise show great inclination for war, 

■" and: have on all occasions proved to be active, brave, and intelligent soldiers." 
T&eirsimiia. Varlous authors have dwelt at large on the great similarity existing between. 
Greefa.*^' the Andalusian Moslems and the Greeks, but it is easily accounted for by the 

circumstance that the Greeks for a long time inhabited Andalus, and the Moslems 
became thereby the inheritors of all their knowledge in the sciences. 

Ibnu Ghalib continues, " We may enumerate among the eminent qualifications 
" of the inhabitants of Andalus that of havuig been the inventors of the species 
" of verse called al-muwashahah,^* which has not only been approved of by Eastern 
" crities, but adopted and used by their poets, and made the theme of public 
**: literary competitions. As to their poems in the common kinds of metre, and 

/"iheir works in prose, nobody who has read them will deny that they stand high 


" in. the scale of merit. 
skuUftheir. "The skill of their workmen in all kinds of handicraft has been sufficiently 
workmen. », acknowledged by traveUers from the East, and other Mohammedan countries, 

*' who have lived among them; many are the articles now manufactured in 
" Andalus which are in high repute, and form the staple of considerable trade 
" with Moslems and Christians : Africa may be said to have derived its present 
" wealth and importance, and its extent of commerce, from Andalusians settling 
in it. For when God Almighty was pleased to send down on their country 
".the last disastrous civil war, thousands of its inhabitants of all classes and 
« .^professions sought a refuge on these ^* shores, and spread over Maghrehu-Uaksd 

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" and Africa proper, settling wherever they found comfort or employment. 
" Labourers and country people took- to the same occupations which they had 
" left in Andalus,— -they formed intimacy with the inhabitantsy assisted theih/utf 
"their agricultural labours, discovered springs, and s made them available i^r-fe^ 
"irrigation of their fields, planted trees, - introduced ■ water-miUs/^^Vand^ Vot^u^ 
" useful inventions; and, in short, they taught the African farmers many:. tBmg^ 
"they had never heard of, and showed them the use of excellent" practices 
"whereof they were completely ignorant. Through their means: the countries 
" where they fixed their residence became at once prosperous and rich, and 
" the inhabitants saw their wealth increase rapidly, as well as their comforts and 

" enjoyments. 

" The inhabitants of cities being for the most part well educated people, and 
being versed in all the branches of learning and polite hteraturej soon -made 
themselves conspicuous and known at court; or in the :cMef. -towns where^ 
they settled. They filled posts of distinction in :the state, and were appmM:;- ■ 
to the charges of Wizirs, Katibsy governors fofv provinees'j£md^-distriGtsirffa«:.. 
collectors, and other offices under government, so 4hat there ^as no^rdistrict 
in Africa wherein some of the principal Authorities were not/ Aridalusians. > 
*' But it was in the class of- operatives and workmen in all sorts of handka^aflsp^^^|| 
" that Africa derived the most advantage from the tides of emigration settings towarids^^^ 
" its shores. It is well known that before the arrival of the; Ajidah^iau^giP^J^y 
of the trades which are now in a flourishing state were-hardlyAkriov^m^;^^ 
and that in activity and dexterity the . emigrants ranked far above rthe/Mve; ^ 
workmen. So, for instance, if they undertook the . builduig. of an edifice: thef 
completed it in the shortest possible time, and finished ever>^ thing so beautifully, 
and with such a perfection of design, that they won the hearts and affections 
of their employers, and their reputation grew immense among the people ; 
" these being notorious facts, which none but the ignorant or the ill-intentioAed. 
" could deny." - , : ,.;;: :i. ^ 

Such are Ibnu Ghalib's expressions, transcribed literally from Ibnu Sa'id's work, ;: 
where they may be found, with other curious information on the subject. The latter 
author himself, making as it were a comment on Ibnu Ghdhb's words, and recording .v 
some of the good qualities which the Andalusians were known to possess, adds as^:: ' 
follows : " God Almiehty knows it is not my intention to flatter my com^rq^S^ 
" but merely to state the truth, following those impartial writers wha^^^^t^ 
" carried away by the love of their country, nor diverted fi:pm truflt^Bi^g^Sfr 
" or malevolence ; my motto shall be, ' the path of truth is ;tl^:s#J;;p# 
*' follow.' '^ Perhaps some of my readers, in perusing the acbbu^r Bl^ just 

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" given, in the words of Ibnu Ghalib,. of the revolution created by the Andalusian 
" emigration in the trade and agriculture of Africa, will say to themselves,— this 
" author was undoubtedly partial towards his countrymen, and he exaggerated 
" their merits; but let them plunge into his book, let them weigh every one of 
'* his expressions, and compare his narrative with those of other writers, and they 
'' will soon feel convinced that he spoke the truth, and they will, if necessary, 

•* quote his words, without fear. 

* When they directed their looks towards Leylah, and saw the beauty of 

' her face, they were confirmed in their behef, and 

'They exclaimed, We have still fallen short in our praises of thee.' '^ 
" I cannot deny," continues Ibnu Said, " for the sake of truth and justice, that 
"Morocco is the Baghdad of the West; it is the largest city on this coast, as 
" likewise that which abounds most in public works, splendid buildings, palaces, and 
" gardens. Yet it is a known fact that the capital of AUmaghreb was never so 
'* flourishing as under the reign of the Beni 'Abdi-1-mumen, who took thither 
'' workmen and operatives from all parts of their Andaiusian dominions. This is, 
* ' notorious, and needs no confirmation : the same might be said of the city of 
'* Tunis, in Africa proper, to which in my times the prosperity and splendour of 
*' Morocco may be said to have migrated, owing to the present Sultan, Abii 
*' Zakariyya Yahya Ibn Abi Mohammed Ibn Abi Hafs,^» having fixed his court 
" in it. This prince has erected buildings, constructed palaces, and planted 
' ' gardens and vineyards in the Andaiusian fashion : all his architects are natives 
" of this country, as likewise most of his masons, carpenters, bricklayers, painters, 
"and gardeners. The plans were either designed by Andalusians or copied from 
" buildings in their country ; and although the Sultan himself is a very good judge 
^Mn;these; matters, and has an exquisite taste, yet it is well known that the 
^'inosques, palaces, and gardens erected by him, and so much admired by the 
•'Africans,, are mere copies of similar buildings in our country. So, as far as 
" this goes, it is clearly demonstrated that Ibnu Gh41ib told the truth." 

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Character of the Andalusians — Their hospitality — Their courage in battle — Their haughtiness of 

temper — Devotion to their friends — Their justice — Forgiveness — Generosity, 

The qualities of the Andalusians are as brilliant and manifest as the beauties of Character of 
the countiy they inhabit are shming and conspicuous. Ine same author tliatsians. 
we have mentioned elsewhere (Ibnu Ghalib) affirms, on the authority of Ptolemy/ 
that, owing to the influence exercised by the planet Venus, the people of Anda:lus- X-l'Z 
are endowed with a lively imagination, elegance of manners, exquisite taste in 
food, clothing, and whatever concerns their persons, cleanliness, and love of : : ; . 
pleasure and music. Mercury imparts' to them inclination to economy and- j\. 
orderly habits, ardour in the acquisition of learning, love of philosophy and the 
natural sciences, justice and impartiahty in their judgments. 

Ibnu Ghalib goes on detailing the qualities which are assigned to the Andalusiahs 
on account of the influence exercised over them by Vulcan, Saturn, and Jupiter; 
but in this the author was wrong, since it is well known that only the fourth 
and fifth chmates pass over Andalus, the sixth passing close to its northern shores, 
and the seventh by the islands of the Majus. The Sun is the planet of the fourth 
cUmate, Venus of the fifth. Mercury of the sixth, and the Moon of the seventh; 
as to the second and third, they are in no way connected with Andalus. 

We shall now enumerate some of their brilliant qualities, which we shall illustrate; 
by examples, that they may be more deeply impressed on the minds of our readers. 
The Andalusians were justly renowned for their hospitality towards strangers, ^aiid?Hospitaiity. 
their histories abound in acts which rank them far above the other Moslems in; : 
the exercise of that virtue. It is said of the Khalif 'Abdu-r-rahmdn III. vtli^t| ; 



^ &■ _ - 

■^__ L_ .-.( 

on the arrival of ^aryab, the musician,^ at Cordova, he not only rode 
to receive and welcome him, but entertained him for several months? iii-^t1)fn 
palace, and made him considerable presents; an action which is ;fmse' 
enough in an equal, but which in a superior, and a ^Sult^r.spi.ppwerful and 

VOL. I. 


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dreaded as 'Abdu-r-rahman, who was the first of his family to assume the titles 
of KhaUf and " Prince of the faithful " and whose court shone as bright as the 
dazzling rays of the summer sun, surpasses all encomium. 

The geographer Al-bekri, in his description of Africa, mentions another instance 
of remarkable hospitality on the part of the same Sultan. Having heard that 
Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn Abi 'Isa, Kddi-l-jemd'h (or supreme judge) at Fez, 
intended to cross over from Ceuta, the place of his residence, to Andalus, in 
order to engage in some military expeditions against the Christians, he ordered 
that he should be written to in his name, pressing him to come, and apprising 
him that he was not to lodge any where during his travels but in houses belonging 
to the Sult^. Accordingly, between Algesiras, the place of his landing, and 
Baldt Hamid,^ a place in the furthest frontier, where the army was then encamping, 
palaces were built by 'Abdu-r-rahman*s orders, in which Mohammed was duly 
received and locked. The expenses of the erection of the palaces, thirty in number 
(one for each day or station), being one thousand nuthcals each. 

" The Andalusians, " says Ibnu Said, " are both economical and orderly in 
" their habits ; they are very careful of whatever property they possess, a circum- 
" stance which has induced some authors to stigmatize them as misers, 

" In illustration of this I shall here relate an adventure which occurred to me 
"'whilst in Andalus. I was once travelling with my father in one of the eastern 
*' provinces when we were caught in a storm of rain and wind. It was then 
" winter, and the cold was intense ; the clouds poured down upon us more 

water than the Nile itself has in its bed. Lightning crossed our sight, thunder 

roared over our heads, we were wet through and perishing with cold, so that 
" we determined upon directing our steps to a neighbouring village, and asking 
" hospitality, from the first inhabitant we should meet. It must be observed 
" that- both .my father and I were at that time under the jealous vigilance^ of 
" the Sultdn, and unprovided with sufficient means to take any other determi- 
" nation. "We therefore went, to a house and knocked at the door; the owner, 
*' a respectable old man, whom we had never seen before, soon opened it and 
** admitted us into his house ; he received us with great kindness, and said soon 
*' afterwards, ' If you have any money to give me I will buy charcoal and light 
** a fire, that y6u may dry your clothes and warm yourselves ; I will also go to 
" nnarket and get such provisions as you may want, and my people will dress 
" them for you.' We did what we were desired, — we gave him money to make 
" his purchases, and he soon came back and lighted a veiy good fire. While 
i";We were warming ourselves at it, in came a yOung lad, apparently a son of 
if-iojur host,, who, approaching the fire, began to warm himself, but no sooner 



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- did the father perceive it than he came up to his son, gave him a .beating, 

- and sent him away from it. 'What dost thou beat this boy for?^ said my 
" father to our host. ' I beat him/ replied the old man, ' that he may accustom 

himself from childhood to cold and privation, and be thereby enabled to. earn 
his subsistence and provide for himself after I am dead.V Whenit w^'^me 

- to go to bed the old man said to the youth, 'Give that thick cloak *. of. -yeurs 
" to this young man/ pointing to me, 'that he may add it to his covering and 

- sleep more comfortably,' and he did as desired. When I awoke in the morning 
" I observed that the youth was also awake and holding in his hands one of 
" the corners of his cloak. I afterwards communicated this observation to my 

- father, who said to me, ' Do not wonder at it, for this is a thing that happens 
every day, and it is in the character of the Andalusians to show the greatest 
hospitality and benevolence towards their guests, at the same time that they 

" use excessive precautions concerning their property. So, for instance, this man 
gave thee his cloak, in doing which he preferred thy comfort to hismwn,;buti 
at the same time, seeing thee a stranger, and not knowing whether; thou-w^r| 
an honest man or a thief, prudence dictated to him not to go to sleep; without 
holding the cloak in his hand, lest thou shouldst run away with it in the 
" morning while he was asleep,— thus spoihng by his mean conduct all the merits "^ ■ ,, 
" of his generous action.'" The preceding anecdote is copied from Ibnu Said: [j^^^-J^ 

in his Al-mugh'rah. ■ r;-;^^:^ 

The Andalusians have always been renowned for their intrepidity and; .(?put^ge,| Co«i^^ 

and their history is full of acts of bravery and heroism scarcely to be -e 
by any other nation. It is related of the Amir Abu 'AhdiUah Ibn Marciantsn - 
that whenever he came to close quarters with the infidels he used, regardless, of 
his life, to dash into the thickest of the melee, where he performed such prodigies 
of valour that his very enemies remained motionless with astonishment : on one 
of these occasions, while he was charging the thick squadrons of the Christians, 
and dispersing them like dust right and left, he was heard to exclaim— 

" When I plunge into the close ranks of the enemy, it matters not to me 
" whether I find my death in the midst of them or elsewhere."® - 

On another occasion, having been attacked by superior forces, he requiredair 
his courage and ability to extricate himself from his dangerous position. 
Christians closed on all sides upon him, but instead of losing courage he a 
his followers, and making a most desperate charge against the enemy> jieneMWi 
into their ranks, unhorsed and killed their most valiant knights, aM>sttieceiSe|Bfi' 
disengaging himself, after performing such feats of arms :thatp hS^^^f-^^® 
astonished. Then turning round to one of his favourite; QaptaJii^|iJii 

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old warrior who had seen many a battle, and was well versed in all the chances of 
war, — " What thinkest thou of all this?" said he. " My opinion," answered the 
-veteran, " is, that had the Sultan witnessed the extraordinary feats of arms that 
" thou hast just been performing, he would unquestionably have increased the 
/' pension already allotted to thee from his treasury, and raised thee in honour and 
" command ; but on the other hand I doubt whether he would not have been angry 
" to see thee expose thy life in the manner thou hast done, for it becomes not the 
" general of an army to hazard his life more than is necessary, lest by so doing he 
*' should cause the destruction of his whole army." " Well, that may be so," 
replied Ibn Mardanish, " but man dies not twice ; and if I am killed, others may 
" save their lives by my death." ' 

Another famous warrior, whose name was the Kaid Abu 'Abdillah Ibn Kadus, 
is also much spoken of by the Andalusian historians. They say that he made 
himself so conspicuous by his courage and his prowess against the enemy, as well as 
by the forays he made into their territory, that his name Avas well known to the 
meanest soldiers in the Christian camp, and that the single mention of it was 
sufficient to cast terror into the heart of the stoutest knight. In confirmation 
whereof an anecdote is told of a Christian warrior, who once approached a brook in 
order to give his steed water ; when the animal pranced, reared, and would not 
come near it. " What ails thee?" said the soldier, addressing his horse, "hast 
thou seen Ibn Kadiis in the water?" ^ And this w-as no doubt a great distinction, 
tending to prove the great estimation and awe in which the warrior was held by 
the Christians, owing to the brilliant feats of arms he was seen to perform on 
every occasion. 

The same author from whom we have borrowed the preceding anecdote mentions 
another very curious one, which he says he had from a trustworthy friend and eye- 
witness. Ibn Kadus once left the frontiers of the Moslem dominions at the head 
of a small but chosen band of resolute followers, in order to make a foray into 
the enemy's territory. However, he soon fell in with a considerable body of the 
Christian troops, by which he was surrounded, and placed in imminent danger 
of being made prisoner. But Ibn Kadus being a brave and experienced warrior, 
and knowing that he could rely on the courage and devotion of his handful of 
men, instead of being frightened at the superior numbers of the enemy, rose in 
his stirrups, said a few w^ords of encouragement to his soldiers, and, putting himself 
at their head, plunged into the close ranks of the enemy, which he scattered and 
dispersed right and left ; thereby opening himself a passage, and disengaging his 
small force without the loss of a single man. He then began to retire in good order 
towards his camp, being closely followed by the Christians, but as he was retreating 

^ ^ . ^ , 

, - -- - ^ - - 


and fighting, one of his men who had remained considerahly behind was unhorsed, 
and his steed ran away. The soldier then implored the assistance of his captain, 
who hastening back to him said—" "Wait a moment, and defend thyself on foot 
" till I get thee a horse ; "—saying which, he rode to the nearest Christian horse- 
man, threw him down at the very first onset, took his steed, and gave it tp^his 
dismounted soldier, who was thereby enabled to join the main body. Many simile 
feats of arms are recorded of this valiant captain. 

Harlz Ibn 'Okkashah,^ of the posterity of 'Okkdshah Ibn Mahiss, the com- 
panion of the Prophet, is also counted among the bravest warriors that Andalus 
ever produced. He was a man of colossal size and enormous strength, and few 
were the warriors whom his arm reached in the heat of battle who ever escaped 
with their lives. It once happened that Adfonsh'« (Alfonso), one of the infidel 
kings of Andalus, at the head of considerable forces invaded the territories in which 
Harlz commanded, and began, as was the custom in similar expeditions, to burn 
the fields, to destroy the farm-houses, cut down the trees, and commit all sorts of 
ravages. No sooner was Hariz acquainted with the invasion than he dispatched, a 
messenger to Alfonso, with a letter conceived in the following terms :—" Desist 
from thy work of destruction, and spare misery and calamity to the creatures 
of the Almighty, for if it be decreed by Him that this country shall be thine, 
there is no need for thee to waste and destroy the land of thy future dominions ; 
while, on the contrary, if it be written that thou shalt not conquer it, this county. 
" shall 'never be thine, even if thou hadst ten times the number of troops ;;;npvr 
- under thy command." On the receipt of this letter Alfonso ordered his :host 
to halt and abstain from further ravages ; he, moreover, feeling a great curiosity 
to see a warrior of whom he had heard so much, sent him a messenger, requesting 
him to come to his camp, and offering to give as hostages for the security of his 
person a certain number of noblemen^^ of his suite. Harlz consented, and the 
necessary arrangements having been made, he set out for the camp of the Christian 
monarch. On his arrival at Medinatu-l-baydhd,'' which is the same as KaVat-Rahdh 
(Calatrava), west of Toledo, Hariz rode through the streets of that city, and bemg 
a very handsome man, of gigantic size, mounted on a powerful war-horse, and - 
completely cased in steel, the eyes of the people were fixed on him, for he wa^ . 
really a beautiful sight to contemplate. The inhabitants of the places through 
which he passed all came out to look at him, and gazed with astonishment:^- 
the immense size of his body, the muscular strength of his hmbs, the beautj^ 
polish of his armour and weapons, and his majestic and warhke demeanom- j-fiey 
moreover told each other tales of his martial exploits and invincible- epurage. Un 
his reaching the King's tents, which were not far distant, all the priheiiSal: noblemen 





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[book II- 





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went out to meet him, welcomed and greeted him, and received him with the 

greatest courtesy and distinction. When Hariz was about to dismount he planted 

his spear in the earth so deeply and with so much force that the King, who was 

present, felt fully convinced, by that act alone, of all the extent of his gallantry 

and strength, while all the bystanders were seized with irrepressible fear, and 

the countenances of his bravest knights appeared darkened with the terror which 

they in vain tried to conceal. There happened to be near the camp a large 

enclosure,^^ wherein the King and his knights exercised in manly sports ; to this 

spot Alfonso led Hariz, and invited him to take a part in the tournament for which 

preparations had already been made, and which was on the point of begimiing. 

No," said Hariz, " the true knight never measures his sword but with those who 

equal him in strength, and as I maintain that there is nobody among you capable 

of drawing out this my spear which I have fixed in the ground, I shall not accept 

thy invitation ; but if there be any one among you who believes he can do it, 

" let him mount and try, and if he succeed I am ready to encounter him, one 

'• or ten." No sooner had Hariz uttered this challenge, than most of the knights 

then present mounted their horses, and began to try their strength, but not one 

amongst them succeeded in pulling out the spear fixed by Hariz ; in vain did they 

redouble theu* exertions and repeat the trial several times, the spear moved not an 

inch from the spot where it had been planted by Hariz. Alfonso was not a little 

astonished and grieved to see his knights so unsuccessful, but at last he was 

compelled to say to Hariz, *' Thou art right, O warrior ! let us see how thou dost 

" it ; " upon which, Hariz, leaping on his horse, galloped to the spot, and with 

the slightest motion of his hand tore up his spear, the whole being done with the 

greatest ease and elegance. AU the bystanders remained dumb with admiration 

when they saw the performance of Hariz, and the King himself bade him approach, him graciously, and treated him with great regard and distinction. 

This Hariz was likewise an excellent poet, as may be gathered from the following 
verses, which he wrote to the Katib Abu-1-motref Ibnu-1-muthanna, secretary to 
Ibnu Dhi-1-nun, King of Toledo. As Abu-1-motref was once travelhng from 
Cordova to Toledo, he happened to pass by the castle of Hariz,'* which stands on 
the road between those two cities ; Abti-l-raotref lodged at a house outside the 
walls, and soon after his arrival sent a message to Hariz, asking him for some 
wine. The message was in verse, and thus conceived : 

" O incomparable man ! O phoenix of the age ! O new moon among the 

" nobles ! 

" Alas ! wine is wanting, and has become as scarce as the ointment of the 

" balsam tree."^^ 

^ - 



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And Hariz sent him down some, with the following answer, in the same metre 

and rhyme ; 

" O inestimable pearl ! O thou, the first among the illustrious men of past, 

" times! 

" We have received thy verses resembhng a garden refreshed by the gales 

^ _ ^ 

" of eloquence, :■ 

" And we send thee wine as sweet and well-flavoured as thy character aiid 

*' disposition are mild."'® 
When Al-muktadir-hillah Ibn Hud, Sultan of Andalus, saUied from Saragossa to 
the frontiers to oppose the son of Kadmir, the great Christian king, who at the 
head of considerable forces had invaded his territory, there happened to be in his 
host a Moslem of the name of Sa'darah who performed a feat of arms well worthy 
of record. Both armies, which were equally numerous and well appouited, met in 
an extensive plain in the neighbourhood of Huesca; the battle was .engaged with, 
great hiry on both sides, and maintained with equal animosity; during tiie^whpfe:[ 7 
day, until towards evening the cavalry of the Moslems began to give -^yvi^AVjie^r; . 
Al-muktadir saw this, he ordered into his presence a borderer named. Sa-ddrah, a 
man of tried courage, and equally renowned for his exploits and his experience in; 
the affairs of war. " AVhat thinkest thou,*' said Al-muktadir to Sa'darah, "will" . 

^ _ ^ 

" be the result of this day?" Sa'darah cast his experienced eye over the plain, and, v: 
shaking his head, significantly answered, "To tell thee truth, O Prince J.-yoiidet.;;;; 
"signs bode no good;" and pointing towards the dense u*on^clad.;m£^s:es^#5|h'e'^ - - 
Christian cavalry dispersing the light horsemen of Al-muktadir, he added, -'^IJiiless . 
" yonder iron wall be broken by some unforeseen accident, the day will be against 

"Thou art right," replied Al-muktadir, " things look rather cloudy ; 
*' but what dost thou propose to do?" Sa'darah meditated an mstant, and said, 
" Among the white tents that cover the declivity of that hill I can easily perceive 
" in the centre that of the son of Radmir towering above the rest ; if thou grant me 
'* permission I will go there in disguise and kill the tyrant with my own hand.*' : 
" Well said," repUed Al-muktadir ; " if thou succeed, the favours of thy master shall 
" be lavished on thee ; if thou fail, the rewards of the Almighty will he thy recom-'j 
" pense." Sa'darah then goes to his tent, puts on a dress similar to thoBe.usedT ;. 
by Christian knights, arms himself with weapons hke theirs, and, .mounting .-his: ■: : 
steed, plunges into the thickest of the melee. Being well acquaints 'with;, th(e£r, 
language and customs of the Christians, he had no difficulty, after ppeningjhltofQfe ^ 
a passage through their thronged ranks, to penetrate into - their ..canip:;; -^t^^gh 
goes to the King's tent, and having entered it, he seeS the son Jf,>^4c|DfeBpiflg 
upon a throne, completely cased in steel, so that .the. eyes ,:we%.#il!vSMy>-V^^^ 

" us." 

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[book II. 


f J- 

part of: his body. He then watches for some time his opportunity, and, pouncing 
upon the Christian, with a small dagger wounds him in the eye through one of the 
apertures in the vizor, and kills him. He then leaves the tent, and hegins to cry 
out at the top of his voice, - The King is killed ! The King is killed !" ^' and the 
news spreading like fire through the enemy's camp, panic and consternation seize 
the Christian warriors ; they give way in every direction, and the victory remams in 
the hands of the Moslems, who never ceased slaughtering until their arms were 
tired, and their swords shivered from deaUng blows. 

. The princes of the family of Hud who reigned at Saragossa in the fifth century 
of the. Hijra being continually at war, not only with the Christians who surrounded 
them on every side, but with their brethren among the Moslems during the long 
and bloody civil wars which ravaged that country, had naturally numerous armies 
in the best order and military discipline, and generals to command them, who, from 
their indomitable courage and superior tactics, cast terror into the hearts of the 
infidels. There were also warriors of tried courage, and unparalleled dexterity in 
the handling of weapons, who in single combat with the Christian knights never 
failed to gain the victory over their adversaries. We shall relate here an anecdote 
which, like the preceding, we borrow from the writings of 'Ah Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahmdn 
Ibn Hudheyl, of Granada. " Ahmusta'in Ibn Hud, King of Saragossa, made upon 

- a certain occasion a successful invasion into the enemy's territory. As he was 

- returning to his capital laden with plunder, and driving before him his prisoners 
and cattle, he saw from a distance a strong body of Christian cavalry waitmg 
in a favourable position, on the road by which he had to pass, to attack 

<' Tiim. When Al-musta'in came closer to them, he ordered the captives and 

" cattle to his rear-guard, formed his men in line of battle, and patiently waited 

till the Christians should make their attack. The two armies were thus in 

deadly silence waiting for the signal to engage in battle, when a Christian knight 

of gigantic stature, clad in bright steel, and mounted upon a powerful black 

horse, made his appearance in front of the ranks, and challenged the Moslem 

" warriors to single combat. Presently a Moslem comes out to him, but, after a 

'.' few blows dealt and parried on both sides, the servant of God is unhorsed and 

killed by his antagonist, the worshipper of the crucified ; seeing which, the infidels 

gave a shout of joy, and the faithful were afflicted and silent. Elated with 

" success, the Christian knight rode his horse in front of the ranks, and exclaimed, 

'' ' Come on if ye dare, and if one be not sufficient, come three to one, I will fight 

" you all.' These words filled the hearts of the Moslems with rage, but none came 

" out to fight with the Christian, who, proud of his victory, was cantering his horse 

<" m front of the two armies, while the air resounded with the deafening shouts of his 









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companions. In this extremity, Al-musta'in, whose heart was deeply afflicted tP 
see the shame falhng upon his men, rode up to a captain of his, a nian in^reij tQ 
battle from his childhood, and who had the reputation pf being as hrayeas^fee 
was dexterous in the wielding of arms. His name was Abu-1-walid. Jbi) I^^ayjln: 
to him Al-musta'in went in his' distress, and told him thus,—' Abti-i-waaMJ.;tet 
thou seen the arrogance of that Christian dog, and the insults he is heaplfl^fSipon 
the Moslems?' 'I have,' replied Al-walid, 'but if my master grant nie per- 
mission to go out against him, I shall soon bring down his pride.' 'Thou hast 
it,' said Al-musta'in, ' and by Allah ! if thou bring me his head, my gratitude for 
the service will know no bounds.' Having previously announced to the Chris- 
tian that a Moslem champion would immediately appear, Abti-l-walld retired for 
a moment into his tent ; he put on a cotton shirt, and mounting on a milk-white 
steed of his, which in swiftness far outstripped the winds, he rode out without 
any other weapons than a scimitar by his side, and a long whip with a noose: Wi4 
an iron ball at the end in his right hand. When the Christian knigh|; -mfM^, 
antagonist so whimsically arrayed,—' Wh^t,' said he, struck with ^ma^^mS^ti 
'when a Christian challenges the Moslems is there not iti the whole ;^W aW 
warrior to be sent against him but this groom with his whip V upon which h@ 
burst out laughmg, and gave other evident signs of the conterapt in wliich he 
held Abu-1-walid. However, they rushed furiously against one anptOi^y ; ,*he 
Christian, rising on his stirrups, aimed a dreadM blow: at the .hea^ c>|: Afe^I^i 
walid ; he avoided it by suddenly wheeling round his decile steedyftndi t#iiig: 
as quick as lightning upon his adversary, struck him with Ms whip:,; entangled 
his neck in the noose, and, dragging him from his saddle, stretched Mm upon 
the ground. He then dismounted, and, drawing his scimitar, dispatched the 
adventurous knight, whose goiy head he threw at the feet of Al-musta'!n." 
We need not expatiate any longer on the courage, the endurance, the discipline, 
and other miUtary virtues, of the Andalusian soldiers : suffice it to say, that so great 
were their ardour in the pursuit, and their intrepidity in battle, that they became 
almost proverbial in the East, where, according to Ibnu Sa'ld, an Andalusian warrior 
was synonymous with a brave man. It is true that, exposed as their country was 
for so many centuries to the furious attacks of innumerable Christian nations, 
dwelling within and out of its limits, the Moslems of Andalus found amnle 
opportunities to display and nurture in that vast field of battle ^the^r 

inchnations, to evince their ardent zeal for the propagation of Islte-J 
at all times their eagerness to share in the rewards promised by <j^\$^^^^^^ 
who faU m battle with the infidels. What nation, we ask:i;a)fia(^|lH#;to^ 
acknowledge the sublnne truths contamed in the &r6nxi«h^dfl^ Water zeal 





























VOL. I. 


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[book II- 

of temper- 


fbr religion, more readiness to uphold its tenets, and a greater alacrity to run 
to arms and win the crown of martyrdom? What people on the face of the 
earth maintained a longer, fiercer, and deadlier struggle than the Andalusians, 
who for a period of several centuries had to defend foot by foot the land inherited 
from their fathers, to irrigate with their blood every inch of ground conquered from 
the infidels, and to oppose their stout breasts to the oven\^helming forces and 
innumerable swarms of the Christian nations, quickly succeeding each other, and 
pressing onwards hke the furious billows of a tempestuous sea? And when at 
last they bowed down their necks before the irresistible laws of fate, is there any 
one who can blame them for it? No! the impenetrable decrees of the Almighty 
must needs be executed on his creatures, God is great ! God is great ! There is 
no God but him, the merciful, the compassionate ! 

No nation on earth is so proud as the Andalusians, nor more unwilling to bear 
tyranny, oppression, or contempt : indeed their disobedience to their rulers, and 
their want of respect and submission to their superiors, have become almost pro- 
verbial. In illustration of what we advance we shall quote a few anecdotes. It is 
-related of Shaja', a freedman of Al-musta'in Ibn Hud, king of Saragossa, that he 
tJnce-went upon an embassy from his master to Alfonso, the Christian king. 
Having arrived at Medinah Se'lim (Medina Celi), where the infidel was then 
holding his court, he was soon afterwards introduced to the presence of the 
Christian monarch, whom he found sitting on a throne of great elevation raised 
on the very tomb of Al-mansur, and having his wife by his side leaning on him. 
After hearing his message, Alfonso said to him, '' O Shajd' ! I am the king of the 
" Moslems, and the conqueror of their country : dost thou not see me sitting on 
" the very tomb of the bravest and most powerful among their kings?" When 
Shaja' heard these expressions so injurious to his countrj^men, he could not restrain 
his passion, and .he said very spiritedly, ''If he whose remains he under that 
1' marble were alive, and thou sitting so close to him, thou wouldst not say with 
^'impunity things offensive to him, neither wouldst thou occupy long the place 
" thou now art in." " Alfonso caught the allusion," says Shajd', " and flew into a 
most violent passion ; he rose from his seat, intending no doubt to strike me, 
but his wife interfered and said, to him, 'This man is right; why should not 
" honour and glory reside in his countrymen as they do in thee ? ' " 

Another act is recorded of the Hdfedh of Andalus, the Imdm of the learned, the 
chief of authors, the pearl of the poets, and the phoenix of his age, Abu Mohammed 
'Abdullah Ibn Ibrdhim As-sanhdji Al-hijdri,^^ the author of the Al-mas'hah (chatterer) . 
He once called upon business at the castle of 'Abdu-1-malik Ibn Sa'id,^« the 
Ancestor of 'Ah Ibn Musa, the author of the AUmugh'rab, a work which we have 



^ -^ L- V _^ ■- 


often quoted in the course of this narrative. Having alighted at the gate, he 

knocked and asked for admission, but the sentry, who saw him arrayed in the 

Beydawi dress, not knowing who he was, refused to let him in. After, some 

parley held with the guards at the gate, which was all. of no avail, Ahu Moh^ammed 

addressed one of them and said, " If thou do not let me go in, at least acquaint the 

" governor with my presence, and inquire whether it is his pleasure to see me.** 

" What !" said the soldier, bursting out laughing, " thou see the governor. !; dost 

" thou think that our Lord has nothing else to do but to admit thee to his 

*' presence?" Abii Mohammed then retired a little apart, and, taking a reed-pen 

and an ink-stand which he always wore suspended at his girdle, he wrote on a 

piece of paper the following verses : 

" The illustrious governor of this castle never dismisses from his door the 

" people of rank and merit. 

' ' There is now standing on the threshold a man from Silves, with an - ode 

" which begins thus — :■ 

" ' I have been possessed with an idea to sing thy praises, and to reGOrd;tihy' 

" beneficent actions.'^** . -- 

" If, after this, my Lord thinks that he ought to deprive himself of the sight of 
" one of his countrymen, and of the pleasure of listening to aix ode of this description^ 
" he may, for he knows best what to do, and it is not for me to upbraid hini." .He 
then ordered one of his pages to take his letter to the governor, and waited outside 
for the result. When the K4id 'Abdu-1-mdlik had perused the contents of the;le|teTj 
he wondered at it, and said immediately, "A man from Silves, with an ode;:be- 
" ginning thus, — who can it be? unless it be the Wizir 'Ammar who has riseii 
" from the dead, I know of nobody else answering the description, — let him come 
•' in." Abu Mohammed was then introduced into the presence of the governor, 
who was sitting with some friends ; he entered the room, but instead of bowing 
to the Kaid, or addressing the company, he stood motionless at the door ; seeing 
which, the people who were present took him for a rude and iU-bred man ; they 
turned their backs upon him, and affected the greatest coolness and indifference : at 
last, seeing that he still remained in the same position, one of the company said ;tp 
him, "What ails thee, O stranger? why dost thou not enter this room in. the 
" manner poets and all well-bred people do, and salute the governor as is;;th^ 
" custom?" "I shall neither bow to the Kaid," replied Abu Mohammed, ^^frior 
" pay any attention to you, till I have made you alias angry and out,,pf hEmOMc|Ss: 
" you made me by keeping me waiting so long at the gate of this .castle; g#1i:ftill 
" you tell me who among you is the most favoured by the governor; in |order>tliat I 
" may in future, by courting him and gaining his favours, .be tsur^ ;fpfmQt receiving 

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"more outrages at his door." "What!" exclaimed the governor, "dost thou 
" mean to charge us with the faults of the stupid ? Dost thou intend to revenge on 
" US the errors of other people ?" " No, God forbid !" replied AM Mohammed, 
" I am, on the contrary, wilhng to forgive for thy sake the faihngs of others." 

When Ayuh Ibn Matruh revolted against 'Abdullah Ibn Balkin Ibn Habus, 
king of Granada,^^ in the fifth century of the Hijra, and the seas of civil war 
swelled and rose high in those districts, it happened that among those thrown by its 
waves against the shore Ayub was one. The case being reported to Yusef Ibn 
T^shfln, he was deprived of command and sentenced to death, with many others 
among the rebels. When the executioner came to strangle him, his friends and 
all those who were present, and who knew the great regard which Ibn Tashfin 
entertained for him, begged him to say something in his favour, that it might be 
reported to the Prince and obtain his pardon ; but Aytib being a man of great 
courage and determination, and exceedingly proud, would not consent to it ; he 
put his head within the noose, and, persisting in keeping it there notwithstanding 
the entreaties of the bystanders to induce him to take it out and pronounce a word 
of repentance, he soon met with his death, — may God forgive him ! 
Devotion to It IS related that the Wizir Ai-walid Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn Ghanim^^ was on 
their friends, iq^j^ ^f intimate friendship with another brother Wizir, named Hashim Ibn 'Abdi- 

l-'aziz i'^^ both exercised the same functions to the Sultdn of Cordova, Mohammed, 
son of 'Abdu-r-rahman Al-aradwi, of the family of Merwan, and had on several 
occasions evinced their mutual love and affection, till Al-waiid gave that proof 
of attachment to his friend which forms the subject of this anecdote. When God 
Almighty permitted that the Wizir Hdshim should incur the displeasure of the 
Sultan, and should be sent by him to prison, there happened to be at the palace a 
coupeil meeting, at which Al-walid was present in his capacity of Wizir. The 
coiiveisatioti having turned on the disgraced functionary and the misdeeds imputed 
toliim.the Sultdn Mohammed, then addressing the assembly, spoke very shghtly of 
him, and accused him of frivolity and inconstancy, as well as of obstinacy and too 
great a reliance on his own opinions. No one among those present undertook the 
defence of the accused Wizir but Al-walid, who, rising from his couch, said, 
" O Prince ! may the Almighty favour and prosper thee! Were I allowed to speak 
"one word in behalf of my friend, I should say that it is not in the power of a 
"mortal to contend against fortune, or to escape the immutable decrees of fate. 
H^him did all he could, he consulted with the greatest care his friends and 
advisers, and he fulfilled all the duties of a brave and experienced general ; but 
if success did not attend his banners, it is no fault of his, for victory does not 
:"kiway8 depend upon the general ; it is well known that he was betrayed by those 


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" in whom he trusted, and deserted by those who stood near him, while he 
" himself never moved from the spot intrusted to his care, and never abandoned 
" the field of battle till the defeat and dispersion became general; instead of shame^ 


" fully turning his back to the enemy, he fought to the last like a brave man ; 
" and God has certainly rewarded him for his virtues, for if his master the Sultan 
" has deprived him of his honours and dignities, he still possesses the! .esteem pf. his 
" friends, who see nothing in his last conduct which is deserving of reproach. 
" Besides, if he did not die on the spot intrusted to his custody, or in th^ midst of 
" the enemy's ranks, it w^as because he thought that it would be a nobler action to 
' ' spare himself, and that a life spent in the service of his Lord was better than an 
" unprofitable death. I have no doubt but that he has been slandered and calum- 
" niated by people who were envious of him, and who looked Avith an evil eye upon 
'* the favours lavished on him by his sovereign." Mohammed was not a little 
surprised to hear this speech of Al-walid ; he complimented him upon the strength 
of his attachment to his friend, and his anger against Hasjiim being in a great 
measure removed, he some time afterwards gave orders for his liberation. . ., - 

Were we here to record the brilliant acts of justice which are told of the various Justice. ;:;; 
Sultans who reigned over Andalus, we should insensibly protract our present > i V: 
narrative to an interminable length. However, as the distribution of justice with -■4^:;] 

an even hand is among the brightest qualifications of a soverei^, and one which . ; -i 

many of the Andalusians possessed in a superior degree, we shall here select &. few 
of the most striking anecdotes. As Al-mansur Ibn Abi 'A'mir was once sjt^ijg is 
the audience-room of his palace, in came a man of the lower classes, and addressed 
him in the following terms : " O defender of truth I dispenser of justice ! I have a 
" complaint to make against a servant of thy household; th^e he is, standing 
*' at thy side ;" and he pointed to one of Ahmansur's chief eunuchs, who, 
being a favourite servant of the Hajib, exercised besides the functions of shield- 
bearer^* near his person. *' I have," continued the man, " summoned him several 
" times to appear before the magistrate, but in vain ; he has never come at the 
" appointed hour, I am tired of sueing him, and I thought I should never get any 
" redress unless I came to thee." Al-mansiir then said to the man, "Dostthou , 
" really mean to say that thou hast a complaint to make against 'Abdu-r-rahm^ 
' ' Ibn Foteys ? ^^ Is it he whom thou accusest of thus disobeying the rules of justice? '* ; 
'* The same," replied the man. " I should have thought," said Ahmansur, frpwnilig; 
'< tVint 'Alifln-r-raliman wnnld havR heen the last oerson in mv household,to/coiBHm 

n »r>--. 


. . . '_l^ "- ^ ^-. 

" such a crime. Let us then hear thy grievance." The -man then 

he had entered into a contract with 'Abdu-r-rahman, h^ which ;bpfeh:f)to^^.. Were 

bound towards each other to the fulfilment of . certain ^conditions, .aftd that :^bdu-r- 

^ X 

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rahman had of late without any sufficient reason refused to observe it. Al-mansur 

then said, "There is no servant in my household that I love more than him, 

'" (darting on the Sclavonian a look by which he was almost annihilated,) but, by 

" Allah ! justice must be done. Pass thy shield to thy neighbour, and come down 

" before me, that I may send thee where thou mayest meet thy accuser, and be 

^' either extolled or depressed by truth." Then addressing his Sdkibu-shshartah, 

intrusted with the execution of his private orders, — " Take that wretch, that criminal 

" man, by the hand, and lead him together mth his accuser before the magistrate, 

"that he may investigate the case, and impose on him the punishment he 

.-"deserves; and mark well, let the sentence, whether it be imprisonment or fine, 

".be as rigorous as possible." The S^hib did as he was ordered ; he took both the 

parties before the magistrate, and shortly afterwards the complainant appeared 

again before Al-manstir, and said he had got redress, and thanked him for having 

obtained justice through his means. "Well," said Al-mansur, "begone; justice 

" has been done thee, and thou art revenged; it is now for me to get redress for 

" my injury, and to chastise the crimes committed by the people of my household." 

Upon which he ordered that the Sclavonian should be exposed to all sorts of 

humiliation and ill treatment, and he was at last dismissed from his service. 

On another occasion there happened to be a lawsuit between his chief eunuch 
Al-burakl and a western merchant ; they had disagreed in some money matters, 
and the merchant brought the case before a tribunal. However, the eunuch being 
at the head of Al-mansiir's household, having the entire management of his house 
and harem, and possessing the confidence and favour of his master, was, as may 
-well be supposed, a very influential person in the state, and the magistrate pro- 
:nounced a decision m his favour. The merchant then appealed ; but the magistrate, 
thinking that a man of high rank, and holding such an important situation as 
Al-btiraki did, could not be guilty of the breach of faith imputed to him, dismissed 
the appeal. The merchant, however, was not disheartened, and he resolved upon 
having justice, come what might. As Al-mansur was on a Friday riding to the 
mosque, the merchant placed himself . before his horse, and implored his justice 
against Al-biiraki. Al-mansur immediately ordered one of his escort to ride back 
to his palace, take the eunuch into custody, and conduct him again before the ma- 
gistrate, to whom he sent a message enjoining him to look again into the case. 
The suit was tried, the eunuch convicted, and the merchant redressed. Al-mansur, 
. moreover, was so much incensed against the culprit, that, after depriving him of all 
the favours he had previously lavished on him, he dismissed him from his service, 

.and exiled him from Cordova. 
:.- -The following act of justice is also recorded of Al-mu'atassem Ibn Samadeh, 



_ 0_ r / 















^ ■ ■_ - > L _^ ^ ^ ri.- ^>V*'-r 


king of Alraeria.^^ When that prince began to build the famous palace which, after 
his name, was called As-samddehiyah, the architects, npt finding room enough: to 
execute their plans, seized on some houses and fields adjoining the palace, and 
united them to the main building. There happened to be among the: pieces of 
ground thus appropriated by the builders a small orchard belonging to a goodi old 

- ^ 

man, who more than any other resented and opposed the spoliation, on the plea 
that the piece of ground did not belong to him, but was the property of an orphan 
of whom he was the guardian. As Al-mua'tassem was one day inspecting his 
building, seated in his garden by the side of an artificial rivulet,^' which was made 
to wind through it, his eyes fell on something floating on the surface of the water, 
and which, when taken up by his orders, proved to be a hollow reed, stopped with 
wax at both ends. When the wax was removed, Al-mu'atassem found inside a 
scroll of paper, in which the following words were written. "O thou !. whoever 
thou mayest be, into whose hands this scroll may happen to fall, remember those 
words of the Almighty, ' This my brother has ninety-nine ewes, and I haye,v0niy 
one, and he said to me, — ^Do intrust her to my care, — which I did, but Ms words 
proved false, and he deceived me ; there is no God but God !' ^^ ThOu art aking^on 
whom God has lavished his favours, making thee wealthy and powerful on earth, 
and yet, far from being satisfied, thy ambition prompts thee to covet the property of 
others; and to add to thy spacious gardens a piece of ground belonging to am 
orphan, thereby committing an unlawful act, depriving a defenceless girl oi^a(l 
means of subsistence, and taking advantage of thy power, and the importanceV'Of 

^ - 

thy situation, to do what is unjust. We shall to-morrow appear in the. presence 
" of Him who never dismisses the wretched without aid or consolation, nor, the 
" offended without redress, and then beware of the consequences ! *' No sooner 
had Al-mu'atassem perused the paper than his eyes were bathed in tears, and 
his heart was possessed with fear at the terrible consequences which this incon- 
siderate act of his servants might bring on him in future life ; he immediately 
commanded that all the ' workmen employed in the building of his palace sho^ild 
appear in his presence, and when they were all assembled he interrogated them; 
as to what the anonymous paper stated, bidding them to expose the case, and 
to tell nothing but the truth. The masons then owned the fact, but alleged as 
an excuse, that the piece of land occupied by the old man's garden being absolutely 

necessary for the finishing of the palace, the chief architect had deemed it iiidiA- 
pensable to seize on the orphan's property, although unjustly and. coiitrai^ 
the law. Upon which Al-mu'atassem, violently incensed, exclaimed, v;"f^B? 

, _ r .- -t - 

" sins of this description are much graver in the eyes of the Creator: fliaji^ they are 
'' in those of his creatures. Let the orchard be immediatelv restored : to its owner.'^ 

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[book II. 


And so it was done, although it materially injured the front of his palace, which 

thus remained incomplete. 

We have read somewhere that some of the principal and most learned citizens of 

Almeria happening to pass shortly after this adventure by the palace of Al- 

mu'atassem, one of them said to the others, pointing to the spot where the orphan's 

garden stood, spoiling the look of the building, " By Allah ! that orchard makes the 

*' palace look as if it were a bhnd man."—" Thou art right," answered one of the 

company, " hut in the eyes of the Almighty that spot constitutes its greatest 

" brixa^ent." It is also related of Al-mu'atassem that whenever he cast his eyes 

m% h^ used to say " I feel as if that empty spot in front of my palace was finer 

:*' thai! all the rest which is already hnished." However, in the course of time the 

old man was ptevailed upon to give up his ground; for Ihn Arkam,^^ who was 

AUmu'atassem's Wizir, never ceased importuning the old guardian, and tempting 

the orphan, till they consented to sell their property for the price which they 

themselves fixed on it ; the Sultdn being thereby enabled to complete the building 

of his famous palace, after performing such a signal act of justice as ensured him 

the love and esteem of his subjects, and the future rewards of his Lord. 

Nor was Al-mu'atassem famous only for such acts of justice as that which we 
liave just recorded ; he was also renowned for his benevolence and his forgiving 
temper. It happened once that An-naheli Al-bathaUosi, a poet, to whom he 
had been a very munificent and generous Lord, all of a sudden left his court, and 
repaired to that of Al-mu'atamed Ihn 'AbbM, king of Seville, where, regardless of 
past favours, and showing the greatest ingratitude towards his former benefactor, 
he began to praise the Sevillian monarch, who was not then on very good terms 
ivith Al-mu'atassem. In one of his poetical compositions he introduced the fol- 
lowing verse : 

V *' Ibnu 'Abbad has every where routed and exterminated the Berbers ; Ibnu 

" Ma'n has extirpated the fowls of the villages." ^"^ 
However, it- happened some time afterwards that An-naheh, forgetful of what he 
had said, returned to Almeria ; and no sooner did Al-mu'atassem hear of his arrival 
than he invited him to an evening repast. An-naheh went accordingly to the 
palace, where a numerous company was already assembled, and the tables spread, but 
they contained no other victuals than a profusion of fowls dressed in various ways. 
Astonished at what he saw, the poet could not help asking if there was no other 
food to be procured in Almeria but fowls ; when the Sultan, rising from his couch, 
said,—" Yes, but we wished to make thee pass for a liar, when thou didst say 
"that Ibnu Ma'n had exthpated the fowls of the villages." Upon which, An- 
naheli, trying to exculpate himself, said, " God has given thee abundance of means. 

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" and any one in thy rank of life would have done the same ; but thy wrath ought .2 

" rather to be directed against him who heard my expressions and repeated them 
" to thee." 

^ ■ 

Al-mu'atassem answered nothing, and An-naheh left the room; but thinkittg ^ 

that he had incurred the wrath of the Sultan, he feared for his life, and on his I - 

return home he hastily made a few preparations, and left Almeria that same : £ 

night. :f : 

However, some time afterwards An-naheli repented, and wishing to return to 

Almeria he addressed to Ibnu Ma'n the following verses : ~^ ;- 

" Ibnu Samadeh receives graciously those who deserted him; he pardons :; 
" crimes which the world after him will not pardon. 

" Almeria is a paradise, where every thing which Adam found may be 

" procured." ^^ ; ^ ^ 

On the receipt of these verses Al-mu'atassem gave him leave to return, and was J 4;' 

kind and benevolent towards him. , .:T^ 
Generosity is a virtue in which the Andalusians will not be found deficient, by :GeBerosity;:;^.f ^ 

those who peruse their history. It is related of the Amir Al-mundhir/'^ son of the :^-:::}:^;^--$:- 

- I J- v_ ^jT^ 

Sultan 'Abdu-r-rahman, that a slave-merchant once presented him with a beautiful ' ;: :v> |:;1 

-■--Vd -^ 

giri, named Tarab, who among other accomplishments possessed that of a sweet ■'■:\:;-'..:^:^^^^'-§^ 

voice, and great proficiency in music. No sooner had the eyes of Al-mundhir :; \ 51; 

contemplated her charms, and his ears listened to the ravishing melody of her : ?x^^^^^:C 

songs, than he lost his heart, and became deeply enamoured of his slave. Havii% > ; f 

revolved in his mind how he should reward the merchant, he called one of his 

confidential servants, and said to him, " What dost thou think we ought to give 

" this man in return for his invaluable present, for this girl of incomparable 

" beauty ? " — " O master! " answered the servant, '* methinks the best way would :: 

" be to have her valued, and send him the amount in money." — *' Well said," 

replied Al-mundhir. A merchant was accordingly consulted on the subject, and 

five hundred gold dinars w^as the price set upon her. When the servant returned to 

acquaint his master with the valuation, Al-mundhir said, *' Is that the proper reward 

" of a man who has presented us with a girl whose beauty has already captivated 

" our heart, and w^iose charms have won our affection? Are we only to send him 

" the sum thou hast mentioned, a sum which he would undoubtedly have received 

*' had he sold her to a Jewish merchant?" — " Certainly," replied the servant, , 

" but these merchants are an avaricious and miserly set, and every thing appeajrs": 

" inconsiderable in their eyes." — " Never heed that," said Al-mundhir,. "M^e are 

"liberal and bounteous, and ought not to stand upon trifles when w^ -intend to 

" show our generosity ; take him one thousand dinars, and give him^oijr: thanks for 

VOL. I. . : T ^ 

^ - ^ ^ - 


xV- J -- ■ 





[book II. 

" having given us the preference in making so valuable a gift, and tell him besides 
*' that the girl he sent us occupies a place in our heart." 

Ya'kub Ibn 'Abdi-r-rahman, a brother of the above-mentioned Al-mundhir, 
and belonging also to the royal family of the Beni Umeyyah, was on a certain 
occasion praised by a poet, whom he caused to be rewarded with a very large 
sum of money. On the return of a similar occasion the same poet came again to 
him, with a poetical composition also in his praise— when one of Ya'kub's servants 
remarked, " This importunate fellow fancies no doubt that we owe him some- 
" thing, and he comes to be paid." To which the Amir rephed, '* Let him come ; 
" that only proves that the first visit he paid us was to him an agreeable one, and 
" that he thinks well of us ; I would not consent, for all the riches in this world, 
"that he should alter the favourable opinion he has conceived of us." Upon 
which he gave orders for the admission of the poet, whom he treated kindly, and 
after hearing his verses rewarded him with the same sum as before. 

We shall not at present say any more on the brilliant qualities of the Anda- 
lusians* but shall occasionally return to the subject when we come to the history 
of their Sultans, Generals, Wizirs, Kadis, Poets, and other eminent men. 

^ -. 

-*T . 

CHAP. Ill,] 


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State of science in Andalus — Passion for books — Education — Ethics and Metaphysics — Rhetoric and. ■ ^:. " 

n _ __ 

Grammar — Language — Hand-writing — Story tellers — Quickness at repartee — Memory — ^Their love of ■ „/ 

science — Their talent for poetry — natural in children — Jewish and Christian Poets. / y\/_ 

- "^ _ ^ 

\ ^ ^ X _ ^ 

Respecting the state of science among the Andalusians, we must own in justice shite of' 7^ -::^^:1;^^ 
that the people of that country were the most ardent h)vers of knowledge;^ as' weU^*''^"^';.^J^| 

^ y__-_ f -^ -L ■_ __j^_^^|_-_yL 

as those who best knew how to appreciate and distinguish a learned man ahd an : i:-ife^ 

ignorant one ; indeed science was so much esteemed by them that whoever had not : ^'-i^tS 

been endowed by God with the necessary qualifications to acquire it did every thing , ; ~VS 

in his power to distinguish himself; and conceal fi-om the people his want of ; r : Ef^v^ 

instruction; for an ignorant man was at all times looked upon as an dhyect'oi. ifM 

the greatest contempt, while the learned man, on the eontrary, was-nbt olily . y^^V: 
respected by all, nobles and plebeians, but was trusted and consulted on every 

occasion ; his name was in every mouth, his power and influence had no limits, ' 

and he was preferred and distinguished in all the occasions of life. ■ i; ■. 
Owing to this, rich men in Cordova, however illiterate they might be, encouraged 

\ \ r 

letters, rewarded with the greatest munificence writers and poets, and spared neither 

trouble nor expense in forming large collections of books; so that, independently 

of the famous library founded by the Khalif Al-hakem, and which is said by 

writers worthy of credit to have contained no less than four hundred thousand 

volumes,^ there were in the capital many other libraries in the hands of wealthy 

individuals, where the studious could dive into the fathomless sea of knowled£|;e, " 

and bring up its inestimable pearls. Cordova was indeed in the opinion of every 

author the city in Andalus where most books were to be found, . and its 'iti;-? 

habitants Were renowned for their passion for forming libraxies. " To^MGhrlff 

'* extent did this rage for collection increase/' says Ibnu Sa'id, " tKa.! ai^^^^mltii" iix 

" power, or holding a situation under government, considered him^liMiged to ■ 

" have a library of his own, and would spare no trouble ■ or expense in c^ , . / :■ y 

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" books, merely in order that people might say, — Such a one has a very fine 
" library, or he possesses a unique copy of such a book, or he has a copy of such 
*' a work in the hand-writing of such a one." Of this passion for books Al- 
hadhrami has recorded the following instance : — '' I resided once in Cordova for 
" some time, when I used to attend the book-market every day, in hopes of meeting 
" with a certain work which I was very anxious to procure. This I had done for 
" a considerable time, when on a certain day I happened to find the object of my 
" search, a beautiful copy, elegantly written, and illustrated with a very fine com- 
** mentary. I immediately bid for it, and went on increasing my bidding, but, to 
" my great disappointment, I was always outbid by the crier, although the price was 
"far superior to the value of the book. Surprised at this, I went to the crier,^ and 
" asked him to show me the individual who had thus outbid me for the book to 
"b. sum far beyond its real value, when he pointed out to me a man, who by his 
" dress appeared to be a person of high rank, and to whom on approaching I said, 
" * May God exalt his worship the Doctor ! If thou art desirous of this book I 
"will relinquish it, for through our mutual biddings its price has risen far above 
" its real value.' He replied, 'I am no Doctor, neither do I know what the 
" contents of the book are ; but I am anxious to complete a library which I am 
* ' forming, and which will give me repute among the chiefs of the city ; and as 
** there happens to be still a vacant place capable of holding this book, I thought 
" I might as well bid for it : besides, it seems to be neatly written, handsomely 
" bound, and in very good condition ; it pleases me, and therefore I do not care 
" how high I bid for it, for, God be praised, my means are not scanty ! ' — ^When 
" I heard this," says Al-hadhraml, " I was so much vexed that I could not help 
" replying to him, 'Well, thou art right, means are never abundant except with 
" men like thee; and as the proverb says, — he gets the nut who has no teeth. ^ 
" X, who am acquainted with the contents of this book, and who know how to 
" appreciate its merits, am deterred from buying it, and profiting by it, through 
" the scantiness of my means, whilst thou, to whom the acquisition of it is a 
" matter of perfect indifference, art abundantly provided with money to pur- 
" chase it.'" 

Education. Notwithstanding the proficiency of the Andahisians in all the departments of 

science, we are informed that there were no colleges in that country where the 
youth might be educated and inspired with the love of science, as is the case in the 

r East; there seem to have been instead several professorships attached to every 

mosque, and numerous professors who delivered lectures on various subjects for a 

^^^ : ^ fe and had it not been so, science could not have 

ijpurished as it did, for learned men among them laboured with all their might in the 

^ Vj. ^ 




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acquisition of knowledge, disregarding every other consideration or occupation ; :;■ 

from which they might have derived emolument: this is the reason why Andalus 
produced so many authors who reached the highest degree of superiority and 
eminence in the several walks of science, as we shall have occasion to prove 
when we review their literature. At present it will suffice to say that ^the 
Andalusians left luminous tracks in every department of science, which they ;// 

cultivated with an ardour and success unparalleled among other nations, with the ;; ■ :^;V 

exception, however, of natural philosophy and astrology, two sciences which, . : c ': 

although secretly cultivated by the higher classes, were never taught in public, 
owing to the prejudices of the multitude against them; for if a man of the lower 
classes were to hear another say, '* Such a one gives lectures on natural philo- 
sophy, or is working on astrologj'," he would immediately call him zindik,'^ (that is, 
heretic,) and the appellation might, perhaps, remain attached to the learned man's ■ ? 

name durine; the whole of his life : even the length of this might in some measure V iv 

depend upon his prudence or his management; since the lower classes heii% once : (:g|:: 

ill-disposed and prejudiced against him, they would, on the least pr6vocationy;pelt v .: ;- :;|;%M^; 
him in the streets or burn his house down, before the head of the state had eteri ; ;v?>^,|^> 
been made acquainted with the offence. Sometimes the Khalif himself, in order to ; : i -:||:J|^: 
conciliate the good will and affection of his subjects, would order the poor man :;:_■ .:^Q^- 
to be put to death, and a scrupulous search to be made throughout his dominions, {.>(¥ 

when all works on the obnoxious sciences perished in the flames. This is eyeri " ': v' 

asserted to have been one of the means employed by Al-mansur to gain populaiat^- 

_ ^ ' - _ ~ " 

with the lower classes during the first years of his usurpation, although, if we are td _ ; 

believe Al-hijari, he was himself an adept in those sciences, and worked at theni ;/ 

secretly. But of this more w^ill be said in the course of our work. 

The reading of the Koran according to the seven different schools was, together Tiieoiogy. ; 
with the science of sacred tradition, held in the greatest esteem by the Andalusians ; 
the professions of law and theologj^ were likewise much honoured and distinguished. 
As to their sect, they followed at first that of Al-auza'ei, as we have remarked 
elsewhere ; but in the course of time they adopted that of Malik Ibn Ans, and 
knew no other, this being considered the orthodox profession in the state. How- 
ever, we read in the historians of the times that people of rank or learning occa- 
sionally followed one of the others, and went so far as to dispute -about tMt'v 
respective merits in the presence of their sovereigns, whenever these were ;en.db^ed 
with the necessary penetration, tolerance, and love for the sciences. No: .titJe-:?#^'- ; 

considered so honourable as that of Faquih, — indeed at one time it becaniie Bttch :^ 
high and distinguished one that the Al-mulaththamun (Almorayife) %ay^^ i^^^ 
their great Amir, whom, they wished to extol and distinguish^; Md- the title of .;S:- 

^ -: 

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^ L^ ■ L > ' r J ^ 


Faquih in the West was, and is even to the present day, considered as honourable 
as that of Kadi in the East. So it was that Katibs, grammarians, and rhetoricians 
were generally honoured with that distinctive title, although they might not have 
gone through their degrees in the law ; for, we repeat, the title of Faquih was the 
highest and most honourable that could be given to any man learned in grammar, 
rhetoric, metaphysics, theology, or jurisprudence. 
fa^hysS^^^" Divinity and ethics were always cultivated with tolerable success, but grammar 
RSSSr*"^ and rhetoric were carried to the highest perfection amongst them. ''So great is 

" the ardour of the Andalusians in the cultivation of these two sciences," says 
Ibnu Sa'id, *' and so vast their attainments, that I do not hesitate to say that 
there are at present, in this country, authors equal in merit and parts to the most 
famous grammarians and rhetoricians in the times of KhaliP and Sibauyeh,^ 
" who have written works that will pass to future generations, and withstand the 
" blows of the destructive scythe of time. The various systems or schools into 
" which the science of grammar has been divided are by them preserved with the 
" greatest care, and with as much attention as the different schools of divinity and 
" jurisprudence are kept in the East. So, every literary man, whatever may be the 
" nature of his studies, must needs be a grammarian in order that he may pene- 
" trate the subtilties of the language, and appreciate the merits of good composi- 
" tion; for, if he be not perfectly conversant with all the rules of grammar, it will 
"he in vain for him to seek distinction ; he will never rise in the opinion of the 
" learned, whatever may be his proficiency in other branches of learning, unless he 
•' be well acquainted with that one ; and he will be, besides, continually exposed to 

" the venomous shafts of criticism. 
Language. *' The Moslem inhabitants of Andalus being either Arabs or Musta'rabs,' their 

" language, as may well be inferred, was no other than Arabic. However, it 
* cannot be said but that the common speech, both among the higher and the 
lower classes, has considerably deviated from the rules of the Arabic grammar; 
" so that were an eastern Arab to hear the prince of our grammarians, Shalubln, 
" engaged in conversation with another man, he would never believe him to be the 
" author so much consulted and valued in this country, and whose works are 
" circulated and read both in the East and West ; and were he to attend one of his 
" lectures he would undoubtedly burst out laughing to hear the blunders he 
" makes in speaking. It is true that people of high rank will occasionally observe 
'* the grammatical rules in their speech, especially if conversing with Arabs newly 
*' arrived from the East, but, instead of being natural, their speech then sounds 
'* heavy and affected. However, what I have stated about the language used in 
" Andalus must be applied only to the Arabic as used in conversation, and by no 






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" means to their writings, for they are the most strict and rigid of men iii observing ■: v ^; 

"the grammatical rules in their theological writings, sermons, epistles, history, - ^ y 

" and all sorts of literary works, whether in prose or in verse." 

The Andalusians had also a hand-writing of their own; in former tiines they Hand-miting/ : ;: 
used the Eastern hand, they afterwards left it and adopted another, which, although f i: 

resembling that which is generally used in Syria and other Moslem countrieSj was j ■ ,- ; 

nevertheless, distinguished by a few peculiarities. Ibnu Sa'id, treating on the ,;^ -^ 

subject, says, "The Andalusian hand,^ which originated hi the East, is in my 
" opinion without a rival in point of elegance and distinctness,^ and, if I may 
"judge of the ancient writing by snch specimens as I saw of it in the Koran 
" written by Ibn Ghattus, which was preserved in a city in the eastern part of 
" Andalus, and in other ancient copies of the Koran referred to by the learned of 
" that country as specimens, it is a very handsome and clear hand, and what I saw 
" was executed in a style which did much honour to the patience and dexterity of : 
"the scribes." ; ^^ . r;:t;/ 

^_ \ - - J-- J- J- -., -- -J 

"We find, hkewise, that the Khahfe and other principal citizens of :Gordova were story teiter^.:J;^J:: 
excessively fond of listening to pleasant tales and entertaining stories^ and that. the : Of/li^ 
art of learning these, and reciting them in pubHc, was considered a great accoair \.^^:UCy:i 

plishment among literary men, who were thus enabled to approach the presence'of _ -"■■''"■■[. y^;yii^x 
the Sultan, and by their wit and their humorous sallies insinuate themselves into \- : 

his good graces. This was, indeed, considered to be so important a requisite, that 
whoever was not acquainted with a sufficient stock of entertaining tales, tortecite-at ^^ 
pleasure, was held in little estimation, and even despised in certain literary circles. . 
Ibnu-1-khattib tells us in his history of Granada of a certain Abu-l-hasan/'Ali Ibn 
Abl-1-halyi-l-kenani, who was a very facetious man, and knew by heart a prodigious 
number of stories and amusing anecdotes, which he used to repeat to his friends ; 
his life had been one of continual adventure, and they say that he had gone through 
wonderful chances and changes of fortune. The stories told by this man were put 
down in writing by some studious men, and collected in one book, under the 
title of Kitdhu-l-mesdJ eld wa-l-mahdlli fi akhbdri^hni AU-l-halyi^^ (the book of : 
routes and stations in the adventnres of Abti-l-halyi) . Abu.-1-halyi died in 406;Of 
theHijra (a.d. 1015-16). 

The Andalusians have been justly celebrated for the quickness of their answers^ Quickness at 
and that facility of repartee which puts a stop to further reply; in thatn Wiff : 
humour, acuteness of mind, and talents for poetiy, seemed to be^linostiniia^iepi^- 
that it was not an uncommon thing to see among them uneducated yonth^matieifen 
children, display those talents in a greater degree than grown up anen/tr^i^ in 1;hfe 
paths of learning. It is somewhere related by a doctor, anattte^of^AimeSda, that 

V- -■■^^ 


i.-- ■ 


the Kadi Abu-l-hasan Mukhtar Ar-ro'ayni,'' who was renowned for his wit and great 
eloquence, happened once to he summoned to the presence of his sovereign, Zohayr 
the Sclavonian/'^ king of Almeria, who, being then occupied in administering 
justice in the hall of his palace, wanted to hear his opinion in a certain legal case. 
When Ar-ro'ayni received the summons, he hastened to obey it, and began to 
walk towards the palace, although at a very slow pace, and in the grave and stately 
manner generally used by Kadis. Zohayr's messenger, who went by his side, 
and who knew how impatient his master would be, advised liim to make haste, 
and quicken his pace, but Ar-ro*ayni, disregarding his injunctions, continued to 
proceed at the same slow rate, so that a considerable time passed before he reached 
the Sultan's palace. "What ails thee, that thou hast tarried so long, O Ar- 
ro'ayni?" said Zohayr to him on his entering the audience-chamber. The Kadi 
answered nought, but retracing his steps, and going back towards the door, he 
there took a stick from the hands of an attendant, and lifting up with one hand 
the lower part of his garment, he assumed the air and put himself in the position of 
, a man who is going to run. " What is the meaning of all that ?" said the Sultan, 
astonished. " This means," answered Ar-ro'ayni, " that I am going to take 
" possession of my new office, for as I was coming to thee, seeing that this thy 
" usher urged me to quicken my pace, and make haste, it occurred to me that I 
" might have been deprived of my place of Kadi, and appointed instead to be a 
" soldier in thy body-guard ;"^^ upon which Zohayr burst into a hearty laugh, 
and from that moment he never aftenvards reprimanded him for coming too late. 

As Az-zahri,^* a famous preacher in Seville, wdio was lame of one foot, was on a 
certain evening walking with a son of his, a youth, on the hanks of the Guadal- 
quivir, he saw a party of young men coming down the river in a boat, frolicking 
and singing. It was then near the Passover, the time when our dogmas prescribe 
to us to sacrifice victims and distribute their flesh to the poor, and among our 
friends and relations. As the boat was passing Az-zahri, one of the party shouted 
to him, " How much for that lamb of thine?" meaning his son, — and Az-zahri 
answered immediately, " He is not for sale." " Well, then," replied another, 
"what is the price of the old ram?" meaning the father; upon which Az-zahri, 
without being at all disconcerted, raised his lame foot in the air, and said, " Dost 

" " thou not perceive that the animal is lame, and therefore unfit for sacrifice?" 

— hearing which the whole party in the boat burst into a laugh, and were im- 
pressed with admiration at the Sheikh's ready wit and good temper. 

Mcmorj'- Memory is among the gifts which the Almighty poured most profusely upon the 

}; Andalusians, and their history abounds with records of poets and authors whose 

retentive powers were really surprising. Among others, a learned man named 




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Abii-l-mutawakeP^ Al-haytham Ibn Ahmed Ibn Ghalib seems to have been the 
phcenix of his age in memory, a real prodigy in learning by heart both prose 
and verse. Ibnu Sa'id and his father Abu 'Omran, who knew him, bear ample 
testimony of his extraordinary faculties. We shall let them speak : *' I was once 
" told," says Abii 'Omrdn Miisa Ibn Sa'id, "by a trustworthy person, who was 
" present with him at an entertainment, what I am going to relate. * I was once 
' ' invited with other friends to the honse of a rich, citizen in Seville, where Abu-l- 
" mutawakel was one of the party ; the conversation having turned upon his 
" extraordinary powers of memory, Abii-l-mutawakel kindly volunteered to exhibit 
them before the company, and proposed to do any thing that was suggested to 
him. Then one of those present said, ' In the name of Allah, we wish thee to 
tell us traditions from authenticated sources.' 'Very well,' said he, 'let any 
one of you choose the rhyme, and I promise not to stop until you are all tired.' 
Upon which, one of the company having fixed upon the letter kaf, he began 
to recite traditions ending with a rhyme in the said letter ; and, althongh it was 
early in the evening when he began, he continued throughout the whole night, 
and did not stop until the morning.' 
" Some time after this occurrence, I happened," continues Abu 'Omrd,n Ibn 
Sa'id, " to meet him at the house called Ddru-l-ashrdf (the house of the Sherlfs), 
" in Seville. When I entered the room, the company were occupied in reading 
various works, and among others the collection of poems by Dhu-r-rommah :;^^ 
ALhaytham, who sat by tlie side of one of the individuals who was reading 
aloud to the others, went np to him and tried to snatch the book out of his 
hands ; the reader, however, grasped it with both hands, so that Al-haytham 
was unable to accomplish his purpose. Then turning round to me, he said, ' O 
Abu 'Omran ! is it just that this man should deprive us of a book of which he 
does not know one single verse by heart, and that he should keep it from me who 


can repeat every line it contains ? ' When the company heard this they were much 
surprised ; for, although they all knew Al-haytham's extraordinary powers, yet, 
the book having been but recently published, so as scarcely to have afforded Al- 
haytham sufficient time to read it, they all thought that he had said what was 
untrue, and therefore proceeded to put him to the test, strongly suspecting that 
he could not recite at any length out of it. Al-haytham said immediately, * Let 
one of you take up the book and follow me;' upon which, he began to recite 
" verse after verse in a masterly style, without forgetting either a vowel ior to 
'^ accent, until he reached the middle of the book, when, night being -far 'ad- 
** vanced, and all of us tired, we all at once besought Mm tostop, which he did, 
'' and gave him. our testimonials that we had never witnessed or. heard of such 

VOL, I. u 






■■_ ■_-. -■ :'y-. 
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-^ J - - 

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'' a wonderful memory as his, for certainly this was one of his most prodigious 
" performances of this kind ; and as the story was afterwards divulged by those who 
" had witnessed it, Al-haytham's reputation increased, and the performance was 

*' applauded as it deserved." 

Abti-l-hasan Ibn Said says, "the two preceding anecdotes I hold from my 
*' father; but I myself recollect having once seen this extraordinary man dictate 
" extempore, and at once, to three talbes, in the following manner : to the first a 
" kassidah, to the second a maushahah,^'^ and to the third a zajalah. Al-haytham 
" died, no doubt, during the siege of Seville by the troops of Al-baji ;'^ for he once, 
" when the city was closely besieged by the enemy, sallied out with the garrison, 

" and was never heard of afterwards." 

Another anecdote is related by Abu 'Omar At-talamanki.^^ " I once entered," 
says he, " the city of Murcia, when the people flocked round me to hear me read the 
" work entitled ' Wonderful stories of authors and hooks.' ^° I said to them— Here 
*' is the book, fetch a man that may read in it ; and I opened the work ready for 
" his arrival. Behold ! what was my astonishment when I saw them returning 
" with a blind man, whose name was Ibn Sidah, who began to recite it from top 
" to bottom. Astonished at what I saw, I asked, and was informed that, although 
*' abliiid man, he was gifted with so prodigious a memory that he could repeat 
'* whatever he had once heard, and that having on a former occasion Hstened to the 
" reading of the said work, he now knew it quite by heart. This extraordinar\' 
" man, whose entire name was Abu-l-hasan 'Ah Ibn Ahmed Ibn Sidah,^^ was not 
" only blind from his birth, but he was also the son of a blind man ; he died at the 
'' age of sixty, in the year four hundred and one^^ of the Hijra, and is well known 
" as the author of the Kitdbu4-muhkami fi-Uloghati (the book of the foundations of 

"the language)." 

Their love of The love of the Andalusians for science is sufficiently proved by the numberless 

anecdotes with which their biographical dictionaries and literary records are known 
to abound. Abu Bekr Ibnu-s-sayegh, better known by the surname of Ibn Bajeh,^^ 
dnce entered the great mosque of Granada,^^ and found a grammarian surrounded 
by several youths, who were Ustening to his lessons. "When they saw him come in, 
they all rose, and exclaimed, in high spirits, " What does the Faquih carry ? what 
" does he say ? how will he show his love for science ? " And Ibn Bajeh answered, 
" What I carry with me is twelve thousand dinars, here they are under my arm :" 
and he produced twelve beautiful rubies, each of which was valued at one 
thousand dinars. " What I say is that, valuahle as these jewels are, they are still 
" infei-ior in my eyes to twelve youths working as you are for the acquisition of 
" the Arabic language. And my way of showing my love to science is by drawing 




-J. _ 



*' lots among you, and giving a^vay the best of these ruhies :" and he accordingly 
proceeded to do it. The preceding anecdote is transcribed from the work of Ah:u 
Hayj'an the grammarian.^ 

Al-mudhdhafer Ibn Al-afttas, King of Badajoz, was, according to the historian 
Ibnu-habbar, of all the monarchs of his time the one who showed the greatest Jove 
for science, and who rewarded the labours of the learned with the most liberal hand. 
So great was his knowledge in ah the branches of literature, so universal his attain- 
ments in the sciences, so ardent his love of all sorts of information, that notwith- 
standing his reign was one of continual agitation and danger, owing to the turbulent 
times in which he lived, he still found leisure successfully to cultivate all the 
sciences, leaving behind him that immense work in fifty volumes which raised 
the admiration of both Eastern and AVestern writers ; and in the composition of 
which Al-mudhdhafer spared neither trouble nor expense, having previously col- 
lected a rich and extensive library for the purpose. His work, indeed, which in 
the East is known by the title of Al-mudhdhaferi,^^ from the name of its royal 
author, treats on universal science, being a repository of art, science,, history, 
poetry, literature in general, proverbs, biographical information, and so forth. Al- 
mudhdhafer died in the year four hundred and sixty of the Hijra (a. d. 10.67-8), and 
in the words of Ibnu Hayyan and Ibnu Bessam, two authors who have written an 
account of his life, he surpassed all the kings of his time in science and in learning, 
as well as in virtue and brilliant qualities. Our readers, moreover, must not be 
surprised at this, or think that we exaggerate when we say that Al-mudhdhafer 'S 
work was composed of fifty volumes. No, it is a notorious fact, and were we to 
judge by other very voluminous works which are in existence, we should say that 
it was the fashion among the Andalusian authors to protract their works to an 
enormous length. We can, without going any further, quote Ibnu Hayydn's large 
historical work called Al-matin,'^'^ in sixty huge volumes, and the Kitdbu-l-asmd 
(the book of nouns) by Ahmed Ibn Iban,^^ Sahibu-sh-shartah in Cordova, in 
one hundred volumes. Ibn Iban died in three hundred and eighty-two (a.d. 
992-3) ; we have seen in Fez some volumes of his work. Another instance of this 
extraordinary fecundity is recorded by Ibn Ahsa' regarding an author of the name 
of Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn Mu'ammar, a native of Malaga, who wrote a 
commentary on the Kitdhu-n-nahdt (book of plants) by Abu Honeyfah Ad-di-^ 
naw^ri,^^ composed of sixty volumes. Ibn Alisa', who knew him in five hundred 
and twenty-four of the Hijra (a.d. 1129-30), reports him as being; theii; pile 
hundred years old. We might likewise quote here the words of Ibnu Hayyan, 
who positively asserts that at the death of Abu Mohammed Ibn Hazm/; which 
happened in four hundred and fifty-six (a.d. 1063-4), there were found in his 

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Toom no less than four hundred volumes of works on various subjects, such as 
history, poetry, jurisprudence, theology, &c. And Ibnu Hayyan adds, on the 
authority of Abu-1-fahl Ibn Hazm, a son of the deceased, that having calculated 
the sheets of paper which were taken up by his works, he found them to be eighty 
thousand. We could mention numerous similar instances of the fecundity and 
extent of Andalusian genius, but as this is a thing long since ascertained, and which 
needs not our confirmation, we shall leave it for the present. 
Their aptitude The aptitude of the Andalusians for all sorts of sciences will be likewise ac- 
for learning, j^^owlcdged by cvcry reader conversant with their history and literature. We shall 

not, therefore, dwell upon it; but as their inventions and improvements in the 
arts and sciences, and their discovery of new and untrodden paths in the regions 
of literature, are generally allowed materially to have increased the sources of our 
knowledge, we deem it in place to mention, in a few words, those illustrious men 
to whose labours, talents, or perspicuity, the sciences are indebted for their 
advance, and who are placed by their countrymen at the head of their respective 


Abu-l-'ahbas Kasim Ibn Firnas,^^ the physician, was the first who made glass out 
of clay,^^ and who established fabrics of it in Andalus. He passes also as the first 
man who introduced into that country the famous treatise on prosody by Khalll,^^ 
and who taught the science of music. He invented an instrument called al-minkdlah, 
by means of which time was marked in music without having recourse to notes or 
figures.^^ Among other very curious experiments which he made, one is his trying 
to fly. He covered himself with feathers for the purpose, attached a couple of wings 
to his body, and, getting on an eminence, flung himself do-ftm into the air, when, 
according to the testimony of several trustworthy writers who witnessed the per- 
formance, he flew to a considerable distance, as if he had been a bird, but in 
aUghting again on the place whence he had started his back was very much hurt, 
for not knowing that birds when they alight come down upon their tails, he forgot 
to provide himself with one. Miimen Ibn Sa'id has said, in a verse alluding to 

this extraordinary man, — 

•' He surpassed in velocity the flight of the ostrich, but he neglected to arm 

"his body with the strength of the vulture." ^* 
The same poet has said in allusion to a certain figure of heaven which this Ibn 
Firnas, who was likewise a consummate astronomer, made in his house, and where 
the spectators fancied they saw the clouds, the stars, and the lightning, and listened 
to the terrific noise of thunder, — 

'* The heavens of Abu-1-kasim 'Abbas, the learned, will deeply impress on 
: " thy mind the extent of their perfection and beauty. 









' ' Thou shalt hear the thunder roar, lightning will cross thy sight : nay, 
" by Allah ! the very firmament will shake to its foundations. 

" But do not go underneath (the house), lest thou shouldst feelincUned, 
" as I was, (seeing the deception,) to spit in the face of its creator."^^ 
The following verse is the composition of Ibn Fim^s himself, who addressied it 
to the Amir Mohammed.^^ 

" I saw the Prince of the believers, Mohammed, and the flourishing star of 

" benevolence shone bright upon his countenance." 

To which Mumen replied, when he was told of it, " Yes, thou art right, but it 

' ' vanished the ver}^ moment thou didst come near it ; thou hast made the face of 

" the Khalif a field where the stars flourish ; ay, and a dunghill too, for plants do 

" not thrive without manure." 

Abu 'Obeydah Moslem Ibn Ahmed,^^ known by the surname of Sdhihu-l-kiblah, 
because he always used to turn his face towards the East when he was saying his 
prayers, was consummately skilled in the science of numbers, arithmetic, astrology, 
jurisprudence, and the knowledge of traditions. But his principal skill, was -in 
astronomy ; he was perfectly acquainted with the movement of the stars and other 
heavenly bodies, and their influence on the body of man. He travelled to the 
East, and performed his pilgrimage to Mekka, where he attended the lessons of 
'All Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz ; he also resided for some time in Cairo, where he learnt from 

Al-muzani^^ and others. 

Yahya Ibn Yahya, better known by the surname of Ibnu-s-sammah,^^ a native of 
Cordova, was versed in arithmetic, astrology, rhetoric, prosody, jurisprudence, 
traditions, history, scholastic controversy, and the meaning of verses; in all 
which sciences he laboured with the greatest success. He also traveUed through 
the East, where he is said to have adopted and professed the religious opinions of 

the Mo'tazelites. 

Abu-1-kasim Asbagh Ibnu-s-samh'*'' excelled in the science of grammar, as well as 
in geometry and medicine, upon which he wrote several valuable treatises. He also 
composed various works on geometiy, such as the Kitdbu-l-mad'kali Ji4-Mndasati 
(a key to geometry), being a commentary on Euclid, another voluminous work on 
the same subject, and two others on the Astrolabe; and astronomical tables 
according to the doctrines of the Indian school, known by the name of Sind^ 

Hind.'' ■■- 

Abu-1-kasim As-safl"ar*2 ^^s also a profound geometrician ; he was deeply versed 

in the science of numbers and astronomy, and wrote, among other worksi ;Some 

astronomical tables, which he composed according to the method of Smd^mid^ and 

a treatise on the mode of constructing Astrolabes. 

., ■ ^h^ \. ^^ ■■- 



Abu Is'hak Az-zahrawi*^ gained himself a name both as a physician and as a 
geometrician. He travelled to the East, and on his return to his native country 
published a very learned treatise on the mechanical arts,** accompanied by examples 

and illustrations. 

Abu-1-hakem 'Omar Al-karmani,^^ an inhabitant of Cordova, acquired great 

celebrity in arithmetic and geometry. He travelled to the East, and resided for 

some time in the city of Harran,*^ where he frequented the schools of the learned. 

To him belongs the honour of having introduced into Andalus the epistles of the 

Ashdbu-S'Safd (the sincere friends) .^"^ 

Abu Moslem Ibn Khaldun,*^ one of the noblest citizens of Seville, obtained 
great celebrity through his knowledge of geometry, astronomy, medicine, and 
natural philosophy. He left a disciple, named Ibn Borghuth,*^ who inherited 
his extensive knowledge in those sciences, and was, besides, very accomplished 
in mathematics. Ibn Borghuth left also several disciples who profited by his 
lessons ; among whom we may reckon Abu-1-hasan Mukhtar Ar-ro'ayni,^" the 
famous geometrician and astronomer, and 'Abdullah Ibn Ahmed, of Saragossa, 
who gained himself a name in geometry, algebra, and astronomy. 

Mohammed Al-leyth^^ was commended for his knowledge in arithmetic, geo- 
metry, and the motions of the planets. 

Ibn Hayyi,^^ of Cordova, wrote on geometry and astronomy. He left Andalus 
in the year four hundred and forty-two of the Hijra, arrived in Egypt, where he 
resided-, for some time, and proceeded thence to Yemen, where he gained the 
intimacy of its sovereign, the Amir As-solayln,^^ the same who rose in those 
districts and proclaimed Al-mustanser the 'Obeydite. That rebel sent him on 
an embassy to Baghdad, the court of the Khalif Al-kayem~biamr-illahi, which he 
duly fulfilled, returning to Yemen, where he died some time afterwards. 

Ibnu-1-wakshi,^'^ of Toledo, excelled in geometry and logic, as well as in the 
construction of astronomical tables and several other branches of knowledge which 
it would take us too long to enumerate. 

The Hafedh Abti-l-wahd Hisham Al-washki^^ was the most learned man of his 
time in geometry, in the opinions of the philosophers,^^ grammar, rhetoric, the 
obscure meaning of verses, prosody, the writing of risdleh, the canon and civil law, 
the functions of a secretary,®^ and other departments of science, so that, as the poet 
has said, — 

' ' He had sufficient science to be thought accomphshed in every department 

** of iV"^ 
The Wizir Abii-l-motref 'Abdu-r-rahman Ibn Shahid^^ was profound in medicine 
and the natural sciences. He wrote a work on the various simples created by God, 




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and which are used as medicatnents ; and such were his patience, activity, and 
talents, that he knew perfectly well the prdperties of every one of the simples 
mentioned in his hook, its strength, the degree of heat or cold which it possessed, 
and its application to the cure of various diseases. This eminent man entertained 
the opinion that diseases could be more effectually checked by diet than b| . 
medicine, and that when medicine hecame necessary, simples were far preferable 
to compound medicaments, and when these latter were required; as few drugs as 
possible ought to enter into their composition. As a physician, Abu-l-motref 
surpassed all his contemporaries; he performed wonders in the cure of acute 
diseases and chronic affections, administering, as we have observed, as little 
medicine as possible to his patients. 

The science of botany was considerably advanced by the talents and exertions of 
Abu 'Abdillah Ibn Ahmed, better known by the surname of Ibnu-l-beyttarj^"^ and a 
native of Malaga, who not only wrote numerous works in which he most scrupu- 
lously and minutely described the plants already known, but examined and analyzed 
many which had never been discovered before his time. Ibnu-Ubeyttar died 
suddenly at Damascus in the year four hundred and thirty-four of the Hijra 
(a.d. 1042-3), and according to some his death was ocOasioned by poison, which 
he sucked while analyzing a plant brought to him, which he had never before 

- A - 


The Andalusiaris may safely be pronounced to have been gifted by the Al- "^^^^^^^f 
mighty with those shining qualities necessary to make a good poet,— quickness of 
thought, great command of language, a fertile imagination, and an extensive know- 
ledge of men and things. These qualities indeed were not confined to the Moslem 
inhabitants of Andalus, hut were also, as we shall have occasion to show hereafter, 
shared by women, as well as infidels. We ought not to wonder therefore if poetry 
among them has left such visible traces, especially when poets have been on all 
occasions much regarded by their kings, who rewarded their merits with bounteous 
gifts and large pensions. It was the custom in Andalus for the most eminent poets 
at the courts of the various Sultans to appear before them at certain festivities, and 
on other great occasions, there to recite poetical compositions in praise of the 
sovereign : by these means poets rarely failed in drawing upon themselves the 
munificence of the monarch, who wbuld reward them according to their merit and 
their rank, unless it happened that times were calamitous, and ignorance prevailed, - 
although the former was more common. Many are the poems recited. on these 
memorable occasions which to this day excite the admiration, and provoke the 
envy, of eastern poets ; and the works of Al-fat'h Ibn Khakdii, Abtl-1-k^sim Ibn 
Basikuwal, Ibnu Sa'id, and others, who have written the hves iof Andalusian 


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authors, abound with extracts from their poems, sufficient to impress the reader with 
an idea of the reach and extent of their genius, the sweet melody of their verses, 
and the creative powers of their imagination. 

It is related of Al-merwam,^^ Sultan of Andalus, that in a correspondence which 
he had with Nazar, the 'Obeydite Sultan of Egypt, there passed between them some 
angry words, when Nazar wrote to Al-merwani a letter full of insults, to which the 
Andalusian replied in these words : *' Thou hast reviled us because we are Imown 
'' to thee ; had we been acquainted with thee in the same manner, we might have 
*' given a proper reply: farewell." They say that Naz4r was extremely hurt by 
the answer, and never afterwards sought to quarrel with Al-menv-am, who is said on 
a previous occasion to have written to him the following distich : 

" Are we not the sons of Merwan,— that favoured family upon whom 
" nature has poured her richest gifts, and whom fortune has loaded with her 

' ' choicest favours ? 

'* Whenever a birth occurs in our family, is not the entire earth illumined 

*' with joy at the appearance of the new-born child ; do not the pulpits 
*' shake to the sound of the proclamation of his name? "^^ 
It is said of Ibn Dhi4-wizdrateyn Abi 'A'mir Ibni-l-faraj .^^ who held the 
appointment of Wizir to Ibnu Dhi-1-nun, King of Toledo, that feeUng once in- 
disposed he sent for a physician, who prescribed to him to drink old wine. 
Knowing that one of the Sultan's pages possessed some, very old and of excellent 
quahty, he took pen and paper and addressed him the following lines, ex-- 

tempore : 

" Send me some of that wine as sweet as thy love, and more transparent 

'* than the tears which fall down thy cheeks. 

" Send me, O my son! some of that liquor, the soul's own sister, that 

" I may comfort with it my debilitated stomach. I am thy servant." ^* 

The Sultan of Valencia, Merwdn Ibn 'Abdi-l-'aziz,^^ was an excellent poet. The 

following two verses are recorded as having been repeated extempore by him on 

the event of his learning that he had been deposed from his kingdom, to make 

room for a man his inferior in every respect. 

" No wonder that a man has been found to succeed me in the government 
'* of this kingdom. 'Tis true the day will dawn for them (the subjects) ; but 

*' they will have no evening. 

'' His hght will be like that of the stars in heaven, which never begin to 

" glitter until the sun is quite gone down in the West." ^^ 

Of this Merwan the historian Ibn Dihyah has recorded many sallies of wit, 

among which the following is one. " I entered," says he, '' the Sultan's apartment 




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" one day, and found him making his ablution ; when he came to cleanse his beard, 
" which had just then begun to whiten, he said to me — 

' When I first saw these grey hairs I took them for harbingers of my ftiin, 
' coming to announce to the body the moment of its destruction. 

* For in plants when the green turns white it is a sign of their withering 
'and decay.'" 6? 

Al-mu'atassem, king of Almeria, having once received intelligence that some 
expressions excessively injurious to him had been introduced into a poetical com- 
position by a poet who frequented his court, gave immediate, orders for his appre- 
hension ; and after a long search made throughout his dominions, the culprit, whose 
name was Khalf Ibn Faraj As-samir,^^ was secured and brought into his presence. 
" I hear," said Al-mu'atassem to him, " that thou hast been indulging thy satirical 
propensities against me. I command thee to repeat the verses in which thou hast 
made allusion to me." — " In the name of Him who has put me under thy 
power," replied the poet, " excuse me, for never was harm intended against 
thee." " Speak out," cried Al-mu'atassem impatiently. Then the poet repeated 
with a submissive voice the following two verses : 

' ' I saw Adam in my dream, and I said to him, O father of mankind ! men 
" generally agree ; : 

" That the Berbers are descended from thee. Yes, it is true, but none^ 
" dispute that Eve was at that time divorced from me.^^ 
*' These are my expressions, O Al-mu'atassem! but thou must hear how my 
" reasons for uttering them. It is well known that Ibn Balkin, the Sultdn 
" of Granada, thirsts after my blood, and has of late spared no trouble- to get 
" at my person and sacrifice me to his unjust resentment. Since I have taken 
*' refuge in thy dominions he has tried every means to circumvent and destroy me, 
" and he has caused reports of all kinds to he brought to thy ears, in order that 
" thou mightst be angry with me and order my death, and thus be the instrument 
" of his revenge, while all the responsibifity of an unjust and tyrannical act would 
" weigh upon thee." " Well, but tell me," said the Sultan, " those verses contain 
" no personal invective against Ibn Balkin more than the opprobrium with which 
" thou hast charged his race. I would swear thou saidst something else against 
*' him." — " So I did," answered the poet immediately ; " when I saw my oj)pr^ssor 
" build himself a strong citadel within the precincts of Granada, I said-^^~ - . ' ;; : /; > 

- ^ " 

* The son of Balkin has built himself a castle ; he has, like the sifk^onnv 
* wrapped himself up in his silk ball.' "''"* : . ^ v ■v:^^ c -^^ 

" Al-mu'atasserii then said to the poet, *' If what thou tellest ?nierbe:triie I can 

VOL. I. / ' X 




" excuse thee, and pardon thy offensive language against the Berbers. However, 
*' I leave to thy choice whether I am to treat thee kindly, or to deliver thee into 
" the hands of thy enemy that he may revenge his outrage." Khalf then imme- 
diately replied with these two extempore verses : 

•* Al-mu'atassem has given me to choose; but he knows weU my inten- 

*' tions. 

** Since he has uttered the word pardon, I have no doubt he intends to 

" be generous, and protect me."'^ 
»' By my soul!" exclaimed the Sultan, '^ thy wit is the wit of Ashittan. I 
"pronounce thee both safe and free." And from that moment Khalf lived at the 
court of Al-mu'atassem, honoured and rewarded by his sovereign, until Al-mu'a- 

tassem was deprived of his kingdom.^^ 

As the poet Abu-1-kasim As-sohayli '^ was once sitting in his house in Malaga, 
news was brought to him how his native place, the town of Sohayl in the neigh- 
bourhood, had been attacked, plundered, and set on fire, and his friends and 
relatives either killed or taken, by a troop of Christian marauders, who had made 
a foray into the heart of the Moslem territory.?* No sooner did the intelligence 
reach As-sohayli than he hired a horse and a man to take him to the spot ; and 
when he arrived at Sohayl he ahghted, and finding the place deserted he uttered 

extempore the following verses : 

'' O ray country! where are thy chiefs and elders gone? Wliere thy in- 

" habitants from whom I experienced so much generosity ? 

'' To see thy deserted dwellings the sighing lover might doubt whether he 
" is alive, for to his greeting no salutation is returned. 

" When I ask, no voice answers mine save the parting echoes ; no sound 
" strikes the ears of the pining lover. 

"The dove, it is true, sings on the lofty trees, but his mournful intonations, 
•' caused by the loss of his consort, melt the heart of the sensitive, and make 
"the tears fall in copious streams. 

" O my home ! how cruelly fate has acted with thee ; since time, that never 

" forgives, has spared thee in the midst of general destruction," '^ 

We have said elsewhere that the town of Sohayl was so called from the fact of 

its being the only spot in Andalus from which the constellation caUed Canopus 

could be seen. As-sohayH was a famous poet, as may be seen in Ibn Khallek^n '^ 

and other historians who have written an account of his hfe. He was known also 

by the surname of Abu Zeyd. 

: A poet from Almeria was once coming down the Guadalquivir in a boat ; as he 
; came to that part of the river, near Shantobus," where the stream narrows con- 


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siderably, exhibiting on both sides clusters of pretty buildings and pleasure-gardens, 
with verandas looking on the river, he said, singing,^ — 

'* I am tired of the river and the boats, as well as those who look on it from 
" Shantobiis. 

*' Indeed, were it a paradise, I would not change it for my plantation of sweet 
" basil at home." 

No sooner had he pronounced the last words of the second verse than a girl in 
one of the houses close to the river put her head out of an arched window, and 
said to him, " From what country art thou, O singer? " and he answered, ** I am 
" from Almeria." — " And pray what is there so much to be admired which would 
" lead thee to prefer it to the river of Seville, whose face is salt, and whose nape 
*' is scabby?" — and this is no doubt one of the most clever answers that can be 
imagined, since, angry at hearing him depreciate the Guadalquivir, she said ironi- 
cally the contrary of what that river is famous for ; it being notorious to every 
reader that the waters of the Guadalquivir are as sweet to the palate as those of 
the Nile, and that the mountains of Ar-rahmah, which form, as it were, the back of 
its head, are so full of fig and olive trees, and so studded with vines, that the eyes of 
those who visit that enchanting spot in the days of relaxation fall on nothing else 
but verdure. So the girl was right when she gave that answer, since Seville is far 
superior to Almeria in this respect. 

Abu 'Amru Ibn Salim of Malaga says, " I was one day sitting in my room, when 
" all of a sudden I was assailed by a violent and irresistible desire of going to 

_ _ ^ 

*' Al-jebbaneh.'^ I therefore left my house and went in the direction of that place ; 
" but scarcely had I proceeded a few steps, it being summer-time, and the weather 
" very hot, when I felt oppressed by the heat ; and, changing my mind, I returned 
" home. Still, Avhen I reached my house, I could not help the temptation of going 
" out again ; but this time I bent my steps towards the mosque called Rdbitatu-l- 
** GhoMr,^^ where I met the preacher Abu Mohammed 'Abdu-1-wahhdb Ibn 'Ah 
" Al-malaki, who on my approach said to me, ' I have just this moment been 
*' beseeching God that he should bring thee to my presence ; and my prayer has 
" been granted: God Almighty be praised for it!' I then told him what had 
" happened to me, and how I had been led by an invisible power to go out of my 
" house. After this I sat by his side ; and on his entreating me to recite him some 
" verses, I repeated the following of an Andalusian poet: j :- 

' They stole from morning the colour of her cheeks; they borrowed. fi-om 

' the arak tree its slender and delicate form. . . ■ J^ ; r .< !. 4 

' Innumerable jewels shone brightly on their bosoms ; and. they tOok the 

' glittering stars for a necklace. , :: :.^ 

— i H**:^T- 


* Not content with the slenderaess of the spear, and the agility of the an- 
' telope, they still took from the latter the tender eye and the undulating 

' cheek-bone.' ^° 

"No sooner," continues Abu 'Amru, ''had I uttered the last syllable of the 
" latter verse, than to my great astonishment I heard 'Abdu4-wahhab give a piercing 
" shriek, and I saw him fall senseless on the ground. Having run to his assistance, 
" I found him in a swoon, and it was not until an hour had elapsed that he again 
" came to his senses : when he said to me, ' Excuse me, my son, for there are two 
'^ things in this world against which I have no strength, viz. the sight of a pretty 
M face, and the hearing of good poetry.' " 

They say that Abu-1-hoseyn Suieyman Ibnu-t-tarawah, the famous grammarian 
^d poet, from Almeria, sitting one day with some of his friends at an entertainment 
4t his own house, there happened to be close at his side one of his most intimate 
friends, who, when his turn came to drink, begged to be excused, and motioned 
away the jar in which the liquor was presented to him. Ibnu-t-tarawah then 
taking the glass from him drank off its contents ; and finding that it struck cold 

on his liver he said extempore — 

" Let the Sheikh and his equals, and all those whose conduct is worthy of 

" praise, blame me for what I have done. 

" This I know, that when the young camel finds her load too heavy she 

" throws ^^ it on the full grown one." 
Poetry an in- We havc Said clsewhcre that children in Andalus not unfrequently exhibited 
cm£"' natural talents, and a facihty of rhyming, which could not often be met with in 

people of mature age, or who had had the benefits of education. In proof of this 
we shall quote the following anecdotes, related by their writers. Ibn Abi-1-khissal ^^ 
Ash^shekuri . (from Segura) having, when still a boy, repaired to the city of Ubeda, 
in^iOrder. to study in the schools of that place, lodged at the house of the Kadi Ibn 
MaUk. Happening one day to go out with him to an orchard, Ibn Malik picked 
a bunch of black grapes, and holding it in his hand he said to Ibn AM-l-khissal, 
'^ Look at these grapes hanging from the stalk." "Yes," answered Ibn Abi-l- 
khissal, in rhyme, " like the head of an Abyssinian slave." " Well said ! " rephed 
his master, who from that moment prognosticated that Ibn Abl-1-khissal would be 

an eloquent orator and a good poet. 

It is related by Abu 'Abdillah Ibn Zarktin that Abii Bekr Ibnu-l-monkhoP^ and 

Abii Bekr Ahmallah, both born at Silves, and dwelling in Salobreha, a town 

on the southern coast, not far from Almeria, were so much attached to each other 

..that they looked as if they were brothers. Each had a son, still young, but who had 

shown from infancy the greatest aptitude for science, and the most vehement desire 




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of learning, so much so that, although too young yet to have their ahilities improved 
by education, they had already given repeated proofs of their proficiency and talents 
by gathering the spears of preference in the hippodromes of literature. These two 
children were continually attacking each other with satirical remarks and witty 
sayings, by which means their talents for versification were exercised and improved. 
However. ' Ibnu-1-monkhoi happening one day to ride out together with his son 
Abu 'Abdillah, he began to reprimand him for his conduct towards his young 
friend, and said, " Thy continual jests and satirical traits against Ibnu-hmallah 
" will, I have no doubt, damp the intimacy existing between me and his father, so 
" pray do not attack him any longer, lest I should lose through it ray friend 
*' Abu Bekr's love." " I cannot help it," replied his son, " if it is so, for it is 
" always he who begins the fray, and I only use in my own defence the weapons 
'' of satire. The offender is always wrong, and it is but just that he should bear all 
*' the weight of evil who begins with it."'" When Al-monkhol heard this excuse 
of his son, he could not help saying, ''WeU, if the case between you stands as 
" stated by thee, I exculpate and justify thee." While this conversation was thus 
going on between father and son, behold! they came up to a large water-pool in 
the middle of the road, where frogs innumerable were fiUing the air with their 
croakings. '' Go on," said Ibnu4-monkhol to his son, " the frogs are croaking in 
"that pool." "Yes," replied his son, '* and with no sweet melody, troth." 
^' Their language was boisterous," said the father. "When they called the Benl 
" Al-mallah," answered the son. However, when they heard the footsteps of the; 
travellers the frogs became silent, and a pause ensued also in the dialogue 
between father and son while crossing the pool. At last, Ibnu-l-monkhol said to 
his son, " Thou hast become miite like these frogs." ''When they collected for 
" scandal," answered his son. "There is no help for the oppressed," said the 
old man ; " and no rain for those who want it," was the son's reply.^^ 

Certainly nobody will doubt but that this finishing of heraistichs is highly 
deserving of praise ; had it been executed by a learned man advanced in life it 
would have commanded the greatest attention, but being, as it was, the work of 
a mere boy, it was a most wonderful performance, and well worthy of remark. 

Nor were readiness of wit and poetical talents confined to the Moslems, for '^^'^^l^^^^^ 
find them existing among the Christians and Jews who inhabited Andalus, (may 
the Almighty God restore it entirely to the hands of the true believers !) Fp^: 
instance, a Christian named Al-maza'ri, a native of Seville, where he resided, is 
said to have extemporized the following verses in the act of presenting tMSuTtdn 
Ahmu'atamed Ibn 'Abbad with a hunting bitch : ' 

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" I never saw a better cause of pleasure for those that are fond of sport, nor 
" a surer source of profit for those who desire gain, 

' ' Than this animal full of excellent qualities ; her colour might throw into 
" the shade the brilliant hue of a yellow tunic : 

Like a bow in her shape, and yet she darts on her prey more straight than 

an arrow. 

If thou try her scent, she will guide thee to secret haunts abounding with 


Nay, were she to challenge the Ughtning to a hunting match, she would 

" leave it far behind in the race." ^^ 
These verses, and others by the same author, are recorded in the AUmashab of 
Al-hijari, who has therein introduced the Christian's biography. 

The following verses are the composition of a Jew, of the name of Ibrahim Ibn 
Sahl Al-israyili,^^ who is reported to have pronounced them extempore on a slave 
who was ill with the jaundice : 

" Thou wast an honour to thy master until thou wast thus deprived of thy 

" beauty. 

" For thou didst appear in the morning hke a wax taper, which, when 

" extinguished, shows a black wick."^^ 

There are various opinions entertained concerning this Jew ; some saying that he 
was in heart a Moslem, others that he pubhcly embraced Islam, and professed it 
till the day of his death, others again that he lived and died in the Jewish persuasion. 
Abii Hayyan, the grammarian, relates, on the authority of the Kadi-1-koda Abu 
Bekr Mohammed Ibn Abl Nasr Al-fat'h Ai-kaysi, who had it from 'All the Christian, 
a native and inhabitant of Seville, whom he chanced to meet in Granada in one of 
his travels, that Ibrahim Ibn Sahl the poet was at first a Jew, hut that towards the 
end of his life he was converted to Islam, and wrote in praise of Mohammed, 
the messenger of the Lord, along and elegant kassidah. " I read it once," says 
Abu Hayydn, ' ' and I declare that in point of melody it is one of the most admirable 
" poems I ever read in my life." 

The same opinion is entertained by the Hafedh Abii 'Abdiliah Mohammed 
Ibn 'Omar Ibn Rashid Al-fehri,^^ who in his great itinerary entitled " the filling 
of the hnapsach tvith information collected during a journey to the two holy 
places, Mekka and Medina," asserts positively that Ibn Sahl embraced Islam, 
quoting as a proof an epistle written by 'AH Hamish to the preacher and ulema 
Sidi Abu 'Abdiliah Ibn Marzuk,^" and which reads thus : "I have been in- 
'* formed by a contemporary, who was well acquainted with him, that Ibn 









" Sahl died a Moslem." The same author (Ibn Rashid) quotes the following 
anecdote, which he says he read in a certain literary work in the West, and which 
would tend to prove that Ibn Sahl was really a Moslem. Ibn Sahl once re- 
ceived in his house a company of literary men, and, the conversation happening 
to turn on his religion, one of the party ventured to ask him whether he was 
really a Moslem in heart, as he professed to be, or only affected it, upon which 
he is said to have answered — 

" For men are the things apparent, for God only what is concealed." ^^ 
As a further proof of Ibn Sahl's conversion, the following two verses of his are 

adduced : 

" I am content with Moses for the sake of Mohammed ; I ara now in the 

" right path, but had it not been for Allah I should never have been directed. 
" What has made me change my mind is this, that I saw the law of Moses 

" was wanting in a Mohammed."®^ 
However, as we have already stated, there are not wanting authors who assert 
that Ibn Sahl's conversion was a feigned one, and that he never abandoned the 
Jewish creed. Ar-ra'ii^^ (may God show him mercy!) says, " I was told by the 
" Sheikh Abu-1-hasan 'AH Ibn Sama't Ahandalusi,— ' there are two things in this 
'* world to which I give no faith, — one is the conversion of Ibn Sahl, the other 
" Az-zamakhshari's repentance for having joined the Mo'tazelites.' But," observes 
Ar-ra'ii, " I have better authority not to coincide in this author's opinions : as to 
*' Ibn Sahl's conversion, because, according to all received opinions on the subject, 
*' I am inclined to believe it was a sincere one ; and as to Az-zamakhshari's repentance 
" from the heresy of the Mo'tazelites, because I myself saw in the East a legal 
" document stating that Az-zamakhshari^* had abjured the religious errors of that 

*' sect." 

Al-'azz,^^ who wrote Ibn Sahl's life, inclines to the contrary opinion, and thinks 
that there are sufficient proofs to believe he was a Moslem ; but God only knows 
the truth of the case. One thing however is certain, namely, that Ibn Sahl was 
one of the best poets of his time, as the collection of his poems sufficiently testifies. 
He lived at Seville, where he was one of the elders of his tribe, and attended the 
lessons of Abu 'All Ash-shalubin, Ibnu-d-dabbagh,^^ and others. They say that a 
western Arab, having been once asked the cause why Ibn Sahl could write in so 
tender a strain, gave the following answer — " Because he unites two humilities,!. the 
" humility of the lover and that of the Jew." v^r. y 

According to Abii Hayyan, Ibn Sahl perished in a sea voyage; the, vessel m 
which he was embarked meeting with a tempest he was drowned with. all the rest 
of the crew. This happened in the year six hundred and forty-nine, and Ibn 

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[book IX. 

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SaM was then forty years old or thereabouts. When the event became known in 
Seville, another Jewish poet is said to have remarked very happily, alluding to 
Ibn Sahl's drowning, that " the pearl had only returned to its shell." 

Ibrdhim Ibnu-1-fakhkhdr Al-yahiidi is another famous poet. He lived among 
the Christians, and in the service of Alfonso, king of Toledo, with whom he rose 
high in favour, so as to be appointed by him his ambassador to the comt of 
a Moslem Sultan in the West. In the opinion of all his contemporaries he was 
an elegant prose writer, and a very good poet. Ibnu Sa'id, who mentions him, has 
handed down to us some of his verses, among which are the following, which he 
wrote in praise of his master Alfonso (may God annihilate him !)— 

" The court of Alfonso has always the appearance of a house prepared for 

" nuptials. 

" And the leaving of sandals at the door would persuade thee that thou 

" wast in Jerusalem."^' 

The following anecdote is told of this Jew, who related it to the author from 
whose writings we now borrow it. " I once went on a message from my master 
"to the Khalif Al-mustanser,»^ and when I went to present my credentials to the 
'* Wizir I found him sitting in one of the gardens of the palace, a charming spot, 
" of the greatest beauty and luxuriance, resembling in every respect a paradise, 
'' only that the gate-keeper was the ugliest and most disgusting creature I had ever 
" seen in my life. When the Wizir asked me afterwards what I thought of the 
" garden, I said to him, 'I would undoubtedly compare it to paradise, were it not 

for one circumstance, which is that its gate, I am told, is guarded by Redwdn, 

and here I see Malik.' The Wizir laughed heartily, and proceeded to acquaint the 
" Khahf with my answer. He then brought me the following reply,— 'Tell the 
" Jew that such was my intention in choosing my gate-keeper ; for had he been 
.^'{Redwan, he would undoubtedly have sent him back, saying— Go away, this is 
" not a place for those of thy religion to enter ;— while Malik, not knowing what is 
*' behind him, and thinking he keeps the gate of hell, aUowed him to pass without 
"resistance.' When the Wizir communicated to me the Sultan's answer," con- 
tinues the Jew, " I could not refrain from saying, ' Well, God only knows who 
*';those are who will enter paradise.' " 

Another famous Jew, whose name was Elias Ibn Al-mudawwar, a native of Konda, 
is mentioned by various historians ; he was an eminent physician, and a good poet. 
The following two verses, which he addressed to another Jew, are much commended. 
The occasion of his writing them was as follows. There was in the same city of 
iEonda where Elias practised medicine another eminent Jewish physician, and, as 
jsyi)ften the case among people of the same profession, they were jealous of each 





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Other, and were continually disputing and quarrelling. Their common friends often 
interposed, and, by becoming the mediators in their quarrels, succeeded in making 
them friends ; but at the £rst opportunity they broke out again, and the whole city 
of Ronda was made the scene of their squabbles. At last, Elias having become, by 
some means or other, the master of a certain secret concerning his antagonist, 
which might, if made public, seriously affect his reputation as a physician, and 
prevent the people from employing him, he wrote to his rival the following distich : 
" Do not blame me (if I accuse thee), and let my excuse be the rivalry 

" which ought to exist betw^een people of the same profession. 

*' Look at the sun and moon when they illumine our globe ; from their 

" constant labours and rival courses light is produced:"^® 
meaning, as they were both labouring to diffuse the rays of science, it was 
necessary that there should exist between them mutual jealousy and division, in 
order that through their mutual efforts to surpass one another, and by their piir-/ 
suing different courses, the cause of science might be benefited;— in the f same . 
manner as the sun and moon, by following opposite roads, iEumine the .world ; 
the moon shining at night, and the sun by day-time; but the eclipse beiiig , 
produced the moment they tried to approach each other. j 

A Jewish poetess, named Kasmunah, daughter of Ismail the Jew, is also counted;;, 
among the bright geniuses of that nation. Her father, who was himself a man of 
considerable learning and a good poet, had bestowed the greatest/care o&:.;her 
education, and imparted to her all the science which he MmseH" possessed^.- .& 
used to compose part of an ode and then give it to her to finish. He 6nee said to 

her, — * ' Tell me who is 

" The master of beauty, who fights and vanquishes those who oppose him, 

" and yet whose trespasses are excused ? " 

And she replied, almost immediately, 

*' The sun, which imparts its light to the minor constellations, and whose 

" face after this appears quite dark." ^*"' 

But having proceeded so far in our endeavours to prove the aptitude and talents . 
of the Andalusians for poetry, we should be guilty of rieghgence if, before termi- 
nating this chapter, we did not say a few words about the wives and daughters of 
the Moslems who made themselves conspicuous by their talents, and who. showed, 
their wit and eloquence in elaborate and ingenious poems. {^ ^ijfr 

Ummu4-sa'd, daughter of 'A'ssem Al-himyari, a native of Cordova,- was^i^ifof^^^ 
in sacred traditions, which she held from her father, her grandfathari^-todi:6B3^i:poetry. 
According to Ibnu-l-abbdr, who has devoted an article to her^infi^liogMpMcal 
dictionary entitled .^^feA;m^^aA ^"^ (supplement), she was^ ; better :knoW% the sur- 

VOL. I. Y 

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name of'dunah. Among the numerous poetical compositions which we find 
ascribed to her the following distich deserves particular mention : 

'* Men generaUy court the friendship of strangers, and avoid any intercourse 

" with their own relations ; 

" For relatives are hke scorpions, or worse than they."^**^ 
The Khattib Ibn Marzuk, by whom this distich has been preserved, attributes 
it to the above-mentioned poetess ; we have seen it quoted elsewhere as the com- 
position of Ibn 'Omayd. But God only is all-knowing. 

Hasanah Al-yatimah, daughter of Abu-l-hpseyn the poet, and Ummu-l-'oL4, 
daughter of Y^suf, were also two famous poetesses. The latter is mentioned by 
the author of the Al-mugh'rah, who speaks of her as a native of Guadalaxara, and 
as having flourished in the sixth century of the Hijra. Some of her verses may 

be seen in the said work. 

Ummatu-l-'aziz Ash-sherifiyyah was, as her name sufficiently indicates, of the 
posterity of Hasan, son of 'All Ibn Abi Tdlib. The Hafedh Abtx-l-khattab Ibn 
Dih'yah, who was a descendant of hers, has preserved to us in his Kitdbu-l-muttreb 
min ash'driMmaghreb^''^ (the book exhibiting songs extracted from the works of 
western poets), some of her verses, which are sufficient to rank her among the 

eminent poets of her time. 

AL-ghosdniyyah,'«* a native of Bejenah, a considerable and famous district in the 
province of Almeria, is likewise counted among the poets who flourished in the fifth 

century of the Hijra. 

Al-'ariidhiyyah,^"^ a freed slave-girl belonging to Abu4-mutref 'Abdu-r-rahman 
Ibn Ghalbtin the Katib, was a^nother distinguished female. She lived at Valencia, 
where she was taught by her master grammar and rhetoric, in both which branches 
of knowledge she soon made such progress as to surpass her teacher. She also 
shone in prosody, and learnt by heart and wrote commentaries on the Al-kdmil of 
Al-mubarrad, and on the An^nawddir of AUkdh. Abu Datid Suleyman Ibn 
Najdh says, "I read under her direction the two above-mentioned commentaries, 
*' and learnt from her the science of prosody. She died at Denia, some time after 
"■ her master's death, in the year four hundred and fifty of the Hijra, or there- 
^' abouts." (May God show her mercy !) 

Hafsah 'Ar.rakuniyyah, daughter of Al^iaji Ar-rakuni, was equally renowned for 
her beauty, her talents, her nobihty, and her wealth. A notice of this famous poetess, 
as well as a selection from her verses, occurs in the work of Al-malahi. The 
following, which she is said to have uttered extempore in the presence of the 
Erince of the believers 'AbduJ-mumen Ibn 'Ah when about asking him for a 
favour, are justly commended : 


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" O master of men ! O thou whose gracious favours the people aiixioiisly 

' ' and confidently expect ! 

" Grant me a diploma, which may be a promise to thy subjects ; 

" One upon which thy right hand has traced—' Praise be to God,, the only 

u one.'»^«« 

The poetess here alludes to certain signs of royalty introduced by the Sultdna of 
the dynasty called Al-muwahedun (Almohades) , and which consisted in writing at 
the top of their dispatches, with a thick pen and in very large characters, "Praise 

'* be to God, the only one." 

With this Hafsah the Wizir Abu Ja'far Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi-1-malik Ibn Sa'ld 
Al-'ansr**' lived on terms of the greatest friendship and intimacy. They were 
continually addressing to each other epistles and verses, and their mutual answers 
can only be compared to the language of doves. "We learn from Abti-l-hasan 
'Ah Ibn Musa Ibn Sa'id, the author of the Al-7mgUrab,-~3L work to which we oWn 
ourselves very much indebted for our information, — and who was the descentii^t 
of this Abu Ja'far, that he heard his father say, " I know not am:ong^^the.;Beni 
" Sa'id of any poet like him ; or rather, I know not among my Gountpyinen of any 
'* who ever surpassed Ahu Ja'far in poetical composition," Some account^ of this 
noble Wizir, extracted from the work of his descendant Ibnu Sa'id, will not, we 

hope, be deemed superfluous. 

Abu Ja'far was the son of 'Abdu-1-malik Ibn Sa'id, Lord of Kal'at- Yahsefe ;;f - 

^ - - 

place not far from Granada, and the scene of the adventure which we have related 
in a former part of this book as having happened to the famous poet and histbrian 
Ibnu-1-hijari. At the arrival of the Beni 'Abdi-1-mumen in Andaltis,, 'Abdu-Um^lik, 
who had embraced the opposite party (that of the Almoravides) , took an active 
part in the contest, and managed to maintain himself independent' in his little 
dominions. His son, Abu Ja'far, he appointed to be his Nayib or lieutenant, that 
he might aid him in the perilous duties of the administration, and in the defence 
of his state. However, Abu Ja'far, who knew how to handle the pen better than 
the sword, soon perceived his own inabihty to meet the exigencies of the charge, 
and begged his father to exonerate him from it and appoint another in his stead. 
This request 'Abdu-l-m£ik refused to grant, but his son, not being able to bear:: 
any longer the important duties attached to his situation, deserted him, and left 
pubhc affairs in order to enter into private life, after having written to his father^^r; 
beautiful epistle in verse, in which he expatiated at full length upon tfe;qQi^^r^::^ 

nnfl aHvanfso-fis nf nrJvatp. lifft Tbpv sav tbat when 'Abdud-malik read'Ms : SCJUfs ^ 

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epistle, he exclaimed, " WeU, I shall not go against his^ wm,::%'Ge^:-^^mighty 
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'* tion." After this he wrote on the back of the letter, "We send thee our 
" benediction, and grant thee permission and full liberty to occupy thyself in such 
" pursuits as answer best thy inclination." 

'Abdu-l-mali'k could not long maintain his independence ; all the Andalusian 
chiefs having submitted to the Beni 'Abdi-1-mumen, he was himself constrained to 
acknowledge them as masters, and tender the oath of allegiance, owing to which 
he not only retained the government of Kal'at-Yahseb, but rose high in favour 
with the Sultans of that dynasty. In the meanwhile Abu Sa'id Ibn 'Abdi-1- 
mumen was appointed to be governor of Granada, and being in want of a secretary 
he began to inquire among the inhabitants for a person fit for the place. He was 
told that Abu Ja'far was the man most suitable, from his learning, his talents, and 
ability, to discharge the duties of Katib ; he accordingly sent for him and declared 
to him his intention to invest him with that charge. Abu Ja'far refused, as he 
had done on a previous occasion, and begged to be left in private life, but on Abu 
Sa'id insisting strongly he was compelled to accept it. However, he did not 
exercise his functions long. As he was one day entertaining a party of friends at 
his house, the conversation, amidst wine and mirth, turned upon hunting, a pastime 
of which Abu Ja'far was passionately fond ; a party was accordingly arranged for 
the next day, and, having provided themselves with all necessaries, Abii Ja'far and 
his friends started on their expedition. It happened to be a very cold and cloudy 
day, and, the cold increasing, the hunters thought fit to shelter themselves in the 
hut of a watchman who was guarding vines.'^^ They lighted a good fire, dressed 
some of their game, and began to eat with good appetite, and drink abundantly 
after it. Abu Ja'far especially helped himself to so much liquor that he w^as quite 
intoxicated, and putting aside all reserve he began to divulge the secrets of his 
heart, and to. describe the pleasures he had enjoyed that day in the following 

strain : 



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* ' This has been a day spent in pleasure and sport ; a day in which the 
"atmosphere shone brightly, charged with the amber of the clouds ; — 

" A day which (after contributing to our amusement) left us enough evening 
" and sufficient wine to induce us to spend it in the midst of reveUing and 

" mirth. 

" After riding and sporting all the morning we perceived that the day was 
" not entirely gone, and yet we were all fatigued and broken down by the 

'* jolting trot of our steeds. 

" Our sport too had been abundant, for with grey-coloured hawks we chased 
" and brought down numerous birds, whose death our pleasures required, 
" although their throats might lament under the knife. 


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" So when the last rays of the sun began to spread a deep red tint over the v-; 
"horizon, and the fight between obscurity and hght commenced, victory 
" hanging for some time uncertain, — when every man and beast belonging to 

'' our party had been assembled, — ,- 

" Wishing to give our empty stomachs a share in the spoil, and to begin '■■-"':■■:'■ :r'-^!": 

" afterwards a new chase of mirth and pleasure, — ^the cold, too, increasing and : 5 ; 

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** becoming more and more piercing, — 

'* We beixt our steps to the hut of a watchman, placed in the centre of a " -■-^'^:; 

'' vineyard and surrounded by its sweetness, and provided with a blazing fire,- 

" which proved our salvation from the rigour of the weather. 

" I gave him a gold piece, and told him, — Go to the neighbouring village- 

" and buy us provisions, heed not the price, 

' ' And sav to the seller that thou hast seen me tied down in the service of. 

" my master, more cruelly than the bird in the cage of the fowler. 

" And yet I only ibllow my inclination. Do I look like one who is subject :>! x? 

" to a Lord? do I look like one who is deprived of liberty ?" '"V ; ^;|^ 

There happened to be among the company a man who, although nO; professed to. , }i;;iv5^ 
be Abu Ja'far's friend, was, nevertheless, his secret enemy, and who, learning by, - S ■?: fe 

heart the last two verses, went the next day to the governor and repeated them tO;: ' ^:; .l';; v J:'; 
him. Abii Sa'id immediately removed Abti Ja'far from his place, and confbred.itvv ■ ;i ;- \;;^^X 
on another learned man. Things, however, did not stop there : Abii Ja'fac:]iaA^ng :^.; 

once said to Hafsah the poetess, "Do not love that black man, and I engage to jbuyj 
" thee ten better than he in the black slave-market," meaning the governory^ho; I 

was of so dark a complexion as almost to resemble a negro, the words were again: 
reported to Abti Sa'id, who, however much he might have resented the outrage,; 
did not at first give vent to his passion, but concealed it in his heart, waitings 
for a favourable opportunity. This, however, soon presented itself, for Abti 
Ja'far's brother, 'Abdu-r-rahman, son of 'Abdu-1-malik Ibn Sa'id, having taken 
part with the rebels, and quitted Granada in order to join the troops under the;: 
command of Ibn Mardanish, who had been proclaimed in the east of Andalus, 
Abti Ja'far was arrested by the governor's orders, thrown into a dungeon, and soon -. 
afterwards beheaded at Malaga, then the place of his residence. But to retum.:to> . 
our account of the Andaiusian poetesses. ; .._ i: 4 . , 

Another poetess named Hafsah, daughter of Hamdtin, and a native of Gu^d^-/ 
laxara, is mentioned by Ibnu Sa'id among his illustrious characters o£;th|^^mfc ; ; 
century of the Hijra. She is also much praised by Ihnu-l-abb^r,; wh^;^ii#^: ::;: 

down as a very clever poetess, and by Ibn Faraj, the author of the ■^^^fW'l^^^ : -- 

(orchards), who quotes some of her verses. ;->'?: ,;^. ■ r^ ^ . ; ^ yfv 

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Zeynab Al-murabiyyah,"^ and Hamdah, whom others call Hamdiinah, were the 
daughters of 2eyad, a native of Guadix. They are mentioned by several authors, 
as Al-maldhi, Abti-i-kasim, Al-barak, and others. Ibnu Sa'id says that they were 
born at Granada, but agrees with the former writers in fixing the city of Guadix as 
their residence. Both were famous for their wit, their literary accomplishments, 
and their talents for poetry. The former, especially, was deeply versed in various 
branches of hterature ; she wrote and copied many works, which, in the opinion of 
Ibnu Sa'id, who says he saw some of them, were written in a masterly style. 
Zeynab died in the year four hundred of the Hijra ; she never would consent to be 
married, although she had numerous proposals. She hved for some time at 
Cprdova, where she used to frequent the house of Al-mudhfer, son of Al-mansur Ibn 
Abi 'A'mir, in whose praise she composed several verses. 

Mariam,'^^ daughter of Abu Ya'ktib Ai-ansari, inhabited Seville, of which place she 
was a native, although other writers say that the city of Silves was the place of her 
birth. Ibn Dih yah, who mentions her in his Al-muttreb, says that she was a learned 
and very accomplished woman, and that she taught rhetoric, poetry, and literature, 
which, united to her piety, her good morals, her virtues, and amiable disposition, 
gained her the affection of her sex, and gave her many pupils ; she lived to an old 
age, and died afte.- the year four hundred of the Hijra. Al-homaydi has Hkewise 
given an account of this poetess, and quoted some of her verses. 

Asma Al-'dmeriyyah was also a native of Seville, where she resided and made 
herself conspicuous among the learned by her talents. She addressed to 'Abdu-1- 
mvimen Ibn 'Ali a risdleh, in which, after stating minutely her genealogy, and her 
claims to a descent from Ibn Abi 'A'mir, she proceeded to beg the favour of being 
exempt from the payment of taxes, and having soldiers quartered upon her. There 
was at the end of the risdleh an ode which began thus : 

■ '' O Prince of the believers 1 O our magnificent Lord! we wish thee 


i "prosperity. May the Almighty give victory to thy arms! 

*- When we rise to the superior regions of tradition, thy name and thy acts 

" are the surest path to them." ^^^ 

Ummu-1-hina, daughter of the Kadi Abu Mohammed 'Abdu-1-hakk Ibn 'Attiyyah,^^* 
learnt divinity from her father, and was, besides, an excellent poetess. She lived at 
Almeria, and wrote several works on the mode of worshipping the Almighty. 

Hind, a slave girl of Abu Mohammed 'Abdullah Ibn Moslemah Ash-shatebi (a 
native of Xativa), is said to have excelled in poetry, music, and the lighter branches 
of literature. It is related of Abii 'A'mir Ibn Yank,^^* that wishmg once to hear 
Hind perform on the lute he addressed her in the following two verses, begging her 
id come to his house : 

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" O Hind, dost thou feel any impediment in coming to me? palm wine is 
" forbidden, 'tis true, but not the drinking of limpid waters. 

" The nightingale, after hearing thy performance, envies thee, and wishes to 
" hear again the deep intonations of thy lute." ^*® 
To which Hind rephed, on the back of the letter, 

" O my Lord ! may the Almighty prosper thee, and increase thy power 
" and importance! 

" It is my intention to hasten to thy presence, and to be in my own person 
'* the bearer of my answer." ^^^ 
Ash-shelbiyyah is mentioned by Ibnu-l-abbar, who says, " I do not recollect now 
*' what her name was, Ash-shelbiyyah ^^^ being only her patronymic. All I know is 
" that she was a very good poetess, as may be gathered from her writings, and 
*' especially from an epistle in verse which she addressed to the Sultan Ya'kub 
'' Al-mansiir, complaining of a certain governor and collector of taxes in the city 
'' where she resided." 

Nazhiin ^^^ the Granadian is described by Ibnu Sa'id, who places her among the: 
illustrious characters of the fifth century. She is likewise mentioned by Al^hijdri, ; 
who portrays her in his Al-maJhah as a female endowed with grelt tenderness of 
soul, and a very mild disposition; extraordinary talents for poetry, and a most 
wonderful memory. She wrote several poems, and made herself famous by the 
beauty and happiness of her similes. .....'■■._. : 

Bahjah, a native of Cordova, and a friend of the famous Waladah,. was equally 
renowned for her beauty and for her verses. She lived in great intimacy with 
Waladah,'^^ the daughter of Al-mustakii, King of Cordova, and profited by her 
lessons. But of this Waladah, who was herself the most eminent poetess of her 
time, as well as of Ramikiyj^ah, 'Imad, Al-*abbddiyyah, and Buthinah, the three 
former wives, and the latter a daughter, of Al-mu'atamed Ibn *Abbad, King of 
Seville, more wiU be said in the course of our narrative. 

Having clearly shown the aptitude and talents of the inhabitants of Andalus, we 
shall now proceed in the next chapter to give, in the words of the historian Ibnu 
Sa'id, as faithful a sketch as we can of the productions of Andalusian genius in 
every department of science. 

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State of literature in Andalus— Epistle on the subject from Ibnu-r-rabib At-temimi to Abfi-l-mugheyrah 
Ibn Hazm—Answer of Abil Mohammed Ibn Hazm— Ti-aditions respecting Andalus— Review of the 
Andalusian literature— Theology and jurisprudence— Works on the sect of M£ik— Commentaries on 
the Koran— Legal decisions founded on the Koran— Biography of the companions of the Prophet- 
Grammar and lexicography — Medicine — Philosophy — ^Poetry — History — ^Metaphysics. 

What follows is transcribed word for word from Ibnu Sa'id. " I deem it oppor- 
" tune," says 'that accurate historian, '* to give here an epistle written by Abu 
'* Mohammed Ibn Hazm the Hdfedh, in which he records some of the excellences 
" of the learned of Andalus. The occasion of his writing the said epistle was as 
" follows. Abti 'AH Al-hasan Ibn Mohammed Ibn Ahmed Ibn Ar-rabib At-temimi 
" Al-cairwanl once wrote to Abii-l-mugheyrah 'Abdu-hwahhab Ibn Ahmed Ibn 
'* 'Abdi-r-rahman Ibn Hazm an epistle in which he stated that the Andalusians 
" were negligent in perpetuating the history of their country, the memory of their 
''doctors, the virtues of their theologians, and the praiseworthy actions of their 
" kings. The epistle ran thus : 
ibnu-r-rai>ib's ^ " -': G our Lord! O thou most beloved among our intimate friends! may the 

" Almighty God write down for thee prosperity and happiness ! may He continue 
" thee in power and command ! may He help and assist thee, put thee in the right 
" path whenever thou askest for direction, and enlighten thee whenever thou wishest 

" to be instructed! 

" ' The object of this our letter is that we some time ago began to think about 
" thy country, and to consider how it was the abode of every excellence, the store 
" of every good thing, the resort of every novelty, and the meeting-place of every 
'' advantage; the end of the hopes of the desirous, and the scope of the wishes of 
" the inquiring; the great emporium of trade, where every merchandize found a 
: " purchaser, and everj^ buyer the object of his wishes. All this we knew to be the 
- ** case with thy country; we knew also that the above-mentioned were not the 


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" only advantages which thy native land could boast of, for it possessed many others, 

" such as the vast number of its learned men, the multitude of its authors, the shining 

'' virtues of its Kings, and their laudable practices in the encouragement of science; 

" their esteem for those who cultivated it, their honouring those Whom science 

" honoured, and their extolling those whom learning extolled : nor was this confined 

" only to science, for the same conduct was observed by them towards niilitary 

" men, distinguishing and raising in command those whom their valour and military 

"knowledge placed above others, and honouring those whom their intrepidity in 

*' battle made honourable. By these means the coward became brave, the timid was 

" made bold,— the obscure, conspicuous,— the ignorant, learned,— the stammerer, 

*' eloquent,— the inarticulate crier, a poet. The Bogdth^ strove to imitate the eagle 

" in his flight, bats were enabled to see^ by daylight, men gave their entu-e attention 

*' to the cultivation of science, and the arts flourished through the general efforts 

" employed in them. All this we know to be true, but at the same time it must be 

" owned that your hterary men are guilty of unpardonable negligence, and unac- 

*' countable indolence, in perpetuating the records of their country; since, instead of : > :v 

"collecting the excellences and advantages of their respective towns,-^instead of ; ;. j:;--- ; >; 

* ' perpetuating in their books the memory of their cities, and transimtting to posterity :^ :^ ;^ ;: , |:, J^: 

" the actions of their Kings and Princes, K^tibs and Wizirs, Kadis and Ulemas,— _v[r^^0^^ 

" instead of leaving behind them accounts which might preserve for ever aibrwards vg, ::^^^. :j:- 

" the fame of their deeds, and eternize and renew their names through the laps&QJf -:::;; ' 

" ages, and the course of nights and days,-— instead of composing hooks whichy like 7 

" the tongue of truth, might herald their virtues to future generations through the 

" succession of time, — they leave every merit and virtue in the most complete state 

*' of oblivion. Yes, truth must be told ; although we admit that your learned men 

" shine like so many bright stars in the sciences, thou must own that every thing 

" belonging to them remains in the shade, does not come before the public, stands 

*' firm on its pivot, and never goes astray. If they write a book, they are afraid of 

" being criticised or impugned ; and if they compile a work, they dare not show it, 

" lest people should be of a contrary opinion to their own ; so that they never do 

" write, or, if they do, it is as if they were carried off by the birds, or blown away 

" by the winds to an enormous distance.^ Not one among them pays the least 

" attention, or employs himself for one moment, in collecting the merits of his edun- , 

" trym^en, or suffers his attention to rest on the brilUant quaUties of former Sujt^s. 

*' None wUl dip his pen to commemorate the actions of their K^tihs. ami: WMt^^-c«^ 

"blot a sheet of paper with the virtuous deeds of their Kadis and JJ]m^f^ P^> 

*' were they to let loose the padlocks of their mouths, and ..untie- the vbbnds that 

VOL. I. 



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" restrain their eloquence, we have no doubt hut that they would find an open space 
" for their speech, and that the roads of literature would be thrown free for their 
*' passage, although their performances might not be equally approved of by every 
" school, and their opinions not followed by every lover of literature. One of them, 
" for instance, will think of devoting himself to a given department of science, and 
" of studying the works of the masters who preceded him in it ; but it is vain for him 
" to collect all the spears of preferment, and to excel in his profession, — he may 
" carry away the vase of Ibn Mokbil,* or take possession of the pen of Ibn 
" Moklah,^ or of the feather-notch of the arrow of Dagfal,^ or become a quinsy in 
" the throat of Abu-l-'ameythal,^ — the very moment he reaches the end of his exist- 
' ' ence, the moment fate cuts the thread of his life, all memory of his actions and 
*' writings ceases, and his learning and science are buried along with him. Such is 
'* not the case with learned people of other countries, for by perpetuating their records 
" they give to each author that share of celebrity to which he is justly entitled, and 
" they write books by which they raise everlasting monuments to their fame. And 
'* if thou pretend to say that the same negligence of which we accuse the authors of 
" thy country is to be found among those of ours, and that they also produce works 
" which never reach the notice of the public, we will answer thee that the assertion 
" is not a true one ; for this country being only separated from thine by an evening's 
" sail, or as it were by a short march, if the wind were to blow to our shores the 
" fame of your authors, or to carry hither the name of their writings, there is no 
" doubt but that the voice would be listened to by the dead in their tombs, not to 
" speak of those who are living in houses and palaces ; and they would graciously 
" admit their performance, in the same manner as they received the collection of 
" poems by Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi-r-rabbihi which he entitled Al-ikd, although, if truth 
" be told, he is somewhat to be blamed for not having made the excellences of his 
''country the chief topic of his book, and the noble actions of Kings the principal 
" jewel in his necklace,^ for not having redoubled his efforts, and given ail his 
** diUgence to the inquiry, but having, on the contrary, strained every ner\^e, and 
" put in motion every joint, to produce — what ? — a sword without edge ; and to do 
- — what ? — what his friends and companions had done before him ; that is, to pass 
over in silence that which might concern them, and neglect to mention that which 
was most important, and might make them appear greater in the eyes of the world. 
This is all we have to say ; now, if thou shouldst have any thing to reply, if thou 
" shouldst have any good reasons to state in return, or have in thy hands the means 
" of solving this difficulty, pray acquaint us with it. Guide thy brother, and may 
**: God guide thee ! Direct thy brother, and may God direct thee ! We salute thee, 
" -^may the Almighty's mercy and benediction be with thee ! ' 





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" When the Wizir Abu Mohammed 'Ali Ibn Ahmed Ibn Sa'id Ibn Hazm^ read 
'' this letter, he wrote the following answer : 

" * Praise be to God, the Lord of all creatures, and his blessings be upon his ibn Hazm's 
' servant and messenger Mohammed, as well as upon his companions, the honour- 
' able, upon his wives, the mothers of the Moslems, and upon all his illustrious 
' progeny, those of the good deeds ! O my brother ! O Abti Bekr ! Accept my 
' salutation and greeting, as the salutation of a beloved brother who has been sepa- 
' rated from thee during many long days and nights, and by thousands of miles and 
' farsangs, and who, on reaching thy dwelling, should find thee preparing for 

* migration and departure, and ready to grasp the staff' of peregrination and travel. 
*' ' When I stayed to consider thy words, when my hands had been stretched over 

' the contents of thy letter, and my eyes had twice rambled over its details, I dis- 
' covered, after some attentive consideration, that its substance was addressed by a 

* certain writer among our African neighbours, and living in the city of Cairwdn, to 
' an Andalusian whose name and genealogy are nowhere mentioned.^" ■ 

" * It is said in the letter that learned men born in this country, although they 
' may have reached the highest summit of elevation in the various departments of 

* science, and attained the most remote extremity in the different branches of 
' learning, are nevertheless unprovided with sufficient talents and imagination to 
' perpetuate the traditions of their country, the virtues and commendable actions of 
' their Kings, the meritorious deeds of their Faquihs, the inflexible justice of their' 
' Kadis, the eloquent productions of their writers, and the profound learning of 
' their doctors and theologians. The letter even goes so far as to describe us as 
' not having among us authors in the different sciences whose writings exist, and 

* whose fame is transmitted to posterity ; for we are told that the moment these 
' authors die their writings are forgotten, and their learning buried along with 
' them ; and certainly, if what the writer of the letter tells us himself be true, it 
' cannot be otherwise, for he informs us that the very moment any work of merit 
^ appears among us it is taken to Africa, and we become the object of continual 

* visitation, and the aim of the repeated attacks of the learned on the opposite shore. 
'* * However, it was at a meeting crowded with all sorts of pohte learning, and 

' a sitting aboundmg in all kinds of science, at a palace inhabited by every ex- 
'■ cellence, and a dwelhng full of every description of elegance,— 
' with the subtilties of thought and the brilliant bursts of the imagination .i%-a' 
' house which is the abode of honour and glory, the repository of di^ty^Sli^" 
" command, the halting-place and refuge of travellers struck with fear; :^d the 

* meeting-place of the staffs of peregrination; the habitation, iu: fine, ; of :1;h^ illus- 
' trious, honourable, and highly respected Kaid, Abii . 'Abdiljah Kdsim, Lord 

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" of Al^bont," that I first became acquainted with the tenour and contents of thy 
" epistle. It was in the presence of that most worthy individual, the offspring 
" of illustrious ancestors, who is esteemed in proportion to the high sources 
" from which he holds his traditions, and the immensity of his learning, acquired in 
" all departments of science; it was at his house, frequented by all those whose 
" families do not sit opposite to them in their sleep, and whom their neighbours do 
" not leave in peace ; ^^ it was in that school of every knowledge, presided over by 
" him whose virtues cannot well be called by their names, whose meritorious deeds 
" Will never be extolled to the height they deserve, and whose praiseworthy 
" character and inclinations will never be eulogized in words sufficiently strong to 
" ooiiVey an idea of them* but whose name alone is a praise and a recommendation, 
" and whose simple mention is more than enough to accomplish what would require 
" long commentaries with another,— it was there, I repeat, that I first fixed my 
" consideration on the contents of thy letter. Then that noble Lord, (may God 
" defer the end of his life, and continue him in his elevated position, in order that 
" the poets who sing his praise may not be destitute of their best ornaments, nor 
" the age be deprived of its principal jewel !) appeared desirous of writing a reply to 
*' thy letter, and expressed a wish of putting in evidence whatever valuable in- 
" formation he possessed on the subject; but, unluckily, he either forgot it entirely 
" m the midst of his important occupations, or put off its execution to an indefinite 
" period ; so that when I became certain that the person to whom thy letter is 
" addressed was among the dead, and therefore that all reply on his part was 
" impossible, since the dead among us are not like those of thy country ; they can 
" neither hear nor answer ; when I heard that the tomb had become his habitation, 
" (may God forgive him as well as me !) I undertook to write the present epistle in 
" answer to thine, since a letter was put into my hands written by thee, and asking 
" for ah answer, and I had before my eyes an accusation which called for a defence. 
" I have a l^t warning to give thee before I begin ; on the arrival of my letter 
" arrayed in the present form, bear in mind that my object was no other but that 
" of conveying information on the bibUography of this country to all those who 
" might need it, and to instruct those who might, hke thee, be far from the sources 
" of inquiry. To God the power in the times past, and in the times to come ! so 
" if thou art in the least instructed and enlightened by what I am going to state, I 
' " shall consider myself happy were I to have no other recompense but the fire of 

.Traditions » ' If traditions respecting this country are wanted, we have Ahmed Ibn 

;3S?; '.' Mohammed Ar-rdzi At-tarikhi' (the historian) , who wrote several works on the 

■ "subject; and among others a very voluminous one wherein he described the 



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routes, ports, and principal cities of Andalns, the six armies or bodies of Arabs who 
settled in it,^'^ the number of its provinces, the remarkable points of each of them, 
the productions of the soil, and every thing else peculiar to this country and not 
to be found in others ; a very fine and most valuable work indeed. But were 
there no other thing in favour of this country than the prophecy uttered by the 
messenger of God when he announced that it would be subdued by his people, 
and described the first conquerors, from whom we descend, as ' angels in armour,' 
— as appears in the sacred tradition that we hold from Tarif Abti Hamzah Ans Ibn 
" Malik, ^5 who had it from his great aunt Ummu-l-har^m,'^ daughter of MaMn, 
and wife of Abu^-walid 'Obadah Ibnu-s-s^mah, (may God pour his favours upon 
them all !) which great aunt received it herself from the mouth of the Prophet,— 
that alone would be sufficient to honour and distinguish this our country, and 
make it superior to any other. For although I am aware that many doctors 
have disputed the interpretation given to the said prophecy, and will continue to 
do so, and are of opinion that the Prophet meant perhaps by it either the island 
of Sicily or that of Akritis (Crete), although I know the objection will be r^iised 
that there is no sufficient proof of what I advance, namely, that the Prophet 
meant by his words Andalus and no other country, and that early traditions like 
this ought not to be admitted and adopted by prudent people unless they be 
' ' accompanied by manifest and convincing evidence, quite disengaged from^ the 
" ambiguities of language, and resting upon the testimony of good and honpiirable 
witnesses; I, nevertheless, persist in giving to the prophecy the aforesaid in- 
terpretation, as the proofs, in my opinion, are conclusive. I state them, trusting 
in God, whose help and assistance I implore. 
" ' It is well known to every Moslem how our Lord Mohammed was endowed with 
*' the comprehensiveness of speech and the cream of delivery, and how God 
" Almighty permitted that whatever was revealed to him should be communicated 
with the tongue of eloquence. It is likewise a matter of fact that a tradition 
authenticated and handed down from witness to witness is in existence, purporting 
that the Prophet said once, ' that two bands from among his people would furrow 
the spray of the seas, and make conquest after conquest,' and that Ummu-1-hardm 
having asked him to beseech his Lord, the Almighty God, to make her one of 
the number, he then announced to her that she would be one of the first con- 
querors ; and so she was, for she joined the naval expedition against Cypriif, 
landed, fought on her mule, and died some time afterwards in the i^apd^^ griay 
God forgive her !} And certainly no other proof can be required b| W M^d 
"Mohammed's prophetic mission than this acquaintance with and prediction of 
" events before they happened. Now this conquest of Cyprus being the ?first naval 






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expedition in which the Moslems were engaged, it becomes evident that the 
warriors who suhdued that island, and planted in it the banners of Islam, were 
the same whom the Lord's messenger designated in his prophecy by that word 
al-awalun (the first conquerors), and that Ummu-1-haram being in their number, 
as the Prophet had predicted, she was entitled to be counted among the /rs^ con- 
querors. From the above-mentioned fact I draw an inference which admits of no 
" contradiction ; for, owing to the eloquence and perspicuity of speech with which the 
Prophet was gifted by the Almighty, it must be concluded that when he men- 
tioned two different bands of his people, one of which he specified by calling it 
" the first, there must necessarily follow another called the second. This is, indeed, 
" a question which appertains to the rules of grammar, the construction of nouns, 
" with their relatives, and the syntax of numbers, for it is an imperious rule of 
' ' logic that a second should follow the first ; since the first is not the first but with 
'* relation to a second, nor the second such but with relation to a first, although the 
" third need not be mentioned unless it be particularly required by the second. So 
" when our Prophet (the Lord's benediction and salutation be upon him !) an- 
" nounced two bands of his people, and foretold two naval expeditions, one of 
" which was called by him al-awalun (that of the first conquerors), that word 
" must necessarily indicate the existence of another band called akharun (the 
" others), and who with relation to the first would have been the second. And 
these are the people whom the Prophet announced would be the best of men, 
after the men of his own age, and the first of mankind in virtue and excellence, 
as well as in upholding the tenets of the rehgion revealed by him who is, and 
" will for ever be, the best of men. 

" ' This point once established, I may easily prove that the conquerors of Andaius 
were mentioned in the prophecy, since this country was the next which the 
Moslems attacked by sea, the naval expedition directed against Constantinople. 
" and which was commanded by Hobeyrah Al-fazari, not having taken place until 
" the reign of Suleyman Ibn 'Abdi-1-malek.^' 

" ' As to the island of Sicily, it was not conquered until the year 212 of the Hijra 
" (a.d. 827-8), in the first days of the reign of the Bern Aghlab, the expedition 
" sailing from Africa at the command of Asad Ibnn-1-forat Al-kadi, the friend >» of 
" Abii Yusuf, who Hved and died in the island. 

*' * Crete was never suhdued by the Moslems until the year 203 of the Hijra 
" (a.d. 818-9), when Abu Hafs 'Omar Ibn Sho'ayb, better known by the surname 
" of Ibnu-1-ghalith, a native of Betrdh (Petroche), in the district of Fahsu-Kboiutt, 
" near Cordova, attacked and conquered it at the head of an army of Cordovans 
^" whom the Sultan Al-hakem had, after a rebellion, fought in several battles and 




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ultimately expelled from his capital. ^^ The throne of the island remained for 
many years in the hands of the posterity of Ihnu-1-ghalith, until, under the reign 
of the last prince of his dynasty, named 'Abdu-l-'aziz Ibnu Sho'ayh, it was 
attacked and reduced by Komanus,^'' son of Constantine, emperor of the Greeks, 
in the year 350 of the Hijra (a.d. 961-2). 

" ' In what respects the division of climates, Cordova, the place of my birth and, 
the scene of my youth, is placed in the same climate with the city of Sarra men 
rai;"^^ we are therefore endowed with intelligence and acuteness of mind, which fall 
to the lot of the inhabitants of the fifth climate ; and although the planets come 
to us only at their setting, after their rising in other countries, a circumstance 
which, in the opinion of those who are versed in the science of the influence of 
the stars over the human body, is rather a proof against the intellectual faculties 
of the inhabitants, yet this country has produced men who have left in the 
sciences as brilliant traces as those of most other countries. On the other hand, 
the elevation of one of her planets ninety degrees is a proof of the aptitude of her 
inhabitants for the sciences, and their high quahficatioiis for them. This is 
indeed become manifest, and may be proved by several instances, for the Anda- 
lusians have always shown the greatest aptitude for the theological sciences, such 
as the reading and expounding of the Koran, tradition and canonical juris- 
prudence; they have exhibited the greatest subtilty and talent in grammar, 
poetry, rhetoric, philology, history, medicine, arithmetic, astrology,-^~leaving in 
every one of the said branches important works. v 

As to the imputation which the writer of the letter casts upon the learned of 
this country, namely, that they are guilty of neglecting to preserve the names, 
birth-places, and genealogies, of the individuals who have distinguished themselves 
by their acquirements in certain branches of learning, my answer is, that if the 
charge preferred against us be as stated, then the same reproach is to be addressed 
to most countries, and to most principal cities and large provinces. So, for 
instance, to begin with Cairwan, the birth-place of the writer who accuses us, 
I do not recollect having read any history of that city, save the account contained 
in the book entitled Kitahu-l-mu'arrab fi aJchhdri-l-maghrehi ^^ (the book of the 
speaker according to the rules of Arabic grammar on the history of the. West), 
and with the exception of what may be found in the works of Mohammed Ibn 
Yusuf Al-warrak,^^ who, as is well known, wrote for Al-mustanser-billah: (whofn 
may God forgive !) several books on the routes and kingdoms of Africa, Oh^Jlie 
history of its Kings, and their wars with those who rose against them..4vThe: same 
author wrote also the history of several African cities, a^^TaMt,^*: Wahr^ 
(Oran), Tunis, Sigilmasah,^^ Nakur,^^ Basrah,^' describing .the; manners and 

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" customs of their inhabitants; all works of the greatest learning and merit. It 
" must be stated that this Mohammed was an Andalusian by origin and by birth ; 
" his parents were bom at Guadalaxara, and he came to settle in Cordova, where 
" he Uved and died, and is buried. Had he been born in Cairwan no doubt he 
" would have been adduced as a testimony against what I am endeavouring to 
" prove, but, I repeat, he was a native of Guadalaxara, and domiciliated in Cordova. 
" But it being my intention to enter at fall length into the subject, and to investi- 
" gate thoroughly the question raised by thee, I shall, with God's favour, proceed 

"to state my arguments. 

It is well known that our most illustrious historians among our ancestors, as 
well as among our contemporaries, without one single exception, all, on the 
contrary, agreeing with me on the subject, have constantly designated authors 
" and other learned men by the patronymic of the country of their residence, 
" provided they did not quit it to travel to other lands, but settled and lived in it 
'' until the time of their death ; so, for instance, when our historians or traditionists 
'* mention those among the companions of the Prophet who are distinguished by 
" the patronymic surname of Kufiyyun, they will put at the head 'All Ibn Abi Tahb, 
Ibn Mas'ud,2« and Khodheyfah.^^ 'Ali only lived at Ktifah for five years and 
some months, and although he had passed fifty-eight years and months of his 
" life both at Mekka and at Medina, (may God preserve them both !) and had 
" distinguished himself in both those cities, he is placed among the people of 
" Kiifah. The same might be said of the two other less illustrious companions 
" above mentioned. When they mention the people of Basrah they will begin with 
" 'Ammar Ibn Hassin,^^ and Ans Ibn Malik; Hisham Ibn 'Amir,^^ and Abii 
*' Bekrah f"^ although every one of these distinguished individuals was born, had 
" tesided, and spent most of his life in the Hejjdz, or in Teharaeh, or in the Tayef,^^ 
'^ his residence in the city whence his name is derived having been but insignificant 
" compared with the time he bad spent in other countries. The same might be said 
^* oiihe. Bhamiyyun (natives of Damascus) ; they will put the first in the list 'Ibadah 
" ibnu-s-samah,3* Abu-i-dirha,^^ Abu 'Obeydah Ibnu-l-jarrah,^^ Mo'adh,^? Mu'a- 
" wiyah,^^ and others, who are in the same circumstances as the above-mentioned, 
'' not having been bom nor having resided any length of time in the city of Damascus, 
" whence their patronymics are derived. They will count among the Misriyyin 
(natives of Cairo) 'Amru Ibnu-h'ass, and Kharijah Ibn Khodafah^^ Al-'abduwi, 
and among the MeHyyun (natives of Mekka) 'Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas,*" and 'Ab- 
" duUah Ibn Zobeyr,*' who are precisely in the same case as the above-described. 
Now those among the learned who at different times have come to settle among 
^*ius we have always treated with justice, since they are held by us in the estimation 





" which their merits deserve, and named after the countries where they were bom. 
' ' They have, it is true, against them all those who do not approve of their doctrines, 
'' but at the same time they have in their favour all their disciples, who take care to 
" preserve and hand down to posterity every particular respecting their ancestors, 
" birth-places, number of works they wrote, and so forth. But does the same thing 
" happen with such among our countrymen as happen to quit this land and settle 
in foreign countries? No, — on the contrary, whenever any of our learned 
leave this their native country to settle in distant lands, no trace whatever is 
left of them, (may they be happy in the places of their residence !) I shall not, 
therefore, lay claim to Isma'il Ibnu-l-kasim,^^ neither shall we dispute about 
Mohammed Ibn Ham,"^ unless we put justice above all things, for justice is the 
thing I mostly aim at and desire ; and my judgments, — independent of the 
respective merits of each author (which are not for the present moment), — shall 
be dehvered with the greatest impartiality. 

' ' ' But to return to my arguments in favour of my proposition, namely, that the 
learned of other great cities have not been so anxious as they are describfd iii 
collecting and preserving the traditions of their native countries. Baghdad is 
certainly the capital of the world, and the mine of every excellence ; it is the city 
" whose inhabitants have always been the first to unfurl the banners of knowledge, 
' ' and to raise the standard of science ; indeed their subtilty in all branches of 
' ' learning, their gentle manners and amiable disposition, noble bearing, acuteness,: 
" wit, penetration, and talent, are deservedly praised. Basrah is the spring whence 
" all the qualities above mentioned flow to the rest of the world, and yet I know of 
" no other work on the history of this former city than that of Ahmed Ibn Abi 
'' Tahir j"*^ for although there are other works written by literary men born in that 
" city, none that I know has made the history of Baghdad the chief topic of his 
" book. Neither do I know of any works descriptive of Basrah than that of 'Omar 
" Ibn Shabah, and that of a man of the tribe of Ar-rabi', son of Zeyad,'*^ and 
" dedicated to Abii Sufian, which treats upon the topography and divisions of 
" that city, and two more works by tAvo of its inhabitants, — one of whom was 
" named 'Abdu-l-kahir, and bore the patronymic surname of Al-kuzi,— giving a 
" description of the markets, streets, inns, and so forth, of Basrah. On the history 
" of Kufah I know of no other work than that of 'Omar Ibn Abi Sheybah f^ and as 
'' to the countries of Al-jebfil, Khorassan, Tabaristdn, Jorjan, Karm^n, Sejest^n; 
'' and Sind, Rey, Armenia, Adhxabijdn, and many other populous ^^dexte^^^^ 
'' provinces, I must own that I never saw, in the whole course "pfmy^^^^ 
** single work in which the history of those countries, the good^aetiops of theii- 
'' kings, and the talents of their ulemas, poets, and physiciaiis, were satisfacto 

VOL. I, 2 A 

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" treated of. In the mean-while, the people of this country were wishing most 
" vehemently for a work that should contain a biographical account of the theo- 
logians of Baghdad, for all we know about them is that they were eminent for 
their learning, highly praised for their virtues, and much honoured and respected 
" for their works : had a work on the subject been published, certainly it would 
'' have reached us, as that of Hamzah Ibnu-1-hasan Al-isfahani *^ on the history 
' ' of Isfahan, and that of Al-maussili ^^ on the history of Maussil (Mosul) , and 
" many others on the history of Cairo that have been received and read in this 
* ' country ; in the same manner as we have become acquainted with various works 
" written by foreign literati on the diifereut departments of science, — such as the 
'' book of Abu-l-'abbas Mohammed Ibn 'Abdiin Al-cairwani,'^^ being a commentary 
" on civil law, and an exposition of the doctrines of the Imam Shafa'i, — such as the 
"critique which the Kadi Ahmed Ibn Talib At-teraimi^° wrote against Abu 
•' Hanifeh, and those who followed his sect, — such as the works of Ibn 'Abdiis,^' 
*' and Mohammed Ibn Sahnun,^^ and other useful books, which, nevertheless, have 
*' not acquired great celebrity for their authors. 

'* ' In what respects this country I must own that nowhere is that universal 
** proverb, ' Man always shuns the knowledge of his own people,' ^^ so appUcable 
" as it is among us; and, as I recollect having read in the book of the gospels, 
" Jesus (on whom be peace !) said, 'the Prophet shall not be destitute of honour, 
•' or protection, but in his own country ;'^* nothing is more true, and the saying 
" can be tested by what happened to our own glorious Prophet with the Koray- 
*' shites, who, notwithstanding their mild disposition and gentle manners, their 
'* extreme forbearance, their quick intelligence, their veracity and honour, and 
" many other qualities in which they surpassed every other people on earth, — 
** notwithstanding they had received from the Almighty the most fertile valleys, 
• ' and the best- watered meadows for their habitation, — notwithstanding God had 
*' distinguished Aus and Al-khazraj ^^ by gifts which made them the most eminent 
" of mankind, — treated the Prophet as is well known. God, indeed, gives to each 
" race of men and to every country as he pleases ; and it has fallen to the lot of 
*' the inhabitants of this country to be the most envious of men towards people 
*' who show learning, or who exhibit talents, or gain fame in any art or profession 
" whatever. So, for instance, the Andalusians will always depreciate the works 
*' brought before them, they will find fault with the best passages, while they will 
" praise and extol those that abound with errors, or are written in a mean and 
' ' defective style ; their envy and ill-will towards the author will last as long as he 
*' lives, and be double of what it is in other countries : if an author acquire fame 
*' by his writings, they will say that he is a literary thief, a plagiarist, a man who 

r^^_r^ - :■_- 

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- attributes to himself the writings of another, or who pretends to what he has no 
" right to ; if the author only reach mediocrity, they will say that his writings are 
<' devoid of sense, his plan bad, his narrative cold and ill-arranged, his style mean 
and defective ; if the author, on the contrary, show by his writings that he will 
collect in time the spears of preference, they will say, with an air of patronage,-- 
When was that ? Where did he learn ? Whose lessons did he receive ? Is he 
an orphan ?— If fate then allow him to enter one of the two ordinary paths of 
hterature, namely, the most frequented and open, or the solitary and deserted, 
if he follow the former they will praise him and extol him above his equals, hut 
if he happen to take the latter, to leave the trodden paths and to introduce the 
least innovation, then begins the fray against the poor author ;^« he becomes a 
mark for the sayings of envious people, and an object for the attacks of the 
designing, a stumbling-block for those who are inclined to satire, a prey to the 
slanderers, and an obstacle in the way of those who wish to travel towards him. 
He will at times be attacked for words which he never uttered, or assailed ; for . - . .; 
sentences Avhich he never wrote ; he will be arraigned for opinions which he nevel-. 
entertained," and charged with things he never dreamt of. The animosity 
against him will increase if he happen to be forward in the line he pursues, or if -^ 
he is not sufficiently regarded by his sovereign, or placed in such a position near 
the Sultan as may ensure him from the attacks of his opponents, and the shafts r^x 
of his envious adversaries; for if he venture upon composing a book he wUl be ^ 

defamed, opposed, and bitterly criticised ; whatever errors he may have committed 
will be magnified and exaggerated, his good points wiU be passed over in silence, his 
" merits will be concealed as with a veil, while he will be continually twitted with 
" such things as escaped him, or what he did without proper care and attention : 
" the consequence of all this being that the poor author is worried to death, that 
" his talents and imagination are sadly impaired by it, that his spirits are broken 
*' down, and his ardour damped. And do not imagine that I am overcharging the 
picture, for what I have just related is the true sketch of what is passing every 
day among us ; and whoever undertakes to write a poem, or to compose a risdleh, 
'' is sure to fall into the circumventing nets that I have just described to thee, 
" and to be entangled in their inextricable knots,— nets which will be escaped by him 
" only who has sense enough to foresee the danger, or sufficient courage to face it, ; 
" or who makes himself superior to what may be said or thought of him. Thisis: 
" the way in which works of the greatest merit have been produced anao^g.fils,. 
" and in such numbers that the readers wiU think they exceed those of-ariybther 
'^ country. I proceed to mention a few. ^> > ; ™ , ■. 

v/vjuiivijf. y -I tp" ;£i, IV^A j 58 Theology and 

'* ' In this branch we possess many first-rate works, such BBih& KiUm't-tieaayeii jurisprudence. 

^ - 

>-»^ 1^- _ . 




Works on the 
sect of Malik, 



on the KorSn. 

" (the book of direction), written by 'Isa Ibn Dinar, which is composed of four 
" parts, the whole collected according to the opinions of Malik and Ibn Kasim.^^ 

''' Another is iliQ Kitdbu-s-saldt^'^ (the book of prayer) ; the Kitdbu-l-buyuH (the 
"book of buying and selhng) ; the Kitdbu-l-jiddr fi-Uah'dhiyd (the book of 
" foundations of the law) ; and the Kitdhu-n-nakdhi wa-t-taldki (the book of 

" matrimony and divorce). 

" ' As to works on the sect of Malik, they abound among us. I may quote among 
" others that of the Kadi Malik Ibn 'All, who was a noble Arab of the tribe of 
Koraysh, of the branch of the Beni Fehr, and who travelled to the East, where he 
met with the disciples of Malik, and the disciples of his disciples : his work is an 
" excellent composition, full of wonderful anecdotes, and abounding with other 
" useful and instructive matter, such as letters, dates respecting the birth and death 
'' of illustrious men, and so forth. Of the same kind is the work of Abii Is'hak 
Ibrahim Ibn Mazin, being a commentar}^ on the Mowattd of Malik/^ and other 
works by the same author, in which he not only paid the utmost attention to the 
interpretation of all obscure words in the said book, but likewise collected and 
"= put together all the information scattered through it. We have by the same 
" author a biographical dictionary of all the doctors mentioned in the Moivattd, with 
'* an account of the traditional sayings which Malik held from each of them. 

" ' Commentaries on the Koran are likewise numerous. I shall only mention here 
" that of Abti 'Abdi-r-rahman Baki-bn-Mokhhd,^^ which is written with so ranch 
" perfection that I do not hesitate to say that the like of it was never composed in 
" any of the countries subject to the rule of Islam ; and that neither the celebrated 
" commentary by Ibn Jarir At-tabari, nor those of other famous writers, can be 
" compared to it. Abu •Abdi-r-rahman is likewise the author of a voluminous work 
on sacred traditions, made in the form of a dictionary, in the following manner : — 








-<•.•.- 4 

he-first of all arranged alphabetically the names of the companions of the Prophet, 
'* (may the Lord's favour be with them !) he then disposed the traditions delivered 
" by each companion according to the initial letters of the different heads of juris- 
prudence and the chapters of judicial decisions, quoting traditions from upwards of 
one thousand three hundred authors. As a collection of traditional jurisprudence I 
" know of no other better than this, nor do I know of any writer who followed this 
" plan before, or who executed his task in a manner so highly deserving of praise, and 
" entitled to so much confidence, or who commanded so much attention and respect 
'* by his grave and sound reasoning, by the variety and judicious selection of his tra- 
ditional anecdotes, and the purity of the springs at which he drank ; for he quotes 
from the mouth of upwards of two hundred and eighty-four doctors, among whom 
^ not dne-tenth were of an inferior class, while all tlie rest were men well known for 



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their learning and their works. Nor were these the only performances of this 
distinguished writer ; he composed besides several works on the excellences of the 
ashdb (companions) and tdbi's (followers) of the Prophet, and other eminent men not 
belonging to either of the above-mentioned classes, which very much increase our 
stock of information derived from the work of Abii Bekr Ibn Abi Sheybah; and 
that of 'Abdu-r-razzak Ibn Hamam,^^ and that of Sa'id Ibn Mansur «^: and 
others. The said writer, as well in this as in his other works, displayed the most 
profound learning, and an erudition which no author before him ever showed : 
the works of this illustrious Imam became the foundations of Islam, and I may 
confidently assert that nothing equal to them was ever written. In private life he 
was a most excellent and virtuous man ; he never would accept any public office, 
and was the intimate friend of Ahmed Ibn Hanbal, (may God show him mercy !) 
" ' On the legal decisions contained in the Koran we possess the Ahkdmu-Ukordn 
(decisions of the Koran), a work by Abu Umeyyah Al-hijari,^ who followed the 
sect of Shafa'i, and wrote in a pure and elegant style: that of the Kd<K Abii-l- 
hakem Mundhir Ibn Sa'id,^^ who followed the sect of Daud,^^ and was one of 
his warmest supporters, and wrote a most eloquent and ingenious defence of it. 
Both the works of these authors on the legal decisions founded on the Kor^n are 
really invaluable. Besides the above-mentioned, Mundhir composed other works, 
as the Kitdbu-l-abdnati min hakdyiki osuli-d-diydnati (the book, of demonstration 
of the true principles of religious ohservances) . ■■ r 

" ' In the department of traditions I can quote the work of Abu Mohammed. Kasim 
Ibn Asbagh Ibn Yiisuf Ibn Nassij,^^ as also that of Mohammed Ibn 'Abdi-1-mdlik 
Ibn Aymen, both of which are compositions of the greatest merit, and contain a 
greater number of traditional stories, and wonderful anecdotes, than any other 
work which has yet come to my hands. The former of those doctors is likewise 
known as the author of several works which are held in great estimation ; as 
for instance the Kitdb ahlcdmi-l-kordn (the book on the decisions of the Koran) , 
following the chapters and divisions of the hook of Isma'il,^^ and the very sense 
of his words; Kitdbu-l-mujtani""' (the book of the gathering), being a work on 
the same subject, disposed in the same form as that of Ibnu-1-jarud entitled 
Kitdbu-l-muntakP' (the book of selections) , to which it is considered far superior, 
not only as containing a greater number of well authenticated traditions and 
precious allegations, but because it abounds with useful and important learning in 
other matters. Another of the same kind is the Kitdb fi fadhdyili Korwy^gk, 
Kandnati (the book on the excellency of the tribes of Koraysh and ; 
and the Kitdb fi-n-ndsikh wa-l-manAh (the book on the copy and; the^original) -^^ 

L€gal decisions 
founded on the 

Science of 



TL^.. J-rf >-^""^^-- —.y --'-_ " -■>r - 


" and the ' book of the wonders of traditions preserved by MaUk, and which are not 
" in his Mowattd ' {Kitdb ghardyibi-l-hadithi Mdliki mimmd leysa fi-l-mowattd) . 

" ' Another work on the subject is that written under the title of At-tamhid (the 
" book of levelling) by our excellent friend Abu 'Omar Yusuf Ibn 'Abdi-l-barr, who 
" is now living, and still very far from old age, (may God delay the end of his life !) 
" Such a book as his was never composed in Arabic ; the style in which it is written, 
" and the respectability of the authorities consulted for it, make it highly commend- 
*' able ; indeed I cannot imagine how a better one couid be written. An epitome of 
" the aforesaid work {At-tamhid), entitled the ' book of the recollections ' {Kitdbu-l- 
*' istidhkdri) ^^ is also counted among the works written by my friend, as likewise 
''many others equally valuable, and the like of which never were written. I shall 
" only mention his ' manual of legal decisions according to the school of Mahk and 
'* his disciples ' {Kitdbu-l-hdfiyu fi-l-Jilc hi wa-l-madh'hehi Malik wa ashdhihi),"^^ which 
" he has divided into fifteen books, and wherein he has introduced every thing that 
" was necessary and important for a Mufti to know, explaining every circumstance 
* ' with the greatest care and attention, thus making it a work that rendered unne- 
'* cessary other great compilations on the subject. He also composed a w^ork on 
*' the biography of the companions of the Prophet, which stands unrivalled by any 
" preceding author who has treated the subject, notwithstanding that many have 
** undertaken it. . 

" * On the same topic we have a book, also the composition of Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr,'*' 
*' entitled 'sufficient rules on the method of reading the Koran, according to the 
" schools of Nafi' and Abii 'Ararii, with proofs in favour of each system,' and the 
'' book called * glory of the assembhes and delight of the assembled on the charming 
" verses and wonderfai anecdotes which occur in the reading of the Koran and its 

"commentaries' {Kitdb lahjati-l-mejdlisi wa anisi-l-mujdlisi),'^'^ and the book en- 
" titled 'repertory of science,'^ and exposition of its advantages,' being a manual 
" of what is necessary to be known in order to become a good traditionist. 

" * I can also mention another work by our Sheikh the Kadi Abu-1-walid 'Abdillah 

" Ibn Mohammed Ibn Ytisuf, better known by the surname of Ibnu-1-faradhi,^^ on 

" the various modes of spelling proper names [Al-molthtalef wa-l-mutalef fi asmdi- 

" r-rejdli),^° which is composed of thirty parts, or books, while the famous one 

*' by the Hafedh 'Abdu-1-ghdni-l-basri,^^ on the same subject, has only two. In 

" fact, I know no better work on this science. 

BLograpiiyof ** ' As to the history of the companions of the Prophet, and other famous tradi- 

of the Prophet. " tionists, written by Ahmed Ibn Sa'id,^^ I can only say that it is a work of the 

; " greatest merit. The author followed an entirely new plan ; he disposed his names 

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" in a manner which I believe was never pursued by any preceding writers, with the 
exception of Mohammed Ibn Musa Al-'okayh, a native of Baghdad,^^ who, I 
am informed, followed the same plan, although his book has not come to my 
hands. Ahmed Ibn Sa'id is, moreover, deservedly put at the head of the authors 

who have treated the subject. 

" 'The Kadi Mohammed Ibn Yahya Ibn Mufarraj** is the author of several 
works in the same department of science. The principal are : a treatise divided 
into seven books, in which he collected all that Al-hasan Al-basd^^ had written on 
" jurisprudence,^^ — a similar compilation of the writings of Az-zahri,^' — and other 
" less elaborate works on the same subject. Of the same kind is a commentary on 
" traditions by 'A mir Ibn Khalf As-sarakosti (of Saragossa), which, in the opinion of 
" Abu 'Obeyd, was the most brilliant production of the age. As to the works which 
" the aforesaid writer composed on jurisprudence and the disciples of Malik, there is . 

" but one opinion in this country ; they are held in great repute, and considered most 
*' accomplished performances : one of them, entitled ^/-mw^faMr^/'a^M mma4-Mma'ii 
" (extracts from the hearing of lessons), better known by the title oiAVothiyyaK,^^ 
" is justly celebrated, and held in great estimation among the people of Africa. 
" ' Another work by Abu 'Omar Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi-1-malik Ibn Hisham Al-ishbili, 
better known by the surnames of Ibnu-1-makuwi ^^ Al-korayshi, is also much 
read. Abu Merwan Al-mu'aytti »° wrote a coUection of all the sayings of MaUk 
Ibn Ans, which is equally commended. The author took as his model the collec- 
tion which, under the title of AUhdUr (the illustrious), ^^ was published by Abti 
Bekr Mohammed Ibnu-1-haddad on the sayings of the Imam Shafa'i. 
" ' The Kitdbu-I-muntekhah (the book of selections) by the Kadi Mohammed Ibn 
Yahya Ibn 'Omar Ibn Lubabah ^^ is well known as the most accurate and learned 
performance that ever issued from the pen of any doctor professing the sect of 
Malik on the traditions respecting that sect, as well as the best commentary on 
" the obscure points in the same traditions. 

*' 'The works of Kasim Ibn Mohammed, known by the surname of Bdh%bu-l- 
'* wathdyV^ are famous for the perspicuity of the arguments employed and the good 
" style in which they are written. He professed the sect of Shafa'i, and followed in 
" every respect the practices and religious opinions of the people of Baghdad. 

" ' So much for the works on theology and jurisprudence. Those on grammar^ ^^^^^J^^ 
" rhetoric, and lexicography, are almost innumerable. Among the first in merit :: 
" stands one composed by Isma'il Ibnu-l-kasim,^* whk;h treats on all topips:c^^. 
" nected with the Arabic language. Another production of the same writer -on the 
" words -which have a short alif, or a long one marked with meddah, ot^hammh,^^ 
*' is reckoned to be the most complete that ever was written on the subject.. 

^< j-i 

■-_ ^^-^ V 


■> '■-^r . 









ra^'T^^T^^^^HTrTTi^yT.^-— r--., -,;- ■ 


" * The Kitdbu-l-afdl (the book of verbs) by Mohammed Ibn 'A mir Al-maghrebi, 
" better known by the surname of Ihnu-l-Uttiyyah^'' (the son of the Goth), with 
" the additions by Ibn Tarif, a mauli^'' of the 'Obeydites, is generally considered to 

" be the best work on the subject. 

" * A compilation of Abu Ghalib Temam Ibn Glialib, known by the surname of 
'* Ibnu-t-tabban, on the various topics connected with the language, passes for the 
" best book of its kind, not only on account of the valuable information which he 
*' collected in an abridged state, but also owing to what he introduced of his own, 
*' and the fidelity of his quotations. The author, I presume, is still living, (may he 
" livelong!) But I cannot proceed any further with my epistle without relating an 
'* anecdote concerning this distinguished writer. I was told by Abu-l-wahd 'Ab- 
" duUah Ibn Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah, known by the surname of Ibnu-1-faradhi, 
'' that when Abu-hjeyshMujahid, Kingof Al-jezayir^s (Algiers) andDenia, conquered 
'* the city of Murcia, he sent to Abu Ghahb, who was then residing in that city, the 
*' sum of one thousand dinars of Andalus, on condition that he would make an addi> 
*' tion to the title-page of the said work, and say that it had been written for him. 
'' This, however, Abii Ghalib refused to do, and returned the money, nor did he 
" ever afterwards comply with the wishes of the Sultan ; on the contrary, he said to 
" the messenger, * Tell your master that were he to lavish on me all the treasures 
" of this world, I would persist in my resolution; I cannot tell a He ; this book of 
" mine was not written for him, but for the generality of studious people.' When 
" Abii Ghalib's answer was communicated to Mujaliid, he was very much surprised 
" at the boldness and severity of his words, but he could not help admiring the 
*' steel temper of the writer's soul, and his contempt for worldly considerations.^^ 

" ' Ahmed Ibn Iban Ibn Seyid^°" wrote a work on the language, entitled Kitdhu-U 
" 'dlmi (the book of the learned), composed of about one hundred parts,^" and 
*' treating on genders. The subject is therein treated with the fullest details, and 
" all the nouns in the Arabic language, beginning with globe {al-folk), and ending 
' * -with dorr ah (a grain of millet) , are properly explained. 

** ' The Kitdhu-n-nawddir (the book of the rarities of speech) by Abu 'All Isma'il 
" Ibnu-I-kasim, ^"^^ being a sort of glossary to ' the book of complement ' (Kitdhu-l- 
" kdmil) by Ibnu-l-'abbas Al-mubarrad,^"^ is justly celebrated. And, by my life, I 
*' do think that the work of Ibnu-l-'abbas exhibits neither the profound knowledge 
" of grammar nor the exquisite erudition of the former, whose work is likewise more 

'' abundant in rhetorical and poetical extracts. 

*' ' An author named Sa'id Ibnu-1-hasan Ar-raba'i,^"* who followed in the steps of 
"the two last-mentioned writers, composed a work entitled 'the book of gems' 
" {Kitdbu-l-fossuss). 




" ' On the science of grammar the following are the most in repute : — 1st. A very 
" fine and ingenious commentary on the work of Al-kesayi/**^ by a man of the 
" name of Al-haufi.'**^ 2ncl. The work of Ibnu-s-sidah on the same subject, 
*' entitled Kitdhu-l- dlimi wa-l-muta'Uami (the book of the master and the 

— - ^ 

" disciple).'"^ 3rd. A commentary on the grammatical work entitled the book 
" of Al'okhfash,^^^ by the same author. 

" ' In poetry I shall first of all mention the work of 'Obadah Ibn Mai-s-sami/^^ Poetry. 
" which is a biographical account of poets born in Andalus — a very splendid perform- 
" ance : Kitdhu-l-haddyik (the book of enclosed gardens) by Abu 'Amru Ahmed Ibn 
" Faraj,"" who wrote it in imitation of the Kitdhu-z-zohor (the book of flowers) by 
" Abu Mohammed Ibn Daiid,^^^ with this difference, that the work of the latter 
" contains only one hundred chapters with one hundred verses each, while that 
" of the former has two hundred chapters with the same number of verses in 
" each : there is still another circumstance which makes the work of Abu 'Amrti 
" the most valuable of the two, which is that there are not two chapters in his 
" book bearing the same title, a thing which is of frequent occurrence in that of 
" Abii Mohammed. 

" ' Besides the two aforesaid works on the poetry and the poets of this country 
' ' there is a learned composition entitled * the book of parallels drawn from the 
" works of various poets ' {Kitdbu-UtasliUhdti min-ash' dri) , and which is attributed 
" to Abii-l-hasan 'AH Ibn Mohammed Ibn Abi-l-hasan Al-katib, who is now living, 
" (may God protract his existence!) as likewise a splendid commentary on the 
" poems of Al-mutennabi by Abu-1-kasim Ibrdhim Ibn Mohammed Al-ifiili."^ 


" But had the Andalusians no other work to boast of than that entitled Shodhuru- 
" l-dhahab (gold particles), this alone would be sufficient to prove their eloquence 
" and establish their fame as poets. The author is 'All Ibn Musa Ibn 'Ali Ibn 
" Mohammed Ibn Khalf Abu-1-hasan Al-ansari Al-jayyeni (from Jaen),^^^ an in- 
" habitant of the city of Fez, and preacher of its mosque, who is generally 
" acknowledged to have had no rival in poetry. Indeed his poem on alchymy 
" is considered to be the best poetical composition of the age for the fulness and 
*' depth of the measure, the comprehensiveness of the meaning, the eloquence 
" and choice of the expressions ; so much so that it was a common saying among 
" Andalusian fiterati, ' If Abu-1-hasan's poem cannot teach thee how to make 
" gold, it will at least show thee how to write verses,' — and others would 
" ' Abii-l-hasan's gold may be surpassed, but his science cannot.' He wasralsa ; 

- '' _ _ ^ _ ^ _ ^- ^ . 

" called the poet of the Hakims, and the Hakim of the poets, and died (may God 
" forgive him !) in the year 393 (a. d. 1G02-3). ■: 

" ' If from poetry I pass to history I shall be able to prove to thee, that in that Histoiy. 

VOL. I. 2 B 

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"■ science also we possess some works of the greatest merit. I have already said 
" elsewhere that the historian Ahmed Ibn Mohammed Ar-razi left several valuable 
" writings on the history and topography of this country. In this number is 
*' counted a history of the Sultans who reigned over Andalus, in which their 
" actions, their wars, misfortunes, victories, and defeats, are related in great detail. 
'' Besides this work, which was composed of several books, Ar-rdzi wrote a 
" description of Cordova and its principal streets and suburbs, together with its 
'SpubHc buildings, and the palaces of the nobles; a work very much resembling 
"that which Ibn Abi Tahir wrote on the history of Baghdad, wherein he described 
"the peaces and sumptuous residences built in that capital by the courtiers of 

'* Abii Ja'far Al-mansur. 

Histories of private individuals abound also witli us. I may quote that of 

Omar Ibn Hafssian,^^^ a rebel who rose in the city of Raya, relating his actions, 
*' ;his battles, and .other curious incidents of his life. Of the same kind is the 
" iiistory of the hfe of 'Abdu-r-rahmdn Ibn Merwdn Al-jariki,"^ who rose in the 
*',north-western districts of Andalus. I have seen also historical accounts of the 
^' Bern Kasi, of the Tojihites/^^ and the Beni Tawail,^^^ who had their settle- 
";mentsinthe,Thagher, all drawn up with the greatest care and containing most 
" valuable information. On the history of Raya,^'^ a city in the south of Andalus, 
•' I have read a book divided into many chapters, and containing a very ample 
" description of that city, as well as of the forts, castles, and villages in the 
'' neighbourhood, and a narrative of all the wars waged in its territory, the whole 
" being accompanied by a very extensive biography of theologians and poets born in 
'.' that city. The author's name is Is'h^k Ibn Salemah Ibn Is'hak AUeythi.'^^ 

"'Mohammed Ibnu4-harith Al-khoshni ^^o ^ote a history of the Kadis of 
" Cordova and;o:ther .cities of Andalus ; another work containing the lives of eminent 
" 'theolpgians is likewise a production of this author. The book of Ahmed Ibn 
" Mohammed Ibn Musa ^21 on the genealogy of the noble families established in 
".Andalus, composed offive thick volumes, is one of the most complete and best 
" written ^hooks ^on that science. The .genealogical work by Kdsim Ibn Asbagh ^^^ 
" is also very much valued for the clear and perspicuous manner in wliich the 
" narrative is disposed. The aforesaid writer (Kasim) is likewise the author of a 
" work in praise of the Beni Umeyyah, which has acquired great celebrity in this 
"country, owing loathe authenticity of the sources which the author consulted, as 
" well as to the admirable way in which the whole work is conducted. I shall not 

"stop to enumerate other histories of the same kind which I have seen and 
" read, being those of cities, governors of castles,'^^ and chiefs of the different 
".bodies.of Arabs who, from time to time settled in various districts of Andalus; 



f - - 

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> \ > - 





" for as their number is very considerable, I might protract this ray epistle to an 

" undue length. 

" ' Our large histories are valuable and numerous. That of Ibnu Hayyan, sur- 
•' named Abii Merwan, composed of about ten volumes,^^* is undoubtedly one of the 
" best works that ever were written on the subject. The author is now living, and has 
"not yet passed the age of manhood, (God preserve him !) I have seen also several 
" works by various authors containing the lives of authors and poets bom in different 
" towns of Andalus, and the whole of which were written for the use of Al-mustanser- 
billah, (may God show him mercy !) Of this number is a biography of poets bom 
at Elvira,^^' in about ten volumes ; and another historical work entitled * the rising 
" of the constellations ' {Kitdhu-Umattdm) ,'^^ which treats on the genealogy of the 

" Andalusians. 

" ' Another historical work of great repute is that entitled Vthe book of vestiges 
''of Ibn Abi 'Amir' {Kitdbu-l-mdthin-Vdmiriyyah) by Huseyn Ibn 'A'ssim/^' 
'' being a history of the famous Al-mansur Ibn Abi 'Amir. The work of Al-ifshin 
" Mohammed Ibn 'A'ssim, the grammarian/^^ on the classes of Kdtibs born in 
" Andalus. is much read ; as likewise another on the same subject by Sakn Ibii 
*' Sa'id,^=9 and the work of Ahmed Ibn Faraj^^^ on the history of rebels who rose 
" at different times in Andalus against the supreme government ; and the history of 
" the Andalusian physicians by Suleym^n Ibn Joljol.^^^ 

" ' As I have touched upon medicine it will not be amiss to say that on this MetUcme. 
" science we number some productions of the greatest merit ; such as the works: of 
" the Wizir Yahya Ibn Is'hak/^^ which are most valuable, and those of Mohammed 
" Ibnu-1-hasan Ai-mud'haji, better known by the surname of Al-kat^ni,'^* whose 
" lessons I have received, (may God show him mercy !) The compositions of this 
" latter author are justly placed above all those of the same kind, and held in the 
" greatest esteem. Another valuable work is the Kitdbu-t-tasrif (the book of deri- 
" vation)' by Abu-l-kasim Khalf Ibn 'Abbas Az-zahrawi,'^* whom I knew, and 
'' with whom I was on terms of great intimacy; and certainly were I to advance 
" that a more complete work was never written on the medical science, nor one in 
" a better style, nor one showing better practical remedies against all diseases, I 
" should not be far from the truth. The works of Ibnu-i^haytham '^' on the , 
" properties of plants, poisonous substances, and aromatic roots, are well known as 
" works of great merit, and from which readers derive great advantage. v ;: |^;^: 

" ' In the science of natural phikisophy I have seen several treatises and^^S|#^P^"«^°P'>5'- 
*' works by Sa'ad Ibn Fat'hun As-sarakosti,^^^ better known by ^the^^m^e^^^ 
'' Al^ammdr, or the match-seUer, an adjective derived from ^that?teade;^%^ome 
" epistles by our master Abu 'AbdiUah Mohammed Ibnu44msa4 M-mud'baji a^ 


-L T - - 

^^ - 

I- ■- ^J-. 





" also well known, and in the hands of every reader, — being works of the greatest 
" merit, and exceedingly useful and instructive. 

" *,0n arithmetic and geometry I cannot say much myself, these being sciences 
which have not fallen to my lot. I have, it is true, met with many works, but as 
I am unable to decide upon their respective merits, I shall not dwell upon the 
" subject ; I shall merely state that I have repeatedly heard people versed in these 
" matters, and in whose veracity and good judgment I have every reason to place 
" the most implicit confidence, say that there never was a better work written on 
" the science of astronomy, nor better astronomical tables constructed, than those of 
*' Moslemah^^^ and those of Ibnu-s-samah,^^^ both of whom are natives of this 
" country. I might say the same of a work entitled ' the book of geometrical 
" dimensions' {Kitdbu-l-7nasdhati-l-majhulati), the composition of Ahmed Ibn Nasr, 
" who occupies a distinguished place among the mathematicians of Andalus. 

" * But were I to mention here all the works which are really deserving of notice 
in any of the seven liberal arts, of which no prudent man will undertake more 
than one at a time, nor excel in more than one, I might protract this my 
narrative to an undue length ; I have therefore contented myself with noticing 
such works as are generally considered the standards of their respective sciences, 
works of which it cannot be said that they remain obscure after being commented 
'* upon, or that they are compositions exhibiting errors to be corrected, or epitomes 
"of larger works in which some of the sense in the original has been lost, or 
" compilations which are confused. As to the works of middling merit, I have 
" taken no pains whatever in enumerating them ; indeed the task would have been 
" above my power, they being as numerous as the drops of water in the ocean, or 
"as the sands of the desert : the names only of Andalusian authors who have 
" written on various subjects are more than can be put upon paper. 
Metaphysics. " ' It remains for me to say something on the science of metaphysics and its 

" cultivation in this country. Although Andalus has never been made a field for 
" the dispute or trial of religious controversy, or a repository of various sects and 
opinions, as is the case in the East, (a reason why our proficiency in that 
science should be smaller,) yet, all things considered, I cannot say that we are 
entirely devoid of valuable compositions on the subject, since there have been 
among us doctors who not only have professed the religious opinions of the 
" Mo'tazelites and observed their dogmas, but have written several works in defence 
" of, and for the propagation of, that sect. Such areKhalil Ibn Is'hak^*^ and Yahya 
" Ibnu-s-saminah, and the Hajib Milsa Ibn Hadid, and his brother the Wizir, who 
"was at the same time 8dhibu-l-muthdlimi (judge in cases of appeal), all of whom 
" ■professed it in public, and afforded a proof that their living in it was not con- 




^ ^ - ^ 

^ > 

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" sidered an obstacle for the filling of public offices. As to me, I follow the sect 
"of Malik Ibn Ans, that, among the four authorized ones, which is general 
" throughout this country; and i have written on the subject a work, which, 
" although small in size, and containing but few leaves, — a little more than two 
" hundred, — is nevertheless a very useful and instructive one,. since I have purged it 
" of many errors which abounded in works of the same kind, and have cut a 
' ' piece out of its length and made it shorter by inserting merely arguments drawn 
*' from precedents authenticated, and emanating either from the testimony of the 
" good or the sayings of the inspired, and which we iirmly believe to be true. I 
" have besides written several other works on the same subject, some which are 
" already finished, others nearly so, some only begun, and which 1 trust in God I 
" shall have leisure to complete ; for certainly it is not literary fame nor honours of 
" any sort that I seek by their publication, — it is not praise and its sweet gales 
" that I desire to attract by mentioning them here: my sole object and intention 
* ' being that of contributing to the honour and glory of our Lord, the Almighty, 
" the magnificent, whose favour and assistance I implore, and whose mercy I 
' ' beseech for such transgressions as I may have been guilty of in the composition 

"of them. But to return. 

'' ' I have said that this country was situated far from the fountains of science 
" and the abode of the learned ; and yet, among the works which I have just 
" enumerated, there are many which thou wilt look for in vain either in Al-ahwaz, 
"or in Persia, Diyar-Modhar, Diyar-Kabi*,^*^ Yemen, or Syria, notwithstanding 
" the proximity of all these countries to 'Ir^k, which is the cradle of learning and 
" the shelter of the inteihgent, — the abode of science, and the meeting-place of 
" its masters. So when I mentioned among the poets Abii-l-aj'rab Ja'unah 
" Ibnu-s-samah Al-kelabi,^'^ I only compared him to Jerir^*^ and Al-farazdak,^** in 
" whose time he flourished. I ought in justice to have quoted some of his verses, — 
" he followed the old school, and not in any way the rules of the modern. "When I 
" praise Baki Ibn Mokhlid I make him inferior only to Mohammed Ibn Isma'il 
" AUbokhari,^** and to Moslem Ibnu-hhejjaj An-nisabun.^*^ and Suleyman.Ibn 
" Al-ash'ath As-sejestani,^*^ and Ahmed Ibn Sho'ayb An-nisdyi.^*» In mentioning 
" Kasim Ibn Mohammed I acknowledge no superiors to him except Al-kaffdl^*^ 
" and Mohammed Ibn 'Okay] Al-farayabi,^^" with the latter of whom he not only 
" lived in great intimacy, but shared the instruction of the Sheikh Al-medani, 
" whose disciples. they both were. When I name 'Abdullah Ibn Kasim, Ibn-) 
"and Mundhir Ibn Sa'id, I only mean to compare with : them Abu-l-^hasan 
" Ibnu-l-muflis ^^' and Al-khallal,^^^ and Ad-deybaji ^^^ and RaMyim; Ifen Ah- 

- - r 

" med,'^* whose friends and contemporaries they were. 

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" * In alluding to Mohammed Ibn 'Omar Ibn Lubdbah, and his uncle Mohammed 
" Ibn 'Isa, and Fadhl Ibn Salemah, I could only match them with Mohammed 
" Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn 'Abdi-l-hakem/^s and Mohammed Ibn Sahnun/^^ and Mo- 
'* hammed Ibn ^Abdiis;^^^ and in proclaiming the merits of Mohammed Ibn Yahya 
" Ar-riyahi,^^^ and Abu 'Abdillah Mohammed Ibn 'A'ssem, I did not esteem 
" them inferior to those of Mohammed Ibn Yezid Al-mubarrad. In reckoning 
" the poets I may safely advance that if we had no other to boast of but Mohammed 
" Ibn Mohammed Ibn Darrdj Al-kastah,'^^ although he came after Sha,^^" and 
^* Bashar^'*^ and Habib,'^^ and Al-mutennabi, this alone would be sufficient to 
" do uS honour;, but what wilt thou say when besides him I mention to thee 
*' such illustrious names as those of Ja'far Ibn 'Othmdn AUiajib,'^^ and Ahmed 
" Ibn 'Abdi-1-m^hk Ibn Merwan,'^* and A'ghlab Ibn Sho'ayb,'^^ and Mohammed 
" Ibn Shakhiss,!^^ ^nd Ahmed Ibn Faraj, and 'Abdu-1-mdlik Ibn Sa'id Almu- 
"= r^di,^^' all of whom were most eminent poets, the imitation of whom in any of 
' ' the branches of literature is fraught with difficulties and danger ? What wilt 
" thou say of people like Ahmed Ibn 'Abdi4-malik Ibn Shoheyd,^^^ our friend and 
''■ companion, who is living at this moment, and has not yet reached old age, 
" (may God preserve his hfe !}— a poet who has constantly been roving in the 
" meadows of literature, and wandering over the mountains of eloquence, in a 
" manner which it is in vain for me to describe, since language does not affisrd 
'' adequate words for it, nor is my tongue competent to the task, were it even 
*' to be gifted with all the eloquence of those of 'Amru and Sahl?^®^ "What of 
" Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah Ibn Masarrah,^'^ who made himself famous for his 
" beautiful style, although I do not entirely agree with him as to the school he 

" followed in his writings ? 

' This is what I thought proper to state in answer to the letter of the African 
"doctor, (may God forgive him !) and as a proof of what I have advanced ; 
"although it must be observed that I have introduced nothing which was not 
" absolutely necessary to refute the arguments of the writer; for had I chosen 
" to expatiate on the subject, I might have swollen this epistle of mine into a 
'^Voluminous work. Praise be to God, the imparter of knowledge, him who 
" shows the path of honour and distinction, and the blessing of God be upon 
** our Lord Mohammed, his servant and messenger, and peace, honour, and 
" prosperity, be upon all those of his family, his companions, and followers, and 
*' upon all the true believers ! Amen.' " 

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CHAP, v.] 




. _ . ^ 


Tlie i^ame subject continued — Ibnu Sa'id's addition to Ibn Hazm'a epistle — Sciences relative to the 
Koran— Traditions— Jurisprudence— Dogmas of religion —History— Polite literature— Grammar — 

Geography — Music — Medicine— Natural philosophy. 

— - M h 




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& I " " 

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After copying the epistle that we have just transcxibed, the learned historian 
Ibnu Sa'id continues as follows: V^ '^ a - ;; r':/: ^ 

" In order that this important subject should be pgrpperfy ijlw^r$te(i, j ^have ib^^p^ 
deemed it convenient to add, by way of supplement to vthe:episf^e .o£:itii^^^zirita^n|^^ 
and Hafedh Abu Mohammed Ibn Hazm in praise of the Ajj^alusiansmd,' their '^' ;'" "^ 
writings, an account of such works as he was not acquamted with in Jiis.tijne,^ 
or which have been written since the learned writer's deaths and ha\^e ^her 
reached my notice or Men into my hands. I shall begin mth the: fe^^^Mr^d 
wiUof the Almighty God, whose help I humbly, beseech and implore..:,- ';;":;-: 
" In the sciences that have the Koran for their object I ;shah- make paj^ticular sdences^^^^^^ 
mention of a commentary on that divine work by the learned and piouS Jm^m Koi^n. . :■ 
Abii Mohammed Mekki Ibn AM Talib Al-kortobi; This work, which consists 
of about ten books, is generally reputed the best of its land, aiid is entitled 
Kitdhu4-heddyati ila balughi-n-nehdyati ' (the book of direction to reach the 
end of perfection). Another commentary on the holy book, entitled .Kii^w- 
Utafsim ' drdbi-l-kordni (interpretation of obscure words contained in theKoi^n),^ 
is also the production of this author, who wrote no, less than ■ seyenty-seven 
different works on various topics. Ibnu Ghalib, who Numerates :them:;'ali 
in his Forjatu-Uanfus (contentment of the soul), lavishes great' ^praise, on athis 
Mekki, whose death he places in the year 374 of the Hijra (A.j).,^984-5),^:--:::n ^ : 
'* Another commentary on the Koran, ,hy Abu Mohammed ;Ibnr 'AttiyyahiU, - 
" gharnati,Ms justly celebrated both iii the East. and ;the 'V^st. ■ -ffrh^^^or 
" flourished m the sixth century of the Hijra. :;, ^.^^v,■^^|^,|q^^H/ • 

" On the modes of reading the Kordn we have .an excellei^t-totisie .l^yrthe 
» aforesaid .author Mekki, entitled jKji(^6M.f.ite&^^flifXthe>opferf^spiQmt^ 











i^^-^t^^^^; V 


" another c^Hed At-tey sir '•^ (the book of levelling the difficulties, or that renders 
" reading easy), by Abu 'Amru Ad-dani, both of which are in every body's hands. 
Tiaditions. *' On the science of sacred traditions there was in my days, (that is, in the 

" seventh century of the Hijra), an Imam of the name of Abii-l-hasan 'AH Ibnu-1- 
- " kattan Al-kortobi,"* who resided at the court of Morocco, and who wrote several 


" works on the interpretation of marvellous traditional stones, and on the men 
" mentioned in them. He reached the utmost perfection in his writings, which 
" are now consulted by every one, and I was told that he was busy compiling a 
" work on the science of traditions which should embrace all the information 
"to be found in the great collections, without their numerous repetitions. 

" The work of Razin Ibn 'Omar Al-andalusi, which is a very learned com- 
" pilation from the writings of Moslem Al-bokhan, An-nisayi, and Termedhi, as 
" likewise from the Mowattd of Malik, and the Kitdhu-s-sonnan,^ is considered 
" a very learned performance, is well known throughout the East and West, and 
" is in the hands of every scholar. 

** 'Abdu-1-hakk Al-ishbili'' is the author of a work on the same subject, 
'* which has acquired the greatest reputation and celebrity. The title is Kitdhu- 
" l-ahkdm (the book of statutes), and he wrote the Kitdbu-l-ahMmi-l-kobrd (the 
" great collection of statutes) ; Kitdbu~l-ahkdmi-lsoghrd (the small collection of 
" statutes) ; and some pretend that he wrote another called Kitdbu-l-wdsitu (the 
" middHng collection). 

" The Kitdbu-l-jum'i heyna sahihina (the book of union of the two Sahih) by 
" Al-homaydi,^ is sufficiently known, and needs not my recommendation. 

JurisprHdeiice. " If I pass on to jurisprudence, I can mention a work which people mostly 

" consult in these times, and which, during my stay at Alexandria, I found in the 
" hands of almost every doctor of the sect of Malik, among whom it has become 
"famous; but the title of the work has escaped my memory. I can also quote 
** the collection published by Al-barada'i of Saragossa,^ under the title of Kitdbu- 
" UtadliMb (the book of gilding). The work entitled Kitdbu-n-nihdyati ^ (the book 
"of complement and end), by Abu-l-wahd Ibn Roshd, is a composition of the 
" greatest merit, held in much estimation, and a book of reference for doctors 
" professing the rite of Malik Ibn Ans. The Kitdbu-Umuntaki (the book of the 
** marrow), by Al-baji,*" is also much commended. 

Dogmas of " On the dogmas of religion, and the foundations of law, w^e have the work 

" of the Imam Abu Bekr Ibnu-l-'arabi Al-ishbiH,'^ entitled Kitdbu-l- awdssimi 
" wa-l-kawds&imi (the book of pieces and fragments), which is well known and 
" common among the studious. We have also by the same author several works 
"on various subjects; and by Abii-i-walid Ibn Roshd numerous treatises also on 

>-!. L\^ ■_^_ 

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" the foundation of canon law, the most approved of which hears the title of 
*' Kitdhu-l-mohhtasari-l-mustsafi,^'^ (a commentary on the Mustsafi). 

*' Histories and chronicles ahound with us. Besides those already mentioned in History. 
" Ibn Hazm's epistle, I can recommend the Kitdhu-l-matin *^ (the book of soUdity^y; . 
" by Ibnu Hayyan, composed of sixty volumes or thereabouts, and the KitSUrl^ 
" TmUabis (the book of those desirous of information) by the same author/which 
" Ibn Hazm states to be composed of ten volumes. From the Matin — a hpok 
" in which Ibnu Hayyan related with great detail all the historical events that 
" occurred in his time, and of which he himself was an eye-witness — the author 
" of the BhakUrah (treasure)" is said to have borrowed his narrative. This 
" last-mentioned work has of late been increased by Ab^-1-hej^j Al-bayesi (of . 
" Ba6za), who is now residing at Tunis, the capital of Africa proper, where he 
" enjoys the favours and protection of the Sultan. 

"The Kitdbu-l-mudhdhaferi,^^ so called from the name of its author^ A1-- 
" mudhdhafer Ibn Al-afttas, King of Badajoz, a work almost equal to-::the:i^rtf/?i 
" of Ibnu Hayyan in number of volumes, and which embraces: the political. and '"^ 
" hterary history of the times, is justly considered to be one of the most brilliani; \;^.;|j0g 
" productions of the age. 

'* A history of the Sultans of the Lamtumni dmasty, by Ibn Sdhibi-s-saUt,':^ .^^^^.^^^^^^^ 

r -^-H-. - ^-.-^^ 

^ ^" ^J^^- -: 

" and another on the same subject by Ibnu-s-seyrafi," of Granada, which I have -%s'-,^.^.> 

\ i^ r" 7 ^ V "J— ^ I- "-^ ' '.C^' t 


" not read, but which is much praised- by Ibnu Gh^ib, are among o}xr .he^rrni^it }^::^r0;B^ 
" of the kind. The same author (Ibnu Ghalib) says that Abu-li-hasan AMaliinr^ 7f 3^ 
" wrote a history of the second civil war in Africa and AndailusV disposed cHfonb- 
" logically, beginning at five hundred and thirty-nine (a. d. 1144-5), and ending 
" in five hundred and forty-seven (a. n. 1152-3). 

'' Abu-1-kasim Ibn Bashkuwal is counted among our most eminent historians. 
" "We have by him a biographical dictionary of illustrious Andalusians since the 
" times of the conquest down to his own days,^^ to which, he added such infor- 
" mation on the history and topography of Cordova, and other principal cities of 
" Andalus, as came within the scope of his work. He wrote also a biographic^ 
*' dictionary of distinguished authors, under the title of Kitdbu-s-silat (the book 
" of the gift). Before the days of Ibnu Bashkuwal another eminent historic 
" named Al-homaydi had written a valuable work on the history of this /couritt^^^ 
" entitled Jadh'watu4~muktabis'^ {?iSipsvk from the Muhtahis). ■ ; !::^;^ -^^;!i|^ 

"Abu 'AhdiUah Ihnu-1-abbar, of Valencia, secretary to the King^ M^Bp 
" proper, has published in our days a supplement to ■ thev b6e^=;|^|#3|;i 
" by Ibnu Bashkiiwa.'^^ ■/ ^ ?- }M§MfM-'^< ^"^ : 

"The Faquih Abd Ja'far.. Ibn ^!y)di-l-hala: Al-khazr^vlp|#d^^ 

VOL. I. / 2 C 


-> I 


\ - -^ 

according to Ibnu Ghalib, a great historical work entitled Kitdbu4-iktifd fi 
" akhbdri-Ukholafd^^ (the book of sufficiency on the history of the Khaiifs), which 
"begins with the first Khahf, and ends in the reign of 'Abdu-l-miimen. He not 
•' only gave the history of the events which happened in the East, but also of those 

" of Andalus. 

" Abu Mohammed Ibn Hazm, whose epistle I have transcribed, wrote several 
" works on the history of the Arabs, one of which he entitled Noh' tatu4- arus 
" fi akhHri-l-klmlafdi-l'andalus^^ (the embroidery of the bride on the history of the 

"Khaiifs who reigned in Andalus). 

- 'VAbu-1-walid Ibn Zeydun wrote his Kitdbu-t-tehyini fi Kholafdi Beni TJmeyyah 
^' fi-Umdahsi^ (the' book of demonstration on the Khahfs of the house of 
** Umeyyah in Andalus), which he is said to have composed in rivalry of the 
" famous work on the Eastern Khaiifs entitled Kitdhu~t-taHni fi Kholafdi-l- 
" mashfreki [the book of conspicuity on the history of Eastern Khaiifs) .^^ 

" The Kddi Abii-l-k^sim Sa'id Ibn Ahmed At-toleytoh (of Toledo) has left us 
'* two most valuable compositions, — one entitled Kitdhu-t-ta'rifi hiakhbdri 'ulemdi- 
.l-umdmi mina-l- ardbi wa-l-'ajemi (the book of instruction on the history of the 
learned among the Arabs, as well as among foreigners) ,^^ and the other Jdmi'u 

" dkhbdri-l-umami (a general history of nations) . 

" Abti 'Omar Ibn 'Abdi-1-barr is the author of another excellent history, which 
" bears the title of Kitdbu-l-kasdi wa-l-amdmi fi mu'arefati akhhdri-l-arahi wa-l- 
" 'ajemi (the object and the end— on the history of the Arabs and other nations)." 

" Ghaiib Ibn Sa'id, from Cordova, wrote an epitome of Tabari's large historical 
" work.'^^ lie executed his task in a manner which met with general approbation 
" among the learned of this country, and gave him great reputation. Another 
" circumstance contributes to make his work still more valuable, namely, that he 
*^: added- to his epitome, by way Of supplement, a history of Andalus and Africa, 
^^'i- Ahmed ibn Sa'id Ibn Mohammed Ibn 'Abdillah, better known by the surname 
" of'Ibnu-1-fayyadh, wrote likewise an historical work under the title of Kitdbu~l- 
** 'i6«r (the book of advice) .^^ . 

There exists also a biographical dictionary of eminent grammarians and 

rhetoricians / who . lived in the eastern provinces of .Andalus by Abu Bekr 

Al-husejm Ibn Mohammed Az-zubeydi f° and another work of the same kind, 
"containing the Uves of distinguished theologians, poets, and authors, by the 
'* Kadi Abii-1-walid, generally known by the surname of Ibnu-1-faradhi. 

" Yahya Ibn Hakem Al-ghazzal ^^ wrote a history of Andalus in verse. The same 
"was done after him by a poet whose name was Abu Talib, and who was also known 
';f:by; the surname of Al-mutennabi Jezirak-Shukar (the Mutennabi of Alcira), of 


. i 

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CHAP, v.] 















" which place he was a native. Ibn Besain, the author of the. Bhakhir ah (treasure), 
" from whom the preceding information is taken, borrowed considerably from the 
" poetical writings of Abu Tahb. But this is not the moment for judging of the 
"respective merits of these two authors. The . book" very much- resemble -the 
" supplement to the Kitdhu-l-kaddyik (the book of enclosed gardens), by IbaiB^arajv; . 
" At the same time, and almost in our days,^'^ Al-fat'h published his. ifiTa/ili^itZMwZ- 
'ikiydn (golden necklaces), a work full of eloquence, and held in great estimation 
by the learned. We have likewise by him a work bearing the title of Matmaku-U 
anfus (place of recreation of the soul),^^ and of which there are three editions, great, 
middling, and small. Its contents are the Uves of illustrious men contained in his 
Kaldyidy and others who lived before them. Since the publication of these two 
works by Al-fat'h, a work entitled Sumttu4~jumdni wa sakittu-l-marjdni (pearl : 
necklaces and showers of seed pearls) has appeared, by Abii 'Amm Ibnu-l-imdm.^* 
It is a sort of supplement to the Kaldyid and to th&Matmah, wherein the autiiQr: 
has introduced the lives of all those eminent men who either. escaped5A:Mat^hl§: 
research or lived after him; as likewise of many distinguished antiorsr"^^ 
flourished since Al-fat'h's death up to the end -of the sixth century of th^e Hijra. 
Lastly, a supplement to the two preceding works, . containing a -biography: of 
eminent men who flourished likewise in the seventh century of the Hijra, has 


been published of late years by Abu Bahr Sefwdn Ibn Idris,: from Murcia, under 
the title of Zddu-l-musdfiri^^ (provisions for the traveller). : -It'is a smaE.voJiilae/. : 
but precious for its information. /; - " y;: ::^v- ;v.:^ v-^ '■•??: '■ 

" Abii Mohammed 'Abdullah Ibn IbrdhimAl-hijari (frOm Guadalaxara) wrbtethe 
" Kitdhu-l-mas'habififadhdyili-l-maghreM^^ (the book of the chatterer on the excel- 
" lences of the West), which appeared after the Kaldyid and the Dhakhirah. It 
" embraces the history of Andalus from the earliest times down to his days. The 
" author, too, followed a new plan in the arrangement of his materials, since, along 
** with his exquisite historical information, he described at faU length some of the 
" principal cities in that country, enumerated the pecuharities of the soil, and 
" treated on matters which belong to the science of geography, giving also numerous 
" extracts from the works of distinguished authors and poets; as the reader must 
" have remarked by our frequent quotations from the said work. A better history . 
" of Andalus never was written, — a reason why it was so much extolled ahjd- 
" praised by our ancestor 'Abdu-1-mdhk Ibn Sa'id,^' who worked upon ^iitj -and; \ 
"wrote a supplement, which was continued by his two sons.' Ahme^dmndj 
" hammed, afterwards by Mtisa, son of Mohammed, and IastJyy-i^'^l/#6C<^ 
" Miisa, the writer of this book, and the author of the work entitiea J^(27aM4^^^^^ 
" l-muheytti Uholi lisdni-Varali (the book of the sphere, ^a^xipiXi^ of 

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" the Arabic language), which consists of two parts, — one relating to the history of 
" the East, with this title, Al-mush'rak fi holU-masKreki (the light of the rising 
" sun on the beauties of the East) , — and the other on the history of the West, called 
" Al-mugKrab fi hoU-l-maghrehi (the eloquent speaker on the beauties of the "West). 
" All the works that I have enumerated, from Al-hijari's primitive work down to 
"the supplements written by various members of my family, and completed by the 
" humble and undeserving writer of these pages, are more than sufficient to instruct 
" the readers on the history of this country, since they are the work of six diiferent 
"authors, and embrace a period of one hundred and twenty-five years,^^ — including 
"my continuation down to the year six hundred and forty-five of the Hijra 
" (A.i). 1247-8) ;— a work iirwhich the studious willfind a full account of the events 

\ _ _ 

"witnessed by the writers, together with numerous selections in prose and verse 
- " from the writings of eminent authors, or the sayings of clever men, collected with 

"great care and assiduity through the East and West, and of which pertinent 

" examples are given in the course of this book. The readers will also find a full 

"notice of people who escaped publicity in their time, and authors who had been 

~ - "mentioned by previous writers, but who have been placed in a more perspicuous 

": and orderly manner under the cities or towns whence their patronymics are 
"/derived. So, for instance, Ibn Besam will be found under the head of Shan- 
" tareyn (Santarem), his birth-place, Al-fat'h under Seville, Ibnu-14mam under 
" Ezija, Al-hijari under Guadalaxara, and so forth. 
Polite » Respecting works on literature, whether in prose or verse, I can mention first of 

"all the Serdju-l-adab^^ (torch of polite Hterature), by Abu 'AbdUlah Ibn Abi-1- 
" khissal, from Segura, who is justly held as the prince of Andalusian authors. 
"^Heis said to have written it in rivalry of the Kitdbu-n-nawddir (the book of 
"Irmemorable sayings), by Abu 'All Al-kali, and of the Kitdh zohori-l-adabi 
^^(fllorwers of polite. literature), by Al-hossri.'*'* Of the same kind is the Kitdbu-U 
jibi-l-adabi (manual of literature), by my father Musa Ibn Mohammed Ibn 
": Sa'id, whose name alone is a voucher for its contents. Another book very 
"much consulted on the subject is the Kitdbu-l-ludli^^ (the book of the pearls), 
" by 'Obeyd Al-bekri, written in imitation of the Kitdhu-Uamdli^^ (the book of 
"dictations), by Abu 'All Al-baghdadi. It is a very learned composition, and 
".much esteemed among literary people. The same may be said of the work 
"entitled Kitdbu4-iktidhdbi fi sharhi4-adabi-l-kottdbi ^^ (extempore observations or 
commentary on the Adahu-l-kottdb) , by Abii Mohammed Ibnu-s-sid Al-bathaliosi 
(from Badajoz), a work of undisputed merit. We possess also by this author a 
:l*^;^commentary on the work entitled SuJctu-z-zendi*"^ (sparkles from the steel), and 
-^^^'^which is the best of its kind that can be wTitten. It is in the hands of every 


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" master in this science, and much praised and commended by all. The com- 
" mentaries which Abii-l-hejaj^^ has published on the poems of Al-mutennabi, oti 
" the Hamdsah, and other collections of poems equally famous, need not my 
'* recommendation; they are sufficiently known and appreciated. : y :r . 

" Commentaries on grammar abound also with us, this science .having at ?9ll Grammar, 
" times been assiduously cultivated by Andalusians. Indeed were I merely; to 
** mention here the titles of all the good works that exist on the subject I should 
' ' run the risk of protracting this my narrative to an indefinite length ; I shall there- 
* ' fore confine myself to noticing a few only of the most prominent, such as those of 
" Ibn Kharuf,^^ Ar-rondi,'*' and the Sheikh Abti-l-hasan Ibn 'Osfiir *« from Seville. 
" who surpassed all his contemporaries in the science of grammar, in which he 
" arrived at the extreme end of knowledge, his works being at the present moment 
" the books of reference and authority in the East as well as in the "West. I lately 
"received from Africa proper a book by this author, on syntax, entitled r4^ 
" mukarreh fi-l-nahu (the book of approximation on the science of;syntax):,jwBicJa 
*' is to be found in almost every large town in Yemen, and has fiomn .on ;J:he jw^gs ; - 
*' of fame. :p - - ,,^; . 

** The Sheikh Abu *Ali Ash-shaliibim has also acquired immense reputation by \ .^ 
*' his commentary on the syntax, entiiledKitdbu-t-tautiyati-l-jazuliyyati (the treading 
" on the footsteps of Al-iazuli).*^ ^^; Iv ; 

" Ibnu-s-sid Al-bathaliosi, Ibnu-t-tarawah, and As-sohayli have pubUshf.tocvfr|i ; 
" treatises on grammar, which do their authors great honour, and are in the h^ds 
" of every student. And lastly there is a famous commentary on the works = of . : I 
" Sibauyeh by Abu-1-hasan Ibn Kharuf. - ■; 

" In the science of geography it will be sufiicient to mention the Kitdhu-Umesdlek Geography. 
" wa-l-memdleh (the book of routes and kingdoms), by Abu 'Obeyd Al-bekri_Al- 
'* onobi (from Onoba), and the Kitdbu-l-mu'ajem,^'^ being a geographical dictionary 
** wherein all names of cities and kingdoms are properly explained. The Mas'habj 
" by Al-hijari, contains also, as I have remarked elsewhere, much valuable 
" information on the geography of Andalus and the topography of its principal 
" cities. I may add to this the present work, which includes every one of the 
" supplements and additions written by my ancestors, and where the readers will >: 
" find the cream of whatever has been said by ancient or modern writers, on .the ; v 

. ', -.^ . - - - ' ■ 

" subject. ;"' ?^'%%v-; 

*' Music was cultivated in Andaius with the greatest success, and worl0.;t]f#ti^g:Miisic. 

___■ --^ — ^ j^ -■- ^ ^ 

" fully on the science of tune, as weU as on various instruments M^(.tli|^s#t; :6f 
" making them, are common among us. Theprincipal is that of AbuBekrIbriB%h, 

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"from Granada, which enjoys in the West the same reputation that those of Abu Nasr 
" Al-fardbP' do in the East. Ibn Bajeh has given his name to a collection of 
'^ poems set to music, which are most liked and used in this country. Another 
" Andalusian musician who lived in the sixth century of the Hijra, and whose name 
" was Yahya Ibnu-1-haddaj Al-a'lem/^ wrote a collection of songs in imitation of 
*' thatof Abii-l-faraj. 
Medicine, "Medicine has always flourished in this country, and among the numerous 

'^ treatises on this science written by Andalusian physicians several may be pointed 
.'V out which have attained the greatest celebrity not only in the "West but in the 
.'^■East, where they are much used and consulted. Of this number is the Kitdhu-t- 
'*:'^teydr (introduction to medicine), by 'Abdu-1-malik Ibn Abi-l-'ola Ibn Zohr, who 
.'lis -hkewise the author of the Kitdhu-l-agK diyati (the book of diet), which has 

"become famous throughout the East and "West. 
: " Abii-l-'abbas Ibnu-r-rumiyyah^^ AMshbili (from Seville) , ourfriend and contem- 

" porary, has written several standard works on this science, among which I must 
" make particular mention of a treatise on simples used as medicaments {Kitdbu- 
" l-adwiyati-l-mufridah) . 

.;;"Abu Mohammed,^* from Malaga, who is now residing in Cairo, is the author 
" of a.volununous work, a sort of dictionary, wherein he has disposed alphabetically 
" aU the names of simples and medicaments that he could coilect and analyze 
" himself, or which were described in the works of Al-ghafeki," Az-zahrawi, and 
". Sherif Al-idrisi, the Sicilian/^ with many others. And certainly a better work 
*', on the science cannot easily be imagined. 
Natural phi- " Natural philosophy also flourishes with us. The prince of this science among 

, "us is at present Abti-l-walid Ibn Roshd, from Cordova, who has written several 
"treatises on the various branches of that science, notwithstanding the aversion and 

■ ^'.dislike which 'Abdu-1-mumen, son of Al-manstir, always showed towards the 
" students ;who practised it, and notwithstanding his having been put in prison by 
"^order of that Sultdn for persisting in his favourite studies. The same might be 
"said of Ibn Habib,^^ whom the same Sultan caused to be put to death because it 
"was proved against him that he worked secretly at that science, which is now 
• ' a proscribed one in this country ; this being the reason why men inclined to it 
": cultivate and practise it only in secret, and why books on the topic are so very 


" scarce. 

- ^v 

" We have, nevertheless, several astronomical treatises by Ibn Zeyd Al-askaf 
" (the Bishop) of Cordova,^^ who was a great favourite with the Sultan Al- 
** inustanser, son of An-nassir Al-merwani. The principal among his works is that 


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entitled Kitdhu-t'tafssili-Uazmdni wa tassUhi-l-abaddni (the division of the 
times and the benefiting of the bodies), in which he treats at large on the 
influence of the moon on terrestrial bodies, and other matters connected with it ; 
the task being accomplished in a manner which does the author the greatest 

" Mutref,^^ from Seville, is at present occupied in studies on that science, only 
that being very much thwarted in it by his countrymen, — who have given him the 
epithet of impious (zindik), merely because he devotes his hours of leisure to 
these studies, — he never dares show his learning in pubUc, but keeps it with the 
greatest secrecy, hiding from the sight of all men whatever works he may have 
written on that science." 

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Thus ends Ibn Hazm's epistle on the literature and literary people of Andalus, 
together with Ibnu Sa'id's addition to it. We shall now, with the favour of God, 
whose assistance and protection we most humbly beseech and implore, proceed in 
the next Book to enumerate in detail the wonders of Cordova, the capital of the 
Mohammedan Empire in Andalus. . V 

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Various descriptions of Cordova— Ancient history of the city — Etymology of its name — Size and extent 
of the city — Suburhs— Gates— Royal Palace — Pleasure-houses and gardens belonging to the Khalifa — 
Bridges on the Guadalquivir— Jurisdiction of Cordova — Revenue — Productions of the land round the 
city — Increase of Cordova durmg the administration of Al-mansiir. 

The present Book will contain, as we announced in our Preface, an account of the 
famous city of Cordova,— the seat of a mighty empire which subdued all its enemies, 
—and a description of its blessed mosque, built by the Beni Umeyyah, filled with all 
sorts of rarities, and ornamented with dazzling magnificence ; together with some 
details on the sumptuous seats of Medinatu-z-mhrd and Medinatu-z-zdUrah, the 
former the court of the Beni An-nassir, the latter the residence of the Benl Abi 
'A'mir. It will likewise describe the pleasure-gardens and luxuriant fields in the 
neighbourhood, and give a minute account of their natural as well as artificial 
V beauties; and, lastly, embrace the narrative of events which happened within its 

precmcts : all being subjects of the greatest interest, which will fill with deUght the 

hearts of the lovers of information, and remain deeply impressed on the minds of 

the acute £ind the intelligent. 

Desttriptioii of Cordova is perhaps of all Mohammedan cities that which has been most fully 

Coi^ova. (iegcribed by natives as well a9 by foreign writers. The East and the West abound 

with accounts, some in prose, others in verse, in which the glories and magnificence 

of that splendid capital have been so minutely recorded as to expel from the 

^ 3 "S imagination of the antiquarian all fear of then: obliteration. An Eastern author, 

among others, gives us the following picture : — " Cordova," such are his words, 
is the capital of Andalus, and the mother of its cities ; the court of the Khalifs, 
" and the seat of their empire. It was in ancient times the court of the infidel 
" kings of Andalus, and afterwards became the residence of the . Mohammedan 
*} sovereigns who succeeded them. It was the abode of science, the place of refuge 

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^ _ 

' ' of Sunnak and tradition, and tlie dwelling of several among the tdbi's (foBowers) and 
'* disciples of the tdbi's, some authors even going so far as to state that it was inha- 
' ' bited by more than one of the ashdb (companions) of the Prophet, (may the Lord's 
" favour be with them'!) a point which has been seriously contested. Cordova is a 
*' populous city, full of primitive buildings, enjoying a good temperature^ abounding 
'• with springs of the sweetest water, and surrounded on all sides by gardens, olive 
" plantations, villages, and castles. Numerous springs and winding brooks irrigate 
" and fertilize the neighbouring fields and farms, which in point of extent, careful 
" cultivation, and abundant produce, have nowhere their equal in the world." 

Ar-razi calls Cordova the mother of cities, the navel of Andalus, the court of the 
kingdom in ancient and modern times, during the ages of ignorance as well as 
during the period of Islam. Its river, he says, is the largest in all Andalus, and over 
it was thrown a bridge, which not only was the finest in that country, but which for 
its structure, beautiful design, and colossal dimensions, was reputed one of the 
wonders of the earth. 

Another writer describes it as the largest city in all Andalus, and one;:wJii9h; 
had no rival either in the East or the West m point of size, population, mag- 
nificence of buildings, width and cleanliness of the streets, spaciousness of markets, 
number and beauty of mosques, and quantity of baths and inns. Some of the 
native authors go so far as to state that in point of magnitude it approached; 
Baghdad. But the report is no doubt exaggerated. 

It is, says another, a fortified town, surrounded by massive and lofty stone, walls, 
and has very fine streets. It was in times of old the court and residence of rriaiiy 
infidel kings, whose palaces are still visible witHn the precincts of the walls. The 
inhabitants are famous for their courteous and polished manners, their superior 
intelligence, their exquisite taste and magnificence in their meals, drink, dress, and 
horses. There thou wouldst see doctors shining with all sorts of learning, lords 
distinguished by their virtues and generosity, warriors renowned for their ex- 
peditions into the country of the infidels, and ofiicers experienced in all kinds of 
warfare. The Cordovans were further celebrated for the elegance and richness of 
their dress, their attention to religious duties, their strict observance of the hours : 
of prayer, the high respect and veneration in which they held their great mosque, 
their aversion to wine and their destruction of wine-vases whenever they foiind:; 
any, their abhorrence of every illicit practice, their glory in nobiUty of descen$:p|? 
mihtary enterprise, and their success in every department of the sciences.-^:;; J^.fe 

The last-mentioned -author says, "Cordova, under the Sultans pf;tfe^qpl# 
*' Umeyyah, became the tent of Islam, the place of refiige for the learne4;:^e:V^^^^ 
" dation of the throne of the Beni Merwan, the place of resort of thentiot)lestiam 

VOL. I. . ; ■ 2 ^ 

; ■*■ ^ . 

. \ 

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" among the tribes of Ma'd and Yemen. To it came from all parts of the world 
"students anxious to cultivate poetry, to study the sciences, or to be instructed 
" in divinity or the law ; so that it became the meeting-place of the eminent in all 
matters, the abode of the learned, and the place of resort for the studious : its 
interior was always filled with the eminent and the noble of all countries, its 
literary men and soldiers were continually vying with each other to gain dis- 
tinction/ and its precincts never ceased to be the arena of the distinguished, the 
hippodrome of the foremost, the halting-place of the noble, and the repository of 
' ■ the true and virtuous. Cordova was to Andalus what the head is to the body, or 
'.'what the breast is to the lion." 

.A poet-has written on Cordova the following distich, which is not altogether 
devoid of merit : 

■ "Do not talk of the court of Baghdad and its glittering magnificence, do 
" not praise Persia and China and their manifold advantages, 

" For there is no spot on the earth like Cordova, nor in the whole world 
" men like the Beni Hamdin." ^ 

Ibnu Sa'id calls Cordova the bride of the kingdom of that name ; meaning that 
?he was provided with every requisite to make a city famous, and tliat she had 
within herself all the beauties and ornaments of a beautiful maid who is being taken 
to the house of her lord and spouse. Indeed no comparison can be made more 
adequate than this ; since the fact of her having been the residence of so many 
Sultans constitutes the diadem on her head ; her necklace is strung with the 
mestimable pearls collected in the Ocean of language by her orators and poets ; her 
robes are made of the banners of science, those learned authors for whom neither 
prose nor verse had any limits, and whose praises it is not prudent to let loose ; 
and,; lastly, the, masters in all arts and trades form the skirt of her gown. After 
t:his;Ibnu Sa'id gives a sort of argument of his work, from which we shall proceed 
tO;qu6tej taking care to introduce accounts from other writers in order that in- 
formation may spring from comparison. 

L _ ■ 

b"to^"* There are various opinions among historians as to who was the founder of 

Cordova. Some, as Ibnu Hayydn, Ar-razi, Al-hijari, say that it was built by 
Octavius, the second Csesar of Rome, who conquered the whole earth, and lined 
with copper the bed of the Tiber ; the same emperor from whom the Roman iEra, 
which began thirty-eight years before the buth of the Messiah, is computed. To 
this monarch, who, in the opinion of the above-mentioned authors, was the builder 
of the great bridge in Cordova, is the foundation of that city ascribed, together with 
that of other places equally important; such as Merida, Seville, and Saragossa.^ 
Alrhijari, however, is of opinion that these three cities, as well as Cordova, owed 

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CHAP. I.] 



their foundation to the lieutenants of that king, and not to himself ; for having sent 
to Andalus four of his principal officers, he gave them instructions to divide the 
country into four provinces, to take the command of the armies stationed. in- them, 
and to build each a city which should be the capital of the province placed under 
his charge; and that the lieutenants, having done what they were ordered to .db^ 
each built a city to which he gave his name.' Such is the account given by AU 
hijari, who is no doubt mistaken, since the four above-mentioned cities do not 


derive their names, as he says, from their founders, but from the localities in which 
they stand, or the quality of the ground on which they were built, and other cu*- 
cumstances quite independent of the names of their governors or founders. 

However, towards the end of the Roman empire, Cordova became the capital of 
the sons of 'Ayssu,* son of Is'hak, son of Ibrahim, (on whom be peace!) another 
nation of Romans, who conquered Andalus and settled in it, keeping possession of 
the country until they themselves were subdued by the Goths, the. sons of Yafetb, 
in whose hands was the empire when the Moslems invaded Andalus. .-During the 
reign of the monarchs of Gothic descent, Cordova cannot be said to: have beied^ihi 
capital of Andalus ; for although it served as a place of temporary residence to some 
of their kings, it was not, properly speaking, the court of the empbe. By the 
estabhshment of Isldm in it, its importance increased ; it became the capital of the 
Mohammedan empire, and the citadel of the family of Merw^n, so that Seville, aiid :: 

Toledo were soon obliged to acknowledge its pre-eminence. God Ahnighbysd&s 
what he pleases, for he is the master of all things, and in, his hands are powet: an^ 
command. There is no God but Him, the great ! the high ! 

Respecting the name of Cordova, Abu 'Obeyd Al-bekri tells us, that according to Etymology of 
Gothic pronunciation it ought to be written with a dha with a point over it, thus, '*^ '^'"*'' 
Kordhohah. Al-hijari writes it with a tta and a dhamma, Korttubah; but Eastern 
writers in general have corrupted the pronunciation of this word, as they have done 
with many others, by substituting a kesrah for the dhamma, and. writing it thus^ 
Korttebah. As to the etymology of the word Korttubah, we find in the Forjatu-l- 
anfus, by Ibnu Ghalib, that it is a Greek word, meaning in that language AUkoMbuh 
Z-masA/ak/i, that is, doubtful hearts.^ Ibnu Said agrees with these authors as to \ 
the manner in which the word Kordhubah is to be spelt, but he entertains quiteXa, / 
different opinion as to the origin of the city, which he says was founded by; the 
'Amalekites (Carthaginians), and not by the Romans; he also gives ::a>;diiietM : 
etymology to that word, which he pretends means in Arabic ajaru 
of its inhabitants).^ 

Ibnu Sa'id (the mercy of God be upon him !) describes the kingdom^ bf J 
before all the rest in Andalus; for, says he, it was for Inxmy^ center^; W seat of 
government. The ancient kings of Andalus fixed in it the seat of then- empire, and 

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[book III. 

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never moved from it ; then came the Beni Umeyyah, who also held their court m 
Cordova, although they did not stay in it all the year round, but divided their time 
between their pleasure-houses Medlnatu-z-zahra and Medinatu-z-zdhirah. They 
chose to reside in Cordova in preference to any other city of Andalus, for its 
convenient situation and delightful temperature. It became in the course of time 
the meeting-place of the learned from all countries, and, owing to the power and 
splendour of the mighty dynasty that ruled over it, it contained more excellences 
than any other kingdom on the face of the earth. 

But before proceeding in our account of Cordova we deem it necessary to acquaint 
the readers with the titles, divisions, and contents of the various chapters de- 
voted ,by Ibnu Sa'id to the description of that city, and forming part of that great 
historical work which we have so often quoted in the course of our narrative, and 
to which we shall have still numerous opportunities of referring. 

Ibnu Sa'id (may God show him mercy !) followed a plan of his own, and divided 
his history into three volumes or sections.^ 

The first bears the title of " the book of variegated leaves on the ornamental 

beauties of Andalus." 
■The; second, which treats on the history of SicUy, be called *' the book of bar- 

barons cacophony on the beauties of the island of Sicily." 

The third, which embraces the history of all the infidel nations inhabiting the 
great continent (of Europe), is entitled " the book of the extreme limit on the 
beauties of the great land (or continent of Europe)." 

Each of these volumes he divided into several books, and these into numerous 
chapters.^ For instance, the first, which contained the description of Andalus, was 
composed of four books; the first entitled " ornaments of the bride on the de- 
scription of the west of Andalus ;" the second, " the lips of the beautiful dusky 
■m^din the description of the central provinces of Andalus ;" the third, " the book 
of familiarity and friendship on the description of eastern Andalus ;" and the fourth, 
*' the book of dubious lines on the geography and the history of those provinces 
which are in the hands of the worshippers of the crucified." 

The second volume, which treated on the history of Sicily, he likewise divided 
into several books ; and the same may be said of that which treats on the history 

of the great land (continent) . 

The first hook of the first volume being that which contains the history of 

Cordova, and the provinces once subject to it, and hkewise that which forms the 

present object of our narrative, we shall describe it more minutely. Its title is, 

as we have above stated, " the book of ornaments of the bride on the description of 

Mst^n -Andalus." It is divided into seven chapters (each chapter bemg also 

lHvidedinto several paragraphs), the titles of which are as follow.^ 

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1st. The book of the golden robes on the beauties of the kingdom of Cordova. 

2nd. The book of the pure golden particles on the description of the kingdom of 

3rd. The book of varnished deceits on the description of the kingdom of Malagas 

4th. The book of the horses on the beauties of the kingdom of Bathalids 

5th. The book of the fresh new milk on the description of the kingdom of Shilb 

6th. The book of the illuminated preface on the description of the kingdom of 
Bejah (Beja). 

7th. The book of enclosed gardens on the description of the kingdom of 

Ulishibonah (Lisbon). 
In every one of these chapters the author relates all the particulars, whether 

historical or geographical, which he could collect respecting each province, (may 

God remunerate him amply for his trouble in illustratuig the history. O^/ithe 

Moslems !) In that concerning Cordova, for instance, he accumulated the 'nioSt 

precious information on the size, extent, and population of that capital, on the 

magnificence and splendour of its mosques, palaces, and other public buildings, 

on the fertility and careful cultivation of the fields and lands in the neighbourhood^ 

on the peculiarities and productions of the soil, and the like. He also divided the 

chapter exclusively consecrated to Cordova into eleven smaller divisionSj :ea 

treating on one of the districts which acknowledged at one time the jurisdiction 

^ ^ - ^ 

of Cordova. The 1st describes Cordova and the country about it;^** 2nd, BolMnfih 
(Porcuna) ; 3rd, Al-kosseyr (Alcozer) ; 4tb, Al-rAudowdr (Almodovar del rio) ; 5th, 
Moved (Morente ?) ; 6th, Astijah (Ezija) ; 7th, Ghdfek ; 8th, Koznali (Cuzna) ; 9th, 
ifaSmA (Cabra) ; 10th, -4sia&a (Estepa) ; 11th, ^^^/aseWA (Lucena). 

Lastly, Ibnu Sa'id subdivided the chapter treating exclusively on the city of 
Cordova into four parts. Part 1, the description of Cordova ; part 2, that of the . 
city of Az-zahra; part 3, that of the city of Az-zahirah; part 4, the description 
of the suburb called Shakandah^ and the district of Waza'h.^^ : 

The dimensions of Cordova have been differently stated, owing, no doubt, to the size and extent 
rapid increase of its population and buildings under the various Sultans of thq 
dynasty of Merwan, and to the heart-rending calamities and disasters by which-it ■ 
was afflicted under the reign of the last sovereigns of that house. Ibnu Savid^: : - 
quoting Ash-shakandi's epistle, says that the city of Cordova, with the adi0t^§ ' 
cities of Az-zahra and Az-zdhirah, covered at one time an exteiitv ofe^fupd 
measuring ten miles in length, all which distance, adds that at^thprj^^^iXiight ;;be 
traversed at night by the fight of lamps. The circumference xif. the %iEL^^ of the 

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city is stated at thirty thousand cubits/^ and the extent, exclusive of the suburbs, 
is' said to have been sixteen thousand cubits in length from south to north ; it is, 
moreover, said that the buildings of Cordova in the time of the Beni Umeyj^ah 
were continued to a distance of eight farsangs in length and of two in breadth, 
which makes twenty-four miles by six ; all this space being covered with palaces, 
mosques, gardens, and houses built along the banks of the Guadalquivir, the only 
river in Andalus to which the Arabs gave a name.^^ Cordova is further described 
as a city which never ceased augmenting in size and increasing in splendour and 
importance from the occupation of it by the Moslems until the year four hundred 
of the Hijra (a. d. 1009-10), when, civil war breaking out in it, that mighty capital 
feE :fr6m ite ancient splendour, went on gradually decaying and losing its former 
magnificence, until the moment of its final destruction in the month of ShawM^al of 
the year ^ix hundred and thirty-three of the Hijra (Sept. a. d. 1236), when it fell 

into the hands of the Christians.^* 

Another historian states the circumference of Cordova, namely, of that part only 
comprised within the walls, exclusive of the suburbs, at thirty-three thousand 
cubits, of which one thousand one hundred were covered by the royal palaces. 
Another says that Cordova was divided into five large districts or cities, separated 
one from another by a high and well fortified wall, and that all these put together 
measured three miles in length and one in width. 
Number of fhc suburbs are said to have been twenty-one in number, each of them provided 

suburbs it 

contained, with mosques, markets, and baths for the use of its mhabitants ; so that the people 

of one had no occasion to repair to the other, either for rehgious purposes or to buy 
the necessaries of hfe. Ibnu Bashkuwal, who has given us a description of Cordova 
during its greatest prosperity, and when the influx of population was at its height, 
has preserved the names of the suburbs which once were joined to Cordova. 
Two lay to the south, on the opposite bank of the river, and their names were 
Shakandah and Munyat-A'jah (the garden of the wonders) . Nine to the west, 
namely, Hawdnitu-r-rihdn (the shops of the sellers of sweet basil), ^^ Rabadh-ar~ 
TokkdHn (the suburb of the bakers), Mesjidu^l-kahfi (the naosque of the cave), 
Bctldtt Mugheythi (the palace of Mugheyth), Mesjidu-sh-shakdi (the mosque of 
misfortune), Hamdmu-l-anbiri (the baths of Al-anbiri),^^ Mesjidu-s-sorrur (the 
mosque of rejoicings), Mesjidu-r-raudhah^'^ (the mosque of the garden), and 
As-sojunu4-'kadim (the old prison). Three to the north, Bdhu-l-yahud (the gate 
of the Jews), Mesjid Umm-moslemak (the mosque of Umm Moslemah), and the 
Rissdfah. The seven remaining lay to the east ; their names were Solar, ^^ Fardn 
Barbal, Al-borj, Munyat- Ahdillah (the garden of 'Abdallah), Munyatu-l-mugheyrah 
.'Ithe garden of Mugheyrah), Az-zdkirah, and Medinatu-l-' atikah (the old city). 

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In the midst of the city, and surrounded by these suburbs, stood the Kassdhah 
(citadel) of Cordova, which was fortified and defended by high walls, although- 
the suburbs were not so; but during the civil wars a ditch was dug round the 
suburbs, and the whole enclosed within high and strong walls raised at the sanae 
time. The circumference of this wall, according to Ibnu Sa'id, was twenty- : 
four miles, including Shakandah, which, being an ancient walled town, ^was also 
comprised ^itbin the limits" of the fortifications of Cordova. 

The gates of Cordova were seven in number, according to Ibnu Basbkuwal. Gates. . 
1st. The gate of the bridge {Bdhu-l-Jcantarah) , also called Bdbu-l-wddi, or gate 
of the river. 2nd. Bdhu4-jezirati-Ukhadhrd (the gate of Algesiras), also leading 
to the river. Both these gates looked to the south. 3rdly. Bdhu-l-hadid (the 
iron gate), named also Bdh Sarakosta (gate of Saragossa), Bdb Ibn 'Abdi4~jahbdr 
(the gate of the son of 'Abdi~l-jabbar) ; also called gate of Toledo, and gate of 
the Christian {Bdhu-r-rumiyyah) . At the latter-mentioned gate was the junction - 
of the causeways built by the Komans, to which we have alluded in anotberpait / 
of this work, and which we have said made the circuit Of the earthi coming Sm \ 

Cadiz, Carmona, passing by Cordova, and then going to Kome through Saragossa, 
Tarragona, Narbonne, and the great continent.'^ 4th. The gate of Talavera, which 
was also called gate of Leon. 5th. The gate of 'A mir the Korayshite, opposite : 
to the cemetery of that name. 6th. Bdbu4-juz (or the gate of the walnuts), also - 
known by the name of gate of Badajoz. 7th, and last, Bdbu4-'dUaHn (thegsi&pf. ■ 
the druggists), commonly caUed the gate of Seville. There was still another gatei 
formerly called Bdbu4~7jahud (the gate of the Jews), but good Moslems having 
objected to the name, it was named Bdbu4-hodi (the gate of direction). The poet : 
Abii ' A mir Ibn Shohayd mote on this gate the foUowmg distich : 

* ' They saw near to the gate of the Jews the star of Abii-l-hasan darken 
" and vanish. 

" When the Jews saw him commanding over their gate, they took him for 

The same historian, describing the royal palace of Cordova, says that it was anTheBoyai 
ancient building inhabited in former days by the infidel Sultans who had ruled over^-^"*' 
the country since the time of Moses.^^ The interior of it, as well as the adjoining ;, : 
buildings, was full of primeval constructions, and wonderful remains of the Gr^kg|^V;; v : 
Romans, and Goths,^^ and other nations now extinct, and the interior ap^tmegfe^^; . 
were so magnificently decorated as to dazzle with the beauty of then* ornaxniegM 
eyes of the beholders. This palace the Khalifs of the house of MervT^ 
their residence, and tried to ornament and embellish by all i>ossib|&;tn|a^ :| 
new rooms, and filling them with elegant rarities. Butfeis s^ljrfet the 

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improvement which the sovereigns of that family made in their capital, for, as we 
shall observe hereafter, they left every where in Cordova traces of their wise admi- 
nistration, — planting delicious gardens, supplying the city with water brought from 
the distant mountains, called the mountains of Cordova,^^ and furnishing their capital 
with abundance of provisions of ail sorts. The water thus brought from the moun- 
tains was conveyed to this palace, and thence distributed into every corner and 
quarter of the city by means of leaden pipes, from which it flowed into basins of 
different shapes, made of the purest gold, the finest silver, or plated brass, as well 
as into vast lakes, curious tanks, and amazing reservoirs, ^'^ and fountains of Grecian 
marblfr beautifully carved. In this palace, too, was an astonishing jet d'eau which 
raised the water to a considerable height, and the hke of which was nowhere to be 

seen in the East or West. 

The palace here described by Ibnu Bashkuwal must be the same which some 
early writers designate under the name of Baldtt Rudherik, (the palace of Roderic ;) 
not that this king built it, but when the Arabs defeated him, and conquered his 
kingdom, knowing that whenever he came to Cordova he took up his abode in it, 
they called it by his name. By whom it was built is not ascertained ; the most 
current opinion among the natives was that one of their ancient kings ^^ who 
resided in the fortress of Almodovar, below Cordova, was the builder of it, and this 

^ - 

they relate in the following manner. They say that as this king was one day 
hunting, he came to the spot where Cordova was afterwards built, which was 
then a dreary desert, the site now occupied by the palace being covered by an 
impervious thicket of brambles. Near this spot the king let fly a favourite hawk 
of his at a partridge, which, rising in the field afterwards called Kudyat AM 
'Obeydah (the hillock of Abii 'Obeydah), passed him, and alighted on the thicket. 
Thither the hawk flew in chase of the partridge, and the king followed in quest of 
his hawk, until, not seeing him appear, and fearing lest he should be entangled 
among the branches and unable to move, the king ordered the thicket to be cleared 
away that his hawk might be released. While his people were employed in cutting 
the underwood, behold ! the top of a large and magnificent building was discovered 
by the workmen, a most amazing structure, all built with large blocks of stone 
joined together with molten lead. The king, who was an intelligent and enter- 
prising man, immediately ordered an excavation to be made, and the building was 
speedily laid open in all its length and breadth ; proceeding in their work they 
came to the foundations, which they found lying in the water, and resting upon a 
stratum of small pebbles, there introduced by art of old. When the king saw this, 
he exclaimed, " This is no doubt the work of some famous monarch, and I must 
t*:have it rebuilt." Upon which he issued orders that the building should be 

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restored to its primitive state, which being done, and the place made habitahle, he 
visited it as often as any of his royal castles ; for whenever he made the tour of his 
province, or passed near it on his way to some military expedition, he always resided 
in it for some length of time. This induced many of his subjects to settle jn -the 
neighbourhood, and Httle by little the city of Cordova was built, and the.^palace 
which stood in the middle of it became the abode of the kings, his successors. ■: ^^ 

But to return to Ibnu Bashkuwal's description. ''Among the gates of the . 
" palace, — those gates," says that historian, "which God Almighty opened for the 
" redress of injuries, the help of the oppressed, and the dispensing of impartial judg- 
" ments in all cases of law, — the principal is one which has a projecting balcony ,^^ 
" without its equal in the world. This gate, which gave entrance to the palace, 
" was furnished with folding-doors covered with iron plates, to which was affixed a 
" brass ring of exquisite workmanship, and representing a man with his mouth wide 
" open. This extraordinary work of art, which took its rise at the lower part Of .the 
" gate, and sensed at the same time as a bar to the gate and as a knocker, had iri: . 
" former times belonged to one of the gates of the city of Narbonne, in theboyitry 
" of the Franks ; but when the Amir Mohammed^^ took that city from the GhriS- 
" tians he had it removed and brought to Cordova, and placed on the principal 
" gate of his palace. On a line with this, and looking to the south, there was 
*' another gate, called Bdhu-l-jenndn (the gate of the gardens) ; and opposite to . it/: 
"on a platform overlooking the Guadalquivir, two mosques famous .for Mfieir; ' 
"sanctity and the numerous miracles wrought in them, in either of >hich.tlie 
" Sultan Mohammed Ar-radhi^^ used to sit to administer justice to his subjects, 
" anxious to gain thereby the abundant rewards of the Almighty. A third, called 
" Bdhu-l-wddi (the gate of the river), and a fourth, called Bdh Koriah (the gate of 
" Coria), opened to the north. There was a fifth and last gate, kno^m by the name 
" of Bdhu-l-jdmi' (the gate of the great mosque), because the Khalifs used in ' 
" ancient times to go out of it whenever they visited the great mosque on Fridays, 
" carpets being spread under their feet the whole of the way." However, most of 
these gates, Ibnu Bashktiwal tells us, were either destroyed or blocked up. during the : ; - 
civil war under the reign of 'Abdu-1-jabbar.^^ . v"... 

Besides the royal palace here alluded to there were in and out of Gordb^a Pleasure. 

1 1 1 1 T -n 1 T . houses and 

various houses and gardens, also bmlt by the Sultdns and KhaHfs of ithC: hg#e--'of.gft4.ensbe. 
Merwan for their habitation or their pleasure. We shall describe -some J<ifMeSSL5s. 
most celebrated. Ibnu Sa'id says, " I shall now proceed to the descriptite^ffie--;- - 
"pleasure-gardens and pubHc promenades where the people of; Gpir^g^^lid 
" their leisure hours, or which they visited for the sake of recreatipn ISSV^M^^ 
" ment. Of these some belonged to the Sultdn, .bthers^td:weal^=^^iS.f i^ong 

VOL. I. ■ "2 E 

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'' the former are counted to the north the palace of the Rissafah, which 'Abdu-r- 
- rahmdn Ibn Mu'awiyeh built for himself in the beginning of his reign, and in 
" which he used to reside most of his time. He also planted a most beautiful 
" garden, to which he brought all kinds of rare and exotic plants and fine trees 
" from every country, taking care to supply it with sufficient water for irrigation. 
" His passion for flowers and plants went even so far as to induce him to send 
\' agents to Syria and other countries, with a commission to procure him all sorts 
" of seeds and plants ; and, when brought to Andalus. these productions of distant 
" regions and various climates failed not to take root, blossom, and bear fruit 
in the royal gardens,, whence they afterwards spread all over the country. 
From this garden originates the pomegranate, called BafaH,^'' which in point of 
'' flavour, smallness- of seed, and abundance of juice, has not its equal in the 
" world, and is superior to any other fruit growing in Andalus. The manner in 
'' which this fruit was introduced into the country, and the origin of its name, are 
" thus related. They say that one of the agents sent by 'Abdu-r-rahman to Syria, 
" for the purpose of providing him with every exotic plant he could procure, sent 
him from Damascus, among other rarities, a sort of pomegranate, which being 
originally from the garden called Rissdfat-Hishdm was, when planted in Andalus, 
" known by the name oi Rissdfl Being proud of them, 'Abdu-r-rahman boasted 
of the acquisition before his favourites, and proceeded to describe the nature 
and quahties of the tree, the flavour and colour of the fruit, and the manner 
" in which it had been procured and sent to him. There happened to be among 
" the company a man of the name of Safar Ibn 'Obeyd AhkaUai, one of the 
" settlers from Al-urddn,^^ and who is further represented as belonging to the 
" Ansdns who bore the colours of the Prophet in battle, as well as those of the 
'' Khalifs of the house of Umeyyah. To this Safar the Sultdn gave some of the 
"fruit, and he, keeping the seed, sowed it some time afterwards in a village 
*' of the district of Raya, where he resided; he nursed the tree, took care of it, 
" lopped its branches, and when the tree came to bear fruit he selected the best 
pomegranate and repdred with it to court, where he presented himself to 
Abdu-r-rahm^. No sooner did the SuMn see the fruit, which so much 
resembled that of his gardens in colour and appearance, and the flavour of 
'' which was equally fine, than he was greatly astonished, and inquired from Safar 
" how he had procured it. Safar then acquainted him with the circumstance, 
" and 'Abdu-r-rahmdn was so much pleased that he praised highly his industry, 
" thanked him for his zeal, made him a considerable present, and ordered that 
''more trees of the same kind should be planted in the Rissdfah as well as in 
"other of his pleasure -gardens. Safar on his side augmented also his plantation, 




I -M^_ n_i,_^ 'V- ■>.-ii-t^ ■. - r 4->^-^-- ^--' 
± v__^ J. - . , V^-f- -^ 

r r ^^ _ 

CHAP. I.] 



" distributed the seed among his friends, and the Andalusian gardenets began 
" every where to cultivate this fruit, which is to this day the best kind of 

" pomegranate that exists, and is still known by the name of. its introducer, 
" Safari. 

^ " 32 

"■ V J >. 

But to return to the palace of the Kissdfah, which 'Abdu-r-rahman orri^mbnted 

r - _ r 

with costly magnificence, and to which he conveyed water from the distant 
mountains. We find that it was situate to the north of Cordova, and that when 
'Abdu-r-rahman built it he called it Munyatu-r-rissdfah (the pleasure -gardens 
of the Rissafah,)^^ after a palace of a similar name which his grandfather Hish^m 
had built in Damascus. 'Abdu-r-rahman was moreover exceedingly fond of it, 
and he used to dwell in it for the greatest part of the year, an inclination in 
which his grandfather Hisham had likewise considerably indulged. Nor was 
this the only palace built by 'Abdu-r-rahman or his successors ; there were 
besides in Cordova several royal villas remarkable either for the magnific'eniJe- 
of their structure or their delightful situation. Of this number were i"^ die:||^a|e: 
of the confluent" (Kasru-l-hdjiri) ;^* "the palace of the gardeiS '' " Gk^#^'; 
raudhat); *'the palace of the flowers" (Kasru^z-zdhirn) ; ''the palace;^ 6f: the 
lovers" (Kasru-l-ma'shuk) ; "the palace of the fortunate" {Kasru-l-muhdrik);. 
'* the palace of Rustak" (Kasru-r-rustak) ; " the palace of contentment" (Kasru- 
s-sorrur); "the palace of the diadem" (Kasru-Utdj) i and "the palace dfthe- 
novelties " {Kasru-l-hadiyi') . \ y^ ^^;:h!; I : 

Without the city was the palace of Sidi Abu Yahya Ibn AM Ya'k^b 'Ibn- 'Abffi- 
1-mumen,-''^ built on arches on the Guadalquivir. Its founder being onGe asked 
how he, who had such an aversion to the people of Cordova, could take delight 
in building this palace, replied, that knowing how soon a governor was forgotten 
by them after his removal unless he showed them proofs of power and authority, 
having their heads full of the splendour of the Khahfate during the dynasty of 
Merwan, he wished to leave behind him some memorial of his stay which would 
make the inhabitants remember him in spite of themselves. 

Another palace called DimasKk is mentioned by Al-fat'h in his KaUyid, when 

writing the life of the Wizir Ibn 'Ammdr.^^ He describes it as a pleasto-hotise 

belonging to the Sultans of the house of Merwan, the roofs of which were sti 

by beautiful marble columns, and the floors paved with mosaic of a thOuSMd hiXfesf^' 

" All palaces in the world are nothing when compared to that 0; 

" for not only it has gardens filled with the most dehciouk ihuls^^^ttSSB 

" smelling flowers, , . ■ ::UfM^mM^(r■: 

"Beautiful prospects, and limpid running waters, clouds -pr^mit-Wit^ 
" aromatic dew, and lofty buildings ; 

. i 

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" But its earth is always perfumed, for morning pours on it her grey amber 

" and night her black musk." " 
Another pleasure-house in Cordova was Al-mushafiyyah, so called from its 
proprietor the Wizir and Hdjib Abii 'Othman Ja'far Ibn 'Othman Al-mus'hafi,^^ 
who held the situation of prime minister under the Sultan Al-hakem Al-mustanser- 


Munyat'Zuheyr was the name of another pleasure-house in the outskirts of 

Cordova, which Zubeyr Ibn 'Omar Al-mulaththam ^^ built for himself during his 
government of that city. There were besides several other gardens and pleasure- 
houses in Cordova called Munyat ; as, for instance, Munyatu-sorrir (the garden of 
contentment), of which mention has already been made, Munyatu-l-a'miriyyah (the 
garden of the Beni 'Amir), s.ndMunyatu-n-na'urah'^'^ (the garden of the water-wheel) . 
The poet Al-walid Ibn Zeydun, in a poetical composition in which he enumerates 
the palaces, gardens, and places of recreation which existed in Cordova in his time, 
has preserved us the names of some, such as the Kasru-l-fdrisi (the palace of the 
Persian),*' and Merju-n-nadMr (the golden meadow),*^ a pleasure-garden in the 
outskirts of Cordova. There were, besides, various other villas, promenades, and 
plantations, for the use and recreation of the inhabitants. Of this number seem to 

^ _ _ 

have been Merju-l-khor (the meadow of the murmuring waters) ."^^ Fahssu-s-sorrdh 
(the field of the thieves) ,'^* and Fahssu-s-sudd (the field of the dam) ,^^ all places 
which Ibnu Sa'id mentions on the authority of his father. The latter, that author 
says, was the same as that known by the name of Fahssu-l-ardhi (the field of the 
mills), which is mentioned by Kasim Ibn 'Abud Ar-riyahi.^^ 

Bridges on the The river Guadalquivir is less at Cordova than at Seville, this being the reason 
^"^™' why stone bridges were thrown over it at the former place, while the latter had 
none. This river has its origin in the mountains of Segura,*' whence, dividing 
itself into two streams, one flows eastwards to Murcia, the other to Cordova and 
Seville. Ar-razi, describmg this river, says that it flows as placidly as a stream of 
milk, and that even when its waters are increased by rain it is, at Cordova, a most 
harmless fiver ; not so at Seville, where it has often threatened destruction to the 
city, and death to the inhabitants. The same author describes the bridge at 
Cordova as one of the most magnificent structures in all Andalus. It consisted 
of seventeen arches, each arch being fifty spans in width, and the intermediate space 
between the arches being also fifty spans. According to Ibnu Hayyan it was built 

' '-.: by As-samh Ibn Malik Al-khaulani, governor of Andalus ; or, as the author of the 

Minhdju-l-fakr says, by his successor 'Abdu-r-rahmdn Ibn 'Obeydillah Al-ghdfeki, 
lat the instance of the Khalif 'Omar, son of 'Abdu-l-'aziz.'*^ It was afterwards 

r r ^ ._ 

■ j: rebuilt and beautified by the Khalifs of the house of Merwan. However, the 

_ ^ 

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- - - -^ 


(■ — r -. -- '-(^i c- ^*^-; 

r _^ M^^ ^ ^f " ^"^--^^ 
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V - 

CHAP. I.] 




-.- ' -^-i^— -. -- - 

-•i ^ J- - -^ 

— -■>,' ^ 

opinion given by Ibnu Hayyan seems the most probable, namely, tbat there was an 

old bridge at the same place, built about two hundred years before the invasion of 

the Arabs ; but its arches being broken down and its upper works demolished by .;: 

time, only the foundations remaining, the governor As-samh ordered a new bridge 

to be built in the year one hundred and one of the Hijra (a. d. 719-20)- on the^ •;: 

still remaining piers of the former one. The length of this bridge is stated by Ibriu 

Hayyan at eight hundred cubits, and the breadth at twenty; the elevation was 

sixty cubits ; it stood upon eighteen arches (one more than Ar-r^zi gave) , and had 

besides sixteen turrets. The old bridge is said by Ibnu Hayydn, Ar-razi, arid 

Al-hijari, to have been built by Octavius, the second Caesar of Rome, as we have 

remarked elsewhere. ., ^ 

The number of villages and towns appertaining to Cordova was almost- in'^J^Jj^*'""^^: 

numerable, for at one time the jurisdiction of the capital extended over many 
populous and wealthy districts. Some cities of the first rank likewise ackriiow- 
ledged her authority; as Almodovar, distant sixteen miles; Mored, twenty*fi^^;^i; 
Alcozer, eighteen; Ghaiek, two days' march; Ezy a^ thirty^siis ; m&^; '^aeii|: 
two days' march; Estepa, thirty-six miles: the city of Ronda helonged also 46. 
Cordova, but it was afterwards annexed to that of Seville, to which city it standi 
nearer. There were, moreover, in the neighbourhood of Cordova no less than three 
thousand villages, provided with mosques, and having, besides, a divine {muhaUass)9 
of known erudition, whose duty was to pronounce judgments on canoii\ahd -SM 
law. Among the Andalusian Arabs none could aspire to wear the Aafe^ who?tduld 
not recite by heart most of the Mowattd, or who knew not ten thousand traditions 
respecting the Prophet, or were not perfectly conversant with the theological work 
entitled Al-madmah.^'' It was the duty of the Kadis of villages in the neigh- 
bourhood of Cordova to come to town every Friday, and assist at pubHc prayers 
with the Khalif in the gi'eat mosque ; and when the prayers were over they all 
approached the Sultan, saluted him, and reported on the state of their respective 


The revenues arising from Cordova and its district have been differently stated; Kevenue. 
They are said by an eastern writer to have amounted, in the days of Al-hakem, Son 
of Hisham, to one hundred and ten thousand and twenty dindrs, in specie, fotii" 
thousand and seven hundred mudd of wheat and seven thousand seven hundred; 

■J- _ ,. , _ _ , r ■ 

and forty-seven of barley, in kind; another writer estimates them at three; inil|iQ&;; 
of dinars at a medium, under the administration of Al-mansur IbnAbiiy^pl'V; 
But this latter computation is undoubtedly erroneous,— the revenueS^ieoU^e^ fr^rn 
Cordova and its neighbourhood never rose to such a sum; the alitliDr liiust inean 
the total amount of taxes collected in the dominions ofthdK$lif#; but a^^^ he 

-X *.J^>. _ 

- - - -^ 


-■-■^ ?^f .y-Jf ^r' 'S ^^"^ - 

*-\"- ' -J- 



is wrong, for these, as we have already remarked elsewhere, amounted to a more 
Considerable sum. But God only is all-knowing. 
Productions of One thing is certain, namely, that trade and agriculture flourished in this place 
the soil. during the reigns of the sons of Umeyyah in a degree which has scarcely been wit- 
nessed in any other city in the world ; its market was always overstocked with the 
fruits of the land, the productions of every district, and the best of every country. 
No robe, however costly, — no drug, however scarce, — no jewel, however precious,- 
no rarity of distant and unknown lands, but was to be procured in the bazaars of 
Cordova, and found hundreds of purchasers. Situate as Cordova was in the midst of 
fertile lands watered by the Guadalquivir, and which yielded abundant crops, its 
inhabitants were at all times provided with the best food of all kinds, and that, too, 
at thecheapest possible rate. Ibnu Sa'id calls the land about Cordova a favoured 
land, and mentions several minerals in which its territory abounded, such as pure 
silver in the district of Kdrtash,^^ quicksilver and cinnabar in that of Sittdlisah,^^ 
and a great many other precious minerals. Another writer mentions a sort of stone 
called sharankh,^^ which is well known to possess the property of stopping the blood 
when applied to a wound, and which is said to have abounded in the territory of 
that city. Our author observes that mule-loads of it were annually exported to 
other countries, where it often fetched as high a price as five hundred dinars the 
load, on account of its wonderful properties, which made it very much prized. 
Liinitsiof Cor- We havc already said something elsewhere on the probable size and extent of 
A]-iiiansur. Cordova during the times of its greatest prosperity ; indeed it is ascertained that 

during the administration of the Hajib Ahmanstir such was the influx of popu- 
lation, that, what with the innumerable foreigners who came from all parts of the 
Mohammedan world to reside in it under the shade of his justice, and what with the 
motley tribes of Berbers which he called from Africa, and with whom he reduced to 
the last extremity the miserable rehcs of the Christian nations, the limits of Cor- 
dova were found : insufficient to contain them all, and many had to hve encamped 
under tents in the outskirts of the city. A trustworthy writer who was residing in 
Cordova at the time tells us,' — ■" I once counted all the houses^* in the city and 
"its subiirbs, iand found they amounted to two hundred thousand and seventy- 
*' seven, including only in this number those of the common people, artisans, and 
"labourers ; for the palaces of the nobles, Wizirs, officers of the royal household, 
" commanders of the troops, and other wealthy citizens, and the barracks, hos- 
" pitals, colleges, and other public buildings, amounted to sixty thousand and three 
- :i : "hundred, exclusive of wooden cabins,^® inns, baths, and taverns." The number 

- \ ^ 

n . - 

V ; .;^ r } of shops^^ at this time is computed by the same author at eighty thousand four 
Vf :. :. f '^iitidred and fifty-five. Another writer states the number of markets to have been 

^. i" + _ - 



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four thousand and three hundred, and says that within the walls of the citadel there , 
were upwards of four hundred and thirty houses helonging to officers, of the royal 
household and public functionaries. The number of houses in the city : and the 
suburbs belonging either to the common people or to respectable and . wealthy 
citizens is computed by the same writer at one hundred and thirteen ; thousand; 
exclusive of the palaces inhabited by "Wizirs, noblemen, and militaiy commanders. 
But we have read somewhere else that the said number must only be appHed to the 

■ ■ ^ 

times of the Sultans of the Beni Lamtumnah (Almoravides) and the Almohades their 
successors, under whose reign the importance and splendour of Cordova were very 
much diminished, owing to the disastrous civil wars which raged through its terri- 
tory ; for, as we have remarked elsewhere, the number of houses occupied by officers 
of the state and noble and distinguished citizens amounted to sixty thousand and 

. " \ 

three hundred. The number of mosques in and without the capital is likewise stated 

with great discrepancy. An ancient writer states those that existed under ^Ahdu-r- ; \ 

rahman I. at four hundred and ninety ; it is true that this number was prodigiously." ■ ; v:.;^ . , vpj 

mcreased in the course of time. The author of the Kitdhu4-mesdlek wa4-memdle1c £ .^^ ^^ -i^" 

\- - - - - J- -^--i-'^--ih 

states them hkewise at four hundred and seventy-one. We have seen, their number -:;^;^>^:;:.^^ 
estimated even as high as eight hundred and thirty-seven,^^ but this must be an ^^/^ f ;jl 
exaggeration ; the baths in and without the city are by some said to have amounted .:; j5 n^ 
to three hundred, by others they are computed at seven hundred. The suburbs^ ; . . V ;. 
also are said to have been twenty-eight in number, — others reduce them to twe:Qty:; 

y. ' 

but the number given by Ibnu Bashkuwdl, that is, twenty-one, occurs more fr^- : 
quently in the writings of the time. 

However, the numbers as given by Ibnu Sa'id, a writer on whom we place the _■- ; 

most imphcit trust and reliance, and who borrowed his information from Ibnu 
Hayy^n and other historians who lived in the prosperous times of the Cordovan 
Khalifate, are the following : one hundred and thirteen thousand houses for the 
common people, besides half that number, or perhaps more, for the officers of the 
state, favourites of the court, military commanders, and the like.^^ The number of : 
mosques at the period of its greatest splendour, namely, during the administration : ; 
of the Wizir Ibn AM 'A'mir, never exceeded seven hundred, nor the baths nine ; , 
hundred ; ^° but he owns having read in an ancient history that under 'Abd^-r^r-: 
rahmdn III. the city of Cordova was reported to contain three hundred thpus^d / ; 
houses, and eight hundred and eighty-seven mosques, eighteen of which wer^:mm|p,;: 
the limits of Shakandah ; yet the number given by Al-bekri (that is, ;f^|^jg]^gd 
and seventy-seven mosques,) is still far from any of those before stated|v^$i:^ihg, 
however, is certain, namely, that during the civil wars which -trpke: -Out at 
beginning of the fourth century of the Hijra, not only was; a great; part of these 



x^_,_-A -_ - ^ ■ 

j.j^ ^r^-r 

mm^m^^'-i^p ■/'' 

^■^x- J\-J^- --^^ , . ' ... . I 

> ^_ I_-7. ^ .-_v' > ^ - ^^ *■ 

,^ -^ — 

i - — 
. --^■■-^ - 



[book III. 

buildings demolished, and -whole streets deserted, but some of the suburbs were razed 
to the ground, and all traces of them disappeared for ever. 

But it is fall time that we should treat of the great mosque of Cordova, that 
magnificent building which has not its equal in the whole world, either in point of 
size, beauty of design, tasteful arrangement of its ornaments, or boldness of execu- 
tion. This superb building has been so often and so elegantly described that we 
shall merely select, among the written accounts that exist of it, that which we deem 
indispensable for our narrative. 

■rt "^ _ v_ 


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__ ^.- * 


^ I , n ^ ^v ^ 

r" h -- 


The great mosque of Cordova — Built on the site of a Christian temple — Begun by 'Abdu-r-rahm^n— 
Continued by his successors — Its dimensions — Matssiirah — Mihr4b — Copy of the Kor4n written by 
'Otbmdn — Tower — Al-bakem's addition — Alms-houses — Al-manstir's addition — Number of chan- 
deliers in the mosque — Attendants. 

The great mosque of Cordova, as is well known, owes its erection^ to *Abdu-r-'J^e8:««^ 
rahman Ad-dakhel, the first sovereign of the house of Umeyyah who reigned Cordova. : 
independently over Andalns. All historians agree in saying that the moment o 

'Abdu-r-rahman saw himself free from rivals, and firmly established on his throne, 
he began the building of the royal palace,— that of the pleasure-house called Rissdfah, ! - 
which we have before described, — and that of the great mosque. He died, however, 
without seeing the building completed, and bequeathed to his son and heir, HisMni, 
the care of the undertaking. Under this Sultdn the building was, properly speaking, 
finished according to the original plan, but during the reign of the succeeding 
Sultdns and Khalifs, eight in number, who ruled over Andalus, it was considerably 
augmented and embellished. 

The causes which led to the erection of this magnificent temple are thus related ^J^"/*"^ 
by the historian Ar-razi. " The conquerors of Andalus imitated the conduct of "»" temple. 
" 'Obeyd Ibnu-1-jerr^h and Khdled Ibnu-1-walid ^ in dividing with the Christians 
" the churches of the subdued cities, agreeably to the advice of the Khalif 'Omar 
" Ibnu-1-khattab. So when Damascus was taken the principal temple of that . 
" city was divided, half of it remaining in the hands of the inhabitants for all pur- 
poses of their worship, while the other half was appropriated for the use of the 
Moslems, who converted it into a mosque ; the same being done in every ci 
surrendered by capitulation. According to this maxim, when the Arabs took 
Cordova they divided with the Christians their principar churchy whii^iJ.AV^ 
within the city and close to the walls, and was known among themja^: tii'e church 
of St. Vincent.'' In the moiety allotted to them the Mosieras^Mtthemseh^es a 

mosque for the prayers of the Friday, whilst the other half remained iii the hands 


f n V 

K-y --^ 

- ■- - . ■- '^^> 

M _ _ ^1^ 

-•-t\ ^ T-:-\V. 

■-J V ^ - ■ ^ 









VOL. I. 


" of the Christians as the only place of worship allowed to them, since all other 
" churches in and out of the city were immediately pulled down. The Moslems 
" remained for a long time satisfied mth what they possessed, until their number 
" increasing daily, and Cordova becoming a very populous city, owdng to the 
" Arabian Amirs having taken up their abode in it and made it the seat of the 
" government, the mosque proved to be too small to contain them all, and roof 
" after roof ^ was built in order to make it more roomy and spacious, until from the 
" contiguity of these roofs one to another, the narrowness of the doors leading to it, 
" and the great number of wooden pillars supporting each addition, which barred 
" the passage, it became a matter of the greatest difficulty to penetrate into the 
"interior of the mosque ; besides, the roof of each successive addition being inferior 
"to the preceding, that of the last was in fact so low as almost to touch the ground 
"and to prevent the people from standing at ease under it. 
Begun by -Ab- '* The mosquc, however, continued for a long time in this state, until the arrival 
di.-r-rahmin. ,,^^ 'Ahdu-r-rahman, son of Mu'awiyeh, sumamed Ad-dakhel, who, having gained 

" possession of Andalus, and made Cordova his capital, began seriously to think of 
''^enlarging the limits of the mosque. Accordingly he sent for the chiefs of the 
" Ghristians, and proposed to purchase from them that part of the mosque which 
"remained stiH in their hands, in order that he might add it to the Mohammedan 
" place of worship. But notwithstanding the liberality of 'Abdu-r-rahman, who 
" offered them a very considerable sum of money, the Christians, relying on the 
"capitulations of peace signed to them by the conquerors, would not agree to sell 
" their part.: However, after much negotiation, they agreed to reUnquish their own 
"half, on condition of being allowed to rebuild or repair another church outside the 
" walls, which had been destroyed, and of holding it independently of the Moslems, and 

> :, ".eatirely consecrated to the worship of their God. This being granted by 'Abdu-r- 

TaMan, aad the Christians having received the sum agreed upon, which a certain 
hisftman kas stated at one hundred thousand dinars, the Sultan proceeded in the 
"year onehundted and sixty-eight^ of the Hijra (a. d. 784-5) to demoUsh the old 
".place of worship, and to lay on it the foundations of the great mosque,^ which 
"became one of the wonders of the world. In this building, which was carried 
"on with mcredihle; activity during his reign, 'Abdu-r-rahm^ is said to have 
" spent the sum of eighty thousand dinars, derived from the fifth of the spoil." 
However, as we have remarked elsewhere, the building was not completed 
imtil the days of his son Hish^m., ixt the year one hundred and seventy-seven 

1::- :of the Hijra (a. ^, 79a-4). ' ■ 

r -^^^The poet Dihyah Mohammed Ibn Mohammed Al-baluni^ has alluded to this 
^ ?m{exceUent composition, of which we quote the Mowing verses : 


-■- r-^ ^..-. L. 








■_^ ^J _' i _ ^ . _ . . 


1* - ^ -.--X.- -^ ■_ p ^<|t3t^r. 

. ^ ■. - ^ _ j-_-\ r .^>^.hS ^i-_>.>rf-" 
X r - ■. ^^^_ -■.!?r^i^:^X'W 

_ _ ^_ 




_ ^ r 

_ - -■ _ \ L^ 

" 'Abdu-r-rahman has spent, for the sake of his God and the honour of 
" religion, of silver and gold eighty thousand dinars. - ) = -- 

" He has employed them in building a temple for the use of fthis ddvout , , .:y.:^i 
" nation, and the better observance of the religion of the Prophet Mohammed- i 

" There thou wilt see the gold which covers its ceiUngs in profttsion ,glittei■ 
" as brightly as the Hghtniag crossing the clouds." j:. ::t. 
Once completed by Hisham, the mosque of Cordova received considerable im. Continued by 

**''■'■ 1 1 "'^ successors. 

provement at the hands of his successors; indeed, it can be safely advanced that 
none of the Sultans of the illustrious family of Umeyyah who reigned in Cordova 
died without making some considerable addition, or contributing in some way to 
the ornament of that sumptuous building. Hisham, son of 'Abdu-r-rahmati, 
surnamed Ar-radhi, the same monarch who saw it completed, added considerably 


to it, the expenses of the work being entirely defrayed out of the fifth of .the 
spoils taken from the infidels of Narbonne. His son, ' Ahdu-T-r&hm^ al-ausati 
(the second), ordered the gilding of the columns and part of the . walls ^'^ but.;, 
before its termination. Mohammed, his successor, continued the :-v?orfcy b^^n 

^ ■ _ 

by his father, and brought it to a close, His son, A3-mundhir, repaired several 
rents in the walls, and made other material improvements in the building. ..The 
Khalif An-nassir caused the old minaret to be pulled down, and another magni- 
ficent one to be erected in its stead. Al-hakem Al-mustanser-biUahv son- of 
An-nassir, made also important additions; seeing, on his coming to i»ow$r|;^4^at 
Cordova was every day increasing in size and extent, and the population 
augmenting, and that notwithstanding the great additions made on various oec^ions 
to the mosque it was still insufficient to hold the faithful that flocked to it on 
Fridays, he directed all his attention to the enlargement of it, and succeeded after 
great labour and expense in carrying his plan into execution and completing the 
additional building known by his name ; — the expenses incurred by it having 
amounted, according to the historian Ibnu Hayydn, to one hundred and sixty-one 
thousand gold dinars, taken from the fifth of the spoils tnade from the mfidels:tfr- 
by which the mosque reached the highest pitch of perfection, all these works being 
executed in a manner which baffles all description. Lastly, in the reign^ of his 
successor, Hisham II., and under the administration of his famous Hajih Ibn 
'A'mir Al-mansur, a most important addition, built on a scale which left alltho^e ■ 
of the Sultdns, his predecessors, far behind m point of. soHdity,. beauty i:#:d^i^ 
and boldness of executmn, was made to the body of the mosque^: Bijfeal#|fefW^ 
intention to treat at length and in detail of each of these^addiUp?!^#^>^^ 
shall not dwell any longer on the subject, and shall proceed to,gife,th#S 



H ^ L-'o ^-.T 


of the mosque, and to describe the works of art and precious objects amassed in 
it by the commendable piety of so many sovereigns. 
Its dimensions. The author of the Majmu'4-muftarik ^ says that the roof of the aisles ^ before the 

addition made by Al-hakem measured two hundred and twenty-five cubits in length 
from janf to UUah,^^ and that the breadth from east to west was likewise before 
the addition one hundred and five cubits. Al-hakem then added one hundred and 
five cubits, thus making the entire length of the mosque three hundred and thirty 
cubits. After this, Mohammed Ibn Abi 'A'mir, better known by the surname 
of Al-mansiir, added to it by order of the Khalif Hisham, son of Al-hakem, 
eighty cubits in breadth on the eastern side. The number of aisles was at first 
eleven ; the breadth of the central one being sixteen cubits ; that of each of the 
two next, east and west, fourteen cubits ; and that of each of the remaining six, 
eleven cubits. To this number Al-mansur added eight aisles of ten cubits in 
breadth each, the addition being completed in the space of two years and a half, 
during which time Al-mansiir himself occasionally worked in person. The length 
of the court ^^ from east to west was one hundred and twenty-eight cubits, and the 
breadth from Uhlah to jauf one hundred and five ; the width of the porticos of the 
coldnnade surrounding the court was ten cubits ; and the area of the whole building 


measured thirty-three thousand one hundred and fifty square cubits. 

Ibnu Sa*id, quoting Ibnu Bashkuwal, agrees in some particulars with the above 
account. He states the length of the great mosque within the city at the same 
number of cubits, that is, three hundred and thirty from jauf to Uhlah; the 
court or open space he only makes eighty cubits in length, the remainder being 
occupied by porticos tiled over. He estimates the breadth of the mosque from 
east to west at two hundred and fifty cubits, in which he is at variance with 
thev preceding statement.'^ He says also that the total number of aisles, com- 
prising the: addition made by Al-mansur, was nineteen, and that they were called 
atrioMttdt. The number of doors, great and small, was twenty-one; namely, 
nine on the west side, including in the number a large one by which women 

^ ^ entered into the part of the mosque allotted to them; nine on the east, eight 

of which were for the men and one for the women; three to the north, of 
which two large ones were for the use of the men, and the other for the women 
to enter into their recesses. No doors were visible on the south side, with 
~%e exception of one in the south side of the makssurah, and leading through 
a covered way to the palace of the Khahf. It was through this secret passage 
'that the Sultan passed on a Friday into the mosque to join in the pubHc worship. 

f:^?^Wi^S:-; All these doors were covered with the finest brass, in the most beautiful manner.*^ 

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Another author describes the doors as being only nine; namely, three opening 

into the coiirt,^one to the east, another to the west, and a third to the north; four - 

opening into the aisles, namely, two on the east and two on the west side; the; :|J 

two remaining leading into the recesses for women under the aisles : and lastly, -an 

anonymous writer^* whom we consulted in Cairo says that each of these dotJrs ■ ^.^^^ 

was ornamented with a ring of exquisite workmanship, and covered with Sheets 

of yellow brass so bright and polished as to dazzle the eyes of the beholders. : y 

According to the author of the Majmu' -l-muftarih. the number of columns, all : g 

of marble, is said to have been one thousand two hundred and ninety-three; 
according to another writer the total number of columns which either supported 
the roof of the mosque, or were embodied in the walls, or formed the domes, 
or entered into the building of the minaret, amounted between large and small 
to one thousand four hundred and seventeen; others say that the large columns 
in the interior of the mosque amounted to one thousand, exclusive of othersjflf ; ;;;. 

smaller size in the court and offices of the mosque; but there are not: wantmg .||| 

authors who make their number stiU more considerable. Ibnu Bashktiw^li qi^d .;r;fe^ 
by Ibmi Sa'id, states them to be in all fourteen hundred and nine.^? of which:: one ^vj^f^ 
hundred and nineteen were comprised within the makssurah, huUt by Al-mansur. 'I;!;; 

This the above-mentioned author describes as one of the most magnificent and ■■■-tf.^ 
bold structures ever raised hy man. It extended across five aisles of., the ;,;^.: 

eleven composing the addition built by Al-hakem^ and its wings passed 
the remaining six, leaving three on each side ;'^ its length from east to west.-was 
seventy-five cubits; its breadth from the wooden partition to the columns of . the 
miah twenty-two cubits ; the height, counting from the floor to the cornices,*' 
eight cubits ; and that of the cornices three spans. 

This maksmirah was further provided with three doors of exquisite workmanship Makssumh. 
and beautifully carved, and leading by the east, west, and north, into the body of 
the mosque. It is stated elsewhere that one of these doors was made of pure gold, 
as well as the walls of the mihrdb ; '^ that the floor of the makssirah was paved 
with silver, and that all the parts adjacent to it were covered with sofeysafd '^ (rich 
mosaic work intermixed with gold) ; and lastly, that most of the columns, : which 
are described as being placed in clusters of four, and having only, one capital, were 
most beautifully carved and inlaid from top to bottom with gold and lapis.i'-''"!'- 
bnt God only is all-knowing. It is also asserted that in the open space '^^ Mm 
by the mihrdb there were seven arches supported by cohimns, and risii^^a^^nl 
siderable height ; and such was the beauty of their<t %^^G^^s?pf 
the execution that both Christians and Moslems repeatedly exptessedctheir-admi- 
ration at the manner in which they were achieved t th&r^ were^lbeSides . in the two 

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jaihbs^^ forming the door of the mikrdb four columns of inestimable value, — two 
were made of green marble, the other two of lapis-lazuh. 
Mihriib. "We learn from Ibnu Bashkuwal that the length of the mihrdh was eight cubits 

and a half from Uhlah to jauf, and its breadth from east to west seven cubits and 
a half J the height of the dome thirteen cubits and a half. There stood against one 
of its sides a pulpit,^^ also constructed by Al-hakem, and equalled by none other in 
the world for workmanship and materials. It was built of ivory, and of the most 
exquisite woods, such as ebony, sandal, hakam,^^ Indian plantain, citron wood, 
^loe, and so forth, at the expense of thirty-five thousand seven hundred and five 
dinars, three dirhems and one third ; and the steps by which it was ascended were 
mne in number. Another writer says that it was formed of thirty-six thousand 
small pieces of wood, which were fastened together with gold and silver nails, and 
occasionally incrusted with precious stones, and that the original cost of each piece 
was seven dirhems of silver ; that its construction lasted for seven years, eight artists 
being daily employed in it, with an allowance of half a mithkal Mohammedi'^ a day. 
SL'^S^tt n '^^*® pulpit was once the repository of a copy of the Koran written, as it is 
My 'othman. generally supposed, by the Khalif 'Othman. It was preserved in a case of gold 

tissue set with pearls and rubies, over which was a bag of the richest coloured silk, 
the whole being placed on a stand of aloe wood, joined with gold nails. It was 
taken to Africa by one of the Sultdns of the Beni 'Abdi-l-miimen, and lost and 
recovered several times, until it was finally deposited in the great mosque called 
Jdmi' 'Karawayin'^^ (the mosque of the people of Cairwan), at Fez. But this being 
an interesting subject, and one which has given rise to much debate among the 
learned, some of whom have expressed doubts of this book being so ancient 
as it was supposed, we deem it proper to transcribe here the words of a very 
intelligent author who has fully investigated the case. The Khattib Ibn Marziik ^^ 
saygtin his work entitled AUmamadU'S-saHhu~l-hasan^ (or collection of authen- 
ticated -traditions,) as follows: — "The copy of the Koran called 'Othm^ni, and 
'^ which, according to Ibnu Bashktiw^, is one of the four copies which the Khalif 
" 'Othman (may God show him His favours 1) sent to Mekka, Basrah, Kufah, and 
" Damascus, is too well known all over Andalus and Africa to need description. 
"It was kept in the great mosque of Cordova, until on a Saturday, the eleventh of 
" Shawwal of the year five hundred and fifty^six of the Hijra (a.d. 1161), it was 
*' taken away, as it is believed, by order of Abu Mohammed 'Abdu-l-mtimen Ibn 
" 'Ali,^^ and taken to Africa, where it remained in the hands of that Sultdn and his 
:" successors, who not only took the greatest care of it, but carried it always in their 
■'■.Iferavels and military expeditions, expecting that it would prove for them a source 
prosperity. Thus it passed from one Sultan to another among the Almohades 

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'' until it came to 'Ali Ibnu-l-mdmtin Abi-l-'ola Idris Ibnu-l-manstiri sumairied 
'* Al-mu'atadhedh and Sa'id,^^ who took it with him in his expedition against 
" Telemsan, towards the end of the year six hundred and. forty-five of the Hijra 
" (a. D. 1247-8). By the death of this Sultan, who perished in a skirmkh befoi'e 
" that city, the sacred volume went to his son Ibrahim,'^^ who, having given; Mttl6 
* ' to the enemy, was also defeated and lost his life, the enemy getting possession of 
" all the baggage of his army, and the greatest part of his treasures ; among which 
" was this Koran, which feU into the hands of the Arabs. What its final desti- 
' ' nation was I could not learn ; some say that it was acquired by the Sultan of 
'' Telemsan, whose successor preserves it now in his treasure. 

" As to the supposition that some spots of the blood of 'Othman are to be seen 
" on it, it is a very gratuitous one, and rests on no foundation whatever. That of 
*' its being one of the copies presented by the Khalif to the cities of Mekka, Basrah, 
*' Kufah, and Damascus, requires some consideration. Ibn 'Abdi-1-mdlik says, 'In 
'* case of its being one of the above-mentioned copies, it cannot be any other; thari 
'' the Syrian one.' But Abu-1-kdsim An-najibi^"* As-sebtti tells m& that the Byiite 
" copy, that is, the identical one presented by 'Othmdn to the city of I>amasclis,;^ist 
'' still preserved in the maks^rah of the mosque of the Beni Umeyyah in that 
" city, where he saw it himself in the year six hundred and fifty-seVen of the 
'' Hijra.^^ It cannot either be that of Mekka, for the same Abu-1-kasim informs us 
" that having in the said year of six hundred and fifty-seven (a.d. 1259) mafe^m 
*' pilgrimage to the holy places, he saw and read in it, and fottnd it lying as' befcife 
" under the dome of the Jews, otherwise called Kubbatu-t-tarab (the donie of the 
" dust), and that he likewise saw the ancient copy preserved at Me^na, and read in 
" it. Perhaps it is the one of Kiifah, or that of Basrah ;■ but it is well known that 
*' the latter is preserved at Medina, where Abu-1-k^sim found it. Besides, An- 
" najaghi,-^^ who in the year seven hundred and five (a.d. 1305-6) had an oppor- 
" tunity of seeing and comparing both copies, namely, that which is preserved iri 
Medina, and that which came to this country and was previously in the great 
mosque of Cordova, declares positively that he examined them both with the 
greatest attention and care, and saw nothing which could lead him to supptJse 
that the Cordovan one was of the same antiquity. The hand-writing was totallj^ 
distinct, the copy at Medina being written in the halid-writing generally'": tis^d^^iii, 
Yemen, while that of Cordova was not. As to its being Written by tW1Kh|i£f 
'Othman himself; it is a supposition which scarcely needs reftitaMdJ^^:fe(gtiiiS 
" known to every body that he wrote none himself; what he did-^;;:fe&^t6 
" intrust some of the companions of the Prophet with the revision WSali^em^nt 
" of a copy which should serve as a standard for all other0,'-m&fbmg p^o^ed by 








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" the note at the end of the copy deposited now at Medina, and which reads thus : 
" ' The present book was collected by some of the companions of the Prophet (on 
" whom be benediction and salutation !) by the injunctions of the Khalif 'Othman,' 
" &c. Then follow the names of the companions who assisted in the collection, as 
" Zeyd Ibu Thabit, 'Abdullah Ibn Zubeyr, Sa'id Al-'assi, and so forth.^^ 

'' However, be this as it may, one thing is certain, namely, that the copy of the 
" Koran which was preserved at Cordova, and held in so great veneration by the 
" people of Andalus, passed through many hands, until it was lost before Telemsan 
" by the Sultan Ibrdhim ; its present destination being totally unknown to me, 
" unless, I repeat, it be preserved in the treasure of the Sultan of Telemsan, as it 
" has been reported." 

Such is Ibn Marztik's account, which we have copied almost Uterally from his 
work. Now it remains for us to say that what Ibn Marzuk conjectures is a fact ; 
the sacred volume here alluded to remained in the possession of the Sultdns of Te- 
lemsan, who transmitted it as an inheritance from father to son, until that city was 
taken by our Imam Abu-1-hasan^* towards the end of Ramadhan of the year seven 
hundred and thirty-seven of the Hijra (a. d. 1336). That prince, having seized 
upon all the treasures contained in the royal palace, found among other valuable 
objects the famous Koran, which he kept in his possession until it was again lost by 
him in the disastrous battle of Tarifa ;^^ thus becoming the prey of the infidel 
monarchs of Andalus. From that country it went to Portugal, whence it was again 
recovered in the year seven hundred and forty -five (a. d. 1344-5) by one of the 
merchants of Azamor, who employed a ruse to gain possession of it. It then was 
acquired by the Sultan of Fez, at which city Ibn Rashld saw it, as he himself 
informs us in his travels.^® 
Tower. Bxit to retum to our description of the mosque of Cordova. " The height of the 

" tbwer^? now existing," says Ibnu Bashkuwdl, ** which was built by the Sultan 
Abdu-r-rahman, son of the Sultan Mohammed, is seventy-two cubits, namely, 
fifty-four to the top of the open dome, towards which the crier turns his hack 
when proclaiming the hour of prayers, and eigliteen more to the very end of the 
" spar. On the summit of this dome are the three celebrated apples, two of which 
" are made of pure gold, and the middle one of silver. Each of them measures 
" three spans and a half in circumference, and they are encompassed within two six- 
petalled lilies in a most elegant manner, the whole being surmounted by a small 
" pomegranate made of pure gold, rising about a cubit above the top of the dome, 
" which is considered one of the wonders of the world." 

= r The building of this tower is thus related by the above-mentioned writer. " In 
"J^tiie year three hundred and thirty-four^^ (a. d. 945-6) the Amir 'Abdu-r-rahman 


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" ordered the old tower of the mosque to be pulled down, and the present mag- 
" nificent structure to be erected in its stead. The first thing done was to dig the 
" foundations, a work which lasted forty-three days, the excavation being carried so 
" deep that the workmen were stopped by water ; the building was then begun, and 
" completed in the space of thirteen months, the material being free-stone cemented 
" with mortar. "When the whole building was completed, An-nassir rode to the 
" spot from his palace in the city of Az-zahra, where he was residing at the time, 
" ascended to the top of the tower by one of its staircases, and came down by 
" the other ; for unlike the old tower, which had only one staircase, the present one 
" is provided with two, separated by a wall of masonry, and so contrived that two 
" people starting at the same time may arrive at the top without meeting or seeing 
" each other. After carefully inspecting the edifice, An-ndssir went into the 
'' makssurah of the mosque, prayed two reka's, and retired." 

The number of steps in each staircase was one hundred and seven ; and Ibriu 
Bashkuwal adds, that it was firmly believed in his time that the tower had: .not- 
its equal in point of height and beauty in any other of the countries subject to. the: 
rule of Islam. But, as Ibnu Said has very properly remarked, had Ibnu Bashkilw^ 
seen those of Seville and Morocco, both built by the Sultan Ya'ktib Al-mansiir, one 
of the Beni 'Abdi-1-mumen, he would not have said so, since it is well known that 
their dimensions considerably exceed those of the tower of Cordova. . The height of 
this, measured from below to the balcony or balustrade where the crier stand$,.ds 
fifty-four cubits, and to the very extremity of the spar, where the gold pomegranate 
is, seventy-three cubits ; the width of each of the square sides, eighteen cubits ;— 
thus making seventy-two cubits in circuit. The height of the tower at Morocco 
is well known to be one hundred and ten cubits, and the width in proportion. 

The expenses incurred by An-nassir in his addition to the mosque, as well as in 
the construction of this tower, are stated by Ibnu Bashkuwal, who borrowed his 
information from an account in the hand-writing of the Khalif bimself,^^ at two 
hundred and skty-one thousand five hundred and thirty-seven dinars, and two 

dirhems and a half. ■ 

His son, Al-hakem, was no less fond of building, and his improvements and 
additions to the mosque rank as high as those of any of his predecessors. As we 
have related elsewhere, Al-hakem, soon after his accession to the throne, thought 
of enlarging the mosque of Cordova, which had become too small to contain; the 
crowds of people that flocked to it on Fridays. While the addition was b^g-biiillii 
a dispute arose among his architects respecting the part of the ; horizoiiE .tow^ards 
which the kihlah was to be turned; some pretending that it oughtto he built 
facing the south, as it was formerly, and as his father, An-nassir, had done with that 

VOL. I. 2 G 


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of the mosque of Az-zahrd, while mathematicians and astronomers contended that 

it ought to be built inclining a httle towards the east. While the people were 

thus disputing the point among themselves, the Faquih Abu Ibrahim came up to 

Al-hakem, and said to him, " O Prince of the believers ! all the people of this 

" nation have constantly turned their faces to the south while making their prayers ; 

*' it was to the south that the Imams who preceded thee, the doctors, the Kadis, and 

" all Moslems, directed theh looks, from the times of the conquest up to the present 

" day; and it was to the south that the tdU's, like Musa Ibn Nosseyr and Hansh 

" As-san'ani, (may God show them mercy !) inclined the kiblahs of all the mosques 

" which they erected in this country. Remember that proverb which says, ' It is 

''preferable to follow the example of others and be saved, than to perish by 

" separating from the track.'" Upon which the Khalif exclaimed, *' By Allah, 

" thou sayst right ! I am for following the example of the tdbi% whose opinion on 

'' the subject is of great weight:"— and he ordered that it should be executed as 

Nor was this the only improvement which the Khalif Ahhakem made to the 
great mosque; he ordered, besides, some works of the greatest utihty and import- 
ance. ^ Instead of the old reservoir^-* for purification, in the court of the mosque, 
Which was suppHed with water drawn by beasts*^ from a neighbouring well, he built 
four others at the two sides of the mosque, viz., two large ones for men at the eastern 
angle, and two small ones for women at the western ; and these he filled by means 
of a canal,^2 ^.jji^j^^ ^^^^^^ ^-^^ ^^^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ mountains of Cordova, 

poured it into an immense reservoir fined with marble. The water ran night and 
day, and what remained after supplying the wants of the mosque, being very sweet 
and of excellent quahty, was distributed into three canals,*^ parting from three 
different sides of the mosque, east, north, and west, and flowed into two immense 
fountains,** Which Ai-hakem caused to be hewn out of the sohd rock at the foot of 
the mountains of Cordova at an enormous expense, owing to the number of work- 
men employed in them, and the difficulty of transport. 

The work was executed in the following manner :— Two immense blocks of stone 
were first selected from the quarries in the mountains of Cordova ; they were then 
hewn out with pickaxes, an operation which took up considerable time, and when 
every thing was completed both fountains appeared' suddenly to the eyes of the 
astonished multitude in the shape which they were destined to have. However, 
the general satisfaction expressed by the inhabitants on this occasion was very 
aiuch damped by the obstacles, to all appearance insurmountable, which the distance 
of the quarry and the size of the blocks presented to the transport and conveyance 
|f;4hein by an inclined plane to the corners of the mosque prepared for their recep- 

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tion. This, however, was soon remedied, through the assistance of Almighty God, 
and the following expedient was suggested. A cart was built with large beams 
of oak wood placed upon a circular frame, the whole being strengthened with iron 

- r 

hoops ; a road was levelled from the quarry to the mosque, and after every prepara-^ --i. 

tion had been made seventy of the strongest draught oxen were yoked to it ;by 
means of strong ropes, and with God's favour and assistance the two huge blocks 
reached their destination one after the other, and were placed in the vaulted recesses 
prepared for them,*^ — twelve consecutive days being the time spent in their 

On the west side of this mosque AUhakem built a house for the distribution of Aims-iwusea. 
alms, in which such poor travellers and people as lost their way in the city, or did 
not know whither to go, or were devoid of sufficient means to provide for their 
wants during their residence in the capital, met always with a charitable reception, 
and were hospitably entertained and furnished with every necessary, owing to the ; 

vast sums with which the estabhshment was endowed by the KhaUf. Several houses ■ 
for the poor were likewise erected by Al-hakem over against the great westertv^e;^ ;^>:v 
of the mosque.*^ The sum spent by AUhakem in the building of these housesj as : 
well as in his addition to the mosque, &c., amounted, according to Ibnu Hayy^Ui to 
one hundred and sixty-one thousand gold dinars, all derived from the fifths of the 

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But the greatest addition that ever was made to the mosque is undoubtedly ^at/^^^gf^^ 
undertaken and completed in the days of Hishdm II., and under the admmi^ratidn v j 

of his famous Hajib, Al-manstir Ibn AM 'A'mir. It is thus described by Ibnu Sa*id, :. r 

who quotes Ibnu Bashkuwal and Ibnu-1-faradhi as his authorities.--" The popula- v ; : 

" tion of Cordova had so much increased,— owing to the great influx of people who ; -^ ; : 

" came from all parts of Asia and Africa to settle in it, and to the tribes of Berbers ; ; ~ ' 

" which Ahmansur drew from the opposite land and kept in his pay ;— the city 
itself had reached to such a pitch of magnificence and splendour.*' that the 
suburbs and outskirts teemed with inhabitants, and the great mosque was found . ^ ; 

"incapable of holding the faithful who flocked to it from all sides. As the 
" Khahfs palace adjoined the mosque on the west side, Al-manstir could npt 
" extend the building except on the east. The first step he took was to indemnify, 
" preparatory to the building, the proprietors of such houses as were to be puUM; 
" down with such sums as they chose to fix for theu- property. He called ^t*:^^^^ 
" the owners of the houses, and addressing each of them in private he 
" * Friend, I want that house of thine; I must buy it from thee; t^at.J 
" its site to that of the great mosque : it is a work of great: uti}i^,^jahd 
*' for the convenience of the pubhc. Thou mayst ask whatever price -thou choosest 

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" to have for it, and it shall be paid to thee out of the royal coffers.' Every one 
" of the proprietors having agreed to sell his house, not without putting the highest 
•* possible price on it, Al-mansur gave immediate orders for the payment, and com- 
" manded besides that a suitable residence should be built for each of the pro- 
*' prietors in another quarter of the city. Al-mansiir addressed himself at length to 
an old woman, who, being the proprietor of a house with a palm tree within the 
court of the mosque,*^ obstinately refused to part with it for any sum, unless she 
"were provided with another house having also a palm tree; upon which Al- 
^' manstir issued immediate orders that the old woman's wish should be fulfilled, 
" should it cost a heyt-mdl;'^^ and, accordingly, another house with a palm tree was 
"procured for a most exorbitant price. 

*' All these difficulties being speedily removed, Al-mansur began to build 

*' his addition, in aisles extending all along the mosque, as we have remarked 

*' elsewhere,^** and the whole, when finished, presented a front of the greatest 

*' sohdity and elegance, the interior being decorated with gold in the most mag- 

•* nificent manner ; so that in the opinion of all the intelligent in these matters 

" the addition built by Al-mansur fell nowise short of those of any of his pre- 

" decessors, that of Al-hakem even not excepted :— the action being rendered still 

"'more meritorious by the circumstance of Christian slaves^^ from Castile and other 

infidel countries working in chains at the building instead of the Moslems, thus 

exalting the true religion and trampling down polytheism. Al-mansur built also 

*' the great cistern under the court of the mosque,^^^ and it was he who first caused 

'* wax to be burnt in the interior in addition to oil, thus combining the effect of 

" both lights." 

diTdeTie^in '^^e Humher of brazen chandeliers, of different sizes, in the mosque, is computed 

the mosque. |-,y gomc at two hundred and eighty, and by others at two hundred and twenty-four, 

- without counting those over the gates ; and the number of cups containing the oil 

at seven thousand four hundred and twenty-five, or according to other accounts at 

ten thousand eight hundred and five. The leaden supporters ^^ for the cups 

weighed four arrohes, and three-fourths of a kintar^^ of cotton for the wicks of 

the lamps were consumed each month of Ramadhan. The annual consumption of 

oil amounted to one hundred and twenty-five Untars, half of which was used during 

the Kamadhan ; and in this holy month three Untars of wax, and three-quarters of 

a Untar of cotton thread used in preparing the wax, were requisite over and above 

the usual allowance. The great wax taper which burned by the side of the Imam 

: ■ 5 ' weighed from fifty to sixty pounds ; it burned night and day throughout the month 

^; M: Ramadhan, and its materials both of wax and wick were so contrived that the 

Ivhole might be consumed on the last night of Ramadhan. The chandeUers were 

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aU made of brass and of different patterns, with the exception of three which were 
of silver. Four greater than the rest were suspended in the central aisle; ,the 
largest, which was of enormous dimensions, hung from the ceiling of the dome oyer 
that part of the mosque where the Korans were kept, and consisted, according;;tp;^: . 
certain writer, of one thousand four hundred and fifty-four cups for lights. ;,:IJ;9W-, 
ever, these large chandeliers, each of which consumed nightly seven (trrobesor- 
quarters oi&kintar of oil, were only hghted in the last ten days of the month of 
Ramadhan. The total expenditure of oil in all the lamps ^^ about the mosque, 
including the addition built by Al-mansur, is by another writer estimated at one 
thousand arrohes, or two hundred and fifty hmtars, of which seven hundred and 
fifty were consumed in the month of Kamadhan. 

Ibnu Sa'id, who borrowed most of his information from Ibnu Bashkuwdl, gives 
an estimate somewhat different from that of the former writers we have quoted, 
although it nearly agrees with that of the latter. He says that the annual . expen- . 
diture was one thousand and thirty arrobes of oU, (two hundred and,My-oile;^^^% 
and one quarter,) five hundred of which were spent during Ramadhan>:aM,^^#r:-; --^^^ 
three sih^er chandeliers required seventy-two pounds weight of oil nightly, that is ^o; o^ ::^;V 
say, twenty-four each ; that the largest of all the lamps measured fifty spans in guv-. ^ 7;^;:. 
cumference, and held one thousand four hundred and eighty cups, the whole of whifih : : 
were washed over with gold. Ibnu Sa'id being an author more deserving of credit ■; ; 
than any other of those who have written on the subject, not only on acGou^M v ;; 
the sources from which he derived his information, but also on account:- p^tis; 
veracity as an historian, we do not hesitate to adopt his computation. But God 

only knows.^® 

The number of people employed in or about the mosque, as the Imdm, thq Att^dants. 

readers of the Koran, wardens, door-keepers, proclaimers of the hours of prayer, 
lamp-lighters, and the Hke, is said to have been, in the days of Al-mansiir, one 
hundred and fifty-nine ; but Ibnu Bashkuwal, whose account is entitled to more 
credit, says that the attendants of all classes amounted to three hundred in the 
times of the Khahfs," as well as under the administration of the Hdjib Al-mansur. 
He adds likewise that four ounces of ambergris, and eight of fresh aloe wood, were 
burnt by way of incense on the last day of the month of Uamadhdn, althougll - 
Ibnu-l-faradhl, an author also entitled to great credit, states that one poun^^pf 
wood of aloes, and a quarter of a pound of amber, were allowed every Friday ft|# ^ 

similar purpose. : ■ ^-^^^jI^K 

Our readers must have observed some discrepancy in the. dim^icm^^ip 

mosque, as well as in the number of columns, pillars, and chalidii^ :^lv .^ 

is said to have contained, but this is owhig either to the inequ^^ <)f:^he measure 

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employed, the dhara* cubit not being the same every where, or to the circumstance 
that some authors only counted the detached columns, while others reckoned them 
all, large and small, entire and half; — that some described it before the great ad- 
dition made by Al-mansur, while others, as Ibnu Sa'id, visited it as late as the 
sixth century. In abridging the accounts of the various authors who have treated 
on this mosque, we may have been guilty of repetition, yet, as we consider that 
information may have been increased by it, and that we have been useful, this will 
easily atone for our faults. God is great ! in Him we place our trust ! 

"We cannot leave the description of this sumptuous building, and the enumeration 
of the wonders of art contained in it, without taking notice of two or three circum- 
stances which we have seen mentioned in Eastern authors, and which it may be 
important to know, although no good authority is given for them. It is a current 
opinion in Damascus, as well as in other cities of the East, that the mosque of 
Cordova had three hundred and sixty arches, according to the number of days in the 
year, and that the sun passed every day by one of the arches until it went round the 
whole number, when it returned in the inverse direction.^^ Among the authors that 
we have quoted none has alluded to this ; nay, we will say more, among the almost 
innumerable Andalusian as well as African writers who have treated on this mosque, 
none, that we kno-w of, has made the least allusion to it ; therefore the account, 
from whoever it comes, is entitled to no credit j for, we ask, is it probable that so 
extraordinary a circumstance should have been passed in silence by writers who 
have recorded facts of much less importance with the most scrupulous details ? 

The author of the NashaJcu-l-azhdr ^^ (sweet odour of the flowers) says that 
among the manifold objects which by their exquisite workmanship or their costly 
materials attracted the eyes of the beholder in the mosque of Cordova, there were 
three red marble pillars, on which were engraved, — on one the name of Mohammed, 
on the other Moses' rod and the sleepers of the cave, and on the third Noah's 
crow ; and that the columns were not the work of man, but made by God, just as 
they were. We again confess that we have looked in vain for information re- 
specting this wonderful production of nature ; in vain have we perused and consulted 
the best authenticated accounts of the time, and the most detailed description of the 
mosque ; we have nowhere found the least mention made of it : we must therefore 
pronounce it improbable ; for is it natural that the best and most diligent among 
ancient writers should have omitted the fact, and that if the name of our holy 
Prophet had been found impressed by the hand of the Almighty on one of the 
columns of the temple this miraculous circumstance should have been left un- 
noticed ? But God is all-knowing, 
"/TO is still another circumstance told of the mosque of Cordova which we must 

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mention. It is recorded by that eminent -writer, Ibnu Bashkuwal, whose narrative 
we have used so often ; but, being as devoid of foundation as the preceding, no great 
reliance can be placed on it. That author introduces among his traditional stones 
respecting Cordova the following :■ — "And they say that the site occupied by the 
' ' great mosque was formerly a great hollow, wherein the inhabitants used to throw 
" their oiFal, but that when Suleyman, son of Daud, (on whom be peace !} came to- 
" Cordova and saw the spot, he said to the Jinn, ' Clear away this place for me, 
" and transform it into a suitable ground, that you may afterwards build on it a 
" temple for the worship of the Almighty God ; ' and that the orders were obeyed, 
" and the mosque built." But this is contradictory of what we have stated elsewhere 
respecting the Christian church, wMch, in the opinion of all writers, and of Ibnu 
Bashkuwal himself, stood on the site now occupied by the great mosque. The 
same writer states that all the uniform ovals which are engraved on the ceiling of 
the great mosque bore inscriptions appropriate to the spot, and calling the mind of 
the faithful to contemplation and devotion.^" .'^■■^^■^^.y^'- 

But let us proceed to the description of other magnificent buildings which^em- 
bellished the court of the Khalifs ; and first of all to that of the city of Az-zahr^, 
built by 'Abdu-r-rahman An-nassu- lidin-illah, the. seventh Sultdn of the dynasty of 

Beni Umeyyah in Andalus. 

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[book in 


City and palace of Az-zahrd — Cause of its foundation — Expenditure — Materials used in its erection 

The two fountains — The hall of the Khalifs — Mosque in Az-zahrii. 

pity md pa- The cause of the building of the city of Az-zahra is thus related by a certain doctor, 

ldC6 OX aZ^ 


Cause of its 

a native of Cordova. One of An-nassir's concubines happening to die possessed of 
considerable wealth, the Sultan ordered that the whole of her property should be 
spent in the redemption of captives. A search was accordingly made in the country 
of the Franks, but not one Moslem captive could be found ; upon which An-nassir 
was greatly delighted, and thanked God for it. His mistress Az-zahra, wliom he 
loved passionately, then said to him, — '' Build with that money a city that may 
" take my name and be mine : " and in compliance with her wish An-nassir, who 
surpassed his ancestors 'Abdu-r-rahman al-ausatt and Al-hakem I. in fondness for 
building, began building at the foot of the mountain called Jebalu-l-'arus (the 
mountain of the bride), south of the mountain and north of Cordova, the palace 
and city which he called Medinatu-z-zahr^ after his mistress. This city, which 
at first was only intended as a spot of recreation for his mistress, An-nassir soon 
took for his residence, making it also the abode of his guards and the officers 
of bis household ; he built the palace of solid materials and beautiful design, and 
ornamented the interior with costly magnificence, and he ordered also that a statue 
of his mistress should be carved in relief over the gate. They say that when 
Az-zahrA sat for the first time in the great hall of the palace, and, looking out of 
the windows, gazed with admiration on the beautiful snow-white buildings of the 
city, contrasting with the black and dismal appearance of the mountain at the foot 
of which it stood, she said to her royal spouse, " See, O master ! how beautiful this 
" girl looks in the arms of yonder Ethiopian ;" on hearing which An-nassir gave 
immediate orders for the removal of the mountain, but one of his counsellors 
happening to be present when the order was issued said to him, " O Prince of 
** the believers ! God forbid that thou shouldst undertake a task the mere idea 


- n- 

^ of which is sufficient to make a man lose his wit, for were all the men upon 

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*' the face of the earth to be employed in cutting away its trees and excavating 
" its sides, no human force could move it from where it now stands. He only can 
*' do it who is the creator of all things." This reason convinced An-ndssir of 
the impossibility of the task, and he ordered instead that all the oak and other 
mountain trees which grew on it should be rooted up, and that fig and almond 
trees should be planted in their place ; by which change the landscape was so 
much improved that the mountain became one of its finest ornaments, principally 
in the spring, when the trees, being in full blossom, spread in the atmosphere a 
fragrance and freshness that were quite delightful. 

Medinatu-z-zahrd was thus situate between the foot of the mountain and the 
plain which extends to Cordova, at the distance of about three miles from the 
furthest limits of the city. Ibn Khallekan, in his biography of illustrious men, 
under the article of Al-mu'atamed Ibn 'Abbdd, King of Seville, has given the dimen- 
sions of this wonderful city: his words are as follow. "The city of Az-zahra 

^ - - 

" was one of the most splendid, most renowned, and most magnificent structiu-es 

" ever raised by man. It stood at the distance of four miles and : a : third-from 

" Cordova; it measured two thousand seven hundred cubits in length from, east ^ . 

" to west, and the breadth from north to south was one thousand seven hundred 

" cubits. The number of columns in the building amounted to four thousand 

" three hundred, and that of the doors to fifteen thousand.^ In the raisings 6f 

"this sumptuous building An-nassir lavished countless treasures, since it is 

" reported that the revenues of Andalus, in the days of this Sultan, amounted 

" to five millions four hundred and eighty thousand gold dindrs, collected from 

" taxes ; besides seven hundred and sixty-five thousand derived from markets : 

" exclusive also of the fifth of the spoil taken from the enemy, and the capitation 

" tax levied on Christians and Jews living in the Moslem dominions, the amount 

" of which is said to have equalled all the rest. Of this vast income An-nassir 

" appropriated one-third to the payment of the army, one-third was deposited in 

" the royal coffers to cover the expenses of his household, and the remainder was 

'' spent yearly in the construction of Az-zahra and such other buildings as were 

" erected under his reign."^ Such are the words of Ibn KhaUekan, who derived 

his information from Ibnu Bashkuwal and other Andalusian historians. ' 

Others assert that the expenditure was as follows. The number of workmen ^Expenditure, 
and slaves daily labouring at the building was ten thousand ;--the number ;of :in)iles ■ 
and other beasts of burden ^ constantly employed in the transport of-th^^t^s 
fifteen hundred, or, according to others, fourteen hundred;muleS;;:an4>four 
hundred camels belonging to the Khalif, and one thousand.mules hired for the 
occasion, at the rate of three mithkals a month each. . Eleven ..hundred burdens 

2 H 

_ ^ 

VOL. i. 



of lime and gypsum were conveyed every third day for the use of the building. 
The daily pay of one part of the men was one dirhem and a half each, others 
received two dirhems and one-third. Six thousand blocks of stone made com- 
pletely even and smooth were used every day. without including in this number 

the uncut stones, bricks, and the like. 
Materials used g^^ as we are indebted to the historian Ibnu Hayyan for a minute description of 
erectma. ^_^ j^^gj^j^^gnt construction, as also for an account of the materials used in the 
buUding and the expenditure incurred by it, we shall extract its contents. It 
is but proper to observe that this excellent historian held Ms information from 
the mouth of Ibn Dahin, who had it from Moslemah Ibn 'Abdillah the architect 
. and geometrician, who hved in the reign of An-nassir. " An-nassir began the 
" construction of the palace and city of Az-zahra in the year three hundred and 
"twenty-five of the Hijra (a. d. 936-7), and the building was continued for 
" forty consecutive years, that is to say, twenty-five years of the life of An-nassir 
" and fifteen of that of his son and successor, Al-hakem ; for although the palace 
" was completed long before the death of An-nassir, considerable additions were 
" made to it by his son, and the buildings for the reception of the court, the 
*' barracks for the troops, the pleasure-gardens, baths, fountains, and so forth, 
•' were never completed until the days of Al-hakem. During the reign of 'Ab- 
" du-r-rahman six thousand blocks of stone, great and small, cut into various 
" shapes, and either polished or smoothed, were used every day, exclusive of the 
" uncut stones used for paving* and the like. The number of beasts of burden 
" daily employed to convey the materials of construction was fourteen hundred, 
" some say more, besides four hundred camels belonging to the Sultan, and one 
"thousand mules hired for the occasion at the rate of three mithkals a month, 
" making the total expense of hiring amount to three thousand mithkals monthly. 
" In the building eleven hundred burdens of lime and gypsum were used every 
"third day. The number of columns, great and small, supporters or supported, 
" employed in the building amounted to four thousand ; others exceed that 
" number by three hundred and sixteen. Of these some came from Rome, 
" nineteen from the country of the Franks,^ one hundred and forty were pre- 
" sented by the emperor of Constantinople, one thousand and thirteen, mostly 
"of green and rose coloured marble, were brought from Carthage, Tunis, Isfakis 
" (Sfax), and other places in Africa ; the remainder were extracted from quarries in 
" his Andalusian dominions, as for instance the white marble from Tarragona and 
." Almeria, the streaked marble^ from Raya, and so forth, I was told by Ibn 
: i > :v*^ Dahln, who had it from the son of one of the architects employed by An-nassir, 
: - ^-^s.that the persons commissioned to transport tiie marbles from Africa were three, 

. - ^- - - 














'^ namely, 'Abdullah the inspector of the works, Hasan Ibn Mohammed, and *Alx 

'^ Ibn Ja'far, a native of Alexandria, besides Ibn Yunis the sailor, and that Anrnassir 

*' paid them for every block or pillar of marble, whether great or small, which 

*' they transported to Cordova, ten gold dinars. I have likewise from good 

*' authority that the cost of each block of marble, whether great or small, fouM 

" in the mountains of Andalus was also nearly the above-mentioned sum; and, 

"lastly, it has been repeated on the authority of one of the servants of the 

" palace that the total amount of the expenses in the erection of Az-zahrd 

' * amounted yearly to three hundred thousand dinars during the twenty-five 

years it was building under An-nassir, namely, from the year three hundred and 

twenty-five, the epoch of its commencement, till that of three hundred and fifty, 

the time of the death of that Khalif ; and that having made the computation 

of the total expenditure which that Sultan underwent he found it amount to 

fifteen heyt-mdV The number of doors in the palace of Az-zahrA amounted 

to fifteen thousand, counting each flap or fold as one, and all were coyerjed 

either with plates of iron or sheets of polished brass." So far Ibnu Hayydn.^ !>: 

Another well informed writer says that the cost of every block of marble brought 

to Cordova, either from the Khalif s dominions in Andalus as well as in Africa, or 

from various distant countries in the hands of the infidels, was ten gold dindrs 

each, exclusive of the expenses of detachment from the quarry and carving, and 

exclusive also of the cost of the men and beasts employed in the transport.y Ti^^. 

another writer asserts that the total amount of expenses in buUding the ci%M 

Az-zahra was one hundred mudd full of dhhems of the measure used at Cordova ; 

others say eighty mudd and seven Ufk of tiie same measure.^ But as these authors 

do not state whether this is to be understood merely of the constructions raised 

in An-nassir's time, or also of those continued by his son Al-hakem, no great 

rehance can be placed on the calculations, especially when we consider the au. 

thenticity of the sources whence Ibnu Hayyan borrowed the preceding narrative 

But before proceeding any farther we deem it necessary again to remind the 
reader of the system of composition we have adopted for the present work, ; and 
which renders it necessary that we should quote literally from the wntrngs- of 
authors from every country and of every age, thereby falling at every step ; in 
iastidious repetitions and unavoidable contradictions; for smce ^^ ^^^^ 
every author to see things in their true light, or to ^^J^^^^^l* 
some have themselves been led into error, and made hundreds taU. 
while others are to this day like a bright lamp which guides the s^ ., ^. , , . 
tiie intricate maze of antiquity. We, tiierefore, who ^^Wf^f~^ 
required for the task of historian, nor the books sufficient :to select and compare 

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[book ni. 


our information, have preferred this method of writing history ; sometimes quoting 
the very words, and at other times extracting the narrative, of authors, but seldom 
introducing observations of our own, unless the contradiction be so glaring, or the 
statement so uncommon, as to require it. We hope therefore that our reasons 
for doing so will be justly appreciated, and that our readers will excuse us when- 
ever we happen to fall into the above-mentioned errors. 

Thetwofoun- Among the wonders of Az-zahra, says Ibnu Hayyan, were two fountains, with 

their basins, so extraordinary in their shape, and so valuable for their exquisite 
workmanship, that, in the opinion of that writer, they constituted the principal 
ornament of the palace. The larger of the two, which was of gilt bronze, and 
most beautifully carved with basso-relievo representing human figures, was brought 

: ' to the Khalif from Constantinople by Ahmed Al-ynnam (the Greek) ,^ and Rabi' the 

Bishop.^" As to the small one, which was of green marble, it was brought from 
Syria by the said Ahmed, although others assert that it came likewise from 
Constantinople with Rabi'. However, all agree in saying that such were the 
taste of the designs on these fountains, and the magnificence of the materials, 
as to make their value almost beyond estimation. The smaller one, above all, 
■appears to have been a real wonder of art. It was brought from place to place 
until it reached the sea shore,^^ when it was put on board a vessel and conveyed 
to Andalus. When the Khalif received it he ordered it to be placed in the dor- 
mitory of the eastern hall called Al-munis,^'^ and he fixed on it twelve figures 
made of red gold, and set with pearls and other precious stones. The figures, 
which were all made in the arsenal'^ of Cordova, represented various animals; 
as for instance one was the likeness of a lion, having on one side an antelope, 
and on the other a crocodile ; opposite to these stood an eagle and a dragon ; 
and on the two wings of the group a pigeon, a falcon,^* a peacock, a hen, a 
cbckvaMte,!^ and a vulture. They, moreover, were all ornamented with jewels, 
and the water poured out from their mouths. 

The hall of the Another of the wonders of Az-zahra was the hall called Kasru-Ukholafd (the hall 

of the Khalifs) , thereof of which was of gold and solid but transparent blocks of 
marble of various colours, the walls being likewise of the same materials. In the 
centre of this hall, or, according to some, on the top of the above-described foun- 

J - _ 

V; tain, which is by them placed in this hall, was fixed the unique pearl presented to 

^ JV" An-n^ssir by the Greek emperor Leo, '^ among other valuable objects. The tiles 

^^Jv ■ that covered the roof of this magnificent hall were made of pure gold and sih^er, 
I??. \ -and, accordmg to Ibnu Bashkuwdl, there was in the centre of the room a large 
|^v| 3^;^> ft HaSin filled with quicksilver; on each side of it eight doors fixed on arches^^ of 
fftSft;^ %^^^:and ebony, ornamented with gold and precious stones of various kinds, resting 




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upon pillars of variegated marble and transparent crystal. When the sun pene- 
trated through these doors into the apartment, so strong was the action of its 
rays upon the roof and walls of this hall that the reflection only was sufficient to 
deprive the beholders of sight. And when An-n^sir wished to frighten any of the 
courtiers that sat with him, he had only to make a sign to one of his Sclavonians to 
set the quicksilver in motion, ^^ and the whole room would look in an instant as if 
it were traversed by flashes of lightning ; and the company woxdd begin to tremble, 
thinking that the room was moving away, — this sensation and their fears continuing 
as long as the quicksilver was in motion. The abundance of quicksilver in Spain 
made An-nassir conceive the idea of employing it in the manner above described ; 
and it was perhaps the effect produced by that mineral which led to the belief that 
this hall was perpetually turning round and followed the course of the sun, or, as 
others have it, that it moved round on the reservoir as on a pivot ; '^ and _ such 
was An-nassir's care for this building that he would commit the superintendence of 
it to none other but to his son and successor, Al-hakem. In one thing, hpwevet, 
we find all authors agree, namely, that there never was built a more splendid h^ :;:■ 

than this, either in the times preceding Isldm or afterwards. 

The mosque of Az-zahra did not fall short of the rest of the building. Although Mosque in Az-; 
matchless in design and faultless in proportion, the whole structure was raised and 
its interior arrangements completed in the space of forty-eight days, for An-nassir 
kept continually employed on it one thousand skilful workmen; of which three 
hundred were masons, two hundred carpenters, and the remaining five hundred 
bricklayers and mechanics of different kinds. It wa^ a stupendous structure, most 
beautifully finished in all its parts, and consisted of five aisles of wonderful fabric, 
measuring thirty cubits^" in length from kiblah to jauf, without the makssiirah ; 
the breadth of the central aisle was thirteen cubits from east to west, and that of 
each of the remaining ones was twelve cubits. The whole building measured in 
length from kihlah to jauf, exclusive of the makssurah, thirty cubits. The length 
of the open court, from kihlah to jaicf, was forty-three cubits, the whole of this 
space being paved with marble flags of a reddish hue, very much resembling the 
colour of wine. In the centre of this court stood a fountain which poured out 
limpid water for the use of the mosque. The entire length of the mosque from 
kiblah to jauf, exclusive of the mihrdb, was ninety-seven cubits, and the breadth ■ 
from east to west fifty-nine. To this mosque was added a square tower, measuring 
ten cubits at the base, and rising to the height of forty cubits. In the maAr^isgf 4% 

■^ L . _ . .- J -_ ^ 

which was of wonderful construction and ornamented with costly^ magni^cence,; a 
pulpit of extraordinary beauty and design was placed by the orders of Aii-na^sir on 
the very day that the mosque was completed, that is tosay, on the twenty-third 

—. -^ r r • 

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,_r.^ J^ .' 






[book III. 

- 1 ^. - 

' - - : :.. 

day of Sha'ban of the year three hundred and twenty-nine of the Hijra (23rd 
January, 941). On this day, which according to other writers was on the twenty- 
second of the said month, and which happened to be a Friday, public prayers were 
for the first time performed with great solemnity in this mosque. The Kadi who 
officiated as Imam on this occasion was Abu 'Abdillah Ibn Abi Isa, An-nassir 
heing present, as also the principal officers of the court. On the ensuing day the 
Khalif attended a sermon which was preached by the same Kadi. 

There were besides in Az-zahrd two baths, one destined for the use of the officers 
of the Sultan's household and other servants attached to the palace, and the other 
for the public ; and it was likewise provided with markets, inns, colleges, and other 
public aud private estabhshments. 

"We might go to a great length were we only to enumerate all the beauties, 
natural as well as artificial, contained within the precincts of Az-zahra ;— the run- 
ning streams, the hmpid waters, the luxuriant gardens, the stately buildings for 
the accommodation of the household guards, the magnificent palaces for the recep- 
tion of aU the high functionaries of the state ; the throng of soldiers, pages, eunuchs, 
and slaves, of all nations and religions, sumptuously attired in robes of silk and 
brocade, moving to and fro through its broad streets; or the crowds of judges, 
Katibs, theologians, and poets, walking with becoming gravity through the 
magnificent halls, spacious ante-rooms, and ample courts of the palace. The 
number of male servants in the palace has been estimated at thirteen thousand 
seven hundred and fifty, to whom the daily allowance of flesh meat, exclusive of 
fowls and fish, was thirteen thousand pounds ; the number of women of various 
classes, comprising the harem of the Khalif, or waiting upon them, is said to have 
amounted to six thousand three hundred and fourteen. The Sclavonian pages and 
eunuchs were three thousand three hundred and fifty,— some say three thousand 
three hundred and eighty-seven ; — to whom thirteen thousand pounds of flesh meat 
Were distributed daily, some receiving ten pounds each and some less, according to 
thejj* rank and station, exclusive of fowls, partridges, and birds of other sorts, game, 
and fish; although there are not wanting authors who have computed the number 
of Sclavonian servants employed in or about the palace at six thousand and eighty- 
seven.^i The daily allowance of bread for the fish in the ponds of Az-zahra was 
twelve thousand loaves, besides six Icafh of black pulse ^^ which were everyday 
macerated in the waters. These and other particulars may be found at full length 
m the histories of the time, and recorded by orators and poets who have exhausted 
the mines of eloquence in their description : all agree that when this most beautiful 
and magnificent palace was completed in the days of Al-hakem, all who saw it 
Jbifffnfed that nothing similar to it could be found in the territories of Islam. 


:-^■ .ii 



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Travellers from distant lands, men of all ranks and professions in life, following 
various religions, princes, ambassadors, merchants, pilgrims, theologians, and ppetg, 
who were conversant with edifices of this kind and had surveyed tliis, all agreed 
that they had never seen in the course of their travels any thing that couM be 
compared to it; they said more, they confessed that they had never heard or 
imagined in all the course of their lives of any building similar to this ; and all the 
Andalusian writers bear testimony that it was in their time the chief wonder which 
travellers to Andalus in those ages desired to behold. Indeed, had this palace pos- 
sessed nothing more than the terrace of polished marble^^ overhanging the match- 
less gardens, with the golden hall and the circular pavilion, and the works of art of 
every sort and description ; — had it had nothing else to boast of but the masterly 
workmanship of the structure, the solidity of its foundations, the boldness of the 
design, the beauty of the proportions, the elegance of the ornaments, hangings, and 
decorations, whether of transparent marble or glittering gold, the columns that 
seemed from their symmetry and smoothness £^ if they had been turned by tummg- 
machines, ^* the paintings that equalled the choicest gardejis, the artificid lake 
so soUdly constructed, the cistern perpetually filled with clear and limpid water, 
and the amazing fountains, with figures of living beings ;— no imagination, however 
rich and fertile, could have formed an idea of it. Praise be ascribed to the 
Almighty God, who allowed those contemptible creatures to design and build such 
enchanting palaces as these, and who permitted them to inhabit them as a sort of 
recompense in this world, and in order that the faithful might be stimulated to 
follow the path of virtue by the reflection that, charmmg and dehghtiul as the plea- 
sures enjoyed by their owners were, they were still very far from giving even a 
remote idea of those reserved for the true behever in the celestial paradise ! We 
shall further see how this abode of contentment and mirth, how this splendid and 
magnificent city, how these renowned bowers and gardens, were afterwards con- 
verted by the Berbers into places of desolation and ruin. There is no God but 

God ! the great ! the Almighty ! 

This naturally brings to our recollection the great palace which Al-mansur Ibri 
Dhi-n-nun,2^ King of Toledo, built in that city, and in the construction of which he is. 
said to have lavished countless treasures. He not only employed all the best artists 
of his age, but he sent also for architects, geometricians, and painters, from d^tant 
lands ; mide them execute the most fantastic and wonderful works, and rew^rf^d 
their labours with the greatest munificence. Adjoining to his palace he planted a 
most luxuriant garden, in which he made an artificial lake, and in the centre 
he built a kiosk of stained glass, adorned with gold. His architect so contnved 
this, that by certain geometrical rules the water of the lake was made to ascend to 

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[book III 

the top of the dome over the kiosk, and then, dropping at both sides, jom the waters 
of the lake In this room the Sultdn could sit, untouched by the water, which fell 
every where round him, and refreshed the air in the hot season ; sometimes, too, 
wax tapers were lighted within the room, producing an admirable effect upon the 
transparent walls of the kiosk. But of this more when we come to the narrative 
of the Kings of Toledo. 



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Aqueduct of Cordova — Built by 'Abdu-r-rahm^n III. — The palace and city of Az - 2 ahir ah— Christian 

churches in Cordova — ^Tribunal of appeal. 

An Aiidalusian historian has said that such were An-nassir's passion and taste for Aqueduct «f : ; >; 

building that besides the erection of the magnificent palace that we have just; de- : v; r i' 

scribed, and the considerable additions made to the great mosque, he also undertook ^ kc ■ ;^^ 

and completed during his reign several public works for the improvement and orna- ^^^^:-M 

ment of his capital. Of this number was a most magnificent aqueduct, which conveyed : ; :^ ': ii! 

excellent water from the mountains of Cordova to the palace ofAn-na'urah (the water- • f : 

wheel), in the western part of the city, by means of tubes geometrically arranged J 
over arches connected one with another. The waters thus conveyed, in admirable 
order, and by dint of extraordinary science, were discharged into a vast reserypir, 
on which was a colossal Hon of wonderful workmanship, and so beautifully imitated 

^ - 

that the sight of it only was sufficient to castfear into the hearts of the beholders, 

and that none devised by the Sultans of former times had been seen equal to it, 

either in likeness or in magnificence. It was covered with the purest gold, and 

its two eyes were two jewels of inestimable value, which sent forth torrents of 

light. The waters of the aqueduct entered into the hind part of this monster, and 

then poured out from his mouth into the aforesaid basin, which circumstance, 

united to the beautiful appearance of the animal, to its terrible and overawing 

aspect, to the two eyes which shone forth as if they belonged to a human creature, 

never failed altogether to produce the most extraordinary effect in the minds of 

those who beheld it for the first time. After supplying this palace, and irrigatiuf 

with profusion every corner of its gardens, notwithstanding their great .ext^jiti 

the superabundant water went to augment the Guadalquivir. ; Every ;;a^;g«^#e 

have consulted on the subject agrees in saying that this aqueduct, ;:veith:ihe 

servoir, and the figure pouring the water into it, must be con^ej^dasone of 

the most amazing structures ever raised by man; for if we attend "tb the length of . 

VOL. I. 2 I 

^e*K*ff»^v*::**'*^r»l^'^**^^tr'^;^£H^_»^A ■ * ^ -^*-^L-r- - -- - ^^ 



it to the unfavourable nature of the ground through which it was conducted, the 
magnitude and solidity of the construction, the height of the piers over which the 
water was made to flow, sometimes ascending, sometimes descending, we shall 
scarcely find among the works of ancient kings which have reached us any thing to 

be compared to it.^ 
Bniitiy-Abdu- The bulldlng of this aqueduct lasted fourteen months, counting from the day on 
r-rahmSn HI. ^^^^^ ^^^ preparatory works in the mountains were commenced to that on which 

the water began to flow over the arches, go into the lion, and then pour down 
into the reservoir. This took place on a Thursday, the third of Jumadi-l-akhar ; 
on the same day the Khalif An-ndssir invited to his palace of An-na'urah a large 
party of the most illustrious citizens of Cordova, and gave them a most splendid 
entertainment; after which he distributed considerable largesses among his guests, 
and lavished all sorts of rich presents on the architects and geometricians who had 
directed the work, although they had already been most munificently remunerated 

from the royal treasury.'^ 
Az-zihirah We' have to mention another palace and city built by the famous Hajib, Mo- 

hammed Ibn Abi 'Amir, commonly called Al-manstir, although information 
respecting it is by no means so abundant with us as we should wish. We 
know, that it existed at some distance from Cordova on the banks of the Guadal- 
quivir, and that it was a most splendid structure, second to none but the palace 
of Az-zahrd, built by 'Abdu-r-rahman ; but, owing to the circumstance of its bemg 
destroyed by the Berbers, soon after the death of its founder,^ during the disastrous 
civil wars which brought to the ground the tottering, throne of the Khahfs, the 
memory of it Was soon effaced, and such particulars as have been handed down to 
us give but few, details. Indeed, there are not wanting autJiors who suppose that it 
also .was-built by 'Abdu-r-rahman An-n^ssir, confounding it no doubt with Az- 
zahr&iiand being led into error by the similarity of the names;* but, aslbnu Khaldiin 
has cle^ly shown, they were, two distinct and separate cities ; and the fact is further 
proved :by. the itestimoriy of contemporary writers, as Ibnu Hayy^n and others: 
they all agree, that when Al-mansiir usurped the KhaUfate, during the minority of 
Hishdm, son of Al-hakem, he built for his own security and residence a palace, 
whither he transferred his treasures, stores, and arms. The edifice, which stood 
■- on the banks of the Guadalquivir, not far from Az-zahra, was begun in the year 

^^ /:. threes hundred and sixty-eight of the Hijra (a. d. 978-9), the greatest part of it 

being completed in the short space of two years. Al-mansur betook himself to it, 
KW ;: ; ^ith his iamily, servants, guards, and adherents, in the year three hundred and 
■^ S. -; ^seventy (a.d. 980-1). He, moreover, established in it the offices of the state, 
' -^? :^^ :-1matmagazines for grain, and erected mills ; he also granted the adjoining lands to 



his Wizirs, Katibs, Generals, and favourites, who lost no time in building mag- 
nificent houses and palaces, and planting gardens in the neighbourhood ; people of 
all ranks and professions, anxious to fix their abodes near the ruler of the state, 
imitated their example, and built all round, so that in a veiy short time the 
suburbs of Az-zahirah joined those of Cordova. 

I recollect having read in an historical work, the composition of the authbr of 
the Kifdhu4-azhdr wa-Uanwdr,^ which I saw in the library of Fez, the following 
anecdote respecting Al-mansiir, and the splendour and magnificence with which he 
used to surround his person while residing in his palace of Az-zahirah. There 
came once to the court of Al-manstir ambassadors from the most powerful of the 
Christian kings of Andalus ; their object was to ascertain the real strength of the 
Moslems, and gain, if possible, a knowledge of their internal affairs. No sooner did 
Al-mansur hear of their arrival than he issued orders for their suitable enter- 
tainment, and began to make preparations previous to their admission to his pre- 
sence. He ordered that a vast lake, several miles in length, which was in the 
gardens of Az-zahirah, should be planted entirely with water-Hiies ; ^ he then paused 
four kintars of gold, and four Jcintars of silver, to be cast into as many small pieces 
as there were water-lilies in the lake, and ordered that one of those pieces should 
be introduced into the cavity of each water-lily. All this having been executed 
agreeably to his instructions, Al-mansiir dispatched a messenger to the Christian 
ambassadors, and bade them appear in his presence the next morning at dawn. The 
Christians did as they were desired, and found Al-mansiir sitting in the great haU of 
his palace, in a balcony overlooking the lake ; at sunrise one thousand Sclavonians 
dressed in silken robes embroidered with silver and gold, their waists being girt by 
sashes of gold tissue, and carrying in their hands gold and silver trays, made their 
appearance, and the ambassadors were very much struck to see the beauty of their 
personal appearance, the magnificence of their dresses and ornaments, and the 
admirable order in which they drew themselves up on each side of Al-mansur's 
throne,— the five hundred with robes of gold tissue and gold trays to the right, and the 
five hundred with robes of silver tissue and silver trays, to the left. The Christians, 
in the meanwhile, not knowing what was meant, were dumb with amazement-; but 
when the first sunbeams shone upon the water-lilies in the lake, aU the Sclavomans 
left their ranks at a signal from their chief, hastened to the spot, and began plucking 
the flowers, placing those that had the silver pieces inside in the gold tray^.^d 
those that had the gold pieces in the siker trays, and when every ^water-:h^:5^the 
lake had thus been phicked and placed m the silver and gold- trays, t^^^pe^ed 
a^ain in the presence of Al-manstir, and deposited their gatherings , at his feet,_ thus 
raising a mountain of silver and gold before his throne. .When the Chnstian 

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[book III. 




^> - 

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^^ -^ -L"V 

ambassadors saw this, they were seized with astonishment, and remained deeply 
convinced of Al-mansiir's immense resources and countless treasures ; they 
addressed him in the most humble terms, asked for a truce, which was granted, 
arid returned to their country, where they said to their king, " Do not make war 
- upon these people, for, by the Lord, we have seen the earth yielding them its 

*' hidden treasures." 

It is related by Abti Idris Al-khaulam that as Al-mansur was one day sitting 

in his palace of Az-zahirah, reflecting on its beauties, listening to the murmur 

of the running waters and to the songs of rare birds, inhaling the perfumes of 

the scented flowers, and regaling his eyes with the emerald green of the bowers 

and meadows,— as his whole soul in short was absorbed in the contemplation of 

the manifold beauties surrounding him on every side,— suddenly tears roUed 

down his cheeks, and he exclaimed, in deep sorrow, *' O Az-zahirah! may the 

*' Almighty Lord save thee from the hands of the demon of war, who will ere 

"long accomplish thy destruction!" and Al-mansur, after saying this, wept 

bitterly and hid his face with both his hands. Then one of his favourites who 

was present said to him, "What ails thee, O Al-manstir? What words are these ? 

^'. What is the meaning of expressions which thy hps never uttered before ; and 

how comest thou to be assailed by thoughts so melancholy and sad as these, 

when the like of them never before entered thy mind?" " God grant," said 
Al-mansur. " that my prediction be not fulfilled; for if my presentiments tell me 
*' truth, the fire of civil discord will soon rage within the precincts of this palace, 
" and all the beauties of Az-zahirah will ere long be eff"aced,— all traces of it will 
"disappear from the face of the earth, this splendid mansion will be pulled down 
" and converted into a heap of ruins, the gardens transformed into a dreary desert, 
" iny treasures will be squandered and scattered, and what was formerly the scene 
*A of pleasure and mirth will be changed into a spot of desolation and ruin." 

Al-khaulani continues: " Alas! this prophecy of Al-mansur's was speedily fnl- 
" filled, as is well known ; for his son Al-mudhfer, who after his death succeeded 
" him in the command of the army and the management of pubUc affairs, had 
" neither the abilities nor the popularity of his father, and the power of the 
" Khahfs began to decline. However, after the death of Al-mudhfer, whose 
" administration did not last long, the reins of government were taken by his 
" brother 'Abdu-r-rahman, surnamed Sanjiul^ who was soon afterwards deposed and 
" put to death by a successful rebel, a prince of the royal blood, named Mohammed 
'.' Ibn Hisham Ihn 'Abdi-1-jabbar, who afterwards assumed the honourable appella- 
;,' tion of Al-muhdi-billah « (the directed by God). This Mohammed collected an 
|;army in the provinces, marched against the capital, which he entered, and having 



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" succeeded in securing the persons of 'Abdu-r-rahman and of his principal par- 
*' tisans, put them all to death. The rebels then repaired to Az-z^irah, which 
" they levelled with the ground, as being the residence of the usurpers against whom 
" the war was raised. So this Al-muhdi, whom Al-mansur had not thought worthy 
" his notice while he lived, not only cut off his lineage and snatched away the 
'* empire from the hands of his posterity, but demolished the very edifices which he 
" had erected. The power of the Beni 'A'mir vanished for ever, and as a poet has 

*' remarked, — 

* Hajiin will no longer be As-safa's faithful companion, the pilgrims will no 

' longer meet in Mekka to hold nightly confabulations. 

* Indeed, we ourselves shall perish, like the course of time and the passing 
' away of successive generations.' " ^ 

Nor was the havoc and ruin confined to Az-zahirah only. The same fate befel 
Az-zahrA and other palaces raised by the Bern Umey>'ah, for during the civil com- 
motions which disturbed the capital, and the struggles of the contending parties;to 
secure the empire, that splendid palace and city^ where so many treasures hadibeeh 
spent by 'Abdu-r-rahmdn and by his son Al-hakem, was completely destroyed,^ and 
vanished like evening ; the royal chambers were plundered of their costly furniture 
and tapestry, every object of art was scattered, and the whole building transformed 
into a heap of ruins; it is even asserted that many of the precious articles which 
these palaces contained, such as arms, vases, jewels, and the like, were sold in 
Baghdad and other cities of the East.^" 

Abii Nasr Al-fat'h says in his Matmah that the Wizir Hazm Ibn Jehwar 
happening once to pass with a friend of his by the palace of Az-zahrd, which m 
his time had already been converted into a haunt of wild beasts, he pointed to it 

and exclaimed, — . 

" I once asked that house, whose inhabitants have now exterminated one 

- another,— where are thy owners, the eminent lords who ruled over us ? 

'' And she answered me,-here they lived for a while, but they are now 
*' gone ■ they have vanished without my knowing where." ^^ - 

They say also that a holy man who lived in those days, one of those austere and 
pious Moslems whose thoughts are entirely consecrated to God, having once du-ected 
L steps towards Az-zahirah, when he came in sight of it was ^^^ ^'^^ 
the minificence and size of the building, the luxuriance and excellent , arran^—^ 
of the gardens, and the profusion of costly ornament and gildmg 

that he could not help exclaimmg,— , Iv^frihii^d to thv 

" O palace of the kings ! every house in this country has contributed to thy 

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« ornament and perfection : thou shalt also (when in ruins) afford materials for 

:■, " every house." ^^ 

Few days had elapsed since that pious and holy man had made his prayer when 
all the treasures of Az-zdhirah were plundered and scattered over the country, and 
the building itself was levelled with the ground, as we have previously stated, 
in consequence of the horrid and disastrous civil war which soon arose in Andalus, 
and from which no family or tribe escaped without contributing some victim. 
Praise be ascribed to God, whose decrees are infallibly executed upon his creatures ! 
There is no God but Him ! the high ! the great ! 
Christian The Christians, it appears, had likewise in Cordova a church to which pilgrims 

came from distant lands. It was called Santa Maria,^^ and was held by them in 
great veneration and respect. They had besides, as Ibnu Hayyan relates, other 
churches and chapels within and out of the city, and some monasteries in the 
recesses :of the neighbouring mountains, wherein their impious and abominable 
rites were performed in the very faces of the Moslems. But their principal church 
was the above-mentioned. The poet Ibn Shoheyd^^ has preserved us the following 
anecdote^ respecting this church. " I once entered at night," says he, " into the 
''^principal Christian church; I found it all strewed with green branches of myrtle, 
" an^ iplanted with cypress trees.^« The noise of the thundering bells resounded in 
" my ears, the glare of the innumerable lamps dazzled my eyes ; the priests, decked 
"in rich silken robes of gay and fanciful colours, girt by girdle cords,^' advanced 
" to adore Jesus. Every one of those present had banished mirth from their 
« countenances, and expelled from theh minds all agreeable ideas ; and if they 
"= directed. then- steps towards the marble font it was merely to take sips of water 
"; with the hollow of their hands. A priest then rose and stood among them, and 
": taking the wine-cup in his hands prepared to consecrate it ; he applied to the 
'Aatjaor^his parched lips, as dark .as the dusky Ups of a beautiful maid ;^« the 
"fra^ancyofit^^ contents captivated his senses, but when he had tasted the 
'-' delicious: liquor,' its: sweetness and flavour seemed to overpower him." On leaving 
the church Ibn Shoheyd said extempore the following verses : 

, ' " By the Lord of mercy ! This mansion of God is pervaded with the smell 

; -:" of the fermented red liquor, so pleasant to the youth. [ 

"It was to a girP^ that their prayers were addressed, it was for her that [ 

"they put on ijheir gay tunics instead of humiliating themselves before the } 

M r 

" Almighty. 

" The priests, wishing us to stay long among them, began to sing round us | 

"with their books ^o m their hands ; 

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' ' Every wretch presented us the palm of his withered hand (with the holy 
" water), but they were Uke the bat whose safety consists in his; hatred for 
" light; 

" Offering us every attraction that their drinking of new wine, or their .eating 

" of swine's flesh can afford,"^^ :' " 

It has been said that one of the great privileges enjoyed by this illustrious city 
was that its jurisdiction in certain legal and religious matters was long acknowledged 
in the tribunals of Maghreb ; so much so that judges used to abstain from pro- 
nouncing upon some legal points, saying— this belongs to the jurisdiction of Cordova. 
As this subject, however, has been one of great dispute among the learned, we deem 
it convenient to state here a few of the arguments produced in favour of or against 

the proposition. 

The Imam Ibn 'Orfah, (the mercy of God be upon him !) treating about the 
conditions required from an Imam who is to pronounce judgment in conformity 
with one of the approved sects, says, " And if both the parties.. concerned should , 
" resist the judge's sentence there are three ways of remedying it, namelyi to Mto 
" recourse to the decisions of Al-bdji,=«' or to the jurisdictional tribunals of Cordova, 
" or to the civil law of Sahmin,^ the judge stiE deciding in conformity with the sect 
" he may follow from among the sects professed by the people of Medina." 

Al-mdrazi disputes the opinion deUvered by Ibn 'Orfah ; he agrees: as to the first 
appeal being right, but he denies the second, and declares that it is one; of ithe erro^ 
propagated by At-tortosM« in his work treating on the legal regulations of the 
people of Cordova, and adds that it is a gross mistake, exhibiting great ignorance on 
the part of the author ; the third however he admits. 

Ibn Ghdzi entertains the same opinion as Al-marazi, and says that the whole error 
originated in a mistake made by At-tortoshI and copied by Ibn 'Orfah. Another 
author, Ibn Shds,- has also discussed this subject at Ml length ; but let us hear what 
our lord and ancestor Sidi Abu 'AbdiUah Al-makkari At-telems^, who was KAdi- 
l.kodi (chief of the Mis) at Fez, says in his work entitled " foundations of cmltov 
among he people of Cordova,"- after treating this subject at large. " These were he 
' dutL inLbent upon the office of Kddl in Andalus, whence they were mtroducd 
.. aMgenerally adopted in this countiy (Africa), for while we were deputing: wih , 
" ei^er f^ th^risdiction of Medina, and decided for that of Kdfih, (wmglo ■ 
.. t^:Z been the residence of a greater number "^"^-"-P-^^^^^^ 
.. and hea<i of the law, such as 'All, Ibn Mes'dd, and "^^ f^,^^^ 
.. re&sed to acknowledge it, and decided in "tej. witho,^^^'^*^ 
" lawyers in those cities ; but God has spared my life and.!, h«ve^nwondertul 

*' changes of fortune. 

^ L Vi H- 

Tribunal <rf 



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[book III. 









<' Alas ! at the time I am writing Cordova and its inhabitants have been lost 
" to the Moslems, and the vices of that capital have cast their ommous mfluence 

- over the rest of Andalus. And why ?-because Satan resolved to accomplish the 
rain of truth, and he obtained his purpose ; for the Deceiver ceased not temptmg 
and enticing its inhabitants until he succeeded in implanting in it some of the 

" appendages of idolatry, such as lamentations for the dead,^' false pride, arrogance, 
" incredulity, slander, vanity, divination, astrology, chiromancy, the art of drawing 

- omens from accidental causes,^^ and similar impious practices ; besides the 
swearing of oaths, the telling of lies, and the committing every description of sins, 
the calUng each other by opprobrious nicknames, and various other abominable 

• - practices which we are taught to avoid. Nor did the evil, when once it raged, 

- stop at Cordova, for it spread widely among the people of other cities as soon as 
" the power of the Sultans of Cordova passed into the hands of the kmgs of small 
" states 2^ The evil increased so much that they even neglected to appoint a head 

of the law '' but took as a foundation the old customs, and in this manner the 
love of poetry, eloquence, intonation, genealogy, and other sciences cultivated by 
the ancients, lost every charm for their hearts, and instead they gave all their 

. attention to studies condemned by the heads of the law." 
The Hafedh Ibn Ghazl, after quoting the preceding passage from the work of our 

illustrious ancestor, says as follows. » I was told by a trustworthy person whom 
I once met, that when the very learned doctor, Abu Yahya Ash-sherif At-telem- 
sani, came to the court of Fez, and began to give public lectures m the new city^' 

- upon the art of commenting upon and explaining the Koran, the reignmg Sultan, 
" whose name was Abu Sa'id Al-merini Al-hafid, convoked the principal theolo- 
" gians of the place to a meeting in his palace, to discuss various points of law 
" about which Al-makkari entertained a different opinion from the rest of the pro- 
'* fession; and that, although the doctors had almost agreed among themselves to 
" repudiate and condemn his doctrines, they could not help saying when they heard 
" him express his opinion that he had not gone further in his doubts than other 
<' famous theologians, as Ibn Roshd and his disciples, Al-mateytl, and others among 

" the people of Cordova." 

This is what we have thought fit to say about Cordova in the present Book. We 

shall, however, occasionally return to the subject when we treat about the Khalifs 

. of the house of Umeyyah, who resided in it, making it the capital of their empire, 

ornamenting it with splendid buildings, magnificent palaces, and stupendous works 

of public utihty. In this, as well as in the other Books, our narrative has been 

■borrowed from the best Andalusian as well as Eastern authors, sometimes tran- 

: scribing hterally from their works, but mostly abridging and extracting their 













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accounts. In so doing we have endeavoured to select the most interesting as well . ; ^J 

as the most faithful records, hy choosing among the descriptions of Cordova, which : J ? 

are to be met with in almost every book upon the history or topography of Andalus, ; :: 1 
those that appeared to us most interesting and true. -\'.A->M 

We shall now proceed to write the narrative of the occupation of that country by ; ".; v:^ 

the Moslems, from the year ninety-two of the Hijra (a. d. 711), when it was fifst ■ :\f 

subdued by the Berbers, commanded by Musa's freedmen, until the laioment when ^: ^| 
it pleased the Almighty God to chastise the sins of the Moslems, and to permit 
that the impious Christian should put his foot upon their necks. There is no 
strength, nor power, but in God! the high! the great! 

The ensuing Book will therefore contain the narrative of the conquest of AndaUis ; ; j 

by the Moslems, together with a detaUed account of the principal causes which led ■ vr 

to it, and a sketch of the Arabian chiefe who took part in the invasion. ■ .g 

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Causes of the conquest-^ — Appointment of Miisa — Takes possession of the government of Africa — Severe 
drought and famine-— His conquests — Takes Tangiers — General submission of the Berbers — Milsa 
meditates the conquest of Audalus — Siege of Ceuta by T&rik — King Wittiza sends reinforcements 
to the besieged — His death-^Usurpation of Roderic — Ily^n, Lord of Ceuta — His discontent — His 
daughter's dishonom- — Spells constructed by the Greeks for the preservation of their country. 



[book IV 


.-> . 

. i 

This Book contains an acconnt of the conquest of Andalus by the Moslems, com- 
manded hy Mtisa Ibn Nosseyr and his freedman Tarik Ibn Zeyad , and how that 
country became the arena wherein their noble steeds raced, and the halting-place 
wherein their camels laid down their burden and grazed, together with nmch useful 
and well selected information, drawn from various sources, and the accounts of 
historians compared together.^ 

And, first, be it known that when God Almighty decreed that those words of his 
Messenger should be fulfilled which stand thuS' — " I have seen before my eyes the 
" East and the West, and every one of the regions comprised in them shall be 
" subdued by my people," ^ — an enmity broke out between Ludherick (Roderic), 
King of the Goths, and the Lord* of Ceuta, a city situate at the mouth of the Bahru- 
z-zokak (strait of Gibraltar), and became the cause of the conquest of Andalus by 
the arms of Tarif and Tarik, and their master Musa Ibn Nosseyr, (the mercy of 
God be upon them all !) 

Al-hijari, Ibnu Hayyan, and other writers, agree in saying that the first man who 
entered Andalus with hostile intentions and deeds was Tarif, the Berber, a freedman 
of Musa Ibn Nosseyr, the same who afterwards gave his name to the Island of 
Tarifa, situate on the strait. He was helped in that expedition by Ilyan* the 
Christian, Lord of Ceuta, who had conceived some animosity towards Roderic,^ 
King of Andalus. The number of troops engaged in this first expedition amounted 
:} only to one hundred horsemen and four hundred foot. They crossed the strait in 
: fottr vessels, landed on the opposite shore in the month of Ramadhan of the year 





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ninety-one (July, a. d. 710), overran the countrjs and returned loaded with 


'""no sooner was M&a Ibn Nosseyr, then governor of Africa, apprised of the 
success of this fast expedition, which, as we have akeady observed, took, place^jn 

-.' . .-. -..- t 

the month of Ramadhan of the year ninety-one (July, A. D. 7.10), than_he 
his freedman. Tank Ibn Zeydd, to command another expedition agairmt Andalus ;_ 

and sent him over in company with Ilydn, King of Ceuta. The landing of Tanf 
and T&ik has been differently related ; but as it is our intention to recount m 
detail every one of these events, and we shall therefore have many opportunities to 
return to the subject, we shall now proceed to examine the causes which are 
generally believed to have given rise to the con<iuest. ^^^^^^ 

Ibnu HayvAa says, " One of the principal causes of the conquest of Andalus was ^„^„^, 
the appointment of M&a Ibn Nosseyr to the government of Africa and more 
remote lands : this took place in the year seventy-eight of the Hijra (beginning 
March A n 697)," by the Khalif 'Abdu-1-malek Ibn Merwdn. Musa, .whose 
S^'^^eyr W bL a Uberated slave of 'Abdu-Kazfe, the, Khalifs brother, 
i the courl of Damascus, foUowed only by a few volunteers, and arrived ..n 
Egypt • while there he collected together the Moslem troops v,hrch — -^ 


-■. I- .-■ 

" that province, and marched to take possession of his government. ; : '^l 

Z L eveirt is differently related by other historian. They -^^^ ' I 
not directly appomted by 'Abdu-l-malek, as before stated, but by f^^^;: ] 

Merwan,' who then governed Egypt and Africa m th. -^"^"^^f^ ^ 
malek Ibn Merwdn. Having received orders from the Khalif t"-^""^ .n ^"^* ,,^,^,„, : 
Africa 'Abdu-l-'azlz, who knew Miisa's talents and abihty, gave him the command „S,,, 
of it and dispatched him to make war on the Berbers, and other nations which had 
not ;et been subdued. This, Al-homaydi states, took place in the year seventy-mne 

(beginning March, a . n. 698) , namely, one year after the ''^X'^^^^^2l'Zf72e -« -- 
No sooner had Miisa arrived in Africa proper, than hearing that some of the ^^ 

nations inhabiting the frontiers of S& al-addnl (the nearest Fo™f °^ ^^ "^ l^^- 
shaken off the yoke of Isldm, he sent against them his own son 'Abdullah^ who 
onTeturned with one hundred thousand captives. He sent Mei^^u, .no&er^. ; 
his sons, against the enemy in another quarter, and he also returned with ^^ 
hundred thLand captives. According to Al-leyjh Ibn Sa'd the nmnber ^Jy|^. ^ 
taken in these two expeditions, commanded by *e two ^s of ^-^ J^.^. ^ 
been still grater, since he asserts that the share of t^e KhaM ^^f ^|g 
thousand." But this is no doubt exaggerated, for we have «ad^*^«%|ff^ 
share belonging to the Khalif^ bemg the fifth of the whole ^'^^'^J^^^ 
to twenty tLx^and, although Musa is said to have sent him soon! afterward^: twenty , 





thousand more, from new victories. But be this as it may, certain it is that the 
KhalifAl-walid received from his general a prodigious number of Berber captives 
taken in war, and that the historian As-sadfi states that the captives (remaining) 
in the hands of Miisa amounted to a number never before heard of in any of the 
countries subject to the rule of Islam. '° 

SSi"^''* *^wing to this cause, adds the historian last mentioned, most of the African cities 

were depopulated, the fields remained without cultivation, and, a general drought 
ensuing, the Moslems were exposed to a most dreadful famine, as well as to most 
raging thirst. In this extremity Musa ordered a general fast throughout his do- 
minions, .and enjoined that public prayers should be said by all the Moslems. He 
also recommended alms-giving, and the practice of good and charitable actions, to 
appease the wrath of heaven. He then ordered a general procession, and placing 
himself at the head of his people, followed by their cattle and beasts of burden, he 
entered far into the desert." There he separated the mothers from the young ones, 
and the cries and lamentations began, and he remained in the desert until noon- 
time, when he ordered a general prayer ; and this being done, he preached the usual 
sermon (khotbah) ; '^ and some of the auditory having remarked that he had made 
no -mention whatever of the Khalif Al-walid, one man got up and said, " Why 
" didst thou not, O Musa ! mention the Khahf in thy sermon ? " To which Musa 

replied, " Because this is neither the moment nor the place to invoke any one but ^ 

*' Allah (may his name be exalted !}" No sooner did Musa speak these last words 
than the rain began to fall in torrents, numerous streams oozed up through the 
sands of the desert, and the men drank until their thirst was quenched. 
His conquests. After this, Musa went out against the Berbers, and pursued them far into their 

native deserts, leaving wherever he went traces of his passage, killing numbers of 
them, taking thousands of prisoners, and carrying on the work of havoc and de- 
struction. He next penetrated into 8us al-addni, where he met with no resistance 
oh the part of the inhabitants, who humbly besought him to grant them peace, and 
embraced Islam. Those, however, who still persisted in their hostihty against the 
Moslems, Musa attacked in person, or by the various divisions of his army, defeated 
them in the field, and stormed their towns ; and never ceased pushing his conquests 
until he arrived before Tangiers,^^ the citadel of their country and the mother of 
their cities, whkih he also besieged and took, obliging its inhabitants to embrace 
ra|es Tm- rpj^gy g^^ j.j^^(. Yangiers had never been taken by an enemy before the days of 
'i-U;:i- :Msa; and, once in the hands of the Moslems, it became one of their strongest 

^^v : pitadels.^^ ^ 

\ ^ _ _ , 

J4 i^l 54;The same historian from whom we have borrowed the preceding particulars adds 



"■I — 




-■-- ^-- 7x^ --^-^p^-: 

.-■ .' -'^■-^'^^ 

^1^. V;-^-■ 


that Musa next directed his arms against Ceuta, but that he had the greatest 
difficulty in gaining possession of it, owing to its Lord, Ilyto the Christian, being a 

shrewd and brave man. ,,,,., <• n ^ GeMiai^b 

When the nations inhabiting the dreary plains of Africa saw what had betallen ^„„ ^ , 

the Berbers of the coast and of the interior, they hastened to ask for peace and « 
place themselves under the obedience of Mllsa, whom they solicited to enUst them 
in the ranks of his army. Miisa lent a favourable ear to their petitions, arid gave 
them generals to command them. He also appointed his freedman Tdrik Ibn 
ZeyAd the Berber, (whom some authors make of the tribe of Sadf,) to be governor 
of Tangiers and the neighbouring districts, and placed under his orders nineteen 
thousand Berbers, well provided with arms, and every requisite store to carry on 
the war In order to instruct these Berbers in the duties of true rehgion, for they 
had all been previously converted to faMm, and their conversion had been sincere 
Musa further left with them a few learned Arabs and theologians, to read and 

explain to them the sacred words of the Kor4n, and instruct them m all and every 

one of the duties enjoined by their new religion.'* ^ ; ^ 5 :. jjto«SttB?:3lg 

This arrangement being made, Musa returned to Africa propeis ^nd^ when_ ^ SS^SH 
looking round him he saw m. more enemies to attack, no more nations to subdu^ , , :;;^|i|, 
lerlmong the Berbers or among the Greeks.>»-when he perceived ttia^^ >, : : ;KW 
principal citL along the coast had aU been taken,-he wrote to h,« fteedman ^^^ ; -f 

Zo L governor oi Tangiers, and ordered him to get himself and t-oops r^^. ::: 

Tie an incursion into the opposite land of Andahis. In comphance^^& Itas . 

"de from his master, Tarik put to sail from the port of Tangiers with^twelve : 

^o^Id of the new converts, and lamied at the foot of the mountain ^hich 
1:^1 took his name on Monday, the fifth day of Kqeb, of the year mnety-two . 

nf the Hiira (a. D. April 28th, 711). _ . j r^ *„ fu^ siege of ceuta : 

We hale s id that Musa in person took the cities of Tangiers and Ceuta ;-the ,,^,^, 
colary a;;ars from the narrative of Al-khozeyni " and other h-tonans, v.ho 

attr bute Z conquest to Tarik. They say that, having given to this general the 
attribute the co q ^^^^ ^^^.^^^ .^^j^^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^„rthem 

::~i«cr S m^S^tlrst aglt Tangiers, which h. took ; he^ : 
did tTrms against certain districts which acknowledged th^^^^^^^^ 

S?of Andahis, aiS the capital of whidi was Ceu., ^^<^^f^^^. 
barSian chie, named Ily^ ruh. as^sov^ ^^^ a^^k^d^wfe I 
resotation and courage ; having been on a lormei 

not only bravely withstood the attack, but naade a sally ^*«^Jf J^.^o 
troops and obliged that general to raise the ^f jJJ ^^;^i,g ,aste 
Tangiers," whence he made frequent incursions into Ilyto s territory, y s 


^ - ■ - - - ^ 

MS-^r^_ ^^- .^ - ■*_ , ^1^ ^_ -^ r -"^__ _" J - -._ _ - - ' 

•^ -. 

--■-V^-:;>^- - 

■ i 






King Wittiza ^^^ country and destroying the fields, thinking that he would thus reduce them by i 

Wmi'to famine; but this also proved unavailing, for Ghittishah (Wittiza) ,^« who then 
the besieged, reigned in Andalus, sent them reinforcements and provided them by means of his 

fleet with all sorts of provisions and military stores. As long as Wittiza occupied ;■ 

the throne of Andalus the garrison of Ceuta defended itself with the greatest f 

courage and perseverance, and fought vahantly for the preservation of their families i 

and liberty; but on the death of that monarch the state of affairs was entirely 
changed, and, owing to the civil dissensions which soon arose among the Goths, 
the Moslems were enabled not only to reduce such cities as still acknowledged their 
_ sway in Africa, but to push their conquests into the very heart of Andalus. 
^thofw.t- "Wittiza left sons^i behind him, but the Goths not being satisfied with them this \ 

gave rise to much tumult and agitation, until they decided upon giving the crown 
to a chief named Roderic, who, although he was not of the royal blood, belonged to 
one of the principal families of the land, and was moreover known to be a brave 
and gallant soldier, and one much experienced in the affairs of the kingdom. 
Tsurp^on of Hj^^ Hayy^u, in bis MuUabis,^^ gives some account of this Roderic. He agrees 

that he was not a descendant from the kings who occupied the throne of Andalus 
before him, but that he was a powerful and noble lord, much respected for his 
talents and his courage, and that having formed a considerable party among the 
people he succeeded in snatching the sceptre from the sons of King Wittiza. '*' 

Another writer says that when Wittiza died he left three sons, who being of 

tender years were not deemed fit to govern the country, upon which their mother ^^ 

assumed the royal power, and, holding the reins of government, administered the 

kingdom in their name,--Toledo continuing to be her residence as well as the 

- court of the empire. However, Roderic, who under the reign of her husband Wittiza 

had commanded the cavahy, refused to acknowledge the authority of the widow- 

: ; queen, and, having created a rebellion in Cordova,^ seized on the empire. 

■^^ot ; -But let us hear the account of Abu Zeyd Ibn Khaldun, who, after saying that 

Andalus was in the hands of the Goths, and that their king at the time was called 
Roderic, expresses himsehf in the following terms :— ^' Besides their kingdom of 
" Andalus the Goths had settlements beyond the sea, so that when Miisa arrived 
*' in Africa they were in possession of large tracts of land along its northern shore.^^ 
" These they were at first enabled to defend on account of their holding Tangiers, 
" which was the key of the straits, and owing also to the narrowness of the sea 
I " which separates Andalus from Africa, and which enabled them to send reinforce- 

, ::; : " ments wherever tbey were required, so as to keep those countries in obedience 

"and defend them against the Arabs. A great many of the tribes inhabiting the 
" coast were therefore subject to them. Now in that part of the country which is 

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now called Jehdl Ghomdrah (the mountains of Gomera) ^^ there was a king of 
the Berbers 2' named Ilyan, who acknowledged himself a subject of the Gothic 
monarchs, obeyed their sway, and followed their reIigion.^« Africa was governed 
at the time by Musa Ibn Kosseyr, a lieutenant of the Khalif Al-walid Ibn ^Abdi.l- 
malek, who resided at Cairwdn, then the seat of the African governors. TOder 
that general the Moslem armies subdued the greatest part of Africa and cariied 
the war to the extreme western frontiers, after which they penetrated into the 
mountain districts about Tangiers, and opened themselves a passage untU they 
reached the mouth of the straits, when King Ilyan, unable to withstand their 
attacks surrendered, and submitted himself to the sway of Isldm. Miisa Ibn 
Nosseyr then appointed his freedman Tdrik Ibn Zeydd AUeythi to the govern- 
ment of his new conquests, as well as to the command of all the troops encamped 
in those districts." So far Ibnu Khaldtin, whose account does not materially 

differ from that of the preceding writers. 

We have said that one of the principal causes of the conquest of Andaks: was; them's ^^ 
appointment of Miisa Ibn Nosseyr to the government of Africa ; the second m order: ■ 
i^ the enmity that broke out between Ilydn and Roderic. Every historian that we , : 
have consulted alludes more or less explicitly to a certain quarrel between those two ; v 
individuals, which led to the invasion of the Arabs.^^ The author before quoted, 
Abti Zeyd Ibn Khaldtin, attributes it to a desire on tlie part of Ily^ of revengmg 
certain injuries he had received in the person of his daughter, who was then staj^ft^ , 
in the royal palace ; since, adds that historian, it was a custom among the Gothic 
nobles to send their daughters to be brought up and educated at the: royal -palace, 
along with the king's daughters. They say that when Ilydn heard of the outrage 
committed on the person of his daughter he repaired immediately to court, took 
her away, and brought her back to Africa. Not satisfied with this, he went to 
see Tdrik, acquainted him with his desire of revenge, engaged him to invade 
Andalus, and offered to conduct his army through the enemy's country. Tdnk, 
who wished nothing so much as an occasion of trying the fortune of arms against 
the neighbouring kingdom, immediately seized on Ilyan's offer, and, having pre. 
viously obtained his master's leave, prepared for the intended expedition. But as 
the doings between Ilydn and Roderic, and the application made by the former.:to- 
the Arabian general, are recounted more at length by other writers, we shaUterow ,; 
from them what we deem necessary to make this our history both agreeabl^:md::; ^ 

-if r: J^^ 

> P - ^ ^ ^ .' - _ - , 
■ -b^ . ^^ 

■ .\ ■■■::■ 

-r- x_^ - ^ .- A-r^ "Z?^^ - - ■ 

instructive. ■ '''' ^■- ■-■-■-.i' -- ^si,- ^ ~ 

- It was then the custom among the Goths," says MM^z^tn^Smm^ ^ 
<' princes of the royal blood, the great noblemen of the kingdom,:atid-the governors honied by 
" of the provinces, to send to the supreme court at Toledo aucH- among theu^ sons 

-^ - •- 


-' - -^ 

- ---.-■ 

■_' _ 



[book IV. 

" — - - 

-" r^ 



^ H 

^1 -^ 

'i _ _ 

" >y - 

" as they chose to be promoted and advanced, and at the same time distinguished 
" by the favour of their sovereign, under whose eye they were trained to all 
" military exercises, and were afterwards appointed to commands in the army. In 
' ' the same manner the daughters were sent to the king's palace, and educated with 
" his daughters, and when grown up the king would marry them to the young 
" noblemen at his court, according to their fathers' dignity, and bestow upon them 
" marriage portions. 

" It happened that in compliance with this custom Ilyan, the Lord of Ceuta,^^ 
" a city then under the sway of King Koderic, and the inhabitants of which also 
" professed the Christian religion, having a daughter, a beautiful and innocent 
"creature, crossed the straits and took her to Toledo, then the court and capital 
" of the kingdom. When Roderic beheld her, he was so much struck with her 
" beauty that he fell desperately in love, and did not hesitate, when persuasion 
" had failed, to obtain by violence the gratification of his wishes. Some time 
" afterwards the girl found the means of secretly acquainting her father with the 
" treatment she had suffered at the hands of Roderic ; and it is related that when 
" Ilyan read his daughter's message he fell into a most violent rage, and swore 
" to revenge the injury inflicted by Roderic, exclaiming, — ' By the faith of the 
" Messiah ! I will undermine his throne and disturb his dominions, until the whole 
" is overturned and annihilated.' So there can be no doubt that the injury done to 
" Ilyan's daughter was one of the causes of the conquest of Andalus, subordinate 
" to what God Almighty had decreed about it. Ilyan embarked immediately for 
" Andalus, although the inclement season was far advanced, — it being then the montli 
" of January^^ and the depth of winter,- — and hastening to Toledo presented himself 
" before the king, who, not expecting him at so unseasonable a time, upbraided 
*' hkn for leaving his post, and addressed him in the following words : ' "What 
" brought thee here ? Thou knowest very well that this is neither the time nor the 
"occasion for thy coming to court.* To which Ilyan answered, excusing himself by 
" saying that his wife was dangerously iU, and desired greatly to see her daughter 
" once more before she died, and had begged and entreated him to fetch her. He 
" then asked Roderic to issue orders that his daughter should be delivered to 
" him, and all her baggage prepared for immediate departure. Roderic granted 
" his request, not without having previously made the daughter promise that she 
" would keep their intercourse a secret from her father, but the girl preferred her 
" father to the king, and informed the former of his conduct towards her. They 
" say, on the authority of Ilyan himself, that when about to take leave of the king 
" the latter addressed him as follows : / O liyan ! I hope that I shall soon hear of 
*' thee, and that thou wilt endeavour to procure for me some of those very swift 



-'• y 

^^ ■-■K-Hn^^ \-r.y=cJi. ^.-J+Jit' iH^J?:^ 


.^ __.^ ■^' ,-r-_ 1-. ^Z-V? -VVSH-Vk^I 

_ _ _ ^. , ,-_ i^^ _^ --S^^^ V0-I*l^?n 

^;^ ;-:--'-^-.:-.te, 

p. . ■_- ■■- . J 'vHr-^ ^ -.^ ^O ->^ 

CHAP. I.] 


- ../':: ^,,> ^>.^_^ 

' -: ,-7-- -".-:-^;.-:': 
^ '"-^ ■ '-^^^ ■-^ 

; 1 J ^^ ^^ x^^^V> 

- ■ - _ -V -u^ .^ 

. . ^ ' .- .^ h O ' O . 

^_ y ^ " ■- 

-— ^ --i- 

_____ ._._.__ .-i__ 

- shadhankah'' (hawks) which are such a source of pleasure and amusement to 
" me, since they chase and hunt the birds and brin^ them to me ;' to which 
" IlyL answered, ' Doubt not, O King ! but that I wiU soon be back, and, byahe 
" faith of the Messiah! I will never feel satisfied until I bring thee such.%-- 
" dhanhah as thou never sawest in thy life ;' meaning by this the Arabs, whom be 
" already thought of bringing against his country. But Roderic did not understand. 

" the meaning of his words." 

No sooner did Ilydn find himself safe in Africa than he repaired to the city of 
Cairwan, where the Arabian governor then held his court, and by his glowing 
descriptions of the fertiUty, wealth, and extent of the island of Andalus, by reprei 
sentinghis countrymen as divided and weakened by internal divisions, and enervated 
by their luxurious habits and a long peace. prevaUed upon Musa, as we shaU 
presently relate, to send with him some troops under the command of one of his 
Berber freedmen, who, with the rapidity of the hawk pouncing upon his prey; 
subdued the whole kingdom, and added new and extensive dommions. ^-|i^% 
already subject to the sway of Islam. '/^ :: - -^H 

Some historians assign a third cause for the conquest of Andalus ; they say, that 
there was at Toledo a palace built in times of old by a sage king, who, havmg- 
predicted that Andalus would in times to come be invaded by people from Afn^; ■ 
had placed in one of its rooms a certain magic spell, by means of which t^ej 
country was to be for ever preserved from foreign invasion. As\ longv asv.; the . : 
spell remained untouched Andalus was safe, but when broken .(and it -Was^BQ , 
by Roderic) the ruin of that country became inevitable. This event is thus Mated 
by various historians. 

-x".- _ "^ X 

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. __y - ._.,._.-_.'. 

- - -^ --_ — . yjA >■-.- - 

various m&i-uiiaiio. , . n i J - Spell con- 

It is well known that the Greeks^* were a nation famous for their knowledge m ^^.t^^^byu^, 

the sciences as well as for their talent and acuteness in availing themselves of the g«^« for ti^^ 
secrets of nature. Before the times of Alexander they inhabited the East, but t^e. country, 
when the Persians predominated in those quarters, and subdued every one of the 
realms possessed by the Greeks, they decided upon emigrating and taking to a 
distant land their knowledge and their science. They fixed upon the island. of . 
Andahis, owing to its being placed at the extremity of the inhabited world^.on. ■ 
which account it was scarcely known at the time, had never been possessedJby ,.; , 
any of the sage monarchs of oMen times, and, finally, was then without inhabitants^,. ,: 
for although Andahzs, son of Yafeth, son of Nuh, had settled in it soonaftg^feg ;: 
dehige, taken it for his residence, given it his name, and left besides vanOus.^S...; ; 
of his domination, yet his generation had since perished, and the GDuntry:;^?#en :. 

a desert ^^ 

It has been said that when the earth was first peopled after theld^uge it a^eared 

VOL. I. 


^^^jT "■ ^^^ 



■-70J ™r'S^'^5*^ "-t.^ ■ — pv- --^j i^-- ^ ■• f 

-^- v-.v-:, - -^.s > 

r,-^t-^ 'H ^ _^n - - , . 




[book IV. 

in the shape of a bird, — the east being the head, — the north and south, the right and 
left feet,— the countries between, the stomach, — and the west, the tail,^^ — and that 
when the Greeks fixed upon Andalus as the country in which they were to settle in 
preference to all others, it was owing to its relation to that despicable part of the 
body (the tail) , according to the picture we have drawn of the earth at the time ; for 
the Greeks of ancient days were more inclined to study than to war, making the 
former supply on every occasion the place of the latter : they were therefore a 
cowardly set, meeting their enemies with artifice rather than force, and, instead 
pf^being ashamed of this, they boasted of it on every opportunity, knowing very well 
that the' cause of the decay and ruin of mighty empires was only to be looked 
for in: war. In order, therefore, not to be hindered and disturbed in the study 
and> cultivation of science, which made the principal business of their lives, they 
fled before the Persians, their enemies, and migrated to Andalus, where they had 
no sooner arrived than they began to dig canals, and to make cuts from the rivers 
for the purpose of irrigation ; to erect bridges and aqueducts, to construct fortresses 
and castles, to plant gardens and vines, and to build cities and towns; ploughing 
and sowing the land, and raising whatever buildings were deemed necessary for 
..the pleasure and comfort of the people. In fine, the country soon became so thickly 

[ peopled, and so. studded with cities and towns, that one of their wise men, who 
knew well that the country they inhabited had been called " the bird's tail," owing 
to ^ the supposed resemblance of the earth to a bird with extended wings, is said 
to have remarked that that bird was the peacock, the principal beauty of which 
is well known to be in the tail. This brings to our recollection a witty answer once 
made by a "Western Arab to the Prince of believers, Harun Ar-rashid (the mercy of 
:God be upon him !) That Khalif happened on a certain day to address a native 
: ofAfricain the following manner : " I am told, O man ! that the world resembles 

^ :'-f-*>a bird" in. shape ; and that the west is the tail." " Thou hast been told right, O 
'A=Piince of the believers ! " replied the Maghrebi, " but thy informer ought to have 
V added/ that that bird was the peacock ;" hearing which, Ar-rashid laughed and 
wondered much at the man's quickness at repartee in defending his native country. 
But to proceed with our account of the spelh^^ 

The .Greeks continued in possession of Andalus, leading a hfe of security and 

pleasure. They took for a capital the city of Toledo, owing to its being situate 

in. the heart of Andalus, and their principal care consisted in strengthening it 

against their enemies and maintaining themselves in their possessions, and con- 

li;.fvn . ■, -^ Geahngirom other nations the knowledge of the comforts they were enjoying. In 

order better to gain their object they began consulting the stars, and found that 

|.:;^^!twp nations only were they to be disturbed in their enjoyments, and to be hated 

- ? 


■^*. ,^ ■^■■/ y--^- ■> - - --T ■- -"■v- 

- -X i- .- - ^- 


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^ - - .- - 

■,-'^-:-S^;-"-'^- ' 



J-. L . __ - I I ^ - 

.^ __ , 

- ^^ 

J?^:^^:^-'— - 

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^^^. ^.^ ." rt-"-^^ -^ ^ ^ 

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... _ ^O. H-- ^ -^f - --^ 

■. .1 L .-V T. ^^>- -•■-<-^ [— 

. .r. 11-. r^<^v ^ - ' - h n-' 

CHAP. I.] 



- T- " 

. x-^^^ 

L. . \'.^y.u ^..^ 1.-^^. 

> - T-^ .— X-"— . j.-.r jr - 

^ J ^ ^ r -K i-^i- ' 

^ "-i^ - .X ^ - ' j.-r ,. 

■ -f - c *-y ^J 

on account of them, and these were represented to them as people unaccustomed to ' S Si 

the luxuries of life, hardened by privation and fatigue, in short— the Arabs and 

Berbers. When the Greeks heard of this prognostic they.were struck with feati 

and trembled for their populated island ; they agreed upon constructing immediately 

a talisman that should avert their impending ruin, and by its power keepoff^the ■ ; ; 

two nations mentioned in the prophecy, to which effect: they began consulting 

the stars for a time and place fit for their undertaking. In the meanwhile, wheh^ 

ever some of the scattered tribes of Berbers inhabiting along the northern coast of ; : ; 

Africa happened to approach the sea shore, being thus separated only from Andalus 

bv a narrow channel, the fears and consternation of the Greeks would increase, 

they would fly in all directions for fear of the threatened invasion, and their dread 

of the Berbers waxed so great that it was mstilled into their nature, and became in _._/:■■ L'^yr^ 

after times a prominent feature in their character. On the other side^ theBerbers J yt,:fl • 

having been made acquainted with this ill-will and hatred of the rpeopla^fjf^rt? ;-; " ij;A^gj 

dahis towards them, hated and envied them the more, this bMng^in-^^:tte.;v;.;^ 

measure the reason why even along time ; afterwards a; BeH)er:(S3uld-^ar##^ - ■ "fj^ 

found who did not most cordially hate ^ And^usian,. and wce^^erm, -o%i!fcW 

Berbers beins more in want of Andahisians than these are of them;:owing'to ■ ;^.t;f|::^:5 

certain necessaries not to be procured in Airica, and which are hnported; irpm r;; ;j^|;yy 

Andahis, a communication has necessarily existed between the people of ^bp^ -;:-:; -^f J;-;- 

-" -^-^ -in- .n y ^ .-■ -V ^^ 

-: - j^. j' 7^ J-"- -^ .V 

-^ r^ 

countries. But to return. : :: . - :■ . 

There was in the west of Andalus a Grecian king, who reigned oyer an>is|$jid 
called the island of Kddis (Cadiz). This king had a daughter of inGomparable : 
beauty, whom the other kings of Andalus,— for that country was then ruled by seyeM 
kings, each having estates not extending over more than one or two cities, — sought 
in marriage. Each of these kings sent accordingly his messengers to Cadiz, and asked 
for the hand of the beautiful daughter. Her father, however, unwilhng to choose 
among so many pretenders, lest by favouring one he should offend the others,, was 
very much perplexed, and sent for his daughter to acquaint her with the state ,olMs 
mind. Now it happened that the daughter of this king was possessed of ftiich 
wisdom as well as beauty, for among the Greeks both men and women werelbQcn 
with a natural instinct for science; this having led to that common saying,- :|I^t 
" science came down from heaven and lodged itself in three different parts -of fi^'s 
" body; in the brams amongst the Greeks, in the hands anaongst iie|:<if^i- 
" and in the tongue among the Arabs." This daughter, then.^havdnlJIagpie 
whole of the case, said to her father, " Only do what I will teU;thee^^idMbJBot 
*' trouble thyself any more about this matter."—" "What is tliy-^clMce then ? "— 
" That to those who soHcit my hand thou shouldst_ answer,} that; I will give the 

. ^ L. 

^ . 





-.' ■■ y-- ^ 



[book IV. 

" preference to him only who proves himself a sage king;" and her father ac- 
cordingly dispatched messengers to the neighbouring kingdoms to acquaint the 
royal suitors with his daughter's determination. When the lovers read the letters 
containing the princess's intentions, many who could not lay any claim to science 
immediately desisted from their courtship ; two kings only being found among her 
numerous admirers who professed themselves sages, and who immediately answered 
his letters, each saying of himself, " I am a sage king." "When the father got 
these letters, he sent for his daughter, and, informing her of their contents, " See," 
said he, " we are still in the same difficulty as before ; for here are two kings who 
" both call themselves sages, and if I choose one I shall make an enemy of the 
" other: What dost thou propose to do in such a difficulty ? " The daughter 
replied, " I wiU impose a task upon both kings, and whichsoever of the two executes 
" it best, he shall be my husband." — " And pray, what is it? " — *' We want in 
" this town a wheel to draw up water ; I will ask one of them to make me one that 
"shall be moved by fresh running water coming from yonder land; and I will 
"intrust the other with the construction of a taUsman or charm to preserve this 
"island from the invasions of the Berbers." 

The king was delighted with the plan suggested by his daughter, and, without 
bestowing any more consideration on the subject, wrote to both the princes, making 
them acquainted with his daughter's ultimate determination ; and each having 
agreed to undergo the intended trial, they set to work as soon as possible. The 
king to whose lot it had fallen to construct the hydraulic machine ^^ erected an 
immense building, with large stones placed one upon the top of another, in that part 
of the salt sea which separates the island of Andalus from the continent, and in the 
spot known by the name of Strait of Ceuta.^'' This arched building, which was 
built entirely of free-stone, the interstices of which were filled by the architect with 
some cement of his own composition, connected the island of Cadiz with the main 
land. - Traces of this work are still visible in that part of the sea which divides 
Ceuta from Algesiras,*" but the greatest part of the inhabitants of Andalus assign it 
another origin, as I have already explained elsewhere; they suppose it to be the 
remains of a bridge which Alexander ordered to be constructed between Ceuta and 
Algesiras : but God only knows which of the two reports is the true one, although 
I find the last of the two more generally believed. However, when the architect 
had finished his work of stone, he conducted fresh water from the top of a high 
mountain on the continent to the island, and making it afterwards all fall into a 
basin, he caused it to rise again in Andalus by means of a wheel.^^ 

As to the other king, whose task was the construction of the magic spell, he first 
GOneulted the skies in quest of a proper and fit time to commence its fabrication ; 










-.' ■■ y-- ^ 



[book IV. 

" preference to him only who proves himself a sage king;" and her father ac- 
cordingly dispatched messengers to the neighbouring kingdoms to acquaint the 
royal suitors with his daughter's determination. When the lovers read the letters 
containing the princess's intentions, many who could not lay any claim to science 
immediately desisted from their courtship ; two kings only being found among her 
numerous admirers who professed themselves sages, and who immediately answered 
his letters, each saying of himself, " I am a sage king." "When the father got 
these letters, he sent for his daughter, and, informing her of their contents, " See," 
said he, " we are still in the same difficulty as before ; for here are two kings who 
" both call themselves sages, and if I choose one I shall make an enemy of the 
" other: What dost thou propose to do in such a difficulty ? " The daughter 
replied, " I wiU impose a task upon both kings, and whichsoever of the two executes 
" it best, he shall be my husband." — " And pray, what is it? " — *' We want in 
" this town a wheel to draw up water ; I will ask one of them to make me one that 
"shall be moved by fresh running water coming from yonder land; and I will 
"intrust the other with the construction of a taUsman or charm to preserve this 
"island from the invasions of the Berbers." 

The king was delighted with the plan suggested by his daughter, and, without 
bestowing any more consideration on the subject, wrote to both the princes, making 
them acquainted with his daughter's ultimate determination ; and each having 
agreed to undergo the intended trial, they set to work as soon as possible. The 
king to whose lot it had fallen to construct the hydraulic machine ^^ erected an 
immense building, with large stones placed one upon the top of another, in that part 
of the salt sea which separates the island of Andalus from the continent, and in the 
spot known by the name of Strait of Ceuta.^'' This arched building, which was 
built entirely of free-stone, the interstices of which were filled by the architect with 
some cement of his own composition, connected the island of Cadiz with the main 
land. - Traces of this work are still visible in that part of the sea which divides 
Ceuta from Algesiras,*" but the greatest part of the inhabitants of Andalus assign it 
another origin, as I have already explained elsewhere; they suppose it to be the 
remains of a bridge which Alexander ordered to be constructed between Ceuta and 
Algesiras : but God only knows which of the two reports is the true one, although 
I find the last of the two more generally believed. However, when the architect 
had finished his work of stone, he conducted fresh water from the top of a high 
mountain on the continent to the island, and making it afterwards all fall into a 
basin, he caused it to rise again in Andalus by means of a wheel.^^ 

As to the other king, whose task was the construction of the magic spell, he first 
GOneulted the skies in quest of a proper and fit time to commence its fabrication ; 







X-F -- * — I 

^ ^ V r. 


■'- .' :■■■■ ^^- :.->' '^-yy^h^^^^m 

■■-■■ ■■■■- :.:'r-^r^m 




CHAP. I.] 



and when lie had discovered it, he began to build a square edifice. The materials 
were of white stone, and the place chosen for its erection a sandy desert on the sea 
shore. In order to give sufficient soHdity to the building, the architect sunk^the 
foundations as deep into the earth as the building itself rose above the surface:; 
and when he had completed it, he placed on the top a statue of melted copper, and 
iron, mixed together by dint of his science, to which he further gave the look and 
appearance of a Berber, with a long beard ; his hair, which was exceedingly coarse, 
stood upright on his head, and he had besides a tuft hanging over his forehead.*'* His 
garment consisted of a tunic, the ends of which he held on the left arm ; he wore san- 
dals on his feet, and the most extraordinary thing about him was that, although the 
dimensions of the figure were excessive, and he stood up in the air at a distance 
of more than sixty or seventy cubits, no other support was seen but the natural one 
at his feet, which were at most one cubit in circumference. He had his right 
arm extended, and in his hand were visible some keys with a padlock ;*» with his 
right hand he pointed towards the sea, as if he were saying, "No one is to: pa^:; 
" this way ; " and such was the magic virtue contained in this figure, that asilohf: 
as it kept its place, and held the keys in its hand, no ship from Barbary could . ever 
sail into the strait, on account of its stormy and fearful waters.^ ^ ; 

However, each of the kings worked with uncommon activity at his task, 
hoping that whichsoever of the two accomplished his first stood a good chancer pf. 
gaining the heart of the princess. The constructor of the aqueduct tva^:*fl" 
first to finish his, for he contrived so as to keep it secret fi-om the others in hopeS 
that if he did his work first, the talisman would not be completed, and .the 
victory would remain to him : and so it happened, for he measured his time so well. 
that on the very same day on which his rival's work was to be accomplished water 
began to run in the island, and the wheel to move ; and when the news of his 
success reached his competitor, who was then on the top of the monument giving 
the last polish to the face of the figure, which was giU, he took it so much to heart 
that he threw himself down, and fell dead at the foot of the tower ; by which means 
the other prince, freed from his rival, became the master of the lady, of the wheel, 

and of the charm. . 

The author from whom the preceding narrative is borrowed does not acquamt 
us in what manner the spell acted against Africans, nor how its virtue came 4o be 
impaired, but we here subjoin another writer's version of this story. 

In times of old the Greek kings who reigned in Andalus were tern ._ . 
an invasion on the part of the Berbers, on account of the prophecy^ tha^^lmve 
recorded. To avoid this they constructed difierent spells, and, among others, one 
which they put inside a marble urn and placed in a palace at Toledo: m order 

V j' 

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to ensure its custody and presentation they placed a padlock on the gate of the 
palace, leaving instructions for every succeeding king to do the same. This injunc- 
tion having been faithfully complied with, it came to pass that after the lapse of a 
great many years twenty-seven padlocks were appended to the gate of the building, 
— that number of kings having reigned in Andalus, each of whom had put his 
padlock as ordained. Some time previous to the invasion of the Arabs, which, as is 
well known, was the cause of the overthrow of the Gothic dynasty and of the entire 
conquest of Andalus, a king of the Goths, Roderic by name,''^ ascended the throne. 
Now this . king, being young and fond of adventure, once assembled his Wizirs, 
great officers of the state, and members of his council, and spoke to them thus : — 
*' I have, been thinking a long time about this house with its seven-and-twenty 
"padlocks, and-I am determined to have it opened, that I may see what it contains, 
" for r am sure it is a mere jest." '* It may be so, O King !" answered one of the 
Wjzirs ; ** hut honesty, prudence, and policy d&mand that thou shouldst not do it ; 
" and that, following the example of thy father, of thy grandfather, and of thy 
*' ancestors, — none of whom ever wished to dive into this mystery,- — thou shouldst 
" add a new padlock to the gate." When the Wizir had done speaking, Roderic 
replied, — " No : I am led by an irresistible impulse, and nothing shall make me 

" change my resolution. I have an ardent wish to penetrate this mystery, and my 

" curiosity must be satisfied." '^ O King ! answered the Wizirs, " if thou doest it 

'" under a belief that treasures are concealed in it, let us hear thy estimation of 

" them, and we. will collect the sum among ourselves and deposit it in thy royal 

" treasure, rather than see ourselves and thee exposed to frightful calamities and 

" misery." Biit Roderic being a man of undaunted spirit, stout of heart, and 

strong of determination, was not easily persuaded. He remained deaf to the 

eiita*eaties of his counsellors and proceeded immediately towards the palace, and 

when: he arrived at the gate, which, as we have already observed, was furnished 

with several locks, each of them having its key hanging to it, the gate was 

thrown, open, and nothing else was to be seen hut a large table made of gold 

and silver and set with precious stones, upon which was to be read the following 

inscription : — " This is the table of Suleyman, son of Daud, (upon whom be 

" peace!)" Another object, besides the table, was to be seen in another apartment 

of the palace, provided also with a very strong padlock, which being removed 

allowed Roderic to look into it. But what was his astonishment on entering the 

apartment when nothing was to be seen but the urn, and inside it a roll of 

parchment and a picture representing in the brightest colours several horsemen 

looking like Arabs, dressed in skins of animals, and having, instead of turbans, 

Ipcks: of coarse hair; they were mounted on fleet Arabian steeds, bright scimitars 






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hung by their sides, and their right hands were armed with spears. Roderic ordered 
his attendants to unroll the parchment, when lo ! what did he see but the following 
inscription written in large letters upon it :— " Whenever this asylum is violated, and 
" the speU contained in this urn broken, the people painted on this urn shall invade 
" Andalus, overturn the throne of its kings, and subdue the whole country."*^ 
They say that when Roderic read this fatal prognostic he repented of what he had 
done, and was impressed with a strong belief of his impending ruin. He was not 
mistaken, for tidings soon reached him of an army of Arabs, which the emperor of 

the East sent against him. 

This is the enchanted palace and the picture to which Roderic is said to have 
alluded afterwards, on the day of the battle of Guadalete, when, as he was advancmg . 
upon the Moslems, he saw for the first time before his eyes the very men whose 
representations were upon the parchment. Of this more will be said hereafter. 
But whether this account is a true one or not, God only knows, for we find it 
related in various ways by the historians, as we shall have further occasion to 
observe when we come to treat about the famous table of Suleymdn aii#o^$t 
particulars connected with this case, and that we shall do by taking oiu- informtidn 
from the best and purest sources. As to the other story, naniely, that of the ^sage 
king making a contrivance to bring sweet water from Africa into Andalns, It ;is 
scarcely credible, for Andalus happens just to be one of the countries most 
abounding in waters and rivers ; and therefore we do not see the ■necessity' of 
bringing water from the opposite shore, unless, as some pretendj theprinic^ss^oMy 
did it to puzzle her admirer and try his skill by hnposing upon him-this-'extra^ 
ordinary and most difficult task. But I again repeat, God only knows=; fbr^e is 
the creator and master of all science! 

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[book IV 



Ily^ goes to see Miisa— Makes a successful incursion— Musa acquaints Al-walid with the victory— Sends 
Tarif Abii Zar'ah— His landing at Tarifa— Musa sends Tarik Ibn Zey^d— He lands at Gibraltar— Is 
attacked by Theodomir— Roderic hastens to the defence of liis kingdom — Arrives in Cordova — ^Writes 
to the sons of Wittiza—TSrik sends to Africa for reinforcements— Discontent of the Gothic nobles- 
Treason of the sons of Wittiza— Roderic encamps on the banks of the Guadalete — ^Tdrik addresses his 
men— Battle of Guadalete— Roderic's fate — ^Taking of Sidonia, Carmona, and Ezija. 

ly&i goes to No sooner did Ilyan, the Lord of Ceuta, arrive safely in his dominions, than he 
^^ "^** went to see the Amir Musa Ibn Nosseyr, and proposed to him the conquest of 

Andalus, which he described as a country of great excellence and blessings ; he 
told him that it was a land abounding in productions of all kinds, rich in grain 
of aU sorts, plentiful in waters renowned for their sweetness and clearness j he 
proceeded afterwards to draw the picture of the inhabitants, whom he affirmed 
to be enervated by long peace, and destitute of arms.* This account awakened 
the ambition of the Amir, who, after a mature dehberation on the proposition 
made to him, came to the following agreement with Ilyan, — that he should desert 
the cause which he was then defending ^ and pass over to the Moslems, and that 
byway of proving his enmity towards his own countrymen, professing the same 
takes a sue- reHgion as himself, he should first of all make an incursion into their country. This 
on. "*** Ilydn immediately put into execution, and, collecting some troops in the districts 

subject to his rule, he embarked in two vessels and landed on the coast of 
Algesiras,^ whence he overran the country, and after killing and making a number 
of captives he and his companions returned safe to Africa, loaded with spoil, on the 

following day. 

No sooner did the news of this first expedition, which took place at the close 

of the year ninety,* become known in Africa, than a great many Moslems flocked 

under the banners of Ilydn and trusted him. As for the Amir Musa, he wrote 

iisaacauMnts immediately to the Khalif Al-walid, informing him of what Ilyan proposed to 

Sctor^*^ him to undertake against Andalus, and asking his leave to try the conquest,^ 

' ^ and the answer of the Khalif was conceived in the following terms :—" Let 

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"the country be first explored by light troops, to overrun it and bring thee 
" news of what it contains; be prudent, and do not allow the Moslems to: be 
"lost in an ocean of dangers and horrors." To which. Musa replied, *! 
" not an ocean, but only a narrow channel, whose shores are every where distiaet 
" to the eye." " Never mind," answered Al-walid; " even if it be so,, let :tlie 

" country be first explored."^ 

Accordingly Musa sent a freedman of his, a Berber, whose name was Tarif Ahu ^^f ^^^, 
Zar'ah,' with four hundred foot and one hundred horsemen,^ with instructions to 
make an incursion into Andalus. Tarif and his small army embarked in four vessels, 
and landed on an island situated opposite to another island » close to Andalus, and 
known by the name of Jezirah Al-khadhrd (the green island), where the Arabs 
of the present days keep their ships and their naval stores,^" it being then- principal 
port to cross over to Africa. In this island, which has since taken the name of Tariff 
on account of his landing on it,^^ the Berber general stayed a whole day, until: all 
his men were with him ;^'' he then moved on and made several inroads into .the 
main land, which produced a rich spoil and several captives, who were so 
some that Musa and his companions had never seen the like of them. ^* 
took place in the month of Ramadhan of the year ninety-one (Aug.-Sept; Avp; 
710),^'' and when it was made known every one wished to go to Andalus. .; ■ .;; V 

The number of troops that accompanied Tarif in this expedition is not satis^^^«S«^ -;:; 
factorily ascertained. Some authors make it amount to one thousand meli; others 
give him only half that number, as above stated. But we must observe; that the 
whole of these accounts are very doubtful, since there are not wanting historians 
who make Tarif a different person from Abu Zar'ah, as these words of one of them 
seem to purport. " Tarif returned from this expedition loaded with spoil, and 

bringing a great number of captives ; another incursion was made by a Sheikh 

of the Berbers, whose name was Abd Zar'ah,^^ who landed with one thousand 
" men of his nation on the island of Algesiras, and finding that the inhabitants 

had deserted the island he set fire to their houses and fields, and burnt ^so 

a church '^ very much venerated amongst them. He then put to the sword such 
" of its inhabitants as he met, and, making a few prisoners, returned safe to 
" Afnca." \ ' -:^V; - . 

But we believe the former account to be the most credible, since it is confirmei ; . 
by Ar-razi ^' and other historians, who make these two captains to be oneK#(Mf 
same person, and call him Abu Zar'ah Tarif Ibn MaUk Al-mugh^fe^f " 

were his name and patronymic. 

But to proceed. Byan went a second time to Musa Ibn. Nosse^%-Md ap- 
prised him of the happy result of the inroad he .had made ;in Andalus* ^as well as 

2 m 





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that of Tarif Abu Zar'ah,^^ and how they had both been crowned with success. He 
at the same time instigated him to undertake the conquest of the country more at 
large : he told him what captives they had brought him, and the good tidings about 
the fertUity and wealth of the land. When Miisa heard of it he praised God for the 
victory he had granted his servants, and strengthened himself in his intention of 
invading Andalus ; to this effect he called a freed slave of his, to whom he had on 
different occasions intrusted important commands in his armies, and whose name 
was Tarik Ibn Zeyad Ibn 'Abdillah, a native of Hamdan, in Persia, although some 
pretend that he was not a freedman of Musa Ibn Nosseyr, but a free-born man of the 
tribe of Sadf,'** while others make him a mauli'^^ of Lahra. It is even asserted that 
some of his posterity who Uved in Andalus rejected with indignation the supposition 
of. their ancestor having ever been a liberated slave of Musa Ibn Nosseyr. Some 
authors, and-they are the greatest number, say that he was a Berber, but, as we 
intend to forai a separate article about Tarik, we shall leave the discussion of this 
and other points for another place, confining ourselves at present to the relation 
of the historical events as we find them recorded by the best Andalusian writers. 

Miisa sends -?Po this Tarik, therefore, whether a liberated slave of Musa, or a freeman of the 

tribe of Sadf, the Arabian governor of Africa committed the important trust of con- 
quering the kingdom of Andalus, for which end he gave him the command of an 
army of seven thousand men, chiefly Berbers and slaves, very few only being genuine 
Arabs. To accompany and guide T^rik in this expedition Musa again sent Ilyan, 
who provided four vessels from the ports under his command, the only places on 
the coast where vessels were at that time built. Every thing being got ready, a 
division of the army crossed that arm of the sea which divides Andalus from Africa, 
and landed with Tarik at the foot of the mountain which afterwards received his 

OMtfr.^' name, on a Saturday, in the month of Sha'bdn of the year ninety-two (July, 711), 

answering to -the month of ^jrosfei (August),^^ and the four vessels were sent back, 
andcrbssed arid recrossed until the rest of Tarik's men were safely put on shore. 

It isiotherwise^ said^that Tdrik landedon the twenty-fourth of Rejeb (19th June, 
711), in the same year. Another account makes the number of men embarked on 
this occasion amount to twelve thousand, all but sixteen, a number consisting almost 
entirely of Berbers, there being but few Arabs amongst them ; but the same writer 
agrees that Ilyan transported this force at various times ^^ to the coast of Andalus 
in merchant vessels, (whence collected it is not known,) and that Tarik was the 
last mail on board.^ 

- f f : 

Various historians have recorded two circumstances concerning Tarik's passage 
'and his landing on the coast of Andalus, which we consider worthy of being tran- 
;■ leiifced. . They say that while he- was sailing across that arm of the sea which 

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separates Africa from Andalus he saw in a dream - tlie prdpliet Mohammed, 
surrounded by Arabs of the Muhajirin « and Ar^sdr, who with unsheathed swords 
and bended bows stood close by him, and that he heard the. Prophet say, :,.»9 
" courage, O Tarik ! and accompUsh what thOu art destined to perforM;' and.ftat 
having looked round him he saw the messenger of God, (upon whom; be. ^ f^ 
and salutation of his Lord!) who with his companions was entering, AndaluA. 
Tarik then awoke from his sleep, and, delighted with this good omen, hastened 
to communicate the miraculous circumstance to his followers, who were- much 
pleased and strengthened. Tdrik himself was so much struck by the apparition 
that from that moment he never doubted of victory. 

The same writers have preserved another anecdote, which sufficiently proves 
the mediation of the Almighty in permitting that the conquest of Andalus should 
be achieved by Tarik. Directly after his landing on the rock Mtisa's freedman 
brought his forces upon the plain, and began to overrun and lay waste theneigh^ 
bouring country. While he was thus employed, an old, woman from: Alg^«^# 
presented herself to him, and among other things, told Mm -what fbUowsJ.^h!| 
•' must know, O stranger ! that I had once a husband who had the. knowledge »« 
" future events ; and I have repeatedly heard him say. to the people .of this, countejt: 
" that a foreign general would come to this island and subject it to his armsv .We 
" described him to me as a man of prominent forehead, and such,.! See, is thinej he: 
" told me also that the individual designated by the prophecy;Would:have a,;bte* 
.. mole covered with hair on his left shoulder. Now, '^ ^'"^^^^^'"^vf ^ 
.' thy body, thou art undoubtedly the person intended." men .T&ik-heard: the 
old woman's reasoning, he immediately laid his shoulder bare, and the mark being 
found, as predicted, upon the left one, both he and his compamons were filled 

with delight at the good omen."' , , , . , • , 

Ibnu HayyAn's account does not materially differ from those of the historians 
from whom we have quoted. He agrees in saying that Ily&i, Ixird of Ceuta incited 
Musa Ibn Nosseyr to make the conquest of Andalus; and that this he did out of 
revenge, and moved by the personal enmity and hatred he had ^concewed against 
Roderic. He makes Tank's army amount only to seven .thousand,™ mostly 
Berbers, which, he says, crossed in four vessels provided by Hyin.- According4o 
his account Tarik landed on a .Saturday, in the month of Sha/bdn.of the year mnetyg 
two,™ and the vessels that brought him and tis men on. shore were amifledia^ 
sent back to Africa,.and never ceased going backwards and forwards. Hntihtbe#|<|W ^ 
of the army was safely landed on the shores of Andahis. . ; n ^ .S'«* .fe;f^*i ^ 
On the other side, Ibnu Khaldlin »' reckons the army under:.the;«KierftsOfc.A&nk 



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at three hundred Arabs, and ten thousand Berbers. He says that before starting on 
his expedition Tank divided his army into two corps, he himself taking the com- 
mand of one, and placing the other under the immediate orders of Tarif An-naja'i.^^ 
Tarik, with his men, landed at the foot of the rock now called Jebalu-l-fafah (the 
mountain of the entrance), and which then received his name, and was called 
Jebal-Tdrik (the mountain of Tarik) ; while his companion Tarif landed on the 
■ island afterwards called after him Jezirah-Tarif (the island of Tarif). In order to 
provide for the security of their respective armies, both generals selected, soon after 
their landing, a good encampment, which they surrounded with walls and trenches,^^ 
for no sooner had the news of their landing spread than the armies of the Goths 
began to march against them from all q^uarters. 

The precise date of Tank's invasion has been differently stated. Some historians, 
as. Ibnu Khaldtin, content themselves with giving the year, viz., ninety-two (be- 
guining 28th October, 710) ; others have fixed the month and the day in which this 
memorable event is supposed to have taken place. Ibnu-1-khattib places it on Monday, 
five days before the end of Rejeb (25th Rejeb) of the year ninety-two (20th June, 711); 
: IbnuHayyan on a Saturday of the month of Sha'ban : others say on the twenty- 
fourth-.of ,E«jeb ; Adh-dhobi on the eighth day of the same month. There are not 
wanting authors who place it at the beginning of the year ninety-three ; but those who 
fix it in ninety-two are most in number. God only knows the truth of the case.^* 
?heoS.'''' ^^^' *^ continue our narrative, no sooner did Tdrik set his foot in Andalus than 

he was attacked by a Goth named Tudmir (Theodomir), to whom Roderic had 
intrusted the defence of that frontier. Theodomir, who is the same general who 
afterwards gave his name to a province of Andalus, called Beldd Tudmir ^^ (the 
country of Theodomir), having tried, although in vain,^^ to stop the impetuous 
, career of Tarik's men, dispatched immediately a messenger to his master, apprising 
hipfi iiow Tarik and his followers had landed in Andalus. He also wrote him a 
letter.ihus conceived:—" This our land has been invaded by people whose name, 
" country,, and origin are unknown to me. I cannot even tell thee whence they 
" came,— whether they fell from the skies, or sprang from the earth." 

i^SSr "^"^^^ ^^^ "^"^^ reached Roderic, who was then in the country of the Bashkans