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Al-Idrisi's geographical account of northern Africa

AL-IDRISI, Muhammad and Joannes Melchior HARTMANN (translator).
Göttingen, Johann Christian Dieterich, 1796. 8vo. Slightly later black half goatskin.
€ 4,500
Second edition of a Latin translation of a work on the geography of Africa, written by the Islamic geographer and botanist Muhammad al-Idrisi (1100-1165). It deals specifically with the geography of northern Africa, Egypt and the Sahara desert, covering its soil, cities, population, mountains, deserts, rivers and monuments. Al-Idrisi also mentions various travel routes from one city to the other. Around 1138, al-Idrisi was invited to the court of the king of Sicily, Roger II, who asked him to map the world as it was then known. This map is now lost, but Roger II also asked for supplemental texts to comment on the map. "Emissaries were sent far and wide, and from the information they brought back the Kitab al-Rojari [Book of Roger] was compiled, and completed by January 1154" (Howgego). Various manuscripts containing (parts of the) Kitab al-Rojari have survived, and the present translation was based on one of them. The present work was translated and edited by the Johannes Melchior Hartmann (1764-1817), who worked from a medieval Arabic manuscript at the University of Jena.
With a library stamp. Somewhat browned and foxed throughout. Binding worn at hinges and along the extremities. Otherwise in good condition.
Gay 345; Howgego, to 1800, I5; not in Atabey; Blackmer.
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Related Subjects:

Africa  >  Cartography & Exploration | North Africa & Egypt
Middle east & islamic world  >  Africa | Medicine & Science
Science & technology  >  Earth Sciences