Abu Ishaq Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Farisi al-Istakhri (آبو إسحاق إبراهيم بن محمد الفارسي الإصطخري) (also Estakhri, Persian: استخری, i.e. from the Iranian city of Istakhr, b. - d. 346 AH/AD 957)[2] was a 10th-century travel author and Islamic geographer who wrote valuable accounts in Arabic of the many Muslim territories he visited during the Abbasid era of the Islamic Golden Age. There is no consensus regarding his origin. Some sources describe him as Persian,[1] while others state he was Arab.[3][4] The Encyclopedia Iranica states: "Biographical data are very meager. From his nesbas (attributive names) he appears to have been a native of Eṣṭaḵr in Fārs, but it is not known whether he was Persian".[5]

Abū Ishāk al-Fārisī al-Iṣṭakhrī
Dieddied after 952[1]
Academic background
Academic work
EraIslamic Golden Age
School or traditionBalkhi school
Main interestsIslamic geography
Istakhri's map, from the Book of Roads and Kingdoms
Map of Fars
A map of the Persian Gulf by Istakhri

Istakhri's account of windmills is the earliest known. Istakhri met the celebrated traveller-geographer Ibn Hawqal, while travelling, and Ibn Hawqal incorporated the work of Istakhri in his book Kitab al-Surat al-Ard.[4][5]

Works edit

Istakhri's two surviving works are:

  • Masālik al-Mamālik (مسالك الممالك, Routes of the Realms), or Kitab al-masalik wa-l-mamalik (كتاب المسالك والممالك Book of Roads and Kingdoms), a contribution to the "Book of Roads and Kingdoms" tradition. This combines maps with descriptive text to describe the geography of Iran and surrounding kingdoms. It is based mainly on lists of stations of postal routes, and seems intended to help commit those lists to memory rather than to guide travellers through the territory. There is no consistency between the map projections. An illuminated manuscript (MS Or. 3101) dated AH 589 (AD 1193) is held by Leiden University Libraries and is digitally available.[6] Another illuminated manuscript dated AH 706 (AD 1306-07) now resides in the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art. It contains many maps, though some mentioned in the text are missing.[7]
  • Ṣuwar al-ʿAqālīm ( صور الاقاليم, Pictures of the Regions).

Published editions edit

An 8-volume edition of works by medieval Arab geographers, edited by the Dutch orientalist Michael Jan de Goeje in a series titled Bibliotheca geographorum Arabicorum was published by Brill, Lugduni-Batavora (Leiden) in the 1870s. An edition of Istakhri's MS text was produced for the first volume under the Latin title Viae Regnorum descriptio ditionis Moslemicae - "Description of Roads of the Kingdoms in Muslim territories". In 1927, the editor Theodore Noldeke produced a second edition.

In 1845, the German orientalist A. D. Mordtmann published a translation in Hamburg with the title Das Buch der Länder von Schech Ebu Ishak el Farsi el Isztachri, with a foreword by C. Ritter. (Schriften der Akademie von Ham Bd. 1, Abth. 2).

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d Shboul, Ahmad M. H. (1991). "Iṣṭakhrī, al-". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
  2. ^ Mojtahed-Zadeh, Pirous. "The Persian Gulf in the Geographical Views of the Ancient World" In Cartographie Historique du Golfe Persique. Edited by M. Taleghani, D. Silva Couto, & J.-L. Bacque-Grammont. Louvain, Belgium: Diffusion, 2006. 17.
  3. ^ van Donzel, E.J., ed. (1994). Islamic Desk Reference (compiled from the Encyclopedia of Islam). Brill. p. 177. ISBN 978-9004097384.
  4. ^ a b Miquel, André (1954–2005). "Iṣṭakhrī, Abū Isḥāḳ Ibrāhīm". In Gibb, H. A. R.; Kramers, J. H.; Lévi-Provençal, E.; Schacht, J. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.). Leiden: Brill. IV:222b-223b.
  5. ^ a b Bolshakov, O. G. (1998). "Eṣṭaḵrī, Abū Esḥāq Ebrāhīm". In Yarshater, Ehsan (ed.). Encyclopædia Iranica. New York: Encyclopædia Iranica Foundation, Inc. VIII(6):646-647 (I have used the updated online version).
  6. ^ "Digital version of An abridgement of Kitāb al-masālik wa-al-mamālik by Abū Isḥāq Ibrāhīm b. Muḥammad al-Iṣṭaḵrī - Or. 3101". Leiden University Libraries. Retrieved 2024-04-10.
  7. ^ Rogers, J. M. (2008). The arts of Islam : treasures from the Nasser D. Khalili collection (Revised and expanded ed.). Abu Dhabi: Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC). p. 167. OCLC 455121277.

Sources edit

External links edit