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Yāqūt Shihāb al-Dīn[1] ibn-'Abdullāh al-Rūmī al-Hamawī (1179–1229) (Arabic: ياقوت الحموي الرومي‎) was an Islamic biographer and geographer of Greek origin,[2][3] renowned for his encyclopedic writings on the Muslim world. The nisba "al-Rumi" ("from Rūm") refers to his Greek (Byzantine) descent; "al-Hamawi" is taken after his master's name; and Ibn Abdullah is "son of Abdullah". The word yāqūt means ruby or hyacinth.

Yaqut ibn-'Abdullah al-Rumi al-Hamawi
Era12th century-13th century
Main interest(s)Islamic history, geography, biography



Born in Constantinople,[4] Yāqūt became a "mawla" (the term can mean client, apprentice or slave) of a trader named Askar ibn Abi Nasr al-Hamawi who lived in Baghdad, Iraq. His master taught him accounting and trading and sent him to trade on his behalf.

Yāqūt travelled two, or three, times to Kish in the Persian Gulf.[5] In 1194 after a quarrel with his master deprived Yāqūt of his income he supported himself as a copier and availed of an opportunity to study under the grammarian Al-‘Ukbarî. After five years he returned to his old master and again travelled for him to Kish; on his return he set up as a bookseller and began to write.[6]

Yāqūt was one of the last scholars to access libraries east of the Caspian Sea before the Mongol invasion of Central Asia, and spent ten years travelling in Persia, Syria, and Egypt. For two years he studied in the libraries of the peaceful scholarly city of ancient Merv (in present-day Turkmenistan), where he would gain much of the knowledge evident in his works.[7] He also visited the ancient city of Balkh and in about 1222 he had settled in Mosul to work on his geography. The first draft was ready in 1224. In 1227 he had moved to Alexandria, and from there on to Aleppo, where he died in 1229.[6]

In his large geography, the Mu'jam ul-Buldān (ed. F. Wüstenfeld, 6 vols., Leipzig, 1866–73), the places mentioned in the literature or the stories of the Arabs are given in alphabetical order, with the correct vocalization of the names, an indication whether they are Arabic or foreign and their locality. Their history is often sketched with a special account of their conquest by Muslims and the name of the governor at the time is recorded. Attention is also given to the monuments they contain and the celebrities who were born in them or had lived there. In this way a quantity of old literature, both prose and poetry, is preserved by Yāqūt.[6]


Mu'jam al-Udabā, Irshād al-Arīb ilā Ma’rifat al-Adīb', (Arabic: معجم الادباء إرشاد الأريب إلا معرفة الأديب‎) "Literary Encyclopedia, Expert Guide to Literature" (1226).(Ar)
Marâçid; a 6-volume Latin edition by Theodor Juynboll, published as Lexicon geographicum, cui titulus est, Marâsid al ittilâ’ ‘ala asmâ’ al-amkina wa-l-biqâ, in 1852. vol.3,


  • Heer, Friedrich Justus (1898). Die historischen und geographischen Quellen in Jāqūt's geographischem Wörterbuch (in Arabic and German). Strassburg: K.J. Trübner.
  • Abdullah, Muhammad A.H. (1983). "Yaqut al-Hamawi, the Man and His Work Mu’jam al-buldan" (Thesis). Ypsilanti: Eastern Michigan University.
  • ‘Abd al-Karim, Gamal (1974). "La España musulmana en la obra de Yaqut (s. XII[-]XIII)". repertório enciclopédico de ciudades, castillos y lugares de al-Andalus: extraído del Mu’yam al-buldan (diccionario de los países). Granada: University of Granada.
  • ‘Abd al-Karim, Gamal (1977), Terminología geográfico-administrativa e historia político-cultural de al-Andalus en el Mu’yam al-buldan de Yaqut (3rd ed.), Seville: University of Seville
  • Blachère, Régis (1936) [1913]. "Yaqut al-Rumi, 1153[-]54". In M.T. Houtsma; et al. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. 4 (1st ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill.
  • Barbier de Meynard, Charles (1861), Dictionnaire géographique, historique et littéraire de la Perse et des contrées adjacentes, extrait du Modjem el-Bouldan de Yaqout, et complété à l’aide de documents arabes et persans pour la plupart inédits, Paris: Imprimerie Impériale
  • Bloch, Ernst (1929), Harawîs Schrift über die muhammedanischen Wallfahrtsorte, eine der Quellen des Jâqût, Bonn: Verein Studentenwohl
  • Dib, al-Sayyid, Muhammad (1988), Yaqut al-Hamawi: ‘adiban wa-naqidan, Cairo: Dar al-Tiba’ah al-Muhammadiyah
  • Elahie, R.M.N.E. (1965), The Life and Works of Yaqut ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Lahore: Panjab University Press
  • Heer, F. Justus (1898), Die historischen und geographischen Quellen in Jaqut's geographischem Wörterbuch, Strassburg: K.J. Trubner
  • The Introductory Chapters of Yaqut's Mu’jam al-Buldan, translated by Jwaideh, Wadie, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987 [1959]
  • Krachkovskii, I.J. (1957), "Izbrannye sochineniia", Arabskaia geograficheskaia literatura, Moscow: Akademiia Nauk SSSR, 4
  • Maqbul Ahmad, Seyyed (1980) [1970], Coulston Gillispe, Charles (ed.), ""Yaqut al-Hamawi al-Rumi"", Dictionary of Scientific Biography, New York: Scribner, 14: 546[-]48,
  • Marun, Jurj Khalil (1997), Shu’ara’ al-amkinah wa-ash’aruhum fi Mu’jam al-buldan, 2, Beirut: al-Maktabah al-’Asriyah
  • Rescher, Oskar (1928), Sachindex zu Wüstenfeld's Ausgabe von Jâqût's "Mu’gam el-buldân" (nebst einem alfabetischen Verzeichnis der darin angeführten Werke), Stuttgart: Harrassowitz
  • Sa’di, ‘Abbas Fadil (1992), Yaqut al-Hamawi: dirasah fi al-turath al-jughrafi al-’arabi ma’a al-tarkiz ‘ala al-’Iraq fi Mu’jam al-buldan, Beirut: Dar al-Tali’ah lil-Tiba’ah wa-al-Nashr
  • Sellheim, Rudolf (1966). Voigt, Wolfgang (ed.). "Neue Materialien zur Biographie des Yaqut". Forschungen und Fortschritte der Katalogisierung der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. Wiesbaden: Steiner: xvi[-]xxxiv.
  • Shami, ‘Abd al-Al ‘Abd al-Mu’nim (1981), Mudun Misr wa-quraha ‘inda Yaqut al-Hamawi, Kuwait: al-Jam’iyah al-Jughrafiyah al-Kuwaytiyah
  • Shamsuddin, Ahmad (1993), Faharis mu’jam al-udaba’, aw, Irshad al-arib ila ma’rifat al-adib, Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyah
  • Tawanisi, Abu al-Futuh Muhammad (1971), Yaqut al-Hamawi: al-jughrafi al-rahhalah al-adib, Cairo: al-Hay’ah al-Misriyah al-’Ammah lil-Ta’lif wa-al-Nashr
  • ‘Umari, Muhammad Abu ‘Abd Allah (1994), Ithaf al-khillan bi-ma’arif Mu’jam al-buldan, 2, Riyadh: Dar al-Sumay’i

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dodge, Bayard, ed. (1970). The Fihrist of al-Nadim. 2. New York & London: Columbia University Press. p. 902.
  2. ^ David C. Conrad, Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay, (Shoreline Publishing, 2005), 26.
  3. ^ Ludwig W. Adamec, The A to Z of Islam, (Scarecrow Press, 2009), 333.
  4. ^ "The Dictionary of Countries". World Digital Library. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  5. ^ cf. F. Wüstenfeld, "Jacut's Reisen" in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, vol xviii. pp. 397–493
  6. ^ a b c   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Yāqūt". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 904.
  7. ^ "Homework Help, Book Summaries, Study Guides, Essays, Lesson Plans, & Educational Resources". 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2012-11-20.

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