Travels in Arabia, by John Lewis Burckhardt

The Author’s Introduction.

IN the pages of this Journal I have frequently quoted some Arabian historians, whose works are in my possession. It is now to me a subject of regret that those manuscripts were not with me in the Hedjaz. The two first I purchased at Cairo, after my return from Arabia.

These works are —

  1. The History of Mekka, entitled Akhbar Mekka, a thick quarto volume, by Aby el Wolyd el Azraky, who flourished in the year of the Hedjra 223, and has traced the annals of his native city down to that period. This work is particularly interesting on account of its topographical notices, and the author’s intimate acquaintance with the state of Arabia before Islám or Mohammedanism. The manuscript appears, from the hand-writing, to be six, or perhaps seven hundred years old.

  2. The History of Mekka, entitled Akd e’ themyn, in three folio volumes, by Taky ed’ dyn el Fasy, who was himself Kadhy of Mekka. This history comes down to the year of the Hedjra 829, and is comprised in the first volume; the other two volumes containing biographical anecdotes of distinguished natives of Mekka.

  3. The History of the Mosque of Mekka, with which the history of the town is interwoven, called El Aalam hy aalam beled Allah el haram, in one volume quarto. The author was Kottob ed’ dyn el Mekky, who held high offices at Mekka, and brings the history down to the year 990 of the Hedjra.

  4. The History of the Hedjaz, and more particularly of Mekka, by Asamy. Of this chronicle I possess only the second volume, a large folio manuscript, comprising historical records from the time of the Beni Omeya, to the year (of the Hedjra) 1097. I have not been able to ascertain the title of this work, which abounds with curious and valuable information. The author, Asamy, was a native of Mekka.

  5. The History of the Temple and Town of Medina. This work is entitled Khelaset el Wafa, its author was Nour ed’ dyn Aly Ibn Ahmed e’ Samhoudy, [To this writer Burckhardt refers in p. 323, by the letters (V.S.) “Vide Sumhoudy.”] and it is comprised in one folio volume, bringing the history down to the year 911 of the Hedjra.

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