[“Travels of the Eyes into the Kingdoms of Different Countries.” This is the work of Shahábu-d dín 'Abú-l 'Abbás Ahmad, also called 'Umarí and Dimashki, or native of Damascus. He was born in the year 697 H. (1297 A.D.), and died at Damascus in 749 (1348 A.D.). Shahábu-d dín says little about himself and his family, but he mentions that his ancestors were, like himself, employed in the service of the Sultán of Egypt. His father, Kázi Mohíu-d dín, was secretary of secret despatches at Damascus, and after being dis­missed from that office, and remaining some time without employ, became chief of the department of secret correspondence in Egypt. Shahábu-d dín assisted his father in both his offices, but he incurred disgrace, and retired into private life at Damascus, and so lived until his death.

Shahábu-d dín was a man of very considerable learning and ability. He studied different sciences under men of celebrity, and his extensive works testify to his learning, research, and literary activity. He is known to have written seven different works, inclusive of the one now under notice. Most of his writings have perished, or are at least unknown, but the Masálik, which is the most important of them in its extent and research, has come down to us in an imperfect state. The complete work consisted of twenty volumes, but of these only five are known to be extant. They are in the Bibliothèque Impériale at Paris, and in 1838 M. Quatremère published in Tome XIII. of the Notices et Extraits des MSS. his description and specimens of the work, from which the present notice and the following extracts have been taken by the Editor. So early as 1758 Deguignes gave a short notice of the MS. in the Journal des Savants, and he frequently refers to the author under the surname of Marakashí in his Histoire des Huns; but M. Quatre-mère shows this title of Marakashí, or “native of Morocco,” to be a mistake.

The MS. is a small folio of 231 leaves, and consists of six chapters. 1. Description of Hind and Sind. 2. The Empire and family of Changíz Khán. 3. The Kingdom of Jílán. 4. The Kurds, Lúrs, and other mountain tribes. 5. Turk states in Asia Minor, with notices of the empires of Trebizond and Constantinople. 6. Egypt, Syria, and Hijjáz.

At the close of his notices of India, he mentions the name of Muhammad Tughlik as the reigning sovereign, and the general tenor of his observations points unmistakably to that able but perverse ruler. The author quotes occasionally the works of other authors on geography and history, and among them Abú-l Fidá and Juwaíní; but he depends principally on the oral information sup­plied by intelligent and learned travellers with whom he had come in contact. His method of gathering and using information is apparent in the following extracts. The work stood high in Oriental estimation, and was often quoted by later writers—among others by the author of the Nuzhatu-l Kulúb.]