Part IV, Chapter XVI = XCI: (On Cosmography): On “Climes” and Routes, and cold and hot Regions.
f64b f335b 1963 The inhabited parts of the world. Equatorial regions and frigid zones. The majority of the peoples that inhabit the world: The Chinese, the Turkish tribes inhabiting Central Asia, the Byzantines, the Persians, the Indians and the Abyssinians. The temperate regions, which correspond with the fourth “Clime”, best suited for habitation. The Author himself, being an inhabitant of the same, gives a detailed account of them based on astronomical observations.
f65a f336a 1964 The division of the world into “Seven Climes”, according to the belts of latitude, as conceived by the old Arab Geographers. (In general, the classification of the “Climes” or Iqlíms corresponds with the one adopted by Qazwíní and Dimashqí. (See above, p. 102, para. 1).
f66a f336b 1965 An account of old Chín: its art, civilization, etc.: a description of the capital of Chín, its inhabitants and its rulers; some of its peculiar customs, eg. the annual open-court, and the ceremony of pricking arrows in a log of wood out of which a beautiful figure was to be carved, and the sagacity of the people who perceived by the mark of the arrow of the predecessor, what particular figure he had in his mind; the fame of the people for fine arts and painting, which formed a part of their religion as instituted by Manes; and the practice of magic among the petty vendors. The experience of a Muslim ambassador at the Chinese court, where the interpreters of various languages were employed, and how he was struck by the fine texture of the cloth manufactured in that country. The chief assets of the country. An account of a valley adjacent to an isle which was inhabited by descendants of the Caliph ‘Alí, who had fled to Khurásán and taken refuge in the Far East from fear of the Umayyads, and settled there, and acted as intermediaries between the Chinese and Islamic countries.
f66b f337a 1966 Concerning Turkistán: The Mongol and Tartar tribes; their conversion to Islam; their advance on Muslim lands and their diffusion over other countries, commencing from the time of Chagrí — the Saljúqs — the Khwárazmsháhs — the Qáys — the Ghuzz Turks — the Kharkhíz tribes and their custom of seeking information of coming events from the favourite of the public, a person chosen for this special purpose.
f67a 1967 The region of Kharkhíz, [or the country of Gharjistán] containing four valleys, the fountain-head of many great rivers. The great water [probably the Marw river or Murgháb is meant] that loses itself in the sands. The experiences of an adventurer in this water, and a description of the strong and tall inhabitants of that desert. The Kharluj tribe inhabiting the Kúh (?) containing gold mines. The Tughuzghuz Turks and their nine branches. The Kimák tribe, their nomadic life and customs. The Ṣaqáliba — the Rús: — their waters, their curious law of inheritance, their conversion to Christianity, then to Islam, their relations with the Khwárazmsháhs. (Cf. Y. M. B. II, 834).
      The chapter ends with a panegyric on the Wazír.