Part IV, Chapter XVII = XCII: On the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Indians, the Abyssinians and the inhabitants of the Jazá’ír.
f68a f338a 1968 An account of the old Byzantines, generally called the people of Rúm: — its division into four provinces, each under a chief who owed alle­giance to the Qayṣar, the ruler of the whole empire. Their military organisation and civil administration — the various Orders of the old Greek Church — followers of other religions as the tax-paying citizens in the State — the revival of learning after the immigration of the Greeks into Asia Minor — Macedonia, the home of philosophers, deserted and Constantinople revived — the building of the great Cathedral.
f68b f338b 1969 On the Arabs: The Peninsula of Arabia — its extent and boundaries — the Arabs the chosen people, as the Prophet Muḥammad rose amongst them.
      The ancient civilizations of the Ḥimyarites and the Ghassánids, the latter being the pioneers in Islam of the sciences of religion, genealogy and philology. The peculiarities of the Bedouin tribes, famous for their poetry, eloquence, and swift-footedness — a few of the famous Ṣa‘álíku’l-‘Arab.
      The account of a Bedouin, related on the authority of an eye-witness, Sharafu’z-Zamán Ṭáhir al-Marwazí, in the year 448 A. H.
f69a f339a 1970 An anecdote of the agility and wit of a Bedouin.
f69b 1971 A short account of India: — its agreeable climate — its unique products — snake-charming, magic and sorcery as special types of the secret arts practised by them — the 99 races and 48 religions of India.
1972 On the Abyssinians, called Ḥabasha. The various black races — their marked features — extreme heat that affects their features and tem­perament.
1973 A king of Khurásán employs Negroes in his army to frighten the Turks beyond the Oxus, who took them for giants and dared not fight with them. (The Ta’ríkh-i-Máwará’u’n-Nahr as the source; probably the work of Majdu’d-Dín Muḥammad b. ‘Adnán as-Surkhakatí, the maternal uncle of the Author, also called the Ta’ríkh-i-Turkistán, is meant. See above, p. 44).
f70a f339b 1974 An account of the earliest alliance by marriage between Írán and Turkistán: Balaj or Balḥ (?), the king of Turkistán, gives his daughter to the King of Írán called Ḥasanawayh or Ḥastawayh (?); the King of Írán sends among other presents a Zangí, a curiosity which the people of Turkistán had never seen before; the Zangí becomes a favourite of the King, and seizing his opportunity kills the King, makes himself the ruler, and becomes famous in Turkistán as Qará Khán. (The Ta’ríkh-i-Mulúk-i-Turkistán mentioned above, as the source. See also Chahár Maqála, Text, pp. 184—9).
1975 An account of a few peculiarities of the Zangís, eg. fencing with poisoned spears — eating snakes — making special flexible bows and super-fine shields from the hide of an animal called Malṭ (or Lamṭ). (The Kitáb-i-‘Ajá’ibu’l-Baḥr (?) as the source). (Cf. Description de l’Afrique Septentrionale par el-Bekrí, De Slane, Alger 1857, p. 171).
f70a f339b 1976 On the inhabitants of the Jazá’ir or the Islands on the Caspian Shores: — the extremes of climate, the adjoining country of Bulghár and other neighbouring tribes. The Moving Sands and the Land of Women. (Cf. Q. A. B. I, p. 722; II, pp. 431—40). (The account of the Land of Women in the West is taken from a Siyaru’l-Mulúk, and at the end the works on Masálik wa-Mamálik and on Ṭabáyi‘ are indefinitely referred to. See above, pp. 101—3).
      The chapter ends with a eulogy.