Part IV, Chapter XIX = XCIV: On strange Talismans.
1987 Introduction dealing with the genius of man in contriving wonderful talis­mans to perpetuate his memory.
      Abú Muṭí‘ [or Saṭíḥ or Muṭíḥ] of Balkh, a famous travelling philosopher’s three wonderful presents to the Amír Abu’l-‘Abbás (?) of Balkh which he refused: (1) The wonderful hen made of wood that laid an egg at the time of prayers. (2) The wonderful figure of a man with a drum hung round its neck, that used to strike it at regular intervals so as to indicate the time of day. (3) The wonderful drum that cured persons of colic. The first two were destoyed by the artist in anger, and the third one, the drum, was presented to the Amír Tásh, who was cured of colic, and rewarded the maker with 5,000 Dínárs. This drum was later on presented to Abú ‘Alí Ilyás (?) who foolishly destroyed it, but repented when he came to know its mysterious effects.
* * 1988 The story of the jealousy of the Byzantine philosophers against Abú ‘Alí Ibn Síná: the invitation of the Byzantines to cure a favourite slave-girl of the king of her eye-disease without touching her, and the counterfeit slave that Abú ‘Alí made to cure her, in order to deceive the Byzantines and bring them to their knees. (Story not traceable in Qifṭí’s Ta’ríkhu’l-Ḥukamá).
f75a f343a 1989 The four wonders enumerated by ‘Abdu’llah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘Ás: (1) The magical mirror at the top of the Tower of Alexandria. (Cf. above, IV. xviii. 1979, perhaps alluding to the same). (2) The Bronze Statue of a horseman in Andulus. (3) The Water-sprinkling Minaret in the land of the ‘Ád. (4) The Olive-Turret in Byzantium.
f75b f343a 1990 The enchanted walls of the city of Naṣíbín, and the discovery of its mystery by Ṣaláḥu’d-Dín (Saladin).
1991 The wonderful Water-Mill in the city of the prophet Yúnus, called Nineveh. (See above, p. 27).
f343b 1992 Bilinás’s clever contrivance to get rid of the mice that pestered the inhabitants of one of the Chinese towns. (The Kitáb-i-Ṭilasmát as the source). (Cf. Q. T. H. p. 65, where Alyánús ar-Rúmání’s account is given in connection with a plague that had spread in Antioch).
1993 The Sultán Bahá’u’d-Dín Bámiyán and the Imám Fakhru’d-Dín ar-Rází pay a visit to the abode of an ascetic who had tamed beasts, and claimed to possess the power of subduing wild animals. (Fakhru’d-Dín ar-Rází mentions a book on the subject of Talismans, composed by a certain great Greek philosopher, called Aludaṭis or Abudaṭis (?)).
f76a 1994 The legendary account of the enchanted city of Babylon, and the seven wondrous and magical villas in it. (at-Taysír fi’t-Tafsír of Najmu’d-Dín Abú Ḥafṣ ‘Umar b. Muḥammad an-Nasafí as the source.) (See above, p. 65 and p. 27).
f76b f344a 1995 The enchanted city made by the Dívs for Solomon in Andalus, and the vain attempts of Músá b. Nuṣayr to discover its mystery. (The Ta’ríkh-i-Baní Marwán (?) is referred to).
      The chapter ends as usual with a panegyric on the Wazír.