IN the Journal for the year 1902 a summary was given of the description of Persia and Mesopotamia found in the Nuzhat-al-Qulūb, a geographical and cosmo­graphical work written by Ḥamd-Allah Mustawfi in 740 (1340).* In the course of next year I hope to publish (in the series of the E. J. W. Gibb Memorial Fund) the Persian text of the geographical chapters of this work, and this will be followed by a full translation, with notes to elucidate geographical questions. Ḥamd-Allah, who is our earliest systematic geographer writing in Persian, collected his materials from the works of the earlier Arab geographers, and from various Persian monographs which had been written each to describe a single province of the Moslem Empire; and it is found that the texts of some of these monographs, thereto adding somewhat of his own knowledge, after much curtailment and a rearrangement of the order in the articles, he has transcribed almost verbatim, to form the various chapters of the Nuzhat. A good instance of this method of writing a new book is the chapter describing the provinces of Fārs and Shabānkārah, which in truth is little but a shortened transcript of the Fārs Nāmah, a work written two centuries before the time of Ḥamd-Allah, and of which the British Museum possesses an excellent MS.

The name of the author of this Fārs Nāmah is as yet unknown, but he states in his preface that his ancestor was a native of Balkh, and Ibn-al-Balkhī will serve as a convenient title by which to refer to him until his identity be better established. From the MS. all that appears is that the grandfather of Ibn-al-Balkhī (twice mentioned, fols. 2b and 63a) was Mustawfī, or Accountant for the Taxes, of Fārs about the year (4)92 under the Atabeg Rukn-ad-Dawlah Khumārtagīn, who had been sent to govern that province in the name of the Saljūq Sultan Bargiyāruq — 487-98 (1094-1104) — the son of Malik Shāh. Ibn-al-Balkhī, who accompanied his grandfather, was educated in Fārs, and becoming well acquainted with the physical and political condition of the country, was in due course of time commissioned by the brother and successor of Bargiyāruq, namely, Sulṭān Ghiyāth-ad-Dīn Muḥammad, 498-511 (1104-17), to compose the present work. No exact date for its completion is given, but since the book was dedicated to this Sultan, who died in 511, and further that the Atabeg Chāulī is frequently mentioned in the text as still living, who we know died in 510 (1116), it follows that this Fārs Nāmah must have been completed during the first decade of the sixth century A.H., equivalent to the twelfth A.D.

Two MSS. only of the work appear to exist in Europe. One a very old copy in the British Museum (Or. 5983), apparently undated,* but by the writing and archaic spelling judged to be not later than the early fourteenth century (eighth A.H.). The other clearly a copy made of this MS., which belongs to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, and came there from the Schéfer Collection (Blochet Cat. MSS. Persans, i, p. 309, No. 503, and Supplément, 1052), and which was written in 1273 (1856). The Paris copy is indeed of little use except to show how a Persian of the present day read the older MS., and as occasionally giving us a word that has disappeared, partially or wholly, in the mending process to which the B.M. MS. was subjected when it came a few years ago, after presentation in loose leaves, to be bound for the Museum use. In some outstanding cases where lacunæ occur I have been able to fill these in by a reference to the Geography of Ḥāfiẓ Abrū, the Secretary of Timur—of which the India Office and the Museum (Or. 1577) both possess good copies— who has copied most of the Fārs Nāmah into the work he composed in 820 (1417). Further, of course, the MSS. of the Nuzhat very often serve to emend a reading.

The Museum MS. is written for the most part in double columns, a complicated system, which has led to the modern (Paris) copy having the articles very often transcribed out of order, through the carelessness of the copyist, who thus has given many towns (under their separate headings) to the wrong District (Kūrah). In the longer articles, however, the scribe of the Museum MS. has written across the page (i.e. in single column), and the order of this copy will be best understood by a reference to the following footnote.* The Persian text is in the B.M. MS. somewhat archaic, and in the spelling retains the older forms of for kih, ānk, and chunānk, for the modern ānkih and chunānkih. Further, we meet with a small number of words, mostly technical terms of revenue assessment, that are often wanting in the dictionaries, but the general meaning of which it is not difficult to come to from the context.

The Museum MS. at present consists of ninety folios. Fol. 1a begins with a short preface, followed by the dedication, fol. 2a, to “the Sulṭān—King of kings—whose glory shall never cease to increase, Ghiyāth-ad-Dunyā wa-d-Dīn Abū Shujā‘ Muḥammad son of Malik Shāh”, who further is given the title of Qasīm-i-Amīr-al-Mūminīn, “the Associate (in the government) of the Caliph.” The author then relates how his august master commissioned him to write the present work, “seeing that I had been brought up in Fārs, although by lineage descended from a native of Balkh … and knowing that I was well acquainted with the present condition of the people of Fārs … being well versed also in the events of their history, and exactly acquainted with the story of their kings and rulers, even from the days of Kayūmarth down to this present time.” Then on fol. 3a, after a summary description of the province, and citing a few of the chief Traditions about Fārs ascribed to the Prophet Muḥammad, we start with the long line of the early Persian kings, whose history, much in epitome, closes with the last of the Sassanians and the rise of Islam, on fol. 60a. This part of the work is merely a Persian version of Ḥamzah Isfahānī, and contains, apparently, nothing new. Next very briefly the story of the Arab conquest of Fārs is narrated, ending with the reign of the Caliph ‘Alī. Here follows an interesting account, fol. 62a, of the Qādīs— chief justices—of Fārs, to which we shall return later, and then, fol. 63b, the Geographical Part (translated below) begins, concluding with the Itineraries, fol. 83b. The author afterwards returns, fol. 87a, to the history of Fārs, giving an account of the Shabānkārah tribes and the Kurds, and this narrating details of almost contemporary history is of importance, as facts and personages are mentioned not noted, apparently, elsewhere. A summary follows of the revenues of Fārs down to the time of the writer, and some of this too is new matter, for the author, as already said, was of a family of accountants, and wrote from first - hand knowledge. And, finally, fol. 90b, the MS. closes with a short note describing the days of the last Buyid rulers of Fārs, and the advent of the Saljūq Sultans.

In the following pages a complete translation will be given of the Geographical Part, but before coming to this it will be useful to summarize what our author has narrated about personages and events immediately pre­ceding his own time, and more especially the account he gives of the Kurdish tribes and of the Shabānkārah, who, at a later date, gave their name to the eastern part of the Fārs province round Dārābjird. The reader will recall to mind how about the middle of the fourth (tenth) century, namely, a century and a half before the time of our author, the Buyids, under ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah, from 338-72 (949-82) had been at the height of greatness: by the middle of the following century, however, this dynasty had collapsed before the rising power of the Saljūqs. Tughrul Beg, the founder of the new dynasty, on his death in 455 (1063), had left as heir his nephew Alp Arslān, whose brother, Qāvurd, had already, during the lifetime of Tughrul Beg, been put in possession of the government of some of the Eastern provinces, he thus ruling the most part of Persia under his uncle and brother from 433 (1041) down to the date of his death in 465 (1072). Alp Arslān was succeeded as Great Saljūq by his son, Malik Shāh, 465-85 (1072-92), whose Wazīr was the famous Niẓām-al-Mulk. Four of the sons of Malik Shāh in succession came to the throne, of whom, however, two only concern us here, and these have both been mentioned before, namely, the eldest, Bargiyāruq, 487 - 98 (1094 - 1104), in whose reign the grandfather of our author served as Revenue Accountant in Fārs; and Sulṭān Ghiyāth - ad - Dīn Muḥammad, his brother, 498-511 (1104-17), the patron of Ibn-al-Balkhī, and the prince to whom he dedicates his book. After the overthrow of the Buyids these Saljūq Sultans who ruled in their stead were wont to send their Atabegs, originally the Governors of their sons, to govern the outlying provinces, and the first of these, in Fārs, was the Atabeg Rukn-ad-Dawlah Khumārtagīn, under whom the grandfather of Ibn-al-Balkhī, as already stated, had served. The next Atabeg was Fakhr-ad-Dīn Chāulī (or Jāulī in the Arab chronicles), who was still living when our author wrote.* This Chāulī was famous for his many great buildings, and further, he had after much fighting succeeded in restoring order throughout Fārs by curbing the power of the Shabānkārah and subduing the various affiliated Kurdish tribes.

This much of the general history of the fifth century (eleventh A.D.) being premised, we come to what Ibn-al-Balkhī himself relates, which is the more valuable as being the almost contemporary history of the author’s own time. The last of the Buyids to exercise any real sovereignty in Fārs was (he says) Bākālījār or Bākālinjār (for the name is given under both forms in the B.M. MS. of the Fārs Nāmah), otherwise Abū Kālījār or Abū Kālinjār. In regard to the proper spelling of his name, it is to be remarked that in the Arab chronicle of Ibn-al-Athīr it is given as Abū Kālījār, while in the MS. of the Zīj-as-Sanjarī in the British Museum* (likewise in Arabic) the name is clearly written as Abū Kālīzār. On the other hand, Ḥāfiẓ Abrū always writes Bā or Abū Kālinjār, and this is the modern spelling (e.g. in the Fārs Nāmah Nāṣirī). The original meaning of the name is apparently unknown, but from its form it would seem to have been a nickname. The Fārs Nāmah, unfortunately, does not state who was the father of Bākālījār. The Persian historians and Ibn-al-Athīr, how­ever, agree in the statement that he was the son of Sulṭān-ad-Dawlah, son of Bahā-ad-Dawlah, and hence the great grandson of ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah.* The Guzīdah (p. 432) followed by the Ḥabīb-as-Siyār (ii, pt. 4, p. 55) gives Bākālījār the titles of ‘Izz-al-Mulūk and ‘Imād-li-Dīn Allah, the latter authority also adding the third title of Ḥisām-ad-Dawlah. Ibn-al-Balkhī, however, makes no mention of these honorary names (fol. 90b), and gives no dates. Our other authorities say this prince reigned from 415 to 440 (1024 to 1048), and at his death he left five sons. The eldest, to whom our author gives the name of Abū Naṣr, died soon after his father, being succeeded by his brother, called Abū Manṣūr, whose government was thrown into disorder by the meddling of his mother Khurāsūyah, a political busybody, who in the Zīj is referred to under the title of As-Sayyidah—“the Lady”. Abū Manṣūr at first had governed according to the advice of his Wazīr, called the Ṣāḥib ‘Ādil (he had served Bākālījār, according to the Ḥabīb, in the same capacity), a man of mark who, Ibn-al-Balkhī writes, had given a fine library to the town of Fīrūzābād; but instigated by his mother, Abū Manṣūr put this Wazīr and his son to death, after which confusion became worse confounded throughout Fārs. Matters finally reached a crisis by the revolt of Faḍlūyah, the Shabānkārah chief, who managed to get the Lady Khurāsūyah into his power, and then shutting her up in a waterless hot-bath, suffocated her. Next Abū Manṣūr was taken prisoner, and brought to the Castle of Pahan Diz (near Shīrāz), where before long he too met his death, and Fārs passed to the government of Faḍlūyah, and under the overlordship of the Saljūqs.* The Guzīdah, however, adds that after the death of this Abū Manṣūr in 448 (1056) his brother, Al-Malik Abū ‘Alī, was given, during nearly forty years, nominal rank by the Saljūq Sultans, being allowed the privileges of the Kettledrum and Banner (Ṭabl wa-‘Alam) until the date of his death in 487 (1094) in the reign of Sulṭān Bargiyāruq.

Ibn-al-Balkhī gives at some length (fols. 87a to 88b) the history of Faḍlūyah and his Shabānkārah tribesmen, with details of their descent and doings that apparently are not to be found in the accounts of other historians. The men of the Shabānkārah tribe (he writes) had originally been herdsmen in Fārs, until, with the progressive disorganization of the Buyid rule in the latter days, the Kurds had become a power in the land. At this time, according to our author, the Shabānkārah were divided among five tribes, namely, the Ismā‘īlī, the Rāmānī, the Karzuvī, the Mas‘ūdī, and the Shakānī. Of these, the Ismā‘īlī were the noblest in descent, but the most important tribe was that of the Rāmānī (or Rāhānī, as the MS. may be read), of which Faḍlūyah* was chief. He inherited this dignity from his father ‘Alī (ibn al-Ḥasan ibn Ayyūb), and had in early youth, when only a neatherd, taken service under the Ṣāḥib ‘Ādil, the Wazīr of the last Buyid prince, becoming a great warrior, and rising to command the army in Fārs. The fate of this Wazīr, and the subsequent imprisonment and death of this Buyid prince and his mother, have been narrated above, the outcome of which events being that Faḍlūyah found himself before long the virtual master of Fārs. The Saljūqs, however, had now become the ruling power in the Caliphate, and Qāvurd, brother of the reigning Sultan Alp Arslān, was sent into Fārs to bring that province to due order. Faḍlūyah, finding that matters were going against him, submitted, presented himself at the Court of Alp Arslān, and was thereupon re-established as deputy-governor of the province. He, however, had not yet learnt wisdom, for once more seeking to be independent, he revolted. The celebrated Niẓām-al-Mulk, the Wazīr of Alp Arslān, thereupon besieged him, taking him prisoner in the Castle of Diz Khurshah, where he had sought refuge. From here he was sent to the castle of Iṣṭakhr, but managing in time to corrupt his guards, got this strong­hold into his own hands. Sultan Alp Arslān on this lost patience, Faḍlūyah was hunted down and caught, and to avoid further trouble, after being put to death, his skin was stuffed with straw as a manifest warning to his neighbours.* Fārs, after the death of Faḍlūyah, was put under the rule of the Atabeg Rukn-ad-Dawlah Khumār­tagīn, the patron of our author’s grandfather, as already narrated, but Ibn-al-Balkhī adds that in his day some of the Rāmānī still were to be found living under a chief called Ibrāhīm ibn Razmān, also under a certain Mahamat, son of Abū Naṣr ibn Malāk, whose name was Shaybān.

According to Ibn-al-Balkhī, the noble tribe of the Ismā‘īlī Shabānkārah were descended from Minūchahr, grandson of the celebrated Farīdūn, an ancient and mythical king of Persia, and the chiefs of the Ismā‘īlī had aforetime been Ispahbads, or sub-kings, under the Sassanians. After the Arab conquest their tribe was settled in the Dasht Urd meadowlands, and in this neighbourhood remained, till the coming into those parts of Sulṭān Mas‘ūd, son of Maḥmūd of Ghaznah, some time between 421 and 432 (1030 and 1040). His general Nāsh Farrāsh,* finding the Ismā‘īlī tribe in possession of Isfahān, expelled them, causing them to migrate south to the lands round Kamah and Fārūq. The Buyids having reason to object to their presence here, they next wandered westward and ultimately settled round Dārābjird, where, in the times of Bākālījār, they were ruled by two brothers, Muḥammad and Namrad, the sons of Yaḥyā. The descendants of these two brothers, of course, quarrelled as to who should be chief of the tribe. Muḥammad had left two sons, Bayān and Salk, the latter again leaving a son called Ḥasūyah, while Namrad had a son called Mamā, who became the father of Ibrāhīm ibn Mamā. The first chief of the clan had been Muḥammad, the elder brother of Namrad; and he, our author states, in sign of his rank “was wont to strike (the Kettledrum) five times, the same becoming a custom among these people almost down to the present time, but which has now been forbidden by the Atabeg Chāulī” (successor in Fārs of the Atabeg Khumārtagīn). On the death of this Muḥammad the elder son Bayān succeeded, but was put to death by his uncle Namrad, who seized on the chiefship of the tribe, establishing himself in Dārābjird. Salk, Bayān’s younger brother, thereupon called in the aid of Faḍlūyah, at this time ruling supreme throughout Fārs, as described above. Faḍlūyah re-established Salk in the chiefship, routed (and presumably killed) Namrad, and at the date when our author wrote, Ḥasūyah, son of Salk, was chief in his father’s room, governing the towns of Ij, Fustajān, Iṣṭahbānāt, and Darakān, with other places of the Dārābjird district. But, as Ibn-al-Balkhī adds, between the cousins there could be no peace, Salk ibn Muḥammad, and his son Ḥasūyah after him, living in perpetual war with Mamā ibn Namrad and his son Ibrāhīm ibn Mamā, and this state of things still obtained at the time when our author wrote.

The three remaining Shabānkārah tribes were of less importance. The chief of the Karzuvī clan was a certain Abū Sa‘d, who is mentioned more than once in the geographical part of the work. Abū Sa‘d was the son of a certain Muḥammad ibn Mamā; he took service under Faḍlūyah, and in the disorders of the last Buyid days obtained possession of Kāzirūn with its districts. All this country he held till the arrival of the Atabeg Chāulī in Fārs, who before long dispossessed him of Kāzirūn. Abū Sa‘d, when our author wrote, was apparently already dead, having left a son named, after his early patron, Faḍlūyah (ibn Abū Sa‘d), now become chief of the remnant of the Karzuvī clan.

Of the Mas‘ūdī tribe, the chief had been a certain Amīruwayh, who, making himself powerful in the time of Faḍlūyah, was put in possession of the castle of Sahārah, near Fīrūzābād, together with some neighbouring fiefs. The Atabeg Khumārtagīn, coming to Fārs, allowed him to hold all these under the Saljūq overlordship, and then Amīruwayh got into his possession the city of Fīrūzābād. Next the Mas‘ūdī, now become a powerful tribe, seized most of the district of Shāpūr Khūrah, round Kāzirūn, in addition to the lands of Fīrūzābād. The rise to power of Abū Sa‘d, the chief of the Karzuvī clan, however, proved the ruin of Amīruwayh and his people: fighting took place, and the town of Kāzirūn, held by Amīruwayh, having been taken by storm, Abū Sa‘d forthwith put that chief to death. Amīruwayh left a son, Vishtāsf by name, and after Abū Sa‘d had himself come to his end, and when the Atabeg Chāulī had Fārs firmly under rule, he confirmed Vishtāsf, who was related to Ḥasūyah of the Ismā‘īlī clan on the mother’s side, in possession of Fīrūzābād, where he governed till his death. When our author wrote, the Mas‘ūdī were ruled by a certain Siyāh Mīl, descended from this Vishtāsf. In the geographical part of the work he is stated to have held the castle of Būshkānāt, and there were also of this family the two sons of a certain Abū-l-Habaḥ, who still held rank in our author’s time. The last clan of the Shabānkārah to be mentioned is that of the Shakānī, who lived in the mountain-lands of the coast or hot region. They were for the most part robbers and highwaymen, Ibn-al-Balkhī states, but had been brought to order in recent times by the Atabeg Chāulī.

Our author next speaks of the Kurd tribes, who in Fārs were divided among the Five Ramms (clans)* named the Jilūyah (or Jilawayh), the Ramm-adh-Dhīwān, the Lawa­lijān, the Kariyān, and the Bazūyān, and these five clans had occupied, he says, originally one hundred thousand Jawmahs, villages or households. In the days of the Sassanians, according to Ibn-al-Balkhī, the Kurdish troops of the Great King had been the flower of the Persian armies; hence, at the time of the Moslem conquest, of the Kurd warriors all, save one man only, had fallen in the numerous battles against the Arab invaders. The one survivor, ‘Alak by name, had subsequently become a Moslem, and some of his descendants were yet living when our author wrote. He adds that the Kurds settled in Fārs in his day were of a tribe that had been brought down there by ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah the Buyid from the neighbourhood of Isfahān.

Ibn-al-Balkhī closes this section of his book (fols. 88b-89b) with a short discussion as to how the Persians, who are a refractory folk, may best be governed, whether by force or by clemency. In regard to the Shabānkārah more especially, he remarks that you will certainly be respected by any one of these turbulent tribesmen if by force you take his turban and then restore it, and this much more than if in the first instance you had generously given him a new turban of your own as a present, for doing which indeed he would only despise you.

Immediately following after the very meagre notice of the Moslem conquest of Persia Ibn-al-Balkhī has inserted a short account of the family of the Chief Justice of Fārs (fols. 62a-63b); a summary of these paragraphs will be of use, before passing to the translation of the Geographical Section of his work, where an allusion to the family of the Shīrāz judge occurs. As is patent throughout his work, our author was an orthodox Sunnī, and he held in horror the Shī‘ah tendencies of the Buyids, whose heterodox beliefs (he further avers) had always when possible been combated by the Qādīs of Shīrāz. These judges were of a family come down in direct descent from Abū Burdah of the Arab tribe of Fazārah,* and during the reign of the Caliph Rāḍī, that is to say between 322 and 329 (934-40), the grandson of the grandson of this Abū Burdah, by name Abū Muḥammad ‘Abd-Allah, was promoted from being Judge in Baghdād to be Qādī-al-Qudāt, or Chief Justice of Fārs, his juris­diction being afterwards extended to include the outlying provinces of Kirmān and ‘Omān, with the city of Tīz in Makrān. Ibn-al-Balkhī adds that the Qādī Abū Muḥammad, who had composed no less than eighteen works on juris­prudence, “had every care to order well, with good intent, both the (orthodox) Faith and the (Sunnī) Tradition, thus firmly laying the foundations in the matter of the Law.” ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah, the Buyid prince of that day, in spite of his own strong inclination towards the Shī‘ah doctrines, had honoured the Qādī with his trust and esteem, for, putting him to the proof, he had ever found him to be incorruptible. This Abū Muḥammad left five sons: Abū Naṣr, the youngest, succeeded him in the judgeship, of whom later; next Abū Dharr and Abū Zuhayr, who settled down as Dihqāns, or provincial nobles, in Kirmān; Abū Ṭāhir, who acted as his father’s deputy in the Kirmān judgeship, and was called to the Sublime Court (Dargāh-i-A‘lā, Baghdād presumably) for consultations on the affairs of that province; and lastly Abū-l-Ḥasan, who, after having been associated with his younger brother (Abū Naṣr) in the Fārs judgeship, was sent for by Sultan Maḥmūd, some time between 388 and 421 (998 and 1030), who appointed him Qādī at Ghaznah, and his descendants still held the office of judge there at the time when Ibn-al-Balkhī wrote. Abū Naṣr, the youngest of the Qādī Abū Muḥammad’s five sons, as already said succeeded him as Judge of Fārs. He was a man of great learning and influence throughout the province, his power coming to be increased upon his marriage with the only daughter of the Mirdāsī chief, a family of local nobility. His son was named ‘Abd-Allah, and when in due course he succeeded to the office of Chief Justice he became also, in his mother’s right, the hereditary chief noble of the Fārs district. This power, judicial and tribal, Ibn-al-Balkhī adds, had afterwards passed to both his son and grandson, whose names our author does not specify, and the grandson was Judge of Shīrāz when our author wrote. The Judge ‘Abd-Allah had flourished in the reign of Bākālījār, the penultimate Buyid prince, whose heterodox Shī‘ah pro­clivities the orthodox ‘Abd-Allah had always valiantly striven to combat; and further, to his exceeding honour, a brother of the Qādī ‘Abd-Allah had through scruples of conscience always refused to be made judge in Isfahān. But, as our author writes, “in the days of Bākālījār, the sect of the Seven Imāms had become very rampant,” and to the grief of Qādī Abd-Allah the Buyid prince now appeared to be paying great attention to the preaching of a certain Shi‘ah missioner named Abū Naṣr ibn ‘Amrān, whom the people also were beginning to look upon as a prophet. The pious zeal of the judge becoming inflamed by the disastrous influence which the missioner was getting to exercise over Bākālījār, with much astuteness demanded a private audience, and succeeded in persuading the Buyid prince that the missioner, having succeeded in corrupting the fidelity of the troops, was now inciting them to revolt against the Government. Bākālījār thereupon, without pausing to inquire, ordered out a hundred men of his Persian horse-guards and a hundred of his Turk pages, putting them under the orders of a trustworthy person supplied by the Qādī ‘Abd-Allah. This officer managed matters promptly and cleverly. The missioner was seized and carried many days on horseback without rest or delay, being at length set free on the further side of the Euphrates, where a decree was forthwith published that it were lawful to slay him if he repassed that stream eastward.

With this anecdote our author concludes his notice of the Chief Justices, and next comes the description of the province of Fārs (fols. 63b-86b), which will be found translated in the pages which follow. For a general description of the province and its towns, I may refer the reader to the chapter on Fārs in The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate. References to the earlier Arab geographers are to the texts printed in the volumes of the Biblioteca Geographorum Arabicorum (BGA.) of De Goeje. For the present condition of the province I have consulted the (modern) Fārs Nāmah Nāṣirī (referred to as FNN.), written by Ḥājī Mirzā Ḥasan Ṭabīb of Shīrāz (folio lithograph, Tihrān, A.H. 1313, A.D. 1895), of which the great map, in Persian, on the scale of about ten miles to the inch, gives us the position of every village and stream throughout the province. This work has enabled me to identify many names written defectively in the manuscript, and also to verify the fact in regard to the names which, in the lapse of eight centuries since Ibn-al-Balkhī wrote, have disappeared leaving no trace.* And it may be remarked that in many cases the name of an ancient town, or village, that has disappeared, is preserved in the modern district, and sometimes vice versa.


Section giving the description of Fārs.—This land, after the coming of Islām, became the first camping-ground of the Arab armies, but in the days of the old Persian kings Fārs was the centre of their government and the original seat of their power. For at that time all the countries from the banks of the Oxus to the borders of the Euphrates went by the name of the Land of the Persians; all here were the cities of the Persians, and all the world paid them taxes and tribute. When, however, Islām arose and Fārs came to be conquered, this province became the camping-ground of [one of the armies of] ‘Irāq, for no sooner had the Moslems come hither than they took up their quarters permanently in the land, on the one part the troops from Kūfah, on the other those from Baṣrah, and from this base they went forth to the conquest of all lands and to subjugate the [eastern] world. Afterwards they gave the names of these two townships, whence originally the armies of Islām had been recruited, to the conquered provinces. Now, the army from Kūfah had taken possession of Quhistān and Jibāl, [with all the country from] Isfahān to Ray and Dāmghān [going north] to Ṭabaristān; these provinces, therefore, were given the name of Māh Kūfah, and in the [registers of] taxes this name still occurs. The army from Baṣrah, on the other hand, had conquered Baḥrayn and ‘Omān, with Tīz in Makrān, also Kirmān, Fārs, and Khūzistān, with the adjacent lands and the Arab districts that lie on the frontier; and so all this region came to be known as Māh Baṣrah, and in the registers this name too occurs. Fārs, therefore, is one of the Baṣrah camping-grounds, for it was conquered by the army from Baṣrah, and it came to be called Māh-al-Baṣrah, and the name is so written in the registers.

The extent of Fārs, with its districts, is 150 leagues in length by 150 leagues in breadth. In regard to the positions of the angles [of its frontier line], these, as shown in the figure on the margin of the manuscript* lie at the four cardinal points, east, west, north, and south, and not at the corners [to the N.E., N.W., S.E., and S.W.]. Thus, the shape of the province is a square [or lozenge], of which the angles are to the four main points of the compass, while the four sides lie cross-wise facing the intervening compass-points, all of which will be clearly understood if the accompanying figure drawn [on the margin of the manuscript], and which represents the outline of the province, be carefully considered. The frontier lands at these four angles of Fārs are as follows: To the north the [province here] adjoins Isfahān, the frontier between Isfahān and Fārs being at Yazdikhwāst, and then come Yazd, Abar­qūyah, and [on the other side] Sumayram. The eastern angle of Fārs is towards Kirmān, in the direction of Sīrjān, the frontier being at Rūdān. This place Rūdān was originally in the Fārs province, but in the reign of the late Sulṭān Alp Arslān, when the frontier came to be re-established between Fārs and Kirmān, at the time that Qāvurd [his brother was made governor of Fārs], Rūdān was then counted as of Kirmān. The angle to the south lies on the seashore at the frontier of Kirmān, and the districts of Huzū are at this place; and next comes the Sīf [or Coast District] lying along the sea. The western angle of Fārs is towards Khūzistān, in the direction of the Sea of ‘Omān, the frontier being near Arrajān [which should of right be counted] as of the province of Fārs. However, at the time when [the Buyid prince] Bākālījār* was driven from his kingdom, the governor of that district was a certain Wazīr, Abu-l-‘Alā by name, and he, making common cause with Hazār Asp* [the chief of that frontier], delivered over Arrajān into his hands. Hence it has come about that since the time when Khūzistān [about 443 (1051)] on the first establishment of the present [Saljūq] dynasty, was placed under the governorship of Hazār Asp, Arrajān has been included in the Khūzistān province.

Description of the Kūrahs [Districts] of Fārs.—The province of Fārs contains five [Districts or] Kūrahs, and each Kūrah is called after the name of the king who first established it; these districts therefore stand thus: the Iṣṭakhr Kūrah, that of Dārābjird, that of Ardashīr Khūrah,* of Shāpūr Khūrah, and of Qubād Khūrah; and each one of these five Kūrahs contains various cities and sub-districts, as will be fully detailed in what follows.


The name of this district is from [the capital, Persepolis] Iṣṭakhr, which same was the first city to be built in Fārs, and it was founded by [the mythical king] Kayūmarth. The Kūrah extends over a total area of 50 leagues in the breadth by 50 in length. Its frontiers in the length are at Yazd [on the east] and at Hazār Dirakht [“the Thousand Trees,” on the west],* and in the breadth extend from Qūhistān* to Nāyrīz. The chief cities of the Kūrah are the following.

Yazd.—This city, with its dependent towns Maybud, Nāyīn, Kathah [Old Yazd], and Fahraj, with some others, belongs to Fārs, and it lies on the frontier of the Iṣṭakhr Kūrah. Yazd has its water from underground channels [kārīz]; its climate is temperate, but by reason that the city stands on the border of the [Great] Desert, it is at times hot. Fruits of all kinds grow well, and pome­granates are in greater abundance here than anywhere else, those of Maybud being the best in quality. In Fahraj the water-melons are excellent, sweet, and so large that two of them are a load for any beast.* In the districts round silk is produced, for the mulberry-tree here is abundant. Further, they manufacture excellent cloths in brocade, also of the kind named mushṭī, farakh,* and the like, for in [Yazd] they rear goats only, no sheep, and the hair from these is very strong. The people [of Yazd] are all of the Sunnī sect, orthodox, pious, and strict [in religious observance]. The coin in use here is known as the Amīrī gold piece, and three of these dīnārs go to the red dīnār.*

Greater and Lesser Urd.—A meadow-land, 30 leagues in length by 3 in breadth. In this meadow-land there are districts that are full of villages with fiefs paying the state and the land taxes.* The chief town of those districts is Bajjah.* The climate here is extremely cold, hence there are neither trees nor gardens. Both in the plain and in the hills around are many springs. In this district also is a village [called Kushk-i-Zard*], of the state-domains, and this is the frontier village of the district. All these places are most populous, and to this district also belong the villages of Dih Gawz, Abādah, and Shūristān.*

Kūrad and Kallār.* —Kūrad is a small town, Kallār a large village; and a wide district lies round them, producing corn crops, for the climate here is very cold. There are running streams, and the source of the River Kur is in this district. It is most populous.

Isfīdān and Qūhistān.* —Both these places are much like Kūrad. The climate here is extremely cold; and in the neighbourhood there is a cavern in the mountain that can be used as a place of refuge.

Yazdikhwāst.—This place, with Dih Gawz, Shūristān, Abādah [above mentioned], and other villages of these parts are all of the cold district, growing corn but no fruit. There are running streams and springs here, but at Shūristan [“the Salt Village”] the water is brackish.

Khabraz and Sarvāt.—[Both these are] small towns, having many districts round them, of which they are the chief places. The climate here is cold but temperate; there are running streams and springs, and fruit of all kinds is grown plentifully. The district is populous, and in the chief town there is a mosque for the Friday prayers.*

Khabrak and Qālī.Khabrak is a large village and Qālī a meadow-land, some [5 or 6]* leagues in length. The climate here is cold but healthy; also there are hunting-grounds. Their water is from the river [Purvāb], which is very wholesome. The district is populous, and near by is the village of Khuvār, the climate and water of which are as aforesaid, and here too there is a castle called Qal‘ah Khuvār.

Māyīn.—A small town in the hill country, lying at the foot of a pass, at a point where many roads meet. The climate is cold, and the water from running streams excellent. They have corn and fruit, but in no great quantities. Most of the people here are thieves and robbers.

Abarqūyah.—Abarqūyah is a small town, with a broad district round it, having a temperate climate, somewhat cooler than that of Yazd. Its water is from running streams partly, and in part from underground channels. There are corn-lands, and much fruit is grown. It is a pleasant place, with an invigorating climate, but other crops [beyond those above mentioned] do not grow here. The town is populous, and there is a mosque for the Friday prayers.

Iqlīd.—A small town, with a fortress; also a mosque for the Friday prayers. The climate is cool, for it lies in the cold country, and is both temperate and invigorating. The water is good, being from running streams. Fruits of all kinds are cultivated here, and there are corn-lands, but no other crops are grown. The place is very populous.*

Surmaq and Arjumān.—[Both are] small towns, with their districts, that resemble in every way Iqlīd. They also grow here apricots; the equal thereof for excellence and sweetness will not be found anywhere else in all the world, and the dried apricots from this place are exported to other lands. The district is very populous.

Rūn Greater and Lesser.* —These are meadow-lands, 16 leagues in length by 2 in width. There are many districts among these meadows, where are fiefs and crown lands*; and the chief town lies among gardens. The climate is cold, their water is from springs, and they have hardly any fruit, nothing being grown except corn. You go from here to the pass above Māyīn, a fearful road, by reason of the footpads, who infest all the villages of that district.

Kāmfīrūz.* —A district lying on the banks of [the River Kur]. There is here a great forest of oak-trees, with medlars and willows. Lions are met with in great numbers, very fierce and bold, and in no other place [in Fārs] are they so numerous. The climate is cold, but temperate, and they get their water from the river [Kur], which is excellent and digestible. The chief town of the district is [Tīr Māyijān],* but most of its villages are now in ruin.

Kamah, Fārūq, and Lasīrā.* —[Three] small towns, with many villages and their districts. The climate here is cold but temperate. There are many fine running streams, and much fruit of all kinds is grown. Hunting-grounds abound near by. All the district is populous, and in the chief town is a mosque for the Friday prayers.

Ṣāhah and Harāh.* —Two small towns; the climate here is temperate, but running streams are scarce. In Ṣāhah they get iron, and of the steel make swords and other blades, which [after the name of the town] are called Chāhakī. Both these towns are populous, each having a mosque for the Friday prayers.

Bavvān and Marvast.* —Bavvān is a small town, with a mosque for Friday prayers; and Marvast is like it. There are fruit orchards, so extensive that their trees make a forest. These two towns lie near the districts of Kirmān. The climate is temperate, and there are running streams; also, both places are very populous.

Abraj.* —A large village lying at the foot of a hill. This hill is their sure refuge, and they have dug their houses, [building them] one above another in its flank. An abundant stream flows down from its summit, and the water for the whole district is taken from this.

Iṣṭakhr* and Marvdasht.—Iṣṭakhr in the days of the ancient Persian kings was their capital. It was, in fact, first founded by Kayūmarth, and after him each king on his accession added something to the city, more especially Tahmūrath, who built here many palaces. When Jamshīd came to be king of [Persia and] the whole world, he made Iṣṭakhr such an enormous city that its limits extended from Ḥafrak or Khafrak [on the east] to the further parts of Rāmjird [on the west], its area measuring 4 leagues in length by 10 in breadth. Within the circuit of the city there were three castles, one Qal‘ah Iṣṭakhr, the second Qal‘ah Shikastah [the Broken Castle], and the third Qal‘ah Shakanvān. These were known as the Three Domes.* Next he built a palace at the foot of the hill, the equal of which was not to be found in the whole world; and the description thereof is after this wise. At the foot of the hill [north of Iṣṭakhr] Jamshīd laid out a platform of solid stone that was black in colour, the platform being four-sided, one side against the hill foot and the other three sides towards the plain, and the height of the platform was on all sides 30 ells. In the fore-face thereof he built two stairways, so easy of ascent that horsemen could ride up without difficulty. Then upon the platform he erected columns of solid blocks in white stone, so finely worked that even in wood it might be impossible to make the like by turner’s art or by carving; and these columns were very tall. Some were after one pattern, while others were differently carved; and among the rest there were two pillars in particular which stood before the threshold [of the palace], these being square in shape, and formed of a white stone that resembled marble. Nowhere else in all the province of Fārs is any stone like this found, and no one knows whence these blocks were brought. This stone is [a stiptic] for wounds, hence they break off pieces thereof, and when any one has received a hurt they file some piece of the stone down, and laying [the powder] on the wound it forthwith is staunched. The wonder is how­ever these great stones were set up here, for each pillar measures more than 30 ells round and about, being also more than 40 ells in height; and each is built up of only two or [at most] three blocks. Further, there is to be seen here the figure of [the steed] Burāq,* and the figure is after this fashion: the face is as the face of a man with a beard and curly hair, with a crown set on the head, but the body, with the fore and hind legs, are those of a bull, and the tail is a bull’s tail. Now all these columns had borne originally upper stories erected on their summits, but of these buildings no trace now remains. Round and about lie mounds of clay, and the people going up there dig out this clay and wash it; and they find in among the clay Indian tutty,* which same is a medicament for the eyes; but no one knows how this has here come to be mixed up with the clay. In Iṣṭakhr everywhere and about may be seen the sculptured portrait of Jamshīd, [and he is represented] as a powerful man with a well-grown beard, a handsome face, and curly hair. In many places his likeness has been so set that he faces [south to] the sun. In one hand he holds a staff, and in the other a censer, in which incense is burning, and he is worshipping the sun. In other places he is represented with his left hand grasping the neck of a lion, or else seizing a wild ass by the head, or again he is taking a unicorn [or rhinoceros] by the horn, while in his right hand he holds a hunting-knife, which he has plunged into the belly of the lion or unicorn aforesaid. In the hill [above Iṣṭakhr] they have made a hot-bath, cutting tanks in the solid rock; and the water which flows into these tanks from the sides and the ceilings is from a natural hot spring, which goes to prove that the source of the water lies in a sulphur-bed. On the hill-summit [beyond Iṣṭakhr] are many great Dakhmahs,* to which the people have given the name of the Prison of the Wind.

The Marvdasht District* in part was built over by the houses of the city [of Iṣṭakhr], but the greater portion was occupied by the gardens of Jamshīd’s palaces. The River Purvāb is the celebrated stream that flows past Iṣṭakhr and through the Marvdasht district; its waters are wholesome to drink. The climate of Iṣṭakhr is cold but temperate, and resembles that of Isfahān. In the early days of Islām when Iṣṭakhr was first conquered [by the Arabs], once and twice even the people revolted treacherously, which led to a massacre of the inhabitants, as has been already mentioned in the first [historical] part of the present work, and the city was laid in ruins. Then long after this, in the latter part of the reign of Bākālījār [the Būyid], there was a certain Wazīr who, being at enmity with another [noble], set out to contend with him. Upon this the Amīr Qutulmish* came up with a [third] army, and they [fought], demolishing all that remained of [ancient] Iṣṭakhr, and pillaged the whole township. Wherefore at the present time Iṣṭakhr is become a mere village, with only a hundred men for population. The River Kur [as already said] flows through [the plain of] Marvdasht; its source is near Kallār, and it flows out into Lake Bakhtigān, the description of which will come in its proper place. Near Iṣṭakhr is seen the mountain of Nafasht, on which was preserved the Book of Zand,* which [the prophet] Zoroaster revealed.

Rāmjird.* —A district lying on the banks of the [Kur] River. In this part of the stream they had in former days erected a dam in order to secure a sufficiency of water to irrigate the lands, but in the times of disorder [when the Arabs overran Persia] this dam fell to ruin, and all the district of Rāmjird went out of cultivation. In recent years the Atabeg Chāulī has rebuilt this dam, and the country round has again been brought under cultivation. This dam is named [after the Atabeg whose surname is Fakhr-ad-Dawlah] the Fakhristān. The climate of the district is cold but temperate, and there are corn-lands giving abundant crops, but no fruit is grown.

Quṭruh.* —A small town with a temperate climate. There are running streams, and both corn and fruit are grown. It is now under the rule of Ḥasūyah.* There are iron-mines here, and the district is populous.

Khayrah and Nayrīz.* —These are two small towns, and Nayrīz possesses a castle. They grow grapes here abundantly, and most of the grapes they dry to make raisins. The climate is temperate, and there are running streams. In each town there is a mosque for the Friday prayers, for they are very populous. Near by is the district governed by Ḥasūyah, and in Khayrah there is a very strongly fortified castle* on a hill-top.

Upper and Lower Kirbāl.* —[In these districts] they have built three dams across the Kur River, whose waters serve to irrigate their lands. Of these districts parts are of the hot region, parts of the cold, and there are corn-lands.

Bayḍā.* —A small but well-built town, and the soil here is white, and it is from this fact that the place has its name. Before the gate of the town there stretches out a fine meadow-land, 10 leagues in length by 10 leagues in width, and in all the country round there is none other to equal it. There are many dependent districts, and the fruit grown here is excellent, being of all kinds. The climate is cold but temperate, and running streams of good water abound. The town is populous, with a mosque for the Friday prayers. In the neighbourhood of Bayḍā lie the two [villages of] Āsh and Ṭūr.*

Abādah.* —A small town, having a strongly fortified castle. The climate is temperate, and its water is derived from the overflow of the Kur River, for near by lies the lake [of Bakhtigān]. Grapes in abundance grow here. The district [governed by] Ḥasūyah is near here, and it is very populous.

Khurramah.* —A small but pleasant town, with a temperate climate and running streams. Fruit and corn grow abundantly. There is a castle here, on the hill-top, which is very strongly fortified and known as Qal‘ah Khurramah; in the town is a mosque for the Friday prayers.

Dih Mūrd and Rādān.* —Two villages lying at no great distance from Bavvān. The climate is cold, and in the first-named village myrtles grow abundantly.