THIS district* takes its name from Dārā [Darius] the Great, son of King Bahman ibn Isfandiyār.

Dārābjird.* —This city was founded by Dārā, son of Bahman. It was built circular as though the line of circumference had been drawn with compasses. A strong fortress stood in the centre of the town, surrounded by a ditch kept full of water, and the fortress had four gates. But now the town lies all in ruins, and nought remains except the wall and the ditch. The climate here is that of the hot region, and there are date-palms. The streams of running water are of bad quality. A kind of bitumen [mūmīyā] is found [near Dārābjird] at a place up in the mountain, which bubbles up and falls drop by drop. Also there is a rock-salt found in these parts which is of seven colours where it comes to the surface of the ground.

Purg and Tārum.* —Two small towns, of which Purg is the larger, where there is a strong castle. Both towns lie on the frontier of Kirmān, and they are of the hot region, whereby the dates and raisin-syrup [shāb] consumed in that region for the most part come from here. Indeed, the whole revenue from hence is derived from [the tax on] dates and corn. They also weave excellently here by hand-loom. In both towns there is a mosque for the Friday prayers, and the [celebrated basin called] Pharaoh’s Cup* is to be seen near here.

Pasā.* —This is a great city that was founded by King Bahman, father of Dārā [Darius]. It was formerly as large in area as Isfahān, but now is gone to decay, so that the most part lies in ruin. It has many dependencies and districts. Their water is entirely obtained from under­ground channels, for there are neither springs nor brooks. The climate is temperate and bracing, the place being very pleasant and good to live in. The products of both the hot and the cold regions are to be found here, so that in all the gardens of Pasā you will find nuts and oranges, citrons and grapes, with figs and the like, namely, tropical fruits, together with those of the north, all in abundance. Indeed, there is no place equal to this elsewhere. There is also a strong fortress in Pasā, which the Shabānkārah had left in ruin, but which the Atabeg Chāulī has rebuilt. Kurm and Rūnīz are of the dependencies of Pasā.

Kurm and Rūnīz.* —These are two towns lying on the road into Pasā [from the north]. The climate is temperate; there are running streams; also in each town a mosque for the Friday prayer, and in both the districts corn and fruits are grown. In the time of one of the Atabegs, when misfortune had overwhelmed Purg, the people of [Kurm and Rūnīz] also behaved traitorously, on which [the Atabeg] took both towns by assault and laid them in ruin.

Shaqq Rūdbāl [“the River Gorge”] and Shaqq Mīshānān.* —These are two districts of the dependencies of Pasā. They are of the hot region, and corn is grown here, the water being from underground channels. There are many villages and farmsteads, but no town here. Now in these parts are many other districts like the above, but which will not here be more particularly described, lest we run to too great a length, and all are alike one to another.

Ḥasū, Darākān, Miṣṣ, and Rustāq-ar-Rustāq.* —All these places are of the Dārābjird District and have a hot climate. The date-palm grows here, for there are running streams; also other fruit-trees abound. The [pass called] Tang-i-Ranbah* lies near here, and in the middle of the pass stands a strongly fortified castle, which was formerly held by Ibrahīm ibn Mamā.* It is now garrisoned by the Kirmān troops.

Ij and Fustajān.* —The [first town, otherwise called] Ig, was in former times a mere village, but under the rule of Ḥasūyah it became a city. Its climate is temperate, but the water here is indigestible. Fruit is in plenty, more especially grapes. There is a mosque for the Friday prayers [in Ij]. Wayshkān* is a small town, now in ruins, with a bracing climate, though it lacks for water.

Iṣṭahbān.* —A small town full of trees such as bear every kind of fruit. It has running streams, and there is a castle here, that is very strongly fortified, and was formerly in the hands of Ḥasūyah.

Jahram.* —A medium-sized town, neither large nor small. There are corn-lands here, and much cotton is grown, which is also exported. Kirbās [a kind of muslin] too comes from here, and the [celebrated] Jahramī blankets [zīlū] are woven in this town. The climate is that of the hot region, and water is from both under­ground channels and from running brooks. There is a castle here called [Khurshah],* very strongly built, and he from whom this castle took its name was a certain Arab, of the time of [the Omayyad viceroy] Ḥajjāj, and this [Khurshah] built the fortress. [Faḍlūyah of the] Shabānkārah* rebelled in this castle, but Niẓām-al-Mulk laid siege to the place, taking it by assault. At the time when Persia [was conquered by the first Caliphs]* this town of Jahram was accounted especially to belong to the heir-apparent [of the Persian Chosroes], hence he who was declared heir to the throne, was held nominally to be the Governor of Jahram.

Mīshkānāt.* —A district near Nayrīz, and the road going through it leads to Nayrīz. It is in every way like to Nayrīz and Khayrah [which are of the Iṣṭakhr Kūrah], though Mīshkānāt belongs by all accounts to the Dārābjird Kūrah.

Juwaym of Abū Aḥmad.* —This is of the Irāhistān District, of which indeed it is the Jawmah [or chief town. Further, though this last district is counted as of Ardashīr Khūrah, Juwaym] is of the Dārābjird Kūrah. It is of the hot region, and its water comes from under­ground channels and from wells. Dates and corn are grown here, and kirbās [muslin] is manufactured. There is a castle here, known as Qal‘ah Samīrān,* and the town has a mosque for Friday prayers. The people, like all the rest of the men of Irāhistān, are a warlike folk, being for the most part noted as footpads, thieves, and highwaymen.


This district takes its name of Ardashīr Khūrah—“the Glory of King Ardashīr”—from Ardashīr the son of Bābak [founder of the Sassanian dynasty]; and he began his reign by building the city of Fīrūzābād, as has been already mentioned [in the historical portion of our work]. The cities and sub-districts of this Kūrah are as follows.

Shīrāz and its Districts.—In the days of the [older] Persian kings, where Shīrāz now stands was but [a townless] district with some forts lying in the open countryside. After the [Arab invasion and] the establish­ment of Islām, the place remained in the same desolate state till the reign of [the Omayyad Caliph] ‘Abd-al-Malik [65-86 (685-705)], who appointed Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf his viceroy in these lands. Ḥajjāj thereupon sent his own brother, Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf, to act as his lieutenant in Fārs, of which he became later the permanent governor, and it was this Muḥammad who laid the foundations of Shīrāz. The original extent of Shīrāz was equal to that of Isfahān, and they even say that Shīrāz was a hundred paces the greater [in length]; but now the city all lies in ruins, and except for one or two quarters all the older part has disappeared. But during the times of the Buyid rule [fourth (tenth) century] it had come to be so densely populated that there was no room within the city for the garrison of [Daylamite] soldiers, for which reason ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah established a place for them outside Shīrāz, to which he gave the name of Gird Fanā Khusrū.* Here he laid out most excellent market streets, of which the rents* for the shops amounted to 16,000 dīnārs [yearly, about £8,000], which sum was paid into his treasury. The place, however, has now so gone to ruin that the area of Gird Fanā Khusrū is at present merely a ploughed field, which yields a crop valued at 250 dīnārs [yearly]. The actual rent that it pays, however, is never more than one hundred and odd dīnārs, and the remainder of the site is of but small value, the rent being less. The climate of Shīrāz is cold but temperate, like that of Isfahān. The water comes in part from the river and in part is from underground channels. The fruit here is most excellent, and of all sorts and kinds. The people of Shīrāz are a turbulent folk and valiant. The [Buyid prince] ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah had built himself a palace [in the city], with many fine gardens; but Abū Ghānim, the son of ‘Amīd-ad-Dawlah, when he took up his abode in the castle of Pahan-Diz,* laid the palace in ruins, carrying off the woodwork and the iron, which he made use of for the needs of the new castle [of Pahan-Diz]. In early days Shīrāz had no town wall, but at the time when the present [Saljūq] dynasty was coming to power Bākālījār [the Buyid prince] caused stones to be cut, and with them built a strong wall that went all round and about the city. Of this wall the remains may still be seen. Then, again, during the latter days of the Buyid dynasty, when there was continual fighting between Qāvurd [brother of Alp Arslān] and Faḍlūyah [the Shabānkārah chief], Shīrāz was raided again and again, whereby all its lands were given to ruin, and so remained till the coming of the good times when [the Atabeg] Rukn-ad-Dawlah [Khumārtagīn] was appointed governor, who knew how to restore matters to order, giving peace to the country, so that [houses were rebuilt] and the lands were again brought under cultivation. Later on, however, during a single year, the city was twice stormed during the troubles of suc­cessive Shabānkārah insurrections, and then again it was ravaged by the Turks and the Turkomans, who carried off all that they could lay hands on, exacting a poll-tax also on every man of the inhabitants, so that they were absolutely brought to beggary. But there is hope now that by the power of the present [Saljūq] government— which may Allah perpetuate!—security will be permanently re-established, for Shīrāz, indeed, is a city that is without equal when its population live in peace. The Friday mosque in Shīrāz is a noble building, and then there is the Hospital [bīmāristān] of ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah, though this is now fallen into disrepair. Again, there is the Library, which is very excellent. That portion of the city which is still inhabited stands under the protection and in the oversight of the family of the Chief Justice of Fārs,* for he is of untiring effort to relieve the wants of the poor and needy of the city.

Kavār.* —A small town, most pleasant to live in, having many dependent districts, where there are extensive orchards. Fruit here [is so abundant that it fetches] no price, though all the fruit grown here is of excellent condition. Especially so is the pomegranate, which is the equal of that which comes from Tihrān, and there are good quinces, also almonds in abundance. Hence most of the provisions consumed in Shīrāz and its district are brought thither from here. Further, they grow much corn, also both kirbās [muslin] and reed matting are made here. The climate is cold but temperate. They get their water from the River Thakān, and near by are excellent hunting-grounds. There is a mosque for the Friday prayers in this town; but the people are a rough folk and very thick-witted.

Khabr.* —This is a small town, somewhat larger than Kavār. Its climate is temperate and bracing; indeed, in all those parts nowhere is the air pleasanter. The water is very digestive, and as in the case at Pasā every fruit of both the hot and the cold region grows here. Thus the orange and the perfumed melon [called shamāmah], the lemon, and diverse aromatics are all found abundantly, also corn-lands. There was here a very strongly fortified castle, but the Atabeg [Chāulī] has laid it in ruins. Within the town there is a mosque for the Friday prayer. The people here are cleverer than those of Kavār. There are hunting-grounds near by, both in the hills and in the plain.

Khunayfqān.* —A large village lying at the head of the road going down into Fīrūzābād. The Persians pro­nounce the name Khunāfgān, and the road from here to Fīrūzābād is an extremely bad one, across passes and by steep mountains where [the hand must ever] be on the bridle. The road was also a fearful one by reason of being beset by footpads. The climate of Khunayfqān is cold but temperate. The River Burāzah, which is the stream that flows past Fīrūzābād, rises near by. The people of Khunayfqān have the evil character of all mountaineers, but at the present time under the sovereign [government of the Saljūqs] the roads, here as everywhere else, are now safe, and no one dare make any disorder.

shkānāt.* —A district that lies entirely in the hot region, where there are plantations of date-palms. Its lands are the camping-grounds of the Mas‘ūdī tribe of the Shabānkārah.* There is no city here, but Būshkān and Shanānān [or Sanānā] are both of the Būshkānāt District.

Mūhū [or Mūhūd], Hamjān, and Kabrīn.* —These are all districts of the hot region, lying adjacent to the sea, on the coast of Irāhistān. The climate here is hot and the water unwholesome; but there are many palm-groves, though nowhere here is there a town of sufficient size to possess a mosque for the Friday prayer.

Kārzīn, Qīr, and Abzar.* —Kārzīn is a fine town of no great size, but now in ruins by reason of the disorders [of the last Buyid days]. Qīr and Abzar are two small towns belonging to Kārzīn. They are all of the hot region, and they take their water from the Thakān River; also there are many groves of the date-palm. In Kārzīn there is a strong castle, and to supply it with water they have constructed a syphon tube [āb-duzdī] which goes down from the castle to the bed of the Thakān River. The [townships of] Harm and Kāriyān* are of the dependencies of Kārzīn.

Tawwaj.* —This of old was a township of considerable size, and it was settled by a population of Arabs, for it lay in the hottest and most desert part of the hot region. But at the present day it lies in ruins, and of these Arab folk who peopled it in former times hardly any remain. [After the disappearance of these early inhabitants], how­ever, ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah, had brought hither a tribe of Syrian Arabs, settling them here, and at the present time such Arabs as are still found here are the descendants of this tribe. There are no running streams [in Tawwaj], but there is a mosque for the Friday prayers.

Māndistān.* —This is a desert region measuring 30 leagues in length by the like across, where there are many villages and districts like those found throughout Irāhistān. This district lies along the sea-coast, and its crops are so fertile that one mann-weight of seed-corn produces a thousand­fold harvest. There is, however, no ground-water for irrigation, and they depend on the rains alone for their supply. The people have their drinking-water from the tanks which they have made. All along this coast-region the rains should come in the beginning of winter, in the months of Azar-Māh and Dī-Māh [corresponding with November and December], and then they get for that year a magnificent crop, gaining much wealth. If, however, in those two aforesaid months no rain falls—even though it may come later, and in abundance during a subsequent month—then they get no good crops and the harvest is wanting.

Sīrāf* and its Neighbourhood.—Sīrāf in old times was a great city, very populous and full of merchandise, being the port of call for caravans* and ships. Thus in the days of the [Abbasid] Caliphs it was a great emporium, for here might be found stores of ‘attar [of roses] and aromatics such as camphor, aloes, sandal-wood, and the like. [For its merchants] immense sums of money were to be gained here, and so matters continued till the last days of the Buyid supremacy. Then, however, the ancestors of the present Amīr Kaysh attained to power, and they got into their possession the Island of Qays* with the other neighbouring islands, whereby the revenue that had formerly been taken by Sīrāf was cut off and fell into the hands of the Amir Kaysh. Further, the Atabeg Rukn-ad-Dawlah Khumārtagīn [when he had first been appointed governor of Fārs] lacked power and states­manship to provide a remedy for this state of affairs. None the less he did truly on one or two occasions proceed to Sīrāf with a view of building ships of war that should invade the Island of Qays and the other isles, but each time that he did so the Amīr Kaysh sent presents to him and gave bribes to those persons who were about him, so that they dissuaded him from accomplishing his project. Next it came to pass that a certain one of the Khāns [of Qays Island] named Abū-l-Qasim succeeded finally in getting possession of Sīrāf also, and then every year or two [Khumārtagīn] would dispatch an army thither with great effort [to make him evacuate Sīrāf], but he could accomplish nothing against him. Thus, therefore, as matters now stood, no merchant would bring his ship into the port of Sīrāf to refit, nor for shelter would any anchor there on the voyage to Kirmān from Mahrubān or Dawraq or Baṣrah, wherefore no goods but leatherware and pots,* and things that the people of Fārs alone had need of, now passed by the road of Sīrāf, and thus the town fell to complete ruin. There is still here, however, a mosque for the Friday prayer, and there are many dependencies and outlying lands. The climate is excessively hot, and there is no water, except for one or two springs, wherefore they have always to depend on collecting the rainwater [in tanks] for drinking purposes.

Ramm [or Zamm] Zavān, Dādhīn, and Davvān.* — These are three districts of Ardashīr Khūrah, all lying in the hot region, but with some parts within the hill country, where the climate is temperate, corn being grown here. These districts come between Kāzirūn and Nawbanjān.

Fīrūzābād.* —This city was called Jūr in ancient days, and the celebrated Jūrī roses came from here. In the times of the Kayānī kings of old this was a mighty city with strong fortifications. Then when [Alexander the Great] he of the Two Horns invaded Fārs, at first, however much he tried, he could not succeed in taking this city. But there is near here a stream called the Burāzah River, which flows at a high level, going by the mountain-slopes. This river Alexander turned from its course, throwing it against the city [walls], and he set his army round and about until at length they obtained possession. Now the city of Fīrūzābād stands in the midst of many gorges, and all around and about its circuit there are mountains, for the which cause all the roads that lead thither have to traverse the summits of divers passes. The [diverted] river there­fore soon afterwards laid the city completely under water, for the gorges filled and became as a lake, seeing that the water could find no outlet. In this condition Fīrūzābād remained for many long years, the waters continually rising, until Ardashīr the [founder of the Sassanian dynasty] came to the throne and began the conquest of the [eastern] world. And when he reached Fīrūzābād, he assembled together many engineers and sage persons in order to contrive a means of clearing away those waters. Now there was a great master among his engineers, whose name was Burāzah.* With skill he contrived to bore [the beginning of] a tunnel to carry off the waters; but first he set in the mountain side iron posts, each one like a column for size, attaching thereto huge and strong chains, and these posts were very firmly planted. Then he continued his tunnel through the flank of the mountain, he himself labouring with the workmen, until but a little part remained before the boring would get through. King Ardashīr now was brought to be present, and Burāzah the master engineer spoke, saying: “When I shall have pierced this tunnel through, the water will rush out with force, which would carry me away and also [carry away to destruction] those who are working at the boring with me. Therefore [for our safety] I have caused this great leathern sack to be made.” In this Burāzah and his many workmen now took their place, and it was firmly fastened to the great chains [above described], a great number of men being appointed to haul back with all their might on the chains as soon as the tunnel should come to be bored through. These therefore, in companies, sat down to the task. Then the portion that remained unbored of the tunnel was finally carried through. And the water now began to get power, drawing after it the sack in which the engineer Burāzah and his company of workmen were sitting, and however much from above the people strained all their strength, it was of no avail, for the stream at last became so strong that it burst the chains asunder, [whereby Burāzah and all his men perished]; and the remains of those chains are still to be seen on the mountain side. When therefore after this fashion the waters had been drawn off [King Ardashīr] laid the foundations of Fīrūzābād as the city now exists; and its ground-plan is circular, even as though drawn with compasses. In the middle of the city, even as it were the centre point of the circle, they laid out and built a platform to which the name of Irān Girdah [or Ayvān Girdah, “the circular hall”] was given, and this the Arabs call Ṭirbāl [“the Tower”]. On the summit of the platform pavilions* were built, and in their midst a mighty dome, which was called Gunbad [Kīrmān or Gīrmān]. The four walls below this dome, up to the spring of the cupola, measured in height 75 ells, and these walls were built of blocks of stone. The cupola rising above this was built of kiln-burnt bricks. Water was brought hither from the top of a mountain, 1 league distant, and carried to the height [in tubes to make] a fountain. They dug also two tanks, one called Būm Pīr, “the Old Owl,” the other Būm Javān, “the Young Owl,” and over each of these tanks they built a fire-temple. The city [of Fīrūzābād] is most pleasant to live in and a place to see; also hunting grounds abound near by; the climate is temperate, bracing, and very agreeable. Luscious fruit in plenty and of all kinds is found here; also digestible water is abundant, for there are many running streams. They have built here too a mosque for the Friday prayers, also a fine hospital; and Ṣāḥib ‘Ādil* [the Wazīr of the last Buyid prince] founded a very good Library here, the equal of which will be met with in no other place. The castle of Sahārah stands in the neighbourhood of Fīrūzābād. The people of this city are a clever folk, accustomed to business and given to good works.

Ṣimkān and Hīrak.* —Ṣimkān is a small town but most pleasant, and the wonder of the world, for this reason, that through its midst runs a river, spanned by a bridge, and in the one half of the city which stands on the hillside along this bank of the stream the climate is of the cold region. In this quarter there are only vineyards, producing such abundance of grapes that these fetch no price, so they [dry and] press them for the most part, making a condiment* thereof, while some being kept are left till a syrup is formed, which after boiling down, coagulates into a block that becomes hard as stone. These blocks [of grape-raisins] are made very large, and before one can eat of them they have to be soaked in two or three times their weight of water. Further, they are sold at a very cheap rate. And as to the quarter of the city which lies on the other side of the river, this is entirely of the hot region, where the date-palm grows, also oranges, lemons, and the like. Hīrak is a large village, where there is a much venerated shrine [ribāṭ]. In Ṣimkān there is a mosque for the Friday prayer; the people here are [warlike, always] carrying arms.

Maymand.* —A small town of the hot region, where fruits of all kinds grow, especially most excellent grapes. There are running streams, and the climate is more temperate than in the other towns of the hot region. There is here a mosque for the Friday prayers.

Ḥatīzīr.* —A district that lies entirely in the hot region, where the date-palm grows. There is no city here, and this district lies adjacent to Irāhistān. Its people always go armed.

Sarvistān and Kūbanjān.* —These are two towns that lie between Shīrāz and Pasā. Their climate is like that of Shīrāz. There are running streams and some few gardens, producing grapes and other fruits of the cold region. The hunting-grounds here are famous, especially the mountain region of Kūbanjān. Near here is the Salt Lake [Namakistān],* where no fish or creature can exist for its saltness. Each town has a mosque for the Friday prayers, and the people here carry arms, being overbearing in their ways.

The Sīf [or Coast] Districts.—These districts lie along the seashore. They are all of the hot region, and for the most part the inhabitants are Arabs. The climate here is extremely unhealthy. The best-known of these coast districts are the two called respectively the Sīf of the People of Abū Zuhayr and the ‘Umarāh Sīf.* In neither district is there any town with a Friday mosque, and nothing is grown here but dates.

ghir and Kaharjān.* —These are districts lying near Kārzīn. They are of the hot region, and the climate is unhealthy. Dates are grown here. The people are all highwaymen, and in neither district is there any town with a mosque for the Friday prayer.

Kurān and Irāhistān.* —Both the Irāhistān District and Kurān lie in the desert country, and Kurān is counted as of Sīrāf. Its climate is so extremely torrid that only men who are native-born can stay here by reason of this excessive heat during the summer. There are no running streams nor underground channels. Their corn-lands lack irrigation entirely, and no fruit is grown here excepting only dates. Further, in their plantations the date-palms do not stand on the level ground, for by reason of the lack of water, and that these may not perish from the drought, they dig in the soil a great trench, as deep down as the date-palm is high, and the palm-trees are planted in the bottom of this trench, so that only their very tops appear above the ground-level. Then during the winter these trenches are filled by the rains with water, [which sinks in]. and so all the year round the palms get moisture. The dates are of rare excellence. Hence it is a saying “Where is it that the date-palms grow in a pit?” and the answer is “In Irāhistān”. In this country near every village there stands out in the desert a fort, for all the people here are footpads, and everyone carries arms seeing that each man seeks to rob his neighbour and to shed his blood. When a man here is about to go out as highwayman he will take threshed corn, with some dry bread crumbled, in a wallet, and in a night and a day will cover 20 leagues of the road, and so accomplish his villainy. Further, the people here are always in revolt against the Government, since no army can stay in these parts for more than the three months of the springtime, for they cannot hold out the winter here by reason of the rains, with the consequent lack of fodder [for their beasts], nor during the summer by reason of the heat. Nevertheless, in the days of the Buyid supremacy they were brought under subjection, and for a time forced to obey authority; and during the reign of ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah 10,000 of their men served in his army as soldiers. Their chief at this time was one of the name of Ḥābī.* Then after the days of ‘Aḍud-ad-Dawlah they again revolted, and none of them could be got to pay any tribute until recently, indeed, when the Atabeg Chāulī by force of arms has become master in their territories.

Najīram and Ḥūrashī.* —Najīram is a small town and Ḥūrashī a village, both being of the dependencies of Sīrāf, and lying in the very hot region.

Huzū and Sāviyah.* —These, with some other districts, are of the coast-lands that belong to the Island of Qays, being under the rule of the Amīṛ Kaysh. They all lie adjacent to the hot region of the Kirmān province.

The islands that belong to this district of Ardashīr Khūrah are these: the Island of Lār, the Island of Afzūnah, and the Island of Qays; and the Island of Qays is the chief among them all. The description of these and of the other islands [of the Persian Gulf] will be given in the chapter which the author has written describing the seas, and which will be found on a later page, wherefore there is no need to detail them here. [It is, however, wanting.]


This district took its name from Shāpūr, son of King Ardashīr founder [of the Sassanian dynasty]; and the central city of the district is Bishāvbūr; this with the other towns and sub-districts being as follows.

Bishāvūr.* —The Arabs wrote the name Bishābūr, it having originally been Bī-Shābūr, and then to lighten the pronunciation the was dropped, so that finally it has come now to be called Shāpūr. In the most ancient days a city was founded here by King Ṭahmūrath, at a time when there was no other city in all Fārs excepting only Iṣṭakhr, and the name [of Shāpūr town] was then called Dīn Dilā. When Alexander the Great appeared in Fārs, he laid this town in ruins, so that nought remained standing thereof. Then when the kingdom had come to the hands of Shāpūr he for the second time founded it, and brought all its buildings to completion, giving to the new city his own name. Indeed, to every city that King Shāpūr founded, he gave the same his own name, that his memory might thus be kept in mind; and this was the city of Bishāpūr. The climate here is that of the hot region; and by reason that on the north side it is shut in [by hills] the town is unhealthy and damp. The water supply is from a great stream that is called the Bishāpūr River. It is a very large river, but seeing that there are here many rice-fields, its water is noxious and unwhole­some. There are, however, in this district so many orchards of fruit-bearing trees of all kinds, such as date-palms, orange, shaddock, and lemon-trees, that fruit here fetches no price; and those who pass by the road even fail to pluck it. There are also aromatic flowers in great abundance, such as water-lilies, the narcissus, violets, and jasmine; further, they produce much silk here, for mulberry-trees grow luxuriantly. Then honey and wax are cheap, both in this city and in Kāzirūn. Of late years Bi-Shāpūr has fallen much to ruin through the tyranny of Abu Sa‘d.* Now, however, since the establishment of the present Saljūq government its buildings are all being restored. It has a mosque for the Friday prayers, and the people are intelligent.

Jirrah.* —Called in Persian Girrah. It is a small town, having a warm climate. Its water is from a stream that is known as the Girrah River, and this takes its rise in the Māṣaram District. This town produces nothing but rice—which pays the land-tax* —dates, and corn. The people for the most part go armed. There is a mosque here for the Friday prayers. The district called Mūr-i-Jirrah* is of this neighbourhood.

Ghundījān.* —This is known as Dasht Bārī in Persian. It is a small town of the hot region, and its water is from a single brackish well, there being no other source in the place. No corn is grown here. There is a mosque in the town for the Friday prayer, and many pious men were natives of this place. There are now many shoemakers and weavers living here.

Khisht and Kumārij.* —Two small towns lying in the hill country of the very hot region. Innumerable date-palms grow here, but no other fruit-trees. There are some running streams, but the water of these is warm and not wholesome to drink. The corn crops here sometimes fail entirely, but at other times are abundant.* The people of the place carry arms, and for the most part they are robbers.

Anburān and Bāsht Qūṭā.* —These places lie contiguous to Nawbanjān. Anburān is a small town, of which a number of pious folk are natives. The climate is temperate, and there are many running streams. Bāsht Qūṭā is a district lying in the cold region of the mountain lands.

Junbad Mallaghān.* —This is a small town which stands in its own district. The climate is hot, and there are many running streams. Fruit is grown, also aromatic plants. There is a castle here, among other neighbouring castles that are well fortified and celebrated. The air in this castle is so cool that [stores of] wheat can be kept here without damage, and they have made good cisterns for water. There is a mosque for the Friday prayer in the town.

Tīr Murdān and Jūyikān.* —These are two districts wherein are many large villages but no town. Of villages there are Kharrārah, Dūdmān, and Dih Gawz [Nut Village]. All these districts lie among broken rocky ground, with stony ascents and descents like those in the Kharraqān [District in Persian ‘Irāq], though here the country is rougher and the roads steeper. The climate is of the cold region and good. On all sides there are orchards, with fruit of every kind; more especially groves of nut-trees, and in such numbers as to be beyond count, nuts being carried into Shīrāz and the surrounding districts from here. Honey, too, is abundant. Now all the hills here, with their ascents and descents, are everywhere sown for corn crops. Some, where the hillside is steep, lack for water, but the valleys are well irrigated, for there are numerous running brooks. The village of Kharrārah [which means “humming”] is so named because near by this village a stream falls into a deep gorge, where it makes a great noise [as of humming], which in the Arabic tongue is called Kharīr-al-Mā [“the Humming of the Water”]. Abū Naṣr, the father of Bā Jūl,* and who left so many descendants, came originally from Tīr Murdān. All the people of this district go armed, and for the most part they are bandits and highwaymen by night. Further, there are excellent hunting-grounds here.

Ṣarām and Bāzrang.* —These are two districts lying between Zīr [or Zīz] and Sumayram. The climate is that of the cold region, for the districts stand high in the hill country, with torrents of water and many running streams. From year’s end to year’s end snow is never long absent from the mountains here, and there are many good hunting-grounds. The source of the Shīrīn River is in the Bāzrang District. The chief town of this region is Ṣarām. Most of the men here are muleteers.

Sīmtakht.* —This is a district of the very cold region lying near Ṣarām and Bāzrang. There are many running streams here.

Khullār.* —A large village where they quarry the millstones which are used throughout the greater part of the province of Fārs, for the stone here is of excellent quality. The curious part is that in all Fārs they grind their corn with millstones from this village, but when the people thereof have to grind their own corn they go to some other village to do so, for in their own place there is no stream [to turn a mill], and the springs even are very scanty in their water supply, on which the people have to depend for drinking. Except for these millstones the place produces nothing; there is neither corn nor fruit grown here, and they look to the quarrying of these stones for their means of living, whereby too they are enabled to pay taxes to the Treasury to the amount of 700 dīnārs yearly.

Khumāyijān and Dih ‘Alī.* —These are two districts, and [Dih ‘Alī] the chief town has a mosque for the Friday prayers. The climate is cold, and there are many walnut and pomegranate trees here, also much honey and wax comes from these districts, which lie in the neighbourhood of Tir Murdān and near by Bayḍā. The people generally go armed; they are for the most part muleteers. In the neighbourhood are excellent hunting-grounds.

Kāzirūn and its District.—The original seat of Kāzirūn was at [the three villages called] Nawdar, Darīst, and Rāhbān, and the city was first founded by Ṭahmūrath. King Shāpūr, in later times, built greatly here, making of Kāzirūn an outlying part of Bishābūr. The climate is hot, like that indeed of Bishāvūr, and all the water they drink has to be taken from wells, for there are no running streams, only the three underground water-channels [of the villages above-mentioned]. Their corn-lands entirely lack irrigation and depend on the rains. The city of Kāzirūn lies in ruins, but the farms round about are populous, and their homesteads are not [mere cabins] like those of other hamlets in these parts, but are strongly built houses, well fortified, as a defence against the Shabānkārah [Kurds], who are numerous throughout this district. Each farmstead here stands separate one from another, and they are not built together [in groups of villages]. The cloths called Tūzī [originally coming from Tawwaj] which they make here are woven from the fibre of the flax-plant. Of this, first they tie up the fibrous stalks in bundles and throw these into a tank full of water, leaving the fibre loose until it has rotted. It is next gathered up, the fibre being separated out, and the flax is then spun into linen thread. Next, this linen thread is washed in the water of the Rāhbān water-channel; and though the water here is but scanty, it has the property of making white the linen thread that is washed in it, and if it be washed in any other water it never becomes white. Now, this Rāhbān water-channel is the property of the royal Treasury, and the custom is now established that the profit thereof belongs to the house of the Amīr, the Treasury having granted the usage thereof to the weavers who weave the cloths under the orders of the Treasury. There is an inspector who oversees on behalf of the Treasury, and there are the brokers who set a just price on the cloths, sealing the bales with a stamp before they are delivered over to the foreign merchants. In times past it was all after this wise. The brokers would make up the bales of the Kāzirūnī cloth, the foreign merchants would come and buy the bales as they stood thus made up, for they placed reliance on the brokers, and in any city to which they were carried the certificate of the Kāzirūnī broker was merely asked for and the bale would then be sold at a profit without being opened [for examination]. Thus it often happened that a load of Kāzirūnī bales would pass from hand to hand ten times over, unopened. But now, in these latter days, fraud has become rife, and the people becoming dishonest all confidence is gone, for the goods with the Treasury stamp are often found deficient, whereby foreign traders have come to avoid the merchandise of Kāzirūn. This fraud was especially common during the reign of the Amīr Abū Sa‘d,* whose bad government and tyranny were manifest to all. If, however, this evil state of things could be changed, much wealth would still accrue from this manufacture. Further, in addition to the revenues to be derived from the Kāzirūnī cloths, which belong to the house of the Amīr, there are the land-tax and the customs, both of which would increase greatly under a just and stable government. In various of the townships of Kāzirūn there are mosques for the Friday prayers. The people, however, are covetous and needy; further, they are a slanderous folk. In all these parts there are places where [a criminal] may take refuge, as it were in a Ḥarīm [or Sanctuary], and of such is [the shrine] of Shaykh Abū Isḥāq Shīrāzī, whom Allah sanctify! Among the populous districts of Kāzirūn are Mūr and Shitashgān.*

Nawbanjān* and Sha‘b Bavvān.—Nawbanjān in former times was a very great and beautiful city, but during the misrule of Abū Sa‘d of Kāzirūn it was more than once taken by storm, being sacked and burnt, so that even the great mosque was then destroyed by fire. In this state of ruin it remained for many years, being but a lair for lions and wolves, a place of ravenous beasts and their prey; its population was scattered abroad, and its people perished in foreign lands. When, however, the Atabeg Chāulī arrived in Fārs, and the province was rid of Abū Sa‘d, he began to rebuild the city, and it may now be hoped that under the stable government [of the Saljūqs] its prosperity will be restored. The climate here is that of the hot region but temperate. It has many running streams. Fruits of all kinds grow here, also aromatic plants in abundance.

The Vale of Sha‘b Bavvān* lies in the neighbourhood of Nawbanjān; and it may be thus described. It is a great valley enclosed between two ranges of mountains, 3½ leagues in length by 1½ leagues across. Its climate is that of the cold region, none better anywhere. Villages one after another extend along the valley, and a great river flows down the middle part thereof, so that no place is cooler or more healthy to live in. Further, there are many excellent springs everywhere about, and from the head of the valley to its foot, all down its length and across it, there are fruit-trees growing everywhere, so that from their shade the sunlight never falls upon the ground. The fruit here is of all kinds, and very excellent in quality. Should a man walk from one end of the valley to the other, the sunshine will nowhere fall on him; and from one end of the year to the other the snow remains on the summits of the mountains that lie on either hand. It has been said by wise men that there are four Earthly Paradises, to wit, the Ghawṭah [Garden-lands] of Damascus, Sughd [Sogdiana] of Khurāsān, [this Valley of] Sh‘ab Bavvān, and lastly the Meadow of Shīdān*; by which they mean that these four places just mentioned are the loveliest and pleasantest places of the whole earth. There are here in the neighbourhood, besides this valley of Sha‘b Bavvān, many other districts, both in the hill country and in the plains, which are well populated, fertile, and rich, with running streams. The White Castle—Qal‘ah Sapīd—stands at the distance of 1 league from Naw­banjān, and the description of the same will be given later in the section relating to the Castles. All the district round Sha‘b Bavvān is of the hill country, and round Nawbanjān there are limitless hunting-grounds. The people of Nawbanjān are a discreet folk, with an aptitude for politeness.

Bīlād Shābūr.* —This countryside lies between the Fārs and Khūzistān provinces. In olden times it was very populous, but it now has fallen to ruin. Its climate is temperate though of the hot region, and there are many running streams.

Zīr and Kūh Jīlūyah.* —The Jīlūyah Mountain is a hill district with many lands, and its chief town is Zīr. The climate here is cold; there are abundant running streams and numerous fine villages. During the recent times of disorder, and especially when the Assassins—and may Allah cause them to perish!—held sway in the land, all this district fell greatly to ruin. Fruit orchards are numerous, and in Zīr there is a mosque for the Friday prayer. This district lies not far distant from Sumayram, and there are fine hunting-grounds within its borders.