Foreign Countries: to the westward of Īrān. Little Armenia. Ossetes and Russians. Ifrīqīyah. Alān and Sūdāq. Andalusia, and the City of Brass. The Arab Desert. The Berber Country. Circassia. Abyssinia. Ḥijāz. Ḥimyar. Sabā. Syria. Upper Egypt and the Almohad Country. Tripoli (of Barbary). Toledo. Tangiers. The Frank Country and Byzantium. Palestine. Coptos. Caracorum. Qayruwān. Qulzum (Suez). Lower Egypt. Maghrib, the City of Women, and the City of the Children of Israel. The Two Pyramids. Greece

The Western Side. This comprises twenty-seven kingdoms.

Little Armenia. Of the Fourth Clime. Its most famous cities are Sīs, Qarīn and Ṭarūn, but there are many other towns, also districts and lands without count. The climate here is cold though generally equitable; most cereals, and fruits of all kinds, being grown.

Ās and Rūs.* Of the Seventh Clime. Its largest cities are Kūtābah (Kitovia or Kieff) and Arbā. There are many other towns, and plains with excellent pasture-lands. The people here have cattle and horses in countless herds, for the wealth and sustenance of these folk is therefrom. The Russian furs are found here in great quantities.

Ifrīqīyah. A broad and extensive kingdom of the Second and Third Climes. Its most celebrated towns are Tripoli, Mah- diyyah, Tunis, Tāhart, Sijilmāsah, Constantine, Qafṣah, Ḥāmmah, Sumāṭ, Milyānah and Qamūdah*. Its capital was Carthage, which from the exceeding excellence of the city was likened to Paradise; and its walls were of marble. It fell to ruin during the Caliphate of `Othman, [<Arabic>] when there were civil wars be- tween Moslems. Of its remaining relics are still to be seen two columns of marble, each 15 ells in circumference with a height of 40 ells; from which some idea may be formed of its other buildings. At the present day the capital is called Ifrīqīyah*.

Alān and Sūdāq*. A great kingdom of the Fifth Clime, with spacious lands and many plains. The people here for the most part are nomads, owning horses and cattle, and their live- lihood is from these.

Andalus (Spain). A mighty and spacious kingdom of the Third and Fourth Climes. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is re- ported that in old days Spain was counted as part of the Roman Empire, but since the times of Islam it has formed a kingdom by itself. Its capital formerly was Cordova, and throughout the west there was no greater, wealthier, or more flourishing city. It had stone walls, and its people were very opulent. At the present day it has come to be but of medium extent, and the capital of Spain is now Seville. Of its other famous cities are Jaen, Saragossa, Tudela, Lerida, Faraj* which is also known as Guadalaxara, Cuenca, Carcasonne, Alcantara, Castilla (close to Elvira), Calatayud, Almeria, Valencia, Cadiz, Truxillo, Coria, Merida, Ecija, Cabra, and Rayyah (Regio, the district of Malaga). Granada also is a fine city, with three Friday Mosques. Firrich is a large town where there are iron mines and numerous marble quarries; of its fruits hazel nuts are abundant. Then there is the district called Buhayrah (the Lake, Lago de la Janda), with many towns and villages, where the olive grows abundantly*. The City of Brass, which is one of the most wonderful construc- tions in the world, is of these parts. The circuit of its walls is 4 leagues, and their height to the battlements is more than 50 ells, and there are no gates. Some say that Alexander the Great built it, but the more reliable account is that it was con- structed by the demons at the command of king Solomon— upon whom be peace—and this is the view given by the com- mentators in explanation of the verse of the Qurān (ch. XXXIV. v. II) where God most high says—And we made a fountain of molten brass to flow for Solomon, and of [<Arabic>] the Jinn were some who worked in his presence, by the will of his Lord. The walls of this city were made from that fountain of molten brass. But few of the children of men have ever been there; but in the time of the Omayyad Caliphs (of Cordova) one man got there, and on his return he gave the Caliph an account of the place. The Caliph thereupon sent men back with him, and they heard from within the city a mighty voice crying out, but by reason of the might of the walls they could find no means of effecting an entry. For as often as by some contrivance anyone of them reached the top of the wall, he would forthwith give a laugh and then fall down within the city. At last they promised a certain one much money, and having made a ladder whereby this man should get to the summit of the wall and thence look down into the city, they bound a strong rope about his middle, and he thus went up the ladder. But as soon as he too began to look down into the city he gave a laugh and would have fallen within the wall had they not pulled at the rope. But in doing so the man was cut into two halves, and one half fell into the city, while the other being caught by the rope was pulled back by his companions. What had taken place within the city, none ever knew for certain; but those who had been sent by the Caliph reported to him it was supposed that King Solomon had, probably, imprisoned the demons within the city, and that these happenings were of their doing. Near by the City of Brass was a lake, where the waves ran high, and round the same many reeds grew. Long before the time of the discoveries just mentioned the first governor, Mūsā ibn Nuṣayr, in the days of the Omayyads (of Syria) had despatched fishermen to this lake who had brought up from its depths vessels made of copper soldered down and sealed. When one was broken open, a form, like that of a man but of gold and fully armed, came forth, and flew into the air crying out—O Prophet of God, never will we do this again against thee! On which, those who were present understood that Solomon—upon whom be peace—had imprisoned the demons therein. Near the City of Brass there had been set up two stone tablets, on which were inscribed certain details concerning the (future) prophets—peace be upon them all—and mention here was also made of our Prophet—upon whom be peace—and many profit- able admonitions and precepts were added thereto. The above account is taken from the History of Maghrib, and Qazvīnī states that the reason why every one at the sight of the City of Brass fell to laughter, was that therein lay a mountain of Bāhat (or Laughing) stone. Now the peculiarity of this stone is, that when any man casts his eyes thereon, he falls into convulsions of laughter, and he laughs so violently that he forthwith dies; [<Arabic>] therefore the demons have great content in the presence there of this stone. Yāqūt further reports* that the peninsula of Gabes (or rather Cadiz) is at the western extremity of Andalusia, and here they have set a talisman, which is to prevent the entry of the Berber folk into Spain; for the Spanish people were ever greatly molested by the Berbers. This talisman, however, in the year 540 (1145) became of no avail*.

The Arab Desert. This includes many plains and mountains being of the Second and Third Climes. In length it extends from Syria to the Persian Gulf, and in breadth from Mecca to Najaf, being each way 200 leagues across. The inhabitants are nomad Arabs of innumerable tribes, and although the heat is very great and the land waterless, yet the climate here is most healthy. In regard to the excellence of the climate it is quoted as follows: Obedience spake and said: ‘I take my seat in Syria’: the Plague replied: ‘And I go with you.’ Fertility spake and said: ‘I go to `Irāq.’ Hypocrisy replied: ‘And I go with you.’ Then Health spake and said: ‘I go to live in the Desert’: and Healing replied: ‘And I go with you.’ Thus the people who live in the desert suffer little from illness, whereby as it is reported a doctor was asked—‘How comes it, think you, that the desert folk need no doctors?’ He replied—‘For the same reason that no wild animal needs the veterinary surgeon.’ In these regions corn crops and vegetables grow well, and in divers parts there are numerous inhabited places. Their wealth and susten- ance is by the yearly foaling of their camels and horses. Then they have cattle, and eat also the meat of various wild animals, such even as the Sūsmār (or green lizard), and other such like, whereby they are ever in a state of legal impurity.

The Berber Country. This kingdom lies in the First and Second Climes. Its most celebrated place is Fās*, a very large city near the sea shore, having water in abundance, so that its river turns 600 mills. There are here, too, many other towns, great and small, with fine buildings.

Circassia. This is a kingdom of the Sixth Clime. It in- cludes many plains and pasture lands, its inhabitants are nomads, and these folk get their living from the produce of their herds and flocks.

Abyssinia. This kingdom is of the First and Second Climes. Its capital is Jarmā*, in the First Clime, lying in longitude 30° and in latitude 9°, which [<Arabic>] is a large town, having many dis- tricts and dependencies. Of other famous cities here are Bujā, Zayla` and `Aydhāb, with other places, for there are numerous provincial towns in this province.

Ḥijāz. A kingdom of the Second Clime. Its glory lies in the possession of Mecca and Medina—which may God ennoble— but these cities have already been described in Book I. Of its other celebrated towns are Ṭāif and Najrān, this last the abode of the People of the Pits (mentioned in the Qurān, ch. LXXXV. v. 4), also Ḥijr of the Banī Rabī`ah tribe. Further Qarn-al- Manāzil and Tihāmah, with many other towns and plains. The people here make their livelihood by commerce, and by their horses.

Ḥimyar. A kingdom of much extent in the First Clime.

Sabā. A kingdom of the Second and Third Climes. It is alluded to in the Qurān (ch. XXXIV. v. 14) where God—be He exalted—says:—A sign there was to Sabā in their dwelling places: —two gardens, the one on the right hand, and the other on the left: ‘Eat ye of your Lord’s supplies, and give thanks to him: goodly is the country, and gracious is the Lord.’

Shām (Syria). This is of the Third and Fourth Climes, and its capital is the city of Damascus, which has already been de- scribed. Of other famous places are the following: Ḥimṣ (Emessa), Ḥamāh, Ḥalab (Aleppo), `Akkah (Acre), Salamīyah, Anṭākīyah (Antioch), Lādhiqīyah, Ajnadayn, Qinnasrīn, Ṭaba- rīyah (Tiberias), Shamshāṭ, the Balqā, Fīq, Ṣūr (Tyre), Ṭarābulūs, Ba`albak, Mar`ash, Raḥbah, Dayr-Khālid, Bīrah, Tadmur (Pal- myra) and Ūrdun (the Jordan). The finest building in this kingdom was the Mosque or Church in Antioch, which is thus described in the Diary of Malik Shāh;—‘In the Mosque of this place is to be seen a column, four square, made of a single beam of Sanawbar wood, which is 40 ells in height, and the side I ell in width. In the church is to be seen a dome covering a space measuring 40 ells square, with a height of 80 ells; and the lowest section thereof is built of squared stones, the next section being of burnt bricks well-mortared, while the uppermost part has a ceiling of wood, the outer roof being covered with tin plates. Other buildings in this town are of a like magnificence, and in the city of Tadmur (Palmyra) also there are many mighty and magnificent constructions.’ In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that in earlier days Syria was accounted as a part of the Roman empire, but subsequent to the times of Islam it has been reckoned among the kingdoms of Īrān, and thus even down to the year 571 (1175), when the Ayyubite Sultans annexed it to Egypt, [<Arabic>] and to Egypt it still now belongs. The fortress of Tabūk lies on the frontier between Syria and the Tihāmah. The people of Al-Aykah (mentioned in the Qurān, ch. XV. v. 78, and elsewhere) were of this place, to whom the prophet Shu`ayb (Jethro) was sent. Madyan (Midian), which was the abode of the prophet Shu`ayb, lies six days march distant therefrom: the tribe of Madyan taking their name from the place. Or according to another account they are named after Madyan son of Abraham, and the place was named after him. In Madyan is the Well where Moses drew water for the sheep belonging to the daughters of Shu`ayb. The story is well known, and is alluded to in the Qurān (ch. XXVIII. vv. 22 to 24) where God—be He exalted— has said: And when (Moses) arrived at the water of Madyan, he found at it a company of men watering. And he found beside them two women keeping back their flock. ‘Why do ye,’ said he, ‘thus?’ They said ‘We shall not water till the shepherds shall have driven off: for our father is very aged.’ So he watered for them, then retired to the shade. The Rock of Moses, according to one account, is to be seen at Antioch; and the Cavern of the Companions of the Cave (the Sleepers of Ephesus) is in a mountain on the frontier of Tarsus.

Ṣa`īd (Upper Egypt) and the Country of `Abd-al-Mūmin (the Almohad). This is a great kingdom of the Second and Third Climes. The capital and the most famous of its cities is Marrākish (Morocco City), and there are innumerable other pro- vincial towns and places. Most of the country is of the hot region. The population have received Islam, and reached a high degree in matters of piety and faith, and they attend to no other matters than the Law (of the Qurān).

Tripoli (of Barbary). A kingdom of the Second and Third Climes. Its most famous city is Fazzān, but it has many other towns.

Toledo. This is a fine city situated on the summit of a high hill. Most of its houses are built of stone, and it lies close to the river Tagus, whose stream is almost as great as that of the Tigris. It is of the Fifth Clime, and in many books it is counted as being in Andalusia: others hold it to be a kingdom by itself, for many broad lands and districts belong to it. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that in this country there are many Sammūr (Sable- martens).

Tangiers. A great kingdom of the Second and Third Climes. Its capital is the City of Tangiers, to which belong many dis- tricts and regions with provincial towns, and dependencies.

The Frank Country. This is a great kingdom of the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Climes [<Arabic>], and beyond these again. Its capital is the city of Byzantium, which is now called Constanti- nople, and which was built by the second Emperor of the Romans, whose name was Constantine. It is also known as Istambūl, and it is of the Sixth Clime, its longitude being 49° 50’, and its lati- tude 45°. When it was founded the sign of Cancer was in the ascendant. Ibn Khurdādbih states that the city stands on a peninsula, which on three sides, east, west and south is washed by the Greek Sea, while on the north it is connected with the mainland. From east to west the peninsula measures 6 leagues across. The city has two walls; and the height of the inner wall is 72 ells, its width is 12 ells and it has 1225 towers, on each of which monks keep watch. The outer wall is 42 ells in height and 8 ells in width. Between the two walls lies an open space measuring 60 ells across. There is in this city a church, named after the disciples Peter and Paul, the length of which is 300 ells, and it is 200 ells in the breadth, the height of its walls being 100 ells. The ceiling is of brass plates, and these too cover all the walls inside in the fore-part of the church. There is also in the city another church which is called the Holy House, it is one mile in length, and here is the altar where they make sacrifice. Near this altar is a throne of green stone, like the emerald, 24 ells long by 6 ells broad, which is fixed against the wall of the fore-part of the sanctuary, and round this wall are set images of Jesus—upon whom be peace—and of Mary his Mother, beside whom stand twelve figures representing the Disciples. All these statues are made of pure gold, and each is two and a half ells in height, the eyes being formed of resplendent red rubies. This church has 28 golden doors, and near to 1000 Mann-weight of brass and copper has been used herein, besides ivory, ebony, sandal wood and teak, with other materials beyond count. There is in the city so great a number of houses, that there are more than 4000 bath-houses, and there are churches in the like pro- portion.

Palestine (Filasṭīn). This is a great kingdom of the Third Clime, which takes its name from Filasṭīn son of Aram son of Shem the son of Noah: but some say Filasṭīn was of the progeny of Ham, [<Arabic>] and others account him of the sons of Japhet. In some books Palestine is reckoned as part of the kingdom of Syria, but in most it is held to be a separate province. Its capital is the Holy City (Jerusalem) which has already been described in Book I. Of its other famous towns are these: Kan`ān (Canaan) and Zu- ghar (Zoar), Ramlah, the Balqā, Gaza and Ascalon, Bārīn, Shalīm (Salem), Ṣāfiyah and Arīḥā (Jericho), which last was the capital city of the Giants who oppressed Moses—upon whom be peace; but according to another account their capital was in the Balqā. The cities of the people of Lot (Sodom and Gomorrah), according to most authorities, were situated in Palestine to the south-east of Jerusalem, in a district that was extremely fertile and pleasant. One account says there were seven cities, another gives the number as five only, to wit Ṣab`ah, Ṣughar, Ghumurrah, Admāh and Sa- dūm, which last was the largest city of all. Each city had a great population with many villages in its dependency. The cause of the destruction of these cities was their abundant abominations, and disobedience to the commands of God. The story thereof is well known, being given at length in all histories and com- mentaries. At the present day their place is known as the Place that is Overthrown and Overwhelmed. Here no plant grows, and there is profound gloom everywhere, for without fail a place that has suffered the wrath of God is ever thus. Now according to some accounts these cities stood in the Great Desert between Kirmān and Quhistān (in Persia) where highway-men make their expeditions; but the authority for this attribution is not reliable. The pre-eminence of Palestine, according to the Commentary of Kalbī, is set forth in the words of the Qurān (ch. v. v. 24) where God—be He exalted—has said: Enter, O my people, the Holy Land, which God hath destined for you; and again He has also referred in the Qurān (ch. XXI. v. 71) to the Land which we have blessed for all human beings, which evidently relates to Palestine*.

Qufṭ (Coptos). This is of the Second Clime; and it is a very spacious district, being both broad and long—none more so.

Qarāqurum (Caracorum). This is of the Seventh Clime, and being a broad district is mostly inhabited by nomads. They have few villages or towns, and their sustenance is chiefly from their flocks and herds.

Qayruwān. A great city of the Third Clime. It was the capital of the Bani Aghlab, and immediately outside Qayruwān they had built the city of Raqqādah, ultimately joining the two towns to make one, which came to have many other townships and districts of its dependencies. Of such were Qābis (Gabes) [<Arabic>] lying I league from the sea, a fine large city, where ex- cellent stuffs are woven, and there is fruit in plenty here. Further Zawīlah and Ṣabrah of Qayruwān, Sūsah and Safāqis (Sfax), besides many other places*.

Qulzum (Clysma: Suez). This is a moderate sized town of the dependencies of Egypt, in the Second Clime. It lies on the Red Sea, called the Sea of Qulzum which thus takes its name from this city, more especially in its beginning, in the part where it is called the Tongue of the Sea. This city more properly should be included in the description of Egypt, but the Sea to which it gives its name being so well known it seemed better to give a separate notice of it here.

Miṣr (Lower Egypt). A kingdom long and broad, of the Third Clime. Cairo and Alexandria we have already described in Book III, but there are here many other famous districts and towns, such as Damietta, Manf (Memphis), `Arīsh, Antūhī, Aylah, Fuwwah, Qays and Minyah*. Then there is Qufṭ (Coptos), where there is a pious foundation (Waqf) dating from the caliphate of `Alī; and Yāqūt states that excepting here and at Ḥubs al Ju- yūshī there are no other such foundations in all Egypt. The Fayyūm in the time of Joseph—peace be upon him—was a desolate plain, and Joseph by command of God most high brought thither a canal from the Nile, and in the space of seventy days converted this plain into populous and well cultivated lands; thereupon Pharaoh said ‘This indeed is as the work of one thousand days’—(in Arabic Alf Yaum) which coming to be pronounced Al-Fayyūm became the name of the district. Joseph laid out many other districts along this canal, and still at this present day it is as the granary of Egypt. The district begins at what is known as Old Miṣr.

Maghrib (the West). This is of the First Clime, and be- yond; for it is a mighty limitless kingdom. Its greatest town is Madīnat-al-Fīl (the City of the Elephant), otherwise called Qaṭānīyah*, which is a very large place, with many wonderful churches. Also there are Ghānah and Qimrāṭah and Qaṣr-al- Fulūs (the Palace of Farthings) with many other great towns*. In the Ṣuwar-al-Aqālīm it is stated that in Maghrib, down near the equator where the wind comes from, there is a desert measuring near 500 leagues across every way, most of which is moving-sand. Here the heat and drought prevent any habita- tions, and by some account this is named Mafāzah-al-`Ālij (the Wilderness of the Sand-hill). A Tradition of the Prophet—upon whom be peace—affirms that he said: [<Arabic>] He who, when he is about to lie down on his carpet to sleep, recites the verse—‘I ask pardon of God, and there is no God but He, the Living, the Eternal before whom I make repentance’—verily God will forgive him his sins, even though they be (innumerable) as the sands of the Wilder- ness of `Ālij. In the Jāmi`-al-Ḥikāyat it is related that on one side of this desert there is moving-sand, across which is but a single road, and this road is only open one day in each week, namely on the Saturday. In the middle of these sands stands a city where all the inhabitants are women*, and if a man should manage to get there, by the effect of the climate his manhood goes from him, and in a short time he dies. Among these women the act of generation is effected by means of a certain spring, in which when the woman has sat she becomes pregnant and bears a daughter. For if at any time a boy is born, he dies in childhood. Also when these women have their courses, if they sit in this spring the second day their courses return upon them, and the issue is so abundant that they come near to dying therefrom. By the ordinance of God most high these women have no feeling of desire, and this to such a point that if a woman from there comes to our lands, and a man goes in unto her, she is mightily offended. After a time, however, our climate has its good effect, and she comes to have love for a man. These women have ac- cepted Islam, and in the matter of faith and practice have attained a high degree: and in the management of worldly affairs, where elsewhere men labour—as in agriculture, and in the crafts and the like—with them women alone do the work. Among them all things are in common, and all riches with them are shared equally. High and low station do not exist, and disputes as to sovereignty and loss of goods have no place among them. It is further forbidden for any of them personally to acquire riches or to seek wealth, and they desire no ornaments, and being true believers none among them is addicted to vileness, for in verity they hold to religion and to righteousness. Surely women such as these are to be preferred for excellence to most men.

In another part of this desert, among the moving-sands, is a city where one of the tribes of the Children of Israel is settled. These people, after the destruction of Pharaoh and his Egyptians, made their petition to God most high, saying—‘O Lord leave us not yet again among men to be afflicted by their evil doings, but lead us to some place where we may be able to worship Thee free from the evil suggestion and distraction of Satan.’ [<Arabic>] Wherefore, by the favour of God most high, they were set free of the Satanic evil promptings, being brought to this spot where the sand became as their bulwark. For here, in every year, there was but one day during which the road was open to their country, so that sometimes perchance other men might have knowledge of their state, and assist them in their duty to God—be He exalted and glorified. Mention also is made of them in the words of the Qurān (ch. VII. v. 159) And among the people of Moses there is a certain number who guide others with truth, and practise what is right according to it. In books de- scriptive of the Ascent into Heaven (of Muḥammad) it is stated that the Prophet—upon whom be peace—when on his Night Journey, visited this city, and saw these people, addressing to them the salutation of Peace (as though they were Moslems). Then between him and them question and answer proceeded, as follows. He questioned: ‘I see among you that all your houses are of one height and plan and form, being without any excess of grandeur, so that none has superiority or rank above the others; what is therefore the cause of this?’ They answered: ‘The reason is that we are all of one descent, and were born of our parents solely for the intent that we might serve God Al- mighty, in whose service none of us has superiority, one over the other. And we are but passing through this great house of the world, wherefore it were but folly, during this our passage and journeying, to set our hearts on adorning what is but a post-house on the high-road.’ He enquired: ‘Before the door of every house I perceive there is a tomb; why have you made this?’ They answered: ‘In order that we may not forget death, and in all our works may strive to acquire the garment of mercy for the grave.’ He asked: ‘Seeing that without taking proper care for food and raiment, religious observance is neither permissible nor (except on occasion) even acceptable, whence comes your food and raiment that you have no anxiety therefor?’ They answered: ‘We are all like the women of a house dependent on the master thereof for provisions; the Master of our house is God most high, our daily bread is from His hands. We sow in the fields seed- corn and cotton and other crops, and God sends rain from heaven upon them; then we make harvest and carry away the crops which we store all in one place, and in accordance with his need each of us takes therefrom a sufficiency, and God most high giving us His blessing this suffices us until the next year.’ He asked: ‘What flesh for eating do you make use of?’ They replied: ‘We have sheep on our plains, also enough corn and other crops, the same being common to all of us: and most of us eat but little flesh of animals.’ He enquired: ‘Have you weights and measures among you [<Arabic>] that each may know how much he takes away?’ They answered: ‘Nay, for seeing that none takes more than that for which he has need, what use is it to measure the same?’ He asked: ‘Are there craftsmen here, or no?’ They answered: ‘All here are craftsmen, but none sell their wares for each only makes what the other has need of.’ He asked: ‘Is there any post for judge or governor here, who when a dispute arises among you may give judgement?’ They replied: ‘Since we are all children of God, and He gives to each what is necessary to him, how can any dispute arise between us that should need the giving of judgement for which we must go before judge or governor?’ He asked: ‘Since there be neither judge nor governor, if a fine for a crime were imposed on one of you, how would it be enforced?’ They replied: ‘Although up to the present time we have not received the light of the religion of Islam, yet the grace of God has hitherto barred the way for us against the evil suggestion of Satan: and without the suggestion of Satan dis- obedience does not come to any of the sons of Adam. Now, however, that we are prepared to receive the light of the religion of Islam, we hope that our obedience may reach a higher degree than formerly, and no unrighteousness or sinfulness may come upon us.’ He asked: ‘Lives there any physician here?’ They replied: ‘By the command of God most high sickness does not exist here, only peaceful life: and when the death-sickness comes, of a truth the physician cannot make it pass, and where deadly illness is not, there is there no need for a physician.’ He said: ‘At this moment the sound of wailing reaches my ear, also the sound of rejoicing from another quarter, what then is the cause of this?’ They replied: ‘The rejoicing is for this reason, that one of us has departed in death, having the true faith: and the wailing is because a child is born, but we know not yet whether he will hold to the faith or not.’ Then the Prophet—upon whom be peace—seeing that in all matters they thus held by righteous- ness and the true faith, before taking his leave of them, offered up this most excellent prayer, saying: ‘O God! grant even to all of us pardon in respect of the excellence of these their works: and through obedience to Thee, and by Thy dominion and Thy angels, and Thy prophets, and through Thy mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful, keep us all from doing contrary to the like of these their doings.’

The Two Pyramids. These stand on the borders of Egypt in the Third Clime, and they are the most wonderful construc- tions in the whole world. In the History of Maghrib it is stated that they were built by the prophet Idrīs—upon whom be peace— (who is Enoch). Outside, on the stone covering of these Pyramids, there are figures visible, for the most part cut into the same, and this was done in order that when the world came to be devastated by the Flood, and by other such catastrophes, the former race of men having been overwhelmed, and the arts obliterated, [<Arabic>] then another people should arise to whom these figures and carvings should show forth the manner of those lost arts. Some, however, say that the Pyramids are Pharaonic buildings, being their burial places, and that they were thus firmly founded with the intent that the lapse of time should have no effect on the building, and that their bodies should never be exposed, but remain ever concealed. Others report that by reason of their great antiquity the builder of the Pyramids cannot be known, for the writing that is inscribed on the face of each is in a script that no one of our times can read; wherefore the true account which might have been obtained from these words cannot to-day be known. Now as regards the date of their foundation, it is well known that in the mouth of the people is the saying: The Pyramids were built, when the constellation of Aquila was in Cancer. The explanation of which is as follows:—seeing that at the present day the constellation of Aquila is in the after part of Capricorn, and that for each Sign of the Zodiac no less than 2000 years must be reckoned to complete the cycle of precession, therefore, from the date of the foundation of the Pyramids to the present time, it would follow that more than 12,000 years must have passed: but true knowledge lies only with God most high. There are in all seven Pyramids, of which the largest is called the Pyramid Maydūm, and by Ibn Khurdādbih, and in the History of Maghrib and elsewhere, the following dimensions are given of this same. The plan is 400 ells square for each side, rising from a base of 20 ells (square), which lies 30 ells down below the surface, and (the superstructure) is brought to a pyramidal form in such a fashion that each face thereof forms a triangle, the height likewise being 400 ells, with a square platform on the top measuring 20 ells by 20 ells. Thus the pyramidal mass is four square below, but octagonal above, and all through this pyramid the stones are so exactly set one to the other that it appears to be but of one single block, without any joint. In- side is a chamber, very deep down, into which you may descend by a long rope. Here are the sepulchres of the dead Pharaohs, of whom some limbs and bones still remain intact, this preserva- tion of bodies being one of the qualities of the soil of Egypt. The structure of the Pyramid is completely solid, except for this one chamber, for no other hollow space can be seen. The whole is built up of cut stone, each block, like its neighbour, being 25 ells by 25 ells with a depth of 3 ells, and the stone used is in colour red with black markings. After the same fashion also is built the square platform below, measuring 100 ells by 100 ells. It is asserted [<Arabic>] that the great Pyramid took 300 years to build, and the little Pyramid 70 years, the others having been completed in times proportionate to the above.

Yūnān (Greece). A very broad and extensive province, of the Fifth and Sixth Climes. It had of old an immense popula- tion, and many sages were of this country, who cultivated diverse sciences such as mathematics, divinity, logic, the arts and crafts, philosophy, divination, history, astronomy and astrology, medicine and other such like. The greatest city here was called Macedonia, and the quality of its air promoted brilliancy in genius, sharpness in intellect, strength of memory with excellent wit and learning. Alexander the Great, with all his might of conquest, was unable at first to overcome this country, because of the wisdom of the people. However, as the land lay in a hollow, he proceeded to cut a channel to it from the Sea of the Greeks and Franks, in order that these provinces might thus be drowned in the waters. This is the place known as the Cut of Alexander*. But many say that Alexander’s Cut is in those parts of the Sea of the Greeks and Franks which occupy the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Climes, seeing that the Cut which Alexander made is by the tomb of Hercules, being in fact the Strait of Gibraltar which leads to the Circumambient Ocean. Those learned in astronomy however place but little reliance on this attribution, and assert the Cut of Alexander to be, as aforesaid, in the first account. It is also said that when a ship passes across and reaches the province of Macedonia, by some peculiarity of its air the passengers of the ship forthwith have brought back to their recollection all that they have ever thought of and done:—but God alone knows the truth in this matter.