Núru-d dín bin Lutfu-llah, better known as Háfiz Abrú, was born in the city of Hirát, but passed his infancy and youth in Hamadán, where he received his education. He attained by his writings a distinguished rank among contemporary authors, and was fortunate enough to secure the esteem of Tímúr, who gave him numerous proofs of his consideration, admitted him to his intimacy, and sought every occasion of doing him service. After the death of that tyrant, he attended the court of Sháh Rukh, and received from the young prince Mirzá Baisanghár every demonstration of kindness and regard. To him he dedicated his great work, under the name of Zubdatu-t Tawáríkh Baisan-ghárí , which contains a complete history of the world, and an account of the institutions and religions of different people down to A.H. 829* (A.D. 1425). The author died five years afterwards in the city of Zanján.* A short notice is given of him in the Táríkh-i Chaghatáí.

The work is more generally known as Táríkh-i Háfiz Abrú, and under that name it is quoted by Haidar Rází, Mírkhond, Khondamír, and the Táríkh-i Alfí, and by Abú-l Fazl in the Áyín-i Akbarí as a fabulist. D'Herbelot refers to it, and Sir W. Ouseley frequently quotes it in his Travels as abounding in geographical details.

I have never seen the work, nor am I aware that a copy exists in India, but it is frequently quoted as an authority on subjects connected with Indian History. The only copies in Europe which are spoken of are those in the Imperial Library of St. Petersburgh, and in Sir Gore Ouseley's Collection.

[Sir H. Elliot subsequently had access to a copy of this work belonging to Mr. John Bardoe Elliot, and among his MSS. there is a volume containing extracts copied from it by a munshí at Patna. These extracts comprise the introductory part of the work and the portions relating to the history of Kirmán. From this volume the following synopsis of the Contents and the Extracts have been translated. A large portion of the work is confessedly borrowed without alteration or addition from older historians, from Tabarí, Rashídu-d dín, and the Zafar-náma. The table of Contents gives no clue as to the extent and value of the part devoted to India, but the work is so frequently quoted by later writers that the Indian portion would seem to be original and of some length. The Extract is a specimen of the author's method, and will afford the means of forming a judgment as to his worth as a geographer.]*


Form of the earth.—The Creation.—Division into Climes.— The equator.—Oceans.—Seas.—Rivers.—Mountains.—Countries of Arabia.—Countries of the West.—Cities of the West.— Distances in the Countries of the West.—Andalusia.—Islands of Rúm and the Ocean.—Countries of Egypt.—Holy Temples.— Armenia and Syria.—Frangistán.—Mesopotamia.—'Irák.— Khúzistán.—Fárs and its provinces: Persepolis; Territories of Dárábjard, Ardashír, Shahpúr, and Kubád.—Islands, Rivers, Seas, Valleys, Forts, and Distances of Fárs.—Kings and Rulers of Fárs, Dílamites, Saljúks, Atábaks, Nobles of Changíz Khán, Rulers after Abú Sa'íd.— Kirmán.— Rulers of Kirmán.— Abíward.—Countries of Khurásán.—Rulers of Khurásán.—The Ummayides.

Preface, with a Map.

Volume I.—Preface.—Reasons for writing the history; Defi­nition of history; Nature of the science, benefits of history.— List of the subjects treated of in the 469 sections of this work founded on the work of Muhammad bin Tabarí, from the Creation down to the Khálífa Muktafí bi-llah.—The remainder of the 'Abbáside Khálífas from the Jámi'u-t Tawáríkh.

The histories extracted from the Jámi'u-t Tawáríkh are com­prised in two volumes. The first containing the Táríkh-i Gházán is divided into two Bábs. The first Báb contains four sections, and the second two sections, comprising the history of the various Turk and Mughal princes, and of Changíz Khán and his successors, down to Uljáítú Sultán Muhammad Khudá-banda. The second Báb comprises the history of the Ghaznivides, Dílamites, Buwaihides, Saljúks, Khwárizmsháhís, Shalgházis of Fárs, Ism'aílís in two chapters, Ughúz and the Turks, Khatai, Children of Israel, Franks, Indians.

History of the kings who reigned in Tabríz, Baghdád, and those parts from the year 705 A.H., which closes the history of Rashídí, as the events are related in the Zafar-náma and the Táríkh-i Hazrat Saltanat Shi'árí.—Uljáítú Sultán and his suc­cessors.—The Kings who reigned in Yazd, Kirmán, Shíráz, and Isfahán.—Princes of Hirát and parts of Khurásán.—Princes of Mázandarán, Sarbadárís of Naishapúr and Sabzawár.—Arghún Sháh of Tús and Mashhad.—'Usmán, Murád, and Báyazíd of Rúm.—Kings of Egypt.—Kings of the Franks.

History of Tímúr and his successors from the Zafar-náma to the end of the year 820, to be completed from other sources to the end of the dynasty.]


[River Sind.—This river has its source in the skirts of the mountains of Kashmír, and runs from the western side of those mountains into the country of Mansúra. Its course is from north to south, the end turning to the east. In the neighbour­hood of Multán, the river Jamd joins it, and it flows into the Indian sea, which is called the Bahru-l akhzar.

River Jamd.—The source of this river is also in the mountains of Kashmír, on the south side.—It runs from north to south, and passes into the land of Hind.—Its waters are used for agri­culture and gardening.—Agriculture in these parts is generally dependent on the rain.—In the neighbourhood of Multán it joins the Sind, and falls into the Bahru-l akhzar.

Biyáh.—This is also a large river which rises to the east of the mountains of Kashmír.—It runs into the country of Laháwar (Lahore), and to the neighbourhood of U'ch.—It falls into the sea in the country of Kambáya.

Jumna.—This is a large river which has its rise in the Siwálik hills to the north of Dehlí.—It passes to the east of that city and joins the Indian sea near Gujarát.—In the reign of Sultán Fíroz Sháh, 760 A.H., the countries (about this river) were very flourishing, for in the Doáb, which is the name given to the country between the Jumna and the Ganges, there were 80,000 villages enrolled as paying revenue to the exchequer.—It has been said in reply to this statement, that it rests with the author to prove it.

Ganges.—This is a large river in India to the east of the Jumna.—In the Hindí language it is called Gángú. Its source is on the east of the country of Kanauj.—The longitude of Kanauj is 114 degrees 50 minutes, and the latitude 26 degrees 35 minutes. Where the river passes Kanauj, it is forty para­sangs from that city, this adds two degrees more. When Sáhib Kirán, the fire of God (Tímúr), formed the design of conquering Hindustán in the year 801 A.H., after capturing Dehlí, he crossed the Jumna, and led his forces through this country until he reached the Ganges. Crossing that river, he came to a celebrated place of worship of the Fire-worshippers (gabrán) of India, where he fought against the infidels and slew many of them. There are other large rivers to the east of this which are mentioned by men who have travelled in India; but their names, sources, and em­bouchures, have not been accurately stated. So also there are many large rivers in China, but it is not known whether they run to the east or to the west, nor where they rise, nor where they discharge. They are therefore passed over.]