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Tan manuscript pages heavily stained open to double page spread. Left page 29 narrowly-spaced lines, right page 21 lines of dark brown calligraphy, accented by occasional bold red phrases. Below the first line is a space in the text with three bold red phrases, decorated on either side by a design of brown dots with red circles.
AKM513, Manuscripts of Mi'a layla wa layla and Kitab al-Jaghrafiya (One Hundred and One Nights and the Book of Geography)

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Manuscripts of Mi'a layla wa layla and Kitab al-Jaghrafiya
One Hundred and One Nights and the Book of Geography
  • Accession Number:AKM513
  • Creator:Author (of original text): al-Zuhri
    Copied by: `Abdullah ibn `Abd al-Mawla al-Nujum
  • Place:Spain
  • Dimensions:19 x 26.5 cm
  • Date:1235/AH 632
  • Materials and Technique:opaque watercolour and ink on paper

This manuscript contains the earliest extant copy of al-Zuhri’s Book of Geography, followed by one of the earliest versions of the famous stories of the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, A Thousand and One Nights, thought to have been adapted from a Persian source. The Book of Geography was written as a companion for a map of the world commissioned by the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. It provides a description of the world at the time, including important new information about trade routes and commodities traded in the western Islamic lands and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as about the expansion of Islam. The second oldest copy is housed in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and is dated 1410 CE. The version of the Thousand and One Nights in this text is written in maghribi script and entitled A Hundred and One Nights, establishing its antiquity within the larger “Nights” tradition.

Note: This online resource is reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis. We are committed to improving this information and will revise and update knowledge about this object as it becomes available.

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