Ottoman Explorations of the Nile: Evliya Çelebi’s ‘Matchless Pearl These Reports of the Nile’ Map and his Accounts of the Nile and the Horn of Africa in The Book of Travels 9781909942172, 1909942170

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile: Evliya Çelebi’s ‘Matchless Pearl These Reports of the Nile’ Map and his Accounts of the Nile and the Horn of Africa in The Book of Travels
 9781909942172, 1909942170

Table of contents :
Contents
List of Illustrations
Preface
Glossary of Administrative Terminology
Introduction
Part I: Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile (Vat. Turc. 73)
Prologue
The Map
Part II: Translation of Evliya Çelebi’s accounts of the Nile and the Horn of Africa, from Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]
Preliminary and Cairo, Y3A–278A
First Journey: Cairo–Alexandria–Rosetta–Cairo, Y277B–341A
Second Journey: Cairo–Damietta–Cairo Y341B–360A
Third Journey: Cairo–Luxor–Ibrim Y360A–395A
Fourth Journey: Funjistan–Maghraq–Sennar–Jarsinqa Y395A–432B
Fifth Journey: Habesh Y432B–443A
Sixth Journey: Ibrim–Faiyum–Cairo Y443A Q341A−Q355A
Appendix I: The Turkish text of the Vatican Map
Appendix II: Map Zones
Bibliography
Index

Citation preview

Royal Asiatic Society Books The Royal Asiatic Society was founded in 1823 ‘for the investigation of subjects connected with, and for the encouragement of science, literature and the arts in relation to Asia’. Informed by these goals, the policy of the Society’s Editorial Board is to make available in appropriate formats the results of original research in the humanities and social sciences having to do with Asia, defined in the broadest geographical and cultural sense and up to the present day.  www.royalasiaticsociety.org

Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund Series The Royal Asiatic Society’s Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund, established in 2001 by Princess Fazilé Ibrahim, encourages the growth and development of Ottoman studies internationally by publishing Ottoman documents and manuscripts of historical importance from the classical period up to 1839, with transliteration, full or part translation and scholarly commentaries. The members of the Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund Editorial Board are as follows: Princess Fazilé Ibrahim, Founder, Professor Francis Robinson, CBE, Royal Holloway, University of London (Chair), Dr Evrim Binbaş, Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies, University of Bonn, Professor Edhem Eldem, Boğaziçi University, Istanbul, Dr Colin Heywood, SOAS, University of London, Professor Cemal Kafadar, Harvard University, Dr Claudia Römer, University of Vienna and Professor Michael Ursinus, Heidelberg University. Publications in the series include: Michael Ursinus, Grievance Administration (şikayet) in an Ottoman Province: The Kaymakam of Rumelia’s ‘Record Book of Complaints’ of 1781–1783, Routledge, 2005. Hakan Karateke, An Ottoman Protocol Register, Containing ceremonies from 1736 to 1808:BEO Sadaret Defterleri 350 in the Prime Ministry Ottoman State Archives, Istanbul, The Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Centre, 2007.

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile Evliya Çelebi’s ‘Matchless Pearl These Reports of the Nile’ map and his accounts of the Nile and the Horn of Africa in The Book of Travels

Robert Dankoff, Nuran Tezcan, Michael D. Sheridan

First published in 2018 by Gingko Library 70 Cadogan Place London SW1X 9AH Copyright © Robert Dankoff, Nuran Tezcan, Michael D. Sheridan 2018 The rights of Robert Dankoff, Nuran Tezcan, and Michael D. Sheridan to be identified as the authors of this work have been asserted in accordance with Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988. Vat. Turc. 73 is reproduced by permission of Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, with all rights reserved. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations in a review, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the publisher. ISBN 978-1-909942-16-5 e-ISBN 978-1-909942-17-2 Typeset in Times by MacGuru Ltd Printed in Spain Published in collaboration with the Royal Asiatic Society as an Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt Fund title. www.gingko.org.uk @GingkoLibrary

Contents List of Illustrations Preface Symbols Used in the Book Note on Transliteration and Translation Note on Currency Editions and Translations of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] Abbreviations Glossary of Administrative Terminology

vii x xii xiii xv xv xvi xvii

Introduction The Ottomans and the Nile The Nile Journeys in The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] The Vatican Map of the Nile Muslim and Ottoman Maps of the Nile Relation of the Map and the Book

1 3 5 10 13 22

Part I: Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile (Vat. Turc. 73) Prologue The Map

49 51 52

Part II: Translation of Evliya Çelebi’s accounts of the Nile and the Horn of Africa, from Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]89 Preliminary and Cairo, Y3A–278A 91 First Journey: Cairo–Alexandria–Rosetta–Cairo, Y277B–341A 122 Second Journey: Cairo–Damietta–Cairo Y341B–360A 168 Third Journey: Cairo–Luxor–Ibrim Y360A–395A 191 Fourth Journey: Funjistan–Maghraq–Sennar–Jarsinqa Y395A–432B 249 302 Fifth Journey: Habesh Y432B–443A

Sixth Journey: Ibrim–Faiyum–Cairo Y443A Q341A−Q355A Appendix I: The Turkish text of the Vatican Map Appendix II: Map Zones Bibliography Index

341 366 392 425 433

List of Illustrations Introduction 1.1 Map showing the key places to which Evliya Çelebi travelled in Africa 1.2 & 1.3  Two maps by Ebu Bekr b. Behram ed-Dimaşki: Southern Nile, Funj, Shallal, Red Sea; Bottom; Northern Nile, Mediterranean Coast (MS Nuruosmaniye 2996; Source: Nusretü’l-İslam ve’l-Surur fi Tahrir Atlas Mayor, Nuruosmaniye Kütüphanesi, 34 Nk 2996) 1.4 & 1.5  Two images from Vat. Turc. 73 showing the formulas rahmetullahi ʿaleyh and rahimehumu’llah (‘God have mercy on him’) (Source: Vat Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) 1.6 Detail of Cairo from Vat. Turc. 73 (Source: Vat. Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) 1.7 Detail of Cairo by Piri Reis, circa 1730 (Source: Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, Walters Art Museum, MS W658, 305a) 1.8 Detail of Cairo from Vat. Turc. 73 (Source: Vat. Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) 1.9 Detail of Cairo by Piri Reis, circa 1730 (Source: Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, Walters Art Museum, MS W658, 305a)

Part II 2.1 2.2

Cairo, Piri Reis, circa 1730 (Source: Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, Walters Art Museum, MS W658, 305a) Illustration of the Aqueduct of Sultan Ghawri, from the 1809 Déscription de l’Égypte (État Moderne), Vol. 1 [Plates], Plate no. 20 (Source: Déscription de l’Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l’expédition de l’Armée Française, État Moderne, Vol. 1 [Plates], 2nd edition (Paris: Imprimerie de C.L.F. Panckoucke, 1823))

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2.3 Map of Evliya Çelebi’s first journey (Michael D. Sheridan) 2.4 & 2.5 The Turʿat Nasiri Canal (Kb20; Vat. Turc. 73) which Eviliya shows beginning at Surumbay (Kb19) (Source: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818)) 2.6 The route from the fortress of Abu Qir to the town of Edku, from the Carte Topographique de l’Égypte (1818) (Source: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818)) 2.7 Map of Evliya Çelebi’s second journey (Michael D. Sheridan) 2.8 Damietta and environs, from the Carte Topographique de l’Égypte (1818) (Source: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818)) 2.9 Map of Evliya Çelebi’s third journey (Michael D. Sheridan) 2.10 Gebel El Silsila, from the 1809 Déscription de l’Égypte (Antiquités), Vol. 1 [Plates], Plate No. 47) (Source: Déscription de l’Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l’expédition de l’Armée Française, Antiquités, Vol. 1 [Plates], 2nd edition (Paris: Imprimerie de C.L.F. Panckoucke, 1820)) 2.11 Ruins of Kom Ombo temple, depicted by David Roberts for Egypt and Nubia (1842) (Source: David Roberts, The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia, Vol. V (London: Day & Son, 1856)) 2.12 & 2.13  Mummified crocodiles, from the Crocodile Museum at Kom Ombo (photographs Robert Dankoff, 29 February 2012) 2.14 Map of Evliya Çelebi’s fourth journey (Michael D. Sheridan) 2.15 Map of Evliya Çelebi’s fifth journey (Michael D. Sheridan) 2.16 Detail from Ludolfi’s map of Abyssinia (1683), showing Dahlak, Massawa, Arkiko and Dafalo/Irafalo/Hindiya; note the legend under Arkiko reading ‘Habessiniae Portus, quem nunc Turcae tenent’ [‘Port of Habesh/Abyssinia, which is now held by the Turks’] (Source: Hiob Ludolf, Historia Aethiopica, Sive Brevis & succincta descriptio Regni Habessinorum … (Frankfurt am Main: Joh[ann] D[avid] Zunner, 1681)) 2.17 Detail from Ludolfi’s map of Abyssinia (1683), showing Baylur (Beilul) and Terra Salis (i.e., Tuzla) with camels bearing bales of salt (Source: Hiob Ludolf, Historia Aethiopica, Sive Brevis & succincta descriptio Regni Habessinorum … (Frankfurt am Main: Joh[ann] D[avid] Zunner, 1681)) 2.18 Map of Evliya Çelebi’s sixth journey (Michael D. Sheridan)



List of Illustrations

2.19 Depictions of the lake in Faiyum from the 1818 Carte Topographique de l’Égypte (left) and from Vat. Turc. 73 (right) (Sources: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818); Vat. Turc. 73)

Vatican Map Images The complete Vatican map (colour) The Vatican map showing zones A to N

ix

Preface The most ambitious effort, before the time of Napoleon (r. 1804–1814), to explore and map out the Nile was undertaken by the Ottomans, as attested by two monumental documents: an elaborate map, with 475 entries, and a lengthy travel account. Both were achieved at about the same time − circa 1685 − and both apparently by the same man. Evliya Çelebi (1611–circa 1685) was the author of the greatest travel account in Islamic literature. His father, Derviş Mehmed Zılli, was chief goldsmith to the sultan and had houses and shops in the Unkapanı district of Istanbul. Evliya grew up in a household pervaded by accounts of Ottoman glories across the far-flung empire and in the capital. His religious training was grounded in memorisation of the Qurʾan and he studied in a madrasa for seven years. At age 25, owing to his talents as Qurʾan reciter, musician and raconteur, he was brought into the palace to serve as court entertainer to Sultan Murad IV (r. 1623–1640). There he received a more extensive training in Arabic grammar and Qurʾanic recitation, music, calligraphy and drawing − and apparently also mapmaking. At about age 30, blessed by the Prophet Muhammad in a dream, he decided on a career of travel. Directed by his father to keep an account, which would be entitled The Book of Travels [Seyahatname], Evliya set out, keeping notes that 40 years later he organised into ten large volumes. Their content is roughly as follows: 1 Istanbul 2 Bursa; the Black Sea coast, the Caucasus region, Crimea, Erzurum, Tabriz, Ankara; Anatolia, Celali revolts 3 Damascus; Melek Ahmed Pasha as grand vizier; Özü (Ochakov), Silistria, Sofia; Ipşir Pasha as grand vizier 4 Van and Bitlis; Azerbaijan, Armenia, Mesopotamia, Kurdistan 5 Özü, Bosnia; expedition of grand vizier Köprülü Mehmed Pasha against Celālī rebels in western Anatolia; Moldavia and Wallachia campaigns, the siege of Varat; Sarajevo, Split, Croatian borderland

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6 Albania; Austrian campaign, siege of Uyvar; Hungary; Dubrovnik 7 Battle of St Gotthard; Vienna; Crimea, Circassia, Kalmykia 8 Greece 9 Western and southern Anatolia; Chios, Cos, Rhodes; Jerusalem, Damascus; Haj pilgrimage, Mecca and Medina 10 Cairo; the Delta and Alexandria; Nile journey, Funjistan, Habesh, Suakin Evliya’s account of his Nile journeys in Volume 10 has been known to the scholarly world since 1938, when that volume was first published. A new critical edition was published in 2007. The map, in the Vatican Library (Vat. Turc. 73), known to scholars since 1949, was first published in 2010 in a Turkish edition. The book’s authors, Robert Dankoff and Nuran Tezcan, provided detailed evidence to show that the map must be attributed to Evliya Çelebi. Most of the 475 entries are cross-referenced to corresponding passages in The Book of Travels. This book, Ottoman Explorations of the Nile, is not simply an English version of the 2010 Turkish publication, but a completely new revised and expanded edition. The Introduction contextualises the two documents that attest to Ottoman explorations of the Nile along the following lines: • The Ottomans and the Nile: when, how and to what extent the Ottomans assumed control of the Nile (and also Horn of Africa); their relationship with the Funj kingdom, the Portuguese, etc; how the Nile figures in Ottoman geographical literature. • The Nile journeys in The Book of Travels: Evliya’s goals and methods; his travels in Egypt and Sudan and along the Red Sea coast; an outline of his six journeys; problems regarding the dates and authenticity of the journeys. • The Vatican Map of the Nile: previous scholarship; the structure and contents of the map; manner of referring to the 475 entries. • Arab and Ottoman Maps of the Nile: cartographic traditions to which Evliya had access and which he may have been influenced by; gauging to what degree the Vatican map of the Nile is an original creation. • Relation of the map and the book: similarities and correspondences in content, language and style; discrepancies between the two documents and how to account for them.

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Part I presents the entire map − the Prologue and the 475 entries containing both text and drawings − in English translation; a transcription of the original Turkish text of the map is given in an appendix. Considered as a text, the map is extraordinarily challenging philologically; this edition incorporates many new readings, bringing it one step closer to a definitive edition. Each of the 475 rubrics has been assigned a zone letter and number so that the entry can be read alongside the relevant map reference. Some entries also have a drawing, usually either a walled city or a mountain. Part II presents the book (i.e. Evliya’s travel account) in English translation. We have tried to include all passages that have any relevance to the map. For most towns and villages, we have included information about administration, the built environment and social and economic features, excluding only lengthy descriptions of mosques and madrasas, saints’ tombs, khans and other buildings, as well as historical excurses and hagiographies unless there is reference to these on the map. For the larger cities, Cairo and Alexandria in particular, we have only excerpted those passages that have direct relevance to the map.1 The passages translated in Part II retain the order and amplitude of the original. Thus we give full weight to both documents attesting to Ottoman explorations in Africa. By translating them separately, the integrity of each is preserved, while the relation between them is indicated through ample cross-references, allowing the reader to follow both together (see list below). The translation of the text relating to each of Evliya’s six journeys is accompanied by a map indicating his route and some of the places that he visited. In the cases of the fourth and fifth journeys, when Evliya ventured beyond Ottoman territory, there is at times uncertainty about the route followed and, in the case of his undoubtedly fanciful journey to Mogadishu, about the authenticity of the journey itself. These doubtful routes and journeys have been indicated as such on the journey maps. We have included on these maps only those places whose identity is certain and only places of some size (larger cities and towns) and/or significance (in terms of Evliya devoting a good deal of space to them).

Symbols Used in the Book In the translation, we use a number of symbols to denote missing or illegible text:

one or two words of illegible text which we have been unable to translate and which is therefore missing (Part I)

1 For Cairo, see KAIRO; for Alexandria, see Bacqué-Grammont and Tuchscherer 2013.

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an illegible phrase which we have been unable to translate or a portion of the text that is cut off or mouse-eaten and which is therefore missing (Part I) (* ) misspelled place names, signalled by an asterisk before the corrected form, e.g. DSYR (*Dumsin), BLYFYH (*Fashna) (Part I) […] omitted text (Part II) (—) a blank space in the text, the size of one word (Part II) Cross-references and author commentary are given as follows: ()

parentheses enclose cross-references within the book and explanatory comments offered by the translators [] square brackets enclose cross-references to the map and comments having to do with textual problems, as well as italicised notes referring to omitted passages. [→ A1, Kb2] cross-reference to the map [⇒Y100a / Q100b] cross-reference to the book → cross-reference to the corresponding labelled section of the Vatican map ⇒ cross-reference to the corresponding manuscript folio in Volume 10 of The Book of Travels Sindi (D1=D9) indication that the map carries the toponomy to the other side of the Nile (see explanation below, p. 25) Note that italics in the translation signifies that the original text is Arabic or Persian, not Turkish.

Note on Transliteration and Translation Generally, we render Egyptian place names in their normalised Arabic form, except when they are clearly Turkish.2 Names with the Arabic letter jim are given according to the Egyptian pronunciation (thus Girga rather than Jirja, etc). That Evliya himself pronounced gim as jim in this part of the world is evident through 2 cf. the practice in Winter 1992. Diacritics are generally omitted, except where the discussion hinges on them. However, all diacritics are included in Appendix: The Turkish text of the Vatican Map.

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his spelling of Gherar as Jarrar-bashı (Y439a) and Ghedem as Jida (Y439b).3 Elsewhere, too, standard forms substitute for Evliya’s eccentricities. Thus we have Arkiko (or Harqiqo) and Massawa instead of Kharq-ova and Musova,4 and Dembiya for Evliya’s Dumbiya and Dumbistan.5 We have tended to Arabise proper names as well, even some that can be considered Turkish. Thus we have Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha (substituting for Canpoladzade Hüseyin Paşa). Clearly Turkish names, however, are given in modern Turkish transcription. ‘Town’ and ‘village’ (unspecified) correspond to belde/beled and karye/kura respectively (belide is also translated ‘village’); otherwise they are specified, thus: ‘town (kasaba)’, etc. Kasaba implies an administrative centre, and since this is a Turkish usage, the Turkish spelling is retained (rather than qasaba). Mahalle is translated as ‘town quarter’. But note that Evliya extends the Egyptian use of mahalla in such town names as al-Mahalla al-Kabir to many other towns, and we have retained his usage; for example, Mahallat Sharawi and Mahallat Darawi (in the Turkish text: Mahalle-i Şirâvî ve Mahalle-i Derâvî, Y340a). ‘Entrepot’ translates bender. ‘City’ translates şehr. ‘Fortress’ and ‘castle’ correspond to kalʿa, the part of a settlement enclosed by a wall (as opposed to varoş, the extra-mural or ex-urban settlement). Place names using this term again follow Evliya’s usage; for example, the Ancient Qalʿat Burullus (in the Turkish text: kalʿa-i kadîm-i Burlos, Y342a). Sebil is rendered as ‘public fountain’ or ‘water dispensary’. Types of Nile boats include the ʿaqaba, jarim, and qayasa (see the illustrations from Piri Reis, Figs. 1.9 and 2.1). Parasang, rendering farsah, is a measure of distance (approximately 3 miles). Fatiha and Yasin refer to surah 1 and surah 36 respectively of the Qurʾan, both frequently recited for pious purposes. Dhikr, a Qurʾanic term meaning ‘remembrance of God’ and applying to various Sufi rituals, substitutes in the translation for the following, which Evliya seems to use indiscriminately: tevhid (Y304b), tevhid-i erre (Y277b-279a), tevhid-i ʿaşıkan (Y279b), tevhid-i sultani (Y278b), tevhid [ü] tehlil (Y279a), tevhid [ü] tezkir (Y280a, Y341a) and zikrullah (Y280a). Terms accepted as English words, and thus not translated, include khan for a public inn and its equivalent in Egypt, wakala; hammam for a public bath; mastaba

3 cf. Bombaci 1943, 269, n. 2. 4 In these two cases Evliya tried to assimilate the place names to Turkish names with ova, meaning ‘valley’; thus, there is also Khanende-ova (‘Singing Valley’) for Hadendoa. 5 Note that Bombaci 1943, 261, n. 1, thought that the u was a mistake of the editor, but that is not the case; rather, e is rounded because of its proximity to a rounded consonant, m (cf. Massawa > Musova); perhaps also Dumbistan was created by analogy with Funjistan.

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for a stone bench; boza for a beverage made of fermented millet;6 ardab for a dry measure (approximately 6 bushels);7 okka for a measure of weight (approximately 1.3 kg); sakia for a water contraption; Sharia for Islamic law; madrasa for a religious school; and qibla for the direction of prayer.8 The transliteration follows the system of the International Journal of Middle East Studies with few exceptions. Diacritical marks have been added to manuscript titles and to Arabic quotations, but not to proper or geographical names and to terms in the translated text of Seyahatname.

Note on Currency Akçe, a small silver coin, was the basic unit of account in the Ottoman empire in the 17th century. (Typically Evliya says of a place, ‘It is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level’, meaning that the kadi’s salary is 150 akçes per diem, an amount allowing him to maintain a prosperous household.) The gurush or Groschen, a foreign (Venetian or Spanish) silver coin, was worth about 80 akçe. The para was a small coin worth 1/40th of a gurush. The smallest unit of currency was the copper mankır, equivalent to the Arabic fuls, of which there were four in an akçe. ‘Egyptian purse’ was a unit of account equivalent to 833 gurush, while ‘Egyptian treasure’ was a unit of expense equivalent to 1,200 Egyptian purses. Otherwise, ‘purse’ (kise) was equivalent to 500 gurush. Another term that comes up is yük (lit. ‘load’), meaning 100,000 akçe.

Editions and Translations of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] References are usually to Y, the ‘Yıldız’ manuscript of Vol. 10 (İstanbul Üniversitesi Kütüphanesi Türkçe Yazmalar 5973). Occasionally we cite passages not found in this manuscript, in which case the reference is usually to Q 6 cf. Lane 1908, 96. 7 Note that a quintal (rendering kantar) is approximately 80 okkas or 100 kg, while a batman is approximately 23 kg and a miskal approximately 4.8 g. 8 Evliya’s use of kıble is problematic. If the reference is to winds, kıble usually means south-east, in contradistinction to cenub for south. (For more discussion of this point, see Bruinessen and Boeschoten 1988, 201, n. 2.) Thus, in this book, kıble is usually translated ‘south-east’ (but where it is a term for the direction of prayer, it is rendered literally as ‘qibla’); yıldız as ‘north’ (but ‘north-west’ when it is coupled with şimal, meaning ‘north’); lodos as ‘south-west’; keşişleme as ‘south-east’; poyraz as ‘north-east’; karayel as ‘northwest’; garb as ‘west’; and gündoğ(r)usu as ‘east’. Evliya’s usual reference point for the eight winds is Istanbul; see Mantran 1962, 21, Carte 3.

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(Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi Hacı Beşir Ağa 452), or occasionally also to P (Süleymaniye Kütüphanesi Pertev Paşa 462). All of the references may be located in the YKY critical edition: Seyit Ali Kahraman, Yücel Dağlı and Robert Dankoff (eds.), Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnamesi 10. Kitap (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2007). References to Vol. 9 (indicated by IX) are also to Y, the ‘Yıldız’ manuscript (Topkapı Sarayı Kütüphanesi Bağdat 306) and can be located in the YKY critical edition: Yücel Dağlı, Seyit Ali Kahraman and Robert Dankoff (eds.), Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnamesi 9. Kitap (Istanbul: Yapı K redi Yayınları, 2005). We do not cite the older edition of Volume 10: Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnamesi, onuncu cilt (Istanbul, 1938); nor have we consulted the Arabic translation: Muhammad ʿAli ʿAwni, ʿAbd al-Wahhab ʿAzzam, Ahmad al-Saʿid Sulayman and Ahmad Fuad Mutawalli (eds.), Siyāḥatnāmat Miṣr, (Cairo: Dar al-kutub wa al-wathaʾiq al-qawmiyya, 2009).

Abbreviations Robert Dankoff, Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnamesi Okuma Sözlügü, 3rd edition (Istanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları, 2013). P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel and EI2 W.P. Heinrichs (eds.), Encyclopaedia of Islam, 2nd edition (http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/browse/encyclopaediaof-islam-2, 2014; last accessed 3 October 2017). FUNC Erich Prokosch, Ins Land der geheimnisvollen Func: Des türkischen Weltenbummlers Evliyā Çelebi Reise durch Oberägypten und den Sudan nebst der osmanischen Provinz Habeş in den Jahren 1672/73 (Graz, 1994). KAIRO Erich Prokosch, Kairo in der zweiten Hälfte des 17. Jahrhunderts beschrieben von Evliyā Çelebi (Istanbul: Simurg, 2000). MENTALITY Robert Dankoff, An Ottoman Mentality: The World of Evliya Çelebi (Leiden: Brill, 2004, 2nd edition 2006). TRAVELLER Robert Dankoff and Sooyong Kim, An Ottoman Traveller: Selections from The Book of Travels of Evliya Çelebi (London: Eland, 2010).

EÇSOS

Glossary of Administrative Terminology agha amin Bedouin (ʿurban) bey çelebi çorbacı deli, sekban divan efendi eyalet = vilayet fellahin ghaza imam

kadi kanun

title of an Ottoman official, especially a military officer functionary responsible for extracting revenue from a state-supervised entity (cf. Winter 1992, 43, 250) Arab tribesmen (cf. Winter 1992, 79) title of a high-ranking emir (cf. Winter 1992, 20) title given to Ottoman gentlemen commander of a Janissary unit soldiers in irregular Turkish military units the council of state, where the Pasha would meet with the beys four times a week title given to members of religious or bureaucratic organisations Ottoman province Arab subjects, non-military, whether peasants or town-dwellers warfare on behalf of Islam (= jihad), a term used for Ottoman military campaigns prayer-leader; title for one of the founders of the four Sunni legal schools; title for the Zaydi religious leader of Yemen a qadi or judge in a Sharia court and administrative governor of a kadi district (qada, Tk. kaza) statute, custom; Ottoman dynastic law (as opposed to Sharia)

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kashif (also kashshaf ) provincial governor, the district he governs being a kashiflik title of a steward or deputy ketkhuda designation of soldiers in military units stemming mamluk = jundi from pre-Ottoman times title for the chief kadi of a province molla caller to prayer muezzin jurisconsult pertaining to one of the four Sunni legal mufti schools, with the chief mufti being the shaikh al-islam multazim tax farmer − at this period the multazims were equivalent to the kashifs (cf. Shaw 1962, 60) nahiye administrative division of a kadi district naʾib deputy of a kadi naqib al-ashraf marshal of the descendants of the Prophet pasha title for high officers of the state − when capitalised in the translation, ‘the Pasha’ refers to the Ottoman governor of Egypt, resident in the Cairo Citadel sanjak administrative division of an Ottoman province Seven Regiments units of the Ottoman army garrisoned in Cairo and elsewhere; the first two are infantry regiments (= ojaqs); the others cavalry regiments (= sipahi) (cf. Winter 1992, 37) 1. Janissaries = Mustahfizan-i Qalʿ a-i Misr (Guardians of the Citadel) 2. ʿAzab, ʿAzaban 3. Müteferriqa 4. Chavush 5. Cherakise (Circassians) 6. Gönüllüyan (volunteers) 7. Tüfenkjiyan (musketeers) seyyid title for descendants of the Prophet; they were accorded a number of privileges, including exemption from payment of taxes shaikh title of the head of a religious order; title of an Arab tribal chief subashi chief of police timar a grant of the right to collect tax from land in return for military or administrative service



Glossary of Administrative Terminology

ulema vilayet = eyalet zeʿamet

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religious personnel, including kadis, muftis, imams, shaikhs of religious orders, etc. Ottoman province a large timar providing an annual income of between 20,000 and 100,000 akçe

Introduction Evliya Çelebi, author of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname], arrived in Cairo on 4 June 1672 (7 Safer 1083), having completed the Haj pilgrimage. After decades of travelling throughout the Ottoman Empire, with forays into Iran and Central Europe, he might well have considered the nine large volumes that culminated in his account of the Haj to be a lifetime accomplishment.1 But his travels were not done: he spent the next ten years exploring Egypt and its African hinterland. These explorations resulted in two monumental achievements. One of these is an elaborate map of the Nile River, preserved in the Vatican Library (Vat. Turc. 73). While Evliya’s authorship of the map is not immediately apparent, it emerges clearly when compared with his travel account, as argued extensively below. An edition and translation of the map constitute Part I of this book. Evliya’s other achievement is Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname], arguably the richest and certainly the longest of the ten volumes. Roughly half is devoted to Cairo, with excurses on the history and geography of Egypt, Ottoman administration in Egypt, the fauna of the Nile, the Moulid (birthday celebration) of Ahmad al-Badawi in Tanta and many other topics. The second half is a description of his expeditions along the Nile. First, he goes from Cairo to Alexandria and Rosetta and to Damietta along the two branches of the Nile in the Delta. Then, setting out once again from Cairo, he travels as far south as Sudan and returns via Habesh (Abyssinia, roughly today’s Eritrea) and the Red Sea coast. His accounts of these journeys, in translation, constitute Part II of this book.

1 For an overview of Evliya’s life and excerpts from all 10 volumes of The Book of Travels, see TRAVELLER.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Figure 1.1: Map showing the key places to which Evliya Çelebi travelled in Africa

Introduction

3

The Ottomans and the Nile When the Ottomans conquered the Mamluks in 1517 they assumed stewardship of the Nile valley in Egypt, with its metropolis of Cairo (often referred to in Ottoman usage as Mısır, the same term as for Egypt as a whole), along with Syria and the Holy Cities in the Hijaz.2 Later expeditions added the provinces of Habesh and Yemen to the Ottoman domains, though these proved to be less permanent conquests.3 The southern Ottoman frontier was established at Ibrim, with the Funj kingdom in control of the Nile Valley in Sudan.4 Given that Egypt and the Nile Valley were the most profitable areas in the empire and their strategic importance in relation to the Holy Cities in Arabia, the geography of this region was naturally of concern to Ottoman imperial administrators. Shortly after the conquest, the celebrated sea captain Piri Reis sailed up the Nile as far as Cairo; he included his mappings of the river and of the metropolis in his Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye [Book of Navigation], which otherwise is confined to the Mediterranean coastal waters (see discussion below on Arab and Ottoman maps of the Nile). Thus, by the 17th century, Egypt and the Nile had become part of a rich discourse of Ottoman geographical and travel writings.5 The two Çelebis6 − the polymath Katib Çelebi (1609–1657) and the traveller Evliya Çelebi (1611–circa 1685) − exemplify the range of these Ottoman geographical preoccupations. At the beginning of his Cihannüma [Cosmorama], Katib Çelebi − also known as Hacı Halife (Haji Khalifa) − writes: It is not concealed from the minds of knowledgeable men that the science of geography … is so excellent a science and so desired a skill, that one who has experience of it and knows its subtleties can, while seated on the cushion of repose in the parlour of security and sociability, move around the world in an instant like world travellers who go to the ends of the earth. Such intellectual journeying enables one to acquire a level of knowledge that those who have spent a lifetime travelling are unable to reach. That is because, by continual recourse to the books of the geographers, every corner of the earth becomes 2 Important works on Ottoman Egypt include Shaw 1962, 1964, 1966; Winter 1992; Behrens-Abouseif 1994; Daly 2008. 3 See Orhonlu 1974. 4 See Alexander 1996; Hinds and Sakkout 1986; Peacock 2012. 5 Cf. İhsanoğlu 2000. 6 Çelebi − a title roughly equivalent to ‘Gentleman’ or ‘Esquire’ − was assumed by men of letters whose career did not fall strictly within one of the recognised lines: religious, military or bureaucratic; see MENTALITY, 115–16.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

engraved on the tablet of the heart, so that when it is time to recall it, it flashes instantly upon the imagination in general outline and one sees it in the mirror of the mind as though it is before one’s eyes.7

Katib Çelebi wrote the Cihannüma towards the end of his life, leaving it uncompleted when he died in 1657. He was a man of books: his bibliography of Islamic literature, Kashf al-ẓunūn8 (written in Arabic), is still a major resource for literary historians. He gathered and recorded information about countries and cities the same way he did for books. In addition to the Islamic sources in Arabic, Persian and Turkish, he made use of European works such as the Atlas Minor of Mercator, which he had translated for him into Turkish. On the subject of maps, he wrote: In this book [Cihannüma], I did not feel compelled to copy all of the maps (eşkal), and have left some things out for conciseness’ sake. For it would be a laborious task to copy all the maps from one manuscript to another. And since there is no printing in our country, it would be difficult to illustrate even a single page. So when a copy was made, there would be blank spaces left (where the illustrations would have gone) and the book would be defective. Therefore I was satisfied with including some of the general maps (eşkal-i ʿamme). The coordinates of the important cities recorded on these maps were included in the text; they were not consigned to the maps. So even if the maps had to be omitted, the book would not be defective but would stand on its own and adequately describe this subject. The problem is that there are few scribes who can copy a text with all its illustrations properly in place − in our country there may be none − and the (miserable?) condition of those who can is well known. Nevertheless, it is to be hoped that those brethren who make copies of this esteemed book, or employ others to do so, will take pains to include the illustrations in their proper places, so the book will not turn into a boor stripped of his clothes or a bird with plucked tail and wings. This is because fine illustrations are one of the requisites of this science, which traditionally has been expounded by addressing both the mind and the senses. But what can we do about fools who think these illustrations are useless and cut them off when they copy the book? May God bring misfortune on their heads and cut off the days of their lives!9 7 Katib Çelebi 1732, 1 (corrected according to MS Revan 1624, 1b; see Sezgin 2013). 8 Kashf al-ẓunūn ʿan asāmī al-kutub wa al-funūn. 9 Katib Çelebi 1732, 56 (corrected according to MS Revan 1624, 11b; see Sezgin 2013).

Introduction

5

Evliya Çelebi was the opposite of the armchair traveller and ‘intellectual journeyer’ touted by Katib Çelebi. He insisted on eyewitness reporting (though he actually resorted to books much more than he admitted).10 He aimed to traverse the entire course of the Nile, from the Mediterranean outlets as far as its source. And he had the intention of recording his explorations in his travelogue and on a map − both of which goals he achieved.

The Nile Journeys in The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]11 The Nile journeys are full of original and interesting observations. Some were made in a poorly known geographical area and in regions of wilderness inhabited by peoples who were considered heathens. Evliya’s trip southward up the Nile was ultimately animated by the desire to reach the river’s source, in an age when it had not yet been discovered and was still swathed in legend. From his home base in Cairo, he aimed to travel the entire length of the river. While he did not reach the source − a goal that had proved unattainable to both Roman and Arab travellers, and would indeed not be attained for another two centuries − he did manage to explore and describe much of the present-day countries of Egypt and Sudan. He also went through Ethiopia to Habesh on the Red Sea coast (presentday Eritrea) and continued as far east as the Strait of Zeila (at the border of Somalia and Djibouti), before returning to Cairo. Evliya set out in a party of seven or eight men with the commission and backing of Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha,12 the Ottoman governor of Egypt, and with letters of recommendation to the governors of the places where he was going. He sometimes went by boat on the Nile, sometimes on horseback, and in some places he halted for long periods. Wherever he went he was received and hosted by high officials, such as governors, kings and sultans. By his own reckoning, the journeys occupied around nine months, from August 1672 to April 1673. But if we consider the periods that Evliya gives in The Book of Travels [Seyahatname], they must have been spread over a considerably longer time. He spent one month in Alexandria (Y329a) and a month in the company of Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha upon returning to Cairo from Damietta (Y359b–360a); stayed for 40 days in Sennar (Y417b) and two months in Firdaniya (Y429b); took 45 days to return from Jarsinqa to Sennar 10 See MENTALITY, 188–96. 11 cf. N. Tezcan 2011, 2012. 12 Ebu’l-hayr Ibrahim Pasha, known by the epithet Semiz (Fat), was governor of Egypt in the years 1081–1084/1670–1673. Evliya speaks of Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha with praise and specifically states that he was fat (Q353b, P347b).

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

(Y431b); and stayed one month in Zeila (Q338a). If we add the return trip, plus the many days between the hundreds of stages in the various journeys, it comes to much more than nine months. To account for the discrepancy, we must assume either that some of the dates and periods mentioned are arbitrary, or that some of the journeys are fictional, or both. The six journeys, as narrated in Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] (Y277b–450b + Q345a P339a–Q350b P344b), are as follows:13

1. Cairo–Alexandria–Rosetta–Cairo, Y277b–341a Arriving in Cairo from the Haj pilgrimage on 7 April 1672 (Y2b),14 Evliya enters the retinue of Ibrahim Pasha. Four months later, on 7 August (Y277b), during the ceremonies conducted in Cairo by the shaikhs and dervishes of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi in order to obtain the warrant authorising the Moulid in Tanta for that year, he is commissioned by Ibrahim Pasha to take letters to the kashifs (provincial governors) of Gharbiya and Minufiya provinces. The preparations are made in Bulaq (Cairo’s port) and take three days. The next morning, the Badawi caravan − consisting of 12 ships, each with 4 decks and 2,000 passengers, plus 200 (or else 600 or 700!) qayasa fishing boats and caiques, and constituting a party of 40,000 or 50,000 people − sets off on the Nile. While conversing with his friends the shaikhs on a smaller boat, Evliya begins to record information about the places they pass on both sides of the river: Shubra, Batn al-Baqar (Y279b), Mit Ghamr, Minuf (Y281b). In Tanta (Y284b), after delivering the letters to the kashifs of Gharbiya and Minufiya, he observes the Moulid.15 Before travelling back to Cairo, he proceeds down the western branch of the Nile, passing through Mahallat al-Marhum and Abyar to Nahariya (Y295b) and Farasdak. Here he observes the Moulid of Ibrahim Dassuki (Y301a). Arriving in Damanhur (Y304b), Evliya notes that he has been touring Egypt for eight years (Y306a). He joins another Moulid on 29 September (Y307a). Finally he arrives in Alexandria (Y313b), where he stays for one month (Y329a). After an inspection tour of Abu Qir, he proceeds to Rosetta, where, at the mouth of the Nile, he prays that he might travel as far as the river’s source (Y336b). On the return journey to Cairo he passes back and forth to the provinces of Gharbiya and Buhayra and Minufiya (Y337a–339a), stopping at Birimbal, Dayrut, Ashmun and Giza. 13 A full description of the journeys is given at the beginning of each. 14 The date is suspect. He dates some of the travels in Egypt to the prior year. 15 cf. translation in TRAVELLER, 414–36.

Introduction

7

Crossing the Nile at Imbaba (Y341a), he returns to Cairo and reports to Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha.

2. Cairo–Damietta–Cairo (Y341b–360a) The Pasha now commissions Evliya to inspect the garrisons of Burullus, Damietta and Tina in order that he have the opportunity to tour the Damietta branch of the Nile as well. When he reaches Damietta (Y344b), he again observes where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean, then makes his inspection of Gharbiya fortress (Y349a) and receives his wage. On the return journey to Cairo he stops at al-Mansura (Y352a) and al-Mahalla al-Kubra (Y355b). Returning to Cairo, he presents gifts to Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha (Y359b). He remains in the city for one month (Y360a).

3. Cairo–Luxor–Ibrim (Y360a–395a) The Pasha now sends Evliya to the governor of Girga in Upper Egypt with a commission regarding the recovery of a boat that had sunk at Asyut. Evliya, seizing the opportunity, says that he wants to go to Funjistan and requests letters for that journey as well. The Pasha has letters drawn up and provides Evliya with gifts to take to the King of Funjistan and a letter of introduction in which he speaks of him as though he were an important individual sent by the Ottoman state (Y360b). Evliya sets out in May 1672,16 stops at Minya, Manfalut and Asyut, the Mountain of Birds (Y369b) and Sohag, then arrives at Girga (Y373a). Continuing his journey up the Nile on 28 May 1672,17 he stops at Qena (Y379b), where he departs from his main route and in ten hours arrives at the Red Sea port of al-Qusayr (Y381a).18 Returning to the Nile in nine hours, he visits Luxor (Y382b), Kom Ombo (Y384b), Aswan (Y386a–388a), Wadi al-Subuʿ (Y390a) and Derr (Y390b) before arriving in Ibrim (Y391a), the southernmost limit of the Ottoman Empire. Here he gets friendly letters of introduction for the Funj amirs and king and sets out towards the south with a caravan of 800 men. He writes that he intends to 16 Assuming that the date mentioned in the text at Y360b (‘the end of 1082 [June 1671]’) is an error for the end of 1083. 17 Assuming that the date mentioned in the text at Y378a (‘the first day of the month of Safar in the year 1082 [9 June 1671]’) is an error for 1 Safar 1083. 18 Based on the information given with regard to the length of the journey and the route, Kornrumpf believes that Evliya could not possibly have carried it out; see Kornrumpf 1983.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

make a map of the places he has seen and produce a work like the Papamunta (Mappa Mundi; Y392a). Arriving in Saï (Y393a), his party urges him to give up going to Funjistan because the road is unsafe. But Evliya insists and repeats his prayer to see the source of the Nile.

4. Funjistan–Maghraq–Sennar–Jarsinqa (Y395a–432b) In the cities he now goes to, Evliya is met by Funj governors, given protectors and assured of his personal security on the road. After visiting Maghraq, Tannara and Sese, he reports (Y396b) that he crossed the equator at a distance of three hours from Narnarinta.19 Other places he describes are Hafir al-Saghir, Hafir alKabir, Qandi, Nawri and Sindi. In the desert of Daniqa, Evliya meets the King of Nubia, which he calls Berberistan (Y398a). Beyond Wardan, in the plain of Hanqoch, he is greeted by Kör Husayn Bey, to whom he hands over the letters of the Ottoman governor of Egypt as well as those of the notables of Girga, Derr, Ibrim and Saï. Together they make their way to Lake Feyle, where he stays for two months (Y399b). He witnesses the Funj raid on the fortress of Firdaniya in October 1672 (Y401a). Continuing on to Dongola, Tangusi, and Gherri, he eventually comes to Ilgun Dongola,20 the capital of Berberistan.21 At Arbaji he is met by Qan Jirjis, the King of 19 This is mistaken; the equator passes through the north part of Lake Victoria. 20 Ilgun is the Turkish word for ‘tamarisk’. Petti Suma (1964, 448, n. 95) suggests that Evliya may have heard ‘Ilt’, a local name for the province, and that the place in question is Soba, capital of the ancient realm of ʿAlwa, destroyed by the Funj. 21 A good deal of this part of Evliya’s journey appears to be fictional. Udal’s study (1997; 1998, 17–35) is a heroic attempt to reconcile the information on the map with that provided in The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] and by later travellers such as Burckhardt. See also Elzein 2009. It seems fair to say that Udal is far too trusting of Evliya’s information. In the words of Habraszewski (2009–2010, 304n.), the route suggested by Udal ‘does not agree with geographical details supplied by Evliya and is not confirmed by toponyms and ethnonyms of the Sudan’. On the other hand, Habraszewski’s suggestion that the map was by someone other than Evliya, who used it and adjusted his account to accord with it, is based only on the discrepancies in the Sudanese materials of the two documents, whereas a comparison of all the materials clearly shows that Evliya was the author of both (see discussion below). The scepticism of Peacock 2012, 103–5 (‘the further Evliya’s journey led him up the Nile, the more exotic his stories become and the further his itinerary diverges from the actual topography of the lands through which he purports to have passed… . Evliya probably got little further than Ottoman-controlled territories, as his confused and fantastic itineraries up the Nile and into Ethiopia so strongly suggest… . Evliya’s account of the Funj owes little or nothing to personal experience’) also seems exaggerated. It is difficult to believe that the detailed and colourful information he gives about Sennar, for example (Y413a–417a),

Introduction

9

Funjistan’s brother and his vizier, who subjects him to some embarrassing interrogation (Y409b). At Itshan he encounters two Bektashi dervishes from Turkey, who join his retinue. Then, at Hillat al-Jundi Thawr, he meets the Sultan of Sudan, Malik Qaqan, who is the Funj emperor (Y412b). After greetings and an exchange of gifts, they set out together towards Sennar, reaching it on 11 December 1672 (Y413a). Calculating the elevation with astrolabe and quadrant, Evliya determines that they are 30 stages south of the equator (Y417a). He spends the month of Ramadan 1083 (with the festival on 24 January 1673) here with Malik Qaqan, remaining a total of 40 days (Y417b). They continue south to Rumeilat al-Himal (Y426b) and eventually to Mt. Shawam, where Evliya takes another elevation and finds that they have travelled 70 stages from the equator (Y429a). Having come 180 stages from Cairo in eight months, they return to the vilayet of Sudan on 18 February 1673 (Y429b), and at Jarsinqa they are told that it is another 32 stages south to the source of the Nile. Evliya returns to Rumeila and Sennar, where he obtains leave from the king, along with letters, gifts and an armed guard, and sets out for Habesh. The round trip between Sennar and Jarsinqa with the King of Sudan has taken 40 days (Y432a). He returns to Itshan and Arbaji, where he again meets with Qan Jirjis. Informed about the road to Habesh by some Turkish-speaking Djabarti aghas who are officials of the Habesh garrison, he sets out on the 20-day journey. owes nothing to personal experience. On this point, it is worth quoting Udal (1997, 47–8): ‘Evliya does justice to Sennar − devoting to it some 20 per cent of the 1938 text covering Wadi Halfa to Habes. Though he could have gathered much knowledge from others of the detailed lay-out of the town; its moated fortress with cannon and outer wall of 3,000 paces, and the principal mosque of Kakan Idris with its minaret, nevertheless, the descriptions of its inhabitants, their merchandise, musical instruments, distinctions of dress and, above all, of the formal reception in audience by the King of this representative of the Viceroy − and so of the Sultan whose name was remembered in the Friday prayers − are too vivid and real to excite serious doubt about Evliya’s personal participation.’ Habraszewski 2013, discussing the views of Petti Suma, Bosayley, and Udal, says: ‘[T] hey do not seem to have realised that Evliya’s notes on other regions of the Sudan, as well as that of the military expedition [of Firdaniya], were shuffled like in a pack of cards’ (256). He goes on to speculate that Hanqoch ‘may be the corrupt record of a locality called Dankoj … situated south-west of Bara … and north of El-Obeid (257)’; that Lake Feyle ‘is identical with the lake usually named as Kajmar: Evliya’s name Feyle is patently connected with modern El Filya … ’ (257); that Firdan is equivalent to Feradna, one of the Arab tribal names for the inhabitants of the Kordofan hills, and Firdaniya is perhaps the same as Jebel el Fardi (259–60); that Evliya’s description at Y400b–401a of the fortress of Firdaniya is practically identical to the description of the ruins at Jebel Zankor by A.F.D. Penn, who made excavations at the site in 1928 and 1929 (260–63); that the name of King Hardiqan mentioned at Y400a–b ‘could be a distorted form of Kurdufan’ or Kordofan (264); etc. While some of these speculations have a certain plausibility, it is probably safe to say that Habraszewski’s article is not the last word on the subject.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

5. Habesh (Y432b–443a) Evliya goes to Wadi Qoz (Qoz Rajab?) and proceeds through Ethiopia, which he calls the vilayet of Dembiya, reaching Habesh territory at Abrash (Y434b) and finally the Red Sea port of Dunqunab (Y435a). He tours Suakin, the island of Dahlak, Massawa and Gherar, arriving at Arkiko on 29 March 1673 (Y440b). Proceeding overland to Hindiya, Beilul and Zeila (Y442a Q337b) he observes the Oman Strait and the Bab al-Mandab. He then pretends to go on south to Mogadishu before returning to Arkiko on 16 June (Q339a). Retracing his steps to Dunqunab, he heads west and eventually returns to Ibrim on 13 September (Y443a). Evliya tells us what a difficult and extraordinary journey this was; that God granted it to him as a favour; and that the information he gathered from it would be added to the books of world geography. Giving a summary of his previous travels, he emphasises the great distances he has covered (Y443a–b).

6. Ibrim–Faiyum–Cairo (Y443a Q341a − Q355b) Evliya returns to Girga and proceeds to Al-Wahat (the oases, Kharga), Bahnasa and Faiyum (Q346b). While in Giza he tours the pyramids (Q349b).22 Returning to Cairo on 18 April 1673 (Q350a), Evliya gives the King of Funjistan’s gifts to Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha. In August, Ibrahim Pasha is removed from office and in the next month Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha becomes governor. Evliya immediately attaches himself to his new patron, who does a number of good works in Egypt. But after two years in office, Husayn Pasha is forced to flee due to an uprising as Egypt is thrown into turmoil. Evliya then witnesses several uprisings in Cairo. In July 1676 ʿAbdurrahman Pasha, whom he met 20 years earlier in Transylvania, is appointed governor and Evliya goes to Syria with the official greeting party (Q354a). During this journey he passes through Sabil ʿAllam, Matariya, ʿAyn Shams, Khankah, Bilbais, ʿArish, Amsus, ʿAtfih, and Salihiya (Q355a).23

The Vatican Map of the Nile The map consists of a Prologue and 475 entries − distinct geographical areas demarcated by lines, characterised in a text, and often marked by a drawing, with 22 cf. Haarmann 1976; translation in TRAVELLER, 403–6. 23 This could be considered a seventh journey. We have attached it to the sixth and only translated the parts that have relevance to the map.

Introduction

11

most of the drawings representing either a walled city or mountains. For ease of reference, we have divided the map into twenty zones as follows: ZONE A B C D E F G Ha Hb Hc I Ja Jb Ka Kb Kc La Lb M N

DESCRIPTION Sources of the Nile: Magnetic Mountain and Mountain of the Moon; the eleven bridges Rivers of the Nile Valleys of the Nile; city of Wardan; Funj kingdom Sindi, Qandi, Hafir al-Saghir, Hafir al-Kabir Jazirat al-Hammam, Narinta, Sese, Maghraq, Saï, Ibrim Isna, Ermen, cataract, Edfu, Azraq Jazu, Wadi ʿUrban, Wadi al-Subuʿ, Kushtamna; Bedouins (Kalafish, Mihriya, Kunuz) Aswan, Qulumbu (Kom Ombo), Gebel Silsila Luxor, Akhmim, Qena, Fuwwa; Bedouins (Hujayza, Hawwara, ʿAbabida) Hu, Farshut, Samannut, Manshiya, Abu Tig, Manfalut, Umm al-Qusur Al-Wahat (The Oases), Al-Bahnasa, Faiyum Faiyum, Mallawi, Ashmunayn, Minya, Maymuna; Tunisian coast (Tunus, Sousse) Tunisian and Libyan coast (Barca, Djerba, Tripoli), pyramids, Giza, Inbaba Cairo, Bulaq, Shubra Branching of the Nile: Manuf, Tarrana Western branch of the Nile, west bank: Damanhur, Alexandria, Abu Qir, Rosetta Western branch of the Nile, east bank: Farasdak, shrine of Seyyid Ibrahim Dassuki, Fuwwa, Burullus Eastern branch of the Nile, west bank: Matariya, Shubra, Minyat Shubra Eastern branch of the Nile, east bank: Manzara, Faraskur, Damietta Red Sea and Gulf of Suez: Zeila, Suakin, Mocha, Jedda, Yanbu, ʿAqaba, Sinai Desert, Suez, Mt. Sinai Bilbais, ʿArish; Palestine, Syria, Iraq, eastern Anatolia and western Iran

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Previous Scholarship The map was first studied by Ettore Rossi,24 who provided the following information: The map (Vat. Turc. 73) is 543 cm long, 45 cm wide in the southern and 88 cm wide in the northern half; it is drawn upon rough cloth and represents the Valley of the Nile from its sources at the fabulous Mountains of the Moon to the Mediterranean Sea between the Red Sea and the Libyan Desert. The map has suffered injuries from time and seems to have been eaten by mice: in some parts there are lacunas.

Rossi went on to describe the contents of the map in rough outline and to speculate on its date and authorship. He pointed out that it must have been composed around 1685, the death date of Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha who is mentioned on the map (at Jb1) as having passed away. Rossi also noted the ‘strict correspondence’ between the contents of the map and Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]. He suggested that the map ‘was drawn in connection with Evliyá Celebi’s book by one of his readers, perhaps by a person of the author’s suite’. And he concluded: ‘A full discussion of these problems and the question of the relative importance of both the map and Evliyá Celebi’s book … requires more space and use of oriental texts; we shall fulfil this work elsewhere.’ Unfortunately, this intention was not fulfilled. Rossi’s article includes some black-and-white photographs that give an idea of how the map looks. The only other publication to include a photograph of the map is an article on Ottoman geographical maps by Ahmet T. Karamustafa, who pointed out: Since Evliyā Çelebi is known to have spent the last part of his life in Egypt and died there, there is a distinct possibility that he played a role in producing this map, though there is no proof of such a connection. Conceptually, the map itself should be viewed as an attempt to illustrate legends, historical or otherwise, that surrounded the river Nile in Islamic literature. In execution and style, it is somewhat reminiscent of the earliest extant Islamic map, namely al-Khwārazmī’s map of the Nile.25

24 See Rossi 1949; also Rossi 1953, 55–57. 25 Karamustafa 1992, 223–25. There is also a photograph of the map on the cover of FUNC.

Introduction

13

Several scholars have made use of the Vatican map for their studies relating to Nubia and the Sudan. Petti Suma was the first to use Vat. Turc. 73 in studying The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]. Udal followed suit (with acknowledgment to V.L. Ménage) in an attempt to reconcile the information on the Nile map with that provided in The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] (and by later travellers such as Burckhardt) for the region of the Funj kingdom in Sudan. Elzein, in her recent survey, states: ‘In terms of documentary research, a more detailed study of the text of Evliya Çelebi as well as the Vatican map than has been undertaken to date is needed.’ Peacock and Habraszewski have expessed scepticism about some of the information on the map and in the corresponding texts of the book.26 Dankoff and Tezcan published the map for the first time in 2011, including the information in the book corresponding to each of the 475 entries. From their study they arrived at two basic conclusions: first, that although Evliya’s name does not appear on the map, it is clearly by him, in conception if not wholly in execution; and second, that the map is largely an original creation.27

Muslim and Ottoman Maps of the Nile In some ways, Vat. Turc. 73 can be viewed as the culmination of Islamic mappings of the Nile going back to the 9th-century Persian geographer al-Khwarazmi. In particular, Evliya depended on this Islamic tradition for the southernmost parts of the Nile to which he had no access. The real origin of the Nile always remained unknown to Muslim scholars and travellers. It is a curious fact, however, that the information on this subject which we find uniformly repeated in the Islamic sources from the treatise of al-Khwārazmī (c[irc]a 215/830) onwards gives an idea of the origin of the Nile which does not correspond entirely to the data furnished by the classical sources. This conception makes the Nile emerge from the Mountains of the Moon (Jabal al-Qamar) to the south of the equator; from this mountain come ten rivers, of which the first five and the second five reach respectively two lakes lying on the same latitude; from each lake one or more rivers flow to the north where they fall into a third lake and it is from this lake that the Nile of Egypt begins. This conception is largely schematised and corresponds 26 Petti Suma 1964; Udal 1997; Udal 1998, 17–35; Elzein 2009, 383; Peacock 2012; Habraszewski 2009–2010, 2013. See discussion in note 20 above. 27 Dankoff and Tezcan 2011.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

only partly to Ptolemy’s description of the Nile sources; Ptolemy knows only of two lakes, not lying on the same latitude and does not speak of a great number of rivers coming from the Mountains of the Moon. The third lake especially is an innovation … The system described by al-Khwārazmī of the origin of the Nile is represented on the map in the Strasbourg MS and is repeated many times after him (Ibn Khurradādhbih, Ibn al-Faḳīh, Ḳudāma, Suhrāb, al-Idrīsī and later authors).28

The top portion of Vat. Turc. 73 follows this schema. It is certainly based on a map in this tradition, although it contains additional material (the Magnetic Mountain, the eleven bridges) not found in any of the maps cited above. We have not yet traced the particular source.29 Zones A and B of our edition are largely based on this traditional lore regarding the sources of the Nile. But as soon as we reach Zone C we find material that is mainly based on Evliya’s journey in the Funj kingdom and Habesh, and in Zone E we reach Qasr Ibrim and Ottoman territory. We may assume that Evliya had access to Ottoman maps, and possibly European maps, showing the Nile from here to the capital at Cairo and from Cairo to the Delta, but there is no specific evidence that he made use of any. Rather, nearly all the information given on the map seems to be based on his own travels. He himself says: Y392a I too have recorded so many fortresses and regions, as in the Mappa Mundi, and rivers and mountains and lakes, in the manner that I learned from my master Naqqash Hükmizade ʿAli Bey. May God vouchsafe that I complete this journey of the Nile and the Funj kingdom and record their forms in a map.

We have not yet traced Naqqash Hükmizade ʿAli Bey. Presumably he was a scholar and a court painter (nakkaş) with whom Evliya studied during his younger years at the Ottoman court in Istanbul.30 28 Kramers 1998–2006, ‘al-Nīl’ EI2. For an illustration of the Strasbourg MS of al-Khwarazmi’s map and other Islamic maps of the Nile, see Harley and Woodward 1992, plate 4 and figs. 7.10–7.13, 7.17–7.18. See also Miller 1926, 59–62: ‘Die arabische Darstellung der Nilquellen und des Nillaufes’; Tafelband: Tafeln 2–7. 29 For a stylised and abbreviated 17th-century map of the Nile in this tradition, see Nebes et al. 1997, 168–69. 30 cf. Meriç 1953.

Introduction

15

We would expect Evliya to have been familiar with at least one previous Ottoman mapping of the Nile, that of Piri Reis. As mentioned above, this Ottoman sea captain sailed up the Nile as far as Cairo shortly after the Ottoman conquest of Egypt in 1517, and he included his mappings of the river and of the metropolis in his Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, which otherwise is confined to the Mediterranean coastal waters.31 If we compare Piri Reis’s maps of the Nile with the corresponding section of Vat. Turc. 73 we see that there is little resemblance.32 For example, between Rosetta and Farasdak, Piri Reis has the following (see Mantran, figs. 5–6), compared with Vat. Turc. 73 (Part I: Kc9–25, Kb12–19, 23–29) and The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] (Y337a–338b):33 Piri Reis Rashid (Rosetta)

Burinbal Minya Sidi Yut Mutbis Sidi Musa Sidi Salim

Vat. Turc. 73 Rashid Uzba Jiddiya Mahalla-i Emir *Birimbal

Seyahatname Rashid Izbat al-Maʿdi Haddiya Mahalla al-Amir Birimbal

*Idfina Mutubis

Idfina Mutubis

31 See especially Soucek 1996, 149–58. The original 1521 and 1526 versions of these mappings are not extant. Some later copies have been published as follows: — ? [late 16th century] (Topkapı Sarayı Müzesi Kütüphanesi MS H. 642): Rogers 1987, 232; Piri Reis 2013. — 1574 (Ayasofya Kütüphanesi MS 2612, 347b–362a): Piri Reis 1935; Piri Reis 1988, Vol. 4; cf. Mantran 1981. — 1628–29 (Nuruosmaniye MS. 2997, 166b): Özen 1998, 62. — circa 1670 (Khalili MS 718, 48b–49a): Soucek 1996, Plate Nos. 16, 27. — ? (İstanbul Üniversitesi Kütüphanesi Türkce Yazmalar 6605): Evliya Çelebi Seyahatnamesi, onuncu cilt 1938, after xxviii and 668; Özdemir 1992, Plate No. 26. — circa 1730 (Walters Art Museum, MS W658): available online at http://art.thewalters. org/viewwoa.aspx?id=19195. 32 For this section of Piri Reis’s book, see Mantran 1981. 33 Entries marked with an asterisk (*) in the second column are reconstructed from the forms in the text, miscopied (according to our hypothesis) from the original. For this section of Evliya’s journey, see also Cirillo 1993. Also see the section below ‘Jiddiya to Shumruhat’.

16

Piri Reis Sidi ʿAbdallu Sidi Hasan Alf

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Vat. Turc. 73

*Jamshira Fazara Davut Dayrut Sindiyyun ʿAtif ʿAtif Fuwwa Fuwwa Manta Sharifa Shurafa Surunbay Shurum Bey Salimiya Salimiya Malik Shumruhat Mahallat ʿAbd al-Rahman Rahmaniya Ibrahim al-[Da]suki Ibrahim Dassuki Jimjamun Mahalla-i Abu ʿAli Marqas Diyay Diyay Shubra Hit Shibr H(ad)ith Bihnaj Shibrish Shibr R[i]sh Sada al-Sath Sidi Maʿruf *Mihalicse Kafr Jadid Nakla Farastaq Farasdaq

Seyahatname

Jamshira Fazara Dayrut Sindiyyun ʿAtif Fuwwa Shurafa Shurum Bey Salimiya Malik Shumuhzat Rahmaniya Ibrahim Dassuki Mahalla-i Abu ʿAli Marqas Diyay-i Kabir Shibr Hith Shibr Rish Sah Mihalicse Kafr Jadid Nakla Farasdaq

While the dependence of Vat. Turc. 73 on The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] is clear, there is no obvious instance where Evliya depends on Piri Reis, either on the map or in the book (but see below p. 36, discussion of Cairo). Among the numerous maps that Katib Çelebi drew for his cosmography was

Introduction

Figures 1.2 & 1.3: Two maps by Ebu Bekr b. Behram ed-Dimaşki. Top: Southern Nile, Funj, Shallal, Red Sea; Bottom: Northern Nile, Mediterranean Coast (MS Nuruosmaniye 2996; Source: Nusretü’l-İslam ve’lSurur fi Tahrir Atlas Mayor, Nuruosmaniye Kütüphanesi, 34 Nk 2996)

17

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

a map of the Nile.34 Another contemporary geographer, Ebu Bekr b. Behram ed-Dimaşki, has more elaborate maps of the Nile in his translation of the Atlas Major, completed in 1685.35 There is no evidence that Evliya Çelebi had contact with either of these scholars or knew of their work.36 Another possibility is that Evliya knew of European maps of the Nile. He sometimes refers to a world map (Papamunta or Mappa Mundi, as in the above quotation), the Jughrāfīya (i.e., the Geography of Ptolemy) and the Atlas and Minor (i.e., the Atlas Minor of Mercator), but always in non-specific terms,37 and it is unlikely that he had access to such a work while he was in Egypt. He also shows no sign of being aware of European maps of Cairo, such as those of Matteo Pagano (1549) or Ferrandeo Bertelli (1568), or contemporary maps of Egypt such as that of Jan Jansson (1659).38 While Vat. Turc. 73 is primarily a map of the Nile, it extends beyond the Nile in three directions: to the east − Suez and Sinai, the Red Sea ports, and the stations of the Haj pilgrimage route (Zone M); to the north-east − Bilbais and the desert beyond, plus important towns in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, eastern Anatolia, and western Iran (Zone N); and to the north-west − the Mediterranean ports extending from Alexandria as far as the Maghreb (Zones I, Ja, Ka). Thus, while the map primarily includes virtually all of the places covered in Evliya’s Nile journey, it also includes places he passed through during his Haj pilgrimage (in Syria and Hijaz), and even some prominent places covered in earlier volumes of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname], as well as the southern Mediterranean coastline, where he never went. In contrast to Evliya’s route, which was centred on Cairo and took him from the Delta towards the river’s source and to the southern extremity of the Red Sea, the map is oriented from the source of the Nile at the top to the Delta at the bottom. 34 See Hagen 2006, Fig. 3. This is Katib Çelebi’s autograph, which Hagen discovered in the University of Michigan Library. For some later copies see Duda 2008, figs. 243, 246. 35 Nusretü’l-İslam ve’l-Surur fi Tahrir Atlas Mayor, MS Süleymaniye Nuruosmaniye 2996. 36 For the general issue of cartography in the Ottoman Empire, see Karamustafa 1992, Emiralioğlu 2010. Regarding a 17th-century map of the Tigris and Euphrates that possibly has a relation to Evliya (briefly discussed in Karamustafa 1992, 222–23), see Kurşun 2012. Another contemporary of Evliya’s, Eremia Çelebi Kömürcian, produced a large-scale map of Armenian monasteries and sanctuaries in the Ottoman and Safavid realms in 1691; see Uluhogian 2000. 37 For examples, see Y157b, Y392a. cf. Hagen 2004, 228, n. 43; Hagen 2012. 38 See Blanc et al. 1981. Ferrandeo Bertelli’s map is reproduced in Soucek 1996, Plate No. 16. For Jan Jansson’s map entitled Ægypti recentior descriptio: Ægyptis & Turcis Elchibith, Arabibus Mesre & Misri, Hebræis Mitsraim, see http://ids.lib.harvard.edu/ids/ view/13501006?buttons=Y.

Introduction

19

The area between the source of the river and Wardan, the first human settlement on the map, is a region of wilderness, where there are sources of gold and where the Nile water flows clean. In the book, Evliya mentions 25 or so fortresses and settlements − such as Dongola, Arbaji and Sennar − that do not appear on the map. But there are points in the book that parallel those points on the map with wild natural habitats, sources of gold and pure Nile water (B3–5). Beginning with Wardan (C6)39 one can trace on the map the places that Evliya describes in the book, generally in reverse order, to Ibrim and then to Cairo; then from Cairo to Alexandria and Damietta. The entries on the map are for the most part abbreviated versions of the information given in the book. The inclusion on the map of places that Evliya passed through in Anatolia and along the Haj route is a direct indication of Evliya’s connection with the map and a clear reflection of his geographical horizons. The map contains about 60 drawings, mainly of mountains and fortresses, but also monasteries, bridges, and dams. Among them is St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai (M50–51). The fortifications of Cairo (Jb8) and Alexandria (Kb38) are represented with some interesting details. The map shows ‘Pompey’s Pillar’ (ʿAmud Sari [Pillar of the Mast], Kb36), while the book has an obelisk − ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’ − instead. There are also drawings of Wadi al-Subuʿ (Valley of Lions, F3, F23) and Jabal al-Tayr (Mountain of Birds, Hb15), both of which Evliya describes in detail. The peculiarities of language and style of the texts on the map are virtually the same as those of Evliya in the book. These include ungrammatical word formation, the use of Turkish words in Persian constructions, and the use of Turkish synonyms together with their Arabic and Persian counterparts.40 A comparative analysis of the two works leads us to conclude that the conception of the map, and possibly the specific outlines and drawings, are Evliya Çelebi’s. But the hundreds of texts were inscribed by someone else, an assistant or secretary, probably from Evliya’s written notes. The large number of misspellings of place names cries out for an explanation. A good many are simply copyist’s errors, showing the typical substitution of letters that one finds in Arabic-script texts.41 Some may be owing to the copyist (or Evliya?) substituting a whimsical 39 This is Arduan Island, according to Elzein 2009, 379–80 and map, 373. In Ebu Bekr b. Behram ed-Dimaşki’s map of the southern Nile it is spelled Darwan. 40 For a comprehensive discussion of this matter, with examples, see Dankoff and Tezcan 2011, 41–44. 41 Thus: F13 Filbatin (*Filbatir), F18 KLḪ (*Kalij), Ha9 FWR (*Fuwwa), Hb10 beyâẕ (*beyâż), I4 Lahut (*Lahun), Ka10 Satruh (*Matruh), Kb25 Itfiba (*Idfina), La27 ʿUmar

20

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

form, or at least a more familiar form, for the outlandish original.42 More elaborate errors may be due to a difficulty in reading the (posited) original, which may have been on cloth even more puckered and wrinkled than is Vat. Turc. 73.43 The same reasons may account for the other misreadings that one senses on the map, even of some very common words.44 With regard to the date of the map, the terminus post quem is 1685. This conclusion is based on the mention of Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha along with the rubric rahmetullahi ʿaleyh [God have mercy on him], which is used only of people who have died) and our knowledge that Ibrahim Pasha, who was governor of Egypt in the years 1660–64, was put to death on 12 December 1685. The map shows constructions founded by Defterdar Melek Ibrahim Pasha (Jb1) and by a later governor, Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha (Jb2).45 But note Habraszewski (2009–2010, 302–3), who points out that the formula rahmetullahi ʿaleyh in both Jb1 and Jb2 falls at the end of the line and ‘could have been inserted into the text at a later date… . Indeed, if my impression from looking (*Ghamr), La43 Farqa (*Gharaqa), Lb8 Rish (*Wish), Lb25 Farastad (*Faraskur), M16 Rabigh (*Rabiʿa). 42 Thus: D5 DAGH BTWN (*Narnarinta?), Kb14 Mahallat al-Jalsa (*Mihaliçse), Kb16 Hadith (*Hith), Kc20 Miri Bal (*Birimbal), La28 al-Sharʿi (*Sharangi), Lb26 Dhu’l-Yazan (*Ishmaʿun), M2 ẔLLH (*Zeila), M3 Su Akın (*Sevakin). It is tempting to read DAGH BTWN as Turkish dağ bütün (‘Mountain All’). And it is tempting to consider Miri Bal (‘State-owned Honey’) for Birimbal, Dhilla (‘Vileness’ or ‘Depravity’) for Zeila, and Su Akın (‘Water Current’) for Suakin as examples of Evliya’s frequent indulging in fanciful etymologies of place names, on a par with, e.g., Tarab Efzun (‘Joy Increase’) for Trabzon (see discussion in EÇSOS 24). 43 Thus: B2 STʾH (*Sebte), D2 Nawrdi (*Nawri) / Ḥashlaq (*Khandaq?), D3 MSBYR (*Berberi), E13 Tumasi (*Tavashi − a personal name, not a place name), F19 MBNʾḤ (*Sayyah), F26 ZYNWR (*Dhu’l-Yazan?), G5 Ḥajin (*Rajaʾi), G8 QLRRBV (*Qulumbu), Hc11 MRNWṬ (*Sanabu), I7 Mishmunin (*Ishmunin), I10 BLYFYH (*Fashna), Ka29 DLQM Abu al-Hawi (*ʿAlqama Abu al-Khawi), Kb13 JWDYZ (*Jadid), Kb34 Sim (*Selim), Kc19 Imshira (*Jamshira), La18 DMLLW (*Ramli), La20 Taghbani (*Tafhani), Lb13 Sâḳ (*Muşâḳ), L30 al-Sayyid (*Misid), La33 Dahnuri (*Dahnur), La34 Shubat (*Sunbat), La40 Senut (*Semennut), Lb1 ʾMSYNY (*Ishni), Lb2 DSYR (*Dumsin), Lb25 FRSTD (*Faraskur), Lb31 Tima (*Tina), M4 al-ḤRF (*Harkowa), M42 NWʾLḤYR (*Nawatir), M48 DNKDJB (*Donqalab). 44 Thus: E3 NMʾNY (*nâm), F9 mâderin (*mâderden), F16 dağları (*dağlardan) / yavuz (*yalçın), G7 künbed (*kinedli), La14 ʿaddlerde (*hadlerde). 45 In The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] also Evliya speaks highly of Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha’s good works in Cairo (Y225b). He had met him previously during the conquest of Candia in 1669 (VIII.301a–303a). He also mentions the good works of Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha, who became governor of Egypt and Evliya’s new patron in 1673. Evliya witnessed these persons and wrote chronograms for them while he was living in Cairo after returning from the Nile journey (Q351a, P345a).

Introduction

Figures 1.4 & 1.5: Two images from Vat. Turc. 73 showing the formulas rahmetullahi ʿaleyh and rahimehumu’llah (‘God have mercy on him’) (Source: Vat Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana)

21

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

at the microfilm is correct, both formulas are written in smaller letters as if by a different hand or, as if they have been squeezed into a limited space.’ This impression is confirmed by examining a better image (see 1.4 and 1.5 above). Elsewhere, too, it appears that rahimehumuʾllah (‘God have mercy on them’) has been added onto the entries in Jb3, Jb9, and Jb10 as well.46

Relation of the Map and the Book We must imagine Evliya during his last years (roughly 1673–1685), when not engaged in travelling, as residing with his servants in his apartment in the Cairo citadel and drawing up both his magnum opus and his map of the Nile. Regarding The Book of Travels [Seyahatname], we possess the autograph MS. of Volumes 1–8. A close study of this MS suggests that he employed a scribe or amanuensis to write up the fair copy, adding diacritics and marginal notes in his own hand.47 Similarly, he must have employed an assistant to work on Vat. Turc. 73 or its prototype. All the information on the map corresponds to material in the book, but rarely using the exact terms. Rather, there is much abbreviation and paraphrasing, often including erroneous readings or misunderstandings, plus some eccentric spellings and grammatical usages that are different from those in the autograph MS of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]. The ductus (handwriting style) of the map is also different. From all this, we may conjecture that at some point Evliya lost control of the map, or at least never checked it for errors as he did the first five volumes of the autograph MS of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]. The conception of the map, and possibly the specific outlines and drawings, are Evliya’s. But the hundreds of texts were inscribed by someone else, an assistant or secretary, probably from Evliya’s written notes. This would account for the large number of misspelled place names, signalled in our translation by an asterisk before the corrected form; e.g., BLYFYH (*Fashna), Lb2 DSYR (*Dumsin), etc. The contents of these texts reflect some of Evliya’s preoccupations in his travel account. These include: • Climate 46 It should be considered whether the phrase Vʾallahu aʿlem (‘And God knows best’) at the end of A1, A2 and B3, and similar phrases at the end of A3, C1, C7 and E11, were added later as well. 47 See MacKay 1975; Dankoff 2008b.

Introduction

23

• • • •

Flora and fauna Sources of wealth and commerce Civilised amenities or their absence Details of government and administration, military structure, tribal organisation and religious persuasion • ‘Noteworthy sights’ (ʿibretnümalar) and the lore surrounding places and monuments • Distances and geographical coordinates are given only occasionally In sum, Vat. Turc. 73, while perhaps not drawn by his own hand, thoroughly reflects his mind and unquestionably deserves to be called ‘Evliya Çelebi’s Map of the Nile’. The following is not a complete survey of the map but a highlighting of some sections, proceeding from top (south) to bottom (north), comparing entries in the map with information in the book and drawing especial attention to discrepancies between them. In order not to prejudge the issue, we refer to the author of the map as ‘the mapmaker’. Citations from the book are preceded by MS folio number; citations from the map are preceded by zone and number assigned to each entry.

Sources of the Nile and Sources of the Two Works The mapmaker claims to have consulted seven or eight classical sources of Arab geography that are named at the end of the Prologue. Except for some of the details regarding the headwaters of the Nile, there is no evidence that any such work was directly used in drawing up the map. None of these is mentioned explicitly in the book. (Evliya’s use of written sources for Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] requires further study.) A possible exception is the Geography of Ptolemy. At the beginning of Chapter 46 of the book, entitled ‘Description of the blessed Nile’, he cites Batlimus Hakim (‘Ptolemy the Philosopher’) on the rivers of the world. He goes on to say: Y156b According to the correct opinion of Ptolemy the Philosopher, the source of the Nile is the Mountain of the Moon, a seven months’ journey south of Cairo. It rises from 12 great springs. These 12 great streams flow into a large lake, south of the equator, which is like a sea.

The book goes on to describe the course of the Nile after it flows out of this lake, through the vilayets of Qirmanqa, Qaqan, Funjistan, Berberistan, Nubia and Saï, and then through Egypt to the sea.

24

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

The information on the map seems to have a different source: A2 … Because the moon’s rays are intense and shine brightly over this mountain, it is named after the moon. This mountain is located south of the equator at 11 degrees latitude. It is very lofty and difficult to climb. At sunrise the eastern slope becomes very red, while at sunset the western slope reddens.

Following this on the map comes the Magnetic Mountain and the 11 bridges out of which issue the 12 sources, all of which flow into the large lake.

The Western Arm of the Nile A curious feature of Chapter 46 of the book is the western arm of the Nile:48 Y156b The blessed Nile [that emerges from] the lake at the aforementioned source of the Nile divides into nine branches and flows westward towards the countries of Sudan and Fez and Marrakesh… . After 1,000 parasangs all nine branches flow into the Atlantic Ocean, as I learned in Funjistan from some individuals who had gone there.

What seems to be the counterpart of this on the map are the two sections just below the 11 bridges on the western (right-hand) side: B1 This river flows westward through the regions of Habesh, Zanzibar, and the countries of Jaslaq and ʿAmlaq… . Finally it reaches human habitation at the city of Jabalsa, which has 1,000 gates. Alexander Dhu’l-Qarnayn reached this country, but it did not submit to him; as testified by the Qurʾanic verse (18:86): [He journeyed on a certain road] until he reached the West… . B2 This river passes through the valleys in the mountains of the land of Habesh. It goes to the city of merchants. Then, after passing through desolate regions, it flows to the inhabited area of the Maghreb and reaches Ceuta, which is the ‘confluence of two seas’ of the Maghreb.

While Evliya at some point in the fourth journey (assuming it is not fictional) 48 See Kramers 1998–2006, ‘al-Nīl’ EI2 for a discussion of the ‘cycle of geographical conceptions which link up the western part of Africa with the river system of the Nile’.

Introduction

25

must have crossed the White Nile and continued along the Blue Nile, he makes no mention of the bifurcation. For him, whatever part of the Nile is in Habesh somehow has the same source as the White Nile and somehow ends up in the Maghreb! The mapmaker alludes to the western arm twice more: F15 The Nile used to flow from these places towards the Maghreb. Traces of monuments are still visible. I12 This place is the course (? − cirm) of the Lahun River. It flows from the Nile, under the bridge [and] under the ground towards Tunis [and] the city of Hadra. The ancient sages brought it (i.e., as a canal from the Nile).

The Funj Kingdom While Evliya claims to have travelled as far south on the Nile as (Old) Dongola, Arbaji and Sennar, these well-known places are not found on the map. Instead, the first recognisable place to be encountered is Wardan (C2 = C6), followed by Sindi (D1 = D9), Nawri (D2 = D10), Qandi (D3 = D11), Hafir Saghir (D4 = E9), Narnarinta (D6 = E10) and Hafir Kabir (D12). As Petti Suma has pointed out, ‘the map does not contain toponyms south of the southern limit of the region governed by … [the Funj viceroy] Kör Husayn’.49

Hafir Kabir D12 This is a great fortress and large city known as Hafir Kabir. The inhabitants are black Zangis, all believers (i.e., Muslims). There are many50 Friday mosques, small mosques, khans, public baths and charitable institutions in this city. It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. The twill fabric and cotton cloth for shirts are very fine. Ivory, rhinoceros horn, lizard skin, ebony and teak lie spilled out on the roads and alleys. It is a very safe and secure country. In this fortress Kör Husayn Bey has 70,000 blackskinned Zangi soldiers, ready to do battle. Y396b It is a large strong castle, triangular-shaped, on the western side of the Nile, and the seat of government of Kör Husayn Bey… . It contains 49 Petti Suma 1964, 434. Also see Udal 1998, 20. 50 Reading çokdur, not yokdur as Petti Suma 1964, 441 ‘non vi sono moschee’.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

a total of 1,060 houses. There are 20 prayer-niches. All the people are Sunnis of the Shafiʿi rite and perform the ritual prayer… . There are 50 or so dervish lodges, 1 soup kitchen, 2 small wakalas, 6 Qurʾan schools, 20 water dispensaries, 1 small hammam, 100 shops, 10 coffeehouses, and 20 boza shops. All the shops are open day and night, their merchandise out in the open − it is a very secure place. This castle has 700 soldiers and 50,000 Berberi and Zaghi (i.e., Nubian and black-skinned) subjects. They practice agriculture and produce plentiful crops. Praise God, in this city we saw wheat bread… . It is a city of plenty… . The qibla is towards the north, since it is on the other side of the equator… . Y397b In this fortress of Sindi, in the bazaars and storehouses, ivory, rhinoceros horn, lizard skin and ebony lie piled up like mountains in the marketplace, trampled in the dust and without value.

In the book, Evliya mentions the triangular shape of the fortress, and this is clearly evident in the drawing on the map.51 The figure for the garrison given in the book is much more credible than that on the map; the discrepancy can be accounted for if we assume that the mapmaker conflated the 700 soldiers and 50,000 subjects in the book and somehow came up with 70,000 soldiers.52 The list in the map of the precious commodities that lie unguarded in the marketplace clearly depends on the corresponding list in the book, which however is not found in the notice of Hafir Kabir but in nearby Sindi.

Ibrim E3 This place west of the Nile is the fortress known as (?) m Saghir. E4 This fortress, known as Qababita (Copts), is called Ibrim Gharbi (Western Ibrim). It was built by King Muqawqis. E15 The name of this fortress is Ibrim Qababita (Ibrim of the Copts). It was built by the last Coptic king, King Muqawqis, and conquered by ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs. Now it is ruled from Cairo. It has a castle warden and a garrison of the Seven Regiments… . Y391a It was founded by King Muqawqis, one of the Coptic kings. In the 51 With few exceptions, wherever there is a drawing of a walled city, there is a mention of kalʿa in the accompanying text. The inverse is true as well in most of the map, but there are quite a few kalʿas in Zone M that lack an accompanying drawing. 52 The slapdash use of figures is actually a feature of Evliya’s style; see MENTALITY 154–58.

INTRODUCTION

27

year of the Hijra (—) it was conquered after a two-month siege by several thousand Companions of the Prophet, including ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs in person, Kaʿb al-Ahbar, ʿUbayda b. Jarrah, Jabir al-Ansar, Abu Hurayra, Sariyat al-Jabal, and Aswad b. Miqdad. It is a very solidly constructed fortress, small but strong, atop a bare hill that rises towards the heavens on the eastern shore of the Nile. It is pentagonal in shape, with a circumference of 800 paces… . It has a castle warden, 200 garrison troops and a splendid military band. The castle warden is one of the Müteferrika troops of Cairo, according to the kanun of Selim (I). Every year 300 men belonging to the Seven Regiments are sent from Cairo to guard the fortress and another 300 guards from the Seven Regiments for the governor. They collect the state taxes and grain supplies and have exclusive control over the bureaus.

The mapmaker apparently misunderstood Qababita as modifying the name of the city rather than the earlier kings. The castle as depicted on the map is generic, not pentagonal as specified in the book. The smaller forts on the other side of the Nile also called Ibrim (E3, if interpreted correctly, and E4) are not mentioned in the book. These fit a pattern in the map of carrying over the toponomy to the other side of the Nile (cf. examples in the Funj Kingdom above and Wadi Subuʿ below). It remains to be studied whether this is simply a pattern in the mind of the mapmaker or whether it has a counterpart on the ground.

Arman F9 This place west of the Nile is the great city of Arman. There are traces of its monuments that confound the beholder. The Coptic historians mention that Moses son of ʿImran was born here, his mother being in this tranquil place out of fear of Pharaoh. According to the Coptic chronicles. Y445a A town near the Nile with 100 houses and one Friday mosque. The people are Shafiʿis who perform the ritual prayer religiously. It was such a great city in ancient times that we were unable to traverse its monuments and wondrous and noteworthy domes and halls and palaces in a single day. The urban space was extremely large. Indeed, some reliable historians have written that Moses son of ʿImran was born in this city and that, from fear of Pharaoh, they bound him atop a board and let him go in the Nile. By God’s wisdom, as baby Moses floated past Pharaoh’s palace, Pharaoh’s wife Asiya took him and fed him. When Pharaoh saw Moses he was pleased at the baby’s motions and gestures and said nothing. It is a long story found in the

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chronicles of Tabari and all the Qurʾan interpretations; there is no need to record it here.

The notice on the map is clearly an abbreviated version of the notice in the book.

Wadi Subuʿ (Wadi al-Sabua) F3 The mountains here are called Wadi Subuʿ (Valley of Lions). It was a great city in ancient times. The porphyry figures of lions as big as elephants, turned to stone, are still extant, as are traces of construction. One side of it is inhabited. There are 500 houses of reed matting. The inhabitants are black Arabs. F23 This place is called Wadi Subuʿ (Valley of Lions), and also Sahrat Firʿawn (Plain of Pharaoh), because here on both sides of the Nile there are porphyry figures of lions as big as elephants, turned to stone by God’s command. Y390a Noteworthy Site of Subuʿ. In order to view it properly, we dismounted and let our horses graze and spent an hour touring the site. By God’s wondrous power, on both sides of the Nile are lions of porphyry and granite, as big as elephants, in various poses and attitudes, several thousand of them broken in pieces and lying trampled in the sand and dust. Viewing them, one is overcome with terror, since the lions standing there firmly seem to be alive. They are such well-wrought statues… . [Also seven-headed dragons.] Moses battled with Pharaoh in this place and these are the beasts that his diviners and magicians conjured up… . (Cites Qurʾan 7:107) When Moses threw his two-headed staff on the ground it turned into a serpent and swallowed up the lions and tigers and leopards made by Pharaoh’s magicians and diviners and the Pharaoh was routed and fled. So these are those beasts that were left unconsumed by the serpent staff and that afterwards turned to stone.

The site on the map apparently includes the mountainous regions on both sides of the Nile, that on the eastern side (F3) having a village and that on the western side (F23) having the ancient monuments. In the latter the mapmaker, with limited space at his disposal, compressed everything between ‘lions as big as elephants’ and ‘turned to stone’, inserting in place of the suppressed passage the word mashut. This word (properly maskhūṭ meaning ‘metamorphosed’) is used in Egypt to mean ‘petrified, turned to stone by the wrath of God’. It is not found in The Book of Travels [Seyahatname].

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Kushtamina F26 This place is a city known as Kushtamina. It has 200 reed houses. Its people are obedient. They have a mosque and a dervish convent, also a coffeehouse and a boza shop. Here the ZYNWR (*Dhu’l-Yazan?) Kunuz Senyal Arabs, a people numbering around 2,000, pass as Muslims. But their women do not cover themselves, they go around naked; it is not considered disgraceful. Here the seven Kunuz tribes come to an end. Y389b–Y390a Tribe of Senyal: They comprise 2,000 Muslims who dwell in tents and pavilions in a vast desert. Since they are Bedouin Arabs, their women’s faces are naked… . Town of Kushtamina: It has 200 peasant reed houses. The people are submissive. They have a small mosque, and also a coffeehouse and a boza shop. A tribe of Kunuz Bedouin also dwell here in their tents.

The mapmaker has conflated two notices in the book, and regarding the women being uncovered has added ‘it is not considered disgraceful’ (ayıb değildir), one of Evliya Çelebi’s hallmark expressions.53 Probably ZYNWR is erroneous for Dhu’l-Yazan, i.e., Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan, mentioned elsewhere as the ancestor of the Kunuz tribes (Y389a; also on the map at F29).

Kalafish (Kalabsha) F27 In this place east of the Nile dwells the Arab tribe of Kalapish (Kalafish). It is a place of black rocks and many caves. These people live in caves. There are no date palms here and no crops are sown; it is only a black valley. There is agriculture in some places, because this place lies towards (?) a grassy plain. They eat crocodiles and have sex with crocodiles. They are an inauspicious people. Y389b Tribes of the rebellious Kalafish. Among the Bedouin they are known as Kalafish, meaning ‘they are nothing’. They have no tents but dwell in the caves that are in these cliffs. Their shaikh Chadilla (i.e., Abu Jaddullah) showed us a Cave of Orphans that we entered with our horses and escaped from the heat. They are very cold caves. The Kalafish are a rebellious tribe of 3,000 blacks in this black stony region. They have many goats but no other animals. They eat millet and camel’s flesh and tays, meaning goat. They also make crocodile kebabs 53 See Dankoff 2008a.

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and eat them. What is more, they have sex with female crocodiles. When they talk about sex with crocodiles their mouths water. They are a tough and tyrannical people from eating crocodiles. They are in possession of crocodile musk and crocodile gallstones. They remove the gallstones from the crocodiles’ galls. At night they grasp these gallstones and are able to have sex with their wives 40 or 50 times. They can keep having sex as long as they do not let them out of their hands. Reportedly, their wives too have an undiminished appetite for sex as long as they keep them in their hands. The Nile tributaries do not reach these places, and so there are no date palms and no berseem (Egyptian clover). The only produce is red millet. To make a living the people arm themselves and go into the Habesh mountains where they do battle with elephants. They take elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns to Habesh and sell them there and buy twilled cotton.

It is unclear why the mapmaker changes Kalafish to Kalapish.54 Having very little space, he drastically reduces the sexual lore about crocodiles.55 The ‘venerable shaikh’ Abu Jaddullah is the narrator of the sexual lore elsewhere in the book (Y162a–b).

Aswan G2 This place east of the Nile is the fortress of Aswan. It was built by ʿAd b. Shaddad. It now has a castle warden and the garrison is appointed from Cairo. This place is the frontier of the Funj kingdom and the Bedouin Arabs. It is predominantly the frontier of the Bedouins. G3 This fortress is called Aswan Thani (Second Aswan). It was built by ʿAd b. Shaddad. It now has a castle warden and the garrison is appointed from Cairo. It is the frontier of the Funj and the rebellious Bedouins. Y385b–386a Aswan castle is a lofty octagonal structure situated on a mountain peak, truly a building of Shaddad. It is 3,600 paces in circumference; has three gates on the land side and on the river side; and 500 squalid houses, large and small, with no orchards or gardens within the castle 54 Petti Suma (1964, 440, n. 43) identifies this with the tribe of Kababish; Bosayley (1967, 183) with the tribe of Kalabsha − the latter must be correct. For more on Kalafish, see Doğan and Tezcan 2016. 55 For more on this topic, see Dankoff 2008a; translation in TRAVELLER 390–92. On the question of whether Evliya here depends on earlier written sources (Damiri, ʿAşık Çelebi) see Bacqué-Grammont 2008, 347.

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walls. The warden dwells here with his 150 men. He has a military band and armory and 20 Shahi cannons. It is now an important frontier, since it is surrounded by rebellious Bedouin Arabs.

The book has a great deal more about Aswan. The mapmaker used only this portion, dealing with the fortification. Having split Aswan in two (the reason for this is unclear; they are on the same side of the Nile, so it does not fit the pattern noted above), he repeated what he knew about the garrison and the frontier. Neither of the drawings bears any resemblance to the octagonal shape of the fortress mentioned in the book.

Luxor Ha4 This place is called the town of Aqsurayn (Two Castles). It is a kashiflik and amidst the Bedouin and is a nahiye of Qus, but it is not very built up. The one known as Abu’l-Haj (Abu’l-Hajjaj) is buried there. Y382b–383a It was because of these two castles that this city was called Aqsurayn meaning ‘City of Two Castles’. Were I to describe this great city to the degree that I observed it, it would go beyond the scope of this book, so it is better to be brief. It is an independent kashiflik in the eyalet of Girga. With its garrison of 200 soldiers it obtains a grain tax of 40 purses. There are no other guards or officials, also no mufti, naqib al-ashraf, or notables. It was a grandly built ancient city of 1,200 houses on the shore of the Nile. Thousands of lofty buildings are still visible, with their skyscraping Vaults of Khosrow and countless domes and thousands of precious columns now trampled in the dust. The lofty columns used by past sultans to build their khans and grand mosques in Cairo all originated from here. And the four noteworthy lofty pillars inside the Süleymaniyye in Istanbul were brought from this city to Alexandria on the Nile by rafts… . Sultan Süleyman himself went to see these pillars, as they were raised according to the science of mechanics from ships at Unkapanı, and accompanied them to Vefa Square, giving some instructions. I heard this from my late father, whose life goes back to the time of Süleyman. In short, such rosy columns have gone from the city of Luxor to Cairo and to Istanbul. And still countless porphyry columns lie there toppled and trampled. The present city, however, is not very built up. There are 20 prayer-niches, three of which have the Friday sermon. The one with a large congregation is the Mosque of Abu’l-Hajjaj in the marketplace. There are a khan and hammam,

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a number of busy dervish lodges, a primary school, a water dispensary and coffeehouses. The climate is very fine and the people are very poor.

In the book Evliya goes on to describe his visit to the shrine of Abu’l-Hajjaj, apparently the only touristic activity in Luxor in those days. The mapmaker mentions this shrine but omits information on the ancient city.

Mountain of Birds Hb15 This is a mountainous region, with large mountains and caves. And in those caves are millions of storks, buried and preserved. Once a year all the storks in the world are bound to come to this place and visit this mountain, because there are talismans of storks in this place. Y369b–370b Description of the Mountain of Birds. It is also called Mt. Taylimun. It is a wondrous spectacle. The tongue falls short at describing this great mountain. Every year in the spring several hundred thousand birds of various kinds − but mainly storks and goldfinches − come from the direction of Turkey and settle on this mountain. The mountain plains swarm with them, so that one can hardly find a place to set one’s foot, and their cries are loud enough to make one’s gall bladder burst. The people of the region are aware of the spectacle and come to view it from a distance, but no one can seize any of the birds or throw stones at them. On top of the mountain, on a sandy plain, is a cemetery. Each sarcophagus contains thousands of birds of various sorts − but mainly storks − buried in their shrouds (i.e. mummified). The (living) birds all come to visit this cemetery, circling above it and squawking and lamenting. Then they land in the mountain plains. Most of the buried birds are visible outside the graveyard. Their bodies and feathers are fresh and have not decayed inside their shrouds, which are made of datepalm fibres. No one knows the reason why these birds are buried here in their shrouds, nor have I seen it mentioned in any of the histories. This humble one actually brought two of these mummified birds to Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha so he could see them.

Evliya goes on at great length about the birds’ behaviour at this place and about bird migration. The notice on the map is a drastically reduced version of the account given in the book.56 56 See TRAVELLER, 436–39. This Jabal al-Tayr/Taylimun is mentioned by several of the

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Dayr Qibti I20 In this place is a Coptic monastery, founded during the time of Moses. It is a very noteworthy ancient Pharaonic construction. I24 This is the place known as Dayr Qibta (Monastery of the Copts). Y363b–364a On the opposite side of the Nile from Samalut, atop the very summit of a rocky escarpment stretching high up into the sky, is a church called Dayr Qibti (Monastery of the Copts), a stronghold much like the fortress of Qahqaha. It was constructed by Pharaoh, and for this reason the Copts make a pilgrimage here once a year without fail, at which time the monks collect an Egyptian treasure’s worth of goods. The western side of the escarpment extends out over the blessed Nile like an elephant’s trunk so that the river actually flows underneath it. The monks use waterwheels and strong ropes, a hundred fathoms long, to draw water up from the Nile to the top of the rock and fill their cisterns. When anyone visits them, they bring out ‘the grass of life’, meaning bread, and ‘bird’s milk’, meaning eggs, and also honey, and treat their guests to a veritable feast of a breakfast. They also bring out bedclothes of gold brocade, gauze and cloth of gold, and their serving boys provide the guests with various services till morning comes.

Were the monasteries in the map depicted not on the Nile but closer to the Red Sea coast, they might be identified with the monasteries of St Anthony and St Paul.

Red Sea/Haj Itinerary The Red Sea is a prominent feature of the map, paralleling the Nile for nearly one quarter of its length. The mapmaker clearly wished to feature the ports on the African coast that relate to the entrepots of Yemen and the Hijaz: thus Zeila (M2) as the port for Hindiya (M8, servicing Yemen) and Qusayr (M5) as the port for Jeddah (M12). Beyond this, the points featured along the eastern coast of the Red Sea and in the Sinai desert exactly parallel the stages of Evliya’s Haj route as recounted in Volume 9 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]. In the order they occur in the book, these are:

earlier Arab geographers and also by Evliya’s Turkish predecessor Mehmed ʿAşık and his German contemporary Johann Michael Vansleb; see Bacqué-Grammont and Mayeur-Jaouen 2012.

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IX Y307a–308b Badr Hunayn (M18 ‘built up and flourishing’); Maymun Ovası (Valley of Monkeys, M17); Rabiʿa: ‘The Egyptian pilgrims halt here for one day and put on their pilgrimage garments’ (M16: ‘The Muslim pilgrims here put on their pilgrimage garments’); ʿAqabat al-Shukr and Güzelce Bürke (M15); Assafan (M14); Wadi Fatima (M13) IX Y366a–b Jeddah: ‘a port for India, Yemen, Aden, Basra, Lahsa, Habesh and Suez’ (M12: ‘a port for Egypt, Habesh, Yemen and India’) IX Y367b Wadi Fatima; Assafan; Rabiʿa; Badr Hunayn: ‘a built-up town’ IX Y369a: ‘a built-up town’ (M19: ‘built up and flourishing’) and Yanbuʿ al-Bahr: ‘the port for Medina (i.e., Yanbu)’ (on map conflated with Yanbuʿ al-Barr M19: ‘the port for Medina’) IX Y372a Wadi al-Nar, also known as Wadi Hadratayn: ‘Here there is no trace of building or any water’ (M20 Hadra; M21 Wadi al-Nar: ‘a waterless place’) IX Y372b Nabt: ‘no water’ (M22: ‘bitter water’); al-Hura: ‘no trace of building; as for water, it is a wide plain with rocks and acacia’ (M23: ‘waterless’); Hanak al-Qura: ‘a stage with acacia and without vegetation or water’ (M24 Bayn al-Darkayn: ‘waterless’) IX Y373a Akra: ‘Because the water is bitter, the Bedouins bring fresh water here by camel’ (M25: ‘bitter water’) IX Y373b–374a Wush: ‘Nearby is a well with fresh water’ (M26: ‘It has wells of sweet water’); Istabl ʿAntar: ‘three wells of fresh water’ (M27: ‘wells of sweet water’); Azlam: ‘In the castle is a well of fresh water’ (M28: ‘wells of sweet water’) IX Y374a–b Qastal, tomb of Marzuq Kifafi, water is purgative and not recommended for the animals (M29 Qastal, tomb of Marzuq Kifafi: ‘water is plentiful’) IX Y374b–375a Muwaylah: ‘In the castle is a well of fresh water … and there are several such wells in the date groves surrounding the castle’ (M30: ‘wells of sweet water’) IX Y375b ʿUyun al-Qasab: ‘It has wells of fresh water’ (M31: ‘It has delicious water’) IX Y377a–b Maghayir Shuʿayb Nabi (Caves of Prophet Shuʿayb): ‘Here everyone digs a well in front of his tent and fresh water appears, and elsewhere there are flowing streams’ (M33 Mughayir Shu’ayb [Caves of Shuʿayb]: ‘plenty of flowing water’) IX Y378a Beni ʿAtiya: ‘Here the pilgrims are met by suppliers from Cairo who also bring fresh water’ (M32: ‘bitter wells’); Zahr al-Himar:

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‘The wells are bitter but the water is alright for the animals’ (M35: ‘bitter wells’) IX Y378b ʿAqaba, wells dug in front of every tent, and also a large well and lake near the castle (M36: ‘water is plentiful’) IX Y379b Sutuh ʿAqaba (Terraces of ʿAqaba): ‘no water at all’ (M37: ‘no water’) IX Y380a Abyar ʿAlaʾiya (M38); Nahl: ‘newly-built … In the castle is a stream, slightly brackish, alright for animals’ (M39 Nahl Jadid: ‘bitter water’) IX Y380a–381a Mt. Sinai (M51) IX Y381a Fortress of Tur (M50); Raʾis Tughra (M49 Raʾis Muhammad); Nawatir: ‘waterless’ (M41 Kharuba [?]: ‘waterless’) IX Y381b Wadi Tih: ‘The rulers of olden days constructed mile-posts in this Desert of Tih on which the Haj pilgrims light lanterns as they pass by. The guides go from mile-post to mile-post and find the way; otherwise 70,000 pilgrims would wander in the Valley of Tih like the people of Moses’ (M42: ‘There are signs NWʾLḤYR [*nawāṭīr]57 guideposts so that the pilgrims do not lose their way’) IX Y384a ʿAjrud: ‘There is a well whose water is not very sweet, though it can be drunk if necessary; but it is alright for animals’ (M43: ‘There are sakias of bitter water that is given to animals to drink’) IX Y384b Suez: ‘a port for India and Yemen, Mecca and Medina, and Habesh’ (M47: ‘a port for Mecca and Medina’) IX Y386a Masaniʿ … also called Dar Hamra: ‘A hot and dry place in the desert without vegetation or water. Thousands of camel loads of Nile water are brought here from Cairo and given away. Some greeters also come’ (M44: ‘waterless. Greeters of the pilgrims come here from Cairo’) IX Y386a–b Küpler ‘Here the commisary of the vizier of Egypt pitches 40 or 50 tents and feasts the Emir of the Haj and the other notable pilgrims’ (M45: ‘It is in the control of the chief of the caravan’) IX Y386b Burkat al-Hajj (M46)

It is instructive to compare this list with those of two 19th-century sources. 57 Ar. nawāṭīr is the plural of nāṭūr meaning ‘guard, keeper, warden (esp., of plantations and vineyards)’ (Wehr 1966, 973). Perhaps the reference is to signposts set up by vineyard wardens, etc. More likely, this is the place name Nawatir, at this point in the map an intrusion from where it belongs at M41.

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According to Robinson and Smith (1841, 559), the stations on the Haj route from Cairo as far as Muweilih are as follows: ‘1. Birket el-Haj. 2. Dâr al-Hŭmra, no water. 3. ’Ajrûd. 4. en-Nawatîr, water at Mab’ûk. 5. Jebeil Hasan, no water. 6. Nŭkhl. 7. Wady el-Kureis. 8. eth-Themed. 9. Râs en-Nŭkb, no water. 10. al’Akabah. 11. Hakl. 12. Râs esh-Shŭraf, no water. 13. el-Beda’. 14. Muweilih.’ According to Ritter (1866, 45): ‘the names of the stations are as follows, beginning at Suez: Ajerud; en-Nawatir, where is water; Jebel Hasan, without water; Nakhl; Wadi el Kureis; et-Themed; Ras en Nakb, without water; al-Akaba.’

Kif M6 This place is a ruined city known as Kif. It has no fresh water. Nile water is brought here in six days. Y436b In earlier times it was a great entrepot under the authority of the King of Dembiya, but it is no longer very built up, though all around it the remains of ancient buildings are visible. It was a city of great expanse… . The waterholes dug out here have an abundance of sweet water.

Since Evliya makes no mention of the route to Kif and gives only the vaguest of information about it, it seems unlikely that he actually went there. Perhaps his source for information about Kif was the same as that for Mogadishu (where it is highly unlikely that he went); viz., ‘my companion Mehmed Agha, Kara Naʾib’s deputy’ (Q339a). He often mentions waterholes in connection with other places in this region. On the other hand, he also mentions the need to import water in places like Qusayr and Suakin, so perhaps it was the mapmaker who got confused.

Jisr Yaʿqub (Bridge of Jacob) N15 Jisr Yaʿqub IX Y237b–238a Stage of the Khan of Jisr Yaʿqub: It is on the other side of the river, the land of Canaan (Kenʿan eli) and the territory of Safed. On this side is the frontier of Syria.

On the map, this relatively obscure place appears amid some much more famous places, such as Damascus and Sidon. The report in the book attests to its geographical significance.

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The Mediterranean coast A curious feature of the map is the depiction of the Mediterranean coast paralleling the Nile on the western (right-hand) side, just as the Red Sea parallels it on the eastern (left-hand) side. Thus, opposite Faiyum, we find Hadra ‘in the Maghreb’ (I1),58 Kairouan ‘under the rule of Tunis’ (I11), and Sousse (I14); then, opposite the pyramids and Cairo, Barca ‘where coral is brought up from the sea, under the rule of Tunis’ (Ja1) and the island of Djerba (Ja2); and opposite Giza, Tripoli (Ja3). The area around Cairo is stretched out, while the thousand-mile distance between Cairo and Tunisia across the Sahara Desert is compressed to almost nothing and the Mediterranean coast is twisted south-eastward to run parallel to the Nile. It is tempting to treat the phenomenon on the Nile map as indicative of the mapmaker’s limited mental geography. And we may recall that Evliya thought there was a western branch of the Nile that went to the Maghreb. On the other hand, it is perhaps more fruitful to examine the phenomenon as one (perhaps extreme) example of the stretching and compressing of spatial topography observable in this map.

Pyramids Ja5 This place is the pyramids. They were built before the Flood, in the hope that they would be saved from the Flood, but they were not saved. From here the road to Faiyum is through the mountains, traversed by caravans. Y232a One hour from the town of Giza on the west bank of the Nile are the three ‘mountains’ known as the Pyramids. They are the tallest and most ancient buildings on the face of the earth. They are huge man-made mountains, each one a veritable Mt. Qaf… .59 Some chroniclers say they were built before the Flood by ʿAd b. Shaddad. Others maintain that before the Flood, King Surid, at the urging of his soothsayers, built them as a tomb for himself. When they were finished he filled the three pyramids with treasure, put in weapons, and also placed therein the books of all the sciences written by the prophet Idris. He set up talismans and guardians (?) and covered the pyramids with brocade, making them a hidden treasure. He also built a great city on the shore of the Nile where the guards of the pyramids resided. Every 58 Not yet identified; also mentioned at I12. 59  In Islamic cosmology, Qaf is the immense mountain at the end of the earth, or else the mountain range encircling the inhabited earth.

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year, in spring, all the people of the world came and circumambulated the pyramids, as they do the Kaʿba.

Again, the book has much more on the pyramids, including a large dose of personal adventure.60 Instead, the mapmaker substituted a different version of the relation of the pyramids to the Flood and added a topographical note not found in the book.

Qadam al-Nabi and the Dam of Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha Jb1 This place is Qadam al-Nabi (Footstep of the Prophet), a charitable foundation built by the former Defterdar Melek Ibrahim Pasha, may God have mercy upon him. Y115b–116b Description of the Dervish Lodge of Qadam al-Nabi (Footstep of the Prophet). In the year 1074 (1663/64), Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha, for love of the messenger of God, Muhammad Mustafa, set aside 50 Egyptian purses of his own money and constructed a lofty dome above the Qadam al-Nabi, and attached thereto a large Friday mosque at the description of which the tongue falls short. Ja7 This place is a dam and barrier. Jb2 This place is the dam and barrier of Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha. Afterward it became a canal and, by God’s command, nourished an island. Q351a Our lord Husayn Pasha governed for two full years, administering justice, so that the province of Egypt enjoyed great Ottoman security and plenty. He had a great trench dug from the Nilometer to Qadam al-Nabi (Footstep of the Prophet), a distance of 80,000 royal cubits, employing 70,000 to 80,000 men and 10,000 buffaloes, allowing the Nile to flow in front of Old Cairo as far as Bulaq, so grain ships could fearlessly approach ʿAnbar Yusuf (Joseph’s Granary). He also constructed two dams on the Nile in the territory of Giza, in front of Qadam al-Nabi and the town of Basatin. Each one entered the Nile a distance of 100 cubits and was 80 cubits high and 50 cubits broad. This humble one commemorated them in the following chronogram: When Evliya saw its foundation He uttered its date: ‘A great construction’ (bina-yı ʿazim) Year (—)

60 See Haarmann 1976; translation in TRAVELLER, 403–6.

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In short, they are noteworthy dams and canal trenches, beyond human capacity.

The book has much more about the mosque at Qadam al-Nabi. The report about the dam in the book comes just after Evliya’s account of the removal from office of Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha and the arrival of the new governor, Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha, in 1673.

Cairo The map depicts an urban area stretching from the Nilometer on the island of Roda, through the aqueduct of Sultan Ghawri, Old Cairo or Fustat, the mosque of ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs,61 the city walls of Cairo, and the Qarafa cemeteries, ending at Qubbat ʿAzaban (Jb3–18). Only the notice on Fustat has something more than the bare essentials: Jb3 This place is Old Cairo, formerly known as the city of Fustat. When first ruled by the Umayyads it reportedly had 7,000 hammams. A man would get up in the morning and go to the bath to wash up, but he would find no room because of the crowd, so he would go around from bath to bath, finally finding a place at the 120th bath. Judge from that how magnificent a city Old Cairo, i.e. Fustat, was in olden days, and how populous it was with Muslims; may God have mercy on them.

In the book, Evliya first says (Y140a) that there were 1,170 hammams recorded for the year 425 (1034), but this is in the context of clearly exaggerated figures, including 36,000 mosques and and 200,000 shops. Later in the description of Old Cairo he says (Y142b) that there used to be 700 hammams; but for the present day he only mentions one, ‘in the lower marketplace’. Perhaps 7,000 on the map is a misreading of the 700 in the book. Evliya has much more to say about the hammams of Cairo (Y117a–118b), but nothing similar to the report on Fustat in the map. The book, of course, has a huge amount of material on Cairo,62 the Qarafa cemeteries, the Nilometer, etc, but barely mentions the aqueduct of Ghawri and the Qubbat ʿAzaban:

61 It is misplaced − it should be in or next to Old Cairo = Fustat; and it is mislabelled, as Jamiʿ ʿUmari = Mosque of Amir Shaikh al-ʿUmari, which is within the walls of Cairo (⇒Y103b), rather than Jamiʿ ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs (⇒Y89a–90a). 62 See KAIRO.

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Top (figure 1.6): Detail of Cairo from Vat. Turc. 73 (Source: Vat. Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana). Bottom (figure 1.7): Detail of Cairo by Piri Reis, circa 1730 (Source: Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, Walters Art Museum, MS W658, 305a). Over the aqueduct is written, Bu kemerden Mısır’a su gider; inside the citadel is written, Yusuf Köşkü.

Introduction

41

Y128b (Ch. 37, on fountains): The upper citadel has a total of 21 fountains, all of them fed by the aqueduct of 360 arches extending from the blessed Nile, a charitable work of Sultan Ghawri … Another fountain is the water-of-life fountain with a lofty dome and six steps leading down, in the middle of the ʿAzab barracks. It has two waterspouts side by side, each as thick as one’s arm. This too is (an endowment of) Ghawri. The one monument within the Cairo city walls that is labeled on the map is Biʾr Yusuf (Joseph’s Well). This construction by Saladin (Salah al-din Yusuf) is clearly something that impressed Evliya, who has a detailed description of it in the book (Y84b–85a), ending: Y85a In sum, the world traveller who has not seen this Joseph’s Well has no idea of what craftsmanship there is in the world and what a noble creature man is and what miraculous things he is capable of.

A comparison of the depiction of Cairo on this map with that on Piri Reis’s map suggests that the former might owe something to the latter. In particular, the rubric attached to the aqueduct in both has almost identical wording: Bu kemerden Mısır’a su gider in a (late) version of Piri Reis; … Mısr kalʿası / su gider in Vat. Turc. 73.63

Cairo North Ja12–13 Imbaba, Warraqin Jb12–17 Qasrin, Bulaq, ḤLLH, Shubra, Bisus, MʾSTʾ Ka4–6 Warraq, Umm Dinar, Batn al-Baqar La3–5 Warraq, Shubra, Barut Y279a–b Imbaba, Shubra, Batn al-Baqar Y340b–341a Batn al-Baqar, Barud-khana, Shubra, Warraq, Imbaba, Bulaq Y359b Shubra, Batn al-Baqar

Again, the depiction of this area might owe something to the corresponding section of Piri Reis’s map of Cairo. Both prominently display Shubra and Bisus64 north of Bulaq. There is no mention of Bisus in the book. 63 An earlier (?) version of the Piri Reis map (Ayasofya 2612, 358a) has: Bu kemerlerdir üzerinden su gider Mısr’da olan saraya. Note that in the YKY publication (Dankoff and Tezcan 2011, 82), su gider was misread as sonudur. 64 In MS Ayasofya 2612, 358a, this looks like ‘Bi Sun;’ thus Mantran 1981, Fig. 9: BîSûn.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Top (figure 1.8): Detail of Cairo from Vat. Turc. 73 (Source: Vat. Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana). Bottom (figure 1.9): Detail of Cairo by Piri Reis, circa 1730 (Source: Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, Walters Art Museum, MS W658, 305a). The Nile boat depicted is labeled qayasa.

Introduction

43

Both at 340b and 359b Evliya refers to the main description of Shubra at 279a, so there seems to be only one Shubra in the book − today’s Shubra al-Khayma in greater Cairo. But on the map, La4, Shubra must be a different place from Jb15, which is Shubra al-Khayma,65 just as La3 Warraq must be a different place from Ka4 Warraq, unless both are villages belonging to Ja13 Warraqin (which could also be read Warraqayn, meaning ‘The Two Warraqs’).66 La5 Barut, however, must be the same as Y340b Barud-khana. Adding to the confusion, we have so far not been able to identify Jb12 Qasrin (which could also be read Qasrayn), Jb14 ḤLLH, or Jb17 MʾSTʾ.

The Delta A curious feature of this part of the map is that some very important places are missing. Amidst the several hundred villages and towns that are listed, one looks in vain for Tanta, al-Mahalla al-Kubra, Abyar, and Mansura, all of which Evliya visited and devoted long sections to in the book. Tanta especially was important to Evliya for its annual Moulid of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi, to which he devotes a particularly long and rich description (Y277b–295a). Of al-Mahalla al-Kubra, Evliya asserts that it is the second largest city in Egypt, after Cairo and before Rosetta and Damietta (Y355b). The closest place to Mahalla that is shown on the map is La40 Samannut67 − a mere two hours away (Y358b). The reason seems to be that in this part of the map Evliya only lists the towns and villages that are directly located on the major Nile tributaries. For the same reason, Damanhur is not on the map, although it is mentioned in the following: Kb5 This place is the tributary known as Sayf al-Din. It waters the clime of Buhayra and connects to Damanhur. The entrepot known as Damanhur is in this place.

65 La35 Minyat Shubra is a different place altogether (=Shubrā al-Yaman), as is Y280b Shubratayn. 66 Probably Warraqayn is correct, referring to Warraq al-ʿArab and Warraq al-Hadra. According to Ramzi 1974 pt. 2, Vol. 3, 65 the two districts were separated administratively in 1228/1813; before that there was only Warraq al-ʿArab. 67 This is a village in the Delta (modern Samannud, ancient Sebennytos), not to be confused with two other Samannuts, both in Upper Egypt: Hb4 (Samhud) and I9 (Samalut).

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Needless to say, in the book Evliya has a lot to say about Damanhur (Y304b–310a). The absence of Mansura on the map is puzzling, since it is a major city on the Damietta branch of the Nile that Evliya describes in some detail (Y352a–353a). One expects to find it next to Minyat al-Khamis (Lb9) = Mit Badr Khamis, only a short distance from Mansura and not mentioned in Evliya’s text. (This is not to be confused with Mit Hamis, Y355b = Lb9, which is further upstream). So apparently, on the map, Minyat al-Khamis substitutes for Mansura.

Rahmaniya/Shrine of Ibrahim Dassuki Kc11 This place is Rahmaniya and the shrine of Seyyid Ibrahim Dassuki. Y301a–304a Description of the town of Ibrahim Dassuki … Y304b Town of Rahmaniya …

The book has a lengthy description of the shrine and the associated Moulid. The mapmaker omits this and also compresses into one entry what is in two entries in the book. Properly, Rahmaniya is across the river from Dassuk, between Marqas (Murqus) and Sumruhat (Sumukhrat).

Jiddiya to Shumruhat Kb18–19, 23–29 Shumruhat, Shurum Bey; ʿAtif, Dayrut, Itfiba (*Idfina), Diyay, Mahallat al-amir, Hammat (?), Jiddiya Kc12–20 Mahallat Malik, Salimiya, Shurafa, Fuwwa, Sindiyun, Fazara, Mutubis, Imshira (*Jamshira), Miri Bal (*Birimbal) Y337a–338a Haddiya (*Jiddiya) … Mahallat al-Amir … opposite this in Gharbiya, Birimbal … opposite this one mile up in Buhayra, Diyay … one mile up in Buhayra, Idfina … opposite this in Gharbiya, Mutubis … one mile up in Gharbiya, Jamshira … opposite this in Buhayra, Fazara … in this place the blessed Nile turns sharply to the east. Two miles above that in Buhayra, Dayrut … opposite this in Gharbiya, Sindiyun … then one mile up in Buhayra, ʿAtif … one mile up in Gharbiya, Fuwwa … opposite this is an island, encompassed by the Nile, known as Jazirat al-Dhahab … one mile above this in Gharbiya, Shurafa … opposite this in Buhayra, Shurum Bey … opposite this in Gharbiya, Salimiya … one mile up again in Gharbiya, Mahalla-i Malik … opposite this in Buhayra, Shumuhzat

Introduction

45

This sample of an area of the western branch of the Nile shows the intimate relation between the map and Evliya’s itinerary in the book. At the same time, there are several examples of misreadings or misunderstandings of place names, as well as other discrepancies. We can follow the itinerary starting from Jiddiya. The itinerary seems to skip the next item on the map, Hammat (?), going directly to Mahallat al-Amir. We then cross the river to Birimbal, (re)cross to Diyay, continue 1 mile up to Idfina, cross the river to Mutubis, and continue 1 mile up to Jamshira − but on the map these two are reversed (Shamshira is actually south of Mutubis). According to the itinerary, we then (re)cross to the Buhayra side and go to Fazara − but the map mistakenly shows Fazara on the Gharbiya side. Evliya says that at this point the Nile takes a sharp turn to the east, which is perhaps the source of the confusion. Next on the Buhayra side is Dayrut. We cross the river to Sindiyun, then (re) cross to ʿAtif. Back on the Gharbiya side the itinerary continues with Fuwwa. Evliya says that opposite Fuwwa is a small island called Jazirat al-Dhahab (not shown on the map). We continue up to Shurafa, cross over to Shurum Bey, (re) cross to Salimiya, go 1 mile up to Mahalla-i Malik, and finally cross back over to Shumuhzat. This exercise leaves the strong impression that the drawing up of the map and the recording of the itinerary in the book were done at the same time. The form in Y338a, Q290a Shumuhzat is erroneous for Shumukhrat. The form on the map (Kb18) is Sumruhat. The form on modern maps is Sumukhrat.68 The form in Y336b, Q289b Haddiya is erroneous for Jiddiya. These are two cases where the form on the map is more accurate than the form in the book.

Biʾr Matariya La1 The place known as Matariya. La2 This place is Biʾr , one of the miracles of Jesus. Mary came to this place with Jesus and asked the villagers for water, but they refused. She put Jesus down on the ground and went in search of water, but could not find any. When she came back she saw that water had emerged from Jesus’s two hands and made a circle and become a well. Mary prayed that if the villagers drank this water it would be bitter, but if anyone else drank it, it would be sweet. And so it was, by God’s command. Y 227a Picnic Grounds and Shrine of Biʾr Matariya: Two hours north 68 cf. Ramzi 1974 pt. 2, Vol. 2, 271.

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of Cairo amidst orchards and gardens, a place empowered by the vision of Jesus. There were great buildings here when Egypt was in the hands of the Greeks; now only a vault and a dervish lodge are left. There is also a basin where all those who are sick bathe and find a cure. It is recorded in all the Greek chronicles that Jesus and his mother Mary migrated from the city of Nablus and settled here. And the Christians claim that Jesus and his mother dug this well of Matariya and bathed in it, and that this basin is their construction. And that is correct, because all the wells of Egypt are bitter, but this well of Matariya is sweet since it is a miracle of the Messenger of God.

The accounts in the book and on the map are very different.

Damietta Lb26 This place is the city and entrepot of Damietta. It was founded by Dhu’l-Yazan (*Ishmaʿun), son of Misrayim son of Ham son of Noah. Lb27 This place east of the Nile is the ancient fortress of Damietta. Lb23 This is the fortress recently constructed at the western strait of the Nile, built by Sultan Ahmed son of Sultan Mehemmed. Y344b It was founded after Noah’s Flood by one of the sons of Ishmaʿun son of Misrayim whose name was Dimyat, and the city was named after him (Dimyat = Damietta). Y348b Three miles below that, again on the Damietta side, where the blessed Nile flows into the Mediterranean, is the Ancient Fortress of Damietta, bulwark of the Nile: It was built by the conqueror of Egypt himself, Sultan Selim I, in the year (—), at the hands of Hayra Bey, the first governor of the newly conquered province of Egypt. There is no trace of the earlier fortress conquered by Aswad b. Miqdad at the time of ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs. At present this fortress is a solid square-shaped building on a sandy place at the promontory where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean. It is 500 paces in diameter and has four towers at the four corners. Y349a Opposite this eastern castle, on the shore of the Nile, is the western castle. It was built during the reign of Sultan Ahmed by Tavaşi Müteferrika Caʿfer Agha using his own money, for the sake of God. However, it has become known as Qalʿat ʿAbd al-Samad. It is a small round castle on the shore of the Nile. Later a large redoubt was added outside the wall and the castle became even stronger.

Introduction

47

The two castles as depicted on the map are generic, not square and round as specified in the book. Nor do their relative sizes and dimensions correspond. Dhu’l-Yazan is clearly a misreading of Ishmaʿun. In the book, Evliya says that when he inspected the western castle he discovered that seven garrison soldiers were missing and sent a report with their names to the Pasha.

Alexandria and Rosetta Kb36 ʿAmud Sari (Column of the Mast) Kb38 Fortress of Alexandria Kb44 This place is the fortress of Abu Qir. Kb46 This place is the entrepot of Rosetta, a city. Its surroundings are date groves. Kb45 This place is Kom Afrah and the shrine of Shaikh Mandur (*Mansur). Y319b–324b (Alexandria), 329b–330b (Abu Qir), 332b–335b (Rosetta, Kom Afrah).

ʿAmud Sari (Column of the Mast) is not mentioned in the book, which does however describe the obelisk (dikilitaş) − one of ‘Cleopatra’s needles’ − 500 paces east from Galleon Harbour (kalyon limanı) in a ruined area with many fallen columns: Y321a These columns are called Jarud al-Muʾtafiki. They are noteworthy monuments, constructed to serve as talismans during the period of the prophet Solomon. Some were built by Yaʿmar b. Shaddad.

According to Piri Reis (348b–350a; Mantran 1981, 293–95 + Fig. 3), the ‘mast’ (Ar. sari or sara) was set up as a marker on the island west of the city known as the Island of the Mast (Tk. Direk Adası, Ar. Jazirat al-Sara). Both authors must be referring to what is known today as Pompey’s Pillar (actually erected in 293 for Diocletian, not for Pompey).

Bostan Adası Kb21 Bostan Adası (Garden Island), known as Dukhayla.

There is no mention of Dukhayla in the book, but among the products of

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Alexandria there is mention of ‘Bostan Adası melons’ and of salt ‘in Bostan Adası that is as fine as hourglass sand’ (Y326b). The area, known today as Dekheila, is a port 7 km west of Alexandria. The mapmaker’s stretching out of features of Alexandria and environs is comparable to that of Cairo. This is also the point on the map where the Mediterranean coast is twisted south-eastward to run parallel to the Nile (see discussion above).

*** These comparisons show that the map and the book, while intimately related, are conceived as separate works with different aims. The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] seeks to record all of Evliya Çelebi’s journeys and explorations in great detail, with full attention to historical, administrative and ethnographic aspects of the places described; it is expansive in nature, a travel narrative with encyclopedic aspirations. The Vatican map is limited in scope and focused on the topographical. Still, the two are obviously the product of the same mind and reflect the same attitudes and preoccupations. In sum, the Nile River runs like a red thread through both of these monuments − Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] and Vat. Turc. 73. It is the organising principle of both works, providing structure and pattern for a myriad of heterogeneous details. The two were conceived and executed together, as twin culminations to a 50-year career of travel, exploration and writing, and together they constitute an impressive record of Ottoman explorations of the Nile.

Part I

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile (Vat. Turc. 73) Prologue In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Countless pearls of praise and blossoms of praise to that Creator of the central sphere of truth of the world of Humanity; Who spread out the surface of the earth subjugated (?) to the greatest Divinity; Who displays His divine Glory in the pure and lofty court of Eternity and His sacredness in the everlastingness of Majesty; so that by the perfect power of His will and the glorious wisdom of His art, He has made manifest the four elements from the essence of the unknown and the seven heavens and earths from the substance of non-existence; and has specified the seven climes according to continents and metropoles and directions and cities and villages; and has ramified the waters both sweet and salt upon seas and rivers; and has brought all these forth without example or pattern from the world of non-being into the being of manifestation. How great a Creator, Who nourishes His creatures and provides them with gifts and favours; how mighty a Painter, Who with the pen of on the stone tablet of the mountain tops makes visible endless forms of beauty and wisdom. He shows forth various metals from the ore of rocks and varicoloured plants from the core of the ground. In the inner firmament within the encompassing sphere He has fashioned a remedy for every pain and a medicine for every ill, imbuing each one with its specific (medicinal) property and making known their wondrous and marvellous mysteries, so that the intellects of mankind are drowned in the sea of amazement. Blessings without limit upon that cause of causes of the being and the becoming of the world and of mankind (i.e., the Prophet). And greetings without number upon the noble Family (of the Prophet) and the glorious Companions, and in particular upon the Four Famous Friends (i.e., Abu Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿUthman and ʿAli)

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whose hallowed persons are the elixir of state and religion and the alchemy of the people of certainty. May God be pleased with them all. To the subject: After this peroration, our intention is this: to into the world of being a meritorious act that is consonant with the Wise (i.e., God; or the Philosopher, i.e., Aristotle), and to leave behind a work in order to be memorialised by the Brethren (of Purity) and to be drowned in the sea of mercy with their benedictions. Some noble friends importuned this humble one full of faults, saying that nothing in the world is stranger or more wonderful than the Nile of Egypt, and that no one has described it in proper detail. And so I have and assembled it and expounded upon it; referring to: − The Geography of Alexander with the Commentary of Aristotle the Philosopher − The Geography of Ptolemy − Chronicles of the Lands − The Book of Seas and Rivers of al-Balkhi − The Book of Marvels of the Lands − The Book of Formation of the Lands − The Book of Wonders of Creation − The New Geography of the Cali Maʾmun − The Book of Rare Reports on the Conditions of Cities and Ports − The Book of Virgin Pearl of Wonders − The Book of Names of the Lands − The Book of Adornment of Villages and Castles I have consulted all of these books and whatever is relevant in them I have put into this new book and I have added illustrations after explanations. And I have given this book the title: Matchless Pearl These Reports of the Nile. And chapters.

The Map Note: To the left of each rubric the zone and number assigned to each of the 475 entries appears, plus indication of any drawing at that point in the map, usually either a walled city ( S ) or a mountain ( ê ).



A1 ê A2 ê

A3 ê A4

B1

B2

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

53

Magnet Mountain. It attracts men and especially animals to itself, every half-hour, from the ground. God knows best what He has created. Brief account of the Mountain of the Moon. Because the moon’s rays are intense and shine brightly over this mountain, it is named after the moon. This mountain is located south of the equator at 11 degrees latitude. It is very lofty and difficult to climb. At sunrise the eastern slope becomes very red, while at sunset the western slope reddens. God knows best. [On the mountain] Mountain of the Moon, source of the Nile. [⇒Y156b,430a–b] Magnet Mountain. It attracts men, as before. God knows best what He knows. Bridge of Hermes the Philosopher. Bridge of Qibtim. Bridge of Akhmimus. Bridge of Misrayim the Great. Bridge of Ptolemy the Philosopher. Bridge of Alexander. / Image of the source of the Nile. / From within these 11 bridges / 12 sources have appeared. / They all empty into the Great Lake. Bridge of Aristotle the Philosopher. Bridge of Ptolemy the King. Bridge of Marmir the Philosopher. Bridge of Simon the King. Bridge of Daniel, peace be upon him. [⇒Y156b, 430a–b] This river flows westward through the regions of Habesh, Zanzibar and the countries of Jaslaq and ʿAmlaq. And this river keeps flowing towards the west. Finally it reaches human habitation at the city of Jabalsa, which has 1,000 gates. Alexander Dhu’l-Qarnayn reached this country, but it did not submit to him, as testified by the Qurʾanic verse (18:86): [He journeyed on a certain road] until he reached the West. This river passes through the valleys in the mountains of the land of Habesh. It goes to the city of merchants. Then, after passing through desolate regions, it flows to the inhabited area of the Maghreb and reaches Ceuta, which is the ‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’ (Maraj alBahrayn) of the Maghreb. [⇒Y156b–157a, 430b]

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B3

B4

B5 C1

C2 S

C3

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Concerning the characteristics of the blessed Nile: ous. It is without match in the world. Abu ʿAli Ibn Sina (Avicenna) states that there is no river on earth more excellent than the Nile. four things: First, it comes from a great distance and the water becomes very fine from flowing so much. Second, over pure ground, it is free of . Third, since it flows from south to north, it dissolves noxious substances. Fourth pure water, noxious substances have no effect. When other rivers decrease their flow, the Nile increases. When it is winter it is summer in these regions. Therefore its flow and increase and decrease in this manner. The aforementioned sages and kings have stipulated it should flow over so that it will be beneficial. The marvels and wonders of the Nile are without number, including various fish, the crocodile, the skink-fish, etc. And God knows best. [⇒Y161a–163a] The poisonous snakes and dragons on this island are not found elsewhere. The animal known as scoop-tail (kepçe kuyruk – i.e., horned viper?) is found on this island. It is called Island of the Lake and stretches a distance of 15 days’ journey. [⇒Y434b] Gold mines. [⇒Y413b–414a] The distance from Cairo to this desolate valley is a 95 months’ journey. Every stage is four parasangs, sometimes five parasangs. One parasang is reportedly covered in four hours, and the shortest stage is six hours; so you may estimate how long the entire journey is. God the Exalted knows best. Madinat al-Wardan (City of Wardan): It is a great city and a great fortress known as Qalʿat (see C6). It is ruled by Kör Husayn Bey, who took it by force from . [Arduan] [⇒Y398a–b] The valleys in the mountains of this region are for the most part great mountains dwell. They are mainly sand. In fact, their king they say there are no human beings. Their food is elephant and they eat other animals and snakes and centipedes.



C4

C5 S

C6 S

C7

D1 S D2 S

D3 S

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

55

These valleys are empty and very hot and dry. Humans cannot live here and animals do not prowl. The soil is red, and this is said to be the cause of the Nile being red. The distance from this red soil to the Mountain of the Moon is a three years’ journey. It is a desolate valley, with no man or jinn or beast. [⇒Y417b, 429b−430a] The distance to this desolate land of red soil is a four months’ journey over the plain. Beyond here is desolate, with no villages or any human habitation. There are many kinds of grasses and herbs, and much wildlife subsisting on them: snakes, scorpions, centipedes, elephants, rhinoceros, scoop-tail (see B4), tigers, lions, leopards, etc. They show no mercy to humans, so a man cannot even cross it to the other side. [⇒Y430a] This place on the east bank of the Nile is known as Qalʿat Wardan (fortress of Wardan; see C2) and Madinat al-Kubra (Great City). It is under the rule of the Funj emperor and the seat of government of his dabir (i.e., vizier). He has an army of 20,000 black-skinned Zangis. They are all believers and monotheists (i.e., Muslims). But their skin is very black owing to the great heat of the sun. And they are a weak and puny race. [⇒Y398a] and caves of the peoples of ʿAd and Thamud (cf. G9). Most of the caves in these regions are full of human bones. It is a noteworthy sight − praise God Almighty! This place west (of the Nile), Qalʿat Sindi, is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. [⇒Y397b] This place west of the Nile, Qalʿat Nawrdi (*Nawri) Gharbi (Western Nawri; cf. D10), is an ancient construction. It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey and is a frontier. People come from the province of Ḥashlaq (*Khandaq?) and raid and plunder. [⇒Y397a–b, 403a] This place is the fortress of Qandi Gharbi (Western Qandi), an ancient construction. It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. It has hundred MSBYR (*Berberi) reed houses and black Zangi warriors. [⇒Y403a]

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D4 S

D5 S D6 S

D7 S D8 S D9 S

D10 S

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Fortress of Hafir Saghir (Small Hafir; see E9). It is under the authority of Kör Husayn. He possesses 20,000 black-skinned Zangi soldiers and several hundred thousand camels and dromedaries. There are 100,000 great mountains and many valleys and plains where animals graze. Oxen, water buffalo, camels and the like are in these mountains. Valley and roads to the Maghreb, Tetuan, Marrakesh, Fezzan, Bornu, Takrur, Sannura, Berberiya, . In the mountains are mainly emeralds; in the valleys sal ammoniac, salt and plants are produced, or so it is related. There are roads to Mt. Karakima (?), 30 difficult roads. There are frontiers as far as the frontiers of Mardaq (?), the Maghreb, the equator, the Zanj country, Tangiers, Funj and Berberi. At the beginning of this clime the length of the day is 13 hours 21½ degrees. At the middle it is 13½ hours. From east to west is a distance of 2,400 parasangs. Thus it comes to 7,200 miles. The west is 136 parasangs, coming to 418 miles. The entire extent is 132,700 miles. [⇒Y386b–387a, 396b–397a] This place, DAGH BTWN (*Narnarinta? – see D6, E10), in length and breadth is (an) ancient construction, with many noteworthy sights. This place west of the Nile is the fortress known as Narnarinta Saghira (Small Narnarinta; cf. D5, E10). It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. There are 10,000 black-skinned Zangi soldiers in this fortress. It is a frontier of Dongola and Fezzan and Bornu. [⇒Y396a–b] This place is connected to Garbiyye Tekyesi (the Dervish Lodge of Gharbiya). It is large and has many productive charitable institutions. This island is called the Island of Majja (*Bajja? – see F14). This place west of the Nile fortress, a built-up place. It is under the authority of the governor of Ibrim. The ress is in ruins. In it and around it dwell Bedouin and there is much land (?). This fortress is known as Sindi. Kör Husayn Bey has invaded it and Husayn Bey’s border ends at this fortress. It is a frontier of the Funj kingdom; beyond it is the realm of the Funj king. [⇒Y397b] This fortress is known as Nawri (cf. D2). It is a small fortress, length and breadth of ancient construction. It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. There are 2,000 black Zangi soldiers. [⇒Y397a–b]



D11 S D12 S

E1

E2

E3 S E4 S E5 E6 E7 E8

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

57

This is a small fortress known as Qandi. It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. It has 150 reed houses. [⇒Y397a] This is a great fortress and large city known as Hafir Kabir (Great Hafir). The inhabitants are black Zangis, all believers (i.e., Muslims). There are many Friday mosques, small mosques, khans, public baths and charitable institutions in this city. It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. The twill fabric and cotton cloth for shirts are very fine. Ivory, rhinoceros horn, lizard skin, ebony and teak lie spilled out on the roads and alleys. It is a very safe and secure country. In this fortress Kör Husayn Bey has 70,000 black-skinned Zangi soldiers, ready to do battle. [⇒Y396b] This place, Jazirat Hammam (Hot-Bath Island) has large hot springs. When the blessed Nile floods, it overwhelms these hot springs and passes on. The reason the Nile is so green when it reaches Cairo is because of the hot springs. It submerges these islands and overwhelms all of the mines in the mountains and the hot springs and the canals in the plain and takes away their soil, then comes flowing like Water of Life and like rain. [⇒Y386a–b] This place tribe

This place west of the Nile is the fortress known as m Saghir (Small Ibrim; see E15). This fortress, known as Qababita (Copts), is called Ibrim Gharbi (Western Ibrim; see E15). It was built by King Muqawqis. These islands have various mines, such as lead, tin, iron and red clay. And mines of stony gypsum. Here are sulphur mines and hot springs. This island is a lake of ashes (?) and its water is black as pitch. By divine dispensation, it is pitch. [⇒Y386b]

58

E9 S

E10 S

E11 S

E12 S

E13 S

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

This fortress is known as Hafir Saghir (Small Hafir; cf. D4) and its ford (maʿdiya). It is a single tower, where they cross by boat to the west bank of the Nile. When the Nile is low from the blazing heat, they cross to the island opposite with camels and donkeys and go to the fortress of Hafir Saghir. [⇒396b] This fortress is known as Narinta (*Narnarinta – cf. E6). It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. The cannons in the fortress are made of elephant bones. The garrison consists entirely of 3,000 black-skinned Zangi soldiers. [⇒Y396a–b] This fortress is known as Sese. It is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. It has approximately 1,000 reed houses. The garrison consists of 10,000 black-skinned Zangi soldiers. There is no marketplace. Instruments of war are catapults, spears, axes and bows. As mounts they use elephants, horses and camels. It is 7 stages to the Habesh frontiers. The equator is 7 degrees beyond here to the south, 7,000 parasangs. It is on the other side of the equator. God knows best. [Sesebi] [⇒Y395b–396a] This fortress, known as Tannara, was a great city in ancient times. There are still traces of its monuments. It was under the authority of the Funj kingdom. Kör Husayn Bey occupied it and it is under his authority. Now it is a border and frontier of the Funj kingdom. [Tināreh] [⇒Y395b] This fortress, known as Maghraq, is a great city with a marketplace. It was originally conquered by Tumasi (*Tavaşi) Süleyman Pasha. Later the Funj overcame and occupied it. Now it is under the authority of Kör Husayn Bey. It has 7,000 black-skinned Zangi soldiers. The city’s territory possesses 17 fortresses. All the inhabitants are Muslim and black-skinned. Originally, when it was under the authority of Cairo (i.e., Ottoman control), the garrison consisted of a garrison from the Seven Regiments commanded by a bey. The reason (it was held in such high regard) is that it has flowing water and a delightful climate, and things like iron never rust in this region. It is now a frontier of the Funj kingdom. [Mograkka / Maqraq] [⇒Y395a–b]



E14 S

E15 S

F1– F21

F3 ê

F4 S F5 S F6

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

59

This fortress is known as the Island of Saï. It was called Saï because (although?) it is Wadi Halfa. It is desert as far as this place and the Funj kingdom is 6 stages distant. It is a merciless valley abounding in snakes, centipedes, serpents, scorpions, elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, leopards and scoop-tails (see B4). It was originally conquered by Özdemiroğlu [sic; Özdemir Pasha] and is now the border of Egypt. It was a frontier of Egypt. Later it was occupied by the king of Funj, then by Kör Husayn Bey, who now rules. It is an island known as Wadi Halfa. [⇒Y157a, 392b–393a] The name of this fortress is Ibrim Qababita (Ibrim of the Copts; see E3, E4). It was built by the last Coptic king, King Muqawqis, and conquered by ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs. Now it is ruled from Cairo. It has a castle warden and a garrison of the Seven Regiments. Finally (?) it is ruled from Cairo and is a kashiflik of the bey of Girga. [⇒Y391a–b] On the west bank of the Nile It has great monuments of Shaddadian construction. All of these cities and fortresses are in ruins and the inhabitants of the fortresses have many marvels. the Farigh Kunuz (see F12). [⇒Y386a, 389a, 444a] The mountains here are called Wadi Subuʿ (Valley of Lions; see F23). It was a great city in ancient times. The porphyry statues of lions as big as elephants, turned to stone, are still extant, as are traces of construction. One side of it is inhabited. There are 500 houses of reed matting. The inhabitants are black Arabs. [Wādī al-Subūʿ] [⇒Y390a, 444a] The fortress known as Kush-i Gharbi (Western Kush). Its inhabitants are submissive. This place is the town known as Sufun (Isfun), under the authority of Esna, also public buildings as endowments (awqaf). [⇒Y445a] This place, the Fortress of Esna and a kashiflik under the authority of Girga, has soldiers of the Seven Regiments. It is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level. [⇒Y444b–445a]

1 F1 and F2, which initially appear to be and are labelled as two separate entries, are separated by a large lacuna on the map. However, it seems likely that they are in fact one long entry, and have thus been presented as such here.

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F7

F8 F9

F10 F11

F12 F13

F14

F15

F16

F17

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

This place is the town of Ziqat, (inland) from the Nile, a prosperous town. [⇒Y445a] The places here are villages, beyond number. This place west of the Nile is the great city of Arman. There are traces of its monuments that confound the beholder. The Coptic historians mention that Moses son of ʿImran was born here, his mother being in this tranquil place out of fear of Pharaoh. According to the Coptic chronicles. [⇒Y445a] It is recorded This place is the town (kasaba) known as the town of Qurna. And this town. The king of Egypt and border of Girga. In this place domes and are arranged. [⇒Y445b] On this island dwells the tribe known as the Farigh Bedouins (see F2). In ancient times the town of Hammam was reportedly the bath of a diviner named Filbatin (*Filbatir). The bath is now in ruins. But there are 100–200 Arab (Bedouin) houses of reed matting. [⇒Y311b–312a, 444a] The lake of ashes (?) on this island is likewise black pitch, like resin, and smelling like sulphur and like petroleum, by God’s command. (= ? Island of Bajja; see D7) [⇒Y444a–b] The Nile used to flow from these places towards the Maghreb. Traces of monuments are still visible. [⇒Y388b] In these places is a cataract: the Nile flows down from high mountains. And in this place Dhu’l-Yazan cut through the mountains and let the Nile flow through. On both sides of the Nile sheer (?) black cliffs rise up to the zenith. And in this place some boats are unloaded and drawn up the cliffs with pulleys, crossing (the mountains) towards Ibrim. But it is very difficult because in ancient times the Nile flowed through this place. [⇒Y388b] The fortresses on this island are in ruins. The tribe known as the Basali Arabs inhabits this place. They are 3,000 brave horsemen. Now they are reckoned as the Hawwara tribe. [⇒Y444b]



F18

F19

F20 S

F21 ê

F22 ê

F23 ê

F24 ê

F25 ê

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

61

This town is known as KLḪ (*Kalij). It is under the authority of the governor of Esna. It has more than 100 houses. [⇒Y444b] There is a great mound in this place where they visit the shrine of MYNʾḤ (*Sayyah). [⇒Y384b] In this place is a ruin known as Qalʿat Edfu. Its multazim is subordinate to the governor of Esna. The fortress has no castle warden or garrison, since it is in ruins. [Idfū] [⇒Y384b, 444b] This place is an ancient city, originally the capital city of the crone Azraq Jadu (Blue Witch). There are still traces of construction. It is now a town (kasaba) and the entrepot of Derr. It is a sanjak and capital of Ibrim. It was conquered in ancient times by Dhu’l-Yazan, and later, in the time of ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs, by Aswad b. Miqdad. Formerly it was governed by a bey; now it is a kashiflik. At present there is a garrison of the Seven Regiments. [Al-Dirr] [⇒Y390b] This is a valley and plain known as Wadi ʿUrban (Valley of the Arabs). The Arabs (or Bedouin) gather here once a year; for that reason it is called Wadi ʿArab and Wadi ʿUrban. [Wādī al-ʿArab] [⇒Y390b] This place is called Wadi Subuʿ (Valley of Lions; see F3), and also Sahrat Firʿawn (Plain of Pharaoh) because here on both sides of the Nile there are porphyry figures of lions as big as elephants, turned to stone by God’s command. [Wādī al-Subūʿ] [⇒Y390a, 444a] This place next to the mountain is a village of 70 or 80 houses. There are houses of reed matting. This place is called after the Kunuz Bedouins and is the end of the border of the Bedouins. [⇒Y390a] This place east of the Nile has black Arabs, a tribe of hairy black Zangis named ʿUrban Abu Hur. They have no religion and deny the Resurrection. [⇒Y389b]

62

F26 ê

F27

F28

F29 ê

G1 S

G2 S

G3 S

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

This place is a city known as Kushtamina. It has 200 reed houses. Its people are obedient. They have a mosque and a dervish convent, also a coffeehouse and a boza shop. Here the ZYNWR (*Dhu’l-Yazan? – see. F29) Kunuz Sanyal Arabs, a people numbering around 2,000, pass as Muslims. But their women do not cover themselves, they go around naked; it is not considered disgraceful. Here the seven Kunuz tribes come to an end. [Kushtamna] [⇒Y389b–390a] In this place east of the Nile dwells the Arab tribe of Kalapish (Kalafish). It is a place of black rocks and many caves. These people live in caves. There are no date palms here and no crops are sown, it is only a black valley. There is agriculture in certain areas, because this place lies towards (?) a grassy plain. They eat crocodiles and have sex with crocodiles (see F28). They are an inauspicious people. [Kalabsha] [⇒Y389b] In this place east of the Nile dwells the Arab tribe of Mihriya. They are very poor people. They have 500–600 houses of reed matting. But they have sex with crocodiles and eat crocodiles (see F27). They too belong to the Mihriya sect; they deny the Resurrection. [⇒Y389a–b; Y162a–b] In this place east of the Nile the shaikh of the Arab tribe of Kunuzayn (the Two Kunuz) is known as Shaikh Wasiti. They are one of the Dhu’lYazan tribes, 700–800 mounted horsemen. [⇒Y389a] The name of the fortress in this place is the building of Dhu’l-Yazan. Here the blessed Nile flows down sheer cliffs. The roar can be heard one stage distant from here. Boats from Cairo come this far and cannot pass beyond this point. [⇒Y384b–385a] This place east of the Nile is the fortress of Aswan (see G3). It was built by ʿAd b. Shaddad. It now has a castle warden and the garrison is appointed from Cairo. This place is the frontier of the Funj kingdom and the Bedouin Arabs. It is predominantly the frontier of the Bedouins. [⇒Y384a–b] This fortress is called Aswan Thani (Second Aswan; cf. G2). It was built by ʿAd b. Shaddad. It now has a castle warden and the garrison is appointed from Cairo. It is the frontier of the Funj and the rebellious Bedouins.



G4

G5

G6 ê

G7

G8 S

G9 ê G10

Ha1

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

63

In this place are traces of the foundation of a great city. The circuit of the ruins cannot be traversed in a single day. Inside it are traces of great buildings. [Sinbas] [⇒Y385a] In this area is the shrine of Shaikh ʿUmar Hajin (*Rajaʾi), a place of visitation of the saints. [⇒Y385a] This place is a great mountain and east of the mountain, south-easterly (?), is an equal elevation (?) and the road to Habesh and Funj. It stretches 7 stages and is a wilderness and a frontier. In the caves in this mountain several hundred thousand crocodiles have been mummified and preserved. [Gebel Timsah] [⇒Y384b] In this place east of the Nile, three hours distant from the shore of the Nile, there are traces of a magnificent bath dome, the stones held together by brackets. It was a great city in ancient times. Among the traces of buildings are a myriad stone columns and (other) marvels. [⇒Y384b] This place is a ruined fortress known as QLRRBV (*Qulumbu), a nahiye of Aswan. Inside it there is no agha or garrison, but around it are approximately 300 houses of reed matting, dwellings of a tribe known as Beni Jaʿfar. They pass as Muslims but belong to the Jaʿfari sect and are rebels, obedient to no one. They subsist on dates and produce dates. Dates are very plentiful in this place. [Kom Ombo] [⇒Y384b] This place is a fortress. There are great and noteworthy caves from ʿAd and Thamud (see C7). [⇒Y384a] This place is called Gebel Silsila (Mountain of the Chain), inhabited by Arab ʿUrban (Bedouin), about 3,000 men. Their shaikh is called Abu ʿAsib. They do not obey the bey of Girga, nor do they obey the pasha of Habesh. They are obedient to no one. [⇒Y383b–384a] In this place is a great domed structure (i.e., tomb), the shrine of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Daʾim. It is known as the town of Dayr Umm ʿAli (Monastery of the Mother of ʿAli). Originally it was a church. [Al-Dayr] [⇒Y383b]

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Ha2

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

In this place dwell the Hujayza Arabs, a tribe of around 3,000 men. They are a hospitable people. [⇒Y383b] Ha3 This place is called the town of Tut in the nahiye of Aqsurayn (Luxor). [Ṭawd] [⇒Y383b] Ha4 This place is called the town (kasaba) of Aqsurayn (Two Castles). It is a kashiflik and amidst the Bedouin and is a nahiye of Qus, but it is not very built up. The one known as Abu’l-Haj (Abu’l-Hajjaj) is buried there. [AlAqṣur / Luxor] [⇒Y382b–383a] Ha5 This place is Hawwara under the authority of Abu Yahya. [⇒Y378b] Ha6 East of the Nile, the city of Akhmim. The son of Noah, peace be upon him, / . [Akhmīm] [⇒Y4a, 378b] Ha7 In this place is the ancient of Qus with many buildings of Shaddad b. ʿAd. They are noteworthy sights, marvellous to behold. [⇒Y382a] Ha8 This place is a town (kasaba) and entrepot of Qena in the nahiye of Sharqiya. Grain supplies for Mecca and Medina are transported by boat to Qusayr. It is now a flourishing entrepot. [Qinā] [⇒Y379b] Ha9 This place is the town (kasaba) and entrepot known as FWR (*Fuwwa). It is east of the Nile. From here as well there is a ford (maʿdiya) to Qusayr, a distance of 2 or 3 stages. On the way, mainly in the mountains, are traces of great and noteworthy buildings. [Fāw] [⇒Y379a] Ha10 This place east of the Nile is where the tribe known as ʿAbab[ida] dwell. It is an obedient tribe of Arabs (or Bedouin), around 7,000–8,000 men. They operate (the road) from here to the port of Qusayr, transporting the grain supplies for Mecca and Medina. It is a trustworthy tribe. [⇒Y381a–b] Ha11 In these regions as far as Habesh there are great mountains and desolate plains, with no sign of civilisation. The Arab ʿUrban (or Bedouin) dwelling near the Nile are rebels and bandits. [⇒Y381a]



Hb1

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

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(The tribe of) Hawwara Beni ʿUmran, under the authority of the entrepot of Hu. Hb2 This place is the entrepot of Hu, a great and splendid town (kasaba), a kashiflik under the authority of Girga. Its grain is collected by the customs officer of Girga. [Hīw] [⇒Y445b–446a] Hb3 This place is the entrepot known as Farshut, a town (kasaba) and kashiflik under the authority of Girga and a kadi district (at the per diem income level of) 150 akçe. It contains Qurʾan interpreters and noble religious scholars beyond number. [Farshūṭ] [⇒446a–b] Hb4 This place is the town (kasaba) and entrepot known as Samannut, a kashiflik under the authority of Girga in the nahiye of shut. The Hawwara Bedouin known as the tribe of Hammam and Müʾezzinoğlu and ʿAli dwell here. [Samhūd] [⇒Y446–447a] Hb5 This place is the entrepot known as the town of Bardis, a kashiflik under the authority of Girga. Its grain is collected by the Girga grain officer; he resides in Girga. [Bardīs] [⇒ Y447a] Hb6 Territory consisting of 24 kashifliks administered by the governor bey of Girga with his 3,000 soldiers and with a garrison of the cavalry regiments of Cairo. It is a mystery of wisdom (i.e., an excellent arrangement). [⇒Y374a–375a, 447a] Hb7 The ancient city, Dahliz Habesh (Corridor of Habesh) belonging to Girga. The plenty and cheapness of Upper Egypt are here. [⇒Q355a] Hb8 This place is the town known as Manshiya, a great and very prosperous and splendid entrepot. Every kind of provision is plentiful. [Al-Manshāh] [⇒Y372a–373a] Hb9 In this place in ancient times was a large and magnificent city of the Pharaohs named Dahliz-i ʿAtiq (Old Corridor). Hb10 This place the clime of the vilayet of Girga regions white and black, mentioned as the government of the climes of Upper Egypt. Hb11 In this area in olden days was a great city known as Sohag. It is now in ruins, but its villages are flourishing and splendid. [Sūhāj] [⇒Y372a]

66

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Hb12 In this place is the entrepot known as the city of Jazira (Island), a kashiflik. But the ancient city is in ruins. Its villages are flourishing and splendid and provisions are plentiful. [Jazīrat Shandawīl?] [⇒Y372a] Hb13 In this place there is a great and prosperous town (kasaba). Flatweaves and prayer rugs are manufactured here. It is a famous entrepot. [Tahta?] [⇒Y371b?] Hb14 This place is the ancient city of Abu Tig. (The one) named Tima was a city in ancient times. The capital, Abu Tig, a Coptic city [is where] the tribe of Hawwara ʿAʾid dwell. [Abū Tīj] [⇒Y370b, 371b] Hb15 This is a mountainous region, with large mountains and caves. And in ê those caves are millions of storks, buried and preserved. Once a year all the storks in the world are bound to come to this place and visit this mountain, because here there are talismans of storks in this place. [⇒Y369b–370b] Hb16 This canal is known as Turʿat al-Sultan (Canal of the Sultan). [Turʿat al-Raml]. [⇒Y371a–b] Hb17 This place was founded by the Coptic king known as Siyut. The noteworthy sights here are unending and unfathomable. It is an ancient city and a kashiflik. Its grain is collected by the Girga customs officer. [Asyūṭ] [⇒Y368a–b] Hb18 This place is a great and beautiful city known as Manfalut, a kashiflik. Its grain is collected by the Girga customs officer. [Manfalūṭ] [⇒Y366b–377a] Hb19 This place is the town known as Madinat Umm al-Qusur (Mother of Castles). It is situated away from the Nile, because the blessed Nile here flows with great commotion, albeit very majestically. [Umm al-Quṣūr] Hc1 This place is the land and entrepot known as Rimal Qusur al-Wah (Sands of the Castles of the Oases). [⇒Y447a–450b] Hc2 West of this place behind the mountains are the lands of Al-Wah (The Oases). The mountains (or dunes) are mostly a sea of sand. Hc3 This place is the city known as Qusur al-Wah (Castles of the Oases). Hc4 This place is Rimal Qusur (Sands of Castles), the land of Al-Wah. Hc5 This place is Rimal Qusur (Sands of Castles), land of Al-Wah.

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

Hc6 Hc7 Hc8 Hc9

Hc10

Hc11

Hc12 Hc13

Hc14 I1 I2

I3

I4

I5

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This place is sand dunes, Qusur al-Wah (Castles of the Oases). This place is sand dunes, lands of Qusur al-Wah (Castles of the Oases). This place is known as the climes of Bahnisa, with flourishing villages. This place is Madinat Bahnisa, the city of Beni Suef. It was conquered by Companions of the Prophet. Great events took place at its conquest: 7,000 noble Companions were martyred. Now their shrines and tombs and places of burial are recorded in writing, name by name. It is a site of visitation. It is now under the authority of the kashif of Beni Suef. [⇒Q345a] This place is the town (kasaba) and entrepot of Darud al-Sharif. In ancient times the prophet Joseph cut Lake Faiyum at this point and made (the canal, i.e., Bahr Yussef) flow, a noteworthy sight. [⇒Y337b, 366a] This place is the great entrepot of MRNWṬ (*Sanabu). It is an endowment (awqaf) of the Prophet. Now it is always one of the tax farms of the sadat (the seyyids, descendants of the Prophet). [⇒Y366b] This place is sand dunes and Qusur al-Wah (Castles of the Oases). This place among levees and canals is the villages of Faiyum (see I2). They are flourishing, with sowing and reaping of crops and vineyards and gardens like the gardens of paradise. [⇒Q346a] This place is sand dunes and Qusur al-Wah (Castles of the Oases). named Hadra in the Maghreb (see I12). This place is the city of Faiyum (see Hc13), capital of the Prophet Joseph. It is mostly gardens. [⇒Q346b-348b] In this place is the lake of Birkat Qarun (Lake of Korah), where one can still see his houses. [⇒Q348a] This place is Qantarat Lahut (*Lahun) (Bridge of Lahun; see I12), a large bridge. [⇒Q346a] This place is a flourishing village. [⇒Q346a]

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I6

I7

I8

I9

I10

I11 I12

I13 I14 I15

I16 I17

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

This place is the town (kasaba) and entrepot of Mallawi. It is an endowment (awqaf). The customs officer collects its grain supplies. [Mallawī] [⇒Y365b] This place is the great entrepot of Mishmunin (*Ishmunin). It was founded in ancient times by the Coptic king Ishmun and was a great city. Some of the buildings and church columns are still visible. [Ashmunayn] [⇒Y365b] The place is the entrepot named Minya. It is a kashiflik under the authority of Girga, whose customs officer collects its grain supplies. [Minyā] [⇒Y364a] This place is the town (kasaba) and entrepot of Samannut. It is a kashiflik under the authority of Beni Suef and the end of the border of Beni Suef territory. [Ṣamalūṭ] [⇒Y363b–364a] In this place is the village of BLYFYH (*Fashna) and its dependent villages. It is a tax farm under the authority of the agha of Beni Suef. [⇒Y362b] This place is the great city of Kairouan, under the authority of Tunis. This place is the course (? – cirm) of the Lahun River (see I4). It flows from the Nile, under the bridge (and) under the ground towards Tunis (and) the city of Hadra (see I1). The ancient sages brought it (i.e., as a canal from the Nile). This place is the lake known as Gharaq Faiyum. [Al-Fayyūm] [⇒Q347a] This place is the city and fortress of Susa (Sousse in Tunisia). This place, known as the village of Tamiya, has lakes. It is on the road to Cairo, travelled by the Cairo caravan. [Ṭāmiya] [⇒Q349a] This place has large caves in the mountains. Inside the caves are markets and shops, still visible. This place is the vilayet of the city of Beni Suef, a large town (kasaba) and kashiflik. [Banī Suwayf] [⇒Y361b]



I18

I19 S I20 S I21

I22

I23

I24 I25

Ja1 Ja2 Ja3 S Ja4

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

69

This place, Jazira (Island), has imposing and high mountains. In those mountains originally, even before Adam, came the Maraj (?) people. They reportedly lived in mountains and caves. When Adam fell to the earth, the people [of ʿAd] and the people of Thamud were living in these caves. Even now there are many human bones in the caves. Most of them are filled with bones. At that time they used to bury people in caves. In this place is a great ruined fortress. In this place is a Coptic monastery, founded during the time of Moses. It is a very noteworthy ancient Pharaonic structure. [⇒Y363b–364a] In these places east of the Nile are great and lofty mountains and no buildings. They are rocky and Funj-like2 mountains. In the valleys are many rebellious Arab Bedouin. [⇒Y361a] This place is the town (kasaba) and entrepot of Maymuna, very built up (or flourishing). Also it is under the constant protection of the deputy of the porters of Beni Suef, who collects its grain supplies. This clime is a kashiflik. [Al-Maymūn] [⇒Y361b] These places also east of the Nile are stony plains and high mountains without human habitation, ranged by rebel Arabs (or Bedouin). [⇒Q349a] This is the place known as Dayr Qibta (Monastery of the Copts). [⇒Y363b] This place is the vilayet of the climes of Upper Egypt and site of a ford (maʿdiya) where boats and caiques cross over towards Cairo. [⇒Y361a] This place is Barca, where coral is brought up from the sea, under the authority of Tunis. The island of Djerba, under the authority of Tunis. [⇒Y30a] This place is the fortress of Trablus-gharb (Tripoli in Libya). [⇒Y30a] This place is the fortress of Manghazar (Benghazi in Libya).

2 Funcistan serves here to provide a rhyming element with sengistan (‘rocky’).

70

Ja5

Ja6 Ja7 Ja8 Ja9 Ja10

Ja11

Ja12 Ja13 Jb1

Jb2

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

This place is the pyramids. They were built before the Flood, in the hope that they would be saved from the Flood, but they were not saved. From here the road to Faiyum is through the mountains, traversed by caravans. [⇒Y232a–234a] This place has villages under the authority of Habiroğlu (Ibn Khabir). [⇒Q349a–b] This place is a dam and barrier (see Jb2). [⇒Q351a] This place is the Shrine of Moses. [⇒Q349b] This place is the Well of the Prison of Joseph. [⇒Q350a] This place is the levee of the canal of the Western Lake, a kashiflik under the authority of Giza. This levee is the border of Habiroğlu (Ibn Khabir). [⇒Q349a] This place is the clime of Giza and the location of the shrine of Abu Hurayra, may God be pleased with him, a noteworthy sight. On the day of visitation at this shrine, the ground throws up human bones. Bones appear on the ground. [⇒Y270b–271a; Q349b] This place is Imbaba, the shrine of Shaikh Ismaʿil Babi. [⇒Y341a] This place is the villages of Warraqin, a kashiflik under the authority of Giza (see Ka4, La3). This place is Qadam al-Nabi (Footstep of the Prophet), peace be upon him, a charitable foundation built by the former Defterdar Melek Ibrahim Pasha, may God have mercy upon him. [⇒Y115b–116b, 224a, 225b] This place is the dam and barrier of Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha (see Ja7), may God have mercy upon him. Afterward it became a canal and, by God’s command, nourished an island. [⇒Q351a]



Jb3

Jb4

Jb5

Jb6

Jb7 Jb8 S Jb9

Jb10 Jb11 S Jb12 Jb13 Jb14 Jb15 Jb16

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

71

This place is Old Cairo, formerly known as Madinat Fustat (City of Fustat). When first ruled by the Umayyads it had 7,000 hammams. A man would get up in the morning and go to the bath to wash up, but he would find no room because of the crowd, so he would go around from bath to bath, finally finding a place at the 120th bath. Judge from that how magnificent a city Old Cairo − i.e., Fustat − was in olden days, and how populated it was with Muslims; may God have mercy on them. [⇒Y139b–144b] This place is the Granary, seven silos that are filled every year with 360,000 ardabs of wheat. They are for orphans, but others too receive a share. [⇒Y142b–143b] This place is the island of Roda. [in the drawing] Umm al-Qiyas (Nilometer) [⇒Y148a–149b] This place is the sakia, a charitable foundation of Sultan Ghawri. Water goes [from here] to the Cairo citadel. [⇒Y144b] This place is the ʿUmari Mosque (error for Mosque of ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs). [⇒Y89a–90a] This place is the circuit of city walls of Cairo, may God protect it. [in the drawing] Biʾr Yusuf (Joseph’s Well) [⇒Y84b–85b] This place is the Great Qarafa cemetery and shrine of saints, may God have mercy on them. [⇒Y262a–b] This place is the Little Qarafa cemetery and shrine of saints, may God have mercy on them. This fortress was founded by the Abbasid Caliph al-Maʾmun, son of Harun al-Rashid. This place is Qasrin. This place is Bulaq. Repeat (?): This place is Bulaq. [⇒Y134a–135b] This place is ḤLLH (?). This place is Shubra (see La4). [Shubra al-Khaymah] [⇒Y279a, 340b, 359b] This place is the village of Bisus.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Jb17 This place is MʾSTʾ (?). Jb18 Qubbat ʿAzaban (Tomb of the ʿAzabs). [⇒Y128b] DRAWING OF TOMB Jb19 This place is the great mountain range of Juyushi. There is no human ê habitation, only mountains as far as the stony tract. [⇒Y77a–b, 256b–257a] Jb20 Shrine of saints and shrine of Imam al-Shafiʿi b. Idris, may his noble secret be blessed. [⇒Y106b, 262b-263a] Jb21 This place is known as Turʿat Birkat al-Habash (Canal of the Lake of Habesh). [⇒Y106b] Ka1 Gulf of Kibrit. [⇒Y5b, 30a] Ka2 Cape known as Raʾ[s] Hila[l]. [⇒Y32b] Ka3 This place west of the Nile is mountains, mostly sand dunes. The Bedouin tribes of the Beni ʿIsa and Beni Musa dwell here, each 3,000– 4,000 mounted horsemen who dwell amidst these sand dunes. [⇒Y340a] Ka4 This place west of the Nile is Warraq villages, under the authority of the kashif of Giza (see Ja13, La3). [⇒Y340b] Ka5 This place is the town or village of Umm Dinar. [⇒Y340a] Ka6 This area west of the Nile is 560 miles from where it flows through Rosetta until the place known as Batn al-Baqar (‘Cow’s Belly’). The reason is that the western branch of the blessed Nile flows very crooked (i.e., zigzag) and also it is deep. [⇒Y279b, 340b, 359a] Ka7 This place is known as Dullab Dinar. Ka8 In this place the blessed Nile splits into two branches, this too by the grace of God. [⇒Y340b] Ka9 This place is the town (kasaba) known as Darna (Darnah in Libya), under the authority of Trablus (Tripoli; see Ja3).



Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

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Ka10 This place is the harbour known as Satruh (*Matruh) (Mersa Matruh in Egypt). Ka11 This place is the harbour known as Kanaʾis (Al-Kanaʾis near Alexandria). Ka12 This place west of the Nile is a sea of sand and dunes, with nothing growing. The Bedouin tribes of Beni Salama and Beni Rujban dwell here, 4,000–5,000 mounted horsemen. [⇒Y339b] Ka13 The place is the village or town of Quta. The border of the kashif of Giza ends here. The other side of this canal is under the authority of the kashif of Buhayra. [Al-Qaṭāh] [⇒Y340a] Ka14 This place is Sharawi where the border of Minufiya ends. [Sarāwa] [⇒Y340a–b, 359a] Ka15 This place is the town of Kafr Jarkas. [⇒Y340a] Ka16 This place is the villages known as the nahiye of Ishmun Juraysh (*Jurays). [Ashmūn / Jirays] [⇒Y340a] Ka17 This place is Wadi al-Jazira (Valley of the Island), with flourishing villages in the clime of Minufiya. It is under the authority of the kashif of Minufiya. [⇒Y340b] Ka18 This place is the city of Minufiya. It was founded as the Pharaonic capital and the Pharaoh resided in this city. At present the kashif of the clime of Minufiya resides and governs in this city. [⇒Y4b, 282a–284a] Ka19 These places are the villages known as Turʿat al-Gharb (Western Canal). They are places (?) and under the authority of the kashif of Buhayra. Ka20 This place is the villages of Wardan Dris. It is very built up and thriving. Ka21 This place is the town of Zawiya. [⇒Y339b] Ka22 This place is the village or town of Jizi, the port of the territory of Minufiya. [Jizāy] [⇒Y339a] Ka23 This place is the village or town of Abu Nushaba. [⇒Y339b]

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Ka24 This place is known as Lake of the Castles of SYYVY (Siwa?), consisting of lakes and date groves. [Siwa Oasis?] Ka25 This place is the towers of Old Alexandria and in ruins. Ka26 This place east of the Nile is the canal known as the Greater Abu Jamus (cf. Kb4). [⇒Y339a] Ka27 This place is the village of Tarrana. Natron is brought here from the mountains and is made state property of Korah. Some time ago seven beys − including Celali Mehmed Bey, ʿAli Bey, and Husayn Bey − were apprehended here and put to death, and a dome (i.e., tomb) was made for each of them where they were buried. [⇒Y239b–240a, 339a–b] Ka28 This place is the village or town of Tamaliya. [Ṭamalāy] [⇒Y339a] Ka29 This place is the town named DLQM Abu al-Hawi (*ʿAlqama Abu alKhawi). [ʿAlqam / Abū al-Khāwī] [⇒Y339a] Ka30 This place is the town of Amrus [ʿAmrūṣ]. [⇒Y339a] Ka31 This place is the town of Tayarna. [⇒Y339a] Ka32 This place is the town of Tunub. [Ṭunūb] [⇒Y339a] Ka33 This place is the town of Kom Sharik. Kb1 This place is Abu Sir ʿUrban (see La39). They are rebellious. [⇒Y358b] Kb2 Shrine of Shaikh Qudim, a Companion of the Prophet. Kb3 This place is the clime of the regions of Buhayra, governed as a kashiflik (see Kb22). Kb4 This place is the canal known as the Lesser Abu Jamus (cf. Ka26). It waters the clime of Buhayra. [⇒Y339a] Kb5 This place is the canal known as Sayf al-Din. It waters the clime of Buhayra and connects to Damanhur. The entrepot of Damanhur is in this area. [⇒Y304b–305b] Kb6 This place is the town (kasaba) and entrepot of Hush. [⇒Y310a–b]



Kb7 Kb8 Kb9 Kb10 Kb11 Kb12 Kb13 Kb14 Kb15 Kb16 Kb17 Kb18 Kb19 Kb20

Kb21 Kb22 Kb23 Kb24 Kb25

Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

This place is the town of Mahallat Abu Ahmad. [⇒Y339a] This place is the town of Salimun. [⇒Y339a] This place is the town of Shabur. [⇒Y339a] This place is the town of Tahriya (Al-Ḍahriya) [⇒Y338b] This place is the town of Ishlima (*Ishlimiya). [⇒Y338b] This place is the town of Nakla. [Niklā al-ʿināb] [⇒Y338b] This place is the town of Kafr JWDYZ (*Jadid). [⇒Y338b] This place is the town of Mahallat al-Jalsa (*Mihaliçse). [⇒Y338b] This place is the town of Mahallat Shibir Rish. [Shubrā Rīs] [⇒Y338b] This place is the town of Mahallat Shibir Hadith (*Hith). [Shubrā Khīt] [⇒Y338b] This place is the town of Marqas. [Murquṣ] [⇒Y338a] This place is the town of Shumruhat. [Sumukhraṭ] [⇒Y338a] This place is the town of Shurum Bey. [Surumbay] [⇒Y338a] This place is the canal of Nasiri Iskandari. It flows from here to the mouth of the Gulf of Alexandria. It is called the Gulf of Nasiri. [⇒Y305b, 311b–312a] This place is Bostan Adası (Garden Island), known as Dukhayla. This place is the clime of the region of Buhayra (see Kb3). This place is the town of ʿAtif. [⇒Y337b] This place is the town of Dayrut. [Dayrūṭ] [⇒Y337b] This place is the town of Itfiba (*Idfina). [Idfīnā] [⇒Y337a]

75

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Kb26 This place is the town of Diyay. [Maḥallat Diyay] [⇒Y337a, 338a–b] Kb27 This place is the town of Mahallat Amir. [Maḥallat al-Amīr] [⇒Y337a] Kb28 This place is the town of Hammat (?). Kb29 This place is the town of Jiddiya. [Al-Jiddiya] [⇒Y337a] Kb30 This place is the lake known as Lake Etkuy. [Lake Edku / Maʿdiya] [⇒ Y311b, 331b] Kb31 This place is the village of Bayza. [⇒Y312b] Kb32 This place is the town of Karayish Buhayra. Kb33 This place is the town of Akarisha. [⇒Y312b] Kb34 This place is the town of Kafr Sim (*Selim). Kb35 This place is the town of Jinan. [⇒Y312b] Kb36 ʿAmud Sari (Pillar of the Mast). [⇒Y321a] Kb37 Kalʿe-i Rükn [Qalʿat al-Rukn] (Fortress of the Column). [⇒Y323a, 445a] Kb38 Fortress of Alexandria. S [⇒Y319b–324b] Kb39 Small fortress. S Kb40 Mısr Gharbi Kalʿesi [Qalʿat Misr Gharbi] (Western Fortress). S [⇒Y324b–325a] Kb41 Island of Alexandria ʿRʾR (?) city. Kb42 Bridge of the fortress. S Kb43 Fortress. S Kb44 This place is the fortress of Abu Qir. S [⇒Y329b–330b] Kb45 This place is Kom Afrah and the shrine of Shaikh Mandur (*Mansur). [⇒Y335a]



Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

Kb46 This place is the entrepot of Rosetta, a city. Its surroundings are date groves. [⇒Y332b–335b] Kb47 This place is the fortress of Rosetta. S [⇒Y335b] Kb48 This place is the ford (maʿdiya) of Rosetta and Alexandria. [⇒Y331b–332a] Kb49 The Strait of Rosetta. It is two (i.e., western and eastern). [⇒Y336a] Kb50 This is the Western (Rosetta) Strait. Kb51 An island. [⇒Y336b] Kb52 This is the Eastern (Rosetta) Strait. Kc1 This place is the border of the kashif of Minufiya. His authority ends at this point. [⇒Y338b] Kc2 This place is the Shrine of the Forty. [⇒Y339a] Kc3 The area on this side of here is under the authority of the kashif of Gharbiya. [⇒Y351a] Kc4 This place is the town of Mahallat Hiyariya. [⇒Y352a] Kc5 This place is the town of Zaʿira. [Al-Zaʿira] [⇒Y339a] Kc6 This place is the town of Kafr Jadid. [⇒Y339a] Kc7 This place is the town of Kafr Naha. [⇒Y339a] Kc8 This place is the town of Kafr Ziyat. [Kafr al-Zayyāt] [⇒Y339a] Kc9 This place is the town of Farasdaq. [Al-Farasdaq] [⇒Y300b, 338b] Kc10 This place is the town of Mahallat Abu ʿAli. [⇒Y338a] Kc11 This place is Rahmaniya and the shrine of Seyyid Ibrahim Dassuki. [⇒Y301b–303a, 304b, 338a]

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Kc12 This place is the town of Mahallat Malik. [⇒Y338a] Kc13 This place is the town of Salimiya. [⇒Y338a] Kc14 This place is the town of Shurafa. [Minyat al-Ashrāf] [⇒Y338a] Kc15 This place is the town of Fuwwa. [Fūwa] [⇒Y338a] Kc16 This place is the town of Sindiyun. [⇒Y337b] Kc17 This place is the town of Fazara. [⇒Y337b] Kc18 This place is the town of Mutubis. [⇒Y337a–b] Kc19 This place is the town of Imshira (*Jamshira). [Shamshīra] [⇒Y337b] Kc20 This place is the town of Miri Bal (*Birimbal). [⇒Y337a] Kc21 This place is under the authority of the kashif of the clime of Gharbiya. Kc22 This place is the canal known as Burullus Canal. [⇒Y341b] Kc23 This place is the Tomb of Shaikh Jabir, a shrine of the saints. [⇒Y337a] Kc24 This place is rice villages of Uzba [Izba]. They sow rice all the way to the fortress of Sarı Ahmed. [⇒Y337a, 341b] Kc25 This place is the fortress of Sarı Ahmed at the Rosetta Strait. S [⇒Y335b–336a] Kc26 This place is the lake known as Lake Burullus. [⇒Y341b–342a] Kc27 This place is the town of Baltim. [Balṭīm] [⇒Y343a] Kc28 This place is Burullus Castle on the shore of a brackish sea. [⇒Y342a]



Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

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La1– This is the place known as Biʾr Matariya, one of the miracles of the La23 Prophet Jesus. Mary came to this place with Jesus and asked the villagers for water, but they refused. She put Jesus down on the ground and went in search of water, but could not find any. When she came back she saw that water had emerged from Jesus’s two hands and made a circle and become a well. Mary prayed that if the villagers drank this water it would be bitter, but if anyone else drank it, it would be sweet. And so it was, by God’s command. [⇒Y160a, 227a] La3 This place is the villages of the clime of Warraq round (see Ja13, Ka4). [⇒Y340b] La4 This place is the town of Shubra (see Jb15). From Damietta to here it is 400 miles. There are many places with ancient monuments. Some places can be crossed with camels when the Nile recedes. [⇒Y279a, 340b, 359b] La5 This place is the villages of Barut (Gunpowder). From Damietta to here there are seven flourishing towns (kasaba) and seven flourishing villages. [⇒Y340b] La6 This place is the town of Shaʿra. [⇒Y359a] La7 This place is the town of Barr Shams. [⇒Y359a] La8 This place is the town of Minyat ʿAfif. [⇒Y359a] La9 This place is the town of al-ʿAtif. [Al-ʿAṭf] [⇒Y359a] La10 This place is the town of Barshum. [⇒Y359a] La11 This place is the town of Tant. [⇒Y359a] La12 This place is the town of Dijwa. [⇒Y359a]

3 Though La1 and La2 initially appear as one short (La1) and one long (La2) entry on the map, it seems likely that they should in fact be read together as one entry, and thus they have been presented as such here.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

La13 This place is the town of Minyat al-ʿAttar, a border of Qalyubiya and under its authority. [⇒Y359a] La14 This place is the town of Banhi. These borders are also under the authority of Gharbiya. [Banhā] [⇒Y359a] La15 This place, Minufiya Barri (see La19), is the border of the town of Seyyid Khidr. His authority ends here. [⇒Y359a] La16 This place is the town of Kafr Abu’l-Tawafi (*Abu’l-Tawaqi). [⇒Y359a] La17 This place is the town of Batay. [⇒Y359a] La18 This place is the town of DMLLW (*Ramli). [⇒Y359a] La19 This place is the town of Minyat al-Barri (see La15). [⇒Y359a] La20 This place is the town of Taghbani (*Tafhani). [Tafahna] [⇒Y359a] La21 This place is the town of Minyat al-Harun. [Mīt al-Ḥārūn] [⇒Y359a] La22 This place is the town of Aysh Bul. [Ashbul] [⇒Y359a] La23 This place is the town of Sindi. [⇒Y359a] La24 This place is the town of Kafr al-Saghir. La25 This place is the town of Minyat al-ʿAsr (*Maʿsara). [⇒Y359a] La26 This place is the town of Sahrag. [Ṣahrajt al-Kubrā] [⇒Y359a] La27 This place is the entrepot of Minyat ʿUmar (*Ghamr), very flourishing. [Mīt Ghamr] [⇒Y281a, 358b–359a] La28 This place is the town of Minyat al-Sharʿi (*Sharangi). [⇒Y358b] La29 This place is the town of Wasid. [⇒Y359a]



Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

La30 This place is the town of Kafr al-Sayyid (*Misid). [⇒Y359a] La31 This place is the town of Kafr al-Gharib. [⇒Y359a] La32 This place is the town of Zifta. [Ziftā] [⇒Y359a] La33 This place is the town of Dahnuri (*Dahnur). [⇒Y358b] La34 This place is the town of Shubat (*Sunbat). [Sunbāṭ] [⇒Y358b] La35 This place is the town of Minyat Shubra. [Shubrā al-Yaman] La36 This place is the town of Minyat al-Badr. [⇒Y358b] La37 This place is the town of Minyat Banay. [⇒Y358b] La38 This place is a port and the place known as Maʿdiya (Ford). La39 This place is the town of Minyat Abu Sir (see Kb1). [Abū Ṣirbāna] La40 This place is the entrepot of Sanut (*Samannut). [Samannūd] [⇒Y344a] La41 This place is the town of Minyat Thuʿbaniya. [⇒Y355b] La42 This place is the town of Minyat ʿAmar. La43 This place is the town of Minyat Farqa (*Gharaqa). [⇒Y355b] La44 This place is the town of SNJD (?). La45 This place is the town of SHRNKASH (?). Lb1 This place is the town of Minyat ʾMSYNY (*Ishni). [⇒Y358b] Lb2 This place is the town of DSYR (*Dumsin). [⇒Y358b] Lb3 This place is the town of Manzara. [⇒Y358b] Lb4 This place is the town of Burru. [⇒Y358b] Lb5 This place is the town of Abu’l-Harith. Abu’l-Harith is buried here. [⇒Y358b] Lb6 This place is the town of Minyat al-Minya. [⇒Y355b]

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Lb7 Lb8 Lb9 Lb10 Lb11 Lb12 Lb13 Lb14 Lb15 Lb16 Lb17 Lb18 Lb19 Lb20 Lb21 Lb22 Lb23 S Lb24

Lb25

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

This place is the town of Minyat Nawasi. [Nawasa] [⇒Y355b] This place is the town of Rish (*Wish). [⇒Y355b] This place is the town of Minyat al-Khamis. [⇒Y355b] This place is the town of Turʿat el-Mina (?). This place is the town of Raʾs al-Khalij. [⇒Y351a] This place is the town of Diyasit. [⇒Y352a] This place is the town of Saq (*Mushaq). [⇒Y351b] This place is the town of Abu Shat. This place is the town of Abu ʿAbdullah. This place is the town of Batra. [⇒Y352a] This place is the town of Shirbin. [⇒Y352a] This place is the town of Dinji. [⇒Y351b] This place is the town of Minyat al-Zahriya. [Al-Ḍahriya] [⇒Y351b] This place is the town of Minyat Abu Ghalib. [⇒Y351b] This place is the town known as Kafr Sulayman Agha. [⇒Y351b] This place is the town known as Sinaniya. [Al-Sināniya] [⇒Y344b] This is the fortress recently constructed at the western strait of the Nile, built by Sultan Ahmed son of Sultan Mehmed. [⇒Y348b–349a] This place is the town of Sharabaz. The border of Damietta ends here. [Sharābas] [⇒Y351b] This place is the town of FRSTD (*Faraskur). It is very flourishing. [⇒Y351a–b]



Translation of the Vatican Map of the Nile

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Lb26 This place is the city and entrepot of Damietta. It was founded by Dhu’lYazan (*Ishmaʿun), son of Misrayim son of Ham son of Noah. [⇒Y344b–345b] Lb27 This place east of the Nile is the ancient fortress of Damietta (see Lb29). S [⇒Y348b] Lb28 This is the Strait of Damietta. [⇒Y348b] Lb29 This too is the fortress of Damietta (see Lb27). S Lb30 Lake Tina. [Lake Manzala] [⇒Y350b–351a] Lb31 This place, a fortress in the east, is the fortress known as Tima (*Tina). In S the morning its land (?) is inside the lake (because of the tide?). [Qalʿet el-Tina = ancient Tennis] [⇒Y350b] M1 Climes of the country of Yemen. Ruled by the Imam. [⇒Y439a] M2 This place is Dhilla (*Zeila), which is the port for Hindiya. The pasha of Habesh resides in this gulf. Pearls are brought up in this gulf. [⇒Q338a] M3 This place is the island of Suakin, a fortress and great entrepot. The pasha of Habesh resides on this island. [⇒Y435a–436b] M4 This place is a valley of Qalʿat al-ḤRF (*Harkowa), under the authority of the pasha of Habesh. Here is the tomb of the saints known as the shrine of Mazlum. [Arkiko] [⇒Y439b–440a] M5 This place is the fortress known as Qusayr. The grain supplies for Jeddah and Medina are transported from here by Yemen boats (jalaba). [AlQuṣayr] [⇒Y374b, 381a–b] M6 This place is a ruined city known as Kif. It has no fresh water. Nile water is brought here in six days. [⇒Y436b] M7 This place is the fortress known as Mocha, an entrepot and port for Yemen. [⇒Y435b]

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M8

M9

M10 M11 M12 M13 M14 M15 M16 M17 M18 M19 M20 M21 M22 M23 M24 M25 M26 M27 M28 M29 M30 S

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

This place is the fortress of Hadida (*Hindiya), an entrepot and port for Yemen. [Irafalo] [⇒Y441a] This place is the magnificent fortress of Uluhya, an entrepot and port for Yemen. [Al-Luhayyah] [⇒Y438a] This place is the fortress known as Jabran, an entrepot of Yemen, under the authority of the Imam. This place is the fortress known as Qutʿada, under the authority of the glorious Kaʿba, may God ennoble it. This place is the fortress of Jeddah, a port for Egypt, Habesh, Yemen and India. It is flourishing, a place of merchants and a mine of traders. This stage is the place known as Wadi Fatima. From here travellers enter the Holy Sanctuary (of Mecca). Stage of Assafan, amidst mountains. Stage of Güzelce Bürke and also the place known as ʿAqabat al-Shukr. Stage of Rabigh (*Rabiʿa). The Muslim pilgrims here put on their pilgrimage garments. This stage is the place known as [Dun]qada. It is Maymun Ovası (Valley of Monkeys). This stage is the place known as Badr Hunayn, built up and flourishing. This stage is Yanbuʿ al-Barr, built up and flourishing. It is the port for Medina, may God ennoble it. This stage is the place known as Hadra. This stage is the place known as Wadi al-Nar (Valley of Fire), a waterless place. Stage of Nabt, bitter water. Stage of al-Hura, waterless. Stage of Bayn al-Darkayn, waterless. Stage of Akra, bitter water. Stage of the fortress of [W]ush. It has wells of sweet water. Stage of Istabl ʿAntar (Antar’s Stable). It has wells of sweet water. Stage of the fortress of Azlam. It has wells of sweet water. Stage of Qastal, on the seashore. The saint named Marzuq Kifafi is buried here. Water is plentiful. Stage of the fortress of Muwaylah. It has wells of sweet water.

M31 Stage of ʿUyun al-Qasab. It has delicious water.

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M32 Stage of Beni ʿAtiya, bitter wells. M33 Stage of the Caves of Shuʿayb, God’s mercy upon him. It has plenty of flowing water. M34 Stage of Jibal Sharafa. M35 Stage of Zahr al-Himar, bitter wells. M36 Stage of the Qalʿat ʿAqaba, with plentiful water. M37 Sutuh ʿAqaba (Terraces of ʿAqaba), no water. M38 Stage of the wells known as Abyar ʿAlaʾiya. M39 Stage of the Qalʿat Nakhl Jadid (New Date Palm), bitter water. S M40 Stage of Nakhl Qadim (Old Date Palm), bitter water. M41 Stage of Kharuba, waterless. M42 This place is called Wadi Tih (= Sinai Desert). There are signs, NWʾLḤYR (*nawāṭīr)4 guideposts so that the pilgrims do not lose their way. M43 This place is the stage of Qalʿat ʿAjrut. There are sakias of bitter water S that is given to animals to drink. [ʿAjrūd] M44 This place is known as the stage of Dar al-Hamra, waterless. Greeters of the pilgrims come here from Cairo. M45 This place is known as Küpler. It is in the control of the chief of the caravan. M46 This place is Burkat al-Haj. It is where the pilgrims assemble and set out for the Holy Sanctuary (Mecca). M47 This place is Qalʿat Suez, an entrepot and port for Mecca and Medina. S M48 This place: Concerning the number of stages from the entrepot of Suez to the fortress of Qusayr. The stage of Abrash: 6 stages. Then the place known as Jabal ʿAjlun5: 6 stages. Then DNKDJB (*Donqalab) [Dunqunab]: 6 stages. Then the ancient city of Kif: 6 stages. Then Qusayr: 6 stages. [⇒Y30b] M49 The place known as Raʾis Muhammad. M50 This place is Qalʿat Tur (= St. Catherine’s Monastery). S

4 See note 57 on page 35. 5 = ʿAzlun at Y434b and Q339b and ʿAjun at Y30b.

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M51 Gabal Tur Sina (Mt. Sinai). S N1 N2 N3 N4 N5 N6 N7 N8 N9 N10 N11 N12 N13 N14 N15 N16 N17 N18 N19 N20 N21 N22 N23 N24 N25 N26 N27 N28 N29 N30

The entrepot of Bilbais. [⇒Y4b; Q354b] This place is the magnificent town of Ḥanka. [Khānkāh] [⇒Q354a] Bedouin tribes dwell here. [⇒Q354a] Beni Sharif. This place is the entrepot of Salihiya. [⇒Q355a] The Bedouin tribe of Waqidi dwells here. [⇒Q355b] Ḥablus (*Nablûs). ʿArish. [⇒Y4b; Q355a] Jerusalem. Tiberias. Hebron. Baalbek. Damascus. Hauran. Jisr Yaʿqub (Bridge of Jacob). Sidon, administered by a pasha. Syrian Tripoli. Hims. Hamah. Makran. Kilis. Mosul. Nihavand of the Kurds. Kufa. Erzincan. Baghdad. Gilan. Kirman. Bosra. Armenia.



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N31 N32 N33 N34 N35 N36 N37 N38 N39 N40 N41 N42 N43 N44 N45 S

Ifriqa (?). Aleppo. Diyarbekir. Antakya. Malatya. Kütahya. İskenderun. Konya. Ankara. Bolu. Aksaray. Kayseri. Payas. Gulf of Antalya. Fortress of Jaffa.

N46 S

Fortress of Acre.

N47 N48 N49 N50

Island of Cyprus. Clime known as Tarsus. Island of Cyprus. Clime of Palestine known as Ramla.

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Translation of Evliya Çelebi’s accounts of the Nile and the Horn of Africa, from Volume 10 of the Book of Travels [Seyahatname] Preliminary and Cairo, Y3a–278a Early Prophets and Pharaohs Y3a The prophet Idris was born in Egypt. He was a world traveller and studied astrology under Mahalalel, and at the age of 40, having perfected himself in the science of calligraphy as well as in tailoring under the tutelage of Gabriel,1 prophethood came to him in the city of Aswan and he became a prophet to the Sabian people. He constructed 140 cities along the shores of the Nile and grew skilled in the sciences of geometry and astrology such that all of the wondrous and marvellous branches of knowledge came to be known through him. Some of the cities that the prophet Idris built along the Nile still prosper there today. In fact, in Giza opposite Fustat, King Surid used knowledge obtained from the prophet Idris to construct the pyramids [→ Ja5], where he concealed all of his books and all of his treasures because he had foreknowledge of the coming of Noah’s Flood. [How the pyramids served as a place of pilgrimage to the Sabian people; who is said to be buried inside the pyramids; an explanation of Egypt’s names and a list of Egypt’s earliest rulers]2 1 cf. I.147a: ‘And the prophet Idris was a tailor and a calligrapher’; I.188b: ‘Guild of the makers of writing implements of all varieties: Nineteen shops and 40 individuals. Their patron saint is Gabriel who brought inkpots and pens to humankind from Paradise. He brought them to the prophet Idris and became the patron saint of calligraphers and tailors. Gabriel is also the patron saint of the inkpot makers.’ 2 Note that summarised as opposed to fully translated passages are placed in

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Y4a ʿAryaq too passed away and his son Elohim became king. It was he who built the city of East Akhmim [→ Ha6] and he also built 700 churches. He too passed away and his son Hasaylim came to rule. He lived for 700 years and it was he who built the city of Aswan [→ G2] on the river Nile as well as its Nilometer, much like the Nilometer in Cairo. He used the science of geometry to perform dredging operations3 and construct canals throughout Egypt, turning the river Nile into tributaries flowing throughout the land and irrigating the land so that its crops grew in abundance. He paved the canals with porphyry and marble and built walls and cities along both shores of the Nile. He caused the Nile to flow as far as the land of Nubia. And he constructed a great bridge of 12 arches, some of whose remains are still visible today. […] [The Great Flood and the building of various cities] Y4b Noah sent Bayzar son of Ham over (i.e., to supervise) Egypt. He built the city of ʿArish [→ N8] in the Land of Hâsân near Cairo. Then he built Bilbais [→ N1], for they knew that it had been prosperous even before the Flood and that 17 prophets were buried there. Then Bayzar son of Ham came to Egypt and they built Old Cairo [→ Jb3], which is the city of Amsus, and then they built the city of Minuf [→ Ka18]. Old Cairo had actually been settled by Adam, who then went off to Syria, at God’s command; he went to visit the plains of Hauran in the vicinity of Damascus. Before leaving, Adam ordered Naqrawash son of Ghirbab son of Seth to build up (Old) Cairo even more than it was. Naqrawash was the most mature and the most learned of all his progeny, so Adam loved him and gave him the name Misrayim. […] Having learned many strange and marvellous sciences from his elder brother Zarayil, Naqrawash brought forth buried treasures out of the ground. And he commanded his people to gather stones from the mountains and, with the wealth he had gathered, to build a city where his tent was. He called the city Amsus, and that is the place on the shore of the Nile known today as Old Cairo, which the Copts call Fustat. […] Y5b Amsus became very populous, so Misrayim gathered a large army and went off to Syria to take revenge on Cain. […] He defeated Cain and returned to Egypt with an abundance of the spoils of war, and with this newly won wealth he divided the Nile into numerous branches, distributing its waters to the desert by means of tributaries and canals, creating agriculture there and bringing plenty to square brackets thus throughout the translation of Volume 10 of The Book of Travels [Seyahatname]. 3 Text has hirefler; correct reading is cerfler; cf. Y73b Turʿayı cerf etdi yaʿnî su arkın ayırtladı.



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the land. Before, the river Nile had flowed according to its own pattern, with one branch passing into the land of Nubia, one into the Gulf of Suez and one into the Gulf of Kibrit in the land of the Beni Hilal [→ Ka1, Ka2] in the Maghreb. But Misrayim, using the power of the science of geometry, measured the altitude of all the land and cut tributaries and channels according to these measurements so as to make the Nile flow wherever he wanted. It was he who built the pyramids opposite Cairo as a burial place for people and a storage place for treasures. […] Y6b Bayzar was the son of Ham son of Noah. Delivered from the flood, he was granted leave by Noah to go to Egypt together with his father-in-law the seer Qalimun, at which time Noah recited the following benediction for Bayzar: […] ‘May his lineage never end, may he come to rule over Egypt, and may he be longlived and find happiness in this world and in the next.’ Bayzar then went to Egypt, where he built the city of Minuf and assumed the throne. Sovereignty then passed to Misrayim (son of Bayzar son of Ham son of Noah), who had been born in ʿArish. He was an absolute ruler who extended his authority as far as Esna, Aswan, Sudan and Funjistan. He divided the lands of Egypt among his 30 brothers, each of whom constructed a city in the land over which he ruled, and in accordance with the blessing of Noah’s prayer these cities are still known by the names of the sons of Bayzar. For instance, one of Bayzar’s sons was Rashid, who built the city of Rosetta (= Rashid). One of Bayzar’s sons was Dimyad (= Damietta), one was Alexander (= Alexandria), one was Tina, and one was Sayfa who built the city of Beni Suef. Another of his sons was Mina (= Minya?). And there were also the princes named Ishmun, Asyut, Girga, Qena, Qus, Esna, Aswan, Shallal, Ibrim, Saï, Halfa, Sennar and Sudan, each of whom built a city on the banks of the Nile, and these cities remain prosperous and flourishing in the present. [Continuation of the list of the rulers of Egypt − including Qibtim, held to be the ancestor of the Copts − up to Totis, who ruled at the time when Abraham came to Egypt.] Y8a Then Totis presented Abraham with countless gifts and sent him across the Gulf of Suez to Jeddah. Later, because of the affection he felt towards Abraham, he cut through the mountains opposite the city of Beni Suef and made the river Nile flow there over the three-day journey to the Gulf of Suez. And he sent hundreds of ships loaded with grain via the Nile to Suez, so that Mecca enjoyed abundant and cheap foodstuffs.

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Joseph and Faiyum (see Q346b, P340b–Q347a, P341a) Y8b In the Histories of al-Suyuti,4 may God have mercy on him, it is related that when Joseph was still young and enslaved by the ʿAziz of Egypt (see Qurʾan 12:30; = Potiphar in the Bible), Zulaikha, who was in love with him, slandered him, and King Rayyan imprisoned Joseph in a dungeon in Giza, whence the Qurʾanic verse that God sent to the Prophet as part of the story (of Joseph), And two young men went to prison with him (12:36). That dungeon is now in the Friday mosque of Busir, a town near Giza, which also has the chest in which Moses’s mother hid him and which she placed in the Nile out of fear of Pharaoh [→ Ja8, Ja9]. Joseph was freed from the dungeon owing to the purity of his heart, and he became ruler of Egypt in place of King Rayyan. […] And thanks to Joseph’s prayer, God the Designer granted ten blessings to the world, nine of them to Egypt because it is the last clime, and one to the rest of the world. It has many wondrous talismans and marvellous mines. Then the command came to Joseph from God and he became a prophet at age 40. But already at age 30 he was ruler over the world. He left Cairo because it was a land of tyrannical people, and he came to the valley of Faiyum. He took pleasure in the freshness of the air there and built the city of Faiyum [→ I2]. […] While Joseph was making a canal there [→ Hc10] and using the skirts of his own clothing to move the soil, God commanded Gabriel to come to his aid. Gabriel descended like a lightning flash and struck one wing on Lake Faiyum, sending the soil flying up to the sky and carving a hollow deep into the subsoil. The other wing he struck on Upper Egypt (near Girga, at Darut; see Y366a), opening a channel that sent the Nile flowing into Lake Faiyum, which is still today a deep lake in which there are a myriad of creatures and vermin of the sea. Now every year in the land of Egypt Y9a they use thousands of oxen to clean out the canals; but because it was Gabriel who thus created Joseph’s Canal (= Bahr Yussef), it never silts up and the Nile flow is constant there. Once the Nile water enters the lake, however, it turns bitter. Surrounding the lake on all sides are 366 villages [→ Hc13], each one a veritable Iram of the Pillars.5 God willing I will provide a description of the city of Faiyum in its proper place (see Q346a, P340a).

4 Jalal al-din ʿAbd al-Rahman al-Suyuti (1445–1505), Arab historian, author of Ḥusn al-muḥāḍara fī akhbār Miṣr wa’l Qāhira [Exquisite Anecdotes from the History of Egypt and Cairo]. For Evliya’s use of Suyuti, see Takamatsu 2012, 136–37. 5 A reference to the legendary lost city, or possibly tribe, of Iram, mentioned in the Qurʾan (89:6–14). Evliya typically uses it as a trope for beautiful sites, especially those with gardens.



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Moses and Pharaoh’s Wife [→ F9] Y10a Out of fear of Pharaoh, Moses’ mother placed him in a chest and cast him out onto the Nile. By God’s wisdom, one of Pharaoh’s palaces was on the banks of the Nile. In the morning Asiya, the wife of Pharaoh, opened the chest and what did she see but a baby boy, shining with a divine light. Y10b She loved the baby and kept him and raised him. By God’s wisdom, Moses’s father (—) was Pharaoh’s gatekeeper and his mother also belonged to the royal harem. In the end, Asiya gave the baby to Moses’s mother, who reared him in secret. The story of Moses and Pharaoh is found in all the books of Stories of the Prophets.

Mary and Jesus in Egypt [→ La2] (see Y160a, Y227a, Y386a) Y11b Jesus left the city of Nablus with his mother Mary and lived for three years in Matariya in Egypt where balsam trees grew [→ La1]. Those trees had not been seen on Earth prior to this. They were still alive until the Kurdish dynasty6 and their roots are still visible. Jesus dug a well there. When the river Nile flows with mud, viziers and grandees and other people of discernment drink from the Well of Matariya. It remains a place of pilgrimage for Christians.

Suez Canal Y17a In the time of the prophet Abraham, King Totis made the Nile flow into the Gulf of Suez. Later, King (—), the father of King Muqawqis, heard of the birth and advent of the Prophet (Muhammad), and to spite the Prophet he blocked off this channel so that the Nile no longer flowed into the Gulf of Suez. ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs7 dredged this channel and once again Nile skiffs brought grain to Suez and from there ships crossed to Jeddah and Yanbu, bringing abundance to Mecca and Medina. [Events in Egypt during the time of the Prophet Muhammad. Muslim rulers and dynasties in Egypt and in Africa, up through the time of Sultan Mehmed IV (r. 1648–1687) (Evliya’s own time). Geographical description of the world’s ‘islands’, including the African continent.]

6 The ‘Kurdish dynasty’ refers to the Ayyubids, who ruled Egypt from 1171 to 1250. 7 Arab military commander who led the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 640. He founded the Egyptian capital of Fustat and built the Mosque of ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs at its centre (see Y89a).

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The African Continent (Mısır cezîresi) Y30a Eulogy of the Great Island and ancient Mother of the World, Egypt of Cairo: The Island of Egypt (i.e., the African continent) is larger than the Island of England. The geometricians and sages of old went around it by land and sea a thousand times and recorded its climate and its coordinates. They found that it was 18,000 miles in circumference. And it is square in shape. On the side towards the north-west, from the Strait of Ceuta to the Sea of al-ʿArish, the Mediterranean coast stretches 2,000 miles, including Ceuta, Tangiers, Algiers, Tunis [→ Ja1], Tripoli [→ Ja3], Djerba [→ Ja2], Kibrit [→ Ka1] and the Beni Hilal [→ Ka2]; then desert for a distance of three months; then Alexandria, Rosetta, Damietta, Qalʿat Tina [→ Lb31], and the Lake of al-ʿArish. Then there is land for a distance of two days until the Gulf of Suez. […] Then, in Upper Egypt along the Red Sea coast, are a number of cities that are emporia. On the opposite coast of the Red Sea, towards the north-west, Y30b in the territory of the Kaʿba, are the fortresses of Azlam [→ M28], Muwaylah [→ M30], Yanbu [→ M19] and Jeddah [→ M12]. Continuing along the Red Sea coast on the African side, we come to the territory of Habesh and the emporia of Porega, Qusayra, Rayda,8 Abrash, ʿAjun,9 Dunqunab, and Etle; the emporium city of Suakin, which is the capital of the pasha of Habesh; the emporium city of Kif; the islands of Dahlak and Qalʿat Massawa; Qalʿat Harkova (Arkiko); the emporium of Zula; Qalʿat Hindiya; and the emporia of Tuzla, Beilul and Zeila [→ M2–4, M6, M8, M48] (see Y433a– Q338b). The distance from Port Suez to Zeila is 2,000 miles and all of these prosperous Habesh emporia lie on the Red Sea coast. Continuing along the ocean beyond the Strait of Zeila, around the cape where the source of the Nile is located and back to the Strait of Ceuta, the sea coast stretches 14,000 miles and includes emporia and other flourishing cities that are all under the direct rule of the King of Portugal. Indeed, Portugal has embraced this Island of Egypt on three sides (see Y442a), encompassing 48 rulers. The Island of Egypt is so large that the equator is situated at the Strait of Shallalat (i.e., the First Cataract). When I arrived there, the quadrant showed that day and night were equal. And both the first and the second climes are found within this Island of Egypt, and also the first part of the third clime, including Alexandria, Rosetta, Damietta and Tina. That is how huge a continent it is. The blessed Nile splits this continent in two. The river Nile emerges from the Mountain of the Moon [→ A2], which lies seven months’ journey into the south of the continent 8 = Ribda at Y433b. 9 = ʿAzlun at Y434b and Q339b and ʿAjlun on the map (at M48).



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in a desolate and barren wilderness desiccated by the simoom and filled with terrifying beasts. There, the Nile streams gather and flow into a lake [→ A4]. From that lake the river then flows north for a distance of a seven-month journey before emptying into the sea in one branch at Rosetta [→ Kb49] and another at Damietta [→ Lb28]. There are also a number of other channels that flow into the sea, but the Rosetta and Damietta branches are the main ones. The places where they flow sea-like into the Mediterranean Sea are referred to as the Meeting Place of the Two Seas (maraj al-bahrayn yaltaqiyan, Qurʾan 55:19). The Nile waters sweeten the bitter water of the Mediterranean for a distance of 300 miles and also turn it a reddish colour. At night, when ships coming from Turkey want to know if they are approaching Egypt, those aboard drink some of the sea water, and if it tastes sweet they know that they are 200 or 300 miles from Rosetta and Damietta. If it is daytime, the Nile makes the sea’s colour appear red, and from this those aboard know that Rosetta and Damietta are close by and so they perform a ritual sacrifice. Another branch of the Nile flows in the west of the African continent to the country of Sudan. There was once also a branch that flowed into the Mediterranean in the land of the Beni Hilal in the Maghreb, opposite the island of Crete. The riverbed of this branch is still visible today. Y31a Later, Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan10 cut the Strait of Shallalat (i.e., the First Cataract) and the Nile flowed into Egypt; the river no longer passed through the land of the Beni Hilal and so it dried up there [→ F15, F16] (see Y279b, Y384b, Y388b, Y422b). Still another branch of the Nile emerges from the Mountain of the Moon and then flows westwards through the country of Sudan before emptying into the Atlantic ocean. Additionally, in Egypt, there is a myriad of canals off the Nile. They are not natural but manmade, and they all flow actively when the Nile is in flood. God willing I will describe them in due course. [The world’s non-Muslim dynasties and states. Genealogy of the Ottoman dynasty and emergence of the Ottoman Empire. The conquest of Egypt and the Mamluks by Sultan Selim I. Regulations of the Divan.]

Nile overflow, plenty and poverty Y63b Because God blessed Egypt with the Nile, there is great abundance and an accumulation of imperial wealth (or tax revenue). This wealth is assured as long as the Nile overflow reaches 18 cubits. If it reaches 20 cubits, then the Pasha, 10 Himyarite King of Yemen, d. 574. He ended Aksumite rule over Southern Arabia. Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan is a major figure in Arab lore about pre-Islamic Arabia.

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Figure 2.1: Cairo, Piri Reis, circa 1730 (Source: Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, Walters Art Museum, MS W658, 305a)



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agents, tax farmers, provincial governors and peasants all become rich. If it does not reach 18 cubits, then − God save us! − the land is not watered and dearth and famine ensue, the agents and tax farmers are cut off, imperial wealth is not produced, the Pasha is forced to make up the loss to the treasury out of his own pocket, and he in turn wrings it out of his subordinates. There are 300,000 holders of religious offices − imams, preachers, ulema, shaikhs and descendants of the Prophet − who demand their salaries, amounting to 2 Egyptian treasures, from the supervisors of endowments. If they don’t get their salaries, there is a public uprising. But if there is abundance in the land, then their salaries are forthcoming and they shower benedictions on the sultan and the benefactors. But if the Nile rises above the point indicated in the geomancy of Muhyi al-Din [Ibn] ʿArabi11 by the phrases, The water was equal to the wood, and, From the mountain to the mountain, if the overflow is 3 cubits too high, then Cairo is flooded. This actually occurred during the governorship of Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha, when one could see the Nile flood from the threshold of Demirkapu and from in front of the Ibrahim Gulshani convent, and the Cairo populace was alarmed. In short, there is no city in the entire world, let alone in the Ottoman Empire, that is such a sea of men and with such productive land as this. Cairo is called ‘Mother of the World’, because if the whole world is suffering dearth and famine, Egypt can feed it; but if, God forbid, Cairo suffers famine for a single day, not all the world’s crops could sustain it. For Cairo Y64a is a sea of men. [Egypt’s military and religious establishments and finances. The city of Misr (= Cairo).]

Mt. Muqattam (Mt. Jushi / Juyushi) [→ Jb19] (see Y256b−257a) Y75b One hour’s journey to the east of Old Cairo (Fustat) is Mt. Muqattam, which is also known as Mt. Jushi, Mt. Bajamim,12 Mt. Taqatuʿ,13 the Eastern

11 A very influential Arab writer on Sufi theosophy, d. 1240. Evliya attributed to him a standard work of Islamic cabbalism entitled Miftāḥ al-jifr al-jāmiʿ [The Key to Comprehensive Prognostication], from which he frequently quotes; see MENTALITY 103. 12 cf. Y77a: ‘They also call it Mt. Bajamim [because] in ancient times the Beni Bajam tribe dwelt here.’ (Ve cebel-i Becâmîm dahi derler. Zamân-ı kadîmde Benî Becem kavmi sâkin olurmuş.) 13 Literally, ‘cut off, detached’; the name ‘Muqattam’ has the same meaning (see EI2, ‘al-Muḳaṭṭam’). cf. Y77a: ‘The reason they call it Taqatuʿ is because the citadel and the mountain are cut off from one another (by a rocky gully)’; also Piri Reis, Kitāb-ı Baḥriyye, 1988, Vol. 4, 305a, where the mountain is named Cebel-i Mukattaʿ with the same meaning.

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Mountain, Mt. Muqattab14 or the Mountain of the Pole of Poles, Mt. Luqan, and Mt. Hijan. […] Y77a It is named Mt. Jushi because Shaikh Jushi is buried in the mosque that stands on the very top of this lofty mountain.15 […] Y77b From Mt. Jushi to the citadel is the distance of a cannon shot, with the area between them a rocky gully 200 cubits in length. The miners of the region are always cutting into the rock like Farhad,16 making trenches. The area between the castle and Mt. Jushi is very rocky. [Construction of the Cairo citadel. How the water needs of the citadel − which is not only on high ground, but also some 2 miles distant from the Nile at its nearest point − came to be met in different ways over time.]

Sultan Ghawri’s Aqueduct and Joseph’s Well [→ Jb6, Jb8] Y84b Description of the sakias of Joseph’s Well […] When Saladin17 had built the citadel of Cairo, realising that its residents would need water, he gathered together all the local engineers and miners and consulted with them, saying: ‘We have to find a source of water on this lofty mountain.’ Coming to a decision, they told Saladin: ‘A well is the only way water can be brought to the citadel, and water can be found 200 fathoms down.’ Saladin was absolutely insistent: ‘You must somehow bring water up to the castle or else I will put you all to the sword.’ When he said this, all the masters gathered there dug a well that has no like on the face of the earth. First they dug a square well, which was completed in seven years and was exactly 150 Meccan cubits deep. However, a rope could not hold up to such a depth, nor did men have the strength to haul up from so deep, Y85a so in the end, all the diggers came together and dug down all around the well such that it was effectively encased in the passage around it, which the diggers opened windows into so that light could come into the passage through the well. It is thus a passage 14 cf. EI2, ‘al-Muḳaṭṭam’. 15 This refers to the Juyushi Mosque, completed in 1085, built by Badr al-Jamali, a commander-in-chief and vizier under the Fatimids who was also known as Amir al-Juyush or ‘Commander of the Armies’. 16 A figure in Persian and Ottoman romances. Farhad was a rival to the Sassanid king Khosrow II for the love of the Armenian princess Shirin. Khosrow gave him the task of digging a road through Mt. Bisutun, promising that he would relinquish his claim on Shirin should Farhad complete the task. In The Book of Travels [Seyahatname], Farhad is often mentioned in connection with diggers, miners, and the like. 17 Salah al-Din Yusuf ibn ʿAyyub (r. 1174–93) was the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty; his personal name, Yusuf, is the Arabic equivalent of the name Joseph, and − as Evliya goes on to explain − is what gives Joseph’s Well (Biʾr-i Yusuf ) its name.



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like that leading up to the different levels of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It is easy to move up and down the well’s passage both on horse and on foot. From the top to the very bottom of this deep well is 3,000 paces, but the lower part is dark and frightening, and is no place for a timid man. The masters constructed three levels in the well. The lower level is 60 fathoms down and has caves dug into one side with wheels built into them. Two pairs of oxen draw the water up via sakias from the very bottom of the well to a large pool carved into the rock at this level. Above this, at the middle level, there are also caves dug into one side of the well, with four pairs of oxen using a number of sakias to haul water from the lower pool up into the pool on this second level. On the next level up, four more pairs of oxen use sakias to draw the water up, on 80 fathoms’ length of thick esparto rope, from the second level into the pool on this third level. From here, the water is distributed out into the city, going to the Janissary barracks, to the hammam [at the mosque] of Tavaşi Süleyman Pasha,18 and to various fountains and houses. It is a remarkable well that is certainly worth seeing. It is sometimes called the Well of the Prophet Joseph, but this is a mistaken attribution, as the Joseph referred to is not the Prophet Joseph but rather Sultan Saladin, whose full name was Salah al-Din Yusuf (i.e., Joseph). Those who go down to view the well have to light torches and windproof candles. It takes a full hour to get down to the bottom, where 100 oxen are found. There are caves serving as stables on the other levels as well, but the oxen at the very bottom are actually raised there in the dark. Other oxen are unable to survive there because they can never get up into the open air and their bodies will wither away in darkness, although the oxen on the upper level are able to breathe some fresh air. The fellahin who work at the sakias live together with their families on the three different levels of the well. They receive their salaries from the superintendent of sakias, with the salary of those working on the lower level being greater than that of those working on the upper levels. The number of oxen on the lower level is very large, and they turn the wheels night and day. When a man looks upwards to the lip of the well, he sees marvellous wheels turning like the wheel of fortune and he hears a hue and a cry and a great commotion such that he stands there astounded. In sum, the world traveller who has not seen this Joseph’s Well has no idea of what craftsmanship there is in the world and what a noble creature man is and what miraculous things he is 18 A complete Ottoman-style renovation of an earlier mosque carried out in 1528 by Tavaşi Süleyman Pasha, who was the governor of Egypt at the time and would later serve as grand vizier between 1541 and 1544. The Mosque of Süleyman Pasha was the first to be founded in Cairo after Selim I’s defeat of the Mamluks in 1517. It is located in the northern enclosure of the citadel, in the section where the Janissary barracks were located in Ottoman times.

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Figure 2.2: Illustration of the Aqueduct of Sultan Ghawri, from the 1809 Déscription de l’Égypte (État Moderne), Vol. 1 [Plates], Plate no. 20 (Source: Déscription de l’Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l’expédition de l’Armée Française, État Moderne, Vol. 1 [Plates], 2nd edition (Paris: Imprimerie de C.L.F. Panckoucke, 1823))

capable of. But when men of true wisdom see it, they say, ‘The effort of men can uproot mountains’.19 Such works are at the level of saintly miracles. Surely they are not the work of men. The well’s water is somewhat bitter, Y85b though it can be drunk in times of need. When Ghawri was besieged, all the residents of the citadel would drink from here, and there are still some who always do, though it is not necessary to do so.

Y85b On Sultan Ghawri’s aqueducts and their number in Old Cairo [→ Jb4] (see Y144b) In the year 900 (1494/95) the late Sultan Ghawri,20 finding the water provided 19 Himmat ar-rijāl taqlaʿ al-jibāl: an Arabic saying sometimes claimed as a Hadith. 20 Qansawh al-Ghawri (r. 1501–16) was the penultimate Mamluk sultan, dying at the battle of Marj Dabiq on 24 August 1516 against an Ottoman force led by Sultan Selim I. The date given here (900/1494–95) is actually some six years before Sultan Ghawri came to the throne.



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by Joseph’s Well to be insufficient, aided the people of the citadel and those of lower Cairo by bringing them an abundance of water, for the sake of God alone, freely alloting 1,000 Egyptian purses of his own money to construct a fortresslike sakia opposite Roda Island in Old Cairo. It is 80 cubits in height and a horse can be ridden from the bottom to the top. In five places oxen draw water from the Nile and waterwheels take it up to tanks from where an aqueduct conveys it all the way to the sakias of the citadel, an hour’s journey away. The aqueduct features 313 solid stone arches soaring up towards the heavens, with some of the arches being 80 fathoms from the keystone down to the ground, and some being 50 fathoms. In low-lying areas there are 100 arches that are now filled in with dirt […] Water from the Nile flows along the aqueduct and into large cisterns at the foot of the citadel. From there it passes through another rank of sakias into cisterns at the foot of the Pasha’s palace, in which there is a third rank of sakias that takes the water to the kitchen, to the fountains, to the garden and pools of the inner palace, and to the fountains in the marketplace and the citadel. Thus the water of the Nile flows into the Pasha’s palace via three ranks of sakias. The Nile sakias within the grounds of the palace are located in two places: one is beneath the pavilion of Ibrahim Pasha, while the other is opposite the barracks of the şehir havalesi.21 The latter is a sakia with four arches and pulled by eight oxen. The water drawn by the middle rank of sakias goes to the ʿAzab barracks, to the stables and to certain fountains. The lower rank of sakias is mixed with bitter water and goes to various places. There is another sakia behind the barrack of the Pasha’s guard in the Kara Meydanı;22 one in the Imrahor district; and one at the shrine of ʿUmar ibn al-Farid23 − this is the deepest of them all and also belongs to the state. Others include those 21 The şehir havalesi was ‘the agent of the Vâlî in the administration of his Muqâta‘a over the customs house at Suez’ (Shaw 1964, 13, 46); at the end of Y80b there is a list of konaks (mansions) that overlook the square of the citadel. 22 This is the old hippodrome just beneath the citadel walls to the west. According to Evliya (Y52a–b), ‘Ghawri supposedly had 12,000 black soldiers who assembled in this square [during the conquest of Egypt] and this is why it came to be called Square of the Blacks (Kara Meydanı). Ottoman soldiers charged the square and massacred these blacks, leaving their corpses lying there blackly (kara kara), so it was called Square of the Blacks.’ A more plausible explanation (Rabbat 1989, 195) is that the Mamluk Sultan al-Nasir Muhammad ( fl. early 14th century) ‘had [the square] filled in with a special kind of rich black soil, named al-iblīz… . This is perhaps the origin of the name Qarāmaydan [Turkish for Black Square] encountered in later sources.’ 23 ʿUmar ibn al-Farid (1181–1235) was a Sufi poet who came to be venerated as a saint. He died in Cairo and was buried in the City of the Dead (al-Qarafa), located to the north-east of the citadel beneath Mt. Muqattam.

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of Joseph’s Well; Y86a all the large sakias with five arches each; that of the middle rank; that with one arch in the palace of the agha of the ʿAzabs, which starts at the (—) Palace [or?] from the foundation of the Sultan Hasan (—) Mosque. In total, there are 36 waterwheels in Old Cairo in 11 different districts, with the Old Cairo waterwheels as well as those in the Pasha’s palace being especially large structures. All of these charitable works are from the hand of Sultan Ghawri. Their annual expense amounts to 200 purses, and they employ 250 oxen and 200 servants. A commandant from the Janissary corps serves as the superintendent in charge of the waterwheels. All in all, this is a magnificent charitable institution, as in Egypt there is no more sacred charitable gift than water, especially because the city of Cairo lies a whole hour’s journey from the Nile. Ghawri’s aqueducts and their water are of no benefit to lower Cairo, however, as all the water goes to the citadel; but lower Cairo does not need those aqueducts since it is situated on low ground and there are many wells in the houses and the palaces and the markets. [City walls. Quarters and palaces. Friday mosques.]

Y89a Description of the Mosque of ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs [→ Jb7] ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs, with whom God be pleased, was the conqueror of Egypt. The reason for the construction of this mosque on this spot was that, when ʿAmr was laying siege to Old Cairo (Fustat), the veritable sea of Muslim soldiers pitched their tents here and dug trenches all round, and every day after fighting they would bury their slain here. After they had taken the castle, the soldiers were taking down their tents so as to move them into the city when, wonder of God, they saw that a dove had made a nest atop ʿAmr’s tent. ʿAmr saw the dove and said, ‘Do not take down that tent. That dove is our guest and we must do it a kindness. Let it raise its young and teach them to fly. Every bird or man or beast that comes to our dwelling is safe. Do not take down the tent.’ The dove raised its young and they learned to fly and they would always alight in front of ʿAmr, building up an affinity and being friendly with him. ʿAmr eventually took down his tent as well, since there were two large churches in that area, one Coptic and the other Greek, which ʿAmr razed to the ground, and where formerly the trench was dug he laid the foundation for the mosque that he built. And because those doves made their nest on the mosque, it came to be called Qutas. Using 40,000 soldiers, he completed the mosque’s construction, and it was always here that they would pray, making this an ancient place of worship. Many are the stories associated with this mosque, but in this work I will only give an abbreviated version of these. [… ]



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Y89b In this mosque Y90a there is a marvellous and wondrous sight to behold. In front of the back door near the qibla there are two marble pillars standing right next to one another. People believe that anyone who is immoral and impure cannot pass between the pillars, while anyone who is innocent and pure can. Some portly men can slip between the pillars like a streak of lightning, while some thin and scrawny fellows, unable to pass between, can only stand there ashamed. In fact, on one occasion a worthy footman of one of the beys of Egypt tried to pass between the pillars, but when he got stuck there trying to squeeze through, everyone present grabbed his arms with a great commotion and pulled him back out, and he then started behaving very strangely, whether out of shame or something else no one knew. As soon as he left the mosque he died, and in the blink of an eye the whole throng of worshippers gathered there bathed the dead body, performed their Friday prayers, and held a funeral for him. It was truly a marvel. [Neighbourhood mosques and madrasas] Y106b And in (the shrine or compound of) Imam Shafiʿi [→ Jb20] (see Y262b–263a), there is the madrasa of al-Malik al-Kamil.24 There is also a Shafiʿi basin and a large public fountain in front of the gate of Imam Shafiʿi’s tomb. The Nile water is brought by canal from Birkat al-Habash [→ Jb21] near the village of Basatin (see Y360b, Q349a, P343a). This is a great public work, endowed by al-Malik al-Kamil. [Schools and dervish lodges]

Y115b Description of the Dervish Lodge of Qadam al-Nabi (Footstep of the Prophet) [→ Jb1] 25 In the year 1074 (1663/64) Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha, for love of the messenger of God, Muhammad Mustafa, set aside 50 Egyptian purses of his own money and constructed a lofty dome above Qadam al-Nabi, and attached thereto a large Friday mosque at the description of which the tongue falls short. [Soup kitchens, public baths, commercial buildings (wakala), hospitals, water dispensaries and fountains]

24 Ayyubid sultan, r. 1218–38. 25 According to Crecelius and Bakr (1991, 83, n. 244), ‘Qadam al-Nabi was an ancient plantation (ʿizba) in the suburbs of Old Cairo. It acquired the name Athar al-Nabi from the Pharaonic name Hathor Nobi, which the Muslims corrupted to Athar al-Nabi (footprints of the Prophet).’

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Qubbat ʿAzaban [→ Jb18] Y128b The upper citadel has a total of 21 fountains, all of them fed by the aqueduct of 360 arches extending from the blessed Nile, a charitable work of Sultan Ghawri (see Y144b). The aqueduct comes right up to the citadel, where night and day waterwheels draw up the water, filling large domed reservoirs from whose taps every morning the citadel’s 500 water carriers draw water into goatskin bags to distribute throughout the citadel. For every four waterbags they receive 1 para. […] Another fountain is the water-of-life fountain with a lofty dome and six steps leading down, in the middle of the ʿAzab barracks. It has two waterspouts side by side, each as thick as one’s arm. This too is (an endowment of) Ghawri. [Wells, sakias, basins, etc. Canals and waterways. Dikes. Ponds.]

Y133b Chapter 41: Y134a Description of the prosperous Entrepot of Bulaq, of worldwide renown [→ Jb13] Bulaq is a large, terraced city on the shore of the blessed Nile, located an hour’s journey to the west of Cairo in a low-lying area filled with gardens. In the Arabic language, Bulaq means (—). It is a prosperous and beautiful city that measures 2,500 paces in length from south-east (? – kıble) to west and, in breadth, 700 or 800 or in some places 300 and in others 500 paces. As it is located on the shore of the Nile, it has a prosperous port. The area between Cairo and Bulaq is a highly developed and fertile lowland full of vineyards and gardens and pastures. The city’s magistrates are the Pasha, who has a retinue of 100 men, and the chief agha, known as the delivery agent (risale ağası). Twenty purses annually are transferred to the Pasha, who also generates 20 Egyptian purses himself. Recorded under the chief agha’s register are 10,000 ships large and small travelling to Damietta, Rosetta, Esna and Aswan, with all their captains being subject to the government and taking the royally owned grain that they transport from Upper Egypt to the Granary of Joseph for storage. The chief agha who is in charge serves as the effective magistrate of the city of Bulaq. But the officer in charge of shipping is the Commander of the Two Seas, and it is under his register that ships travel to Upper Egypt and bring back grain. The magistrate for affairs relating to Sharia law in the city is a vicegerent who is subordinate to the molla of Egypt and who receives a salary of 300 akçes. The superintendent of customs looks after the collection of royal income in the city under the authority of the chief finance minister of Egypt; he has 200 men under his command and they collect the equivalent of an Egyptian purse daily from tax farming. There is a Janissary lodge opposite the customs office that is under the



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joint charge of a Janissary sent from the barracks in Cairo and a commandant; the lodge is a magnificently appointed Bektashi lodge whose walls are richly adorned and decorated with weaponry. By law, an Egyptian bey must patrol here with a retinue of 200 men, with a different bey taking his place after one month. The city has a total of 45 districts and 6,700 prosperous and flourishing houses. There are 360 mosques in all, of which 56 are Friday mosques. […] Y134b There are 11 madrasas, 6 Qurʾan schools, 3 Hadith schools, 40 primary schools and 6 dervish convents. One of these, located on the bank of the Nile and the greatest of them all, is the dervish lodge of Ibrahim Gulshani,26 where there are 30 men of learning who, having completed their study of the sciences, were led to the divine light by Gulshani, becoming joyous and enraptured wise and saintly souls, every one of them great lovers of God. In this lodge, on memorial days held for the birth of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi,27 for two days and two nights all of the dervishes host the notables of Cairo, do recitations in honour of the birth of the Prophet, and perform humble services to young and old alike. The following morning, a mighty procession of ships departs on the pilgrimage to al-Badawi’s tomb (in Tanta; see Y278b). Such is the great Gulshani dervish convent. In Bulaq there are a total of 73 khans, each of them with an iron gate like that of a fortress and consisting of 200 or 300 rooms and a courtyard with a prayer hall. Among these are the Zayt (‘Olive’) Khan, the Natrun (‘Natron’) Khan, the Khan of Sinan Pasha, the Karamanlı Khan, the Pirinc (‘Rice’) Khan, the Yemiş (‘Fruit’) Khan, the Khan of Zülfikar Ketkhuda, the Khan of Ibrahim Ketkhuda of Kayseri, the Kulkıran Khan, and (—) (—), all widely renowned and strongly built khans. The other khans contain 50 or 100 rooms. In all of the khans, there are merchants worth 1 Egyptian treasure and who have partners in India and Yemen Y135a and Sindh and in Aden and Europe and Turkey. There are also 200 granaries located along the bank of the Nile. Twelve of these are royal granaries where grain for Mecca and Medina is stored, among which are the Greater Granary, the Lesser Granary, the Greater Dashisha, the Lesser Dashisha, the Muhammadiyya, the Muradiyya and the Khasaqiyya. The last of these is a strongly built structure constructed by the supervisor of grain supplies, Mustafa Efendi, in order to store provisions for the hospital and soup kitchen built in Mecca by the Khasaqi28 of the current sultan, Mehmed IV, conqueror of Candia 26 Founder of the Gulshani branch of the Khalwati Sufi order, d. 1533. Evliya has a lengthy description of the Gulshani dervish lodge in Cairo at Y111a–112b. 27 The most popular Muslim saint of Egypt, d. 1276. 28 Khasaqi (Tk. haseki) is the title given to the mother of a prince.

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(in 1669) and Kameniec (in 1672). This granary, which is 600 paces in circumference, could withstand a month-long siege conducted by ten cannons. Bulaq has a total of six hammams. One is the hammam of Sinan Pasha, located on the bank of the Nile, which is reached by six steps and is a spacious and brightly-lit hammam in the Turkish style. In the bazaar is the newly built (—) hammam, which is also quite lovely and pleasant. There are also a total of 1,600 shops, although there is no covered bazaar. There is, however, the Sinan Pasha bazaar, which contains 200 shops and is entered by two iron gates, with a wide road running down the middle. Here, anything you might want to buy is available in abundance. There are also 20 excellent and richly decorated coffee-houses where all the merchants rest from their labours. The marketplaces are all so crowded that you can barely move through the sea of people packed shoulder to shoulder, for in this port are people from all the seven climes, all bringing in and taking out goods from around the world. Every year, 10,000 ships, fishing boats, large river boats, frigates, flatboats and galleys come bringing goods from Anatolia and down the Nile from the land of the Funj. It is truly a port for all the provinces. All Bulaq’s people are either merchants or shipwrights, and every variety of grain and food and drink and timber can be found in abundance in the port. Next to the port is the Royal Shipyard, which has four strong walls like the walls of a fortress and measures 2,000 paces in circumference. It is filled with thousands of pieces of lumber, royal provisions coming all the way from Anatolia for operations in Yemen. The shipyard is under the command of the admiral of Suez and has a supervisor and 40 scribes, an inspector, customs agents, storehouse workers, guards and gatekeepers. The building is a large one, rectangular in shape and open to the skies. The interior is filled with countless varieties of tools and provisions of excellent quality, and it has storehouses where many Egyptian treasures’ worth of copper, lead, tin, iron, nails, cannonballs and other ships’ gear are stored. The shipyard has two lofty gates, Y135b one opening landwards to the east and the other facing the Nile. When Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha was charged with going on campaign in the Yemen, he would always come to this shipyard to obtain provisions and the requisites for war, and to this end he had a resting place built above the Nile gate that is a veritable Khawarnaq Pavilion29 and whose only like 29 The Khawarnaq Pavilion is a palace supposed to have been constructed in al-Hirah by the architect al-Nuʿman for the Sassanid king Bahram V in the 5th century. In Persian and Ottoman literature it came to be used as the exemplar of a magnificent palace or beautiful pavilion.



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in Bulaq is the Saturday Pavilion. Here, the Pasha had numerous rooms, pantries and kitchens built, and he would stay here and live it up like a sultan while looking after the provisioning of the campaign. Further down the river to the north is the large, multi-storey Saturday Pavilion,30 a veritable Khawarnaq Pavilion possessed of pools and jets of water. The Saturday Pavilion has oriel windows looking out onto the Nile and is ideal for relaxation. Once a week, all the local viziers come here and refresh themselves, because the air and water in Bulaq are very pleasant, and thus the people have ruddy faces. The city also has very many children because, by God’s command, they are always born in pairs. The people are full of life and enthusiasm and passion, as well as being pious. Lovely gardens dot the city here and there.

Y139b Chapter 43: Description of the ancient City of Fustat, i.e., Old Cairo, the great Mother of the World [→ Jb3] […] It is an ancient city, one hour to the south of Cairo, Y140a stretching from south to north lengthwise along the Nile for 1,800 paces, from the foot of the Sakia of Ghawri as far as the Customs House. There are lofty palaces of eight storeys and of five storeys.31 Regarding width it is narrow, 300 or 400 or 500 paces, in some places 600. The most built-up and beautiful places are situated along the Nile. All the Cairo notables have palaces here, painted like Iram of the Pillars, with layer upon layer of courts and balconies and chambers and orchards and gardens and pools with jets of water, in order to view the ceremony of the Cutting of the Nile (see Y144b). The number of houses, large and small, of rich and poor, total 4,600. Being on the bank of the Nile, it is a port and entrepot. Every year 10,000 grain ships, large and small, come from as far away as the country of Funjistan and the vilayets of Saï, Nubia, Al-Wahat (The Oases) and Upper Egypt, docking here in Old Cairo and submitting to the authorities. It is recorded for the year 425 (1034) that Old Cairo had 36,000 mosques, 8,000 operational roads, 1,170 hammams for the elite and the masses, and 200,000 shops. […] Y142b It is said that there used to be 700 hammams in Old Cairo. At present, in the lower marketplace, there is 1 hammam, 11 wakalas and 10 coffee-houses. But during the days of the Cutting of the Nile they decorate the coffee-houses and 30 Kasr-ı Sebtiyye; this area of Cairo is still known as al-Sabtiyya today. 31 This sentence properly belongs later in this paragraph.

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have musical performances in every one. And there are 380 shops that are open and quite a few that are closed, but no covered market. In the centre of the city, on the shore of the Nile, is the Granary built by the Prophet Joseph [→ Jb4]. […] Y143a […] At present it consists of two squareshaped fortress-like silos across from each other. It is a noteworthy sight and topic of conversation. The walls rise to a height of 40 cubits. The buildings are of red brick, like the Wall of Alexander.32 […] The silos contain (—) hundred thousand ardabs of wheat and (—) hundred thousand ardabs of beans and (—) hundred thousand ardabs of barley. All these cereals come from Upper Egypt; that is, the vicinity of Girga. No grain comes to Cairo from the vicinity of Rosetta and Damietta, below Cairo. Indeed, they do not even grow enough grain there for their own needs, because their main products are sugar, henna, cotton, flax and rice; they grow little grain. […] Y144b Another sight in Old Cairo is the Sakia of Sultan Ghawri [→ Jb6] (see above at Y85b) at the lower, northern end of Old Cairo. It is a sturdy fortress, octagonal in shape and rising to a height of 80 Meccan cubits. Horses and oxen go up the hill to the summit where waterwheels and sakias turn and haul water from the Nile that goes via the aqueduct to the Cairo citadel. There is an independent amin of the sakias, having authority over the 36 waterwheels in 11 places, with 300 oxen and 200 servants, at an expenditure of 150 purses per annum. It is a great public work, conveying Nile water from these sakias via an aqueduct of 360 arches (see Y128b). So when people in the Cairo citadel satisfy their thirst they say a prayer for Sultan Ghawri, God’s mercy be upon him. I too have drunk this refreshing water of good deeds for eight years. A Fatiha for his spirit! Such is the canal that King Muqawqis built at the foot of the Sakia of Ghawri in Old Cairo. Now we turn to the subject of the blessed Nile when it flows under the Bridge of Abu’l-Manja at the time of the Cutting of the Nile in the city of Cairo.

Chapter 44: Concerning the Cutting of the Nile that gives life and wealth to the land of Egypt 33 This is the Cutting of the Nile that has become so famous throughout the world. The natural condition34 of Egypt is that there is no rainfall, or if it does rain it 32 Referring to the rampart against Gog and Magog constructed by Alexander the Great, who was identified with Dhu’l-Qarnayn − ‘The Two-Horned’ − mentioned in the Qurʾan (18:83). 33 For a translation of the entire chapter, see KAIRO, 257–74. 34 The concept of nature is here conveyed by the expression ʿadetullah = Ar. ʿādat Allāh, lit.



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is insufficient. Therefore, thanks to the miracle of the Prophet Idris, the diviners of old cut up the blessed Nile into channels and canals in places of sufficient elevation according to the science of geometry, causing it to flow (throughout the low-lying areas). After the fields have been irrigated, the peasants sow crops on the mud brought by the Nile and in 70 days reap them and harvest food. By God’s wisdom, the natural condition throughout the entire world is that water be lacking in the month of July. In Egypt, however, on the (—) day of August − corresponding in the Coptic calendar to New Year’s Day in the month of Tut, when the Copts have their festival and put on their Christian cinctures and dress in their rags and rejoice in the fact that they will burn in hell − during that July season, by God’s wisdom, the Nile is at its most boisterous and ‘the drop’ falls into the Nile; that is, it flows like a sea of red mud (see Y430a). It does not descend all at once, however, but gradually over 70 days. The first day of the 70 days is called ‘the drop’ (nuqta);35 the last of the 70 days is when the Cutting of the Nile occurs. […]

Y148a Description of the Island of Roda and the Nilometer [→ Jb5] In a corner on the southern side of an island known as Roda, across from Old Cairo, is a lofty pavilion, with numerous courtyards and cells, pantry and kitchen, and the house of Ibn al-Raddad, shaikh of the Nilometer, with 200 rooms giving onto one another. In another corner is the Sultan Qaitbay Mosque, a lofty twostorey pavilion atop 40 marble columns with a squat single-balconied minaret and a broad courtyard. […] Y148b […]

Description of the Pool of the Nilometer It is a large square-shaped pool built of pure white marble beneath a painted wooden dome supported by eight white marble columns in the courtyard below the pavilion of Caliph Maʾmun at the end of the island of Roda. It is 30 ells in depth. All around it are 80 steps. Every year the Janissary corps cleans it out in one week. […] In the centre of this pool is a hexagonal white marble column, 25 ells in height, […] notched on all six sides with ten notches per ell, each notch being one finger wide. According to this scale one can tell how many fingers the ‘God’s custom,’ the equivalent of Sunnat Allāh in Qurʾan 33:38, 62, 35:43, 40:85. Cf. note at Y299a. 35 The ‘Night of the Drop’ (Laylat al-nuqta), the Coptic festival of the Archangel Michael, on 12 Abib (the eleventh month of the Coptic year); see KAIRO, 256n; Lane 1908, 495.

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Nile has risen each day. The master geometrician constructed it in this fashion. […]

Y149b Description of the Island of Roda [→ Jb5] It is an island with the Great Nile flowing on the Giza side and the Little Nile on the Old Cairo side. Occasionally the Nile has dried up [on the Old Cairo side] allowing people to cross over by foot and preventing grain ships from passing through. In the year 1086 (1675/76) our lord Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha, at an expense of 200 Egyptian purses, brought 40,000 or 50,000 men and several thousand dredging oxen and in three months, with a great hue and cry, they cleaned out the roads of Joseph’s Granary. So now the Nile flows freely on this side and Roda Island is again a proper island. [Y150a–156b Chapter 45: Cutting of the Nile Ceremony.]36

Y156b Chapter 46: Description of the blessed Nile, water of mercy, a great river and fresh water of Paradise It should be known to thoughtful colleagues and experienced travellers that there are many opinions about the world’s rivers. ʿAwfi reports from Ibn ʿAbbas, may God be pleased with him, that there are the same number of rivers and streams on the face of the earth as there are veins in the human body. According to Ptolemy the Philosopher, there are 200 great rivers on earth and 44,000 streams. Of the 200 great rivers, four of them are praised by men and by God. The greatest of these is the blessed Nile, which is referred to in the noble Qurʾan in 16 verses, including: How many gardens, how many fountains, they left behind them! Cornfields, and noble palaces (44:25–26) and We sent down water from the sky in due measure, and lodged it into the earth (23:18). There are also several Hadiths, including this unique one attested by Muslim:37 The messenger of God, may God bless him and give him peace, said: the Sayhun (Syr Darya) and the Jayhun (Amu Darya) and the Nile and the Euphrates, all of them are rivers of Paradise. As determined by God, may He be blessed and exalted, and according to the correct opinion of Ptolemy the Philosopher, the source of the Nile is the Mountain of the Moon [→ A2], a seven-month journey south of Cairo. It rises from 12 great springs. These 12 great streams flow into a large lake, south of the equator, 36 For a translation of the entire chapter, see KAIRO, 274–93. 37 Author of one of the standard Hadith collections in Sunni Islam, d. 875.



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which is like a sea. Another branch emerges out of this lake in the north and passes through the first clime and the second clime, the vilayets of Qirmanqa, Y157a Qaqan, Funjistan, Berberistan and Nubia; the vilayet of Saï [→ E14], which is a great castle at the extreme border of Egypt, two month’s journey from Cairo, with a garrison of guards from the Seven Regiments of Cairo; the vilayets of Esna and Aswan; the vilayet of Upper Egypt, where it goes through the city of Girga; then it flows another month past the cities of Manshiya, Tahta, Abu Tig, Asyut, Manfalut, Sanabu, Mallawi, Minya, Fashna and Beni Suef; then to Cairo, Mother of the World. Five miles below Cairo, at a place called Batn al-Baqar (‘Cow’s Belly’; see Y279b, Y340b) [→ Ka6], the Nile splits into two branches. The branch that goes to Rosetta touches first on Mahallat Tunub, Mahallat Bashir and Mahallat Abu ʿAli in Gharbiya province. Opposite that is Mahallat Rahmaniya in Buhayra province, across from which is Mahallat Ibrahim Dassuki in Gharbiya province. Then come Mahallat Malik, Mahallat Mutubis and Mahallat Amir ʿAli, also in Gharbiya province. Passing the entrepot city of Rosetta in Buhayra province one comes to Maraj al-Bahrayn (‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’) where the blessed Nile flows into the Mediterranean. The aforementioned cities on both sides of the blessed Nile number 160 cities. [Going up the Nile] as far as Saï Castle is a three-month journey, and in that direction there are 1,800 prosperous and beautiful villages, not counting the ones away from the shore of the Nile whose number God alone knows. In terms of parasangs, from the source of the Nile to its end at the Mediterranean the distance is 3,000 parasangs. The blessed Nile (that emerges from) the lake at the aforementioned source of the Nile divides into nine branches that flow westward towards the countries of Sudan and Fez and Marrakesh [→ B1, B2, F15]. I did not go to those regions, but the places that I did go to along the Nile as far as the latitude of 12 (—) degrees and 41 minutes, south of the equator, will be described in detail, God willing, in the Funjistan journey − and strange to say, they are all my own travels and adventures. As for the nine branches that flow westward towards Fez and Marrakesh, Y157b after 1,000 parasangs they all flow into the Atlantic Ocean, as I learned in Funjistan from some individuals who had gone there. They also informed me that there are no crocodiles in those regions of the Nile. During the reign of Sultan Muʾayyad38 some men went to the source of the Nile more than once (from Cairo). It took them eight months to get there and, having bought merchandise there, another eight months to get back. Men from 38 Mamluk sultan, r. 1412–21.

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Funjistan are always travelling back and forth. It takes them five months to get there and, after selling their merchandise to the Portuguese Europeans, another five months to get back to Funjistan. The ruler of Funjistan, being an adherent of the Maliki rite, is a follower of Shaikh Bakri (cf. Y360a, Y418b), to whom his agents are constantly going back and forth. In this connection he also sends envoys to the Pasha of Cairo, bearing such gifts as elephant-hide shields, ivory, rhinoceros horn, lizard skins, ebony wood and civet. They dwell on the shore of the Nile, but in these countries the shore of the Nile bears few signs of civilisation because the people who dwell there are so backward and unsophisticated. The civilised and prosperous places of the Nile are Saï Castle, the city of Der, the fortress of Ibrim, the vilayet of Shallal, Aswan, Esna, the cities of Qus and Qena, Fuwwa and Girga, and the cities between there and Cairo described above and from Cairo to Damietta and Rosetta. All these are civilised and prosperous places of Egypt, layer on layer, on both sides of the Nile, as drawn by land and sea and described in the Khiṭaṭ (of al-Maqrizi), the Mappa Mundi, the Atlas and Minor (i.e., the Atlas Minor of Mercator) and the Geography (of Ptolemy).39 […] 40 As for me, I have described only what I have myself witnessed on my travels. When the blessed Nile is in flood it courses through the 7,000 branches (khalij) and 11,000 canals (turʿa) of Egypt by which the agricultural lands are irrigated. God willing, each one of these will be described in its proper place. There is hardly any rainfall in Egypt, only once or twice a year, so without the Nile flood there would be dearth and famine, God forbid. That is why such attention is paid to this Cutting of the Nile, with ceremonies and celebrations. For otherwise Egypt is a very desolate place. But when the blessed Nile comes as desired, the entire country becomes a sea. Then all the towns and villages, (—) (—) in number − whether they are administered by kashifs or amins or multazims, or whether they are endowments (waqf) of Mecca and Medina or otherwise − are left like islands in the midst of the sea-like Nile and the date palms rise up out of the water. 39 ‘As drawn by land and sea’ (berren ve bahren eşkâliyle) implies maps and, perhaps, topographical drawings. Evliya uses similar language at Y392a regarding the ancient philosophers (eşkâl-i dünyâyı tahrîr etmişler) and his own intention to make a map of the Nile and Funjistan (eşkâlin tahrîr edeyüz). For the Khiṭaṭ of al-Maqrizi, see note 55 below at Y282a. For Evliya’s appeal to the authority of Mappae Mundi and other European sources, see Hagen 2012. 40 At this point in the text there is a heading that interrupts the flow of the text: Der beyan-ı ahval-i hüsniyyat-ı Mısır [Concerning the Good Things of Egypt]. It was apparently added as an afterthought; cf. below at Y160b. It is paired by the title added in the margin at the end of Y158a (not included in the translation here): Der beyan-ı fiʿl-i kubhiyyat-ı Mısır [Concerning the Bad Things of Egypt].



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Egypt is laid out according to the science of geometry. Between two villages is a distance of 1 league (malaqa), as it is called. When the Nile floods those wadis, people pass from one village to the next, Y158a mounted on horses or camels or donkeys, over dykes of earth that they have piled up to a height of five or ten men. After the Nile has filled up the area to one of those dykes and watered the land for ten days, they open the plug on that dyke and the water goes to another wadi and waters the soil of another town. To forestall disputes, reliable armed men of the military class, appointed by the governor,41 regulate the passage of water from one village to the next. If the governor’s agent were not present, the Bedouins and the fellahin would kill one another. In certain places there are bridges [rather than dykes] and the Nile water flows beneath them. The canals going to the villages are called turʿa, meaning ‘stream’ (ırmak); it is through those channels that the Nile irrigates the vilayet. In sum, all the arable land of Egypt is divided up into row upon row of branches and canals and lakes according to the science of geometry as taught by the Prophet Idris. The diviners and geometricians of olden days laid out the land of Egypt in this fashion, something that must be seen. Y160a […]42 There is much lore regarding the Nile, but all agree that it is one of the rivers of Paradise, and there is a noble Hadith to this effect (see above at Y156b). Truly it is water of Paradise. The taste of Nile water is without parallel, except perhaps for that of Cennet Bunarı (‘Spring of Paradise’) in the Erzurum fortress, or the sweet water of Kırkçeşme in Istanbul. Another thing that all the chroniclers and cosmologists agree on is that, from its source onwards, no other river flows into it. The only streams that do flow into it are ones that branched off it, canals that were started from the Nile and flow back into the Nile. [Not all the qualities of the Nile are beneficial.] One harmful quality is that the water’s effect on the constitution is phlegmatic and constipating. Another is that when the Nile begins to flood it turns green for an entire month (see Y386a). During that season those with sensitive constitutions must use caution and avoid drinking Nile water, or drink it only after it has been filtered and boiled with mastic. Or else they should have water brought from the Well of Matariya near ʿAyn Shams, two hours east of Cairo, which was dug by Mary the mother of Jesus [→ La2] (see Y11b, Y227a, Y386a). It is a beneficial water of life and a miracle 41 cf. below at Q346b, p. 341 where the Governor of Waters (Hakim-i muy) is mentioned in this connection. 42 At this point in the text there is a heading that interrupts the flow of the text: Der beyan-ı mazarrat-ı ab-ı Nil (‘Concerning the Harmful Effects of the Nile’). It was apparently added as an afterthought; cf. above at Y158a. The sense is preserved in the sentence added to the translation below (‘Not all the qualities of the Nile are beneficial’).

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of Jesus. The reason the Nile flows green and is harmful for one month is that there is water left over from the previous year in the branches and canals and lakes that stagnates in the heat and swarms with poisonous creatures − vermin and scorpions, snakes and centipedes, scoop-tails (kepçe kuyruk – i.e., horned viper?) and so on. Y160b When the new Nile comes it flushes out the dead remains of these creatures and brings this poisoned water to Cairo. Those who do drink that green water when the Nile is in flood are generally afflicted with goitre and hernia and their feet swell up like waterskins. If their wives get pregnant at that time the babies are born with leprous skin. So one has to be very cautious and for one month only drink fresh water supplied at the public water dispensaries. Nile water is beneficial to horses and to women. However, since this is the country of the Pharaohs, the effect of the climate is to make the people proud and tyrannical and quickly unsettle their constitutions. The Nile has many other qualities, but that is enough for now. [Y160b–165a Chapter 47: Concerning Animals in the Nile and their Characteristics. Long sections on the crocodile and the hippopotamus.]43

Sex with Crocodiles [→ F27, F28] Y162a A marvellous story concerning the Nile crocodile: While I was travelling in the region of Shallal (the First Cataract) the conversation turned to crocodiles. Our host was a certain Abu Jaddullah (see Y389b), a venerable shaikh, one who had experienced the vicissitudes of fortune, one who belonged to the class of lovers (i.e., those mystically inclined), an upright individual. He related as follows: When I was young I had a crocodile in the Nile. It was a female. At that time I was making a living by fishing with nets. Sometimes I netted a big fish and set it aside. One day this crocodile swam by. It was a very beautiful specimen. I snipped off some fish heads and threw them to her. She ate them and went on. This continued for several days: I gave her fish like this every day. One day she just strode out of the water, raised her tail, and lay on her back. I recalled that our Arabs have sex with crocodiles. So I too girded my loins and went to it. The pleasure drove me out of my mind. Afterwards I took a club and propped it between the sand and the crocodile’s back, then 43 For a translation of the entire section on the crocodile, see TRAVELLER, 388–93. For the Nile fauna in general, see Bacqué-Grammont 2008.



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stood to one side. She wriggled onto her feet, gave me a glance, then went back into the river and cavorted like mad. I cohabited with her for three years. All my clansmen in Shallal knew about it. If one day I failed to show up she would look for me. Eventually I stopped going to the edge of the Nile out of fear of the other crocodiles. Whenever my crocodile came to the shore she left a kind of fragrant oil like civet. Y162b I used to fill jars with it and sell them for ten gurush a piece. I earned my living that way for three years. Then one day I happened to go over to one of the islands in the Nile, and my crocodile followed me onto the shore. She walked around a bit, then rolled over and expired. Suddenly it grew dark, and when the darkness lifted what should I see: the crocodile’s head and torso had transformed into that of a beautiful girl. But her legs and her vulva were still those of a crocodile. It turned out that she was the daughter of the shaikh of the Kunuz Arabs and had been bewitched. By God’s command, at the moment she died the spell became ineffective and she resumed her original form. The people of that island and I buried her.

This was the story the shaikh related, and some local residents who were present approved it and bore witness that it was true. For in that country, having sex with crocodiles, and killing crocodiles and nailing their skins to the gates, are nothing to be ashamed of but are rather considered heroic deeds. And anyone who does not do battle with a crocodile is not considered a man. There is a distinct rivalry among them, and they only give their daughters in marriage to one who has killed a crocodile or has killed an elephant. For in that country, the crocodile is a dragon, very harmful and accursed, since it snatches men and animals as they are drinking and children as they are swimming near the shore. The basic reason why men of this region have sex with crocodiles is that they suffer from incontinence and gonorrhoea, and they engage in intercourse with crocodiles in order to rid themselves of these afflictions. Some, who will not commit that act, have sex instead with Ethiopian slave girls who, being very hot and attractive, drain men of sperm and other things. [Merchants and craftsmen of Greater Cairo. Industries and products particular to Egypt. Trades and products lacking in Egypt. Processions, treasures, ceremonies. Moulid festivals.]

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Y224a Description of the festival at Qadam al-Nabi [→ Jb1] (see Y115b–116b) This is a large complex containing a Friday mosque and, above the impression of the Holy Footstep, a lofty dome and an archers’ lodge, all of which is the work of Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha and has been described above. Here there is a great festival lasting one day and one night, when they also recite prayers of benediction for Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha, the builder of this charitable work. […]

Y225b The promenade of Qadam al-Nabi This is a large and splendid complex that is a charitable work of Defterdar Ibrahim Pasha and contains a variety of pavilions and courtyards, a Friday mosque, a kitchen of Kay Kaus,44 an archers’ lodge, and small mosques and sakias and private cells, all of this being the work of Ibrahim Pasha, as described in detail above. [Pleasure outings]

Y227a Picnic Grounds and Shrine of Biʾr Matariya [→ La1, La2] (see Y11b, Y160a, Y386a) Two hours north of Cairo amidst orchards and gardens, a place empowered by the vision of Jesus. There were great buildings here when Egypt was in the hands of the Greeks; now only a vault and a dervish lodge remain. There is also a basin where all those who are sick bathe and find a cure. It is recorded in all the Greek chronicles that Jesus and his mother Mary migrated from the city of Nablus and settled here. And the Christians claim that Jesus and his mother dug this Well of Matariya and bathed in it, and that this basin is their construction. And that is correct, because all the wells of Egypt are bitter, but this Well of Matariya is sweet since it is a miracle of the Messenger of God.

Birkat al-Haj [→ M46] Y227b The pleasure-grounds of Birkat al-Haj: All the Haj pilgrims stay here for three days and three nights, filling a myriad of skins with Nile water that they take with them. [Wonders and marvels] 44 Kay Kaus is a legendary Iranian king described in Ferdowsi’s Shāhnāma. Evliya often mentions him as part of a trope for a rich and well-appointed kitchen.

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Pyramids [→ Ja5] 45 Y232a A marvel, the mountain of the Pyramids [→ Ja5]: One hour from the town of Giza on the west bank of the Nile are the three ‘mountains’ known as the Pyramids. They are the tallest and most ancient buildings on the face of the earth. They are huge man-made mountains, each one a veritable Mt. Qaf. […] Some chroniclers say they were built before the Flood by ʿAd b. Shaddad. Others maintain that before the Flood, King Surid, at the urging of his soothsayers, built them as a tomb for himself. When they were finished he filled the three pyramids with treasure, put in weapons, and also placed therein the books of all the sciences written by the prophet Idris. He set up talismans and guardians (?) and covered the pyramids with brocade, making them a hidden treasure. He also built a great city on the shore of the Nile where the guards of the pyramids resided. Every year, in spring, all the people of the world came and circumambulated the pyramids, as they do the Kaʿba. Y239b Natron: (see Y339a–b) It is something like salt. Because wood is rare in Egypt, they put natron in the pot when cooking, since it tenderises the meat and other foods so they cook faster. But it has the embarrassing effect on men that their groins develop hernia. Most Egyptians suffer from this condition. If you address an Egyptian as ‘Honoured sir!’ (Behey devletli) he will take offence, since ‘honoured sir’ is a polite way of referring to someone with hernia. The source of natron is a large lake that lies below three Coptic monasteries known as (—) (—), situated atop bare cliffs in the mountains in the western territory of the kashiflik of Tarrana [→ Ka27]. All the natron is brought from there by camels. At present it is entirely a state monopoly. Natron is one of two items left on Earth from the wealth of Korah, the other being chickens. Other than that, Korah and his wealth are still swallowed up by the earth in this clime of Buhayra.46 45 For a translation of the entire section on the Pyramids, see TRAVELLER, 403–6; cf. Haarmann 1976. 46 This refers to the story of Korah’s punishment as told in the Bible (Numbers 16) and in the Qurʾan (28:75–82). cf. I 188b: ‘The goldsmiths of Egypt use borax (in the form of) natron, which is Korah’s treasure where he was swallowed up by the earth in the vilayet of Buhayra. The bottle makers (of Istanbul) use it to smelt glass and give strength to fire. It is exported to Europe, where the alchemists boil it in mercury and turn it into gold of Korah. During my journey to Denmark, in the land of the infidels, I asked some alchemical masters about this. They confirmed that they can get gold by boiling natron in mercury, but said that the expense of the process was greater than the profit gained from it. The goldsmiths of Egypt, however, use natron instead of borax and make a good profit.’ Also I 191a: ‘Guild of Chicken Breeders: 105 shops, 400 individuals. Their patron saint is Korah, who first raised chickens as a capital venture; and when he was swallowed up by the earth, chickens were found on the plain. So chickens are one of two items left on earth from the wealth of Korah,

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Y240a The natron is a strange spectacle: if a horse or mule or any other animal falls into it, it immediately turns to natron. Natron is something peculiar to Egypt and it is exported from Egypt to the rest of the world. In Turkey it is used in the bottle manufacturies to smelt glass. [Climate. Customs and characteristics of the populace. Ulema and notables. Climes, etc. Tombs and shrines.]

Mt. Muqattam (Mt. Jushi) [→ Jb19] (cf. Y75b, 77a–b) Y256b To the east of Cairo is a mountain separated from the city and known throughout the world as Mt. Muqattam. This mountain, having been a site of worship for Moses and Aaron and Jesus, is mentioned in many pearl-scattering words of the Prophet Muhammad collected in numerous sound Hadiths, which thereby awoke in his community a desire to conquer Egypt. After the conquest, in the time of ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs, 17,000 blessed Companions of the Prophet were buried in the shadow of Mt. Muqattam. In the tongues of men, this sacred mountain is also called Mt. Jushi. […]

Qarafa cemeteries [→ Jb9, Jb10] Y262a It is not hidden from the brethren of purity and the companions of faithfulness that greater Cairo − comprising the old city of Fustat, which is Old Cairo, and the city of Bulaq, and the area near Imam Shafiʿi, and the summer pasture of Qaitbay, and inner and outer Cairo − is surrounded on all sides by 12 Qarafas or cemeteries in which are buried Y262b myriads of the children of prophets, if not prophets themselves, and great saints and leading imams and Companions of the Prophet and bygone kings and sultans.

Shrine of Imam Shafiʿi [→ Jb20] (cf. Y106b) Y262b The very hour that I first set foot in Cairo, in the course of my Haj pilgrimage (i.e., at the end of the Haj journey from Mecca), I went 2,000 paces on foot along a sandy highway to a cemetery on the south side of the governor’s palace. the other being natron in Egypt. It was also Korah in Egypt who invented the hatching of chickens in dung – if you have not seen this you have seen nothing in this world! Please refer to my description of it in the Egyptian section of this book, in Volume 3.’ It is actually in Volume 10 (Y229a–230a); translation in TRAVELLER, 400–1.



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There, in the middle of a town (kasaba), is the shrine of his majesty, shaikh of shaikhs and champion of imams, most learned of the learned and paragon of mankind, Imam Shafiʿi, may God’s mercy be upon him. God be praised, I rubbed my face on his threshold, observing the proprieties, and entered the light-filled domed structure. Completing an entire Qurʾan recitation, I entreated his intercession and bestowed the merit of the Qurʾan recitation upon his noble spirit, and I gave alms to the poor − may God accept my offerings.

Shrine of Abu Hurayra in Giza [→ Ja11] (cf. Q349b P343b) Y270b And across the Nile from Old Cairo, in the town (kasaba) of Giza, on the western side of the city, is the Shrine of Abu Hurayra, may God be pleased with him. He was one of the Companions of the Prophet and he transmitted (—) sound Hadiths from the Prophet and the Prophet loved him. His given name was (—) (—); because of his love for cats, the Prophet gave him the sobriquet Y271a Abu Hurayra (‘Father of the Little Cat’). And the Prophet in a Hadith said, Love of cats is part of the faith. Abu Hurayra belonged to the tribe of Dush. When Khalid b. al-Walid was commander of the ghaza against Damascus, Abu Hurayra commanded the Dush tribe and took part in the conquest of Damascus. After that, and after ʿUmar conquered Jerusalem, he took part with ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs in the ghaza against Cairo (i.e., Babylon Fortress in Old Cairo). Wounded by an arrow in this battle, he crossed over to the Giza side and died there. ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs raised a tomb over his noble body. He is now buried in the fragrant earth of a flowery meadow in a valley with forests and date groves. His shrine is a home to thousands of cats. […] Once a year, in July, a Moulid takes place here. […] Also in Giza, near the shrine of Abu Hurayra, during the days of that Moulid, the bones of all those who were martyred together with Abu Hurayra come out of the ground. Myriads of bones of martyrs move. I have not witnessed this myself, but I heard it from some reliable men. As I was crossing in a boat to Old Cairo I saw them with bones in their hands. ‘They are the limbs of the martyrs,’ they told me. ‘We are taking them to our homes for the blessing.’ Other people of whom I inquired, including some Azhar ulema, confirmed that on that day countless limbs appear on the surface of the ground, but no one knows where they come from. According to one account, they are the bones of the Copts who were killed in battle with the Companions of the Prophet, and since this took place in July, the ground in July refuses to accept them and they come out to the surface. The Copts also take home some of these bones.

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Figure 2.3: Map of Evliya Çelebi’s first journey (Source: Michael D. Sheridan)

First Journey: Cairo–Alexandria–Rosetta–Cairo, Y277b–341a Once he has fully toured and described Cairo, Evliya Çelebi expresses a desire to visit the shrine of Shaikh Ahmad al-Badawi in Tanta. While preparations for the shaikh’s Moulid are beginning, Evliya goes to see Ibrahim Pasha, the governor of Egypt, who dispatches him with official letters for the kashifs of Gharbiya and Minufiya. He proceeds to Bulaq, from where the ships going by procession to the Moulid in Tanta depart. Downriver, at Batn al-Baqar, the Nile divides into two branches, with the western branch going towards Rosetta and the eastern branch towards Damietta. The ships proceed along the latter branch, and Evliya disembarks at Zifta but crosses the river to Mit Ghamr, where he has a bath and tours the city before recrossing to Zifta and then heading overland to Minuf. From there he continues overland to Tanta, where he witnesses the festive atmosphere of Ahmad al-Badawi’s Moulid and visits the shaikh’s shrine. Continuing on to Nahariya, he boards a skiff and sails down the canal to Farasdaq on the western branch of the Nile. He proceeds to Dassuk, where he witnesses the Moulid of Ibrahim Dassuki before crossing the river to Rahmaniya. Then he heads west overland to the city of Damanhur, where he witnesses the Moulid of Abu’l-Rish.

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Evliya now joins an expedition to repair the Nasiriya Canal, then passes through numerous towns until he reaches the Mediterranean. In Alexandria, he describes the large and small fortresses in great detail as well as noting the presence of an obelisk − one of the so-called ‘Cleopatra’s Needles’ now located in London and New York. After a full tour of the city, he proceeds eastwards along the shore, crosses a small strait by boat, then continues overland through Edku and through date groves to Rosetta, which he describes as ‘the bride of Egypt in the land of the Arabs’. After a full tour of the city and its environs − including the Strait of Rosetta, which he associates with the Maraj al-Bahrayn (‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’) mentioned in the Qurʾan and where he prays to someday reach the source of the Nile − Evliya boards an armed grain ship and begins his return journey up the Nile. Travelling for five days, he passes through numerous towns and districts before arriving back in Bulaq. From there, he proceeds to the citadel at Cairo, where he meets with Ibrahim Pasha and informs him about his travels.

Y277b Chapter 65: Stages and shrines of our journey to visit Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi in the year 1083 (1672) and our journey to the entrepots of Damietta, Rosetta, Alexandria, and other villages and towns and cities I had completed, as far as possible, my tours of Cairo and my visitations of its shrines, and I wished to visit also the shrine of the world-famous Pole (chief of the saints) and Father of Orphans, Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi. ‘How will I manage,’ said I to myself, ‘to rub my face on that threshold and to seek succour from his noble spirit?’ As I was pondering this dilemma, by God’s wisdom, in the year 1083, on the 12th day of the month of Rabiʿ al-Akhir (7 August 1672), a hubbub arose in the city, and the sounds of drums and tambourines and kettledrums, dhikr and litanies, rose to the skies. I questioned one of my friends in our house of sorrows, and he said: ‘Today is the day on which all the shaikhs and dervishes of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi gather together to perform dhikr and go up to the viceroy (i.e., go up to the Cairo citadel to the palace of the Ottoman governor Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha) in order to obtain the warrant authorising the Moulid for the year (—). It is a great and boisterous procession of dervishes.’ I immediately betook myself to the court of the Pasha’s palace and, secluding myself in a corner, busied myself with watching events. Glory to God! More than 10,000 Badawi dervishes filled up the palace square and the royal markets, playing on their drums and tambourines and displaying their pennants and banners. Some were drenched in instruments of war, with staffs or cudgels in their hands, palheng-stones and skirts at their waists, and

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dhikr on their tongues. A myriad of motley flags and banners turned the city of Cairo into a tulip garden. Y278a In the palace square, in the Pasha’s presence, the shaikhs’ chief deputy said ‘Mention the name of God!’ and thousands of dervishes uttered their dhikr with a single voice. Golden banners fluttered, drums and tambourines and small kettledrums were sounded, trumpets were blown like the trumpet of Israfil (announcing the resurrection). There were 3,700 shaikhs and 10,000 barefoot and bareheaded dervishes engaged in dhikr. Ecstatics cried out on every side. The royal dhikr in the palace square was such that, by the Lord of the Kaʿba, the cry of Allah Allah! reached up to the sky and the angels in heaven cried Subhanallah (‘Praise Allah’) in astonished rivalry. When this was over, and the leader of the dervishes had uttered formulas of praise to God and blessing upon the Prophet, they cried benedictions upon Sultan Mehmed IV, conqueror of Candia and Kaminiec, and lauds upon Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha, and group by group and in good order took their places before the Pasha. Now Ibrahim Pasha issued the warrant of Sultan Qaitbay,47 ordering the provincial governors of Gharbiya and Minufiya, Hasan Agha and ʿAli Agha, along with the Seven Regiments and other Janissary aghas, to attend the noble Moulid with all their soldiers fully armed; to protect the Malaqa square; to prevent the brigands of the Arab tribes from coming to the arena bearing cudgels and akve daggers; and to close the wine and boza shops and the houses of prostitution. The Pasha also presented the shaikhs with gifts, more than those of previous viziers, including two green turbans for the noble tomb of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi; 2 batmans of aloe and 50 miskals of raw ambergris; 1 silken carpet and 1 silken prayer rug; and 2 beeswax candles, each the height of a man and weighing 100 batmans. To the dervishes he gave 100 gold pieces as sacrifice money, which he handed over to the chief deputy Shaikh Mustafa Rumi. The shaikhs uttered a benediction and kissed the Pasha’s hand. The royal dhikr recommenced, so loud as to stun any deniers. When it was over, and after further benedictions and lauds, the Pasha’s servants took up his gifts − the carpet and prayer rug, the aloe and ambergris and turbans − and the chief executioner, in a loud voice, read out the warrant in the palace square and announced that the Badawi Moulid would take place in the middle of the month of Jumadi al-Akhir. Thus all the shaikhs and dervishes marched off in procession, row on row and wave on wave, and everyone returned to his abode. At this juncture I was overcome with the urge to travel. Y278b ‘How,’ said 47 Mamluk sultan, r. 1468–96.



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I to myself, ‘can I perform this very important visitation?’ While I was pondering this, after the evening prayer a chamberlain came and informed me that the governor wished to see me. Immediately I went into Ibrahim Pasha’s presence, where the subject of conversation was the festival of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi. Seizing the opportunity, I said: ‘My lord, if you grant me leave, this humble one full of fault will be present at that harvest-home of prayer, where I will recall my lord with benedictions, and at the same time I will have visited that shrine.’ He accepted my supplication. Summoning Ketkhuda ʿAli of Nish, he ordered that I be given 100 gold pieces as travel expenses and made me an official attendant at the Badawi Moulid. He entrusted me with the orders for the kashifs of Gharbiya and Minufiya. It being the end of the year and the month of Tut (i.e., the first month of the Coptic calendar, corresponding to September), when the kashifs’ authority lapses, he also gave me the orders for them to come to the divan in Cairo and settle their accounts. He also entrusted me with letters of good news to Hasan Agha, the kashif of Gharbiya, appointing him deputy of the sergeants for the divan of Cairo. And he bestowed on me one well-furnished tent; ten quintals of biscuit and other supplies of food and drink, including 100 okkas of coffee and three quintals of sugar; and 100 candles. We bid each other farewell and I proceeded to the house of Ketkhuda ʿAli of Nish. He too gave me letters addressing the kadis and kashifs and multazims48 en route, to the following effect: ‘The bearer of this document, Evliya Efendi, is the boon-companion and ancient friend of our viceroy, and is our own dear father. To whomever of you this love-styled letter arrives, it will please us very much if you treat Evliya Çelebi with due consideration and convey him safely and soundly from one of you to the next.’ He also offered me 5,000 para as travel expenses. I took leave of all my friends and that night was a guest in the house of the delivery agent49 Ibrahim Agha in Bulaq [→ Jb13]. For three days and three nights the city of Bulaq was illuminated with myriads of oil lamps and there were continual celebrations. On the second night, all the shaikhs attended in front of the Janissaries’ lodge and the delivery agent’s palace, decorating the bank of the Nile with lamps and torches and carrying out the imperial tevhid and noble Moulid until the morning. The next morning, the naqib al-ashraf hosted a banquet in the convent of Ibrahim Gulshani in Bulaq, according to kanun. The great notables and ulema and 48 The multazims or tax farmers, at this period, were equivalent to the kashifs; see Shaw 1962, 60. 49 Risale ağası; see Shaw 1962, 81.

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shaikhs of Cairo came, in particular the kadi of the military and the şeyhülislams of the four Sunni rites, and a Muhammadan feast was consumed. That night the Gulshani convent became the light-filled rose garden (gulshan) of Iram, and there was a noble Moulid in the style of the aforementioned Moulids, which it would be monotonous to repeat. The next morning, the Badawi dervishes, Y279a the ecstatic dervishes of the other Sufi brotherhoods, and the wealthy sea-going merchants all boarded 12 ʿaqaba ships. Each one of these holds 2,000 men − and thus a sea of men rode on the river that was like a sea. These ships are similar to caravels, with sterncastles four storeys high. The lowest storey is for the storage of food and drink and other provisions; the second is filled with womenfolk; the third has the dervishes and shaikhs; the fourth is filled to the brim with fellahin and sailors and servants and ships’ captains and other pilgrims. Raised platforms and pavilions are constructed on the decks where everyone carouses and jests with his lovers and friends. These 12 ʿaqabas belong to the waqf endowments of Seyyid Ahmad alBadawi. All expenses are covered by the endowment. The masts and yard-arms are all outfitted with pennants and banners, and on all sides are thousands of oil lamps and banners of the shaikhs. There were several thousand additional pilgrims and shaikhs who did not board these aqaba ships but rather hired boats of their own − qayasa fishing boats and caiques − which they boarded with their friends. These numbered 200. So the face of the Nile was adorned with boats proceeding caravan-style, the 12 ʿaqabas along with 600 or 700 (!) caiques and qayasas, holding 40,000 or 50,000 men. We set off from the city of Bulaq at mid-morning, putting our trust in God. The military personnel in all the ships fired a salute, one volley with their muskets and one volley of cannon shot. As the report died away, the Badawi chief deputy struck up the drums and kettledrums and bells and began the performance of the royal dhikr. We were carried along by the Nile current to the sound of kettledrums and trumpets. When the flotilla came opposite the city of Imbaba [→ Ja12], the dervishes together sang out a Muhammadan call to prayer on behalf of the saint Imbaba, then each one recited a Fatiha and declared his intention of performing the Badawi visitation. At that juncture, this humble one transferred to a smaller boat with seven or eight servants and faithful lovers. Now communing with Shaikh Mustafa Rumi, now with Shaikh Uthman Kannasi, now with Shaikh Imbabi, and now with Shaikh Ahmad Qalyubi, we toured the paradise-like and prosperous villages and towns on either side of the Nile, and recorded their descriptions. Still in the territory of Cairo, 8 miles below the city, is the Town (kasaba) of Shubra [→ Jb15]: A flourishing and beautiful town with date palms, like a



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garden of paradise, on the bank of the Nile, with 1,000 houses, 7 Friday mosques, a small marketplace and 1 hammam. It is governed by an odabaşı50 from the Cairo Janissary corps. He exacts one watermelon as a toll from everyone who passes through, thus earning an annual income of 2,000 gurush. It is a guard station of the Janissaries but it also has an independent multazim. Y279b We passed by that town and 10 miles downstream came to the place called Jazirat Batn al-Baqar (‘Island of the Cow’s Belly’) [→ Ka6, Ka7, Ka8] (see. Y340b, Y359a): It is a promontory in the middle of the Nile, the point where the river splits into two branches. After Noah’s flood, Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan cut it into two (see Y31a, Y384b, Y388b, Y422b). The left-hand branch, flowing to the west, is (—) miles to Rosetta; while the right-hand branch, flowing to the north, is (—) miles to Damietta. The area between them is a large island, with a thousand flourishing and beautiful villages, comprising two kashif districts, Gharbiya and Minufiya. In the very centre is the town of Tanta, in Gharbiya territory, where Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi is buried. This promontory of Batn al-Baqar is in Minufiya territory. All the acacia trees here belong to the state. The artillery master of Cairo has the thorns gathered and burned and the charcoal is brought to Cairo and used to make black gunpowder. It is a kind of thorn that makes the gunpowder very sharp. From here our ships of state proceded along the Damietta branch of the Nile. On the right side, in Qalyub territory, is the Bridge of al-Malik al-Tahir: A large bridge, like a rainbow arch, with (—) openings. Those going by land from Cairo to Qalyub and Mansura and Damietta cross this bridge. It is visible from a great distance. After inspecting it we continued along the Nile to the Village of Misrahim: Shaikh ʿAbdallah Misrahim Sultan is buried here in a small white domed structure. All the boats stopped in front of this shrine to beat drums and perform dhikr, then continued on their way. In this area, which is the border between Minufiya and Gharbiya provinces, the Nile is rather turbulent and boats can founder. In some of the boats, the lovers with fine voices intoned this hymn as we passed through: O God our Guide Stand by our side And hold our hand As we cross sea and land.

50 An odabaşı was a ward or barracks officer in the Janissary corps.

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As the blessed Nile was quite turbulent, at the hour of the evening prayer all the boats hugged the shore, saying: On the boundless sea Are benefits galore But for security It’s best to stay ashore.51

Village of Ifrit, meaning ‘village of jinn’: A large and flourishing village in Gharbiya territory, with 200 houses and one Friday mosque. […] Y280a Here we pilgrims disembarked to prepare food and to entertain ourselves on the bank of the Nile. Shaikh Mustafa Rumi set up cauldrons large enough to cook ten sheep each and distributed food to the hungry wayfarers on land and sea, according to the Qurʾanic dictum, Give sustenance to the poor man, the orphan and the captive (76:8). […] After benedictions we began to recite dhikr. At the time of the sunset prayer the wind died down and the turbulence of the river subsided. A cannon was fired in Shaikh Mustafa’s ʿaqaba and, the weather being fine, thousands of lamps were lit in each of the ships. That night we floated majestically in a torch-lit procession along both sides of the Nile, with some firing cannons or muskets and others lighting fireworks, and we passed by hundreds of flourishing villages like so many gardens of paradise. The blessed Nile was studded with torch-lit ʿaqabas, the sailors crying Yaminak! Yasirak! (‘On your right! On your left!’), vying with their oars to pass and shouting Ya Mawla and Ya Fattah (invoking God as Patron and as Conqueror). At this juncture the chief deputy52 Shaikh Mustafa said: ‘O brothers, remember God’ (udhkuru’llah – i.e., let us perform dhikr). The 2,000 sincere lovers and Badawi mystics that were in his ʿaqaba began the dhikr and all the fakirs in the other boats joined in the dhikr. The Nile brimmed with Remembrance of God (dhikru’llah) and was submerged in light as the worshippers fainted in their intoxication. Y280b Alerted by the sound of the drums and the cries of the worshippers, the inhabitants of the villages along the Nile gathered in knots to observe the spectacle. This went on until the time of the dawn prayer, when all the boats headed for the shore and docked at the Stage of the Town (kasaba) of Tuffahiya, meaning ‘Apple Village’ in Arabic. It is a flourishing town in Gharbiya territory with 300 51 A well-known verse from the Gulistān of Saʿdi. 52 Baş halife – refers to his office in the Badawi establishment.



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houses, date groves and gardens, 2 Friday mosques with well-proportioned minarets, 40 or 50 shops and 1 hammam. It has an independent multazim. South of it, next to a Friday mosque, is the small domed tomb of Seyyid Dawud al-ʿAzab. Once a year there is a large gathering here for his Moulid. He was a great saint, on a par with Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi, whose saintly deeds are recorded in the Tabaqat of al-Shaʿrawi.53 If a murderer or a bandit or a debtor enters the precinct, the magistrate cannot lay a hand on him; but if the man has indeed committed a crime, as soon as he enters this shrine he repents and pays his debt. Such a great saint is he − may his noble secret be blessed! Having visited this shrine and refreshed ourselves somewhat, we pilgrims re-embarked and continued, amidst rejoicing and celebration, to float down the Nile another 30 miles until we came to Mabhum and Shubratayn, flourishing villages in Gharbiya with 300 houses, date groves, a Friday mosque and a guesthouse. Passing them by, we came 10 miles further down to the Stage of the Town (kasaba) of Zifta [→ La32], meaning (—) in Arabic. All the boats cast anchor on the shore of the blessed Nile just north of this city and the throngs of worshippers disembarked. For two days they lodged in thousands of tents, while villagers came and went with hired donkeys and mules and camels loaded with their baggage. Some of the pilgrims pay visitations there on Thursdays and Fridays, since the distance between Zifta and Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi is no more than 5 leagues or a five-hour journey. Description of Zifta: It is a noble kadi district at the level of 150 akçes (per diem) under the government of Gharbiya and lies on the Island of Gharbiya on the bank of the Nile. The nahiye has 70 prosperous villages, providing the kadi with an annual income of 7 Egyptian purses. It is in the multazim district of ʿAbbas Agha, the manumitted chief black eunuch. There is a flourishing guesthouse on the bank of the Nile that liberally provides for all wayfarers; the court is attached to this guesthouse. The town has 500 earth-covered fellahin houses. There are date groves here and there, but the place is famous for its grain crops, with especially fine wheat. There are three Friday mosques. [Description of the Great Mosque and the two others] Y281a And there are 7 neighbourhood mosques, but no madrasa or hammam, 25 shops, and 6 coffee-houses. The cattle and water buffalo in this city are comparable to those in Adana. As there is no hammam in this city, I boarded a caique with ʿAbbas Agha’s 53 This is ʿAbd al-Wahhab ibn Ahmad al-Shaʿrani (d. 1565), founder of the Shaʿrawiya Sufi order and author of al-Ṭabaqāt al-Kubrā [The Supreme Strata] and al-Mīzān al-Kubrā [The Supreme Scale].

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deputy and crossed over to Mit Ghamr in order to have a bath. Description of Mit Ghamr [→ La27]: It means (—) in Arabic. It is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level under the government of Mansura. The judicial district comprises (—) villages and has an annual income of 6 purses. The tax farm of this city belongs to Abu’l-sayr Ahmad Bey, one of the beys of Cairo. His annual profit is 6 purses, as Mit Ghamr is famous for its sugar. It also has abundant pomegranates and dates, being noteworthy for its date groves and flower gardens. The settlement is situated on a flat plain on the shore of the Nile. It has 4,000 finely built houses, layer on layer, and most of the roofs are covered with lime. Mit Ghamr is famous for its notables and descendants of the Prophet, and hundreds of Ghamrawi ulema are renowned throughout Egypt for their writings and compilations. There are nine town quarters and 44 prayer-niches, of which nine have Friday sermons, the rest being neighbourhood mosques. [Description of the Great Mosque, the Friday mosque at the landing, the Suspended Mosque, etc.] And there are 7 madrasas, 12 primary schools, 7 public fountains, 7 wakalas and 600 shops, but no stone-built Y281b covered market, although every kind of merchandise can be found. There are magnificent coffee-houses along the bank of the Nile. And the noble Qurʾan is recited in all of the shops, there being bearers of the Qurʾan (i.e., hafız, one who has memorised the Qurʾan) among the populace. There are also over 3,000 ulema who are Qurʾan interpreters and purveyors of Hadith. The Ghamrawi ulema are known throughout Egypt, second in reputation only to those of the Azhar. Some are excellent scholars indeed − God be praised, I attended their classes while they were studying Tabari’s Commentary54 and received their benediction. Because of the delightful climate, the people of Mit Ghamr are very clever and the lovely boys and girls are known far and wide − indeed, when the charms of the women of various cities are at issue, one often speaks of the beguiling Hawrani and Ghamrawi glances. In point of fact, Egyptians generally do not daub their eyes with collyrium and they are all rather wall-eyed; nevertheless, the ‘Ghamrawi glance’ is much praised. In sum, it is a city known for the good nature of its people and the plentifulness of its grain and foodstuffs. […] [Saints’ tombs] After visiting these shrines we entered the hammam. This hammam of Mit Ghamr, with its delightful construction and atmosphere, is one of the seven famous hammams of Egypt. Then we performed the Friday prayer in the Great Mosque and received the benediction of all the mystically inclined. 54 This is the influential Qurʾanic commentary (tafsir) of Abu Jaʿfar Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari (839–923).

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We crossed back to Zifta, where Mürşid Davud Bey provided us with an escort of several Arab horsemen and five sekban musketeers. Heading west, we passed through 20 flourishing villages with their date palms and flower and vegetable gardens until we came to the Village of Shirsina, where we halted for quite a while and had lunch. It is a flourishing village of 200 houses, most of the populace being descendants of the Prophet. Their ancestors were the shaikhs Abu’l-ʿIzz, ʿAli al-Madani and Ramadan al-Wahidi − several such saints sleep out their silent eternal rest within their domed shrines. Shirsina is situated in Minufiya territory. It has 1 Friday mosque, 2 Sufi lodges and 1 guesthouse where hospitality is freely dispensed. The multazim is the Janissary Yusuf Agha, one of the officers of Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha; he gets a profit of 6 purses per annum. From there we proceeded in five hours to the Ancient Capital and Great City of Minuf [→ Ka17, Ka18]. In the Coptic language the word manuf means ‘thirty.’ Among the cities built after Noah’s flood was the village of Juda on the skirt of Mt. Judi near Mosul; Y282a then ʿArish and Bilbais in the land of Hâsân; and then this ancient city of Minuf. It is situated on a plain that stretches 2 miles east and 2 miles west on either side of the Nile. The Qurʾan commentators agree that this is the City of the Ancients in the land of Egypt and that the verse, He entered the town unnoticed by the people (28:15) refers specifically to Minuf. According to the Khiṭaṭ of al-Maqrizi55 […] the Pharaoh of Moses originally came from the land of Mosul in Babylonia and settled in Minuf. When he grew up he served as chamberlain in Cairo (i.e., the Pharaonic capital of Egypt) before himself becoming ruler. He then made Minuf his capital and built it up to an even greater extent. The earlier foundation was laid by Bayzar son of Ham son of Noah. After the Flood, Bayzar obtained leave from Noah and came with his father-in-law, the diviner and sage Qalimun, to the Pyramids opposite Old Cairo, the only buildings remaining from the cities that had been built before the Flood. Seeing that they were uninhabitable, he moved on to the site of Minuf and began to erect buildings there. So this Bayzar son of Ham son of Noah was the first person to set foot in Egypt after the Flood. Together with his dependants they were 30 people, and for this reason they named the place Minuf − it is an error for mafa, which is ‘thirty’ in the Coptic language. Bayzar lived for several hundred years and built great buildings in the city of Minuf. […] During his reign he discovered many buried 55 Kitāb al-mawāʿiẓ wa’l-iʿtibār bi-dhikr al-khiṭaṭ wa’l-āthār [Book of Exhortations and Useful Lessons in Dealing with Topography and Historical Remains], a survey of the geography and topography of Egypt by Ahmad b. ʿAli al-Maqrizi (d. 1442). For Evliya’s use of Maqrizi, see Takamatsu 2012, 133–35.

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treasures under the instruction of his father-in-law, the diviner Qalimun. Using these treasures he founded 700 cities as far away as Esna and Aswan and Sudan and Funjistan. It was Bayzar who used the science of geometry to construct canals throughout Egypt, turning the river Nile into tributaries flowing throughout the land. Finally, 1,806 years after the Flood, Bayzar and his father-in-law, the diviner Qalimun, died and were buried in the westernmost of the Pyramids. They were [the first to be] buried in Egypt after the Flood. Bayzar’s son Misrayim became ruler after him. It was Misrayim who built the city of Fustat, which is Eski Mısır (Old Cairo), named after him. He also built up the city of Minuf, which was his father’s capital, to legendary proportions, but after him it again fell to ruin. When Daluka daughter of Zibaka was queen of Egypt she once again built up Minuf to an extraordinary extent. The walled city had 70 gates Y282b and the buildings were all constructed of iron and copper and lead. Twenty years after Queen Daluka the Pharaoh emerged and made Minuf her capital, adorning it to such a degree that its walls and roofs were covered with pure silver and its windows were crystal and glass. Then, after the martyrdom of the Prophet John (Hazret-i Yahya – i.e., John the Baptist) and 120 years before the birth of Alexander, Nebuchadnezzar emerged from Mosul and destroyed Damascus and Jerusalem and Cairo and also Minuf, pulverising their houses and skewering the Israelites to avenge the blood of the Prophet John. […] Minuf is adorned with fertile villages. The kashiflik of Minuf is an independent governorate in the territory of the Island of Gharbiya. The tax farm earns 170 purses. The governor was Mirza Kashif, renowned for benevolence and bravery; he was originally the Mamluk of Mukırkaoğlu and then became his son-in-law. It is a lucrative governorate, since the governor, with a retinue of 500 men and an additional 1,000 troops from the Seven Regiments of Cairo, exacts sultanic taxes and makes an annual profit of 100 Egyptian purses. The daily registers (ruznamçeler) record that the total income of the multazims in this clime of Minuf amounts to 100 yük of akçe per annum. And it is a noble kadi district at the level of 150 akçes and has 300 flourishing villages providing the kadi with 10 Egyptian purses per annum. That leaves the multazim Tarakcızade with 7 purses as profit. But because it is a Pharaonic capital, there are no people in Egypt more rebellious and cursed and boisterous and shameless than the fellahin of Minuf. They are always trooping together, pillaging the villages and towns and doing battle with the kashif, who routs them or kills them or imprisons them. […] [Description of an execution meted out to rebels and bandits, including those of Beni Haram and Beni Juzam: they are skinned alive, while smoking and singing songs and chatting with their relatives to demonstrate their courage; then the

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skin is stuffed with straw, mounted on a horse, dressed with the accoutrements of battle, and paraded before the governor. The relatives take great pride in this ritualised execution, boasting that ‘Our kinsman went before the sultan in the Cairo divan with spear in hand and mounted on a caparisoned horse, while your son died in his bed!’ Whenever one of their heroes falls in the hands of the authorities and is going to be executed, they insist that it be carried out in this manner in order to maintain the reputation of their clan.] Y283a […] Such are the silly customs of this Pharaonic and accursed people. What is more, the Beni Haram and Beni Juzam are always battling each other. That is the way it is, by God’s command. If they banded together and were of one mind, a Turk would stand no chance against a thousand fellahin − they would wipe out the Turks and take over Egypt and Mecca Y283b and Medina as well. They are a most bloodthirsty and tyrannical people, the real Pharaonic tribe. But, as they say, God gives a Pharaoh to every Moses and a Moses to every Pharaoh, and over these cruel tyrants God has empowered a band of His servants who know no Turkish and who wear red trousers, and who are without compassion or pity and strike the fellahin with their maces and give no quarter, and if the fellah dodges the blow he takes the mace in his hand, kisses it, places it over his head, and gives it back to the jundi. They too (i.e., the jundis) are a tyrannical folk, with names contrary to Turkish names − such names as Amir Özbek, Amir Timur, Temirtash, Temris, Qansu, Ghawri, Lachin, Qarchigay, Pulad, Kertbay, Shahin, Senyal, Janbezdi, Janaldi, Janverdi, Janqiydi, Asad, Sayfi, Qayit and Janbulad. In the hands of warriors with names like these − Abkhazians and Circassians and Georgians, Zangis and Habeshis − the Egyptian fellahin are helpless. And at present the city of Minuf is full of troops with such names who go about with guns ever ready in their belts. Minuf has some finely built houses. But very little remains of its ancient buildings. At present there are 17 town quarters and 40 prayer-niches. [Description of the Great Mosque and the Mosques of al-Suwwin and Shaikh Musa] The rest are neighbourhood mosques. And there are 40 primary schools, 3 madrasas, 7 wakalas, and 400 shops. While there is no covered market, each of the wakalas is as finely constructed and as beautiful as a covered market and has all its valuable merchandise at a cheap price. There are two ancient hammams − one that reportedly remains from Pharaonic times must indeed be very old, although judging from the construction it does not seem older than 500 years at most, and the atmosphere is delightful. The city also has 40 public fountains, the most elaborate of which is found in a corner of the marketplace opposite the Mosque of al-Suwwin. That is the extent of the flourishing buildings here as far as I have observed. But

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only God knows the extent of the ruined buildings and mounds of relics. Y284a One indication of its antiquity is the extent of these mounds, which surround the city on all sides and are rivalled only by those in Cairo. Pharaoh’s palace, in fact, is submerged in a sea of mounds − it is now a man-made mountain that has piled up from the continual disposal there of the city’s rubbish. When the blessed Nile is in flood, boats can go all the way to the city and get goods. It is for that reason [i.e., because of the annual flooding?] that the climate of Minuf is so delightful. Generally in Egypt, if you dig a well in the pure soil on the shore of the Nile the water that emerges is briny, but due to the excellent air in Minuf, the wells here have sweet water. And the far-flung fame of the city’s lovely boys and girls is owing to the same reason. Nevertheless, the people are riotous and tyrannical and there are few pious individuals, it being the City of the Pharaohs. That also accounts for the fact that no great saints (evliyaullah, ‘friends of God’) have settled here. Still − in accordance with the Qurʾanic passage, And who shall reign supreme on that day? God, the one, the Mighty (40:16) − it is God that reigns, and there are some saintly tombs here as well, including the following: the Shrine of the Forty [→ Kc2]; the Shaikh Sulayman al-Baghawi; and, in a small domed structure in the marketplace, the Shaikh Dhu’l-kawn. The latter was a great saint (ulu sultan). People say that once every year the spirits of the saints (evliya, ‘friends of God’) come to visit Shaikh Kawn, as hundreds of pious individuals have observed that on that night a green mist appears above the shaikh’s grave. The mist even fills up some of Minuf’s streets, and one can hear the sound of footsteps of crowds of men coming and going. A sweet smell also pervades the city at that time, as many have attested. They report that outwardly no one is visible: only the sound of footsteps in the mist is clearly audible. May God have mercy upon him. These are the saints’ tombs that I visited, although there are many others, and I recited a noble Yasin for their noble spirits collectively. I left Minuf on a thoroughbred horse that the kashif had kindly given me, along with an escort of 20 Arab horsemen, and riding north for five hours returned to the Stage of the Village of Shirsina, described above. One hour from there is the Town of Tuh Nasara, inhabited entirely by Copts. It was a great city in olden days and traces of its buildings are still visible. About 800 infidel houses are left, as is their church. […] Y284b […] Since there are many noteworthy sights in this village it is much visited by Coptic pilgrims. The multazim is ʿAli Efendi, ruznameci from the Porte, who gets an annual income of 7 purses. After touring this town I set out in double time in order to arrive one day in advance at the Moulid of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi (in Tanta). We reached it in five hours, having passed several flourishing villages.



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[Tanta (Y284b–295a);56 Mahallat Marhum (Y295b-296b; Abyar (Y296b– 297b); Nahariya (Y297b–300b)57] Y299a (Nahariya) A noteworthy sight: As a general rule, the Nile by nature58 always flows from south to north until it empties into the Mediterranean at Rosetta. But this Nile tributary that flows before Nahariya was diverted from the Nile in front of Farasdaq, the town that particularly pertains to the naqib al-ashraf, by Queen Daluka and forced to flow upside down, as it were, from north to south. It goes to Nahariya, then to Abyar, and then to the vicinity of Mahallat Marhum, where it comes to a halt, or sometimes it ends at the town of Shabin(?). If the Nile floods more than usual, it flows higher and empties into the Damietta branch. At other times it is a remarkable canal that undergoes the ebb and flow of the tide as far as Mahallat Marhum. But it is constant, unlike other canals that dry up for six months. They say that Queen Daluka buried a talisman before Nahariya and that it is due to the talisman’s influence that the Nile here flows upside down. This is how it will be, as long as God wishes. Y300b From there (Nahariya), on the tenth day, the kashif of Minuf and his soldiers beat the departure kettledrums and set off for Cairo. At the same time, the merchants and pilgrims boarded ship and headed for the Moulid of Ibrahim Dassuki. I too embarked on a skiff with my Mamluks and floated down this Nahariya Canal for 40 miles, viewing the flourishing villages on both sides with their palm groves and flower gardens. We entered the main channel of the Nile where Queen Daluka excavated the Nahariya Canal at the Town of Farasdaq [→ Kc9]. It is a flourishing town in Gharbiya territory, with 200 houses and one Friday mosque, and is the village of Burhaneddin Efendi, the naqib al-ashraf in Cairo. Passing by here, we went with the current another 30 miles to the Town (kasaba) of Mahallat Sa (see Y338b). In this region, mahalla means town (kasaba). It is a flourishing town on the bank of the Nile in Buhayra territory, with 200 houses, 1 56 For a translation of the Moulid of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi in Tanta, see TRAVELLER, 414–36. 57 Nahariya was located on an important canal, described in the passage below and also mentioned at Y298a (Ve şehri Nîl-i mübârekden ayrılmış bir turʿa kenârında bir düz sahrâlı yerde bir sevâd-ı muʿazzam şehir imiş). Nevertheless, Evliya several times asserts that it is situated on the Nile: Y298b (Ve bu şehr-i Zîbâk önüne Sûrîd Melik Nîl üzre bir cisr-i azîm binâ edüp …); Y299a (Ve Nîl kenârında nişâdır kârhâneleri var); Y300b (Ve bu mevlûd Nîl kenârında olmak ile cümle ehl-i züvvâr ve ehl-i tüccâr ve ehl-i bihâr bilâ-te’essüf gemilerle gelüp … ); etc. 58 The concept of nature is here conveyed by the expressions ʿadetullah (lit. ‘God’s custom’) and takdir (lit. ‘predestination’). Evliya considers the flow from north to south as contrary to nature, or contrary to God’s plan – ‘the world turned upside-down’ (baş yukaru).

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new Friday mosque with a minaret, 1 smaller mosque, 10 shops, a coffee-house and a guesthouse59 where the amin and the multazim reside. All the villagers give a portion of their produce to this guesthouse and wayfarers can stay there and take their meals there. It is a marvellous charitable institution. I too was a guest here for one night. Y301a In the morning we re-embarked and floated downstream another 20 miles to Mahallat Abu ʿAli [→ Kc10], a flourishing town (kasaba) on the bank of the Nile in Gharbiya territory, affording its multazim Ömer Çorbacı 7 Egyptian purses (per annum). It is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level with 45 flourishing sub-district villages, affording the kadi 3 purses a year. The settlement is situated lengthwise from south-east (? – kıble) to west along the Nile, a delightful and thriving town (kasaba). It has 800 earth-covered fellahin houses, all constructed with brick, and 9 prayer-niches, of which 2 are Friday mosques. These are the Old Mosque (Eski Câmiʿ), near the courthouse on the shore of the Nile, a plain building set above 40 marble columns with a very tall lote-tree (nabıka) in the courtyard whose branches provide shade all around; and the Small Mosque (Küçük Câmiʿ), in the marketplace, with a large congregation. The others are neighbourhood mosques. There are around 50 small shops, 2 wakalas, 3 public fountains and 2 primary schools, but no hammam. The multazim Ömer Çorbacı has a guesthouse, which is a lofty palace ornamented with a variety of rooms and hallways. In Mahallat Abu ʿAli we mounted horses and rode west 1 league to the Town of Majnun, a flourishing town on the Nile shore with 100 houses. The multazim Mustafa Agha, who is the agha of the Janissaries in Cairo, earns from it a profit of 5 purses (per annum). Passing it by, we continued westward in Gharbiya territory to the shrine of Ibrahim Dassuki. Description of the Town (kasaba) of the saintly Ibrahim Dassuki [→ Kc11]: Because Shaikh Ibrahim rests here, the place (Dassuk) is known as Ibrahim Dassuki. It is a flourishing town in Gharbiya territory, 500 paces distant from the Nile. The multazim is Cherkes Qaytas Agha. The town has a guesthouse and a spiritual guide60 and is governed by a Shaikh of the Arabs61 who commands 1,000 threadbare horsemen. But the venerable shaikhs of the Shrine of Dassuk have governance over the fakirs (‘the poor’ or dervishes). It is a nahiye of Mahallat Abu 59 At this point in the text Evliya specifies that the term dârışed in this region means the guesthouse (müsâfirhâne) where the amin and the multazim reside. See note 78 at Y338a. This term has not been traced elsewhere, nor has its putative Arabic original, dār al-shadd. 60 Mürşid – probably here only to provide a rhyme with dârışed. 61 Shaikh al-ʿArab, title for a provincial governor, virtually identical to kashif; see Winter 1992, 90–94.



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ʿAli. It is a flourishing town situated on a hillock 500 paces distant from the Nile. There are gardens here and there and one imperial Friday mosque, constructed by the Mamluk ruler Sultan Qaitbay. […] [Description of this mosque and the attached shrine of Ibrahim Dassuki] Y302b […] There are only two khans and ten shops in this town, and no madrasa or hammam. There is a large public fountain, however, in the courtyard of the Friday mosque that provides water of life to all the pilgrims. It is a sea-like basin that never runs short by a drop. The shops are endowments for this water dispensary. But during the time of the Moulid they set up innumerable shops outside the town, in reed huts and in tents, under the date palms Y303a in a plain that extends to the shore of the Nile. For ten days and nights there is a brisk trade in fine fabrics from India and Yemen, amounting to several hundred thousand gurush. The finest of these shops are the coffee-houses and cookshops and bakeries that line the main road and are proper and beautiful constructions. Each of the coffeehouses contains 1,000 customers and has singers and musicians and singing girls for entertainment. But trade in valuable items takes place in the courtyards of the Ibrahim Dassuki mosque, where there is security because it is the city centre. This Dassuki Moulid is even more elaborate than the Badawi Moulid, owing to the fact that it takes place on the shore of the Nile and it is easy for pilgrims and merchants to come here by boat from Alexandria, Abahur, Rosetta, Damietta, Burullus and other cities along the Nile all the way to Upper Egypt. So it is a great gathering, a sea of men from the sea-like river who arrive in their ʿaqabas, jarims, qayasas, frigates and rowing boats. Each of these crafts anchoring on the shore of the Nile is adorned with 40 or 50 or 100 or 200 flags and banners and pennants, and thousands of lamps. The jarims and ʿaqabas are also outfitted with a variety of guns. They have costly curtains, like mosquito netting, and on the mast ropes they hang five or ten flayed horned fatted sheep as an ornament. They lay down pillows and cushions of gold-threaded silks and brocades to entertain guests on board with feasts. Every night until dawn they light up their vessels with myriads of lamps and they fire cannons and muskets and rockets, illuminating the Nile with Nimrod’s fire, and they beat drums and kettledrums on all sides, making the nights into Nights of Power and the days into Days of Festival. For these are days in which thousands of guests are entertained. Because these festivities take place on the (sandy) shore of the Nile, everyone waters the front of his shop or his tent so that not a speck of dust remains and all the lovers (i.e., the pilgrims, the mystically inclined) breathe fresh air. The pure friends (i.e., the pilgrims) disembark, pitch their tents tent-rope to tent-rope in the shade of the date palms growing along the shore, prepare splendid dishes in their

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Kay Kaus kitchens, and have parties day and night. Musicians and singers perform sessions worthy of Husayn Bayqara.62 In every corner men have intimate discussions and murmur praises of God. To be sure, the tent city is not as large as that in Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi, for there are only 40,000 or 50,000 rough-and-ready sailors and fellahin who sleep on the boats. Still, it is a sea of men Y303b with hardly any space to move. And food and drink are very cheap, since supplies are brought by boat from all directions. […] Y304a I kissed the noble hands of Shaikh Sharaf al-Din and, receiving his benediction, boarded ship with my servants and went upstream for 3 miles to the Town of Marqas [Murqus → Kb17] in Buhayra territory. It is a flourishing village on the Nile shore with 100 houses and date groves. The fakirs of the shaikhs disembark here and spend one night performing Moulid, because Ibrahim Dassuki’s father, Shaikh Hazrat Abu’l-majd, is buried here in a lofty domed structure in the garden of date palms and roses near the Great Mosque. […] Bidding farewell to Shaikh Shinnawi Efendi and Shaikh Sharaf al-Din, Y304b I boarded a boat and floated downstream to the Town of Rahmaniya [→ Kc11], which is opposite Ibrahim Dassuki in Buhayra territory. The multazim is Cherkes Qaytas Agha. It has 500 houses; 6 [sic – altı; error for 50 – elli?] shops; 3 Friday mosques, only one of which has a minaret; a sugar factory; and 6 coffee-houses. The guesthouse is very well constructed, like a lofty palace. The orchards of this village are noted for their tall sugar cane. The multazim gets an annual income of 10 purses from sugar and other products. [The Shaikh Seyyid Nafis Mosque and the shrines of Seyyid Nafis and his three sons.] Having recited a noble Yasin for the noble spirits of these saintly individuals, I returned to the guesthouse. We mounted Qaytas Agha’s thoroughbred horses and proceeded to Damanhur along with Shaikh Shinnawi and several thousand fakirs, beating drums and tambourines and reciting dhikr.

Stages of our journey to the Moulid of Abu’l-rish in the city of Damanhur First, from Rahmaniya, we proceded 1 league west over the plain to the Town of Dawudiya, a flourishing village with 100 houses and one Friday mosque. 62 This refers to Sultan Husayn Bayqara, the Timurid ruler of Herat (r. 1469–1506) under whose rule Chagatai culture flourished. His parties featuring poetry and music were especially renowned, and in the Ottoman Empire came to be used as tropes for cultured, sophisticated gatherings.



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Shaikh ʿAtaʾullah Sanhuri is buried here in a domed structure in the shadow of tamarisk trees on the highway. I gladdened his spirit with a Fatiha and continued 1 long league further west to the Town of Sanhur. It is a flourishing village in the middle of a plain, again in Buhayra territory, with 310 houses and one Friday mosque located on raised ground. Going 1 league further west along the Malik Ashraf (Canal) we arrived at the Ancient City and Mighty Capital of Damanhur [→ Kb5]. [Description of Damanhur and Buhayra province [→ Kb22]. Discussion of the Bedouin tribes of the region and the attempts to control them by the kashif of Buhayra.] Y305b Damanhur is a ‘Second Six’ (sitte-i sânî) kadi district at the level of 300 (akçe per diem), yielding an annual income of 3,000 gurush. The kadi controls 360 villages in six nahiyes: Tarrana, Rahmaniya, [Nasiriya?], Hush Nabi ʿIsa, Saff Daraj and the city of (—). But most of the people in these sub-districts do not submit to the noble Sharia. Damanhur is situated on the Malik Ashraf Canal [→ Kb5]. Four hours east is the town of Rahmaniya, on the Nile. One half-hour north is the Nasiriya Canal [→ Kb20] that runs alongside a brackish lake. Ten hours to the north, with flourishing villages in between, is the great city of Alexandria. […] [Mosques, etc. Arrival at the Moulid of Abu’l-rish on the 6th of Jumadi alAkhir in the year 1083 (29 September 1672). Saintly deeds of Shaikh Seyyid Shams al-Din Damanhuri, descendant of Abu’l-rish.] Y309b I would need an entire volume to describe the noble Moulid of Abu’lrish as I witnessed it. At the first rank of Moulids are those of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi, Ibrahim Dassuki and Shaikh Muhammad b. Zayn in Nahariya. This one in Damanhur is below them in size, since it is in a more remote area abutting the desert. Thus, it does not have the same level of festivities as those other Moulids. It is second to none, however, in the variety of human types that gather here, including countless men of various tongues from as far away as Fez and Marrakesh, Algiers and Tunus and Trablus, Mai Bornu and Afnu and Sudan, Esna and Aswan. And hundreds of Bedouin tribes from the desert − Bahija, Sulaymani, Hinadi and so on − bring their wares to this lofty Moulid and pitch their tents in the Damanhur Plain. It is a sea of men, selling myriads of camel loads of butter, sheep and cattle, carpets and flatweaves, and black slaveboys (?).63 You have seen nothing in the world unless you have seen the complexions of these creatures. The men of Mai Bornu Y310a have bright red eyes, while those of Afnu are yellow, 63 The text here is in a bit of confusion.

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as though they were afflicted with jaundice, although their skin is ruddy. These people bring mainly gold dust and take away cloth for shirts. As for the men of Baghanisqa, many have white eyes and their skin is pitch black. But they are all skin and bones, like Ahlat mummies, and they leap as nimbly as gazelles. There was one man in their tents covered with yellow hair − everyone, including me, went to see this freak of nature. A marvel: As I approached I saw that a man covered with hair was in attendance. He had teeth like a dog’s and his chin and nose were long. He looked like a yellow dog. He always smiled when he spoke. I mentioned that I had never seen a human being like him, and enquired as to his origin. There were men there from Al-Wahat (The Oases) who knew these people’s language, and when they relayed my query they received this reply: ‘By God, this man is the son of a monkey. His mother was raped by a monkey when she was cutting evergreen oak in the mountains. A year later this man was born.’ When I expressed my amazement […] that a monkey could be that strong and overpowering, they said: ‘They have monkeys the size of donkeys that sometimes come down from the trees and do battle with us on the road.’ […] These people, men and women, go around naked with only a clout of leather covering their pudenda, so when they move all their limbs are visible. They are a band of God’s creatures more like animals than human beings. Some of their men never drink water their entire lives; they all drink camel’s milk and eat millet bread. In contrast, the Bahija and Hinadi and Duʿafa tribes have lovely boys and girls, with wheat-coloured complexions and doe-like eyes as though daubed with collyrium by the Hand of Power (i.e., by nature), sweet-spoken and bright-faced men and women who drive one to distraction, God forgive us. They too brought out their wares in the bazaar of love and there was a brisk trade for ten days and ten nights. Then the kashif and his soldiers sounded the imperial kettledrums and started off. The merchants and pilgrims broke down their tents, made a farewell visit to the shrine of Abu’l-rish, and went to their respective villages and towns. I, too, having performed the farewell visit, received an escort from the kashif of ten doughty musketeers and headed west from Damanhur through the desert. In five hours we came to the Ancient City of Hush ʿIsa [→ Kb6]. In Arabic hush means (—). It was a great urban conglomeration in ancient times, like the Garden of Iram, but the surrounding countryside was submerged by the Lake of Alexandria and the villages and the city were ruined. Even now it is not very built up. It is a kashiflik in Buhayra territory known as Rumbiya. Y310b The kashif is subordinate to (lit. ‘dons a robe of honour from’) the kashif of Buhayra. He has 500 horsemen and a kettledrum. His sway extends 70 stages as far as Awjila and



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the Gulf of Kibrit. He earns 18 Egyptian purses (per annum). It is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level and with an annual income of 1,000 gurush, but since it is unproductive, it is now a nahiye attached to the kadi of Buhayra. The settlement is situated on a flat plain in the middle of the desert. In the year 751 (1350/51) a Bedouin amir named Ibn ʿIsa liked the climate here and founded the city. He had 10,000 mules and camels and hundreds of thousands of sheep and water buffalo and cattle and goats that he sold for Awjila gold dust. He was so wealthy that he used to make the Haj pilgrimage every year with 1,000 camels and would provide for the needs of all the pilgrims both going and returning. Due to the largesse of this Amir ʿIsa, the city of Hush was so built up that not a single ruined house or empty lot remained, and the populace had the wealth of Korah, since it is a place where sheep and camels flourish. It once happened that the Spanish infidels laid siege to Alexandria and cut off the canal that brought Nile water to that city, so the people began to perish of thirst. Ibn ʿIsa came to their aid with a myriad of Bedouin troops and routed the infidels from their siege, hurling them into the sea or sending them scurrying away in their ships. Until the canal was repaired, he supplied the Alexandrians with 3,000 camel loads of Nile water daily so they did not die of thirst. That is how powerful Amir ʿIsa was and how flourishing he made the city of Hush. But as the years went by, it gradually fell to ruin due to the oppression of the kashifs and the depredations of Bedouin bandits. At present it has 2,000 well-built houses, covered with earth and lime, surrounded by a date grove, and also the houses of fellahin. The inhabitants are from the Maghreb. There are also Bahija and Hinadi and Hadari tribesmen living there. In olden days there were 1,500 prayer-niches, but only 11 remain today. In the middle of the city, however, is the Friday mosque of Ibn ʿIsa, which has no match in Egypt, even in Cairo. It is a light-filled and heart-expanding mosque of very fine construction. The walls inside and out are covered with polished stones of patterned design, as though they had newly emerged from the master carver’s hand. There is no other Friday mosque. It has a single sky-scraping minaret with three balconies. The hammam, which also belongs to Amir ʿIsa, is again without peer, except perhaps for the Osman Bey hammam in Manfalut (see Y367a). And there are some 50 Y311a shops, though this number can be raised to 360 if you consider that ihrams64 are woven in practically every house. In short, all the buildings are 64 Iḥrām refers to the seamless garment worn by Haj pilgrims. In Egypt it is a general term for a sheet, woven of cotton (or linen? or wool?). By Lane’s time (the 1830s; see Lane 1908, 319) ihrams were ‘white woollen sheets, used for night-coverings and for dress’, imported from the Maghreb.

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Ibn ʿIsa’s endowments. Except for the date grove, there are no other orchards or gardens. The source of water is sweet water from wells. The people make a living by weaving ihram and flatweaves (cecim kilim), since their sheep are all white sheep. In the date groves to the south and east of the city are 3,000 houses of tenting and flatweave or of earth and reeds. Their inhabitants are all musketbearing braves whom the Bahija and Hinadi Bedouin bandits never defeat. They too have countless camels and sheep and make white flatweaves and ihrams of great delicacy and refinement. Since there is no agriculture around the city, the fields having been submerged by the Lake of Alexandria, grain is supplied from villages elsewhere and the people here are all merchants dealing in ihrams. There is no civilisation on the western and southern sides of the city, but only desert as far as Fez and Marrakesh and Trablus of the Maghreb. In the Green Mountain (? – Jabal Akhdar), however, there are wooded areas with a delightful climate where Bedouin tribes go on their annual migration. […] After touring Hush ʿIsa, Y311b I returned in four hours to Damanhur with 70 or 80 companions and again took up residency in the guesthouse. The next day, as the Nasiriya Canal that flows to Alexandria was in disrepair, the kashif of Buhayra, Celeb Mehemmed Agha, went off to fix it with his soldiers and all the town notables, and I went with them. We first went 1 league north to the Town of Jabal Qasim Bey; then the Town of Bastıra, which belongs to Deli Mustafa Agha of Damanhur; then the Town of Zarkun; then the Town of Zawiyat alGhazal. Then, in two hours, passing by the aforementioned villages, we arrived at the Town of Nasiriya. It is a flourishing village with 150 houses and one Friday mosque, the endowment of Sultan Nasir. The soldiers all settled in here, pitching their tents, and began work repairing the canal. Thousands of men made balls of mud and straw, the size of a man’s head, which they loaded onto 40 or 50 sledges, called shuha, made from date palm branches. Each of these sledges was a huge thing, the size of a ship. It took thousands of men to toss one of them into the Nile current to block it so that the Nile once again began to flow to Alexandria. The kashif sacrificed 40 sheep and 5 camels and there was great rejoicing, because if the Nile failed to reach Alexandria, its harbour would be ruined, the customs duties of 300 Egyptian purses would be lost, and the kashif of Buhayra would be put to death. He is charged with keeping this canal in good repair, and he keeps careful account of the expenses required, amounting to 40 purses per annum. All the kashifs and multazims as far as Girga come here every year with their towels (used to carry the mud?) and their dredging oxen and dredging boys in order to dredge this canal, as recorded in the Fuwwa court registers. The Nasiriya Canal [→ Kb20] was first built at the time of Abraham by the

Translation of Evliya Çelebi’s accounts

Figures 2.4 & 2.5: The Tur’at Nasiri Canal (Kb20; Source: Vat. Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana) which Evliya shows beginning at Surumbay (Kb19) (Source: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818))

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Coptic king named Filbatır. He is the king who twice started to molest Sarah and his hands withered up, so he begged God to forgive him and declared his belief in the prophet Abraham. This canal is his construction. He started it from the Nile at the village of Darut [→ Hc10] near the town of Fuwwa, again in Buhayra territory, and brought it a distance of 2 stages to Alexandria.65 It is a lofty enterprise, beyond human capacity. At present it is navigable for six months of the year. During the reign of Sultan Nasir66 it had fallen into disuse and he dredged it and made it flow again. That is why it is known as the Nasiriya Canal. On both sides is Lake Buhayra (i.e., Lake Mariout and Lake Edku / Maʿdiya; see below at Y332a), which is very brackish, but water of the blessed Nile flows sweetly in between − a marvellous human enterprise! At certain times the lake is in such commotion that it breaks the levees, and when that happens it needs to be repaired by such a crowd of people. Y312a When King Filbatır originally constructed this canal he paved it with raw marble for its entire length of 2 stages. Traces of this paving are sometimes visible even now. It is a great public work, proving the adage: The ambition of men can uproot mountains. It is now known far and wide as the Alexandria Canal (Khalij Iskandariyya).67 If this canal were not dredged every year, the bitter lakes on both sides would overwhelm the levees and hundreds of villages in Buhayra province would be submerged. Its cleaning out is a task belonging to the kashif, who has no trouble keeping account of his expenses. I will discuss below, God willing, how Alexandria gets its water by this canal. When the repair work of this canal was completed, I received from the kashif Mehemmed Agha 10,000 para and a horse for my services. He also got a ship ready and gave me an escort of ten musketeers. Entrusting the horse to a certain man, I boarded the ship with my entourage and the kashif sent us off on the canal, floating downstream.

Account of the stages and villages as we travelled towards Alexandria First we came to the Town of Sintaw, a flourishing village on the aforementioned canal with 200 houses and one Friday mosque. It is in Buhayra territory and has a multazim. Shaikh Abu Bakr al-Sintawi, known far and wide as one of 65 Evliya is apparently confusing this canal with Bahr Yussef, which begins at Darut near Girga (see Y366a). Khalij Iskandariyya begins at Mahallat Dawud near Rahmaniya. On the map, Evliya shows Turʿat Nasiri (Kb20) beginning at Surumbay (Kb19). 66 The Mamluk sultan al-Nasir Muhammad b. Qalawun (r. 1310–41). 67 In the 1818 Carte Topographique de l’Égypte, it is called the ‘Canal of Alexandria’ (Khalīg Iskandariyya).



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the great saints, is buried in a small domed structure on the shore of the canal in the compound of the mosque. Continuing downstream we came to the Town of Barsik, a flourishing village with 100 houses, one Friday mosque, and some date groves. Then the Town of Nahl: a village with 200 houses and a thriving Friday mosque. Then the Town of Abu Khidr: a prosperous village with 1 Friday mosque, 3 neighbourhood mosques, and 600 houses. The Ashrafiya Canal, a large tributary that starts from the Nile at the village of Rahmaniya and waters several hundred villages in Buhayra territory, after passing the city of Damanhur joins the Nasiriya Canal near this town of Abu Khidr and continues to Alexandria. It is another great public work. Near this town is the Town of al-Qurawi: very prosperous, with one Friday mosque. Then the Town of Qafila: a thriving village with 500 houses and one Friday mosque. Then the Town of Dasush: a prosperous village with one Friday mosque and 300 houses. Then the Town of Birka: a prosperous village with 500 houses and one Friday mosque. It also has a domed shrine, but not knowing who is buried there I recited a Fatiha for his spirit and passed by. Continuing downstream, we came to the large Town of Ruwayhib. It is a flourishing and beautiful village, still in Buhayra territory, with 1,700 houses, one imperial Friday mosque and some smaller mosques, a khan and some small shops and a coffee-house. This being a landing on the Nasiriya Canal, a hurde emini,68 appointed by the customs agent, sits here for six months of the year. Y312b Then the canal dries up and for six months the customs revenue also dries up. Every year 1,000 ships come here to get merchandise. [Production of soapwort (gasul).] In sum, this soapwort is a tremendous source of customs revenue. It is found nowhere else on earth, only in Buhayra. After touring Ruwayhib and taking account of this noteworthy item, I continued downstream on the canal to the Town of Lukun; then the Town of Birka, a thriving village with 100 houses and a Friday mosque; then the Town of Karyun; then the Town of Muʿallafi; then the Town of Akarish al-Bastalkun al-Bayza [→ Kb31, Kb33]. This was a large city in Coptic times and now has remarkable ruins. Passing it by, we again went with the current along the canal to the Town of al-Jinan [→ Kb35]. It is called this (‘Town of Gardens’) because it had many gardens in ancient times. At present it is a fine village with 300 houses and date 68 According to Shaw (1966, 137), who also cites Evliya: ‘this position also included the right to regulate and tax most of the non-comestible markets in Egypt’; cf. Winter 1992, 249–50: ‘The amin al-khurda, who was in charge of the entertainers’ guilds, controlled and taxed all public spectacles.’

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groves. All these villages are in Buhayra territory. We viewed the flourishing villages on both banks of this Nasiriya Canal for ten hours (from Nasiriya [or from Ruwayhib?] to Alexandria).

Y313b–329a Alexandria [→ Kb36–43] 69 [History; Administration] Y319b Description of the Fortress of Alexander the Great [→Kb38]: […] It is on a promontory like a peninsula on the Mediterranean at the northernmost point of the African continent. There are great harbours on both sides, each of which holds 1,000 bargias and galleons. The mighty and lofty fortress − as though it were a construction of Shaddad and a rampart of Alexander − is situated in a corner in the midst of the harbours like a jewel in its setting. The sea lies to the north-west and the south-west, while the south-east and south-west sides are landward. The banks of the Nasiriya Canal are lined with flower gardens and vegetable gardens and date groves, like the gardens of paradise. […] Y320b Beneath the city of Alexandria is a network of water channels, divided in chessboard fashion. In ancient times these channels issued in 7,000 wells in the city. Of these, 3,000 are still visible. Every year the kashif of Buhayra comes with 300 oxen to turn the waterwheels of these wells and fill up the 150 cisterns of the city with water from the Nile. At that time he hands over his revenues (ʿavayid) to the kadi, the agha of the Pasha, the deputy of the bey, and the aghas of the Seven Regiments. Then he goes to the Cairo divan and presents the bill for 40 purses from state moneys in exchange for his having brought water to Alexandria. The water of the blessed Nile comes to Alexandria from Nasiriya, next to the village of Rahmaniya, a distance of 2 stages. Boats also come and go between the two cities on this canal (turʿa). There is a pavilion on the shore of the canal (khalij) where the Alexandrians pitch their tents every year and hold celebrations for the Cutting of the Nile, when water from the river is made to flow into the city at three places. It is a great spectacle and a great public work that no ruler living today would be capable of performing. […] [The ʿAmud Sari (Column of the Mast) [→ Kb36] is not mentioned in the book, which does, however, describe an obelisk − one of ‘Cleopatra’s needles’ − in a ruined area near Galleon Harbour (kalyon limanı) with many fallen columns.] Y321a Here we hitched up our robes and waded in the sea through an area of the fortress that has collapsed from the striking of the waves. Clambering over 69 See Bacqué-Grammont and Tuchscherer, 2013.



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some of the walls and towers, we went 500 paces east to where there is a foursided obelisk like the one in the hippodrome in Istanbul. And there are several lofty columns lying pell-mell on the sand. These columns are called Jarud al-Muʾtafiki. They are noteworthy monuments, constructed to serve as talismans during the period of the Prophet Solomon. Some were built by Yaʿmar b. Shaddad. […] After passing by these obelisks and going 400 paces further south-east, we again climbed onto the fortress wall and continued in the same direction for another 1,000 paces. The area below the battlements is a height of one minaret, half sea and half land. In this fashion, returning to the Rosetta Gate, we had paced out the circumference of Alexandria fortress at a total of 11,700 paces − but these were long strides made at a rapid pace in (—) hours. The outer wall has a total of 175 towers, large and small, of which 70 are great towers like so many fortresses. In ancient times 70,000 sentries guarded these towers, beating their drums and kettledrums. Today, on these 70 towers there are lofty palaces and council halls. There are an additional ten huge towers at the ten corners of the fortress, like so many ramparts of Alexander, where people now have their residences. The inner wall also has all sorts of round and lofty towers, well-built and well-proportioned with intricate architectural decoration, 170 in number, whose master builders vied to outdo each other in their artistry. The sum total of towers, on both the twolayered land walls and the single-layered sea wall, Y321b is 366, one for each day of the year. They are renowned the world over among travellers and historians and described by me here based on eyewitness. Since there are 25 battlements between any two of the towers, the total number of battlements amounts to (—). One sentry is posted at each battlement every night. Because the walls are pearly white and sparkle in the sunlight, they are visible by land and sea from a distance of 100 miles or a two-stage journey. Even now their countenance is unblackened by dust and unmarred by the ravages of time. Only the foundation wall on the seaward side has been breached and lies in ruins, but that is only a length of 50 Meccan cubits [→ Ka25?]. The houses in the interior of the castle, however, have become a heap of ruins over the past 80 years, while a new and fine city has been developing north of the castle, between the two harbours (the exurban settlement described below at 324a–b). [Mosques, etc.] [Y323b Kalʿe-i Rükn (Qalʿat al-rukn; Fortress of the Column) [→ Kb37] is mentioned as near the Western Mosque (Jamiʿ al-Gharb) on the main road coming from the Mosque of the Perfumers (Jamiʿ al-ʿAttarin); it is mentioned again at Y445a, ‘Town of Ziqat’.] Y324a This exurban settlement (varoş), situated on a promontory between the

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two harbours, is a thriving new city [→ Kb41]. They say that it was begun 80 years ago. Lofty palaces and khans and Friday mosques are still being constructed. There are now 3,025 houses, small and large, but most are single-storey houses. […] [Khans and dervish lodges, including that of Shaikh Ibrahim Gulshani.] Y324b […] There are 700 shops and 300 storehouses. This being an entrepot and a port for ships of all lands, the merchants put their goods into storehouses, which is why there are so many. And there are 12 elaborate coffee-houses, each with a capacity of 500 customers, with singers and musicians performing day and night. The imperial market has a stone pavement, but otherwise the main roads are unpaved sand and brackish soil. It is an exurban settlement that is becoming built up, but as yet there are no orchards or gardens and no hammams. Indeed, there is no fresh water at all − water has to be brought by camels and mules from the cisterns in the castle. And because it is on a low causeway in the sea between the two harbours, the soil is brackish and there is no vegetation. Sometimes the ground gets swamped with rainwater or high waves, but it dries quickly because of the brackish soil. There is an area along the shore west of the town, however, known as Fig Harbour Point, on high ground and with yellow soil, that is covered with fig trees giving excellent fruit. The town itself is unwalled. People have just put up houses wherever they like. This is not a very good idea, since the infidels might make a night raid in their boats and take the entire populace captive. But that will not happen. God has granted this city the boon that the sea on all sides has reefs of small rocks, so it is impossible for an enemy to approach and gain a victory. […] Y325a Kalʿe-i Garbi [Qalʿat Mısr Gharbi] (Western Fortress) [→ Kb40]: At the time of the infidels the fortresses at the mouth of this harbour (Galleon Harbour) were small towers, since in those days Alexander’s Mirror70 burned up any enemy ship that attacked, and so there was no need for a mighty fortress. The present construction dates to the renovation of Sultan Qaitbay in the year 877 (1472/73). He also built the citadel tower. Each of these fortresses has a Friday mosque, water cisterns, 40 or 50 houses for garrison troops, an excellent armoury, and 40 or 50 balla ramada guns. At the very summit of the citadel is a lofty pavilion of Sultan Qaitbay, like the pavilion of Khawarnaq, a sight to see. On one side 70 After Alexander the Great established Alexandria, legend has it that he had an immense mirror installed that could not only observe approaching ships that were still one month away, but could also focus the sun’s rays in the manner of a burning glass so as to ignite any enemy ships.



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there is a lantern like a small tower enclosed in glass. Every night sentries sit here burning fish oil, since boats returning at night use the flare of this lantern to guide themselves back to Alexandria. This lighthouse is visible at night from a distance of 100 miles. When Sultan Selim conquered Alexandria, he constructed another rampart wall on the outside of this fortress, which now stands braving the sea and is 850 paces in circumference. The tall guns, numbering 100 small and large cannon, are all in this annex. They guard the harbour in all directions. […] So the present fortress has three layers of walls Y325b and three layers of gates. The outer gate faces south-west (lodos). And this fortress is located on a promontory, with the sea on both sides, the road to it being 500 paces long. […] [Y325b–326a Kalʿe-i Şarki (Qalʿat Mısr Sharqi?; Eastern Fortress); Kalʿe-i Kadırga Limanı (Fortress of Galley Harbour) − perhaps one of these is the ‘Small Fortress’ on the map [→ Kb39]] [Products; saints’ tombs]

Abu Qir, Edku Y329a I stayed in Alexandria an entire month, partying with friends and exploring the city. When it came time to leave, I said goodbye to Ibrahim Agha, the castle warden of Western Fortress, and his son, and also to his brother Ahmed Çorbacı, Maghribi (or, the Moroccan?) ʿUmar Agha, Haji Jarbuʿ, Haji Shaytanji and other friends. Having received 1 purse of gurush from the Pasha’s agha for my services and an escort of ten musketeers from the castle warden, we set out on horseback along the seashore, heading east from Alexandria, viewing the Ramla orchards and sampling the delicious figs Y329b as we proceeded from orchard to orchard. In five hours we crossed the sandy plains and arrived at the Fortress of Abu Qir [→ Kb44]… . It is a small round castle, 600 paces in circumference, on a rocky pointed promontory 30 miles from Alexandria. […] Perched on a low bare cliff and buffetted on all sides by the Mediterranean, it has a single-layered iron gate opening to the south-west with a drawbridge over a moat of bare rock. They raise the bridge every night to block the gate. […] Within the fortress is the Sultan Süleyman Friday mosque, a small stone-built mosque on eight pillars with a squat minaret. There are 70 houses without courtyards, wheat bins, water cisterns, a fine armoury in the citadel tower, and a castle warden’s residence in the inner tower. The castle warden has complete authority; no one else can interfere. There are 300 garrison troops who receive their salaries from the Alexandria customs duties, along with the Alexandria garrison troops. There are five shops inside the fortress but no khan or hammam or other public

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building. Abu Qir Hamd Allah, one of Shaikh ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Jilani’s successors, is buried inside the fortress, which is why it is known as the Fortress of Abu Qir. This fortress has a total of 70 magnificent cannons. Twenty of these are balla ramada guns of Sultan Süleyman, each one with a caliber of 20 spans. Thus, no infidel galleon is able to enter the harbour. But other ships can approach the harbour even at night, because a large lantern is lit every night at the summit of the citadel tower that is visible from a distance of 100 miles. It is a marvellous public work. The castle walls rise 50 cubits above the sea. Outside the walls, on the south-west side, is a settlement of 200 houses, 2 coffee-houses, 3 horse-driven mills, 1 khan and a number of bachelor quarters, but no hammam. It is a flourishing settlement, unwalled but built on the bare rock. Water is provided by wells. There is a great harbour lying to the south and south-east of the castle where up to 1,000 ships can anchor. It provides shelter from winds from the west, southwest, south-east and east, but not from winds from the north-east, north and north-west. But there is some shelter from the north wind 1 mile north of the harbour, where there are pebbles (on the shore) and reefs (off the shore). It is a great harbour, providing shelter from the eight winds.71 […] Y331b With an escort of ten musketeers provided by the castle warden of Abu Qir, I set off to the south-east along the seashore, viewing the fishermen on the way. Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha erected a sea wall here to keep Buhayra province from being submerged by waves during stormy weather. It runs for 2,000 paces along the shore. As we viewed this wall, we guardedly passed by the place where the Tayna Arabs lie in ambush (on the road) between Alexandria and Rosetta. But eight Arab horsemen, who had taken notice of us, galloped off. Wondering why they ran away, we continued forward and saw a man rising from the ground and falling back down. Next to him were eight other men who had just been killed, their blood flowing on the ground. However, he had not been thoroughly killed by his spear wound and lay there half alive, while the naked bodies and severed heads of the rest were lying in the dust. I dispatched a man to Abu Qir fortress. The deputy kadi and a delegation of citizens came to investigate. They buried the dead on the highway and took the two men who had survived their spear wounds back to Abu Qir. In three hours we came to the place known as the Khan of the Ford (Maʿdiya) of Lastun [→ Kb48]. Here we boarded ship, crossed to the other side (of the 71 ‘Shelter from the eight winds’ is a stock phrase. Evliya is clearly not bothered by the fact that its literal meaning contradicts what he has just said. In this passage Evliya mentions seven winds, leaving out only keşişleme (south-east).

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Figure 2.6: The route from the fortress of Abu Qir to the town of Edku, from the Carte Topographique de l’Égypte (1818) (Source: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818))

ford), and took up residence in the great khan. An officer appointed by the governor of Buhayra sits at this ford and inspects the merchants and other wayfarers. Anyone caught smuggling goods without paying customs duties, as well as fugitive slaves and bandits and anyone of that type, he claps in chains. He carries out this task day and night along with 50 or 60 garrison troops. I reported the incident of the eight dead men whom we had encountered at Tayna. The officer of the ford set off right away with 40 or 50 horsemen, crossed Maʿdiya, and went in pursuit of the Arab bandits. We stayed at the khan that night. This great khan with 70 hearths, situated like a castle at the ford, is the endowment of Mehemmed Pasha in Rosetta. Y332a All around it there is no other sign of civilisation, but inside there is a water-of-life cistern. The officer of the ford dwells on one side with his garrison; the wayfarers’ quarters are on another side. He exacts 1 para for every camel, horse, mule and donkey belonging to the travellers who are ferried across, and gives 3 purses annually to the governor of Buhayra. There is no other road between Alexandria and Rosetta, unless one makes the difficult three-day trek around Buhayra province. The ship that ferries people across the strait belongs to the kashif of Buhayra, who keeps it in good repair. The strait carries a stream of brackish water from the sea all the way to the middle of Buhayra province, ending in a very brackish lake that has a circumference of 4 stages. This is why the province has the name Buhayra (‘Lake’). Over the last 80 years the lake has submerged 170 villages. At present there are 1,000 fishing boats in the lake that catch a bountiful harvest and pay a duty to the kashif of Buhayra of 10 Egyptian purses (per annum). The canal bringing Nile water to Alexandria passes through the middle of this brackish lake (i.e., between Lake

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Mariout and Lake Edku/Maʿdiya; see above at Y311b), lined on both sides with a rampart like a mountain. I mean the Nasiriya Canal, which is 2 stages in length and via which thousands of boats go from Alexandria to the Nile, issuing at the town of Fuwwa. By God’s wisdom, the officer of the ford who had set out in pursuit of the aforementioned Arab bandits conducted a midnight raid against them in one of the villages on the shore of the lake as they were dividing up the spoils of the men they had killed. They brought all eight of them to the khan where we were staying. In the morning, they put one of them to the stake in front of the khan’s gate and sent the other seven in chains to the governor of Buhayra, Celeb Mehemmed Agha. With an escort from the officer of the ford we set out once again, heading east for four hours along the sandy seashore and another hour inland a bit on the right-hand side, amidst date groves but again on sandy ground, until we arrived at the Town (kasaba) of Edku. It means (—) in Arabic. It is a nahiye in the territory of the emporium of Rosetta, administered by an amin, and an independent kadi district at the level of 150 akçes. The annual income accruing to him is 3 purses. Situated on elevated ground along the shore of Lake Buhayra [Lake Edku/Maʿdiya] [→ Kb30], it has 4,000 finely constructed stone houses, airy and multi-layered, roofed with lime. The multazim is an independent owner of a village. There are 17 town quarters and 20 prayer-niches, six of which are Friday mosques, the remainder being neighbourhood mosques. There are three wakalas and 300 shops, but no covered market or hammam. The streets are very narrow, hardly wide enough for two men to pass. It is a compact and beautiful town, with all the houses facing south-east towards the Buhayra Strait. Y332b The water is obtained from wells but is slightly brackish. The populace are all fishermen. The climate is oppressive. The people have yellowish complexions. There are no lovely boys and girls. There are many poor people. The houses on the southwest side of the city have been submerged by sand. Some people have abandoned their houses and gone away, saying that the city would eventually be completely engulfed by sand. Indeed, the sand dunes are growing by the day. The date groves that stretch along the Rosetta road for a distance of two hours in length and one hour in breadth stand amidst a sea of sand. The date palms are only a man’s height, but each one bears 100 okkas of dates. The people are hospitable to strangers. The best constructed mosque and the one with the largest congregation is Ak Câmiʿ (‘White Friday Mosque’). In this city seven minarets can be observed. [Saints’ tombs]



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Rosetta Continuing east from this city amidst date groves [→ Kb46] and over sandy ground, we came to the Mediterranean shore where there are 12 brick structures, each the height of a man, set in a sand dune and pointing the way. Following the direction of these milestones, we arrived in Rosetta four hours after leaving Edku. Description of the fine city, the Entrepot of Rosetta [→ Kb46]: […] Y333a It is the bride of Egypt in the land of the Arabs, a great and beautiful city and entrepot in the territory of the Alexandria side of the blessed Nile, one hour before it flows into the Mediterranean. It is a sanjak under the government of the Amirs of the Sea (derya beğleri) in the Province of Egypt. The bey, appointed by the sultan, gets an annual salary of 12 Egyptian purses from the Cairo divan. […] It is a compact city, layer on layer, on the shore of the Nile, 3,000 paces lengthwise south to north and 1,000 paces or in some places 2,000 paces wide east to west. And it is completely built up, with hardly a house in ruins. The houses are all four- or five- or six-storey structures of patterned brickwork, with lime-covered walls and roofs giving onto one another.72 The first storey of a typical house consists of storerooms. A stairway leads to the house entrance at the second storey level, where the guest rooms are. The upper storeys are layer on layer of women’s quarters (haremler). All the houses are constructed in this manner. There are 40 Muslim town quarters, containing a total of 9,900 houses and 200 prayer-niches, as well as seven Christian and three Jewish quarters, with a total of Y333b 1,060 houses. There are no Armenian, Frankish or Gypsy quarters, though such people do come and go to conduct trade. One quarter consists of Beni Israili Copts who make up the trusted clerks of the Egyptian notables. The sum total of houses, large and small, in Rosetta is recorded as 12,000, because it is very compact. […] [Description of nine Friday mosques] Y334a […] The rest are neighbourhood mosques. Twenty-five minarets can be observed. There are 70 great khans […] each with 100 or 150 hearths and an iron gate and drum-beating every night; 7 madrasas; 70 primary schools; and 6 public water dispensaries. There are 3,040 shops and 2 covered markets, masonry buildings with iron gates and 100 shops each: one is for fine fabrics, sold by wealthy merchants, and the other is for jewellery. And there are 70 coffee-houses; 200 horse-driven mills; 40 state-owned dyeworks; 40 oil presses; 30 rice mills; 6,060 storehouses; 70 wine taverns full of intoxicated souls; and 10 boza shops. There are also 5 hammams. […] Y334b […] 72 In Evliya’s usage, kat-ender-kat (usually translated ‘layer on layer’) implies tight-knit construction, without gaps or open spaces.

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The climate here resembles that in Turkey. There is a lot of rain, and also snow, which, however, quickly melts. Sometimes there is frost and there are hailstorms. The reason for this is that Rosetta is the beginning of the third clime, located at (—) longitude and (—) latitude. Here and there one finds lovely Arab boys and girls. Everyone makes a living through trade. Half the tradesmen are craftsmen. There are thousands of great Turkish merchants who spread their wealth generously. Because foodstuffs are cheap and plentiful, the people feast each other every night. There are also Mevlud recitals73 every night in five or ten places and four or five wedding parties every week. Twelve loaves of fine white bread weighing 50 drams each cost 1 para; 1 Alexandrian batman of fatty meat costs 1 para; barley to feed one horse costs 4 mankır; 1 ardab of rice costs 200 para; and 1 quintal of sugar sells for 10 gurush. The cost of other grains is in accordance with this scale. Every year 1,000 ships come here to buy and sell goods, then go off to whatever land they wish. The highly praised food items of this city include sugar, various fruits − sycamore figs, figs, peaches, lemons and bitter oranges − and lemon syrup. The orchards along the Nile all have bowers laid out in rows. In sum, whatever God has created can be found in this city. As to clothing, the notables strut in their sable furs and Prankona broadcloth and fine fabrics; the middle classes and craftsmen wear broadcloth and Damietta silks, or else striped garments from Cairo or Faraskur; and the poor wrap themselves in a single ihram. The people are industrious, concerned with making a living, and devoted to their prayers. However, the houses on the western side of this city are being engulfed by sand and people are building hovels on the dunes. The houses on this side are airy and free of mosquitoes, since they are built on high ground, but from the middle of the city to the Nile shore the houses are plagued by mosquitoes that keep people awake at night. Everyone, however, has a mosquito net, Y335a like a tent, that even a flea cannot penetrate, so the Rosettans are safe from mosquitoes. Pacing off the length of this city, from the foot of the baillos’ palace on the western side towards the south-east (kıble), past the rice mills and brick kilns as far as the Qadiri dervish lodge adjacent to the cemetery, it comes to 1,500 long strides. The area along the Nile has layer upon layer of well-built lofty palaces and landing places from end to end. The wide docks are piled high with goods brought by the merchant ships. The windows and balconies of the houses all look onto the Nile. The city has 610 streets, all of them immaculate thoroughfares. The people 73 The same word that is elsewhere rendered ‘Moulid’ (for the birthday festival of saints); here it must refer to the recital of the Mevlud or poem about the birth of the Prophet by the Turkish poet Süleyman Çelebi (circa 1350–1422?).



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are kind to strangers. The women never go outside their houses during the day unless there is some very urgent business, in which case they use side streets and hidden passageways. But at night they light torches and go to visit their relatives attended by servants. Otherwise it is shameful for a woman to go about in the marketplace.74 I would need an entire volume to relate everything I know about this city, so let this much suffice. [Saints’ tombs] And the tomb of Shaikh Sultan Kom Afrah [→Kb45], amid the sand dunes along the Nile in Old Rosetta. His name was (—). He is buried in a light-filled domed structure near his mosque on a promontory at the foot of Kom Farah, at the end of the orchards, one half-hour’s distance from the city to the south-east. Wayfarers who pass by in grain-bearing ships make sure to pay him tribute by reciting a noble Fatiha, for he is a great saint, buried at the corner of a perilous whirlpool of the Nile. The stories about him are without limit. His dervish lodge is also there, and there are several picnic pavilions where pilgrims come to pray and to entertain themselves. […] Y335b One area west of the city, stretching for one hour’s distance, is covered with orchards and gardens and date groves. We mounted our horses and took a pleasure ride here, touring the gardens and sampling the various and delicious fruits. Here, on the Nile shore, is the Fortress of Rosetta [→ Kb47]. It was built in the year (—) by King Tahir Baybars,75 from fear of the Frankish infidels, and expanded in the year (—) by Sultan Qaitbay. […] In the citadel is the castle warden’s house, a wheat bin, a cistern for water brought from the Nile, a Qaitbay Friday mosque, and 40 garrison houses. It is 200 paces in circumference. This is the dimension of the present citadel, the construction of Qaitbay. Then, in the year (—), during the reign of Sultan (—), ʿAli Pasha added a layer of walls on the outside, square in shape and very solidly built, with a castle-like tower at each corner. So the circumference of the present fortress is 400 paces. Being situated on swampy ground, there is no moat. The single iron gate, like the Gate of Khaybar, faces to the south-east (kıble). […] Inside this castle are 70 small garrison houses and, in a corner, the grave of Husayn Kurdi. The fortress is outfitted with 70 cannons and an excellent armoury. There is a castle warden and 150 garrison troops who get their salaries from customs duties. 74 Note similar language about Damietta (347b). Also note that the reference to ‘Cairo’ in Dankoff 2008a, n. 3, is wrong; it should be Rosetta. 75 Melik Tahir Baybars − i.e., the Mamluk sultan al-Zahir Baybars (r. 1260−77). Evliya always cites the name as Tahir rather than Zahir; for discussion, see Dankoff 2010, 100–101.

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Across the Nile from here is the Ruined Fortress of Sarı Ahmed Pasha [→ Kc25]. Being situated on sandy ground, it has gone to ruin with the passage of time. Some remnants of the building remain standing. There is a castle warden and some garrison troops whose houses are in the date grove. It has 20 imperial cannons that now lie toppled over in the dust, but another ten cannons stand ready on caissons at the shore of the Nile. In the date grove are a Friday mosque, the castle warden’s house, and 20 or so hovels; there is no other building. In olden days it was a flourishing castle, situated at the mouth of the strait and the Rosetta Fortress. Sarıca Ahmed Dede Y336a is buried there in a white domed structure. After touring this place we boarded ship and continued downstream 1 mile to the Strait of Rosetta, i.e., the Rampart of the Whirlpool of Maraj al-Bahrayn (‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’) [→ Kb49, Kb50, Kb52]. Maraj al-Bahrayn is the name given to the place where the blessed Nile flows into the Mediterranean. It is a great whirlpool and a permanent natural rampart (kalʿe). When the prevailing wind is from the south-west it opens out to 20 spans deep, forming a strait that all ships fearlessly enter and exit and go where they will. But if the wind is from the north or north-east (poyraz ve yıldız), the water stays at 5 spans deep and ships cannot go in and out. Some ships wait at the mouth of the strait for a month or two or three [for a favourable wind]. This being so, the strait is a rampart against the infidels and no enemy can attack Rosetta. At some points in the strait the water is only 7 or 8 spans deep and the ships must offload half their cargo to boats called jarim. Once their load is lightened in this fashion they proceed out to the strait, reload their goods from the jarims, pay them their fee, and then spread their sails and head for the deep in whatever direction they wish, putting their trust in God. If this were not so, the infidels might have destroyed Rosetta at any time. As it is, if a frigate or galleon or shayka wants to go in or out of Rosetta it must first get permission from the harbourmaster. It is a very difficult strait − every year several ships founder in it. But the harbourmaster is always at the mouth of the strait with small caiques plumbing the sea’s depth with poles. In some places he throws down ropes with gourds attached as buoys in order to guide ships through. If a ship founders that has taken on a pilot and is being shepherded through the strait, the harbourmaster is liable and must pay an indemnity. So he charges 40 or 50 gurush for every ship that comes through. He also pays the Ottoman governor of Egypt a kashif fee (küşufiyye) of 1,000 gurush every year to have his licence renewed. Piloting the ships is a skill passed down from father to son; no one else knows how to do it. There are actually six passages through this strait and they alter from hour to hour, now shallow, now deep. But the central passage is the main highway, marked by the largest buoys. When the blessed Nile is in flood it enters



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the Mediterranean to a distance of 100 miles, colouring the water red, so when ships that far away see the sweet red water of the Nile in the sea, they know that they are approaching Rosetta. The tricky Franks have been known to approach as close as 40 or 50 miles away, get fresh Nile water from the sea, and depart. This strait is a place where prayers are answered. Some mystically inclined individuals come here in caiques in order to worship, because according to the Qurʾan commentators, the verses He has let loose the two oceans: they meet one another (55:19) and The land where the two seas meet, though I may march for ages (18:60) refer to this place. It is where Moses and Khidr Y336b travelled and where they had their falling out, according to the verse, I will explain to you those acts of mine which you could not bear to watch with patience (18:78). Indeed, there is a Shrine of Khidr and a Shrine of Moses on an island in this strait [→ Kb51], and thousands of shaikhs make pilgrimage to it on the grounds that it is the Maraj al-Bahrayn (‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’) referred to in the Qurʾan. When the prevailing wind is from the north-east, north or north-west, the Nile and the Mediterranean buffet each other with loud cries and groans that can be heard by a ship 50 miles away. If it is nighttime, the ship takes on water to determine from its sweetness how close it is to the Nile strait. Then it halts its approach, changing course or plying back and forth, since it cannot enter the strait at night if the winds are contrary. Or else it drops anchor at the mouth of the strait and in the morning the harbourmaster comes and plumbs the passages of the straits, then guides it through a passage that has not filled up with sand. If all the passages are blocked, jarims are dispatched from Rosetta to relieve the ship of half its cargo so it is light enough to enter the strait. Such is the natural whirlpool of this strait. All the Egyptian ships’ captains suffer a good deal in order to enter and exit these straits and give alms (seeking divine assistance). It happened to me once that I was blocked by winds for 15 days from getting through; finally I returned to Rosetta, got some horses from the town notables, and proceeded to Alexandria by horseback, a 12-hour ride. Praise be to God, I arrived at the pilgrimage site of the great saints, Maraj albahrayn, where the blessed Nile flows into the Mediterranean. In my caique upon the sea, I performed two prostrations of ‘need worship’ (hacet namazı) and with perfect faith I implored God to vouchsafe my journey to the countries at the source of the blessed Nile. For they say that the ultimate source of the Nile is Paradise − there is even a sound Hadith to that effect − and for that reason I requested that I might go to the source of the Nile. May God vouchsafe it, Amen O Helper, with reverence for the Chief of the Apostles. Returning to Rosetta, I took leave of all my friends [six individuals named

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here] and the Sufi shaikhs and boarded a grain ship, which we also filled up with the fine food items that we had discovered. The term ‘grain ship’ (maʿaş gemisi) designates one that all the merchants load up with their goods and that sets out either on a Friday or a Sunday in a public procession, whether from Bulaq of Cairo or from Damietta or Rosetta. Y337a These ships are armed to the teeth with cannons and muskets − even the passengers have firearms. The reason is that there are mansar pirates76 who lurk in the channels amidst the sandbanks of the Nile and conduct raids on passing ships, killing everyone aboard so that no one is left to tell the tale, and plundering their goods. One cannot be too careful. So I boarded such an armed ship and, putting my trust in God, headed towards Cairo.

Chapter 66: Account of the villages and towns and flourishing cities that we observed on both banks of the blessed Nile going from the city of Rosetta to Cairo, Mother of the World First, having got some distance from the entrepot of Rosetta and the winds being favourable, we headed south-east. I recited a Fatiha as we passed in front of the Shrine of Kom Afrah, a half-hour’s distance from Rosetta. Sailing with a northerly breeze we came to the Village of Izbat al-Maʿdi [→ Kc24], a rice-cultivating village with 100 houses, one Friday mosque and the shrine of Shaikh ʿUthman al-Tashtushi. Thence to the Town of al-Haddiya [=al-Jiddiya, → Kb29]. It has two Friday mosques and several shops, but no khan or hammam. Across the Nile from here, in a grassy date grove, is the Shrine of Shaikh Jabir [→ Kc23], a small domed structure. Nearby is a large canal [→ Kc22], on the side of the Nile across from Rosetta. Ships enter it here and sail east to Lake Burullus and then on to Burullus Castle. God willing, I will describe it in due course (see Y341b). Thence to the Town (kasaba) of Mahallat al-Amir [→ Kb27], in the territory of Rosetta, under the authority of the kashif of Buhayra. It has two Friday mosques whose minarets both stand out, several shops and three Arab coffeehouses. Passing this by, we crossed to the other side and came to the lovely Town (kasaba) of Birimbal [→ Kc20] in the territory of Gharbiya. It is a mahalla governed by a multazim and has 1,000 houses, 4 Friday mosques, 20 neighbourhood mosques, a coffee-house, 50 shops, 2 khans and a hammam. In this region mahalla means ‘town’ (kasaba). Birimbal is known for its linen cloth, used for shirts. It is very fine cloth, reflecting the fine climate of the city. Across the river from here 76 Manṣar is Egyptian Arabic for ‘band of robbers’ (Wehr 1966, 970). See EÇSOS s.v. manṣar; KAIRO, 46n.



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and 1 mile upstream is the Town (kasaba) of Mahallat Diyay [→ Kb26], in the territory of Buhayra. It is a flourishing town, governed by a multazim, with 360 houses, 2 Friday mosques both with minarets, 20 shops, 1 khan and 2 very oppressive fellahin coffee-houses. There is no hammam. One mile further upstream is the Town (kasaba) of Idfina [→ Kb25], also in the territory of Buhayra and governed by a multazim. It is a flourishing city with 1,000 well-wrought two-storey houses, 2 Friday mosques with well-proportioned minarets, 50 shops, 2 khans and 3 coffee-houses, but no hammam. It produces excellent rice. Across the Nile from Idfina, in the territory of Gharbiya, is the Town (kasaba) of Mahallat Mutubis [→ Kc18]. It is a noble kadi district at the level of 150 akçe, Y337b earning 6 purses per annum, and a nahiye of 70 villages. It is governed by a multazim and is an endowment of the Holy Cities, with revenues going there rather than to a kashif (küşûfiyye). The multazim is under the authority of Shaikh Bakri in Cairo. Mutubis has five Friday mosques, including the Great Mosque in the marketplace, 200 feet long and 50 feet wide with a painted ceiling resting on 52 marble pillars, and the Mosque of Shaikh (—); and there are 70 neighbourhood mosques. Five minarets can be observed in the city. There is 1 hammam, 7 wakalas, a number of water dispensaries and coffee-houses, 200 shops, 40 oil presses and 20 horse-driven mills, but no covered market. There is one guesthouse, a lofty palace where the governor resides. In front of it, on the shore of the Nile, is a delightful pavilion where travellers and neighbours sit and refresh themselves. It is a charming place. There is also a paradisiacal small mosque on the Nile shore. The famous products here are rice and sugar. As the eastern side of this city is situated on raised airy ground, the houses all face towards the Nile. One mile upstream from Mutubis is Mahallat Jamshira [→ Kc19], a multazim district in the territory of Gharbiya. It has 200 houses, one Friday mosque and several shops, but no hammam. Opposite it, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Fazara [→ Kc17], which is subordinate to Dayrut. It has 200 houses, one Friday mosque, several shops and a coffee-house, but no hammam. The Nile at this point curves sharply to the east. Two miles upstream, again on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Dayrut [→ Kb24], named after a large church (dayr) here that belonged to the Pharaoh. It is a multazim district in the kadi district of Sindiyun, with 200 flourishing houses, 4 Friday mosques and 4 minarets, 40 neighbourhood mosques, 1 hammam, 1 wakala, 4 splendid coffee-houses with choice singing girls, 50 shops and many productive gardens. Opposite Dayrut on the Gharbiya side is Mahallat Sindiyun [→ Kc16], a noble kadi district at the 150-akçe level, providing an annual income of 8 Egyptian purses, whose nahiye controls 80 thriving villages. Its subjects include tribesmen of the Beni Haram and the Beni Juzam

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who are always fighting and killing each other. It is a town of 3,000 houses. Its kashif is subordinate to (lit. ‘dons a robe of honour from’) the kashif of Buhayra. There is one Friday mosque with a beautiful minaret whose summit ends in four forks, a masterpiece of the mason’s craft. And there are 200 shops and one khan, but no hammam. One mile further upstream on the Buhayra side is the flourishing Mahallat ʿAtıf [→ Kb23], a multazim district with 1,000 houses, 1 Friday mosque, 20 neighbourhood mosques, and several small shops, but no hammam. Nearby is the town of Darut [→ Hc10], at the foot of which was started the Nasiriya Canal that flows to Alexandria.77 Y338a One mile further upstream on the Gharbiya side is the Town (kasaba) of Fuwwa [→ Kc15], a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, whose nahiye controls 105 thriving villages, and a kashif district whose kashif is subordinate to (lit. ‘dons a robe of honour from’) the kashif of Gharbiya. It is a very flourishing city with 4,000 houses, 12 Friday mosques, 40 neighbourhood mosques, 11 minarets, 2 hammams, 5 wakalas, 8 primary schools with public water dispensaries, 60 shops and 4 coffee-houses. Opposite Fuwwa is a small island known as Jazirat al-Dhahab (‘Isle of Gold’); it is called that because of its extreme fertility. One of its products is fine white honey. It is a paradisiacal island covered with date groves. There is one beautiful Friday mosque with a minaret, adjacent to a village with 40 houses. One mile upstream from this island on the Gharbiya side is Mahallat Shurafa [→ Kc14], with 1,000 houses, a Friday mosque and a coffee-house. Opposite that, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Shurum Bey [Surumbay → Kb19], a productive town (kasaba) with 1,000 houses, 2 Friday mosques and 2 coffee-houses. Opposite that, on the Gharbiya side, is Mahallat Salimiya [→ Kc13], a multazim district with 1,000 houses and a Friday mosque with a minaret. One mile further upstream, still on the Gharbiya side, is Mahallat Malik [→ Kc12], a flourishing multazim district with 500 houses. There is one guesthouse,78 a lofty palace where the village chief resides. He entertains 40 or 50 guests every night and provides fodder for their horses, because this town (mahalla) is a crossroads for travellers. It has two Friday mosques and some small shops, but no hammam. Shaikh Muharram, Shaikh Kanʿan and Shaikh Ramadan are buried here in white domed structures. Twenty grain ships, including ours, anchored here and we were guests for one night, continuing our journey the following morning. Opposite this city, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Shumuhzat [Sumukhrat 77 See note 65 at Y311b. 78 At this point in the text, Evliya specifies that the term dârışed means the guesthouse (müsâfirhâne) where the village chief (köy sâhibi) resides. See note 59 at Y300b.



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→ Kb18], a small town (kasaba) whose multazim is Mendilzâde of Rosetta. It has 300 houses, a Friday mosque and a coffee-house, but no hammam or any shops. Three miles upstream, still on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Rahmaniya [→ Kc11] whose multazim is Qaytas Agha. It was described in detail above (Y304b) on our way to Buhayra. Opposite it, on the Gharbiya side, is Mahallat Ibrahim Dassuki [→ Kc11], also described in detail above (Y301b–303a). Nine miles further upstream, still on the Gharbiya side, is Mahallat Abu ʿAli [→ Kc10], also described above (Y301a). Opposite it, on the Buhayra side, is the Town of Marqas [Murqus → Kb17], which, as described above (Y304a–b), has the tomb of Ibrahim Dassuki’s father. Two miles further up, on the Gharbiya side, is Mahallat Diyay al-Kabir [→ Kb26], a multazim district with 3,000 flourishing houses, 2 Friday mosques with two minarets, 20 neighbourhood mosques, 1 khan, 20 shops, and 2 Y338b coffee-houses. It produces excellent sugar. The Nile at this point curves to the west. As the prevailing north wind is now in the wrong direction, the ships must hug the shore and the crews drag them along with a liban, meaning a rope. It is very hard work and the crew are a bunch of illmannered and bare-bottomed Arab sailors. Opposite Mahallat Diyay, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Shibir Khith [Shubra Khit → Kb16], a multazim district with 2,000 houses, 2 Friday mosques, 10 neighbourhood mosques, 1 wakala, 10 shops and 3 coffee-houses. Above that, still on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Shibir Rish [Shubra Ris → Kb15], a multazim district with 1,500 well-built houses, 2 Friday mosques, 10 neighbourhood mosques, 1 wakala and several shops, but no hammam. Opposite it, on the Gharbiya side, is Mahallat Mit Janah, a multazim district with 2,000 houses, 2 Friday mosques and 20 neighbourhood mosques, but no shops and no hammam. Opposite it, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Mihaliçse [→ Kb14], a multazim district with 1 Friday mosque, 12 neighbourhood mosques, 1 wakala, 1 coffeehouse and 1,200 houses, but no hammam or shops. Opposite it, on the Gharbiya side, is Mahallat Sah (see Y300b), a multazim district. It has a well of fresh water known as the Well of ʿAli. In ancient times this was a walled city. The vilayet of Sah is mentioned in the chronicles and recorded in the court registers, and traces of its ancient buildings are still visible. (At present) it has 2,000 flourishing houses, 2 Friday mosques and 20 neighbourhood mosques, 2 coffee-houses and 1 wakala. There are no other public buildings. As we proceeded 1 mile further up along the Nile shore, on the Buhayra side we came to Mahallat Kafr Jadid [→ Kb13], a multazim district with 200 houses, 1 Friday mosque and 1 coffee-house. Two miles further on, still on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Nakla [Nikla al-ʿInab → Kb12], a multazim district with

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2,000 flourishing and beautiful houses, 3 well-constructed and beautiful Friday mosques, 20 neighbourhood mosques, 2 wakalas, a guesthouse like a lofty palace that houses no less than 100 or 150 guests every night, 40 small shops and 1 coffee-house, but no hammam. Opposite here, in the territory of the kashif of Minufiya, is Mahallat al-Farasdaq [→ Kc9], a multazim district under the authority of the naqib al-ashraf, as described above (Y300b). One mile up from there is (the start of) the Nahariya Canal, in Minufiya territory, as described above (Y299a). This is where Gharbiya comes to an end and Minufiya begins [→ Kc1]. Across from al-Farasdaq and 1 mile further up on the Buhayra side is Mahallat Ishlimiya [→ Kb11], a town whose multazim is Sefer Agha. It has 500 houses, 1 Friday mosque, 6 neighbourhood mosques, 1 coffee-house and several shops, but no hammam or wakala. Two miles upstream, still on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Tahriya [al-Dahriya → Kb10], which is not a very built-up place, with one Friday mosque and 700 houses. Y339a Opposite Tahriya and 3 miles upstream, on the Minufiya side, is Mahallat Kafr Ziyad [Kafr al-Zayyat → Kc8], a multazim district with 500 beautiful houses, 1 Friday mosque, 2 khans and several shops, but no hammam. It is the port of Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi. Opposite that and 2 miles upstream, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Shabur [→ Kb9], a flourishing multazim district with 1,000 houses. It has a Friday mosque but no other public building. Two miles further up, still on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Salimun [→ Kb8], whose multazim is Sefer Agha. It has 1,500 houses, 1 Friday mosque, 30 neighbourhood mosques, 2 khans and 1 coffee-house, as well as a weekly market. Two miles up from that, on the Minufiya side, is Mahallat Kafr Naha [→ Kc7] whose multazim is Siyavush Agha. It has 1,000 houses and one Friday mosque, and there is also a coffee-house, but no hammam or wakala and no shops. Two miles further up, still on the Minufiya side, is Mahallat Kafr Jadid [→ Kc6], a multazim district with 500 houses and one Friday mosque. Opposite it, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Abu Ahmad [→ Kb7], a multazim district with 550 houses, 1 Friday mosque and 1 coffee-house, but no shops and no hammam or wakala. Five degrees (of latitude) further up, still on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Buhayra, whose multazim is Zülfikar Agha. It has 1 Friday mosque, 1 coffeehouse and 4 shops. Opposite it, on the Minufiya side, on the Nile shore near the Shrine of the Forty [→ Kc2], is Mahallat Zaghira [al-Zaʿira → Kc5], with 1 Friday mosque, 1 coffee-house and 700 shops, but nothing else. One mile upstream, still on the Minufiya side, is Mahallat Tunub [→ Ka32], whose multazim is Rıdvan Agha. It has 300 houses, 1 Friday mosque without a minaret, 1 wakala and 1 coffee-house. Two miles further up, on the Minufiya side, is



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Mahallat Amruz [Amrus → Ka30], whose multazim is Mustafa Efendi. It has 500 houses, 1Friday mosque and 1 coffee-house. Two miles up from there, on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Tayarna [→ Ka31], a multazim district. It is at the mouth of the Abu Jamus and Sultan Sharaf Canal [→ Ka26, Kb4].79 It has 500 flourishing houses and one Friday mosque but no other public building. Proceeding upstream for 2 more miles we came to Mahallat ʿAlqama Abu al-Jawi [ʿAlqam / Abu al-Khawi → Ka29], still on the Buhayra side and on the shore of the Nile. Here, too, there is nothing but a Friday mosque and 2,000 wretched houses. Opposite here, on the Minufiya side, is Mahallat Tamaliya [Tamalay → Ka28] with 800 fine houses, 1 Friday mosque and 1 coffee-house. Three miles further up, still on the Minufiya side, is Mahallat Jizi [Jizay → Ka22], whose multazim is Mehemmed Agha. It has a marvellous guesthouse palace with cannons mounted over the gate. It has 1,000 houses, a Friday mosque and a coffee-house, but nothing else. The blessed Nile here curves to the east. This city is the port of the city of Minuf [→ Ka18], which is one stage distant from here. Opposite here, on the Buhayra side and also on the shore of the Nile, is Mahallat Tarrana [→ Ka27], administered by an independent kashif who has a kettledrum and soldiers but is subordinate to (lit. ‘dons a robe of honour from’) the kashif of Buhayra. Y339b It has around 200 multi-domed brick houses with no orchards or gardens, a Friday mosque with no minaret, and a coffee-house. It is a nahiye of the kadi of Buhayra, with 60 villages.

Account of the natron mines (cf. Y239b–240a) The substance known as natron emerges from the ground in this region, in the desert. They dig wells 1 or 2 fathoms deep and the natron seeps out of the ground, by God’s command. The peasants of Tarrana are charged with this task. They extract thousands of quintals of natron and pile it up like mountains of salt in front of the natron agent’s hut. Merchants come to buy it from all over the world, especially from Europe (Frengistan). The multazim gets 70 purses a year from this business. It is a cash cow that supplies the bulk of the salaries of the ulema of Cairo. Natron is used everywhere in the world for melting glass. It has the 79 This statement is apparently based on a confusion between Tayarna (Ka31) and Tarrana (Ka27). On the map, the Greater Abu Jamus Canal (Ka26) is located next to Tarrana and there is no mention of the Sultan Sharaf Canal − could this be an alternate name of the Lesser Abu Jamus (Kb4)? However, the 1818 Carte Topographique de l’Égypte shows this (?) place as Tayriya, at the mouth of the ‘Canal de Baheireh’.

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property that, if it is placed on very hard rock, it immediately causes the rock to dissolve. In Egyptian cooking they usually add some natron to the salt, since it tenderises the meat and other foods. But it has ill affects on those who eat food cooked in this fashion: their eyes become bleary, their voices croak, their faces turn leprous, their groins develop hernia and their bellies swell as though they were pregnant. It is a very harmful mineral, but nevertheless it is widely used in Egyptian cooking, even if only a single dash. Since firewood here is as rare as aloe wood, they use cow dung as fuel, which is not very good for cooking, so they add natron, which tenderises even raw meat and makes it like harissa (cooked wheat and meat pounded together). That is why Egyptian food cooks so fast. But the more sophisticated and aristocratic types use firewood, producing a much finer cuisine. Near this town of Mahallat Tarrana, in a village on the Nile shore, in the year (—) when Kara Mustafa Pasha was governor, the Egyptian beys rebelled and were killed in battle with thousands of troops sent against them. Mehmed Bey and ʿAli Bey and Hasan Bey are buried there in the desert, in three domed structures, along with 70 or 80 of their retainers; may God have mercy upon them. Across from Tarrana, on the Minufiya side and 2 miles upstream, is Mahallat al-Zawiya [→ Ka21], with 700 houses, 1 Friday mosque and 2 coffee-houses. Up from that and back across on the Buhayra side is Mahallat Abu Nishana [Abu Nushaba → Ka23], which has one Friday mosque with a minaret and 1,000 fine houses. Up from that, still on the Buhayra side, in the sandy plains at the foot of the mountains, dwell the tribes of Beni Salama and Beni Rujban [→ Ka12]. The night before we arrived there they had conducted a raid on one of the grain ships docked on the shore. But the passengers turned out to be stalwart men, armed and ready, who killed 17 of those Bedouin tribesmen. Y340a When we arrived, the Bedouin womenfolk had gathered over the dead bodies, with drums and tambourines and banners, and there was dancing and playing of the rabab and the lute to accompany their keening, while the children did their bobbing dance (? – lakka oynarlardı). The bank of the river here on the Buhayra side is nothing but desert and dunes, without a trace of civilisation; it is a very unsafe place, where the naked and faithless Bedouins halt on their migrations and plunder the grain ships that pass to and fro. Bandits even come here from the surrounding villages and towns, ranging in fishing boats and attacking the ships, which have to use extreme caution. God be praised, I got past safe and sound. Two miles further upstream, still in that desert on the Buhayra side, dwell the Beni ʿIsa and Beni Musa [→ Ka3], each with 3,000 tribesmen. They halt here on their migrations, with their shaikhs in charge, obedient and submissive. Opposite



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the desert shore where they dwell, on the Minuf side, is Mahallat Ishmun Jurays [Ashmun / Jirays → Ka16], a large multazim district. It has 2 Friday mosques, 20 neighbourhood mosques, 2 wakalas, 2 coffee-houses and 20 shops, but no hammam. I neglected to ask the multazim how many houses there are. Two miles further up, still in that desert on the Minufiya side, is Kafr Jarkas [→ Ka16] − which is not a mahalla − with 300 houses and a Friday mosque but no other building. The Nile at this point curves to the south-west for 40 miles. Opposite here, on the Nile shore on the Buhayra side, is Mahallat Quta [al-Qatah → Ka13], meaning ‘Town of the Cat’ in Arabic.80 Indeed, there are more cats here than in Divriği81 and they breed kittens four times a year. It is a multazim district. This is the end of the villages and towns in Buhayra province. One mile upstream is a levee and ditch known as Jisr Asʿad, which, while still on the Buhayra side, is the border of the kashiflik of Giza. Four miles up from there, in the territory of Giza, is Mahallat Umm Dinar [→ Ka5]. Sultan Yusuf Salah al-Din (Saladin) found a huge hidden treasure in this city. It took a month to carry it away and was nearly inexhaustible. That is why this place was named Umm Dinar, which means ‘Mother of Gold Pieces’. Using this treasure Saladin built up Egypt in every direction, turning citadels into fortresses and endowing thousands of public works. As for Mahallat Umm Dinar, it has one Friday mosque and one coffee-house. It also has a large canal that irrigates the province when the Nile is in flood and that is plied by grain-bearing ships. And there is a ferryboat belonging to the state that transports passengers from the Giza side to the Minuf side and collects a toll from them. The towns opposite, in Minuf territory, are Mahallat Sharawi [Sarawa → Ka14] and Mahallat Darawi, two adjacent mahallas. Their multazim is Burhaneddin Efendi, the naqib al-ashraf in Cairo. Y340b Being near Cairo, they are flourishing and secure, and because their produce commands a good price, their peasants are rich. Two Friday mosques are visible, but I have no knowledge of their other public buildings. This place is the border where the villages and towns of Minuf along the Nile come to an end. One mile further up, on a promontory known as Batn alBaqar (‘Cow’s Belly’; see Y279b) [→ Ka6], is the place where the blessed Nile branches [→ Ka8]. It is at the end of a large island in the middle of the Nile, containing 1,060 villages and towns and cities, under the joint authority of the kashifs of Minuf and Gharbiya provinces [→ Ka17]. The right branch flows to Damietta; 80 Properly al-Qaṭāh, meaning ‘sand grouse.’ Evliya gives a whimsical folk etymology; see EÇSOS s.v. ḳuṭa, ḳuṭṭa. 81 See Bacqué-Grammont 2001; translated in TRAVELLER, 100–101.

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the left branch flows in the direction we came from, to Rosetta. Our route to this point had covered 640 flourishing mahallas and villages and towns (kasabatlar) on both sides of the Nile, but I only described the most prominent of them, the productive ones with orchards and gardens and date groves. The distance from Rosetta to Batn al-Baqar is 500 miles. There are no villages at Batn al-Baqar, only brackish soil and empty ground. But there is a type of acacia (? – mugaylan) bush growing here. Once a year, at the proper season, the artillery master (of Cairo) burns these bushes for charcoal, which is added to the black gunpowder. That is why Cairo gunpowder is sharper than that of Baghdad or of England and makes cannons boom twice when they are fired. At the tip of the Batn al-Baqar promontory is a Shrine of the Forty, where prayers are answered. East of Batn al-Baqar, across the Nile on the Cairo side, where the border of the kashiflik of Qalyub lies, is Beled-i Barud-khana (‘Town of the Gunpowder Magazine’) [→ La5], under the authority of the artillery master. The charcoal made from acacia is stored here. Four miles upstream, on the Qalyub side, is the delightful Mahallat Shubra [→ La4], which was described in detail above.82 Opposite, on the Giza side, is Mahallat Warraq [→ Ja13, Ka4, La3] with one Friday mosque and I don’t know how many houses. Three miles further up, also in the territory of Giza, is the beautiful city of Imbaba [→ Ja12], residence of the kashif of Giza, who governs it with 300 soldiers and a contingent of Cairo troops from the Seven Regiments, earning 110 purses (per annum). It is also a nahiye of the kadi of Giza, under the authority of his representative (naʾib). This city has 5,000 flourishing houses, built layer on layer; 8 Friday mosques and 70 neighbourhood mosques; 80 shops but no covered market; 7 coffee-houses, a public water fountain, some madrasas and some dervish lodges. […] Y341a […] Once a year when the pilgrims for the Badawi Moulid come here in their boats, there is a huge gathering of 40,000 or 50,000 men and a festival that lasts for three days and three nights. It is indescribable. Since Imbaba is just opposite Cairo, a sea of men flows into it, sets up their tents and pavilions, performs dhikr, and visits the shrine of Imbaba. He himself is buried inside a large Friday mosque on the shore of the Nile − may God sanctify us with his noble secret. His tomb is in the midst of a date grove, a paradise-like picnic spot. At his lodge are numerous dervishes known as Imbabis, who trace their lineage to 82 This reference is apparently based on a confusion between this Shubra and the more important one near Cairo, described above at Y279a and mentioned below at Y359b [→ Jb15].



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Seyyid Ahmad al-Badawi. They are docile and destitute and silent, not asking anything of anyone, withdrawn in the corner of contentment; and yet God provides for them night and day. There are numerous craftsmen in this city, including 700 weavers (who work out of their homes) in the town quarters and also in shops in the marketplace. And there are 70 state-owned dyeworks, 12 wakalas, 1 hammam, 20 primary schools and many orchards and gardens. The people are hospitable to strangers. Crossing from Imbaba, I arrived at the City of Bulaq [→ Jb13], the port of Cairo, Mother of the World. Praise be to God, I arrived safe and sound on the fifth day after leaving Rosetta. This city is fully described above in the Cairo section. After landing here, my servants and I mounted horses provided by my brother Ibrahim Agha, the delivery agent, and we proceeded to my quarters in the citadel. After meeting with my lord the Pasha’s steward, Ketkhuda ʿAli of Nish, I met that night with my lord the governor, Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha. For eight hours, in intimate conversation, I regaled him with all the details about my touring and pilgrimage and commerce83 and the villages and towns and cities, large and small, that I had seen. He was pleased beyond words Y341b and said: ‘Well, now that you have travelled the Rosetta branch of the blessed Nile, there remains the Damietta branch. Tomorrow, God willing, I will send you to inspect the garrisons of Burullus and Damietta and Tina and to audit the accounts of the agha of Damietta. When you tour those regions as well, and make your visitations to the holy men’s tombs, do not forget us in your benedictions.’ I had the honour of kissing his hand. The steward (Ketkhuda ʿAli of Nish) was instructed to draw up noble rescripts to all the castle wardens and statesmen and kadis (of those regions), and the following morning I received these letters from the Ketkhuda. Five days later I went to bid the Pasha farewell. He gave me 70 gold pieces as travel expenses and a eunuch mamluk, and I again had the honour of kissing his hand. Emerging from his presence with his benedictions, I bid farewell to all my friends, got another 40 gold pieces from the Ketkhuda Bey along with a broadcloth suit and the official letters, and that very day proceeded to Bulaq, where I was a guest in the house of the delivery agent (Ibrahim Agha). He decked out for me a suitable and swift caique, outfitted with supplies of food and drink, and the following morning I boarded ship with my ten servants and set forth.

83 seyâhat ve ziyâret ticâret, the three traditional motivations for travel; see MENTALITY, 20.

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Figure 2.7: Map of Evliya Çelebi’s second journey (Source: Michael D. Sheridan)

Second Journey: Cairo–Damietta–Cairo Y341b–360a Ibrahim Pasha now sends Evliya Çelebi on a mission to inspect the Burullus, Damietta and Tina garrisons and to audit the accounts of Damietta’s agha. Setting off from Bulaq, Evliya and company travel downriver on the Rosetta branch of the Nile as far as the Burullus Canal near Mahallat al-Amir. Proceeding downstream on this canal, they enter the shallow Lake Burullus and sail eastwards for over 50 miles before arriving at Burullus Castle. Evliya performs his inspections and receives 200 gurush and a horse from the castle warden. He continues overland through a forest of date groves to Baltim, then over the desert along the Mediterranean shore. At one point he claims to take part in a battle with Christians who have run an Ottoman boat ashore. Eventually arriving in Damietta, he tours the city, one of the empire’s greatest producers of rice. From the al-Marqab tower to the north of the city it is possible, he says, to see the mountains of Cyprus 300 miles away. Evliya proceeds to the strait where the Damietta branch of the Nile flows into the Mediterranean, noting that the local ulema claim this to be the Maraj al-Bahrayn (‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’) mentioned in the Qurʾan. Here he carries out his inspection of the Eastern and Western Castles and receives 400 gurush for performing this duty. He then



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proceeds to the shore of Lake Manzala, crossing it on a frigate as far as Tina Castle, whose garrison is in a miserable state. He does an inspection here as well, for 100 gurush, before returning to Damietta via the lake. Leaving Damietta on his return journey up the Nile, Evliya sails to Faraskur, Shirbin and Mansura. Desiring to see Manzila on the southern shore of the lake, and fortuitously meeting the multazim of that city, he sails there with him along the Saladin Canal and stays for one night before returning to Mansura. He then proceeds on a grain ship as far as Samannut, where he turns inland, travelling west to Al-Mahalla al-Kubra. After touring this city, the largest in Egypt after Cairo, he returns to Samannut in two hours and continues his journey up the Nile by ship. Going as far as Barshum, he briefly travels inland to tour the ancient city of Qalyub before returning to the river and sailing up to Bulaq and thence to Cairo. Having now travelled both branches of the Nile in the Delta, Evliya compares them by saying that, while the Damietta branch has the larger villages, the Rosetta branch has more cities. Back in Cairo, Evliya meets with Ibrahim Pasha and informs him of his journey, remaining in the city and having audiences and conversations with the governor over the course of a month.

Y341b Chapter 67: Account of the villages and towns and cities that I visited on my journey from Cairo to inspect the garrisons of the castles of Burullus, Damietta, and Tina Setting out from the city of Bulaq, we started down the Nile along the route that we had taken up from Rosetta. In three days and two nights we arrived at the large canal known as the Burullus Canal [→ Kc22], opposite Mahallat al-Amir [→ Kb27], as described above (Y337a). At the mouth of the canal is the Town of Izba [Uzba → Kc24], a rice-producing village of 70 or 80 houses containing the shrine of Shaikh ʿAli Komi. In these regions izba means ‘village’. Entering the canal at that point, we passed Izbat al-Haj, a rice-producing village of 100 houses and one Friday mosque, near which is the shrine of Shaikh Qashashi. We proceeded, the sailors on both sides of the canal dragging our ship with a cable, and passed 20 flourishing rice-producing villages with small houses made of brick. Then the canal curved to the north and Lake Burullus was on our right. At this point there is a dam across the canal and the water is diverted to the rice paddies in the adjacent fields, and we had to disembark here and board other boats for Burullus on the other side of the dam. Our original boat turned around and went back to the Nile, while we proceeded to the east from the point where the canal was dammed.

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Floating downstream for 20 miles, we entered Lake Burullus [→ Kc26] at dusk. It is a large lake, extending 50 miles lengthwise from east to west and 80 miles in width from south to north. Y342a But it is very shallow, in some places only 1 fathom plus 1 ell, in some places 2 or 3 fathoms. It swarms with fish and there are 1,000 fishing boats, a concession amounting to 70 purses. It is a vast sea of a lake, the inlet (from the Mediterranean) being a strait at the foot of Burullus Castle. In circumference it is 7 stages. On the south is Gharbiya province. It is not very deep, a man’s height plus 2 ells at the deepest point, but usually 1 ell. Date palms have been planted to signal deep places where boats may pass: pilots steer between the trees. The variety of fish here is generally found only in the great sea. Between Lake Burullus and the Mediterranean there is only a thin spit of land that stretches all the way to Rosetta. With a north-west breeze we sailed 50 miles east and came to the Ancient Qalʿat Burullus [→ Kc28]. It is part of Damietta province and governed by the Amir of the Sea (? – derya beği). Its other administrators are the amin of the lake, a multazim earning 70 purses per annum; a castle warden, one of the Cairo müteferrikas according to the kanun of Sultan Selim; and a kadi at the 150-akçe level earning 5 purses per annum, with authority over 70 nahiye villages plus the nahiye of Baltim. The castle, at the mouth of the strait entering the lake from the sea, was built by Alexander the Greek. In the year 21 (642), during the caliphate of ʿUmar, ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs appointed Aswad b. Miqdad to conquer it with 80,000 soldiers. They were unable to do so, but by God’s wisdom, the King of Damietta, Shata son of Hamuk, converted to Islam, and with his help the castle was taken. It subsequently fell to ruin due to the turbulence of the sea over many years. Then, in 924 (1518), Sultan Selim I rebuilt it, so it is now a Shaddadian stone structure situated on a low sand dune on the shore of the lake. It is a small square castle of ancient construction, 500 paces in circumference, that guards the mouth of the lake. At each corner is a ruined rampart. It has one iron gate facing south-east (kıble). Within the walls are 80 houses and 80 garrison troops, as well as a Friday mosque of Sultan Selim with a squat minaret above the castle gate. The castle is being submerged day by day by a sea of sand that seeps in through the ruined portions of the walls. It has 20 cannons and a small armoury; the chief cannoneer is a Laz.84 Outside the castle, on the south-eastern side, is an extra-mural settlement (varoş) with 300 houses of reed and baked brick, 1 small mosque, 1 coffee-house, Y342b and 1 bakery. There is no khan or hammam or marketplace. It is a narrowly 84 Lazdır – perhaps only to provide a rhyme with azdır (‘small’).



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situated place − if you lose your donkey you can’t go there. But the air is delightful, and there is a gazebo in front of the castle gate where passers-by may sit and enjoy the air. Burullus is famous for its blue watermelons. They are a separate variety of watermelon, very juicy. A sick man who drinks one cup of its juice is sure to get better. Some wine drinkers who cannot afford wine make a little hole in the watermelon while it is still on the vine and put in a spoonful of honey, and when they cut it from its stem two or three days later, the juice has turned into a strange kind of wine. They have only to drink one cup and they cry, ‘O Burullus!’. The physician Dawud has described the benefits of this blue watermelon in his Tadhkira.85 Other fine products are fish, dates and date pickles. But it is a very isolated place, not a place one would wish to stay for long. East of the castle, on a sandbar 300 paces in length, are six wells that provide the people of Burullus with drinking water. Near these wells, still on the sandbar, is a lofty domed structure that is the shrine of Shaikh ʿIsa […] Y343a […] Having received 200 gurush and a horse from the castle warden for my inspection, and unofficially 50 more gurush for my servants, as well as an escort of 40 musketeers and provisions of food and drink, we set out from Burullus eastward along the lake, through date groves and over meadows, passing by 40 thriving villages, and in two hours came to the Town (kasaba) of Baltim [→ Kc27]. It is a mahalla with 1,000 well-built houses on a sand dune on the shore of the lake and a multazim district in the territory of Burullus. The owner of the town, a certain al-Haj Bulbul, is a generous and pious individual. Baltim is a nahiye of Burullus, with three Friday mosques. One of these, a Great Mosque on the lakeshore, is a construction of Sultan Mansur,86 who is also buried in a corner of the courtyard. It is a single-storey structure with a minaret, resting upon 50 lofty pillars and measuring 150 feet in length and breadth. There are also ten shops and one coffee-house, but no hammam or madrasa. […] [Saints’ tombs] Y343b […] After touring Baltim, I continued another three hours east along the lake and entered the date-grove forest between the lake and the sea known as Awwal al-Nahl (‘First of the Date Palms’). It seems that all the dates of Cairo come from this vilayet of Burullus. Each of the trees stretches to the heavens and produces 20 clusters, amounting to 200 okkas of dates. After six hours we came 85 This is the reference work known as the Tadhkira [Memorandum], by the Syrian physician Dawud b. ʿUmar al-Antaki (circa 1543–99). 86 Fatimid caliph, r. 946–53.

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to the end of this forest, known as Akhir al-Tamr (‘Last of the Date Palms’), emerging at the Mediterranean shore, which stretched to our right in a south-east direction. It is a desert landscape in Gharbiya province. The Hudbiya tribe spends the summer here, but they winter in the aforementioned date-grove forest. They are docile and subservient to the state; if they were not, no one would be able to cross this desert. As we proceeded along the seashore through this desert at a forced-march pace […] [Adventure on the coast: to the rescue of a boat chased by infidels] Y344a […] At noon we arrived at the ford of the Yamani Canal, which we crossed in a mauna to the Damietta side along with many troops. The Yamani Canal starts where the canal flowing out of Mahallat al-Kabir and the Sabuniya Canal come together. It is as large as the main channel of the Nile and waters several hundred towns before it flows into the Mediterranean at this point. It originates as a tributary of the Nile near Samannut [→ La40] and is itself half the volume of the Nile. It empties into the sea between Burullus and Damietta. Having crossed this canal, we proceeded through the desert on the other side, taking myriads of quail that had been caught in snares, and in five hours Y344b arrived at Sinaniya, across from Damietta. It is a seven-hour journey to Burullus via the ford (of the Yamani Canal?). The Town (kasaba) of Sinaniya [→ Lb22] opposite Damietta is 12 hours from Burullus. It is a flourishing town on the shore of the Nile, with 300 houses, 3 Friday mosques, 2 wakalas and 1 coffee-house. During the time of the infidels there was a fortress, and traces of the walls are still visible. It is an endowment of Sinan Pasha, free and clear. The amin of Damietta, the Cairo amir Abaza Dilaver Bey, has constructed a pavilion here where the folk of Damietta go for fresh air. [Crossing by boat and grand entrance into Damietta]

Description of the great and ancient city, the entrepot of Damietta [→ Lb26] The chroniclers have more than one story about this beautiful city, but the most reliable version is that it was founded after Noah’s flood by one of the sons of Ishmaʿun son of Misrayim whose name was Dimyat, and the city was named after him (Dimyat = Damietta). […] Y345a […] Y345b […] It stretches along the Nile from south to north as far as the Matbuliya Mosque, 1,100 paces in length and 800 or in some places 600 paces in width. There is no surrounding wall, but there are a total of 75 barricade87 gates all around that are guarded every night. […] 87 See EÇSOS s.v. tedribe.



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The city has 7,600 houses, large and small, finely constructed of brick and limedaubed roofs, layer upon layer, with orchards and gardens. The houses of Rosetta are more beautiful, but the houses of Damietta are also fine and solid structures with walls of multi-coloured baked brick. According to the mayor’s register, this city has 40 quarters and 150 prayer-niches, of which (—) are Friday mosques and the rest neighbourhood mosques. [Description of mosques] Y347a There are 7 madrasas, 11 dervish lodges, 300 public water fountains […] , 4 hammams […] , 18 khans […] , Y347b […] 31 coffee-houses […] , 260 streets […] , 2,060 shops […], and 300 horse-driven mills and oil presses. There are also 600 workshops where Damietta striped cloth is woven, located in the town quarters, but there are few other crafts. Seven of the quarters are Christian, one is Coptic and one Jewish. Armenians and Franks come and go; there is no Frankish baillo. There are 7 churches, 40 taverns and 6 boza shops. There are 140 rice mills in the city, two each in 70 different places. Indeed, Damietta is a mine of rice. Other cereals come from Upper Egypt and are more expensive, but here all foodstuffs are abundant and cheap. And there are 3,000 warehouses, since the people are all wealthy merchants, but these are not magnificent buildings. There are also 3,000 fishermen in Damietta. Salted fish and fish roe steeped in wax like amber are exported to Turkey and to Europe. Many varieties of fish are caught in the lakes all around the city. The total population, according to the mayor’s register, is 300,000. Praise God, in a city with such a large populace, there are no brothels to speak of. The people are very chaste, and it is considered shameful for women to go out in the marketplace, though they do walk around at night with torches. Military personnel are few in number; the people are mostly fellahin.88 They are industrious folk who earn their living by every sort of work, and that is why prices are low. The notables wear broadcloth and velvet and sable furs, while the middle classes wear striped woolen cloaks,89 blue badiyya and Damietta striped cloth. The streets are packed with people. The women wear pointed headdresses with gold or silver plates, wind black and white shawls on their shoulders, cover their faces with black veils, and stroll about modestly with blue slippers and blue stockings on their feet. A woman who ventures out in the street is put to death immediately; the only exception is one who goes out to follow the funeral of a close relative. Otherwise the people are sophisticated and very sociable. There are wedding 88 The distinction here is between tax-paying subjects (raʿiyyet, here referred to as fellahin) and the ‘military’ class of officials who are paid by the state (ʿaskeri). 89 See EÇSOS s.v. buşṭ.

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parties every day of the year and Moulids every night, with high Moulids once every three months, Y348a when there is a great hue and cry. Damietta has 360 orchards and gardens on the south-eastern and eastern and northern and north-western sides. If a man passes through the gardens when the lemon and bitter orange trees are in blossom, his brain is suffused with fragrance. All the gardens are provided with gazebos and fountains with jets. Those of Rıdvan Çorbacı and Zülfikar Ketkhuda in particular are truly gardens of paradise. Due to the delightful climate, the city is full of lovely boys and girls. And the people are very friendly to strangers. They make their living mainly from fish and rice and sugar, and conduct commerce in many other goods as well. Through the centre of Damietta flows a large tributary of the Nile, onto which face the windows and balconies of the splendid houses on both sides of the city. Some men feed their families just by sitting in their windows and catching fish. The lovely boys of the city swim naked in this canal, very much like fish or Nile River sprites, and embrace one another with abandon − it is a sight to see. Aside from the fine houses on this side, the mansions along the main channel of the Nile are lofty palaces, layer on layer, five or six storeys high. The houses are not inland, as is the case in Rosetta, but along the river, and indeed are sometimes inundated when the Nile is in flood. The windows, too, all look on the river. Some have boathouses built into the houses and the people visit each other by boat. There are few landings in the city. There is a large square in front of the customs house and the palace of the Pasha’s agent, where the ships unload their goods, piling them up like mountains before crossing to the Sinaniya side and docking there. In the burial grounds to the north of Damietta, on raised ground, is a square tower known as al-Marqab. It is very tall, but was even taller in infidel times. In clear weather you can see the mountains of Cyprus, 300 miles away, from this lighthouse, but you need very good eyesight. As for food, Damietta is known first of all for its rice, which is larger-grained and more flavourful than the rice of Erevan or of Gilan or of India. Damietta is the pantry of the Ottoman sultans: all the rice (for the palace) comes from here. The Manzilawi and Faraskur varieties of rice are without equal anywhere in the world. Other famous food items are fish, fish roe, sycamore figs and white bread, as well as bananas. Of manufactured items, the varieties of striped silk fabrics are without equal. Situated at the beginning of the third clime, Y348b the latitude is (—) and the longitude is (—). Ten miles downstream from the old fortress in Damietta, still on the Damietta side of the Nile, is the unfinished fortress of Kulkıran Mehemmed Pasha. All the ships waiting to enter the strait [→ Lb28] dock there for one or two months.



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There is a small mosque there. When the weather is mild and the strait opens up, the ships offload half their goods onto jarims and exit the strait. I do not have to describe this strait in detail; it is enough to say that it is a natural fortification exactly like the Rosetta Strait. As for the fortress of Kulkıran Pasha, since it is unfinished it has no castle warden or garrison troops. Three miles below that, again on the Damietta side, where the blessed Nile flows into the Mediterranean, is the Ancient Fortress of Damietta, bulwark of the Nile [→ Lb27, Lb29]: It was built by the conqueror of Egypt himself, Sultan Selim I, in the year (—), at the hands of Hayra Bey, the first governor of the newly conquered province of Egypt. There is no trace of the earlier fortress conquered by Aswad b. Miqdad at the time of ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs. At present this fortress is a solid square-shaped building on a sandy place on the promontory where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean. It is 500 paces in circumference and has four towers at the four corners and one gate facing south. Inside are 80 small houses, without courtyards, for the garrison troops, and there is a Friday mosque of Sultan Selim. According to statute (kanun), there is a castle warden from the Cairo müteferrika corps plus 80 troops. And there is an armoury and 40 imperial cannons. But as for the two towering cannons outside the right side of the fortress, God knows their like is not to be found at any frontier post. One of these is huge, with a calibre of 32 spans and cannonballs weighing 40 okkas. It dates to the time of Sultan Süleyman. These two cannons are situated on the ground near the sea, because such a small fortress cannot bear their weight. There is no moat, since the fortress is surrounded by low sand dunes. Moreover, the walls have collapsed in many places. Together with the castle warden, we boarded caiques and floated downriver 1 mile to the point where the Nile flows into the Mediterranean. I performed two prostrations of ‘need worship’ (salat-ı hacet) and recited a prayer. The ulema of Damietta claim that this is the Maraj al-Bahrayn (‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’) where Moses and Khidr had their meeting. […] [Various opinions on the subject] Y349a […] But all the commentaries agree that Khidr and Moses met on the shore of the Nile and travelled together, that Khidr bore a hole in a boat and made it founder in the Nile, and that he made a wall collapse (see Qurʾan, Surah 18), and all these events took place along the Nile. For Khidr was a soldier in the army of Iskandar Dhu’l-Qarnayn (Alexander the Great), who mainly dwelled in Iskandariya (Alexandria), and so it was in these regions that Moses was honoured with meeting Khidr, and their falling out also took place where the Nile flows into the sea. Since it is a place observed by the apostles (i.e., the prophets Moses and Khidr), the most eminent of the ulema and the shaikhs respectfully term it Maraj al-Bahrayn. The ulema of Rosetta and Damietta have differences of opinion on

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the subject, but I think the ulema of Damietta are correct when they say that Maraj al-Bahrayn is where the Nile meets the sea near Damietta. What I described above is the Eastern Castle. Opposite it, on the shore of the Nile, is the Western Castle. It was built during the reign of Sultan Ahmed by Tavaşi Müteferrika Caʿfer Agha, using his own money, for the sake of God. However, it has become known as Qalʿat ʿAbd al-Samad. It is a small round castle on the shore of the Nile. Later, a large redoubt was added outside the wall and the castle became even stronger. It has 50 guns, but the large cannons are on this redoubt facing the strait. And it has a castle warden and 50 garrison troops whose job is to catch fish and hunt quail. The castle, situated on a sandy place, has one gate facing south-east; 40 or 50 cells for the men, who are all unmarried; and a small mosque. The tower has four tiers. There is no surrounding moat. Having inspected this Western Castle as well, I found seven garrison troops were missing and I reported their names to the Pasha. I got 400 gurush for my pains90 from the wardens of the Eastern and Western Castles. Then we reboarded the caiques and sailed upstream with a favouring north-east breeze, returning to Damietta in two hours. Shrines of the Friends of God that we visited in the Qarafa of Damietta: First of all, the way that Damietta was conquered is that Shaikh Shata, who was the son of King Hamuk, converted to Islam in the presence of Aswad b. Miqdad. After the conquest, Aswad b. Miqdad sent Shaikh Shata with 10,000 soldiers to conquer the province of Sah and the fortresses of Ashmun and Burullus and Dumayra. In that same year, during the conquest of Tina Castle, he was wounded in battle, Y349b and because he was ‘cut to pieces’ (shata shata in Arabic) he was dubbed Shaikh Shata. According to a different tradition, shata means ‘sand dune’ in Coptic and he was called Shaikh Shata since he was buried in a sand dune, because when he was martyred in battle and his noble spirit ascended to the region of mercy, Aswad b. Miqdad had his body brought to Damietta and laid it to rest in a light-filled domed structure in a lofty shrine on the shore of Lake Damietta (Lake Manzala), a half-hour’s journey east of the city. Every year on the 15th of Shaʿban, the date of his martyrdom, a Moulid is held here and 40,000 or 50,000 men from Damietta and the surrounding villages and towns set up tents and visit the tomb for three days and three nights. The deputy governor of Damietta attends this Moulid along with the Damietta notables and descendants of the Prophet, arriving with much pomp and ceremony and residing in tents. They lay 90 Evliya characterises this kickback as a ‘foot-fee’ (ücret-i kadem) and ‘travel expenses’ (hakkı tarik).

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Figure 2.8: Damietta and environs, from the Carte Topographique de l’Égypte (1818) (Source: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818))

out an enormous spread and feed the pilgrims generously for three days and three nights, at the cost of 1 Egyptian purse, which according to ancient statute (kanun) is charged to the account of the Pasha. Shrine of Shaikh Shata: It is a square, fortress-like building, 300 paces in circumference, housing an imam, a muezzin, an administrator and the keepers of the tomb. His noble tomb is a light-filled domed structure next to his small mosque. Under the courtyard is a cistern that is filled every year with water borne here by the camels of the Damietta notables. If the camels fail to do this, they become mangy − a marvellous example of divine wisdom. In short, he is a saint of great renown and it is a visitation for the elite and the common folk alike. [Enumeration of 57 more shrines in Damietta] Y350b Aside from the great Friends of God catalogued above, there are thousands of other saints buried here, all of them in well-marked domed structures great and small. For the Damiettans are very fond of saints. There are many more visitations here than in Rosetta, because it is an old city, while Rosetta is relatively new, the sand having submerged the old city in Kom Afrah. God be praised, I visited the tombs of over 100 Friends of God in Damietta and for each one of them

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I recited a Yasin and a Fatiha, seeking succour from their spirits in accordance with the text of a sound Hadith. If I were to record the hagiography of every one, I would need an entire volume, so I have contented myself with merely listing them. The Pasha’s agent decked out a frigate for us with 20 sailors and an escort of 50 valiant musketeers, as well as providing us with food and drink. So we left Damietta on horseback and proceeded east through orchards for half an hour to board our frigate waiting in Lake Tina [Lake Manzala → Lb30]. Tacking right and left in the shallows of the lake under a favouring westerly breeze, we arrived in seven hours at Tina Castle (Qalʿet el-Tina = ancient Tennis) [→ Lb31]. […] It is a small, square-shaped castle, 500 paces in circumference, on the shore of the lake, in the territory of Cairo, under the authority of the kashif of ʿArish. It has one gate, facing south-east; 40 small houses without courtyards; 1 Friday mosque of Sultan Selim; 30 cannons and an armoury; a castle warden from the Cairo müteferrika corps; and 100 garrison troops. It is on a narrow and treacherous91 sandy coast, with no orchards or gardens. The state exiles convicts to Ibrim (see Y391b); if it exiled them here they would suffer the tortures of hell. God forgive us with regard to a shortage of water and bread. Its water and bread have to be brought from Damietta. Caiques with water are constantly coming and going. But it is a lifesaving harbour for ships adrift in the Mediterranean. Lake Tina’s southern shore is Buhayra; one end extends to ʿArish; the south-east borders Y351a on Manzila; and the western end extends to Damietta. It is a multazim district earning 10 yüks of akçe per annum. It has excellent fish of many varieties. That night I was the castle warden’s guest. In the morning, a bunch of skinny and bewildered men who subsisted on fish without bread beseeched me to inspect the castle, and I agreed to do it for a consideration of 100 gurush.92 Then we boarded our frigate and, as soon as we were in the offing, there were ten rounds of cannon fire from the castle wishing us godspeed. We spent a horrible night in the whirlpool of the lake. At dawn we came to the Shrine of Shaikh Shata, which we visited once again before reboarding, and in an hour we approached the landing at the far end of the lake. I immediately sent an energetic young man to bring our horses and we proceeded to Damietta, enjoying the burgeoning gardens on either side of the road. The next day I shipped off stores of rice, lentils, flax, chickpeas and other essential items to my house in Istanbul, then bid farewell to the Damietta 91 See EÇSOS s.v. calender. 92 Presumably Evliya is describing a delegation of the garrison troops which wanted to make sure that he highlighted their miserable situation in his report so that the Pasha would do something to alleviate it.

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officials who were my patrons [four of them named]. I got 300 gurush from the Pasha’s agent, plus 20 Damietta striped garments and 50 pairs of Damietta coffee napkins and bath towels, and then boarded a ship fully equipped with food and drink and an armed escort. Putting our trust in God, we hauled anchor with a favourable wind and proceeded up the coast of the Nile.

Chapter 68: Account of the flourishing villages and towns and cities that I viewed on both sides of the blessed Nile going from the entrepot of Damietta to Cairo Setting off from Damietta we headed south-east for 60 miles. Opposite Damietta is the territory of Gharbiya province [→ Kc3], completely brackish and unproductive land without a trace of civilisation. The Damietta side, on the other hand, has flourishing and beautiful villages − known in this region as izba − like so many gardens of Iram, growing excellent rice and sugar cane. The dwellings are squat domed brick houses. There are no multi-storey mansions, since the ground is boggy marshland, suitable for rice cultivation, and cannot support heavy buildings. The rice is unmatched anywhere, but it requires land that is continually under water, and so they don’t grow wheat or barley or beans or anything of that sort. It is a strange spectacle. Another feature of this region is that the Nile is constant; there is no flooding and receding. Having passed by these villages in the territory of Damietta, we came to the Stage of the Ancient City of the Horseman (fâris), Faraskur [→ Lb25]. It was founded by a king named Faraskur, son of Misrayim. He was the first to breed horses. He lived for 1,000 years Y351b and possessed 700 cities, each with 100,000 horsemen with speckled horses and horsemen with grey horses, so you can judge by that what other colour horses he had. It is a multazim district in the terrtory of Damietta, registered at 7,000 kîles of state-owned rice; and a thriving (yüğrük) kadi district, usually however bestowed upon the kadis of Damietta, with a nahiye of (—) villages, all of which produce rice. Faraskur proper is situated on raised ground 100 paces from the shore of the Nile. It has 1,100 flourishing houses, 17 prayer-niches, 6 minarets, 300 shops, 3 coffee-houses and 1 hammam. There is no covered market or soup kitchen or madrasa or public fountain, but there are three small khans and a large weekly market. The people make their living by weaving varicoloured striped cloth. Every house has a workshop and the 300 shops have looms producing striped cloth, another source of income for the multazim. Faraskur is famous for its rice and its striped cloth. One can also come to Faraskur by boat on the lake (Lake Manzala) that we

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sailed on to get to Tina, east of Damietta. The city has the Nile on one side and the lake to the east. The climate is mild and there are delightful orchards and date groves. It is a beautiful city lying between the Nile and Lake Damietta (Lake Manzala). I have no knowledge of its shrines. Opposite Faraskur, on the Gharbiya side, is Kafr Sulayman Agha [→ Lb21], which has a Friday mosque with a minaret and 300 houses. Opposite this, on the Sharqiya side, is the Town of Sharabaz [→ Lb24], a flourishing village with 100 houses and one Friday mosque with a minaret. Shaikh Sharabaz is buried there in a lofty domed structure. The border of Damietta ends here; it is within the jurisdiction of Sharqiya province. Opposite this, on the Gharbiya side, is the Town of Mit Abu Ghalib [→ Lb20], a town with 1 Friday mosque with a minaret, 150 houses and 1 coffee-house. The Nile at this point is very erratic, turning now to the east and now to the west. Opposite this, on the Sharqiya side, is the Town of Raʾs al-Khalij [→ Lb11], a multazim district with 300 flourishing houses, 2 Friday mosques, 2 wakalas, 1 coffee-house and 6 shops. Shaikh Ghazwan, Shaikh Hasan Abu Taqi al-Din and Shaikh Muhammad al-ʿAjami are buried here in domed structures. Twenty miles up from here, on the Sharqiya side, is Mit Abu ʿAbdullah [→ Lb15]. Mit (or Minyat) is another word for ‘village’. This, too, is a multazim district. It is a town with 100 houses and one Friday mosque with a minaret. Opposite this, on the Gharbiya side, is the Town of Tahriya [al-Dahriya → Lb19], a village with 150 houses and one well-constructed Friday mosque with a minaret. Opposite this, on the Gharbiya side, is the Town of Dinji [→ Lb18], with one well-constructed Friday mosque. Then, on the Mansura side and thriving, is Mahallat Mushaq [→ Lb13], whose multazim is Kundakcı Mustafa Ketkhuda. It has 600 houses, a Friday mosque, a coffee-house, a wakala and some small shops, but no hammam or public fountain. This is on the eastern side, while opposite this, on the Gharbiya side, is the City of al-Mansura, which we passed by, Y352a arriving 50 miles further up at the city of Shirbin. Description of Mahallat Shirbin [→ Lb17], a city neat and clean: A kadi district at the 150-akçe level under the jurisdiction of Al-Mahalla al-Kubra, which is the capital of Gharbiya, it is bestowed upon the kadi of Al-Mahalla alKubra as a stipend (arpalık). It has 40 flourishing villages providing an annual income of 4 purses. The kadi’s deputy (naʾib) serves as the multazim. It has 700 houses, 7 prayer-niches (i.e., Friday mosques) including one Great Mosque with a three-balconied minaret, 50 neighbourhood mosques, 1 madrasa, 50 shops and 4 coffee-houses. There is a large market every Friday. Nearby is Kafr Shirbin, a multazim district with 200 houses. Opposite here there is an island in the Nile, on the other side of which the



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blessed Nile curves like a camel’s neck. Beginning here, the other side of the river is the kashiflik of Mansura, a flourishing vilayet. It is the kadi district of Mushaq; the town of Mushaq, described above, is situated athwart Mahallat Shirbin. Continuing past Mahallat Shirbin we came, across from it on the Mansura side, to the Town of Badawi, a multazim district with 100 houses and a Friday mosque. Opposite this, on the Gharbiya side, is the Town of Batra [→ Lb16], a multazim town with 300 houses, a Friday mosque and a coffee-house. Above and across from that, on the Mansura side, is Mahallat Birimbal [→ Kc20], a flourishing multazim town with 700 houses. I failed to ask the mayor, so I do not know how much revenue it pays to the state and how much in taxes goes to the multazim. It has several Friday mosques and coffee-houses and neighbourhood mosques and khans and shops. It is an airy city. I also don’t know whether it has a hammam. Opposite it, on the Gharbiya side, is the Town of Diyasit [→ Lb12] where Shaikh Diyasit is buried in a domed structure. Continuing upstream, still on the Gharbiya side, is the Town of Hiyariya [→ Kc4], with 300 houses and one Friday mosque with a well-proportioned minaret. Again on the Gharbiya side is the pretty Town of Kash, with 300 houses, 1 Friday mosque and 1 coffee-house. East of here is Mansura. Description of the vilayet of Dakahli, the beautiful City of Mansura: […] Y352b […] This flourishing city of Mansura warrants a description, as it is an independent kashiflik in the clime of Cairo. However, because of its large jurisdiction and because the Bedouin of the vilayet have been rebellious in some places, it has been given to the governors of Cairo to govern. It is a prestigious governerate at the level of a mîrimîrânlık (= beglerbeglik). The villages in the governor’s authority are not timars or zeʿamets and there is no alaybeği or çeribaşı.93 However, there are 787 thriving villages and towns and cities under his control. He is the multazim of all of them, and they earn for the sultan an annual revenue of 3,000 purses. […] [Other officers, including a molla at the 300-akçe level, etc.] Y353a […] Mansura is a lovely city on the shore of the Nile, laid out east to west and facing north, with flourishing orchards and vegetable gardens and flower gardens like the gardens of paradise, and ornamented with 9,000 fine houses and lofty palaces. Viewing this city from a mile away is a delight to the soul. It is a place observed by the great saints, one that glows with a spiritual light. It has a total of 305 prayer-niches, of which 14 are Friday mosques of the sultans and the other great statesmen: [List of fourteen Friday mosques] Y353b […] These are 93 An alaybeği was an enfiefed military commander, while a çeribaşı was a commander of sipahi cavalry troops.

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the very flourishing Friday mosques in which I worshipped; I have no knowledge of the others. As for the neighbourhood mosques: [List of ten neighbourhood mosques] I also prayed in the ten here mentioned and have no knowledge of the others. There are 6 madrasas, 70 primary schools, 40 public fountains and 2 hammams. […] There are 18 wakalas: [List of sixteen khans], all of them well-constructed khans but not stone buildings. And there are 22 rabs − in this region, a khan with 40 or 50 rooms where poor families reside is called rab. There are 14 siyâruh [? – perhaps an error for âsiyâb ‘water mill’], 7 oil presses and 75 horse-driven mills. There are 40 coffee-houses and 1,150 thriving shops. Most of the shops are in the crowded Long Market. There is no covered market, but all the world’s goods are found in these khans and these bazaars, and once a week there is a huge openair market attended by 40,000 or 50,000 people. And there are separate markets elsewhere for wheat, fish, horses, sheep, cattle and fruit. There is also a bizarre sort of market for women on the shore of the Nile: as soon as the men finish their business, they bathe in the river. Y354a The streets in this bazaar are unclean (nâ-pâk, also implying moral and/or ritual impurity); otherwise the streets in the marketplace are pure and upstanding highways (pâk şâhrâh-ı müstakîm, also suggesting al-sirat al-mustaqim, the ‘Straight Path’ mentioned in the Fatiha of the Qurʾan). All the markets are roofed over with joists made from date palms and are delightful places to be in the heat of the day. Mansura lies stretched out along the Nile, 1,100 paces long. Due to the mild climate, it is known for its lovely boys and girls. The class of wealthy merchants and grandees is very hospitable to wayfarers and strangers. [Two are named here] And there are many Qurʾan interpreters and Hadith scholars, ulema, and pious individuals. Account of the great saints whose tombs we visited: […] Y354b Having completed my touring and visitation of Mansura, I conceived the desire to see the city of Manzila. As I was wondering how to go there, I happened to meet the multazim of Manzila in the Mansura marketplace, so I boarded ship together with him. Account of the stages of our journey to the stage (manzil) of Manzila: On the south-east side of Mansura, at the foot of the Mustafa Agha Mosque, is a large canal known as the Saladin Canal (Turʿat Sultan Salah al-Din), which goes to Manzila. There we boarded ship and proceeded downstream to the south-east, viewing the flourishing villages and towns on both sides. We passed 76 such settlements and that night docked at a certain village (izba) where we stayed as guests. In the morning we continued on to Manzila, where we took up residence in the house of the multazim. Description of the ancient city of Manzila (El-Manzala): It is a city of



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roughly 1,000 flourishing households, situated on level ground along both sides of the canal that we had used to come here. A wooden bridge crosses the canal and connects the two sides of the city. Both sides of the canal are lined with orchards and gardens, reminiscent of paradise-scented Damascus. Each orchard is 10 or 15 acres (faddan) with pomegranate, lemon, bitter orange, fig and date trees. They do not grow wheat, but the rice is large-grained, white and flavourful, unmatched anywhere. So this is essentially a city of date groves, vegetable gardens and rice fields. Lake Damietta (Lake Manzala) is a quarter-hour’s distance to the north. The canal that runs through the city goes on to irrigate the vilayet and then flows into this lake. It is a multazim district under the authority of the governor of Mansura. Another magistrate is the agha of the rice concession, appointed either by the Pasha or by the kashif of Mansura; he gives an annual payment (küşufiyye) of 6 purses to the Pasha and reserves another 6 purses for himself. It is also a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, providing the kadi 5 purses per annum, while the nahiye includes 80 rice-producing villages from which 56 purses of state moneys accrue to the sultan. An additional 7 yüks of akçe are extracted from the fishermen in the lake. The 1,000 Y355a houses of Manzila are in ten quarters. And there are 70 prayer-niches, eight of which have the Friday sermon for congregational prayer, with the rest being neighbourhood mosques. One of the Friday mosques is the Great Mosque, an ancient temple with a large congregation, built by Saladin’s vizier Laqaʿqaʿ al-Tamimi when he conquered this city. I have no knowledge of the others. And the small mosque of Shaikh Ibrahmi al-Salmuni is thriving. There are four minarets visible in Manzila. And there is 1 madrasa, 6 primary schools, 7 public fountains and 5 wakalas. Of the 100 shops, 80 are in business while the rest are shut down; there is no covered market. There are eight coffee-houses. The Perfumers’ Market is quite beautiful. And there is a large open-air market once a week where you can find mutton and camel’s flesh; otherwise meat is unavailable, since it is not a huge city and most of the people are poor and subsist on fish that they catch. The variety of fish is astounding. They also catch and eat various migratory birds that settle around the lake and in the gardens of the city in wintertime. The only manufactured item of note is white linen cloth used to make shirts. Manzila is also famous for its lovely boys. [Saints’ tombs: eight are enumerated] There are thousands of others, but I only stayed here for one day and one night, and was only able to rub my face at the thresholds of this number of shrines. Reboarding, we returned on the canal by which we had come, the sailors on both sides of the canal hauling the ship upstream by ropes. With great effort we

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returned to Mansura in one day and one night. Then I bid farewell to the Mansura notables and boarded a grain ship. Across the river, on the Gharbiya side, is the Town of Talha, with 300 peasant houses and a Friday mosque with a minaret on the shore of the Nile. From there the Nile current brought us back to Mansura, where, on a promontory at the western end of the city, we visited the tomb of Shaikh (—) (—). It used to be a tall domed structure, but the dome has collapsed due to the Nile flooding and now the saint’s catafalque is lying on the shore in plain view. Due to the blessing of the saint, however, it has not been disturbed by water from the river. In particular, the Nile here forms a whirlpool and everyone who sails past utters a Fatiha and prays for succour from the spirituality of this saint. This humble one, too, God save me, passed by in this fashion. A mile further up is the paradisiacal Orchard of Süleyman Bey, and 2 miles up from that is the small Town of Shaikh Ramadan, with 100 houses Y355b and the saint lying under a dome. Passing by that as well, we came to Mit al-Khamis [→ Lb9] on the Mansura side of the river. It is a flourishing town with 100 houses and a Friday mosque. Opposite it, on the Gharbiya side, is Mit al-Gharaqa [→ La43], with 200 houses and a Friday mosque. Then, on the Mansura side, is Mit Wish [→ Lb8], with 300 houses and a Friday mosque. On the Gharbiya side is Mit ʿAssas. And on the Mansura side is Mit Nawasi [→ Lb7]. Still on the Mansura side is Mit Thuʿbaniya [→ La41]. And above that, on the same side, is Mit al-Minya [→ Lb6]. Opposite this, in the jurisdiction of Gharbiya, is the City of Lut, the flourishing Town (kasaba) of Samannut [→ La40]. It is the port of Al-Mahalla al-Kubra in Gharbiya province, a pretty town (kasaba) and multazim district of 300 houses on the shore of the Nile. But it was a great city in ancient times and there are traces of the buildings of the people of Goliath. And it is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, bestowed as a stipend (arpalık) upon the kadi of Al-Mahalla al-Kubra and governed by his deputy (naʾib), earning him 5 purses per annum; the nahiye comprises 47 thriving and subservient villages. In the city are eight prayer-niches, of which three have the Friday sermon. The Friday mosque at the landing is a twostorey structure with a ceiling of wooden beams over 14 pillars, three doors and a broken-down minaret. There is 1 khan, 1 hammam, 6 coffee-houses, 50 shops, 7 public fountains and 12 primary schools. And on the shore of the Nile is a courthouse that serves as a picnic spot. Shrines that are the object of visitation include those of Shaikh Ismaʿil al-Ghadwi and Seyyid ʿAbdullah al-Halaf, both of them buried in the Ghadwi Mosque. Here we mounted horses loaned by the multazim and went 1 league north to the Town of Abu ʿAli [→ Kc10], whose multazim is Mirahor Musli Agha, an



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imperial boon-companion in the Threshold of Felicity (i.e., the Ottoman palace in Istanbul). It is a thriving village of 300 peasant houses with orchards and gardens. Passing that by, we travelled for one more league and came to the Town of Qaytas Agha. It is a flourishing village of 200 houses and one Friday mosque, but the peasantry belong to the Beni Haram, a voracious tribe who are always raiding neighbouring villages. Continuing north through villages whose names I do not know, and passing several towns with flourishing orchards and gardens along the Yamani Canal, we arrived at Al-Mahalla al-Kubra, one hour’s distance from Samannut.

Description of the Second Capital, in the vilayet of Gharbiya, the great City and ancient Entrepot, Al-Mahalla al-Kubra 94 In Coptic it is called Zihan. The Turks (Rum kavmi) call it Gharbiya (‘Western Province’), since it is to the west of the vilayet of Sharqiya (‘Eastern Province’). But the vilayets of Minuf and Gharbiya and this city of Al-Mahalla al-Kubra are actually situated on an island in the middle of the blessed Nile between Sharqiya and Buhayra. This huge island contains (—) thriving villages. As for Al-Mahalla al-Kubra, it is the largest city in Egypt after Cairo; then, in descending order, come Rosetta, Damietta, Minya and Manfalut. And it is becoming more and more prosperous, Y356a due to the fact that there are buried talismans in 70 places in the city and also hundreds of buried treasures, so it is not likely to go to ruin until the end of time. Its founder, according to the Khiṭaṭ of al-Maqrizi, was the diviner Misrayim, who after Noah’s flood went around Egypt and, liking the climate here, determined by the science of astrology that it was an auspicious place to build a city. It was administered by various kings over the course of time until, in the year (—), Tahir Baybars, who began his career as kashif in this city, also liked its climate, and when he became sultan of Cairo he made it the second capital and resided here. Near the kashif’s palace in the middle of the city there is a three-arched bridge over the canal that flows through the city. Every day at the time of the evening prayer an eight-layered military band stands on this bridge and plays three flourishes. This is an imperial statute (kanun) in force from the time of Tahir Baybars to the present day. The band plays whenever salaries and perquisites are disbursed from the kashif, because it is the Second Capital. 94 Evliya consistently calls it Mahallat al-Kabir. See Introduction for discussion of its absence in Evliya’s map.

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The governor of Al-Mahalla al-Kubra has the rank of mîrimîrân in the eyalet of Cairo, with his amirs and a retinue of 1,000 men and another 1,000 guards from the Seven Regiments of Cairo. He controls a multazim district with a revenue of 200 purses, of which he gets his share at the end of the year in the divan of Cairo. He gets an additional 150 purses for his own use after expenses. It is a very prestigious appointment. When his amirs come to the Cairo divan they take precedence over all the other amirs and kashifs except for the Amir of the Haj and the Defterdar, since he is the governor of the Second Capital. The Amir of the Haj comes after him. In the eyalet of Gharbiya are 370 very prosperous villages, like the fruit of a walnut, each one more like a town or a city. The Sharia magistrate is the kadi, whose office is the first of the ‘First Six’, the highest in Egypt. It is often bestowed at the molla rank of 500 akçe (per diem), although according to statute (kanun) it is always bestowed at the rank of 499 akçe. It can earn 40 purses or, with luck, 50 purses. The nahiye includes 370 villages. The nahiyes of Samannut, Shirbin, Birun and Enderun.95 There are three courts in Al-Mahalla al-Kubra. It is a very large city, with chief muftis (shaikh al-islam) of the four Sunni legal schools, a naqib al-ashraf, town notables and grandees, some Cairo Janissaries, a commander of the ʿAzab forces, and chaoushes of the other regiments, but there is no commander of the Janissaries, no deputy commander of the cavalry, and no parade sergeant or other officers. All the villages are multazim villages whose revenues go to the sultan. The city is situated on a flat plain along the Sabuniya and Yamani Canals. It is well laid out and prosperous. The fields are fertile and productive. The canals flow abundantly. It is the second city after Cairo. The lofty mansions, layer on layer, Y356b and the 16,000 old-style houses, large and small, are built entirely of brick and roofed with lime. The finest houses and the palaces of the grandees line both sides of the canal that flows through the city, and all the windows and balconies overlook the canal. They are splendid mansions, the envy of kings, with rose gardens and vegetable gardens on either side. There are 70 Friday mosques built by sultans or other notables. [12 of them described] Y357a […] And there are innumerable neighbourhood mosques. There are also nine madrasas and seven Hadith schools. And there are 70 dervish lodges, since all the Sufi brotherhoods have shaikhs here. [Six of them enumerated] They are very prosperous, and some 95 If this is intented to be a sentence it seems to lack a predicate. Perhaps these four nahiyes somehow map onto the three courts mentioned in the next sentence, but Enderun and Birun are not places but terms designating, respectively, the inner (private, harem) and outer (public) administration of the Ottoman palace.



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whose founders are still living distribute food freely. There are 120 primary schools that every year provide festival robes to orphans. Y357b And there are 200 water dispensaries. Some of the schools are situated over the water dispensaries, which is the rule in Egypt. There are also water cisterns in 46 places. There are five hammams − a small number for such a large city − and mostly they are dingy, including those of Saruji and Yahya Çelebi, and also the Hammam of the Christians, which no Muslim ever enters. But the Bali Bey Hammam is pleasant. And there are seven other hammams that are not in use. The Wafa Hammam is a visitation site and is the finest in terms of water and atmosphere and construction. And there are over 1,000 private baths in the wealthier houses. The poor, who number in the thousands, manage without such amenities by bathing every morning in the canal that flows through the city. There are 77 khans, 17 of which are grain khans, where wheat and other cereals and also beans are sold. Cereal crops are also traded in the shunas or silos. There are 2,345 shops, all of them covered, although the city has no designated covered market, but all goods can be found here because it is an entrepot. And there are 48 coffee-houses, open night and day and serving as guesthouses for wayfarers, where musicians and singers and storytellers conduct sessions worthy of Husayn Bayqara in the mornings and in the evenings. They are gathering places for men of culture and refinement. There are 200 oil presses and 380 horse-driven mills. There are ten bakeries providing bread for strangers and travellers. Otherwise every household has its own oven and there is no need to go to the market for bread. The roads in the marketplaces are broad and clean. Since the Nile (i.e., the canal) flows through the middle of the city, water carriers keep the thoroughfares sprinkled, so the markets are like Baghdad cellars (serdab). Since the finer houses and palaces are along the canal, the notables of the vilayet visit one another and amuse themselves by fishing from the windows and balconies. In fact, all the people swim like fish, cavorting with the lovely boys, catching them in their love nets, and wrestling with them and embracing them. All the buildings of this city are of brick; masonry is rare. But how finely constructed the walls are! And the doors are tall, each with two wings. Once one has entered the house, there is sure to be a servants’ hall. The roofs are generally daubed with lime. Brick construction is the norm for this region, from Cairo down. When stone is needed it has to be brought from Cairo by ship when the Nile is in flood. Y358a At that season the river submerges all of Egypt and there is no city or town or village that it does not reach. For three months they all become islands in the Nile. The bridge I mentioned above, where the military band performs, is also lined with shops whose windows overlook the Nile (i.e., the canal). And there is another

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bridge, also with three arches, near the Grain Market; it too has shops on both sides and windows overlooking the canal. Here there is a landing where caiques and ships dock and load or unload grain and other merchandise. Some people board a caique at this point and go where they want in the city. A third bridge, outside the city to the south-east (kıble), over the Sabuniya Canal, is known as the Jaʿfar Agha Bridge. It too has three great arches, but it is built of stone while the other two are of brick. […] [A chronogram] Due to the mild climate, the lovely boys and girls and the women are noted for their grace and beauty. The military class96 is splendidly turned out, wearing varicoloured fine fabrics and broadcloth garments. The middle classes wear twill and Cairo striped garments, while the poor folk wear woollen garments, according to their means − that is the way of the world. As for the womenfolk, they go about with gilded and silvered headdresses (takye) and wrapped in white or black silk kerchiefs (car). Regarding food, Al-Mahalla al-Kubra is famous for its layered hotcakes (gözleme) smothered with fine white butter, something found nowhere else, and it is also known for its white bread and sesame paste and cheese. Of manufactured goods, its silk prayer rugs are unique, rivalled only by those from Isfahan. They also make painted silk tent curtains and coffee napkins, and all sorts of striped cloth garments and sheets and bath towels of a quality not even to be found in Mardin. There are no Franks or Armenians in this city, but there is one-quarter of Jews and two-quarters of Copts, totalling 1,000 households, and there are seven churches. Based on the mayor’s register, the population of the city is 600,000. In short, it is a magnificent entrepot in the country of Egypt, exporting thousands of bales of cotton cloth and other goods every year. Indeed, cotton is its most abundant product. There is certainly benefit, and also pleasure, to be derived from all these descriptions, Y358b but it would be dull if I went on to describe those items of lesser importance, so let this much suffice; as they say, The best of speech is what is brief and to the point. […] [Shrines] God be praised, I received 100 gurush and a horse and some Mahalla goods from the kashif, Hasan Agha, and said goodbye to all our friends. In two hours I was back in the Town of Samannut, described above. There we boarded a swift ship, putting the horses on board as well, and proceeded up the Nile with [an escort of] 60 armed men. We passed, on the Sharqiya side, Mit Abu’l-Harith [→ 96 See note 88 at Y347b.



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Lb5]; opposite it, on the Gharbiya side, Mit Abu Sir [→ Kb1, La39]; in Mansura, Mit Burru [→ Lb4]; opposite it, the Town of Banaya [→ La37]; in Mansura, the Town of Manzara [→ Lb3]; in Gharbiya, the Town of Mit Badr [→ La36]; in Mansura, Mit Dumsin [→ Lb2]; in Gharbiya, the Town of Shubran; in Mansura, Mit Ishni [→ Lb1]. Then, in Gharbiya, the Town (kasaba) of Greater Shunbat [→ La34]: It is a city with 2,000 houses, several Friday mosques and smaller mosques, small shops and a coffee-house, busy with men and buzzing with women. We stayed overnight in the guesthouse and set off again the next morning. We passed, on the Mansura side, the Town of Sharangi [→ La28]; opposite it, in Gharbiya, the Town of Dahnur [→ La33]; in Mansura, the Great City of Mit Ghamr [→ La27], Y359a described in detail above (Y281a); opposite it, in Gharbiya, the sweet Town (kasaba) of Zifta [→ La32], also described above; upstream from there, in Mansura, the Town of Maʿsara [→ La25]; opposite it, in Gharbiya, the Town of Gharib [→ La31]; in Mansura, the Town of Sahrag [→ La26]; opposite it, in Gharbiya, the Town of Misid [→ La30]; nearby, the Town of Wasid [→ La29]; in Mansura, Mit al-ʿIzz; in Gharbiya, Mit al-Harun [→ La21]; in Mansura, the Town of al-Siffin. Across from that, in Gharbiya, is the Town of Tafhani [Tafahna → La20], the site of the imposing shrine of Dawud al-Gharb. Thousands of his miraculous graces are reported in the books of hagiography and the Tabaqat of al-Shaʿrawi. He was a great saint, on the level of ʿAbd al-Qadir al-Jilani, Junayd al-Baghdadi, Ahmad al-Badawi and Ibrahim Dassuki, one of those whose blessing is still efficacious. Some travellers deposit their precious goods there and go on to India or to Yemen, recovering them untouched when they return. That is how great a saint he is! Then we passed, on the Mansura side, the Town of Sindi [→ La23]; opposite it, in Gharbiya, the Town of Mit Barri [→ La15, La19]; in Mansura, the Town of Ashbul [→ La22]; still in Mansura, Kafr Muwaysh; opposite it, in Gharbiya, the Town of Millaw; in Mansura, the Town of Banhi [Banha → La14]; opposite it, in Gharbiya, the Town of Batay [→ La17]; in Mansura, the Town of Ramli [→ La18]; and opposite it, in Gharbiya, Kafr Abu’l-Tawaqi [→ La16]. Then, in the territory of Qalyubiya, Mit al-ʿAttar [→ La13], a magnificent town (kasaba-misâl beled). This is where the four sanjaks of Gharbiya, Mansura, Minufiya and Qalyubiya meet. In Mit ʿAttar one can hear the call to prayer of all four, since their landward borders are close to one another, as I will explain. At the end of Gharbiya is the Town of Seydi Khidr [→ La15]; at the beginning of the border of Minufiya is the Town of ʿAtif [→ La9]; at the end of the border of

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Sharqiya is the Town of Tahla; and at the beginning of the border of Qalyubiya is the Town of Dijwa [→ La12], whose multazim is Özbek Bey. By God’s wisdom, all these border villages touch at a single point. From there we entered the territory of Minufiya on our right and that of Qalyubiya on our left. First, opposite Dijwa, is the Town of Mit ʿAfif [→ La8], in Minufiya territory; then, under Qalyub authority, is the Town of Tant [→ La11]; opposite it, in Minufiya, is the Town of Barr Shams [→ La7]; across from here, in Qalyubiya territory, is the Town of Barshum [→ La10]; and opposite this, in Minuf, is the Town of Abu Shaʿra [→ La6]. Across from there, 1 league inland from the Nile shore, is the Ancient City, Town (kasaba) of Qalyubiya. The world historian Abu’l-Maʿal has much to say about this large city. But according to the Coptic chronicles, it was founded by the Pharaoh’s vizier, Haman. The foundations of his palace are still visible. There is also a large well in the palace garden known as Haman’s Well, a Pharaonic masonry structure with sakia waterwheels in 12 places, Y359b providing irrigation for the sugar cane plantations and vegetable gardens in the agricultural areas of the city. It is quite famous. Sick Copts bathe in it and are cured of their ailments, at least according to their superstition. The city of Qalyub is a kashiflik. As with the other kashifs mentioned above, the kashif here has a guard and his own soldiers, and he earns 200 purses (per annum). There are 280 flourishing villages under his authority, which provide him 100 purses after expenses. And it is a noble kadi district at the 150-akçe level, providing 10 purses per rotation. The city is a resplendent town (kasaba) in a plain in the midst of gardens of Iram. In olden days it had 2,000 orchards and vegetable gardens; today it has 300 vegetable gardens. And it has 2,000 houses and 40 prayer-niches, of which seven have the Friday sermon. The largest of these, with a sizeable congregation, is the Great Mosque, with a ceiling over 40 pillars and a tall minaret with three balconies. I have not seen the other Friday mosques. There are also 20 schools, 8 khans, 7 coffee-houses and 200 shops − altogether it is a delightful town (kasaba). After touring Qalyub, we boarded our boat and proceeded upstream for 7 miles to the Town of Shubra [→ Jb15], described above (Y279a). Here the border of Qalyubiya comes to an end and that of Cairo begins. And opposite here, in the place known as Batn al-Baqar [→ Ka6], the border of Minufiya also comes to an end. The end of the border is the Town of Sarawi [Sarawa → Ka14], located on the promontory where the Rosetta and Damietta branches of the Nile split. Batn al-Baqar was described above, on our return journey from Rosetta (Y340a–b). The distance from Damietta to Batn al-Baqar is 400 miles, 100 miles less than

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the distance from Rosetta. The number of flourishing and prosperous settlements that we observed on our return journeys along both branches of the Nile is 2,000. I have noted down the great and small mosques, the madrasas and wakalas, the excellent orchards and gardens, the lovely people and the flowing canals, the villages with their date groves and their rose gardens, and even the plaintive songs of the nightingales heard in the rose gardens. Beyond that I have abbreviated my account to avoid prolixity. Otherwise, the large villages that one finds along the Damietta branch of the Nile cannot be found on the Rosetta branch; on the other hand, the Rosetta branch has more cities. And Buhayra province is entirely desert, without a trace of civilisation. That is all I have to say. Passing by Mahallat Shubra, we returned to the great city of Cairo, Mother of the World. I went to visit Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha and presented him with the gifts I had acquired to the best of my abilities. He accepted them and asked me about the lands I had seen during my travels and about the condition of the people, the commoners, and the state officials and inspectors and multazims, and he said, Y360a ‘May your holy war prosper, for truly you fought mightily when you came to Damietta from the desert of Burullus and arrived just in the nick of time to aid the servants of God’ (Y343b–344a). Then he presented me with a robe of honour and an Arab steed. But by God who knows all that is secret and concealed, I was expecting nothing of the sort for what I had done. The pasha is a veritable Hatim al-Tayy and Jaʿfar al-Barmaki, a pure-hearted vizier like Asaf b. Barkhiya and as majestic as Jamshid, always seeking to do some kindness, may God Almighty protect and preserve him.97 For an entire month, I was honoured to be in his company night and day.

Third Journey: Cairo–Luxor–Ibrim Y360a–395a Ibrahim Pasha dispatches Evliya to Girga, charging him with the inspection of a grain boat that has sunk at Asyut. Evliya takes advantage of this opportunity to journey south by obtaining letters of introduction for the ruler of Funjistan as well. First he goes through Basatin to a ford where he crosses to the west bank 97 Hatim al-Tayy (fl. 6th century) was an Arab poet of the Tayy tribe who became proverbial for his great generosity. Jaʿfar al-Barmaki (767–803) was a high-ranking official under the Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid (r. 786–809) and a member of the Barmakid family, who were known for their patronage of the arts and sciences as well as for their generosity. Asaf b. Barkhiya is the name attributed to a mystical figure mentioned in the Qurʾan (27:38–42) who was supposedly either a vizier or a scribe of King Solomon. Jamshid was a mythological figure and king in the Iranian tradition, concerning whom there are numerous legends.

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of the Nile. Travelling south-east along the river, he enters the territory of the Arab shaikh Ibn Khabir, who hosts him for one night. The road divides at an inn called The Coffee-house, with one branch going west to Faiyum and the other south towards Beni Suef. Taking the latter route, Evliya eventually arrives in the district, where he rests for three days. He then continues along the Nile, passing through numerous towns and cities, and notes that the canal that flows northwards into Birkat Qarun near Faiyum separates from the river at Dairut al-Sharif. Evliya arrives at Manfalut, where he stays for three days before continuing on to Asyut and visiting the wondrous Mountain of Birds. At Abu Tig there is an altercation between Ottoman soldiers and warriors of the Abu Yahya tribe. Eventually Evliya arrives at Girga, finds the captain of the grain ship that had sunk at Asyut, and sends a report back to Ibrahim Pasha in Cairo. He then crosses to the east bank of the Nile with an escort provided by Özbek Bey, Girga’s governor. At the town of Abu Khalid he meets the shaikh Abu Yahya, who controls this part of the lands east of the Nile. From Qena, Evliya takes a detour overland to alQusayr on the Red Sea coast, which is a grain hub for Mecca and Medina. Here, the residents complain of a lack of water and Evliya sends a petition to Ibrahim Pasha requesting that a well be dug at a local water source; he points out that by the time of his later return from Funjistan, the well has been constructed (although according to the narrative of the Sixth Journey, he did not return to al-Qusayr during his return north). Evliya returns to the Nile and continues to follow its course southwards, eventually coming to Luxor, where he points out the presence of ancient monuments. From here, the company follows the Nile through the lands of several Bedouin tribes and past the rock-cut shrines of Gebel Silsila to Kom Ombo, where Evliya observes mummified crocodiles and describes the roar of the First Cataract as being audible from one stage away. It is here that the road to Habesh splits off, but Evliya continues along the river and eventually arrives at Aswan and the First Cataract. Pressing on through the lands of numerous tribes and past the town of Kushtamina to the Valley of the Lions, he continues to Der, where he stays in the kashif’s palace for two days before going on to Ibrim, where he stays for three days. Ibrim is the furthest southern Ottoman frontier and a place of exile owing to the extreme heat. Here Evliya expresses the desire to record his journey along the Nile and in Funjistan in the form of a map. The company, now enlarged by the addition of a number of Funj and Berberi (Nubian) merchants, Janissaries, and men from the kashif’s retinue, proceeds to Wadi Halfa, then passes through wilderness filled with wild beasts before arriving at Saï Castle seven days later. Beyond Saï lies Funjistan. Though strongly advised



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Figure 2.9: Map of Evliya Çelebi’s third journey (Source: Michael D. Sheridan)

not to go there, Evliya is adamant. Eventually, local notables give him provisions and instruct the Funj and Berberi merchants he is to travel with to watch over him well, on pain of death. Y360a [end of Chapter 68] One night, during the course of our conversation, Ibrahim Pasha said, ‘You have travelled inch by inch over both branches of the blessed Nile to where it meets the sea. But now, God willing, prepare yourself, for I am sending you to the governor of Girga; you will travel through those regions as well, but do not neglect to mention me in your prayers of benediction in the places that you visit.’ Then he addressed his official secretary Rifʿati Efendi, directing him to have letters written to the following effect: ‘When our old and dear friend Evliya Çelebi reaches that region, treat him well before you send him back here, and should there be any other lands he wishes to visit, you must rush to aid him with your most trusted men. Thus will I be pleased.’ And I was

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charged with the inspection of a boat bearing 1,000 ardabs of grain that had sunk at Asyut, and in my orders all of the state officials and inspectors and multazims along my route were also addressed to the effect that they should take care that I and my companions arrive safe and sound. Recognising a great opportunity, I rose and kissed the Pasha’s hand and asked for letters of introduction for the ruler of Funjistan as well. He asked the council, ‘Is it possible to go there?’ and they replied, ‘It is possible, but it is such an extremely torrid land with such terrifying and dangerous places that it would be an exceedingly difficult journey.’ But when I answered, ‘Then God willing I will return from there safe and in good health,’ it was clear that I had resolved to go, and so he immediately ordered for the appropriate letters to be prepared. It turned out that the ruler of Funjistan was a follower of Shaikh Bakri (see Y157b, Y337b, Y418b) and Shaikh Muhammad,98 and from him I received seven letters and a number of gifts for the ruler, while the Pasha set aside as gifts a fine garment, one Arab steed and one caparisoned horse, ten goblets, and three pervane bows and three quivers of nocked arrows with gilded fletchings. Such an illustrious vizier capable of writing such regal missives was he that, in his letter to the ruler of Funjistan, the Pasha praised and lauded me as if I were a standard-bearer come from the imperial palace itself. His authority stretched beyond Egypt to Algeria, Tunis, Tripoli, Fez, and Marrakesh in the Maghreb, and to the land of the Berberis (i.e., Nubia), Funjistan, Sudan, the vilayet of Habesh, Yemen, Mecca, Medina, and the Bedouin of the desert. Y360b To all these places he would send letters and gifts, as honoured vizier with absolute authority, upon being appointed supreme commander of the Yemen campaign by royal decree. His steward, Ketkhuda ʿAli of Nish, also gave me warning letters and friendly letters of introduction. He was a learned man with the intelligence of Aristotle, and he was a steward of great foresight and prudence. […] At the same time that I received my orders for Girga and my letters for the ruler of Funjistan, I was also given a horse and 100 pieces of gold as travelling expenses. Three days later I returned to the Pasha. I collected my letters for Özbek Bey, the governor of Girga, my orders regarding the sunken grain ship at Asyut, as well as those for the kashshaf of Ibrim and the kashifs of other places, and my letters and gifts for the ruler of Funjistan. I was then presented with 1 purse of newly minted Egyptian coins, a fully dressed horse and a suit of clothing, while my 17 attendants were given ten 98 These are perhaps one and the same person, probably the contemporary shaikh of the Bakriyya Sufi order. But at Y220b–Y221a the Shaikh Bakri referred to, who has a Moulid, must be al-Bakri Muhammad, Arab poet and mystic, d. 1545 (see EI2, ‘al-Bakrī’).



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gurush each. Then I recited a prayer of benediction, kissed the Pasha’s hand, and after I had wished him farewell he said, ‘Go forth, and may God Almighty grant that we meet again!’ Finally, we recited a Fatiha, bid farewell to all of our friends, companions, and loved ones great and small, and set off, putting our trust in God.

Chapter 69: Setting out from Cairo at the end of 1083 (May 1672)99 with Ibrahim Pasha’s orders and letters; account of the vilayets and villages and towns that I visited in my journey to the governor of Upper Egypt, Özbek Bey, and the kashifs of the vilayets of the Oases and of Ibrim, and the kings of Berberistan and Dunqulab, and the King of Funjistan, Qaqan Malik May God Almighty bless and speed the journey and vouchsafe that I return safe and sound. For mine is a heart whose very depths longed to travel into those regions. Praise be to God, When God desires a thing he prepares also its cause. With a basmala we left the Mother of the World on our Arab steeds, moving as fast as the wind under their pure, clean harnesses, setting off to the south-east (kıble). After riding two hours over flat plains we came to the Town of Basatin, meaning ‘Garden Village’ (see Y106b, Q349a). Part of the tax farm of the naqib al-ashraf, this is a cheerful village full of paradisiacal gardens and consisting of 700 houses, 8 prayer-niches in all with 3 belonging to Friday mosques, 1 caravansaray and 20 shops. All of the viziers and notables of Cairo go there on pleasure outings. There is a garden belonging to a pious foundation that is full of flowers and sweet basil, with a beautiful pavilion at its very centre where people come to enjoy themselves and to worship beside the pool and the ornamental and ablution fountains. Y361a From there we went another half-hour south-east to Maʿdiya (‘Ford’) [→ La38], a port beside the Nile that is also a place of passage across the river. The hurde emini100 sits here in a little hut and collects duties from all the merchants who cross over to the other side. I crossed the river in a boat and travelled southeast along the Nile for half an hour, still in the domain of the Giza kashif, to the village of Muhnat.101 It is a village with gardens located a quarter of an hour from the bank of the Nile in the midst of a plain. Within the jurisdiction of the kashif of Giza, it is a prosperous village consisting of 500 houses, a Friday mosque, 2 coffee-houses and 10 shops, though it lacks a khan and hammam. The naʾib of 99 Amending the text, which has 1082 (June 1671). 100 See note 68 at Y312a. 101 The three MSS have different forms for this place: Muhnan, Muhnat, and Muhtan; at least two must be wrong.

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Giza officially governs this flourishing settlement blessed with an abundance of dates and an endless expanse of orchards and gardens, but it in fact lies under the control of the Shaikh of the Arabs, Ibn Khabir, and has been fully exempt from taxation since Sultan Selim I’s conquest of Egypt (see Q349b).102 The palace of Ibn Khabir serves as a guesthouse where passing travellers are very well hosted. It was the Beni Khabir who came to Selim’s aid, capturing and binding the Mamluk sultan Tumanbay II and the governor of Cairo Kurtbay before bringing them to the Ottoman sultan. They then crossed the Nile with 12,000 Bedouin children and entered into Selim’s service. This is why they continue to be permitted to perform military service in lieu of taxation, and they remain a submissive and obedient people. Once, in the province of Buhayra, the Bahja and Hanadi Bedouins103 plundered the towns of Buhayra with 40,000 wretched brigands. When news of this came to my lord, the fearless vizier Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha, he mustered 10,000 soldiers from Cairo and 2,000 from his own force and set out against them, and Ibn Khabir also came to his aid with 5,000 horsemen. When the two sides met on the field of battle in Buhayra, Ibn Khabir immediately charged the Bahja soldiers and routed them in the blink of an eye. Next, the Cairene soldiers attacked the Hanadi, showing them no mercy as they shattered their forces, with some 6,000 naked Bedouins being abjectly ground into the dirt, their corpses mingling with the mud and their heads sent rolling beneath the horses’ feet. Apart from the endless amount of booty gained from this victory, Ibn Khabir also captured 12,000 camels, which he drove through the desert a day and a night to present as gifts to Ibrahim Pasha. In this way, the city of Cairo came to be bursting with camels, and Ibn Khabir was honoured with a vizierial robe of honour. These are the sorts of brave and fearless soldiers to be found among this tribe. They put me up for one night, and the following morning saw us all off with 50 horsemen. We then travelled for six hours along the Nile towards the south-east before coming to a halting place called The Coffee-house (= The Coffee Khan, Q349a, P343a). It is a square, fortress-like mud brick construction with one gate 102 cf. Winter 1992, 103: ‘In […] armed encounters, the Hawwara and other tribes of Upper Egypt were helpful, as were the warriors of the Beni Khabir, the Arab rulers of the district of al-Jiza, adjacent to Cairo, who are frequently mentioned in the 16th- and 17th- century sources. Ibn Khabir (or Habiroghlu in the Turkish sources) had been give the rank of sanjaq beyi in the 16th century and served in Yemen.’ Evliya refers to their chief as Habiroglu or Habirzade. 103 These were tribes from Tripolitania and Cyrenaica who settled in the Buhayra province in the 17th century (Winter 1992, 103).



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leading onto a broad interior square. There is a large coffee-house beside the gate that serves as a place of rest for travellers, and there is a shop as well. This inn for travellers is located where the road divides, with one route leading to the city of Faiyum west of the Nile, a journey of 17 hours, and the other to Beni Suef. There are no other buildings at all in the vicinity, which is a merciless, empty desert full of snakes and crawling with insects. It represents the limit of the Ibn Khabir domains [→ Ja10] Y361b and the beginning of the Beni Suef territory. Once a week there is a huge market held before the coffee-house here, attended by thousands of people from the surrounding villages. Leaving this place, we again travelled south-east (kıble), now along the bank of the Nile and now inland through date groves and flourishing villages, and after six hours we came to Deli Husayn Pasha, a prosperous village of 100 houses and a Friday mosque, located within the Beni Suef district at an elevated spot on the bank of the Nile and featuring a well and a waterwheel. Here, Husayn Pashazade Nuh Bey’s men detained us, and we spent a relaxing night as their guests. Departing just before dawn, we went along the Nile as it winds south through numerous thriving villages and on to the villages of al-Zawiya and Kawm Idrija. Six hours beyond them, we reached Maymuna [al-Maymun → I22]. Located within the Beni Suef district and part of the tax farm of Ishak Efendi − the private secretary of the grand vizier Köprülü Fazıl Ahmed Pasha − it has 500 houses, 3 Friday mosques, several waterwheels and a palatial guesthouse. After al-Maymun, we passed through numberless flourishing villages and by the Raqni canal and, five hours later, arrived at the large and flourishing ancient City of Beni Suef [→ I17]. It is called Beni Suef because it was founded by Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan, and the Bedouins who dwell in the district’s various regions are still known as the tribe of Beni Suef. […] The city is 500 paces away from the Nile on a wide plain. It is a bright city built to a circular plan, with 20 wooden gates in the surrounding wall and houses that also have strong walls like those of a fortress. There are some 5,000 such houses in the city, all thriving and prosperous, and they are crowded tightly together and quite tall but elegantly adorned. The largest and finest of these houses is the palace of the kashif, which consists of 70 rooms, a hammam, a council chamber and a small plaza. Other fine houses include the house of Shaikh ʿAli and the neighbouring house of Shaikh Salih, as well as that of Taslakzade Ahmed Agha near the kashif’s palace. Y362a These are all very wealthy and modern mansions. There are many others as well, but these are the ones I took note of. The city contains 21 quarters all told, both Muslim and nonMuslim. There are a total of 86 mosques, but only six of these are Friday mosques. [Description of the Mosque of Sultan Qaitbay, the Mosque of Qadi ʿIzzeddin,

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the Mosque of Taslakzade Ahmed Agha and the Hanging Mosque (Câmiʿ-i Muʿallak).] The city also has three madrasas, in addition to the classrooms found in the mosques, and a total of 40 primary schools. There are 20 life-giving public water fountains, and there is a hammam as well, though it does not have a very pleasant atmosphere and is lacking in elegance. […] There are 10 coffee-houses, 10 dyeworks and 10 khans, of which the most famous and prosperous is the White Khan. Altogether there are a total of 500 shops, though there is no dedicated covered market, as the city’s khans sell cheaply an abundance of priceless goods of all varieties. The city’s population is said to be 20,000. Owing to the pleasant climate, here and there one can find boys and girls lovely of face and mild and gentle in their temperament. Aside from those in the military-administrative class, there are also many Hadari tribesmen104 and wealthy merchants. Beni Suef’s weekly market is held on Tuesday and gets very crowded. The most renowned of the city’s manufactured goods are its sheep wool yarn; its many varieties of haircloth garments; its finely woven prayer rugs, up to 40 cubits in length, and beautifully embroidered flatweaves; its striped Arab short-sleeved overgarments;105 and its woollen cushions for household use, very fine wares. As for the city’s foods, the most famous are its white bread; the wonderful lemons, oranges, dates and other juicy fruits from its orchards and gardens; and its melons, watermelons, hairy and other varieties of cucumber, taro and cauliflower. […] [Saints’ tombs] Y362b […] After resting in Beni Suef for three days, we continued southwards along the Nile through 20 or so thriving villages, and after six hours we came to the Town of al-Fashn [→ I10], a tax farm within the borders of the Beni Suef district. It is a 150-akçe kadi district producing 4 purses per year and encompassing 60 nahiyes. The town lies on an elevated ridge at some distance from the Nile. It is a nice little town with seven wooden gates set in the surrounding walls like the walls of a fortress. It is quite prosperous, and contains 3,000 houses, all of whose roofs have dovecote towers. All around the settlement are groves of date palms stretching up towards the sky. There are seven town quarters and a total of seven prayer-niches, of which three belong to Friday mosques, one of which is the Mosque of the Great Amir in the covered market. Its ceiling is erected on 12 hexagonal pillars, and it has one gate and only a small minaret. There are 4 khans, 6 104 These are the Hadari fellahin whose wedding ceremonies Evliya describes elsewhere (translated in TRAVELLER 406–8). 105 See EÇSOS s.v. kereke.

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primary schools, 20 shops, 7 public fountains and 7 coffee-houses, but no madrasa or covered market or hammam. There is also a single-storey guesthouse that is a veritable palace providing abundant food to passing travellers and plentiful barley to their horses. The weekly market is large and is held on Saturday, when a vast crowd converges and everyone sells their goods. [Saints’ shrines] If I were to tell of all the villages and towns and emporia and cities I have visited and all the great saints to whose shrines I made pilgrimage in all the different lands to which I have travelled, and if I were to describe all these and give them their due luster and sheen by using fine euphemisms and magnificent phrases full of clear eloquence and exquisite rhetoric, it would make a book that only a camel could carry. But for now I am making this draft in this manner, and when God in his majesty grants that it be proofed and finalised, Y363a may it be for the best, and may God the Dispeller of Cares permit me to complete this work in an auspicious manner. Amen. We left al-Fashn and moved on southwards through 12 flourishing towns to the village of Abu Girga, after which it was seven hours to the Town of al-Qays. Here we rested, for it had become extremely hot. Located within the Beni Suef district at some distance from the Nile, al-Qays is a multazim district of 100 houses. Its delicious water is obtained from wells. The guesthouse was in ruins, so we put up in the house of the local chieftain.106 Overall, the village is a very productive and fertile one. To the north of the village, under a shining dome, lies the crown of crowns107 and servant of the Merciful, Shaikh Ibrahim. He was a great saint whose deeds are recorded in the Tabaqat of al-Shaʿrawi. In a broad field beside his gleaming tomb, God the Eternal Nourisher, as a manifestation of his power, created a strange and wondrous tree, a true marvel without parallel that seems to contradict the natural order. All travellers and merchants and creatures of God who pass by stop to gaze at this tree and, unable to comprehend what sort of wonder it is, all they can do is place a finger on their lips and stand there dumbstruck.108 A strange and marvellous tree: This lovely tree is tall and massive, extending up from the ground to the height of five men and of a circumference that 106 Shaikh al-balad, lit. ‘shaikh of the town’ – Evliya uses this in a generic sense for a kind of mayor (defined at Y73b as köylerde fellahlar hakimi ‘governor of the fellahin in the villages’). According to Lane (1908, 129; referring to the year 1835): ‘Every village, as well as town, has also its sheykh, called “Sheykh el-Beled”; who is one of the native Muslim inhabitants.’ 107 Tac-ı deyhim – provides a rhyme with Ibrahim. 108 The gesture of finger to lips is a common trope signifying wonder or amazement.

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needs three men to encompass it round. Its trunk is pocked with holes all round, so you can see through it and watch people strolling about on the other side. The tree’s leaves and fruits are like no other. The leaves are made into an incense that is used on people suffering from an epileptic fit, and by the decree of God it soon brings their fit to an end. Once a month the tree puts forth a sour, juicy fruit with seeds inside a shell like that of an acorn. It is used as a remedy for diarrhoea, and when it ripens at the beginning of the month people go out in droves to gather it. The sufferers go out themselves to collect the fruit, but many are left empty-handed to look forward desperately to the next month. Truly, diarrhoea and dysentery cut into a man like a sharp sword and bring a reddish cast to his features, and truly this is a curative tree that was created by God the All-Knowing for his servants. In the very centre of this tree grows another tree, a tall acacia, which is an acarpous variety of tree native to Arabia. The acacia has lovely, delicate branches, and it is even taller than the noteworthy tree out of which it grows. This large tree has more than a thousand roots as thick as a man’s waist, all tangled and jumbled together. The roots all lie above ground with empty space beneath them, so that the tree seems to be suspended there upside down like the Tuba tree in heaven.109 Sometimes children and pilgrims to the site can be seen walking in the space beneath the tree’s roots. The branches, with all their leaves and fruits, spread out over a circumference as wide as more than a hundred men standing side by side, and they bend downwards so their tips are stuck into the ground. It is like a great nine-posted tent that can fit a thousand men under it and provide them with constant shade. It is a mystery and a wonder whether or not the tree gets its water by absorbing it through the branches Y363b hanging upside down from above, and not even the wisest of men has wisdom enough to comprehend it. But regardless of whether men can comprehend, the fact remains that all the tree’s roots lie above ground and its trunk is suspended there in the air. The elderly say, ‘This tree has been like this since the time of our fathers and our fathers’ fathers. We have always known it to be like this.’ It must be more than a thousand years old, with its branches bending down like that. In short, it is an incredible sight and a true work of God. God has power over all things (Qurʾan 2:20). God does what He wills (Qurʾan 14:27). And God by His power commands 109 The word tūbā is found in the Qurʾan (13:29) meaning ‘blessedness’ or ‘a blessed state’. Over the centuries the term came to be associated with a tree found in heaven, and it was described as hanging upside down in Mehmed Yazıcıoğlu’s 15th-century Muhammediyye [The Book of Muhammad].



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as He wishes, He is the sole Free Agent and only He knows what He does and He may not be questioned over what He does (Qurʾan 21:23). Some of the elderly said that, once, the people of the village had wished for a tree that would show the miracle-working power of Shaikh Ibrahim, who lay buried there. The tree appeared and immediately prostrated itself, for God Almighty had created it by divine decree, and so its roots did not delve down into the ground but rather hung there suspended. And all the unbelievers who saw it came to the true faith. They told me this, saying they had seen it in the history of al-Suyuti. I had read in the Khiṭaṭ of al-Maqrizi that south of Cairo, in Upper Egypt, there was a tree suspended in mid-air. The Creator had made no tree as wondrous as this anywhere in the world. It had already been alive for 1,000 years in the time of the Children of Israel, when seven prophets were martyred by the Jews while worshiping in its shade. They were being buried there when, by the decree of God, the tree’s roots came up out of the ground and its branches stretched downwards to envelop the murderous Jews and strike at them again and again until they were dead. The trunk of the tree was pocked with holes by the cries and wails of the martyred prophets, who still lie buried beneath its shade. Al-Maqrizi writes that this site remains a place of pilgrimage visited by all. All this is surely sound, for his Khiṭaṭ is an eminently reliable history. I myself saw no trace of the prophets buried in the tree’s shade, though Shaikh Ibrahim is most definitely interred there. After these sights, we travelled south now along the Nile and now inland through villages until, seven hours later, we came to the Town of Samalut [→ I9]. Lying inland from the Nile, it is a multazim town of 300 houses that was formerly under the control of the kashif. It lies within the boundaries of Beni Suef, but marks the beginning of the Minya district. Here is located the shrine of Shaikh Abdulmalik, one of the distinguished Companions of the Prophet. Near his grand domed tomb is a tall Jerusalem thorn with coarse but juicy and delicious nutlets. On the opposite side of the Nile from Samalut, atop the very summit of a rocky escarpment stretching high up into the sky, is a church called Dayr Qibti (Monastery of the Copts) [→ I24], a stronghold much like the fortress of Qahqaha.110 It was constructed by Pharaoh, and for this reason the Copts make a pilgrimage here once a year without fail, Y364a at which time the monks collect an Egyptian treasure’s worth of goods. The western side of the escarpment extends out over the blessed Nile like an elephant’s trunk so that the river actually flows underneath it. 110 Qahqaha was the name of an imposing citadel, sometimes used as a prison, located high in the mountains of north-western Iran.

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The monks use waterwheels and strong ropes, 100 fathoms long, to draw water up from the Nile to the top of the rock and fill their cisterns. When anyone visits them, they bring out ‘the grass of life’ − meaning bread − and ‘bird’s milk’ − meaning eggs and honey − and treat their guests to a veritable feast of a breakfast. They also bring out bedclothes of gold brocade, gauze and cloth of gold, and their serving boys provide the guests with various services till morning comes. Having toured this place, we crossed back to Samalut on the western bank, mounted our horses, and rode for eight hours along the Nile through a number of flourishing villages to the prosperous City of Minya [→ I8], which lies within the province of Girga, the capital of Upper Egypt. […] Within Minya’s seven nahiyes there are a total of 220 well-maintained and flourishing villages. […] The city itself is very prosperous, lying on a place elevated slightly above the river and adorned with some 6,000 lovely houses and large mansions arranged in blocks. There are a total of 105 prayer-niches in the dervish lodges and mosques, and six of these belong to Friday mosques. […] [Description of three Friday Mosques] Y364b […] There are also 3 dervish lodges, 11 wakalas, 300 shops and 2 hammams. […] Y365a [Description of the hammam of the Mosque of the Caliph ʿUmar] The city has more than a hundred buildings where drinking water is distributed, as well as 60 schools. There is no full-scale, dedicated covered market, but all of the markets have roofs over them and the streets therefore remain clean despite the intense heat and the dust and dirt. There are a total of 70 large mansions, with the kashif’s palace in the city centre being an especially fine one. Another pleasant and spacious palace is that of the grain administrator, newly built on the bank of the Nile with all its terraces, windows and enclosed balconies providing a broad view out onto the river. As there are some 600 prosperous and flourishing villages to the west of the city, Minya is a place of wealth and abundance that provides all of Egypt with the produce of its orchards and gardens. The foodstuffs are cheap and plentiful; indeed it is this city that provides cheap foodstuffs to Cairo as well. The climate is quite pleasant, and so the young women of Minya tend to have lovely faces, while the young men are rather ruddy in appearance. The men typically wear clothing of striped Egyptian cloth and twilled Asyut cotton, though those of the military-administrative class typically prefer different varieties of broadcloth as well as satin cloaks. The women and girls wear pointed skullcaps, white or striped apron-like garments, and veils made of hair. The most well known item among Minya’s food and drink is the local white bread, actually pale rose pink in colour and known as raghif, which is the local word for bread. It is also famous for its



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towels and the variety of water glasses that it manufactures, though it produces nothing else of note. The city is surrounded by an abundance of gardens on the inland side. The high rock cliffs across the Nile feature atop their summits ruined buildings and fortresses dating back to the time of the pharaohs, and indeed some chronicles mention that this was a flourishing town in ancient times. Y365b The only shrine I managed to visit while in Minya was the tomb of Shaikh Misri at the mosque bearing his name. We again went south along the Nile and after five hours came to the Ancient City and Land of Diviners, the Town (kasaba) of al-Ashmunin [→ I7]. It was founded by Ashmun, son of Bayzar of the Copts, grandson of the Prophet Noah. If I were to record and describe all of this place’s ruined buildings and mighty columns now mingled with the dust, it would require an entire bound volume. It is a town with only 300 houses, two Friday mosques and a few shops. It is an independent kashiflik administered by the province of Girga. And it is a 150-akçe kadi district whose nahiye consists of 40 villages. It is a small town (kasaba) with a weekly market. Passing al-Ashmunin we arrived in eight hours at the Town (kasaba) of Baddawi, the City of Mallawi [→ I6]. It is within the province of Girga and lies under the authority of the kashif of Minya. […] A beautiful city made up of quite new buildings, it sits on flat land atop a hill beside the Nile, because some 50 years ago the riverbed shifted to the south and destroyed many of the settlement’s houses, after which the locals constructed elegant new structures and beautiful new houses on the tableland to the south of the old city. There are a total of some 4,500 strong and nicely ornamented houses and large palaces, all made of brick. In the whole of Upper Egypt, no other city has such fine or such new buildings. The walls of all the houses are of black, red and white brick and display the name of the owner, the date of construction and the builder’s mark. There are 16 quarters in the city altogether, with 40 prayer-niches, five of which are Friday mosques. [Description the Mosque of Yusuf Bey, which has the city’s only minaret. Two other Friday mosques are still under construction.] There is 1 hammam and some 400 shops, with another 100 shops that are part of the pious foundation of the Mosque of Yusuf Bey and another hundred that are charitable donations of Mehemmed Bey, the governor of Girga. All of the shops are covered and the roads around them clean − water carriers are constantly sprinkling them with water brought from the Nile. The city also contains 3 khans, 7 primary schools, 7 coffee-houses, 6 public water fountains, Y366a 38 sugar cane mills, 50 horse mills and 7 oil presses. I did not see a single bakery, however, as everyone makes their own bread at home. The city is said to have 17,000

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residents, all of whom are hospitable towards strangers. The wooden gates in the city’s surrounding wall are strong and firm like those of a fortress, and above them there are loopholes from which, whenever necessary, they can shoot at Arab bandits. Every night, the guards close these gates and turn over the keys to the local chieftain,111 so it is truly a city of law and order. The city’s climate is highly praised and the lovely boys of Mallawi are renowned. Among the city’s fruits and other food products are sweet musky miʿad syrup,112 refined white sugar and a kind of hard candy, though the hard candy of Hama is nowhere to be found in Egypt as it is exclusive to the province of Damascus. Here the sugar cane grows to be as tall as three men and is thick as a man’s arm, with each segment 1 span long. It is so sweet and juicy that if you cut off a segment and suck on it, out comes a whole bowl’s worth of a mild, refreshing, sweet syrup like rosewater, and the rind is so thin and tender that it dissolves. In short, in all of Egypt there is nothing like the sugar and the sugar cane of Mallawi. The city has many other products, but these are the ones that are widely known, with its sugar being the most highly praised of all. I was unable to visit the shrines of Mallawi’s saints, so I recited a Yasin for them collectively, transferring the acquired merit to the denizens of the cemetery. I then left the city, still travelling south, now along the Nile and now through inland villages and palm groves. After three hours, we came to the Town (kasaba) of Darut al-Sharif [→ Hc10], a small and prosperous town of 800 houses and a nahiye of the Sanabu kadi district in the province of Girga. A part of the Egyptian tax farm of the descendants of the Prophet that provides grain for Mecca and Medina, it is a flourishing town with 2 Friday mosques, 6 dervish lodges, 2 coffee-houses and 8 shops. The canal that flows into the Lake of Joseph in Faiyum separates from the Nile here in Darut. Very evident here are those places where the angel Gabriel’s wing struck the ground when he came to the aid of the prophet Joseph while he dug the canal with his own hands (see Y8b–9a). Because this canal is under the aegis of a prophet, it never requires clearing or dredging. Throughout Egypt, however many waterways and canals there may be, every year many thousands of men and water buffalo and cattle gather in the water to clean them, but the Darut canal needs no clearing out all the way to Faiyum. The canal starts here and flows in a roughly westerly direction, irrigating hundreds of villages before coming to the city of al-Bahnasa [→ Hc8]. Passing through this city, it continues on a distance of several stages, watering innumerable towns before 111 See above note 106 (at Y363a) on shaikh al-balad. 112 See EÇSOS s.vv. mīʿād and mümessek.



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coming to Faiyum and then flowing into Joseph’s Lake, where the water’s freshness is lost and becomes salty. This is an immense lake, and God willing I will describe it in the proper place (see Q348a, P342a). Y366b We passed through Darut al-Sharif and traversed a plain for three hours, covering three leagues before arriving at the large Town (kasaba) of Sanabu [→ Hc11]. Located within the province of Girga, it is one of the tax farms of the Sadat (descendants of the Prophet) and an endowment (waqf) of the Prophet that is fully exempt from taxation, the governor being an independent subashi. And it is a 150-akçe kadi district; the 67 villages in its nahiye present to the kadi an annual yield of 3 or 4 purses. It is a town that provides 20,000 ardabs of grain. A small town situated on the riverside, Sanabu has 1,000 houses, 3 mosques and 7 shops, but no hammam, khan or gardens. There is, however, a grand palace of a guesthouse to put up travellers, graciously providing breakfast and lunch for them and barley for their horses. […] [Saints’ tombs] We left the guesthouse in the morning and travelled four hours east along the Nile and then four more hours south along the riverside, as in this region the Nile curves about like a camel’s neck. The river here also boasts a number of forested islets filled with crocodiles and peopled with bandits and brigands and their caiques. After journeying a full eight hours through the region, we came to the great City of Manfalut [→ Hb18], which was founded by King Lut, one of the grandsons of Abu’l-Qababit (‘Father of the Copts’; i.e., Bayzar, son of Ham). The city’s name is officially recorded as Manifulut in the land registry offices at Girga, in which province the city is located, with the name Manfalut being a colloquial corruption of this. […] Thousands of the black traders called jallaba come here from Berberistan, Funjistan, Sudan and Al-Wahat (The Oases; see at Y447a–b), bringing with them thousands of camels and thousands of eunuchs and other black slaves, turning an immense profit at prices of 1 gold piece per slave, 1 gurush per camel, 5 gurush per ivory tusk and 10 gurush per rhinoceros horn. It is an entrepot that is truly a junction for mankind. […] Y367a […] The city stands a thousand paces west of the Nile, on the banks of a large canal running through a broad plain. It contains some 8,600 well-constructed and finely ornamented multi-storey houses, but they are houses of sadness, as many are poverty stricken because of oppression by the magistrates. Not many notables live in Manfalut, but there are a large number of merchants. The city has a total of 30 quarters in which there are 38 prayer-niches, eight of which belong to Friday mosques. [Description of seven Friday mosques] There are no soup kitchens or madrasas, but there are quite a few dervish

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lodges, also 70 public drinking fountains, 47 primary schools, 1 Hadith school and 8 flourishing khans, of which the most secure and prosperous are the ʿOsman Bey Khan, across from the hammam in the marketplace, and the Mehemmed Bey Khan. [Description of the ʿOsman Bey Hammam] There are a total of 1,000 shops, covered end to end along tree-lined avenues in Persian style. As there is no dedicated covered market, especially rare items are sold in the khans. Y367b There is also a grain market, a sheep market and 12 market squares as well as the female slave market, in a district of its own outside the city, consisting of a dense network of dirty, winding streets. Because all of the city’s markets and shops are built on high ground, whether you look up or down the marketplace you see bustling crowds of people. On the doors and lintels of most of the houses there are painted inscriptions of the Qurʾanic verse, It is the duty of all men towards God to come to the House a pilgrim, if he is able to make his way there (3:97). I asked what the reason for this was, and I was told those were the houses of people who give the zakat on their wealth and make the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca; after they return they have this verse painted on their houses. Out of fear of bandits and brigands, most of the houses’ doors also have crocodile skins nailed onto them, which turns them into gates as impervious to weapons as the gates of a fortress. The city has a very pleasant climate, and here and there one can find choice, handsome, self-sacrificing young men. There are countless gardens, and when the blessed Nile floods its banks, all the locals in the region come to the shores of the westward-flowing canal on the city’s north side and enjoy themselves to the full from the afternoon prayer and on into the evening. The local people’s faces are generally quite ruddy, and they earn their living by selling a wide variety of goods, such as striped garments, towels, blue cloths and shirtcloth with white trim. The city has 70 oil presses, 120 excellent flour mills, some 20 coffee-houses, and some boza shops and taverns. There is a Jewish quarter and a Coptic quarter, with a total of 300 non-Muslim houses, though there are no Greeks, Armenians or Europeans. On foodstuffs that dispel hunger: In Manfalut you find bread baked with unprocessed aniseed and black cumin, excellent ring bread with sesame seeds, sour cheese, breakfast buns with white butter, egg pastries, flaky fritters and white clarified honey. As for fruit, there is an abundance of lemons, oranges, pomegranates and Jerusalem thorn nuts, though there are no prickly pears or bananas. The people of Manfalut are pious, with a mystic bent, and hospitable to strangers. […] [Saints’ tombs] Y368a […] Leaving Manfalut after three days, we travelled south for six hours and came to the Fortress of Lot, the ancient City of Asyut [→ Hb17]. It derives



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its name from a Coptic diviner who learned all of the sciences from the Prophet Idris and went on to live for 1,000 years. The colloquial pronunciation is Siyut. It was a mighty fortress in ancient times and was besieged by ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs for seven months before it was taken. Then the towers and ramparts were razed to the ground so that the enemy might not recapture it or take refuge there. The ruins stand in plain sight even today. The city is surrounded by a ravine. It is an independent kashif district in the province of Girga. […] An ancient city, Asyut is situated 2,000 paces west of the Nile atop a steep hill with little in the way of orchards or date groves. There are some 4,800 multi-layer brick houses and other habitations. The city contains 26 prayer-niches, with nine of them belonging to Friday mosques and the rest to small mosques. […] [Description of four Friday mosques] Y368b […]There are 6 dervish lodges, 7 madrasas, 70 public drinking fountains, 40 primary schools, 1 Qurʾan school, 2 Hadith schools, 6 khans and only 1 hammam, though it is a wonderfully ornamented hammam with a very refreshing atmosphere. The city has a total of 360 shops, including a large number of jewellers, although there is no dedicated covered market. All of the shops are arranged along both sides of a single large street, with no shops to be found on any other street, and they are all fully covered and have doors such that the intense heat never affects them. This excellent marketplace is where the city’s elegant and distinguished people go to relax. There are 17 coffee-houses, 40 flour mills and some 500 horse mills − an extraordinary number seen in no other city but explained by the fact that Asyut and the surrounding region is very densely populated, with all the nearby villages being dependent on the city’s mills, each of which brings in a sizable income. According to the register of the district chief, Asyut has a population of 146,000, and truly every street and alleyway is packed shoulder to shoulder with people. In ancient times Asyut was a highly prosperous and flourishing city and fortress, and the ruins of the fortress are still visible on the city’s southern side, along with the foundations of a massive palace and other ancient buildings. Before the Ottoman conquest, the governors of Girga had the status of vizier and governed the province from this city, where they were resident. At that time, Asyut had 27,000 houses and 14 hammams, and in fact I saw a number of abandoned hammams, mosques and dervish lodges. I met a man named Shaikh Shujaʿ al-Din, who was 146 years old but still moved and acted like a spry young man, and he had known this thriving old Asyut and told me that he had seen it with his own eyes. The city is on a hill with steep slopes on all sides, and the surrounding walls are pierced by a number of strong wooden gates like the gates of a fortress, with guards standing watch night and day because of the Bedouin brigands to the west.

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A quarter of an hour in the direction of the sirocco to the south-west of the city is a massive mountain of an escarpment into the foot of which are carved numerous caves with council chambers, small rooms at every turn, and even stables that could hold up to 1,000 horses. The whole complex is so large that a man gets lost if he goes inside. It was here that the people of Lot once dwelled. The entire escarpment Y369a is pocked with these caves, and some of the city’s nonMuslims still bury their dead here. There is one Coptic quarter with two churches, though there is no trace of any other Christians, who only pass through in order to conduct trade. The city has a very mild climate with pleasant westerly and southerly breezes. The lovely boys and girls are real soul-stealers, heart-renders and wrath-inspirers with the lovely eyes of a musk deer, sweet words on their lips, faces like the moon, fairy-like visages and angelic countenances. Everyone in Asyut is hospitable to strangers, and both high and low are true believers and monotheists with a mystic bent. Among the important products of Asyut are its white-hemmed linens, towels, sheets, coffee napkins and thread. The majority of the craftsmen are weavers, and it is said that there are a thousand looms in the city, which must be accurate since thousands of people come here from the Maghreb and take thousands of loads of shirtcloth and linen thread back to their homeland. […] [Saints’ tombs] I left Asyut with all my companions and we travelled south, crossed a large bridge, and continued on for 1 league over a flat plain Y369b to the Town of Shutb, a tax farm village of 300 Muslim and Coptic houses located within the kadi district of Asyut. It is an old but still thriving and prosperous settlement built on top of a red mountain. In ancient times, there was a strong fortress on this mountain, and the remains of some of its structures are still visible today. On the eastern side of this red113 mountain are ruined caves where a man dare not go lest he be stricken with terror. The quarter located on this mountain is called the Valley of the Birds. Description of the Mountain of Birds114 [→ Hb15]: It is also called Mt. Taylimun. It is a wondrous spectacle. The tongue falls short at describing this great mountain. Every year in the spring several hundred thousand birds of various kinds − but mainly storks and goldfinches − come from the direction of Turkey and settle on this mountain. The mountain plains swarm with them, so that one can hardly find a place to set one’s foot, and their cries are loud enough to make 113 The word mera here must be an error for kırmızı. 114 This section also in TRAVELLER 436–39, slightly modified here.



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one’s gall bladder burst. The people of the region are aware of the spectacle and come to view it from a distance, but no one can seize any of the birds or throw stones at them. On top of the mountain, on a sandy plain, is a cemetery. Each sarcophagus contains thousands of birds of various sorts − but mainly storks − buried in their shrouds (i.e., mummified). The (living) birds all come to visit this cemetery, circling above it and squawking and lamenting. Then they land in the mountain plains. Most of the buried birds are visible outside the graveyard. Their bodies and feathers are fresh and undecayed inside their shrouds, which are made of date palm fibres. No one knows the reason why these birds are buried here in their shrouds, nor have I seen it mentioned in any of the histories. This humble one actually brought two of these mummified birds to Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha so he could see them. After resting for one night, the birds arise at the crack of dawn and raise such a hue and cry that − glory to God! − one might think all hell has broken loose. There is a huge cave on this mountain. As soon as the sun rises, all the birds take wing and, with a great clamour, circle about this cave − or rather, circumambulate it − seven times. Then they settle on the ground again, landing wave after wave, and seem to consult on the next step. Now one bird from each species goes inside the cave and does not come back out. Until those birds expire inside the dark cavern, none of the others will fly away. Sometimes a bird that has entered the cave rushes back out in fear of its life. When that happens, the other birds strike it and drive it back inside. If it comes out again, they kill it with their beaks Y370a and make another one go in. As the day declines, first the cranes take off, then the vultures, the eagles, the kites, and finally the storks. Eventually all the birds take wing and for an entire hour − with sad voices and lamenting cries that would comfort the soul of any mournful listener − they once again fly seven times around this mountain. As night falls, all God’s birds draw up in their formations and, flock by flock, fly away heading south. After crossing over the country of Funjistan and the headwaters of the Nile, they continue beyond the confines of this Egyptian peninsula (i.e., the African continent). Portuguese and Indian mariners have observed them flying southwards over the ocean, but where they go after that, nobody knows. Actually, it is only the storks that cross the ocean. The other birds do not go beyond Africa, which is their winter home. For the migrating birds of every country have a summer pasture (in the north) as well as winter quarters where the climate is tropical. But they cannot breed in the tropics, because the intense heat cooks their eggs. This humble one, when I was going to Mecca, once found two ostrich eggs. I bored holes in them, thinking that I would empty them and take them back to Turkey, but I found that they were hard-boiled from the heat of the sun.

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When those birds had flown away, I climbed with a few other individuals to the top of the mountain to see the bird mummies in their cemetery. When we got to the cave, we went inside. It is not too dark, and is a huge cavern, but the stench of countless avian corpses soon drove us back out. We did notice, however, that the representatives of the various bird species that had come into the cave had latched onto holes in the domes of the cavern with their beaks and claws and were now hanging there, dead. And the bird corpses underfoot were the remains of previous ones that had hung by their claws and then fallen. The various bird species come every year and visit this mountain in the manner I have described. Then, after sacrificing one of their number in this cave, they cross the lands of Aswan and Sudan and fly out over the ocean. In spring, when they return from their winter home in the tropics, they once again visit this marvellous mountain. They circumnavigate it seven times as previously, but do not sacrifice any of their number in the cave and do not rest there overnight, but continue on. Only God knows the number of dead birds piled up inside this cave. Y370b It is an annual spectacle. The people of the province know about the annual sacrifice, and it has come down from their ancestors that if no bird remains suspended by its claws but they all fall to the bottom of the cave, it is a sign of impending drought. So when that happens, they put all their grain in storage bins and guard it carefully until the drought is over. If a single dead bird remains suspended, the harvest will be slight. If there are two, the peasants will get just enough crops for subsistence. If three, there will be plenty, the blessed Nile will rise to 16 cubits, and the sultan will be paid his tax. If there are four hanging birds, the Nile will overflow to 20 cubits and all the government agents and tax farmers will get rich. If there are five, the Nile flood will be 22 cubits and all the peasants of Egypt will get rich. If there are six, it will be 26 cubits and the crops will be so abundant − each bearing a hundred grains (Qurʾan 2:261) − that peasants and amirs and governors and tax farmers together will be unable to remove them all from the threshing floors. This is tested wisdom and a firm belief of the fellahin of Upper Egypt, and it occurs by God’s command. It is a strange quirk of nature that wild creatures and denizens of the air should come of their own volition, latch onto the holes in the rock at the top of this cave, and hang there by their beaks and claws until they die. It is a wondrous act of divination, an ancient talisman that remains effective in the present day − truly white magic! God be praised that in the course of my travels I have been vouchsafed to witness this tremendous spectacle. After (the Mountain of the Birds) we travelled south again through prosperous districts, and after six hours we came to the Town of Abu Tig [→ Hb14], a



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semi-autonomous kashif district in the province of Girga. […] It is a small town with 2,000 houses; 7 prayer-niches, of which three are Friday mosques; 6 schools; and some 50 small shops. God in his wisdom decreed that, while I was staying at the guesthouse of the kashif of Abu Tig, 600 warriors of the Abu Yahya tribe on the other side of the Nile crossed the river mounted on horses and dromedaries and surrounded the guesthouse, waging war on us and firing their rifles. From within the guesthouse, ten armed men from among Ibrahim Pasha’s deli cavalry,115 23 of the kashif’s men, and seven more from our own company fired a volley from the loopholes out at the Arab throng, Y371a causing 16 of them and seven horses to bite the dust. Immediately the Arabs ululated and gave ground, upon which the town’s horsemen mounted and sped towards the guesthouse, while on our side 70 riders emerged from within the building, and there was a brief and bloody battle with the Bedouin. Praise be to God, 26 more of those Bedouin from across the Nile died in that battle, making, with the 16 shot by the volley, a total of 42 naked Bedouins killed, their heads sent rolling. The remnants of their force fled towards the Nile, where many of them drowned. All told, the booty we gained from this victory amounted to 70 horses, 7 mares, 12 dromedaries and 13 Arab captives. On our side, 7 of the Arabs, 2 horses, 1 of the Pasha’s men and 3 of the kashif’s men fell as martyrs. The kashif had two of the Bedouin captives impaled on the spot, right in front of the guesthouse. As for the others, most of their heads were stuck on lances to be sent to the governor of Girga, while a few were flayed and their skins stuffed with straw before being sent off to Girga in full procession. The kashif presented me with three of the Bedouin mares and one dromedary and we all continued on our way towards Girga, bearing with us the heads of the slain enemy. After 1 league, we came to the Town of Shaikh Ibn ʿAʾid [→ Hb14]. The shaikh is a descendant of those shaikhs who paid obeisance to Sultan Selim I. The local tribe here is the Hawwara, the breeders of the Arabian horses of Egypt. They are divided into some 70 branches, all mortal enemies of one another. But of them all, the ʿAʾid clan, made up of some 8,000 strong-hearted soldiers, is the bravest and the boldest. The village where Ibn ʿAʾid resides is a prosperous one standing on a wide and bountiful plain and containing 500 houses, one Friday mosque, a guesthouse and a palace. It is also here where rests the saint, Shaikh Abu Manja, who lies within a large domed tomb, may his blessings be upon us. Every Friday 115 The deli (lit. ‘crazy’) were a variety of light cavalry who were often in the direct service of pashas and who were renowned for their bold manner of fighting and sometimes outlandish costume.

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eve (i.e., Thursday night), Shaikh Ibn ʿA’id holds a memorial gathering at the shrine of Shaikh Abu Manja and hosts a feast for the poor and infirm. The shaikh also personally presented this humble one with the gift of a Hawwara foal with a splayed tail (? – deste-kuyruk).116 We departed and continued south along the river. Here, the blessed Nile meanders greatly and is so broad that there are numerous islands in its midst, all of them heavily forested. There are also very many crocodiles and hippopotamuses in the Nile in this region. Whenever the river’s waves begin to chop and churn here, fully half of its water spills over into a large canal called Turʿat al-Raml (Canal of Sand) [→ Hb16], from which it then irrigates thousands of villages. Crocodiles fear to enter this canal because of a crocodile talisman carved into a pillar that stands where the canal splits from the Nile. It causes any crocodile entering the canal to turn over on its belly and die immediately. Therefore, wherever the Nile flows red with mud the villanous crocodiles swallow large and small stones Y371b to weigh themselves down and observe a 40-day retreat between the sandbanks at the bottom of the Nile. Some fearless people and animals go then to the bank of the Nile to satisfy their thirst. At other times people approach only in groups − men, women and children − and beat the Nile with clubs before getting water. The cursed crocodiles use the opportunity to seize horses and camels, drag them into the Nile, and eat them on the sandbanks. They are very powerful devils, except that on land they are awkward, since their forelegs and hind legs are weak, their strength in the water being due to their tails. They sometimes swallow a man whole, so they have no problem with small children. But when they are in the vicinity of this Turʿat al-raml, by the time they enter the canal they curl up and die, because of the influence of the talisman, and the fellahin (skin them and) nail their skins to their doors. Crossing the canal, we continued south for seven hours before coming to the Town (kasaba) of Tima [→ Hb14], located at some distance from the Nile. A town of some renown, it is a tax farm within the province of Girga and the kadi

116 Deste-kuyruk is a kind of pigeon with splayed tail feathers. Evliya uses the term elsewhere to characterise foals: IX Y260b−261a Ve ba ʿzı yatan atların yelilerin ve kuyrukların fâre yeyüp kâmil küheylân iken nâ-kâmil deste-kuyruk tay eylediler (translated in TRAVELLER, 329, as: ‘Some of the horses that were lying on the ground had their manes and tails eaten up by mice, so those mature thoroughbreds were turned into immature foals’). Also at IX Y328a; X Y23a bir iş görmemiş deste-kuyruk tay üzre meydân-ı maʿrekede Tatar askerin kova kıra nâ-resîde at altında kalup tekerlendi (‘Mounted on an inexperienced and immature (deste-kuyruk) foal and chasing after Tatar soldiers on the battlefield, he stumbled and was crushed by the immature horse’).



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district of Tahta. It contains 500 houses, two Friday mosques and a coffee-house, and its guesthouse is a large palatial structure. Once a week a large market is held in the town. There are gardens here and there as well as a sakia, a dervish lodge and an inn for travellers. Leaving Tima, we travelled now along the bank of the Nile and now inland through bountiful villages with date groves, before arriving five hours later at the Town (kasaba) of Tahta [→ Hb13?], which was founded during the Abbasid period. […] The settlement sits atop a steep-sided hill at some distance from the Nile. It is no longer especially thriving or prosperous, though it seems to have truly flourished in ancient times, and some of its ancient structures can still be seen. Today, the town has some 2,000 houses in 20 quarters, along with 70 prayerniches, 9 Friday mosques, 2 dervish lodges, 1 rather dark and dingy hammam and 100 small shops, though there is no covered market. There are 3 wakalas, 3 coffee-houses and 20 public fountains. Only three minarets are visible in the entire settlement, with the other places of worship all being small neighbourhood mosques without minarets. The climate is quite oppressive here, and the people are poor. The part of the Nile that flows near this settlement contains islands so heavily forested that a man would get lost in them. There are also very many of those accursed creatures the crocodiles, and some brave young men around here kill the crocodiles and nail their skins to the town’s doors for protection against bandits. Most of the doors have such skins on them. […] [Shrine of Shaikh Ahmad al-Farghal] Y372a […] We then continued south again for four hours through date groves and orchards under an oppressive heat before coming to the Town of Jazira [→ Hb12] (Jazirat Shandawil?). […] The local kashif resides here in this large village that is like a town (kasaba). Aside from the Friday mosque and a coffee-house, there is no trace of any marketplace or other public building. There are, however, many whitewashed domed tombs, though I cannot recall the names of the saints buried here. I recited a Yasin for them collectively, transferring the acquired merit to their blessed spirits, may it be acceptable to God the Almighty. We rested here for two hours until the worst part of the heat had subsided, then continued south for three hours to the Town (kasaba) of Sohag [→ Hb11]. As with other kashshafs under the Girga authority, (the kashif) has 200 of his own sekbans. He collects 50 purses of goods and 2,000 ardabs of grain from 300 flourishing villages and gets his share from the goods and grain from the Corridor of Girga. The settlement is situated 3,000 paces from the Nile atop a mound. It is a pleasant town within circular walls as secure as those of a fortress and pierced by a total of 17 strong wooden gates. All together there are some 2,160 houses large

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and small, single-storey and two-storey houses that are very pleasantly decorated. The town contains 16 quarters and six Friday mosques. [Mosques of Sultan Akrad (i.e., the Ayyubid Sultan al-Kamil Muhammad) and of Sultan Aybak al-Turkmani] Including all the small mosques, the town has a total of 50 prayer-niches. There are 3 Y372b Badawi, 7 ʿAlawi and 8 Burhani dervish lodges. Seven of the small mosques have their own madrasas, and the (students who occupy the) cells are granted a regular salary. The town also features 20 public drinking fountains dispensing the water of life, 17 primary schools and 6 wakalas and khans, of which the Kashif Selim Khan and Kishkoghlu Khan are the most prosperous. There is 1 hammam and 100 shops, but the town lacks a covered market. The houses are not especially well built and there are no large palaces. There are many poor people and few date groves and flower gardens. The town is also quite dusty when the wind blows hard. But there are many vegetable gardens and the soil is so fertile here that just 1 bushel of seed can produce 50 bushels of grain. The town also produces an abundance of broadbeans. Sohag’s most important products are its bread and its blue linen. [Shrine of Shaikh Abu’l-Qasim] Leaving Sohag, we travelled now east and now west, now south-east and now south, always inland away from the Nile because some canals and channels had overflowed their banks and were impossible to cross. So we wound our way now right and now left for seven difficult hours before arriving at the pleasant Town (kasaba) of Manshiya [al-Manshah → Hb8], a semi-autonomous kashif district in the province of Girga. […] The settlement stands on high ground at 500 paces’ distance from the Nile and is a beautiful town with 2,000 houses, 17 prayer-niches and 3 Friday mosques. [Mosque of Muhammad Akrad (i.e., the Ayyubid Sultan al-Kamil Muhammad).] The town also has 1 hammam, 2 khans, 7 public drinking fountains, 3 primary schools, 200 shops and 7 coffee-houses. The climate is very mild and there are grapes as juicy as those grown in the vineyards of Anatolia. The people of Manshiya are quite friendly towards strangers. Leaving Manshiya, we continued south, now along the Nile beside fields of indigo used for making dye Y373a and now inland through flourishing villages with date groves and gardens and past small mosques with sakias and shade trees. After a full three hours of travelling, Description of the prosperous and flourishing Emporium of Girga, a great city and ancient capital of Upper Egypt, Corridor of Habesh and Construction of Totash [→ Hb6, Hb7]: Girga was built after the Flood by Totash (= Totis?), the grandson of Abu’l-Qababita (‘Father of the Copts’; i.e., Bayzar, son of Ham). Sovereignty later passed to his son Girgis, who built up the city so much that



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it became a veritable Garden of Iram like that constructed by Shaddad. This is why the city is called Girga, which is a corruption of Girgis. […] In the province of Girga there are a total of (—) flourishing villages. […] However, there are no timar villages or zeʿamet or alaybeği or çeribaşı villages in the land of Girga: all of the villages are imperial and are pious foundations. The province of Girga contains 37 kashifs, who don their robes of honour directly from the provincial governor and never have recourse to Cairo. There are also 31 kadi districts in the land of Girga. Altogether, the province’s sub-districts include some 6,170 flourishing villages. This number takes into account the villages of pious foundations. Once a year, the 600 Bedouin chiefs in these villages come to the council of Girga, renew their oaths of allegiance to the provincial governor, don robes of honour and striped woollen cloaks, and collect imperial goods and grain for their troops. […] [Revenues and expenditures of the provincial administration] Y373b […] Y374a […] All revenues and expenses are recorded in the Corridor of Girga (cf. Q355a P349a), which is a great divan with as many government officials as there are in the divan at Cairo. The scribes are all Hadari Arab (? – ʿArûb) Copts with Aristotelian intellects who are extremely meticulous, calculating everything by the ounce and down to the penny. In sum, the governor of Girga, in accordance with the law established by Selim I, has revenues and expenditures calculated in this very meticulous fashion. Yet he can only manage to collect such immense amounts through the strength of his troops, whose expenses he must meet. Because it is such a large province, only Girga’s soldiers can collect goods held by the insubordinate and rebellious Bedouins, for only they are informed about the towns and villages and the situation of their people and are able to go out boldly and fearlessly to gather goods and grain. The Bedouins and the ‘Youth’ (Sıbyan) − which is what they call marauding bands (? – levendat makulesi) in this region − are quite ferocious, defiant, nasty and brave, and excellent riders to boot. The whole of this large region is filled with them, as it is a frontier of Funjistan. Concerning the borders of the realm: To the east of this land, across the Nile and at some 70 days’ journey away, is the boundary of the territory of Habesh. To the south, Y374b two months’ journey along the Nile, lies the border with the vilayet of Berberistan. Also to the south but in a more south-easterly direction, three months along the road past the fortress of Saï [→ E14] that marks the limit of the realm, is the border of the vilayet of Funjistan. Four months off in the direction of the south-east wind is the border with the territory and vilayet of Qirmanqa. And the border of the vilayet of Sudan is a month’s journey away in the direction of the south-west wind. The territory of Girga also extends over

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three months’ journey to the west to abut the sultan’s lands in Fez and Marrakesh, and passes through 68 halting places to the north, crossing the Gulf of Kibrit [→ Ka1] to arrive at the border of Tripoli [→ Ja3] in the Maghreb. In sum, within the climes encompassed by Egypt, the province of Girga covers the first clime and the second clime. It is a vast region containing fine soil that puts forth copious crops, its lands are fine and its people lovely, and it has a plethora of beautiful sights and an abundance of blessings and benefactions, and the Nile flows through it to make it a corridor land replete with the water of life. Girga is an imperial domain on the continent of Africa. Among the Bedouin it is called the Corridor of Habesh, meaning the Sultan’s Throne (or Capital) of Lesser Habesh, and it is in possession of all the countless lands described above, with its western provinces being a wilderness of wasteland and desert. I have already described its kadi districts since Beni Suef, and God willing I shall describe its other districts as I travel through them. […] Y375a […]In Girga there are many distinguished notables and wealthy merchants and master carpenters and skilled sailors. This is because across the Nile from Girga and at two halting places’ distance behind the mountains in the south-east lies the port of al-Qusayr [→ M5], which is the port for Mecca and Medina. Grain from all over Girga arrives at this port, where it is loaded on ships and then goes on to Mecca and Medina. This is why so many of the people of Girga are merchants, fellahin and sailors. The qibla of Girga lies directly east, as Mecca is situated there in accordance with the regimen of climes, for Girga lies in the middle of the second clime at a latitude of 20 degrees and 27 minutes and a longitude of 3 (or 13?!) hours and 15 minutes. The city is situated 1,000 paces to the west of the Nile on a flourishing plain. It has no fortress or moat, but there are a total of 20 strong wooden gates like the gates of a fortress in its surrounding wall. A guard is posted at each of the gates, and every night they shut the gates tight and stand watch. The city’s buildings consist of masonry structures covered in earth, lime and gypsum, and there are large palaces, built layer on layer, with beautiful courtyards and gardens, as well as sakias and pools and ablution fountains. The other houses in Girga are skilfully built structures adorned with painted walls and bedecked with bay windows, and there are a total of 10,068 such fine houses large and small throughout the city. Girga has nine quarters with 53 prayer-niches, 11 of these being Friday mosques built by the sultans of old or by notables or governors. […] Y375b […] Y376a […] The city also has 7 madrasas, 3 Qurʾan schools, 2 Hadith schools, 18 primary schools, 7 public drinking fountains, 9 lodges for dervishes, 1,200 waterwheels and 2,000 wells. And there are 2 hammams. […] [Hammam of the Fellahin and the Hammam of Mirimiran ʿAli Bey]



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Y376b […]There are a total of (—) khans in the city where merchants, visitors and travellers can stay, including ʿAli Bey Khan, Yazıcı Khan, Musa Çavuş Khan, Mimi Ketkhuda Khan and Sükkeri Khan. Apart from these there are also some 20 apartment houses117 where men live with their families. The city has a total of 860 shops. There is no dedicated covered market, but nonetheless one can find goods from India, Arabia, Persia, Yemen and Anatolia. The most elaborate and ornamented of all the shops are the hundred flourishing, roofed shops in the marketplace of ʿAli Bey of Girga, located in front of the Pasha’s palace and consisting of masonry vaulted structures running along either side of the main road. This is where all the saddlers ply their trade, as there is no other harness shop. There are also several barber shops where men of culture gather. At either end of this road are strong iron gates like fortress gates that the gatekeepers shut tight every night. Effectively, this place serves as the city’s covered market. So that air can flow through this market, there are openings for ventilation here and there in the ceilings. At times of excessive heat, water is constantly sprinkled throughout the market’s interior, turning it into a clean and pristine place to escape from the heat and relax, and the town notables come here to relax, play backgammon or chess, or indulge in other pastimes. All of the other marketplaces in the city are roofed over in the same manner as this one. The great benefactor ʿAli Bey built wells with sakias at 40 places throughout the city so that travelling merchants and pilgrims, and in fact anyone, could water their animals. These apparatuses are still working today, providing irrigation with the water of life. Apart from these, there are said to be a total of 3,000 other wells throughout the city, while all around the city are 1,600 gardens and orchards and paradisiacal swards. Of all climes, it is the most beautiful, the most bountiful and the most abundant in villages. In the ground of this borderland of Girga lie countless and extensive treasures, great blessings as vast as the sea. Through the benediction of the pious Muslims here, it has become such a prodigal province that chronicles refer to it as ‘the land of plenty of Upper Egypt’. […] Y377a […]The city’s notables and government officials wear sable and other furs as well as multicoloured broadcloth and all kinds of other sumptuous materials, for which they give praise to God. People of the middling sort wear cloaks (lipaçe) according to their means, while the poor wear blue Asyut linens and coarse, striped short-sleeved overgarments (kereke). The men of Girga live to a ripe old age. […] It is as if they have renounced passing away. There are also many intelligent people among the city’s youth. Owing to the pleasant climate here, the 117 See EÇSOS s.v. rab.

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Hadari and Hawwara women of the city are very lovely of face and quite gracious and composed, and they speak well in the dialect of that region. […] Among the delicious foods here are the pale rose-pink white Y377b bread, the börek pastries, the çörek sweet bread and kahik and mutabbak,118 the pure milk, the clotted cream, the roasted young wheat, the oil, the honey, and the dates and lemons and oranges and pomelos and juicy grapes and pomegranates and peaches. Especially delightful are the early blooming and plump red peaches, which could bring life even to a dead body. And also, the white figs in particular are like none other in terms of their beauty, plumpness, pulpiness and delicious flavour. However, because they are so fresh and juicy, they lose their flavour in just the time it takes to carry a basket of them out of the city to outlying areas, though they are easily digested and highly nutritious. In addition to these, the ewes lamb three times a year, the pigeons are as fat and plump as chickens, and the city is also well known for its horses and camels and fish. Among Girga’s most renowned manufactures are round pillows of Morocco leather in many different colours, a great variety of other kinds of pillows of sheepskin leather, chess pieces of ebony and ivory, embroidered prayer mats of wool and camel hair, small mats for houses and bits for Hawwara horses. All around the city are mastabas with sakias that serve as places of recreation. Another sight worth seeing occurs at the governor’s palace, where the council is held four times a week, attracting a gathering of all sorts of naked Bedouin vermin from all over the Corridor of Girga. Inside the walls of the council hall are a wide variety of courtyards and layer on layer of royal chambers, and in the garden is the ceaseless flow of pools and water jets and fountains and the song of nightingales and the pleasant and plaintive voices of all kinds of birds such that one gains a new lease of life there. The governor’s palace is just such a bright and refreshing place. [Saints’ tombs] Y378a […]We stayed in the city for 11 days, enjoying ourselves and visiting the shrines and taking in the sights. The first thing I did in Girga was to address the orders I had received from Ibrahim Pasha in Cairo and find the captain of the grain ship that had sunk at Asyut. The captain was there in the city, and I brought him before the council, where, with several local people as witnesses, I sent a report to the Pasha that the ship had indeed sunk together with its imperial grain, and I received 500 gurush in dues from the captain and 5 purses for the Pasha. From Özbek Bey, the governor of Girga, I received a purse of a certain amount, a saddle of embroidered velvet and coarse cotton, a horse richly adorned with a 118 See EÇSOS s.vv. ḳāḥik, muṭabbaḳ.



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gilded harness and other trappings, another plain horse with trappings, two excellent dromedaries, and a fur of sable and green broadcloth, while our servants were granted 200 gurush. We were then given an escort of 20 men armed with muskets. The Pasha’s agent gave me another horse and 100 gurush and I finally bid farewell to all the local notables. Description of the halting places, villages and towns from Girga to Esna, Aswan and the Cataracts, Ibrim, Saï, Berberistan, and the sultan of the vilayet of Funjistan, and of the trials and tribulations suffered on the journeys in the intense heat: On the first day of the month of Safar in the year 1083 (29 May 1672),119 putting our trust in God, we boarded a ship on the bank of the Nile in Girga together with our 20 mounted escorts and dependents as well as the slaves we had purchased, and then we crossed the Nile and set foot in the vilayet of the Eastern Land. In these regions they call the other side of the Nile the Eastern Land (Şarkistan – i.e., Sharqiya) and the Girga side the Western Land (Garbistan – i.e., Gharbiya). The territory of the Eastern Land Y378b is under the control of Abu Yahya, who commands 10,000 soldiers armed with lances and mounted on fine thoroughbred steeds. Some of Abu Yahya’s retinue met us and respectfully escorted us as far as the Town of Abu Khalid, where we stayed for one night. Abu Khalid is a village situated on the bank of the Nile and consists of 100 houses and one Friday mosque. Abu Yahya, a young shaikh, visited us there and we were honoured with his company and conversation. He is a descendant of Khalid ibn al-Walid, one of those whose prayers are always answered. Indeed, should the head of a woman struggling to give birth be covered with the shaikh’s trousers, then by God’s decree she will give birth. Some say that this article of clothing is not the shaikh’s, but Khalid ibn al-Walid’s, and that it was passed down to the former by inheritance − the responsibility lies with the teller. Yet this matter of the trousers is sound and proven by experience. I saw the article of clothing myself, having had it brought to me from the dervish lodge (where it is kept); it is made of pink cloth now yellowed. Abu Yahya’s people are the tribe of Beni Khalid. They are very benevolent as well as being obedient and tractable men and they breed excellent pure-bred horses. Their vilayet extends north as far as the Red Sea and south-east as far as the entrepot of al-Qusayr on the Red Sea coast, 2 or 3 stages’ journey in each direction. It also borders the city of Qena, one day’s journey to the south, and the kadi district of East Akhmim, one stage’s journey to the north-east. Though it is relatively small, its villages are highly prosperous

119 Amending the text, which has 1082 (9 June 1671).

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and fertile. In sum, this vilayet is a substantial province120 located between the Red Sea on one side and the Nile River on the other. When we resumed our journey the following morning, Abu Yahya presented us with a grey horse as a gift. We sent it with a Bedouin to the grain administrator in Girga for safekeeping, then set off. After travelling along the Nile for five hours, we came to the Town of Hamadi on the bank of the Nile, consisting of 200 houses and one Friday mosque. Here resides Shaikh Hamadi’s Awlad Salimi tribe, who dwell on the same territory as Abu Yahya’s people, being their kinsfolk. They have 1,000 mounted men all told, and like Abu Yahya they are Hawwara. Passing through here, we came to Town of Mazadi, a village of some 60 houses with no Friday mosque. Then we journeyed for six hours along the Nile before halting at the Town (kasaba) of al-Balabish (Belabis), a semi-autonomous kashif district in the province of Girga. The kashif has a retinue of 100 men and no other soldiers. The 70 villages of al-Balabish produce some 40 purses and 1,000 ardabs of grain. It is a sub-district of the Faw kadi district and once a week the kadi’s representative (naʾib) comes to make rulings. There is a Friday mosque, a guesthouse, and 60 houses, but no other large structures of note, though it is a very productive place. All of the tax-paying subjects there grow safflower, which is a thorned bush that can grow to be as tall as a man. It produces a large yellow flower like that of the narcissus with a lovely fragrance. The safflower is gathered in spring Y379a and is exported to Western Europe to be made into dye. Merchants buy it for 60 or 70 gurush per quintal. After the flower has bloomed, the plant produces seeds that are gathered and sold for 3 gurush per ardab. The oil, a yellowish one more delicious than sesame oil, is extracted in Cairo and other cities, and it adds a lovely fragrance like musk and ambergris to vermicelli and bulgur pilafs. Moreover, if it is burned in oil lamps it gives off a light as bright as a torch. In sum, it is a thing with numerous products. We passed through this village and continued south along the bank of the Nile. It was in this village and in certain flourishing villages at the foot of steep rock escarpments that I saw the first doum palms I had seen in Egypt. I had seen them earlier on the pilgrimage road in Damascus, at the halting place called ʿAsi Khurma (‘Wild Date’), but these ones are very tall and have all sorts of twisted branches. By God’s decree, other kinds of date trees are just straight shoots, but the doum palm forks everywhere. In general the date trees that I have seen − whether in 120 Vasiʿatü’l-aktar dar-ı diyar – this seems to contradict what he just said about küçük hududları.



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Baghdad or Basra, Mecca or Medina, Yemen or Al-Wahat (The Oases) in Egypt − are tall and not forked, but the doum palm forks two or three times and each fork produces 1 or 2 quintals of dates. The dates weigh 40 or 50 drams each and are as big as a fist, gnarled, with a red rind. The pits are hollow and used as cups for Indian pepper and snuff. The dates, which are mainly eaten by the fellahin, have a pleasant flavour and a moderating effect on the constitution. Viewing such sights, we came after eight hours to Greater Faw [→ Ha9], a town (kasaba) of 1,300 prosperous houses situated in a plain a short distance from the Nile. It is a semi-autonomous district in the province of Girga. The administrator has his own dependents as well as 200 sekban soldiers, and the 90 villages under his authority produce a total of 40 purses and 800 ardabs of grain, which are registered to the account of the governor of Girga. There are no soldiers or commanders from the Seven Regiments of Cairo. Faw has a large guesthouse, 2 Great Mosques, 7 neighbourhood mosques and 2 coffee-houses. There is no khan, hammam, public fountain or covered marketplace, though there are two primary schools. The kashifs here reside in tents. Faw must have been an immense urban area in ancient times, as it is surrounded to a depth of 2,000 or 3,000 paces by ruins that are marvellous to behold. Here there are buildings like the Vault of Khosrow.121 In fact, at the place where the kashifs’ tents are pitched there lie halfburied in the sand hundreds of mighty porphyry and marble pillars whose like can only be seen in Cairo. In the Khiṭaṭ of the world historian Maqrizi it is written that Pharaoh’s magicians once dwelt here, and truly it remains an ill-omened place and magicians’ lair. There is no sign of garden or orchard anywhere in Faw, Y379b and many of its inhabitants are penniless. The people are yellow of complexion and the air is oppressive. The town is also the site of the shrine of Shaikh Ibrahim of Faw, whose eternal abode is beneath a large dome near the Great Mosque. He was a great saint whose countless deeds are recorded in the Tabaqat of al-Shaʿrawi. From this town the Nile turns to the south-east and flows the length of a day’s journey through fertile villages, coming so close to the Red Sea that there is only eight and a half hours’ distance between them. Proceeding along the bank of the river past Bedouin reed houses I arrived in seven hours at Qena. Description of the prosperous city and delightful entrepot of Qena [→ Ha8]: It was conquered from the Copts by ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs. After ʿAmr, during the caliphate of ʿUthman, Abu Bakr’s son Muhammad served as the governor of Egypt and, in order to supply Mecca and Medina with cheap foodstuffs, he came to 121 This is in reference to the ruined vault or archway known as Taq Kasra, located in the ancient Sasanid city of Ctesiphon.

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the city of Qena and ruled from here for three years, during which time he built up the city so much that it was like a second Cairo. And he built the fortress of al-Qusayr on the shore of the Red Sea, one stage distant from Qena; from there he sent all of the cereal grains of Upper Egypt to Mecca’s port of Jeddah and Medina’s port of Yanbu, in this way bringing supplies to the Holy Cities. Ever since that time the people of Qena have been wealthy merchants engaged in trade, and the majority of them are Meccan and Medinan descendants of the Prophet. A semi-autonomous kashiflik and tax farm of 100 Egyptian purses located in the province of Girga, Qena is a small entrepot today. […] A 150-akçe kadi district, it is nonetheless a disaster of a district that barely makes 150 akçe a year. They will give a Fatiha for a court order of 1,000 gurush, but not one red cent otherwise. For they are quarrelsome descendants of the Prophet and a commercial people who put their hopes in the kadi. [Description of the Qena merchants’ storehouses by the Nile. Clever pilgrims to the holy cities take a shortcut by sailing from Cairo to Qena, then travelling to al-Qusayr before embarking for the Hejaz.] Situated on a sandy plain 500 paces from the Nile to the south-east, Qena is a beautiful city adorned with 3,600 multi-layered brick and stone houses with vaulted porticoes, lofty painted palaces, Y380a and many other structures besides. The city has barricade (tedribe) gates all around, and the guards, whose salaries are paid by the populace of the city, stand watch there day and night. Qena has a total of 27 prayer-niches, with seven of these being Friday mosques and the others flourishing neighbourhood mosques with large congregations. [Description of the Great Mosque, also known as the Mosque of the Commander of the Faithful because it was built by ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs for the caliph ʿUmar.] Qena also has 7 dervish lodges, 2 madrasas, 10 primary schools, 7 prosperous and richly adorned wakalas, 7 coffee-houses, 150 shops and a soul-comforting hammam. The grain market is its own separate square, and once a week the city hosts a large market, with peasants from the 70 flourishing villages in the surrounding sub-districts coming there to buy and sell. Because of the city’s pleasant climate, it has women with dark faces the complexion of wheat. For the land of Habesh lies near here, and those born of Habesh concubines are lovely girls with slightly tawny skin and doe eyes tinged with kohl. All these rebellious ladies wear black waist wraps made of silk, earrings in their ears and necklaces at their necks, bracelets on their wrists and anklets on their feet, and red122 silk blouses. Some of them dance and sing in the coffee-houses, but this 122 See EÇSOS s.v. al-alal.



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is no cause for shame. However, the veiled women are different and go nowhere apart from visiting the cemetery on Fridays. Besides this, everyone in Qena wears a striped short-sleeved overgarment. Among the city’s important products are the juicy grapes grown in its 800 vineyards. There is also a type of fragrant grape with hardly any skin at all, a luscious grape that just drips juice. This Qena grape ripens 50 days before the grapes of Cairo and Faiyum because it grows in the sweltering climate and sandy soil of the second clime. Y380b Qena also has juicy peaches weighing 100 drams apiece as well as delicious apricots with hardly any skin. The city is also famous for its carrier pigeons. Merchants are always bringing pigeons’ mates to Qena from Mecca. Whenever the need arises, they take the pigeon from its cage, tie a letter to its wings, and let it go. Flying for one hour or for five hours it wings over the sea to Mecca, where another pigeon is let loose and comes to Qena. Because the merchants are constantly doing this, it has become proverbial among the people to say to anyone who goes somewhere and immediately comes back, ‘Are you a Qena pigeon?’ They are lovely birds. Among the produce of Qena is a delicious, juicy melon called ʿabdullawi, each of whose sides is like a scorpion’s tail. Consuming the seeds and pulp works as a powerful diuretic for anyone having difficulty urinating. Qena also produces tasty melons, watermelons, cucumbers and hairy cucumbers, all of them exceedingly delicious. […] [Saints’ tombs] Y381a […] Within the territory of Qena dwells the Bedouin tribe known as the ʿAbabida. They are a benevolent and valiant people, 6,000 in number, and it is they who transport the grain for Mecca and Medina to the port at al-Qusayr. We travelled with the shaikh of this tribe from Qena towards the south-east, traversing mountains and arduous roads and coming to a sandy plain at noon. There we lunched in a village before continuing, and ten hours after leaving Qena we arrived in al-Qusayr. Description of the Fortress and Entrepot of al-Qusayr [→ M5]: It is a small, square fortress of Shaddadian construction, 500 paces in circumference, and situated on the shore of the Red Sea. It was originally built by Muhammad the Elder, son of Abu Bakr, and later Tahir Baybars and Sultan Qaitbay added certain buildings and carried out repairs. The fortress stands atop a large rock with no moat and has one gate facing west. It has a warden and 200 garrison troops, an armoury with 17 small cannons, a Friday mosque, 20 cells, and a granary for wheat. Outside the fortress there are several other granaries as well as inns for travellers, but no khan or hammam or covered market, Y381b and not even any

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gardens or orchards. It is a desolate place, but an indispensable place of security.123 There is a large, fine harbour protected from all winds. Across the sea, 300 miles south-east, lies Yanbu, which is two days’ journey from Medina. And Jeddah, the port for Mecca, is 360 miles distant and only eight or nine hours’ journey from Mecca. Ships are constantly coming from the Hejaz to al-Qusayr to pick up grain. The water for al-Qusayr used to come from a day’s journey away, the ʿAbabida camel drivers selling it by the drop. When I arrived here the residents, complaining of thirst, said there were signs of water in a gully nearby and if there were someone wanting to do a good deed, he could channel it to the fortress with just a little effort. When they told me this, for the sake of God I immediately mounted my horse and set off. Discovering that spot a quarter of an hour’s ride away, I saw that it was indeed a potential source of water. Together with the town notables I drew up a petition and sent it off to my lord Ibrahim Pasha, the governor of Egypt. When the letters arrived, he assented and allotted 10 purses for the project, sending the funds with a trustworthy officer along with several masons and miners. By the time I returned here from my journey to Funjistan, they had dug a well with a bench for resting beside it and a beautiful pavilion. All who saw it spoke of it, and its water was very pleasant to drink. Praise be to God, this well came into being through the effort of this humble servant, and so the residents of al-Qusayr and the pilgrims and visitors124 and merchants passing through were delivered from thirst. God willing, I will acquire bountiful merit in line with the Hadith, He who leads someone to perform a good deed is like the one who performs it. Here is the chronogram I composed, in ramshackle fashion, for this occasion: Someone rose and said, Evliya, (write) the chronogram: Above a well of Zamzam was built Ibrahim’s pavilion. Year 1083 (1672/73)

Leaving al-Qusayr, we returned that night under the light of the moon and, guided by the ʿAbabida tribe and after nine hours of travelling west, we came to the bank of the Nile and performed our morning prayer. Then we had breakfast in the town of Anbud, a village of some 50 houses located eight hours from Qena 123 cf. IX Y370b where Evliya bemoans the dangers for ships in the Red Sea, citing the verse: ‘Where, O where is a place of security?’ (Neresi, ya neresi, ca-yı selamet neresi), and concludes by saying that there is simply no security in the Red Sea (bu Bahr-i Kulzüm’de bir vecihle selamet yokdur). 124 Zūwwār muḥāḍara, referring to those intending to take up long-term residence in the Holy Cities.



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and part of the nahiye of Qena. We rested here for three hours and then continued south along the Nile for another three hours, passing through villages resembling ruins with reed houses and drinking camel’s milk in the tents of the ʿAbabida before we finally arrived at Qus. Description of the ancient City of Qus [→ Ha7]: It was originally built in the time of Shaddad b. Adim b. […] (?) Shirin Qaftarim by a ruler named Qus, one of the sons of Qift. In the Coptic language qus means ‘building foundation’. Later, in the year 414 (1023/24), at the same time that this city was flourishing, a Coptic city located a day’s journey away from Qus in the desert fell to ruin and its people fled here from an epidemic of the plague. Y382a But they could not flee their appointed time of death, and most of the people of Qus perished as well. Ever since then, Qus has never been properly rebuilt. Some historians say that the garden of Iram built by Shaddad was located here, while some of the ulema of Cairo say that it was located outside that city in Sebil ʿAllam. According to Kaʿb al-Ahbar,125 Iram was located between Arzeh and Barzeh in Damascus. Now, people say, God has hidden it from the view of mankind. There are all sorts of opinions on this matter. However, if the city of Iram was indeed destroyed, it is by no means unlikely that it was located here, because Qus is in a valley with a pleasant climate and, judging from its extensive ruins, was once a great city of world renown that both the tongue and the jewel-scattering pen are powerless to describe. The air here is like that in Aleppo or Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman. Qus was taken from the Copts by force of arms, being conquered by Aswad ibn Miqdad before the Arab conquest of Egypt. Afterwards, while they were searching for treasure in the surrounding area, they knocked over a talismanic pillar and immediately scorpions began to spread everywhere and all the soldiers fled. So the city lay in ruins up through the time of the Umayyad caliph ʿAbd al-Malik, and that is why it is still in ruins today. Ever since then, there have been so many scorpions in the area that the people of Qus cry mercy on the scorpions of Kashan in Persia. The scorpions of Qus remain deadly, though they do not harm the people of Qus. I myself saw that ruined talisman: the image of a scorpion is carved into a green porphyry pillar and underneath it are seven lines of some kind of writing. Because it lies on the ground beside the road, everyone passing by can observe it. Qus lies in the province of Girga. It is a semi-autonomous kashif district with 200 soldiers. Its 60 villages produce 40 purses and 1,000 ardabs of grain. There 125 Kaʿb al-Ahbar (fl. early 7th century) was a Yemenite Jewish rabbi who converted to Islam and became an important early transmitter of the Israʾiliyyat body of Jewish- and Christian-derived narratives.

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are no commanders from the Seven Regiments of Cairo, nor is there a mufti or naqib. It is, however, a kadi district at the 150-akçe level with 60 villages producing 3 purses per annum. The city stands on a broad plain at some distance from the Nile and contains 800 spacious houses, though there are few finely constructed palaces. There are a total of 26 prayer-niches, in four of which the Friday sermon is read. One of the Friday mosques stands near the marketplace and was built by Al-Mustakfi Billah of the Abbasid dynasty126 when he was in exile here (see Y445b). It is quite a large mosque of 100 long paces in both length and width, with an old ceiling resting on 200 pillars. There are two other Friday mosques, about which I have no information, and the rest are all neighbourhood mosques. The city also has 2 wakalas, 5 coffee-houses, 6 schools, around 30 small shops and 20 public fountains, but no hammam or madrasa. The gardens here generally grow doum palms. In sum, it is not a very flourishing city, and because the air here is quite bad, the people have a yellowish complexion. Y382b […] [Saints’ tombs] From Qus we continued south along the Nile, now over stony ground and now through sandy deserts, travelling through ruinous wasteland for a full six hours before arriving at Luxor. Description of the vilayet of the two Shammunayn, the ancient City of Aqsurayn (Luxor) [→ Ha4]: After Noah’s flood Bayzar son of Ham, who was the younger brother of Shem, was known as Abu’l-Qababit (‘Father of the Copts’) because by the will of God all his children were born in pairs. He had two sons, Shammun Rif and Shammun Jaw. Since the two of them were born at once, they never parted from one another. Finally Bayzar sent both of them to Egypt, where they settled this region, and so it was called the vilayet of Shammunayn (the two Shammuns). They made this city so flourishing that, even though they were twin brothers, they constructed two separate castles Y383a as lofty as the heavens. It was because of these two castles that this city was called Aqsurayn (the Two Aqsurs or Two Luxors) meaning ‘City of Two Castles’. Were I to describe this great city to the degree that I observed it, it would go beyond the scope of this book, so it is better to be brief. It is an independent kashiflik in the province of Girga. With its garrison of 200 soldiers it obtains a grain tax of 40 purses. There are no other guards or officials and no mufti, no naqib al-ashraf and no notables. It was a grandly built ancient city of 1,200 houses on the shore of the Nile. Thousands of lofty buildings are still visible, with their skyscraping Vaults of Khosrow and countless domes and thousands of precious 126 r. 944–46.



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columns now trampled in the dust. The lofty columns used by past sultans to build their khans and grand mosques in Cairo all originated from here. And the four noteworthy lofty pillars inside the Süleymaniyye Mosque in Istanbul were brought from this city to Alexandria on the Nile by rafts. […] Sultan Süleyman himself went to see these pillars when they were raised according to the science of mechanics from ships at Unkapanı, and he accompanied them to Vefa Square, giving some instructions. I heard this from my late father, whose life goes back to the time of Süleyman. In short, such rosy columns have gone from the city of Luxor to Cairo and then to Istanbul. And still countless porphyry columns lie there toppled and trampled. The present city, however, is not very built up. There are 20 prayer-niches, three of which have the Friday sermon. The one with a large congregation is the Mosque of Abu’l-Hajjaj in the marketplace. There are a khan and a hammam, a number of busy dervish lodges, a primary school, a water dispensary and coffeehouses. The climate is very fine and the people are very poor. Shrine of Shaikh Abu’l-Hajjaj: He is buried inside a large cave in the vicinity of the mosque named after him. He was a great saint with thousands of miraculous graces, and there is no end to the legends about him. He was the younger brother of ʿAbd al-Rahim of Qena. Anyone desiring to fare well in this life and the next who recites a Fatiha at this shrine and freely offers the merit accrued thereby to Abu’l-Hajjaj will certainly gain his wish. He was a great saint, pride of the city. Nearby is the tomb of Shaikh Ramadan of Farghal. He too was very famous, one of the perfected ones, may God have mercy on him. Y383b Travelling from this city we again headed south (cenûb) along the Nile. We passed through empty spaces, following the bend of the blessed Nile and observing the crocodiles along the bank, until in seven hours we arrived at the Town of Tut [→ Ha3]. It is a prosperous town of 100 houses in the nahiye of Aqsurayn, situated on a high hill. Passing by it, we continued another six hours along the Nile, with cliffs rising to our left like Mt. Damavand,127 or else through meadows and plains, and came to the Town of Shaghath. It is also a prosperous village in the territory of Aqsurayn, with 100 houses and one mosque. At this point the Nile turns to the south-east (kıble). Continuing along its bank for six hours we came to the Town of Dayr Umm ʿAli. It has a large church and for that reason is called dayr. Now all the monks here are Copts. According to their report, it has been 3,000 years since this church was built. ‘Our Coptic king,’ they said, ‘sent [Maria] the mother of ʿAli to Muhammad’s grandfather ʿAbd al-Muttalib as a gift. He in turn gave her to his brother Abu Talib, and from him she gave birth to ʿAli. 127 Mt. Damavand in northern Iran, often used by Evliya as a trope for immense height.

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That is why this village of ours is called Dayr Umm ʿAli (Monastery of the Mother of ʿAli).’ They read this from their chronicles. Having dared to pass through this Dayr of Woe we continued for 3 leagues along the Nile, now in an easterly direction. In a delightful meadow, in a small domed structure, lies Shaikh ʿAbd al-Daʾim, one of the Companions of the Prophet. Reciting a Fatiha we gladdened his spirit and refreshed our hearts. Proceeding along the Nile for another six hours, we arrived towards mid-afternoon at the Stage of the Tribes of Hujayza [→ Ha2], where we were guests in the tent of their shaikh, a generous Arab host like Hatem (i.e., Hatim al-Tayy), known as Shaikh Nasir al-Dawla. That night we dined on camel’s meat and camel’s milk and date helva. Their bread is made of millet. Our horses got millet as fodder as well. This tribe of Hujayza comprises 3,000 brave horsemen. In the morning we continued our journey over stony ground, not along the Nile, coming at sunset with great difficulty to the Stage of the Clans of Radasi [→ G10: Abu ʿUsayb]. They, too, are Bedouins, comprising 2,000 rough and ready men of fame and fortune who go back and forth to the coast as far as Habesh. We lodged in the tent of their shaikh, Abu ʿUsayb, where we dined on camel’s flesh and milk and gave thanks to God. Our horses were again fed millet, but they did not like it. This Radasi tribe obeys neither the pasha of Habesh nor the kashif of Ibrim. They are a rebellious people. Setting out from there we proceeded along the Nile through several ruined towns and meadows and fields. In eight hours we came to the Stage of the Bedouin Tribes of Shibayka. They are a wealthy and courageous folk, comprising 6,000 men-at-arms who lord it over all the Arab tribes. Their shaikh is Shujaʿ al-Din (‘Brave of the Religion’) − but there is some doubt as to his faithfulness to the religion of Islam. They have mutton and millet bread in plenty, but no wheat or barley, since they are a rebellious folk Y384a who know nothing about sowing crops and paying taxes. We proceeded from there southwards along the Nile, which at this point comes down from the vilayet of Habesh toward the south-east (? – kıble tarafından beri). This entire area consists of Bedouin Arabs, bare-assed and beast-like, lacking bread and faith. Palming off some things as gifts, we passed through them without incident and in four hours arrived at Qalʿat Silsila (Fortress of the Chain). These are light-filled rocky mountains rising to the heavens. When one gazes at them one is awestruck. The mountains have thousands of caves − only God knows how many − which, so they say, were dug out by the peoples of ʿAd and Thamud, who used them as dwellings [→ G9]. Indeed, they are ancient (ʿAdi) constructions. By God’s command, the rough and flinty rocks were mastered by those people, who

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Figure 2.10: Gebel El Silsila, from the 1809 Déscription de l’Égypte (Antiquités), Vol. 1 [Plates], Plate No. 47) (Source: Déscription de l’Égypte ou Recueil des observations et des recherches qui ont été faites en Égypte pendant l’expédition de l’Armée Française, Antiquités, Vol. 1 [Plates], 2nd edition (Paris: Imprimerie de C.L.F. Panckoucke, 1820).)

cut them as though they were cutting cheese and made vaults and chambers and terraces, each one 40 or 50 Meccan cubits tall. The strange and wonderful images here are as though alive. The intricate stone carvings and the marvellous paintings and frightening statues of various living creatures stun the mind and dazzle the eye. The creatures seem to be gazing at you and smiling at you! In short, this Gebel Silsila (Mountain of the Chain) [→ G10] is one of the wonders of the world. Here, at the skirt of the cliffs, there is a mighty fortress. Across the Nile there is another castle atop a bare rock known as Qalʿat Edfu [→ F20] (see Y444b). The river valley between them is so narrow that the blessed Nile flows through it resounding like thunder, and the roar is deafening. In ancient times a chain was drawn over the Nile between these two fortresses − some parts of it and the wheels that turned it are still visible − and that is why they are known as Qalʿat Silsila (Fortress of the Chain). Above this place is the Strait of Shallalat (i.e., the First Cataract) and the vilayet of Shallal, consisting of seven straits (cataracts). Because this Strait of Shallal is so narrow, the Nile above it has numerous islands, each with flourishing villages and strange and marvellous shapes. Qalʿat Silsila has no warden or commander or halberdier or any other garrison, only some Jaʿfari tribesmen [→ G8] who dwell there.

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Figure 2.11: Ruins of Kom Ombo temple, depicted by David Roberts for Egypt and Nubia (1842) (Source: David Roberts, The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt and Nubia, Vol. V (London: Day & Son, 1856))

On the island opposite this castle is the Shrine of Shaikh Kom Sayyah [→ F19]. The blessed Nile flows here unrestrained and makes a roar. Shaikh Sayyah lived here for 70 years roaring (sayha urararak) along with the Nile, and for this reason was known as Shaikh Sayyah (‘the Roarer’). Even now some strange roaring sounds can be heard emerging from his noble tomb at certain places. Y384b On this island is also the Town of Kalij [→ F18], a prosperous village of 200 houses. The people are fishermen and sailors. Tribesmen known as Basali, comprising 3,000 men from the Hawwara tribe, have come and settled here [→ F17]. We passed by Qalʿat Silsila and proceeded southwards for five hours along the Nile until we came to Qalʿat Qulumbu (Kawm Umbu/Kom Ombo) [→ G8]: It was constructed by Shaddad b. ʿAd and was used by one dynasty after the other. Eventually Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan conquered it from the Copts and made it his capital. Later he cut out the Strait of Shallal from the cliffs and made the Nile flow towards Egypt [→ F15, F16] (see Y31a, Y279b, Y422b). Prior to that, half the Nile flowed into the desert of the Maghreb and from there into the Mediterranean at the Gulf of Kibrit opposite the island of Crete. The places where it



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Figures 2.12 and 2.13: Mummified crocodiles, from the Crocodile Museum at Kom Ombo (photographs Robert Dankoff, 29 February 2012)

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entered the Mediterranean and the great ditches (i.e., riverbeds) where it flowed are quite visible. During the caliphate of ʿUthman, Qulumbu (Kom Ombo) was conquered from the Copts at the hand of ʿUbayd b. Jarrah. But after ʿUthman’s martyrdom, the Copts invaded and took control of it again. It was conquered by ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs in the year (—) of the Hijra, following the conquest of Egypt. He participated in this ghaza in person, because it is a great country and ancient urban area and key to all the fortresses along the shores of the Nile. At present it is under the authority of the sanjak of Ibrim and in the nahiye of the kadi district of Aswan. The warden and garrison have been removed, and inside the castle are 300 rush mat houses belonging to the tribe of the Beni Jaʿfar. They pass as Muslims but their sect is Jaʿfari. They dwell outside the castle and in the desert, a tribe comprised of 3,000 people, very wealthy in goods and provisions. Above this fortress there is a large walled exurban settlement (varoş) that even now reportedly stretches for three hours’ distance along the Nile. The stones − each as large as an elephant − are dressed and polished and held together by iron brackets. They form a wall along the Nile that the Bedouins call Hayt al-ʿAjuz (Wall of the Old Woman). Thousands of porphyry columns and domes and vaults are visible in this ruined city. In the caves of the cliffs on the eastern side of this castle thousands of mummified crocodiles lie heaped up. The wrappings consist of the bark of the doum palm. The animals’ corpses have not decayed in the least bit, but also have an odour of musk, not at all like the smell of other animals’ corpses. It is a marvellous spectacle! The lofty mountain where these mummified crocodiles are heaped up is called Gebel Timsah (Mountain of Crocodiles). The Nile strikes it on the western side. Dhu’l-Yazan [→ G1] (i.e., Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan) cut through the cliffs and opened a strait. Boats coming from Egypt cannot pass through this strait with their merchandise but must first unload their bales. The lightened boats are then hauled up towards Aswan by pulleys and their bales, brought by camel, are reloaded beyond the strait. The Nile at this point consists of seven straits. The Strait of Shallalat (i.e., the First Cataract) is well known amongst Arab and Turkish mariners. The roar of the Nile can be heard from a distance of one stage away [→ G1], Y385a because the Nile hurls through the strait like a whirlpool, falling a distance of one minaret’s height and striking against the cliffs that rise up like Mt. Bisutun.128 The wonder 128 Mt. Bisutun (or Behistun) in western Iran, legendary site of Farhad cutting through the mountain (see Y77b), used here by Evliya as a trope for immense height.



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is that some Shallal boats fly down this whirlpool along with the Nile, calling on God, and emerge unscathed. For the mountains on both sides of the river rise up like Mt. Judi.129 So at this point the Nile flows through seven straits, separated by so many great islands. But the inhabited islands are on the other side of the Nile. God willing, we will record each one in its proper place. The road to the vilayet of Habesh splits off at this point from Qalʿat Qulumbu (Kom Ombo). Some of the Habesh viziers come here to Qulumbu, whether overland or via the Nile from Egypt, muster some troops, and take hundreds of camel-loads of food and river water before heading back through the desert to the vilayet of Habesh. There is no other road; it is all rocks and mountains. The road to Ibrim is south of here along the Nile, while the road to Habesh is south-east (kıble). I again took a party from Qulumbu castle and headed up the Nile towards Ibrim. Travelling over fine white sand like the sand of an hour-glass, in three hours we came to the City of Sinbas [→ G4]. This too in olden days was such a great city that it took us an entire day to trudge through its ruins. I cannot begin to recount all the strange and marvellous talismans and lofty columns and pillars carved from a single block of stone, like that in the hippodrome in Istanbul (i.e., the Obelisk of Theodosius), and covered with signs and wonders. Reportedly it was a city of the people of ʿAd. A rebel named Abraha came from Habesh with 70,000 elephants, devastated the country and massacred the people. Now it is a ruined city, the lair of owls and bats (? – masasa) and serpents. On one side of it, on the bank of the Nile, is a town − more like a village − with 200 reed mat houses. There is a single mosque with no minaret. Next to it is the Shrine of Shaikh ʿUmar Rajaʾi [→ G5], a great saint. His light-filled white rounded dome is in a doum palm grove on the Nile shore. Aside from this there are 70 or 80 great saints buried beneath lofty domes. We were so hot and tired, however, that we could not perform a proper visitation but passed them by, reciting a noble Yasin on their general behalf. Continuing along the Nile up and down over rough stones and through narrow paths, after seven torturous hours we arrived at Aswan. Description of the Castle of Fraud, the Construction of ʿAd b. Shaddad, the vilayet of Sudan, the city of Aswan [→ G2–3]: Some historians assert that this castle of Aswan was constructed by ʿAd before the flood. This must be so, 129 Mt. Judi in northern Mesopotamia, which early Christian and Islamic tradition considered to be the site where Noah’s ark came to ground, used here by Evliya as a trope for immense height.

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because there is a large church here known as Dayr ʿAryaq, where King ʿAryaq is buried underground in a bronze sarcophagus covered with Hebrew inscriptions. The Copts, who read these fluently, say it belongs to ʿAryaq son of King ʿAywam. Y385b It was during the reign of King ʿAywam that the prophet Idris was taken up to heaven (see Qurʾan 19:57). And during the reign of his son King ʿAryaq, who is buried in this church, Harut and Marut were kept in a pit in the city of Babylon. King ʿAryaq was succeeded by his son, Elohim, who is also buried in this church. Next in succession was his son Hasaylim who constructed the Nilometer, the remains of which are still visible, here in Aswan. Much later, when the Abbasid Caliph Maʾmun130 came to Egypt from Baghdad, he constructed the Nilometer that is in Cairo and destroyed Hasaylim’s Aswan Nilometer so that his would be the only one. It was Hasaylim who made Egypt prosper by turning the Nile into canals and tributaries through the science of geometry. He paved all the canals with porphyry and marble and evenly lined both sides of the Nile at Aswan with walls built of rocks the size of elephants. He also built a great bridge over the Nile in the country of Nubia with 12 skyscraping arches. No trace of this bridge remains, since it was destroyed in the earthquake that occurred at the birth of the Prophet, when the Vault of Khosrow also collapsed. But its foundations are still visible in the Nile. The prophet Noah appeared during the reign of this Hasaylim, and Hasaylim was together with Noah on the ark. He lived for 800 years. It is for this reason that historians assert that this castle of Aswan was constructed before the Flood, for most of the monuments were constructed by Hasaylim and his father Elohim and his grandfather ʿAryaq, as attested by Hebrew inscriptions on the rocks. Afterwards it was rebuilt by ʿAd, and after the Flood it was destroyed by Abraha. There are more details concerning this in the Khiṭaṭ (of al-Maqrizi), (the Sira of) Muhammad b. Ishaq and the history of Shahabi.131 I will only record the histories that I have myself consulted. In sum, Aswan is also one of the ancient cities of the world and abode of diviners that has remained standing after many dynasties. Finally it was conquered by ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs and to this day is part of the Abode of Islam. 130 r. 813–33. 131 For the Khiṭaṭ of al-Maqrizi, see note 55 at Y282a. Muhammad b. Ishaq (704–circa 70) was an historian and hagiographer whose Sīra Rasūl Allāh [Life of the Prophet of God], based on oral traditions, is one of the most important early biographies of Muhammad. The ‘history of Shahabi’ refers to the Turkish translation of al-Suyuti’s Ḥusn al-muḥāḍara (see note 4 at Y8b) by Şehâbî Çelebi, which Evliya mentions as one of the books on Egyptian history that he knew (Y2b–3a; see Takamatsu 2012, 150–51).



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It is a semi-autonomous kashiflik in the province of Girga and a multazim district with a revenue of 40 purses. With his retinue of 150 men the kashif extracts 600 ardabs of grain from the 60 villages under his authority. But he has no garrison troops of the Seven Regiments. And it is a 150-akçe kadi district making 300 gurush per year and leaving the kashif 5 purses after expenses. Aswan castle is a lofty octagonal structure situated on a mountain peak, truly a building of Shaddad. It is 3,600 paces in circumference; has three gates on the land side and on the river side; and 500 squalid houses, large and small, with no orchards or gardens, within the castle walls. The warden Y386a lives here with his 150 men. He has a military band and armoury and 20 Shahi cannons. It is now an important frontier, since it is surrounded by rebellious Bedouin Arabs. Inside are 1 Friday mosque, 7 small mosques, 3 coffee-houses and 6 boza shops. Aside from these there is nothing − no hammam or khan, no school, no water dispensary and no marketplace. Once a week, however, there is a great bazaar where all sorts of people gather from the surrounding villages and exchange goods. Outside the castle walls are 700 flourishing households with orchards and gardens. Some are houses built from the ancient ruins. Here, too, there are Friday mosques and neighbourhood mosques, but again no marketplace. The coffeehouses are made of wood and there are some huts that serve as shops, but there are no stone-built structures. In ancient times it was such a great urban conglomeration that buildings and columns like the Vault of Khawarnaq stretched a distance of three hours along the Nile, with thousands of lofty domes and khans and hammams and covered markets and talismanic structures and marvellous buildings, as though just completed by the hands of the master builder. But now these are nests for crows and pigeons and resound with caws and cries. In winter the birds all leave their nests and fly off to coastal climes, and then the Kunuz Arabs come and take up residence in these ruins. The climate of Aswan is so delightful that weapons and other such iron implements never rust but always stay shiny and polished. The people are reddish of complexion and lively and given to sexual intercourse. Because of the fine climate the lovely boys and girls are world famous. And the boza is an elixir of life, as invigorating as bone marrow. Aside from this they have nothing to crow about, because it is a heap of ruins.

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Mines and Hot Springs; the Nile Flood → [E1, E5–8] Aswan is the Darband132 of the Nile, the place of the Shallalat Straits (i.e., the First Cataract), above which the river is divided into seven islands. These islands have various mines, such as naphtha and tar and pitch, sulphur and lead and sulphur water, and there are also hot springs − the envy of kings − that provide an immediate cure to anyone with mange or leprosy. But there are no structures built on them. When the Nile flood comes it inundates all the islands and leaves no trace of the mines or hot springs. In any case, the people of this region do not know how to extract ore from these mines. If they did, they would provide an Egyptian treasure. When the blessed Nile is in flood it flows to Cairo green and red (see Y160a). At that time the Cairene sophisticates do not drink from the Nile, but have drinking water brought from the Well of Jesus in the village of Matariya [→ La2] (see Y11b, Y160a, Y227a). Y386b Those who do drink that green water when the Nile is in flood generally become afflicted with goitre and their feet swell up like waterskins − God save us! The reason the Nile flows green and red at that season is that so much tar and naphtha and sulphur and pitch from these islands above Aswan get washed into the water and cause the death of most of the vermin in the Nile. Even the vermin, by God’s command, realise this and take refuge in some of the canals and islands. That is why the Nile flows green. […] [Vilayet of ʿAlawi;133 Footprint of Idris] Beyond the lofty mountains lying to the south of Aswan is the Great Vilayet of Nubia, known as City of the Gate of Repentance. It is reportedly a great urban expanse whose people are wealthy merchants. Their wealth is based on emeralds extracted from mines in the Nubian mountains [→ D4]. However, I have not gone there and seen them myself; Y387a in Aswan I met people who have seen them and people from that vilayet. The governor of Girga, ʿAli Bey, exploited this mine and had precious items crafted from emeralds − goblets and cups, a dagger hilt and a mace, and the front and rear pommels of a saddle. The Nubians told me that ʿAli Bey grew fabulously wealthy from emeralds. ‘But we,’ they went on to say, ‘are destitute, for we have no ability to work the mine. It requires commitment on the part of a ruler and an enormous investment of resources.’ So now the emerald mine is idle. There are 40 other types of mines in the Aswan mountains, but they don’t know how to extract the ore. 132 Refering to the city in Dagistan on the western shore of the Caspian Sea, located at the entrance to the narrow pass between the Caucasus foothills and the sea. 133 cf. Habraszewski 2001.



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The Nile arrives at Aswan after passing through prosperous country stretching a distance of a four-month journey, and (before that) a two-month journey through Nubia, and (before that) a two-month journey through Berberistan and Funjistan, and (before that) a four-month journey through wasteland in the extreme south. In the region near Aswan, an ewe lambs three times a year, generally bearing twin lambs each time. Such is the effect of the mildness of the climate, by God’s command. He has power over all things (2:20). […] [A huge tree. The tomb of Shaikh Zindiq. Other products of Aswan: salt, natron, soap, beeswax. Satan’s statue of Idris. Hayt al-ʿAjuz al-Sahir and other ruined monuments.] Y388b Setting out towards the south-east from Aswan along the Nile, observing the walls of Hayt al-ʿAjuz and the crocodiles in the Shallalat islands, we arrived in four hours at the Strait of Shallalat [First Cataract → F16]. We had observed these Shallal Straits for a distance of 3 stages from Qulumbu Castle. But I am now speaking of the Great Shallal that is the end point of Shallal, well known to Turks, Arabs and Persians. Many descriptions have been written of the First Shallal. Here both sides of the Nile are tall grey cliffs, very frightful mountains where falcons and hawks and eagles make their nests, and the strait is so narrow that a stalwart youth can throw a stone from one side to the other. Here boats fly down with the Nile like thunder. No one dares to do this except for the Bedouin boatmen; merchants disembark and pass by the strait on land. The noise made by the dashing of the waves is deafening, and one gets drenched from the constant spray raised by the force of the current. But when the flood recedes and the Nile is low, rocks appear like bathhouse domes and an agile man can cross the strait by jumping from rock to rock. In ancient times, when this narrow strait was blocked, the blessed Nile split into two tributaries, one of which went towards the Maghreb134 and the other went through the vilayet of ʿAlawi and poured into the Red Sea at Suakin in Habesh. These riverbeds are still visible. Later, (—) (—) after the Flood, Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan, who was knowledgeable concerning geometry and the other sciences, and following the expertise of his two diviners Safwayim and Mihrayim, calculated the elevation and had miners cut through these mountains [→ F15, F16] (see Y31a, Y279b, Y384b, Y422b). It was due to Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan that the Nile now flows towards Egypt. The blows caused by his miners’ picks are still evident. It was subsequent to this that the land of Egypt was settled and Habesh and the Maghreb fell to ruin and became desert. All chroniclers are in agreement 134 The text here mistakenly has Habesh instead of the Maghreb.

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on this point. I myself have seen the great ditches (i.e., riverbeds) in several places where the Nile used to flow in ancient times. The Aswan side of Shallal (i.e., the Nile valley between the First Cataract and Aswan) used to be so prosperous that gardens like paradise bordered on Aswan. Even now there are myriad traces of buildings. They turned to ruins because of the prophet Moses’s curse on the pharaohs and his diviners and magicians, in accordance with the Qurʾanic verse, Everything perishes except His face (28:88). Y389a At present there are 200 flourishing houses amidst the ruins. There are the remains of two great Friday mosques, but they are not splendidly built like other Friday mosques, although they are not completely deprived of congregations. One is the Mosque of Dayr Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan, the other is the Mosque of ʿUmar. Otherwise there is no building, whether khan or hammam or marketplace. Actually, it is impossible to live here because of the roar of the Nile. People have to shout at one another like sergeants-at-arms in order to be heard. Indeed, when I stopped here to rest because of the heat, I got dizzy from the noise. So one reason why the place is in ruins is that the inhabitants cannot live in peace due to the thundering of the Nile. Another reason that people have fled is that their rugs and clothes would get damp and spoiled from the constant spray. After touring these sights, we proceeded 2,000 paces to the nearby Fortress of Abwab, a construction of Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan. It is a mighty stronghold (ribat),135 circular in shape, at the mouth of the strait on the eastern or Aswan side of the Nile. The people living there are Bedouins of the Qarh tribe. I do not know what its circumference is, but its wooden gate faces east and it contains 500 houses of reed and matting as well as an old mosque. There is no warden or garrison and no other building. In ancient times they tied a chain from this castle to the caves in the cliffs on the opposite bank and took a toll from the boats coming and going. The places where the chain was tied are still visible. We passed by this castle and continued south along the Nile for another six hours, over stony and gravelly ground, to the Tribes of Kunuzayn [→ F29] where we were guests in the tent of Shaikh ʿAli Wasiti. The designation of this tribe as Kunuzayn (the Two Kunuz) derives from their finding two treasures (kenz) in the ruins of Aswan and dividing them equally among the claimants. Then another Bedouin tribe attacked them and demanded a share, but they would not give it to them, so there was a large battle and they defeated their attackers with their spears. Ever since that time they have been known as Kunuzayn, and the defeated 135 Ribat is a fortified outpost. Evliya actually uses the form rabat (also at Y408a), for which see EÇSOS s.v. rabāṭ.



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tribes have been known as Qarh. Although they dwell in the islands of Shallal, the Kunuzayn are wealthy merchants. They follow the Maliki rite and claim to descend from Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan. They comprise 7,000 soldiers. That night they fed us, and our horses as well, with millet and camel’s meat and camel’s milk. In spring they migrate to the mountains of Habesh, because they have many animals and the mountains around Shallal are poor in grass. Departing from here we again went along the Nile and in five hours came to the Tribe of Mihriya [→ F28], where we were guests in the tent of Shaikh Hamid Mihri. These are 1,500 poor and miserable dark-complexioned naked Arabs (or Bedouins) who cover their pudenda with a waistcloth tucked into their belt. They belong to the Mihriya sect Y389b and deny the Resurrection. We spent a very difficult night, eating millet bread. In the morning, we set off again along the Nile on stony paths only wide enough to go single file. Our baggage had to be carried by our servants on their backs. We, too, had to dismount and go on foot. This road was also opened by Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan; otherwise it would be impossible to pass through this area. Praise be to God, we managed with great difficulty, and in two hours reached the Tribes of the Rebellious Kalafish (Kalabsha) [→ F27]. Among the Bedouin they are known as Kalafish, meaning ‘they are nothing’. They have no tents but dwell in the caves that are in these cliffs. Their shaikh, Chadilla (i.e., Abu Jaddullah, see Y162a), showed us a Cave of Orphans that we entered with our horses to escape from the heat. They are very cold caves. The Kalafish are a rebellious tribe of 3,000 blacks in this black stony region. They have many goats but no other animals. They eat millet and camel’s flesh and tays, meaning goat. They also make crocodile kebabs and eat them. What is more, they have sex with female crocodiles. When they talk about sex with crocodiles their mouths water. They are a tough and tyrannical people from eating crocodiles. They are in possession of crocodile musk and crocodile gallstones. They remove the gallstones from the crocodiles’ galls. At night they grasp these gallstones and are able to have sex with their wives 40 or 50 times. They can keep having sex as long as they do not let them out of their hands. Reportedly, their wives also have an undiminished appetite for sex as long as they keep them in their hands. The Nile tributaries do not reach these places, and so there are no date palms and no berseem (Egyptian clover). The only produce is red millet. To make a living, the people arm themselves and go into the Habesh mountains, where they do battle with elephants. They take elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns to Habesh and sell them there and buy twilled cotton. Proceeding from there, we again went along the Nile, now towards the south and now south-east (kıble), through narrow gulches and frightful rocky mountains.

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Enjoying the view, we arrived in 11 hours at the Clans of Abu Hur [→ F25]. They are 800 miserable and ugly Zangi Arabs with black faces and black hair, who know nothing of religion and the Resurrection. They too live in caves. Passing them by, we went on for another five hours. God be praised, at the 16th hour, three hours past the time of the night prayer, by the light of the moon, tired and exhausted, we came to the Tribe of Senyal [→ F26]. They comprise 2,000 Muslims who dwell in tents and pavilions in a vast desert. Since they are Bedouin Arabs, their women’s faces are naked. We lodged in the tent of their shaikh, ʿAbd al-Majid. He brought us cheese and milk right away, then slaughtered three sheep. An Egyptian jundi in red shalwars appeared − he turned out to be from the Ibrim garrison − bringing several loaves of bread, which cheered us up. In this neck of the woods, even our biscuit had run out. We ate the bread with butter and it revived us considerably. Y390a Here, after travelling for seven days, we reached the end of the Shallal Straits and the Mountains of Bisutun and entered the territory of Ibrim. In the morning, we again headed south on black stony ground and in six hours came to the Town of Kushtamina [→ F26]. It has 200 peasant reed houses. The people are submissive. They have a small mosque, as well as a coffee-house and a boza shop. A tribe of Kunuz Bedouin also dwell here in their tents. Going five hours further south along the Nile we came to the Town of Kurt [→ F24], with 70 or 80 reed houses and a small mosque, but no coffee-house or boza shop. This town is administered by the Ibrim Janissaries. Here, too, there are tents of the Kunuz Bedouin; their border ends here and they do not cross into Ibrim territory. Continuing along the Nile through meadows and fertile plains, eating Lubya136 watermelon, we arrived in five hours at the Noteworthy Site of Subuʿ (Wadi Subuʿ, Valley of Lions) [→ F3, F23]. In order to view it properly, we dismounted and let our horses graze and spent an hour touring the site. By God’s wondrous power, on both sides of the Nile are lions of porphyry and granite, as big as elephants, in various poses and attitudes, several thousand of them broken in pieces and lying trampled in the sand and dust. Viewing them, one is overcome with terror, since the lions standing there firmly seem to be alive, such well-wrought statues are they. There are also hundreds of seven-headed dragons of black stone along the Nile, as bulky as camels and with camels’ necks − some fallen, some in pieces, and some engulfed by the dust with the upper half above ground. They are veritable dragons − God preserve us! − strange and frightful of appearance. Well, we are human beings and rational creatures, so we conquered our fears and 136 Unidentified; perhaps an error for Luhya (Al-Luhayyah ⇒Y438a [→ M9]).



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looked at them, but our horses went haywire when they saw these images. There were thousands of other signs and wonders, impossible to describe. Moses battled with Pharaoh in this place, and these are the beasts that his diviners and magicians conjured up. God addressed Moses and, according to the Qurʾanic verse, Moses threw down his staff and thereupon it changed to a veritable serpent (7:107). When Moses threw his two-headed staff on the ground, it turned into a serpent and swallowed up the lions and tigers and leopards made by Pharaoh’s magicians and diviners and the Pharaoh was routed and fled. So these are those beasts that were left unconsumed by the serpent staff and that afterwards turned to stone. A marvellous sight! That is why the place where these lions are standing is known as Subuʿ (‘Lions’) − in Arabic there are 180 names for lion, and this is one of them. After touring this site, Y390b we continued south along the Nile for four more hours, crossing mountain passes and desert places, until we came to Wadi ʿArab [Wadi ʿUrban → F22]. It is a vast meadow and plain where the Bedouins (ʿUrban) gather once a year for seven days and seven nights to buy and sell. This is why it is called Wadi ʿArab. Continuing south along the Nile for four hours and passing through productive fields, we arrived at Der. Description of the Great City and Ancient Edifice, Throne of Azraq Jadu, City of Der [→ F21]: It was founded by Pharaoh’s Azraq Jadu (‘Blue Witch’), who lies buried here in a cave that the pharaohites visit as a shrine. Later it was conquered by Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan and then occupied by the Copts, who governed it for several centuries. During the reign of ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs, it was conquered from the Copts by Aswad b. Miqdad. Later still, it was occupied by the people of Funjistan and Berberistan. In the year (—), during the reign of Sultan Süleyman, Tavaşi Süleyman Pasha, the conqueror of India and Yemen, took the entrepot of Diu from the Portuguese Franks and presented it to the Emperor of Egypt, then crossed to Habesh with the fleet and had Özdemir Pasha take over Habesh. From there, he came to Cairo and again gave Özdemir Pasha a large army, which he brought up the Nile and used to conquer this city of Der and Ibrim castle from the King of Funjistan. From that time on this city of Der has been in Ottoman hands, and it is more imposing than a town (kasaba). It is the capital of the Ibrim sanjak under the authority of the province of Girga. The kashif of Ibrim now resides here. When it was conquered, however, the governor was independent and donned his robe of honour not from Girga but from the vizier of Egypt. For the past 40 years he has been a semi-autonomous governor under the authority of Girga, with 300 of his own troops and 500 soldiers of the Seven Regiments. He is in control of (—) villages and a tax farm of (—) purses and (—) of grain. He uses the money and the grain that he extracts from these villages to pay the garrison

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and castle guards. Der is also a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, providing an annual income of 1 purse. Its nahiye is God’s broad land (Qurʾan 4:97). There are muftis of the four Sunni rites and a naqib al-ashraf, but no town notables. The town consists of 1,200 small houses on the eastern bank of the Nile, mainly of reed and matting; there are no great palaces. The palaces of the kashif and the commanders of the Seven Regiments and the çorbacıs and Menfi Şekerpare Hatun and Musahib ʿAli Agha are fine constructions. Here and there one also finds well-built houses belonging to garrison soldiers. There are a total of 26 prayer-niches, of which (—) have Friday prayers; the rest are neighbourhood mosques. There is no khan or hammam or madrasa or covered market. But there are 6 Qurʾan schools, 7 water dispensaries, 15 shops and 3 coffee-houses. And there are 6 boza shops, Y391a since the climate of these regions is conducive to boza, which is cooling in this intense heat and also stills the pangs of hunger and thirst. They make a delicious boza from white millet that is like rosewater and is drunk by young and old. But most of the inhabitants are short of breath. And all the natives are dark-complexioned, because the heat in this region is so intense that it cooks camels by their paws and donkeys by their hooves. The men are all skin and bones. The food and drink of this city are millet and Nile water and boza. They also have plenty of date liqueur. All other foodstuffs and provisions come from Girga. In ancient times this was a great city, and there are still traces of buildings and marks of former civilisation. There are quite a few shrines both inside and outside the city. The best known, and the one we visited, is that of Shaikh Hu − may his secret be sanctified. Since Der is the vilayet of Azraq Jadu, the women make asses out of the men using their rebellious magic. Quite a few men have been struck with this affliction and go about braying. In fact, one of the müteferrikas of Haseki Pasha has been bewitched and brays like a donkey in the coffee-houses and boza shops. Everyone in town is similarly bewitched. While in this city I lodged in the kashif’s palace. We halted here for two days. Since the kashif did not come from Ibrim, we set off on the third day and proceeded south along the Nile, arriving in Ibrim two hours later. Description of the Ancient Castle, City of Ibrim [→ E3–4, E15]: It was founded by King Muqawqis, one of the Coptic kings. In the year of the Hijra (—), it was conquered after a two-month siege by several thousand Companions of the Prophet, including ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs in person, Kaʿb al-Ahbar, ʿUbayda b. Jarrah, Jabir al-Ansar, Abu Hurayra, Sariyat al-Jabal and Aswad b. Miqdad. It is a very solidly constructed fortress, small but strong, atop a bare hill that rises



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towards the heavens on the eastern shore of the Nile. It is pentagonal in shape, with a circumference of 800 paces. There is a single gate that opens to the east, and inside the fortress there are only 80 houses, large and small. In the centre is an old-fashioned Friday mosque with one minaret, from the time of Sultan Süleyman. During his reign, the kings of Funjistan and Berberistan conspired and captured Ibrim castle by means of a ruse. The governor of Egypt, Tavaşi Süleyman Pasha, made Özdemir Pasha commander. He reconquered the castle by force in ten days; cut off the heads of the crow-complexioned and grasshopper-legged Funji and Berberi rebels who had captured it and were holed up there; hurled their black faces on the black ground; and had this mosque constructed in the name of Sultan Süleyman. Y391b It is now a prayer hall for the community. There is no marketplace or khan or hammam in the castle. It does have a warden with 200 garrison troops and a splendid military band. The castle warden is one of the müteferrika troops of Cairo, according to the kanun of Selim (I). Every year, 300 men belonging to the Seven Regiments are sent from Cairo to guard the fortress and another 300 guards from the Seven Regiments for the governor. They collect the state taxes and grain supplies and have exclusive control over the bureaus. Also, by order from Cairo, the governor of Girga sends his snarling agents every year to exact an additional 20 purses as the annual stipend. Notwithstanding, they are a brave and warlike people who day and night do battle with the Zangis and Berberis and Funjistan bandits. It is a very remote frontier. The castle’s armoury is well equipped, with 40 Shahi and culverin cannons. It has no moat, however, as it is situated at the top of a cliff. The air in the castle is fine, but in the town below some places get so hot that the miserable houses of reed and matting burst into flame. However, by God’s command, no one is badly affected by the heat, and in fact, one has to guard against the cold in the early morning. And although everyone eats millet bread, in this region it is quite wholesome. The reason is that most of the populace are subject to dysentery, diarrhoea being the chief cause of death − plague hardly exists in this region − and eating millet bread stems diarrhoea. So the people find the climate to be wholesome, since the men are given to sexual intercourse. The notables usually wear a shirt and over that a very thin vest made of bediyye shawl. The middle classes wear a waistcloth and over that another waistcloth − their entire property consists of waistcloths. The poor wrap themselves in an indigo bathcloth and otherwise go around naked. The womenfolk cover their lower parts with a black and white waist wrapper and their upper parts with a black veil. There are no lovely boys and girls because all the local inhabitants are darkcomplexioned. Mosquitoes are so abundant in this city that people cannot get any

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rest at night. When they lie down, they cover themselves with material made of very thin shawl. God forgive us! Ibrim is the place in the Ottoman Empire where criminals are exiled who have committed crimes that are serious but not serious enough to warrant capital punishment. Azov (another place of exile) is like hell because of the extreme cold, but only for eight months of the year; the other four are delightful summer weather. But the infernal heat in Ibrim has no respite, and that is the reason why criminals are exiled here. Ibrim is the farthest Ottoman frontier in the south, that in the north being Azov, in the east Baghdad, and in the west the castle of Çavga, which is 6 stages beyond Istolnibelgrad. Y392a Those three vilayets all have orchards of Iram and delightful climates, whereas here in Ibrim there is neither orchard nor garden, nor to heartache any pardon, but only black wilderness. To be sure, there are date palms here and there, and melons and watermelons do grow in the market gardens, and a bushel of millet grain does produce 150 bushels − that is why they sow no other crop but white millet, with which they even feed their animals. Ibrim is located at the extremity of the first clime. According to Ptolemy the Philosopher, this clime (i.e., the second clime) begins here. The latitude is 20 degrees and 27 minutes and the longest day is 13 hours and 15 minutes, whereas in the middle of the second clime the latitude is 24 degrees and 40 minutes and the longest day is 13 hours. Such is the latitude of Ibrim, and so it will continue as long as God wills. The length of this second clime from east to west, according to the Geography (of Ptolemy), is 1,400 parasangs, and the width is 136 parasangs. This clime contains 17 great mountains that are the keys of the earth (see Qurʾan 39:63, where mountains are termed the keys of heaven and earth); and 36 endless plains, most of which are uninhabitable by humans and swarming with vermin; and 2,000 cities, of which 50 are great cities, beginning with Hind and Sind in the east; Mansura, Hiza (?), Kand (?); in the Arabian Peninusula: Najd, Tihama, Yathrib (Medina) and Hijaz; on the other side of the Red Sea: Habesh, Zeila, Suakin; in the country of Berberistan: this castle of Ibrim, the city of Der and the city of Dongola, which is the capital of Berbera; the country of Africa (Tunisia); the country of Egypt; and finally the country of Baqliya (?), which is the border of the Portuguese infidels across from the Maghreb on the Atlantic coast. The ancient philosophers spent their long lives travelling through these countries, taking elevations with their astrolabes, and learning about God’s blessings on earth. They recorded their observations in the books of Atlas and Minor (i.e., the Atlas Minor of Mercator) and the Geography (of Ptolemy) and Pa[d]riya and



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Coloniya (Columbus, i.e., the New World) and drew up maps.137 This humble one, full of fault, has also taken pains to record all the lands and countries that I have passed through in my travels − the villages and towns and great cities, the great mountains and rivers, and all the stages north and south. My goal has been to bring these places from the realm of hearsay into that of eyewitness report and to draw maps of them. I, too, have recorded so many fortresses and regions, as in the Mappa Mundi, and rivers and mountains and lakes, in the manner that I learned from my master Naqqash Hükmizade ʿAli Bey. May God vouchsafe that I complete this journey of the Nile and Funjistan and record their forms in a map. The qibla of Ibrim, according to the calculation of the climes recorded here, is 7 degrees inclined to the north. Y392b We lodged here in the kashif’s palace for three days, touring the fortress and the city. Then we prepared our travel provisions for Funjistan, including barley for our 15 horses, and from the kashif and castle warden and commanders and great notables we obtained letters of introduction for the Funj amirs at the borders and for the King of Funjistan. Some Funjistan merchants turned up and they also joined our party, as well as 300 jallaba merchants from Berberistan, mounted on donkeys, and 70 musketeer guards from the Cairo Janissaries recently assigned to Saï castle. The kashif added 20 men from his own retinue and presented us with two camels bearing grain, two dromedaries and one mare. Taking leave of our Ibrim friends we headed out from Ibrim in the direction of Funjistan, with our party − on foot and mounted on camels or horses or donkeys − consisting of 800 fully armed men.

Chapter 71: Detailed account of our setting out from the vilayet of Ibrim in the year 108(–) in the month of (—) and the stages and castles and cities and towns heading towards the vilayet of Funjistan First of all, we went north along the Nile out of Ibrim. The reason is that the Nile here flows very crookedly and bends to the north. We followed suit, and in eight hours we arrived at the Stage of Wadi Halfa [→ E14]. Here we pitched our tents and pavilions, tentrope to tentrope, and made a camp, all 800 men, stationing mounted sentries at 1,000 paces on all four sides. That night we were guests in that wadi. It is called Wadi Halfa (‘Wadi of Grass’) because it is a grassy and productive plain; in this region halfa is the word for pasture. I was comfortably ensconced in my tent in the shade of a tree on the bank of the Nile, which at this 137 cf. note 38 at Y157b.

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point flows through a narrow gorge with bare cliffs rising on both sides. Even the Shallalat boats cannot navigate above this point, though the Tannara boats, which are of a different sort, can. Leaving Wadi Halfa, we proceeded along the Nile, now east and now south, over hill and dale and orchard and shaded pathways, through forest and jungle and merciless places with no sign of human habitation, in constant fear of tigers and leopards and wild beasts of prey. For six entire days we pressed on, trudging over those shaded pathways for 18 hours (a day). Not once in six days did we see the sun, so thick are the forests. The trees are mainly santa and sindiyan and tamarisk (etle) and zakkum; there is nothing resembling the trees of Turkey. Finally, on the seventh day, we reached Saï. Description of the kingdoms at the extreme border of the Ottoman realm, the merciless Qalʿat Saï [→ E14]: Y393a It is on a large island in the midst of the Nile. It was founded by Abraha. Having come down through the dynasties, it was conquered in the year 22 (643) by ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs, by the hand of Aswad b. Miqdad. Later it was occupied by the Funj people, and was conquered by Özdemir Bey in 935 (1529), during the reign of Sultan Süleyman. It is a flourishing border castle by virtue of treaties and strict oaths, and the kings of Funjistan have not violated the treaty to this day. But because it is at the furthest frontier, they are constantly doing battle with bandits from Funj and Berberistan. The blessed Nile at this point spreads out like a lake. The castle is a Shaddadian construction of black stone, square in shape, firmly situated on an island in the midst of the Nile. After the Flood, this city was rebuilt by King Sa b. Mısrayim b. Naqrawash, and was further built up by numerous kings thereafter. At present, there is a single iron gate facing south-east (kıble). It was brought here from Habesh by Özdemir Pasha. Below the arch of the lintel is a portrait of Abraha, the founder of the castle, carved in black granite, with a demonic expression, as though he were alive. When I arrived here, they let off a welcome shot from a cannon that reverberated thunderously over the mountains and plains, and they gave me quarters in the castle warden’s house. The notables of the vilayet hosted me generously, praising God that they had seen a man from Turkey. I handed over the letters from the kashif of Ibrim and the governor of Girga and the Pasha’s orders to the warden and the commander of the Seven Regiments of Cairo and the kashif of Ibrim’s deputy, and they showed even greater respect. Then I set out on foot to view the castle and the city. First of all, the castle has a warden from the müteferrikas of Cairo with his garrison of 150 men, plus 300 guard troops from the Seven Regiments of Cairo and



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a military band. Their revenue and grain provisions are sent annually from Girga. They have ample supplies of gunpowder and 70 cannons of the muşkat and Shahi and saçma varieties. There is no chief shaikh al-islam or naqib al-ashraf, but it is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, and his nahiye extends as far as Funj and Habesh, though its produce (only) amounts to one loaf of millet bread per day. Sometimes it is attached to the kadi of Ibrim and a naʾib comes once a month or once every five months, when boats arrive with grain stocks. In the castle are 300 small reed houses, a Friday mosque of Sultan Süleyman and a mosque of Özdemir. Otherwise there is no khan or hammam or madrasa or dervish lodge or Qurʾan school or water dispensary. There are only 10 reed-booth hut-of-sorrows shops, 3 coffee-houses and 8 boza shops. The boza is like marrow, filtered and pure. They put a bit of watermelon molasses into every jar, Y393b which gives it a delightful flavour. Outside the castle walls are another 150 reed houses. They have no orchards or flower gardens, but there are many vegetable gardens producing sweet and juicy melons, watermelons, cucumbers, squash and ʿabdullawi melons. Here and there are also date palms. Were they to channel the blessed Nile into canals in this vilayet, the pure soil would produce gold. Bedouins of the Beni Halfa tribe dwell in the plains and they reap 200 bushels of millet for every bushel they sow, so productive is the soil. The Beni Halfa are 7,000 ugly and irreligious desert-dwelling tribesmen who sometimes revolt and do battle with the Saï garrison troops. From here to the Habesh capital of Massawa it is 20 stretched stages to the north. God willing, I will provide details of the route in its proper place. Every stage is desert and full of wild beasts − lions and leopards, elephants and rhinoceroses, giraffes, gazelles, scoop-tails (kepçe kuyruk – i.e., horned viper?) [→ B4], wild sheep, eagles, serpents, wild mules and so on. Even here in Saï Castle there were three lions that, God knows, were each as big as an elephant. They had lured them into traps and they kept them penned inside reed huts − beasts that would not be bound by the wilderness! I have never seen such fearsome lions. At times, when the Nile is low, some of the Bedouins cross the river here on camels. It is very wide. But the water immediately surrounding the island of the castle is deep, and one cannot cross to it. The climate here is so delightful that the cold and the heat balance each other out. It is very refreshing to sleep outdoors at night. The reason is that in this clime of Egypt − beginning at the Land of Hasan, which is Bilbays and ʿArish − there is a morning breeze but only the meltem (tiyab, a dry north wind) and the marisi (milisi, a hot south wind), while in Saï Castle there is an east wind at dawn and there is a dewfall, so one’s brain is perfumed with the sweet scent of vegetation.

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Therefore there are very finely developed boys and girls who skip like partridges and glance like gazelles. When a man sees those fairy-faced lovelies his body trembles. Furthermore, iron does not rust in this city due to the pleasant climate. But the female magicians are world famous. Many a Turkish stranger has been bound by their enchantments. They are not, however, as bad as those in Ibrim and in Der, the city of Azraq Jadu − God forgive us, in those cities they turn men into donkeys and dogs that bark and bray, and they make pots and pelts and troughs fly up in the air. Y394a The area beyond Saï Castle is under the authority of Funjistan. No Turk is to be seen, unless he goes with the jallaba slave merchants for the purpose of trade, and then he is subject to ridicule as a white man. When we wished to depart and began to bid the people of the vilayet farewell, the garrison guards who accompanied us stayed here and everyone else − rich and poor, young and old − came to my house and said: ‘We won’t let you go to Funjistan. You and your entourage will regret it; your horses and servants will die of heat stroke and starvation; and you cannot escape the Zangi bandits. You must not go!’ ‘By God,’ I replied, ‘I have consigned my soul to God’s care and so I have no fear. For God in the noble Qurʾan has spoken of those who guard (hafizun) the limits of God (9:112). And I have tried to guard them (or, to memorise the Qurʾan – hifz) for 40 years, ever since my childhood, performing a complete Qurʾan recitation every Friday evening, whether travelling or settled, so that every year I have completed 48 such recitations. God be praised, I have perfect faith in this defini-tive text. I will certainly not turn back. Also, what answer will I give to Ibrahim Pasha if I come back empty-handed? What will I do with these letters and gifts for the Emperor of Funjistan? Furthermore, at Rosetta and Damietta, the two places that are the Maraj al-Bahrayn (‘Meeting Place of the Two Seas’, Qurʾan 18:60) where the blessed Nile flows into the Mediterranean, I performed two prostrations of need prayer (see Y336b, Y348b) and prayed as follows: “O Lord Creator, You have vouchsafed that I visit the Maraj al-Bahrayn where the Nile flows into the sea. My God, vouchsafe that I also visit the tombs of those saints and prophets buried on both sides of the Nile, and that I reach the places where the Nile has its source.” God be praised, my prayer was accepted at the heavenly court. Thanks to this mission, having come as far as this city of Saï, I cannot now go back to Cairo (without completing it). You must give me companions for the road and let me go. And do not forget us in your benedictions. And give us friendly letters for the Funj governors who border on your territory.’ The castle authorities glanced at one another and said with one voice: ‘If a Turkish boy from our garrison goes beyond our castle he is sure to be killed. We

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will give you neither companions nor letters. Even our horses will not operate outside this castle to the south.’ Eventually they realised that I would not turn back. The truth is that I was overcome with fear, anticipating the pains and hardships that we would suffer. Still, I insisted on continuing. As I was loading the baggage camels, the Saï notables came bringing 50 dromedaries, each mounted by two valiant youths armed with muskets. They also gave me four camel-loads of food, along with the camels. And they gave strict instructions to the Funjistan merchants and the shaikhs of the Berberi jallabas to whom they entrusted us, Y394b saying: ‘Look after this agha of the Pasha. If anything should happen to him, we will kill you and not allow any Berberi or Funji to come here any more.’ And they instructed me in secret as follows: ‘Be on your guard against these people and do not trust them. When you perform prayers, do so one at a time, while the others stand armed and ready day and night. And all you Turks should stick together and not mingle with them.’ […] Y395a […] We were also accompanied by 12 Funjis from Narnarinta, which borders on Saï. As we departed Saï Castle together with the Funjis and Berberis, the castle authorities saw us off for a distance of two hours. Then, bidding us farewell, they again warned us to trust no one. ‘Go, may God ease your way!’ they said, and turned back.

Fourth Journey: Funjistan: Maghraq–Sennar–Jarsinqa Y395a–432b Leaving Saï, Evliya and his company travel south through the desert for 2 stages before reaching Maghraq, in territory controlled by the Funj king’s vizier, Kör Husayn Qan (although the site of Maghraq is in fact located to the north of Saï). After staying the night with the local governor, he continues south along the river bank, stopping at Tannara, Sese and Narnarinta, each time obtaining a local escort when he departs. South of Narnarinta, he relates that he crosses the equator (although he is in fact nearly 1,500 miles north of the equator, which passes through the northern end of Lake Victoria). At Hafir al-Kabir, where the qibla is said to be to the north, they are met by the deputy governor and cross to the west bank of the Nile. Around this time, the governor Kör Husayn has begun to march against some rebellious local rulers, supplies of grain having been requisitioned from Hafir al-Kabir. Evliya leaves the city with these supplies and in the company of the soldiers guarding them. As they move south along the river, more and more soldiers join the army, until at the desert of Daniqa the King of Berberistan reinforces their forces with his own large army. At the plain of Hanqoch they finally encounter the camped army of Kör Husayn, by whom Evliya

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Figure 2.14: Map of Evliya Çelebi’s fourth journey (Source: Michael D. Sheridan)

is treated with great respect, and when the gathered armies march forth he is even permitted to ride upon an elephant. The armies continue along the Nile to Moshu, after which they turn inland to the west. Eventually, Kör Husayn’s army meets and defeats the army of the infidel king Hardiqan near Firdaniya. After the battle, Evliya stays for a month while the victorious army conducts raids in the surrounding countryside. When he returns to the Nile near Moshu, Kör Husayn dissuades him from continuing southwards because of the danger, but Evliya is insistent and ultimately departs with the King of Berberistan and his army. Evliya arrives at Dongola, the Berberi capital, where he remains for three days as a guest of the king, then departs in the company of 10,000 men. Continuing south through lands filled with large crocodiles and crossing to the east bank of the Nile near Abkur, Evliya comes to Old Dongola (called Ilgun Dongola in the text), once a Berberi city but now governed by Funjistan. His route continues along the river (although at some point he may have crossed the Bayuda Desert



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rather than following the Nile’s northern arc, and he must also have crossed the White Nile and continued along the Blue Nile, although no mention is made of the bifurcation). In Arbaji Evliya meets Qan Girgis, the brother of the King of Funjistan, whom he presents with booty from the Firdaniya expeditions. After three days he continues south. Along the way he is joined by two wandering Bektashi dervishes. As they approach the Funj capital of Sennar, the company is met by a large welcoming procession, including the king. He remains in the city for 40 days and receives an abundance of provisions and gifts for both himself and Ibrahim Pasha. When Evliya expresses a desire to return to Ottoman lands, the king consents, but first promises personally to accompany him on a tour of Funjistan, so when they depart they again head south along the Nile. Eventually they turn north again and arrive at Jarsinqa, where Evliya receives a report concerning the source of the Nile. Hearing of how long and dangerous the journey there is, he abandons that goal and instead conceives a plan to travel to the Maghreb, which the king refuses to sponsor. That same night he has a dream that convinces him that it is best now to return to Egypt. After nearly 50 days of travel he returns to Sennar, where he remains for a week before continuing on to Arbaji. There, Evliya encounters some Habeshi merchants and soldiers and, upon learning from them that it is not a difficult journey to Habesh, he decides to continue his travels there. Departing from Saï we headed south through the desert, away from the Nile, because at this point the Nile swerves westward a distance of 2 stages. So we went in a straight line with our armed escort through the waterless desert for 2 stages until we reached Maghraq.

Description of the vilayet of Funjistan, Qalʿat Maghraq of the Black Crows [→ E13] This castle is under the rule of Kör Husayn Qan, the vizier of the King of Funjistan. In this country, qan is the title for the vizier or governor. This castle too was conquered by Özdemir when Tavaşi Süleyman Pasha was governor of Egypt. But 40 days later the Funj crow occupied it again and to this day it is under his control. The governor, Hasan Bey, belongs to the Bedouin tribe of Kalapish (Kababish). He commands 17,000 wild troops who, however, reside outside the fortification. He has control of 17 castles. Sometimes he gets offended at the King of Funjistan and submits to the governor of Egypt, but currently he is a famous and worthy bey subject to the Funj. The present governor of Maghraq, however, is ʿAtaullah Qan, appointed by

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Husayn Bey. He was very pleased when we told him that we had letters for his qan, Husayn Bey, and we handed over the letters from the Ibrim and Saï notables. We also gave him a plain handkerchief, which he kissed and placed on his head. He quartered us inside the castle, assigned our rations, and gave us a present of two elephant tusks − much too heavy a load, since they weighed in at 100 Egyptian batman apiece. As it was impossible to take these with us, we donated one of them to our escort of 100 youths and 50 dromedaries and told them to give the other one to the castle warden of Saï. And so they returned to Saï. Maghraq is a small square-shaped castle on the eastern shore of the Nile. Inside are 40 or 50 reed houses and one wooden gate facing south. Y395b There is no marketplace, but there are seven or eight boza shops and one Friday mosque with a low minaret, where we performed the Friday prayer. They recited the khutba in the name of the King of Funjistan, Sultan Malik Qaqan. The people are Muslims of the Maliki rite. In the morning the governor gave me an escort with dromedaries and armed with clubs, as well as plentiful supplies of millet bread and cooked mutton and watermelon and dates. We headed south along the Nile, crossing stony tracts and forests of holm oak and ebony. After two days of hard travel we came to Qalʿat Tannara [→ E12]. It is under the rule of the King of Funj and Kör Husayn Bey. They have a kadi here with a black face. It was apparently a large city in former times. Since the castle is on an island close to the western shore of the Nile, we left our companions on the eastern shore and crossed over in a kayasa. The governor is a swarthy man and upright (salih) as befits his name, Salih. He was pleased when I gave him the letter of the warden of Saï castle and he sent over grain provisions for our men and horses on the other side. Tannara is a solidly built castle atop a sheer cliff on a man-made island, the channel separating it from the western shore of the Nile having been dug out by hand. There is one gate facing east and above it is a carving of a lion. The governor commands 800 troops, but his subjects are 40,000 to 50,000 black-haired black Arabs. They are all believers and monotheists of the Maliki rite who perform the daily prayers. There are 2 Friday mosques, a court of law, 1 coffee-house and 7 boza shops. These people wear only a black goatskin apron front and back; otherwise they go naked because of the heat. The governor wore a white shirt of twilled cotton. The city is full of ivory and rhinoceros horn, since herds of elephant and rhinoceros roam in the adjacent wilderness. Here too we took an escort and continued along the eastern shore of the Nile amidst black Zangis, eating camel meat and drinking camel’s milk, and in nine hours we arrived at Qalʿat Sese [→ E11]. It is a solidly built castle on the western



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shore of the Nile. Our companions camped on this side and we crossed over in a boat. The governor is a swarthy man appointed by Kör Husayn Bey. I gave him the letters for Kör Husayn Bey and he showed us great respect and gave us lodgings. Sese is a small castle of Shaddadian construction, round in shape, atop a sheer cliff, with 100 or so reed houses inside. There is no artillery, but they do have a mangonel that is worth seeing. […] [Demonstration and description of the mangonel] Y396a […] Aside from that, their weapons are bows and arrows, swords, slings, javelins, spears and forked clubs, and their shields are of elephant hide. As mounts they have a peculiar kind of short-statured horse, and also elephants and many dromedaries, each mounted by two or three men. They have no guns or cannons. The subjects are 40,000 to 50,000 black-haired, black-skinned men, completely naked except for a covering over their private parts. But they are very pious people, with 2 Friday mosques, 7 dervish lodges, 6 coffee-houses and 6 boza shops. There is no sign of a marketplace, but a great bazaar takes place once a week outside the castle. Habesh is 7 stages from Sese. And here night and day are equal (i.e., it is on the equator). Because the land across the Nile from here consists of broad plains, the Nile has invaded it and made numerous islands. Seven castles are visible among them, all under the rule of Kör Husayn Qan. The region borders on that of the kings of Habesh. Getting an escort of 500 naked footsoldiers armed with clubs from the governor of Sese castle, Nusrat, we recrossed the Nile and in three hours arrived at Qalʿat Narnarinta [→ D6, E10]. It is a small castle of Shaddadian construction, round in shape, on an island in the Nile. Y396b This too is under the rule of Husayn Qan, the deputy governor being Qan Jaʿdan, who commands 500 troops. The castle has three storeys. I do not recall its dimensions. Having passed by this castle, we continued for three more hours along the shore of the Nile, crossing the equator. The heat was extreme, the country stony and treeless and unforgiving. After going for 7 degrees (of latitude) we came to the Ford (Maʿdiya) of Hafir al-Saghir [→ D4, E9]. It is a small tower on the western shore of the Nile where a toll is exacted from boats going to the Berberi country (i.e., Nubia) and the vilayets of Qirmanqa. They have guns made of elephant bone, one of which they shot at us with a loud report. When the Nile is low, the Arabs cross with camels from this point to the island of Sese and then to this tower of the ford on the western shore. We did not cross over to the tower but continued along the eastern shore through prosperous reed villages, reaching Hafir al-Kabir in eight hours.

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Description of Qalʿat Hafir al-Kabir [→ D12] We had sent a man forward earlier. Now the deputy governor, Qan Daʾim al-Din, came out to meet us with 1,000 horsemen opposite the castle of Hafir al-Kabir. We crossed from the eastern to the western shore in several hundred boats. Large cannons saluted from the castle. We took up quarters in the palace of the governor of the country, Kör Husayn Bey. It is a large, strong castle, triangle-shaped, on the western side of the Nile, and the seat of government of Kör Husayn Bey himself. They say that it was founded by ʿAntar.138 Above the gate on the Nile side is a figure of a black Zangi mounted on a huge elephant, carved all out of black stone. The local people say it is the figure of ʿAntar. It is a sight to see, a marvellous statue and ancient work of art. Inside this castle are 1,060 houses, large and small, made of reeds and matting and mud brick. There are 20 prayer-niches. The people are all Sunnis of the Shafiʿi rite who perform the daily prayers. Friday mosques include the mosque of Malik Sayf al-Din Qaqan in the marketplace, with a large congregation; the mosque of Malik Harith Qaqan; the mosque of Malik Tubbaʿ Qaqan; and the mosque of Qan Husayn Bey, which was recently constructed. These are all small mosques with low minarets and built according to the Sunna, without decoration. The khutba is recited first in the name of Qaqan Malik, following which there is a brief mention of Qaysar Muhammad (i.e., Sultan Mehmed IV) as Servitor of the Two Holy Cities. There are 50 or so dervish lodges, 1 soup kitchen, 2 small wakalas, 6 Qurʾan schools, 20 water dispensaries, 1 small hammam, 100 shops, 10 coffeehouses and 20 boza shops. All the shops are open night and day, their merchandize out in the open − it is a very secure place. This castle has 700 garrison troops and 50,000 Berberi and Zaghi (i.e., Nubian and black-skinned) subjects. They practise agriculture and produce plentiful crops. Praise God, in this city we saw wheat bread. Every day the governor, Daʾim al-Din Qan, sent us 200 loaves of bread, 1 sheep, 2 cauldrons of oil, 1 cannister of honey, Y397a and 50 measures (? – şenbe) of pure barley as horse feed. It is a city of plenty. The major products are millet and dates, and there are many melons and watermelons in their market gardens. They have a kind of small horse, which is nonetheless a very good runner. There are herds of camels in the plains, without number, and also countless sheep and goats and cattle. And in the Qan’s palace there was an elephant foal, very tame and friendly, that played games with everybody. [Description of the tomb of Shaikh Nasir al-Din.] Due to the pleasant climate in this city, there are orchards and gardens and date 138 A pre-Islamic Arab poet and hero of romance.



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groves, but no sycamores, lotus trees (nabq) and so on. The qibla of this city is towards the north, since it is on the other side of the equator. That is what I found, having measured the elevation with an Egyptian quadrant. Because of the extreme heat, the people and the women have black faces and red complexions. Again, they wear only a cloth around their waist, while their notables wrap themselves in a gown (şal ihram). They go bareheaded, but plait their hair in wondrous fashion. We remained in this city for three days, resting our horses and camels. Six couriers arrived on dromedaries and proceeded to the law court. We accompanied the deputy governor Daʾim al-Din to the law court, where the couriers’ letters were read out. It turned out that the supreme governor, Kör Husayn Bey, at the command of the King of Funjistan, had mounted a campaign against some rebellious kings of the Funjistan country and marched against them with 100,000 black-crow troops, 50 mangonels, 40 camels loaded with grain and 70 elephants loaded with tents and pavilions. Now the grain supplies had been used up, and orders on emery paper (i.e., sealed with emery) had come to the kadi and the deputy governor of Hafir al-Kabir with grain requisitions from the notables of the vilayet. At once heralds, called jinjala, gave out the cry and in two days 3,000 camels loaded with grain were assembled. These set out with 3,000 troops from Hafir castle, and I accompanied them. Travelling that day along the Nile in the direction of the Etesian wind (inbat − i.e., south-west), we came to Qalʿat Qandi [→ D3, D11], a small castle on the eastern side of the Nile. It is called Qand because it was constructed by the Funj viziers.139 Here our expedition was joined by the governor, with 300 camels loaded with grain and another 3,000 troops. We set out in the morning and in seven hours arrived at Qalʿat Nawri [→ D2, D10]. It is a very solidly constructed castle, oblong and built of brick, on the eastern side of the Nile, under the rule of Husayn Bey. It is 1,000 paces in circumference and has one gate facing east, but the walls are low. There are three Friday mosques with six low minarets, a small marketplace and one small hammam. Inside the castle are 600 reed houses. There are 1,000 Y397b troops and 40,000 subjects. Here our expedition was joined by the deputy governor Kamal al-Din, with 1,000 camels loaded with food and 6,000 troops. We continued along the Nile that day and night at a forced march and in the morning, after 17 hours, arrived at the Mighty Fortress, Qalʿat Sindi [→ D1, D9], an ancient hexagonal construction on the eastern side of the Nile. It was 139 This is Evliya’s way of deriving the place name from the word qan, which, he has just told us (Y395a), ‘in this country […] is the title for the vizier or governor.’

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apparently a large city in former times. In the castle are 700 reed houses and seven Friday mosques; everything else is in ruins. The people are upright and pious individuals of the Shafiʿi rite. This city is the limit of the authority of Husayn Bey. Beyond here the country is under the rule of the dabir − that is, the minister of finance (defterdar) − of the King of Funjistan. In this fortress of Sindi, in the bazaars and storehouses, ivory, rhinoceros horn, lizard skin and ebony lie piled up like mountains, trampled in the dust and without value. Here our expedition was joined by the governor of this castle, Qan ʿAli, who brought 1,000 camels loaded with grain and 2,000 troops. Glory be to God! By now we were a huge rabble army. Plain and wilderness were covered with black crow140 and Zangi troops. The air was filled with the thunder of kettledrums on camels and the shouts of soldiers. The qan governors asked me whether the Qaysars of Rum (i.e., the Ottoman sultans) commanded this many troops. ‘We do not have this many camels and this many naked soldiers,’ I replied. ‘But the Ottoman army has a huge number of cannons and muskets.’ ‘Well,’ they said, ‘let’s go to Qan Husayn Bey’s army and you’ll see a huge number of soldiers.’ But what they call soldiers are a bunch of naked bread-munching men swarming in the heat like a herd of black swine and whipped along by their benters − that is, their captains − flicking their asses with elephant penises. They are so skinny and puny that their bones stand out from their skin, but so fast on their feet that they can outrun gazelles. We marched for one day with these soldiers and arrived at the Stage of the Desert of Daniqa,141 an endless desert but covered with vegetation and productive. Here we halted and pitched our tents − black tents and ihram çadır (a kind of tent) covered the ground. In the mid-afternoon, thousands of banners suddenly appeared in the west, slowly approaching our camp. It turned out that the King of Berberistan was a Shafiʿi and was going to the aid of Husayn Qan with a force of 40,000 black men and 100,000 camels. They began to march past our camp at the time of the mid-afternoon prayer, and the procession continued until the moon shone at midnight. They took up quarters by the shore of a lake across from our own camp. The castle qans who were with us mounted, as I did, and we went to greet the King of Berberistan. Y398a His tent was of black shawl and adorned with five or ten leather cushions and black rugs. When the king saw us, he rose as a gesture of 140 ‘Black crow’ is a derogatory locution similar to ‘Negro’. 141 Habraszewski (2009–2010, 294), reads ‘Dānaqa’ and interprets it as a corrupt form of ‘Wad Naqa’.



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respect and bid us be seated. We were served camel’s meat and dates and millet bread. In front of the tent they lit torches of naphtha and pitch, while the moon also provided light. They did not wash their hands after the meal but wiped them on napkins. The king wore a simple white garment. He was bareheaded, with plaited locks of hair, and his face was bright. Glorious is the Creator, what blackcomplexioned Berberi darlings his servants were! Then they brought date syrup sherbet, flavoured with herbs, which we drank from wooden bowls. The king handed me the bowl that was in his own hand. I took it and drank respectfully. Then he asked the qans, our companions, about me. ‘He has been sent from the vizier of Egypt to the King of Funjistan,’ they said. ‘No white man has ever come here to Funjistan from the vizier of Egypt,’ he replied. ‘This man is your guest. We will treat him honourably and convey him to the King of Funjistan.’ At that we arose and returned to our tents. At dawn the kettledrums rumbled in both camps and we set out, travelling day and night far from the Nile and halting in the aforementioned desert. On the third day we reached the bank of the Nile at Qalʿat Wardan (Fortress of Wardan [Arduan]) [→ C2, C6]. It is a very solidly constructed castle of brick on the eastern side of the Nile, ruled by the dabir of the King of Funjistan. It is a very built-up and splendid city. The garrison consists of 17,000 black-complexioned troops. The subjects are 200,000 Zangis and Berberis and Funjis, all of them believers of the Shafiʿi persuasion. They have 7 mosques, 40 dervish lodges, a khan and hammam, 7 wakalas, 106 shops, a Qurʾan school and water dispensaries. However, they are not finely adorned constructions in either the Arab or the Turkish style, but buildings in their own style. The orchards and flower gardens are few, but the vegetable gardens are great in number. A man’s brain gets cooked from the heat. The people are all merchants, who load up their camels and elephants with their goods and provisions whenever they set out for another country. The direction of prayer in this city is towards the north-east. When one faces the qibla, the sun rises over one’s right shoulder. Habesh is 20 stages from this city in a north-easterly direction. This vilayet is located toward the equator from Habesh. Across the Nile from Qalʿat Wardan, toward the west, lie some very dangerous territories. I was told that there is no human habitation whatsoever, but only bare desert where elephants and rhinoceroses and scoop-tails (kepçe kuyruk – i.e. horned viper?) [→ B4] dwell and where eagles seize elephants Y398b and fly off with them. But there are stalwart youths who cross the Nile from Qalʿat Wardan and ambush elephants and rhinoceroses and other animals with lassos and pikes and other contrivances. The governor of Wardan joined our troops with 2,000 camel-loads of grain

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and 10,000 brave soldiers. Glory be to God! There were now so many men and beasts that the mountains reverberated with their cries and echoed with the beating of drums and kettledrums. Now we proceeded non-stop through the wilderness for three days and nights without a single halt. Our exhausted company finally reached the bank of the Nile at the Great Plain of Hanqoch.142 It is governed by the dabir of the King of Funjistan. All our soldiery encamped here, tent-rope to tent-rope. In the morning, a cry of Allah Allah! arose at the eastern end of the plain. It seems that Kör Husayn Qan’s army was waiting there, and when they heard that our troops had arrived with grain, in their joy they let out the cry of Allahu akbar! The Funj castle magistrates who had accompanied us left their baggage and prepared to race forward on their riding camels unburdened.This humble one also took my letters and joined the forced march. After traversing this wilderness for three hours we reached a sea of men and squabbling camels. The plain was covered with black tents and ihram derim (a kind of tent) and there were countless soldiers with javelins, bows and arrows, crossbows, slings and spears. When we had made our way through them, we came upon another troop from whose heads in the heat of the sun there wafted a sweet fragrance that perfumed our brains. They had anointed themselves with civet. A swarthy people with handsome faces, they were the forces of the King of Qirmanqa, myriads of men who had come to join forces with the Funj king and whose black tents covered the ground. After passing through them we entered upon another troop that resembled Egyptian soldiers and even had Ottoman tents here and there. We rejoiced to see these familiar tents and baggage and the derim tents that looked like those of Bedouin Arabs. Continuing forward, we saw about 2,000 varicoloured tents and pup tents and tent pavilions, and a royal pavilion with golden balls and precious gauze. The shiny balls glittered in the bright sun and dazzled our eyes. This, as it turned out, belonged to Husayn Qan. The castle qans approached the pavilion, with this humble one in front, walking fearlessly but properly. Husayn Qan came as far as the pavilion door to greet us. Y399a After shaking hands, I showered him with some flattering phrases, and then he took me by the hand and sat me down opposite him knee to knee. ‘Welcome!’ he said in Turkish. ‘Safa geldin, hoş geldin!’ It turned out that he spoke excellent Turkish, since he was from the Kalafish Bedouins near Aswan (see Y389b). We exchanged pleasantries, and I wished him well on his campaign, which pleased him mightily. He served tea and fennel. After drinking a cup of each, I begged leave to let the castle qans come forward one by one to kiss his hand. The King 142 The following section is taken from TRAVELLER 439–41, slightly modified.



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of Berberi came first. He honoured him mightily and took him on his right side. Then the dabir of the Funj emperor kissed his hand. He greeted him according to their protocol and said: ‘Have your baggage brought immediately so we can give grain to the troops. In the morning, God willing, we’ll advance against the enemy.’ He also addressed this humble one, saying: ‘We’ll take you on the ghaza as well. You are most welcome here.’ I handed over the letter of the vizier (i.e., Ottoman governor) of Egypt and the letters of the Girga, Der, Ibrim and Saï notables. The dabir of the Funj read out the Arabic letters with excellent articulation. When Husayn Qan understood their contents, he rose to his feet and tried to kiss my hand, but I would not let him. That very hour he ordered his deputy to honour me with a tent and to supply all our needs. So we camped in his circle. He had a pastille of ambergris in his hand and gave it to me. In return, I gave him a lime-coloured, gold-embroidered Kaya Sultan handkerchief143 that I had in my bosom. He immediately used it to tie together the locks of his hair, letting it hang down like a Muhammadan turbanend. ‘This will bring us luck, God willing,’ he said. ‘We have got a gift from the Turks, so we will get much booty and will be victorious.’ I arose and went to his tents, where I rested for an hour while his soldiers and our servants came and set up our tents. At the time of the mid-afternoon prayer, Husayn Bey came to our tent and raised us from the ground (i.e., treated us with great honour). I brought out some titbits and sweets that I happened to have. He drank a cup of sherbet flavoured with musk and took great pleasure in it. When he was about to leave, I presented him with a skein of mohair, two pieces of Damietta striped stuff, and two jars of sorrel sherbet flavoured with musk, which pleased him exceedingly. He returned to his pavilion and distributed the newly arrived grain supplies to his troops. At the time of the sunset prayer, an enormous clamour arose from among the countless soldiery, causing my heart to leap. It turned out to be the call to prayer! At midnight they sounded the kettledrums, took down the tents and got ready to march. At the time of the morning prayer the trumpets and drums and kettledrums sounded Y399b and the march began. Now Husayn Qan summoned this humble one and offered to take me up on his Mahmudi elephant, where he was already mounted. ‘By God,’ said I, ‘this is the first time I have ridden an elephant.’ He let down a ladder woven of elephant 143 Evliya often mentions these handkerchiefs and gives them out as gifts. It is unclear whether they were all embroidered by Kaya Sultan herself (daughter of Sultan Ahmed I and first wife of Evliya’s patron Melek Ahmed Pasha) or whether the designation refers to a type; see Tezcan 2007.

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skin. Reciting the Muʿawwizatayn (the final two surahs of the Qurʾan), I clambered up to the kiosk on the back of the elephant and settled in knee to knee with Husayn Qan, and then we set out. The King of Berberi was also with us, as was the dabir of Funjistan − indeed, he had invited 13 men to join him on the elephant’s back, and we sat there clustered together, eating our breakfast and cutting stages (i.e., travelling fast). But this elephant moved in such stately fashion that the tea and fennel in our cups did not spill one drop, although a thousand elephants and even horses could not keep up with him. After breakfast, other elephants came abreast with ours. They had mounted on them the firdilans; that is, the singers and musicians. They played a kind of square rebab (rebec) and another instrument consisting of 200 iron rings attached to a hoop and making the sound kıvış kıvış, and there were also reed instruments accompanying the songs sung in a fine and melancholy voice by the Funji singer. So we rolled up stations (i.e., travelled apace) enjoying these ‘Bayqara’ musical sessions. Glory be to God, mountain and valley were filled with Bedouins and numerous other people, marching wave on wave and regiment on regiment; thousands of elephants bearing guns and 300 mangonels, 6 Shahi bronze cannons and thousands of cannons made of elephant bones; myriads of camels bearing supplies; innumerable men mounted on donkeys and elephants; and uncounted numbers of footsoldiers. Proceeding along the shore of the Nile through the Desert of Hulshu, we came in seven hours to Qalʿat Tumboso, a square-shaped fortress of mud brick on a large island in the middle of the Nile. Its governor, Husayn Basha,144 is appointed by the King of Funjistan and commands 2,000 troops and 20,000 Zangi subjects. The fortress has one Friday mosque. We halted across from this fortress. The governor brought us 500 camel-loads of grain. The next morning he brought 10,000 Bedouin troops. When we set out, they brought me an elephant as a gift from Husayn Qan. It came with a palanquin and mahouts, so I mounted with my servants and for the rest of the journey we enjoyed ourselves in this palanquin, where we performed our prostrations at the times of prayer and otherwise relaxed, shaded from the heat of the sun. In this fashion we went nine hours south along the Nile and arrived at Qalʿat Hillat Shukrawi, so called because Shaikh Shukrawi is buried here. It is a strongly built fortress of mud brick on the eastern side of the Nile, under the authority of the Funj, with 50,000 subjects and one Friday mosque. From here as well we got grain supplies Y400a and reinforcements. 144 Evliya here uses the Ottoman title (Pasha, giving its Egyptian pronunciation, Basha). Below he refers to this individual using the Ottoman title Bey and the Funj title Qan.



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In the morning we pressed on along the Nile, coming in ten hours to Qalʿat Hafir Funjistan. It is a brick structure on the eastern side of the river, with a Friday mosque and some small shops and boza shops. The population is 60,000 subjects and 1,000 garrison troops, or so I was told. From there as well we got supplies of food and reinforcements. Continuing south along the Nile in that intense heat, we arrived in 11 hours at Qalʿat Moshu. It is on the western side of the river, a solid mud-brick fortress under Funj authority, with one mud-brick Friday mosque, plus its kadi, and several coffee-houses and boza shops. Across from it, on the eastern side, is Qalʿat Tumbul, a mud-brick structure having one Friday mosque without a minaret. The governor is Nasir b. Tumbul, Tumbul being the name of a large tribe. After viewing Qalʿat Tumbul we recrossed to Moshu on the western side, where heralds announced a three-day halt. Weapons were distributed to the soldiery and preparations were made for battle. On the fourth day − Glory be to God! − we continued along the western side of the river with our huge army and in seven hours we halted at the shore of Lake Feyle. Here we obtained countless camel-loads of water, then set off again in the morning. Finally, after travelling non-stop for two days and three nights, we made camp in the eastern part of the Desert of Idris, drawing up the troops regiment on regiment and layer on layer. That night sentries were posted in all four directions. At dawn the heavy baggage was left behind. The warlike troops, putting their trust in God, marched forth towards the enemy with their war elephants and mangonels and cannons. As for me, I stayed next to Husayn Qan reciting the noble surah of Victory (Qurʾan, Surah 48) for four hours as we rode in that boundless desert. Then a black sea of soldiers appeared that covered the hills and plains on the western side of the desert. They turned out to be the inauspicious army of the vilayet of the fire-worshipping infidel king named Hardiqan, subordinate to the vilayet of Funjistan. As soon as they saw our soldiers they came down from the hills and headed towards us, a fearless sea-like army of infidels. But our troops stood their ground. When the infidel force, having left the hills and emerged onto the desert, was within range of cannon fire, our monotheist troops let out the cry Allah! Allah! and attacked on their elephants and dromedaries like ants swarming over a corpse. The Muslim soldiers attacked from seven directions, the mangonel guns were fired, and the two armies joined the fray. The ensuing battle went on for seven sidereal hours. Y400b Finally, at the time of the afternoon prayer, believing that the Magians had been routed, the army of Islam found new life and galloped away in pursuit of the fleeing enemy. On this side, meanwhile, Husayn Bey sent word to the remaining soldiers who

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came at the time of the evening prayer and halted. ‘May your holy war be blessed,’ said I, congratulating Husayn Bey on the victory. ‘This is a favour from God,’ he replied (citing Qurʾan 21:23). Rejoicing, he distributed the booty among the troops. That night he posted sentries to guard the tents, and in the morning he broke camp. He sent the army of Islam to raid and pillage the vilayets of the fireworshippers, while he himself with another large troop of soldiers halted below Qalʿat Firdaniya, from where squadrons set out to ravage the country. All the (enemy’s) goods and provisions had been stored in this fortress. Our commander Husayn Qan entered it with his troops, seized control of all the treasures, and took innumerable captives, whom he clapped in chains. Ordering the soldiery with his heavy baggage to camp inside the fortress, he himself settled in the palace of Hardiqan the fire-worshipper and gave me the palace of Hardiqan’s deputy, named Mughan Sir, where I settled in with my retinue. The troops took spades and dug everywhere, both inside and outside the fortress, destroying it completely while turning up vast quantities of gold dust, ivory, rhinoceros horn, musk, civet, cardamom and ambergris. On the other hand, gold and silver and precious fabrics are rare in this country; indeed, they are held to be of no account. Their wealth consists of elephants, horses, camels, sheep, cattle and water buffaloes, all of which they have in great abundance. Items that are considered valuable here are Egyptian linens and blue cloth, as well as bows and arrows, swords and spears and other such weapons. Qalʿat Firdaniya was reportedly built by Noah’s son Kanʿan, the one who did not go on the Ark but rather became an apostate and a fire-worshipper. It is a Shaddadian structure on top of a low hill on the shore of a lake, each of its granite stones being 50 or 60 spans in length and in breadth. It is hexagonal in shape, two storeys tall, built layer on layer, 3,000 paces in circumference, with one east-facing gate made of ebony wood. Within the wall are around 1,000 mud-brick houses. But there are also thousands of underground caves where live the Magians, who are not fire-worshippers but sun-worshippers. It took us one month to subdue all of these caves, from which emerged an incalculable amount of booty. There are no churches here. Rather, Y401a there is an open square in the middle of the fortress where all the fire-worshippers come each morning and make a fire of wood from the ben tree, acacia, evergreen oak and ebony. They gather around this fire and bow down to it, warming themselves in the cool of dawn, and then go about their business. All around this square are stacks of wood from the aforementioned trees. People bring thousands of elephant-loads of firewood and deposit them here as votive offerings. But now the Berberis and Funjis and



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Qirmanqis and Qaqanis extinguished this fire temple and deposited their urine and excrement over it, using it as their latrine. Some of our captives began to weep and wail when they saw this. When I asked them why, they said: ‘This fire temple has not been extinguished for 3,600 years. This divine fire was our house of worship. Now we have been overturned and our house of worship is no more.’ As for the Magians, they have neither church nor fire temple under the ground, but rather, on a broad plain just above their caves, there is a lofty pillar facing the lake and carved into the pillar is a prayer-niche that faces west. At dawn the Magians gather in that plain, and when the rays of the sun are visible they bow down once towards the prayer-niche in this pillar − that is, towards the east − and then they join hands and do a dance before going about their business. At sunset they repeat this ceremony. Such is their worship, twice a day − may their end be for good! We had both the fire-worshippers and the Magians perform these superstitious rites of theirs so that the governor, Husayn Qan, could observe them, and we observed them as well. In short, we stayed in this fortress for an entire month while the victorious army conducted night raids on the countries of the fire-worshippers and cowworshippers and elephant-worshippers and sun-worshippers extending as far as the vilayet of Aswan. So much booty came on a daily basis that soon the Desert of Idris was full of cattle. At the end of one month, couriers (najjab) were sent to the army contingents in all directions, and for another month they too kept bringing animals − elephants and rhinoceroses and oryx, horses and camels and donkeys, water buffaloes and oxen and sheep. There were 20 or 30 captives mounted on each elephant and five or six on each camel, while on the horses and other animals were countless captives of every vilayet, both black- and red-complexioned lovely boys and girls, and ugly-faced Afnuwis and camel-lipped Zangis. Finally, on the (—) day of Rajab in the year 1083 (October/November 1672) we departed from Qalʿat Firdan, having destroyed it completely, and headed east towards the shore of the Nile. In ten hours we returned to Lake Feyle, where we once again camped on the shore, and the next day continued east seven more hours to Qalʿat Moshu on the Nile, Y401b described above. The army camp with its huge amount of booty occupied an area that extended a distance of 11 hours along the bank of the Nile − an elephant-filled plain. A three-day halt was ordered here below Qalʿat Moshu and all the troops headed home with their respective shares of the booty. Now I too went to Husayn Qan and said: ‘God be praised, you have been vouchsafed to conduct such a great ghaza. May you return to your country safe and sound, having attained your desire. And thanks be to God that under your

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majesty’s aegis I have participated in such a ghaza and performed my service. Now please grant me leave that I may go to the King of Funjistan and deliver the letters and gifts that have been entrusted to me.’ He thanked me profusely and said: ‘By God, I have enjoyed your company and your wit and have a great affection for you. But I must give you some advice. I hope you will accept it, since you are a Turk and a stranger and are now a guest of mine, and it is incumbent on a Muslim to show kindness to everyone. Here is my advice. We have now destroyed the vilayets of these fire-worshippers and Magians and have got God knows how much booty and cattle and an infinite number of captives. Those Magians and fire-worshippers who have escaped our swords are now vagabonds and bandits on the roads to Funjistan and Berberistan. Our other enemies have also risen up against us all about. I cannot allow you to depart at this time. God willing, you will accompany us to our vilayet and there we will enjoy the pleasure of your company for two months, at the end of which we will send you to Funjistan with the seasonal (i.e., monsoon) boats. Meanwhile we will look after all of your horses and camels.’ Such was the advice he gave me, but I did not accede to it and, pretending to be very downcast, repeated my request. ‘Be patient,’ he said, ‘God willing, your wish will be vouchsafed.’ Then a black-crow man with a simple white shirt and a bell at his waist, a javelin in his hand and a feather in his cap, came leaping to the foot of the tent pavilion, bowed before Husayn Qan, and said: ‘My lord, the King of Berberistan is coming.’ ‘Let him come,’ he said. The gate of the tent pavilion was opened and through it rode a multitude of bareheaded Berberis on their horses. After kissing and greeting each other, the king sat down next to the qan and said, ‘We have performed our service; now let us return to our vilayet. Perhaps some time our enemy will subdue us, in which case may you not forget us but come to our aid.’ ‘Of course I will,’ said Husayn Qan. Then he turned to me and said: ‘Your wish has been granted. Here is the King of Berberistan145 about to go to his vilayet with his 100,000 soldiers. Go to Berberistan with them and from there Y402a they will take you to Funjistan with a large troop.’ Turning to the King of Berberistan, he pointed me out to him and said: ‘We will be very pleased if you treat these men respectfully and generously and send them on to the King of Funj.’ ‘Your wish is my command,’ he replied and, standing up, tried to kiss my hand, but I would not let him. It seems that it is an ancient custom of theirs to kiss the hand of a guest whom they are going to honour. I thanked God a hundred times that I had found a powerful companion. The 145 The text here mistakenly has Funjistan instead of Berberistan.



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Berberi king told me that we would depart early the next morning and he bade farewell to Husayn Qan. I went to my tent and rested for an hour, when what should I see but the qan coming. I jumped up to greet him and we came to my tent hand in hand, followed by two camel trains loaded with his gifts for me: palm-leaf bags filled with all sorts of ivories and rhinoceros horns and acacia and ebony wood; 20 black but lovely girls mounted on ten dromedaries; 20 soul-burning Magian and fire-worshipping lads with sidelong glances and black and red complexions; 100 dromedary foals and 2 Mengerusi elephants with mahouts and camel drivers; 50 captive Zangis from his retinue of servants – ‘Watch out for these,’ he counselled, ‘they are treacherous and will try to run away. Put chains on them every night and give them to the Berberis to guard’ − 1 ardab of gold dust; 10 buffalo horns of civet; 5 civet cats with their cages; 10 caged parrots; 1 box of musk; 1 box of ambergris; 1 box of bezoar; and finally 1 dromedary-load of cardamom. After presenting me with these items, he made his excuses, saying: ‘God willing, you will stop and visit our fortress when you return. May you have nought but good.’ And then he went back to his tent pavilion. In the morning, when all our bales were ready and the Berberi soldiers appeared, I went to say goodbye to Husayn Qan. He escorted us with 1,000 troops an hour’s distance, where we bade each other farewell. He once again gave strict orders to the Berberi king, telling him to give me quarters in his own suite, and they kissed and parted. I rode neck and neck with the King of the Berberis and in seven hours we came to Qalʿat Difna, a small square-shaped brick fortress on a large island in the Nile. They fired a good number of cannons made of the shin bones of elephants. The fortress is without a moat and has no marketplace or public building, Y402b only a Friday mosque without a minaret. Since it is under the rule of Berberistan, they brought out an amazing number of gifts for the Berberi king. What passes as a gift in this country is linen cloth − nothing is more valuable − and that comes from Upper Egypt and from Cairo. The people here are too puny to engage in agriculture, and anyway, if they sow cotton or flax or barseem (Egyptian clover) or sesame or beans or rice or lentils, all they reap is gold. But the men are nothing but a kind of cattle, skin and bones, stubborn and slavish. In the morning they appointed the deputy governor of this fortress, Apsuwa, to accompany us with 500 soldiers, because that night two of our Zangi fire-worshipping infidels had run away, one of them being a mahout. Proceeding south along the Nile for ten hours we came to Qalʿat Argo, a large square-shaped mud-brick fortress on a large island. The island is a stone’s throw from the eastern bank of

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the river. It has few inhabitants and is completely covered with ebony forest. The governor of Argo met the Berberi king with gifts. Continuing south for nine hours we came to the Stage of Qalʿat Benni.146 This too is a handsome square-shaped brick fortress on an island under Berberi rule. Imam Malik came to this region on his travels and converted its people to Islam, so they are Malikis; the fortress was also built on the Imam’s instructions and there is a Kufic inscription in his hand above the gate. The reason why Imam Malik came here was to meet Shaikh ʿIzz al-Din, the unique one of his age, who was living here at that time and who is buried inside the fortress. Out of reverence for this saint, the entire population of this fortress dwells outside the walls: not a single individual resides inside. Those who go to visit the saint’s tomb enter through the fortress gate barefoot, and no one may urinate or defecate in the fortress or indeed anywhere on the island where it is built. A man must stay constipated for three days, or even five days if need be, until he can get to the shore of the Nile and relieve himself. Other than sheep and horses and camels, no other animals are raised on this pure and fragrant soil, because their dung is coarse. Such a great saint was he that no one can commit a shameful deed on this island, no bandit or oppressor may enter it, and no one may urinate on it. He is world renowned, one of the Poles, a great saint. The people here are believers and monotheists (i.e., Muslims), Berberi tribesmen. The sick among them, and infants, relieve themselves in pots and then pour it into the Nile. They are always subject to this restriction. Having visited the tomb of Shaikh ʿIzz al-Din, we continued south Y403a another eight hours along the Nile to Qalʿat Irtid, a square-shaped fortress on the western side of the Nile. It is completely of mud brick, even the Friday mosque. The governor, Gurja Zangi, and the people came with gifts for the Berberi king. Proceeding another ten hours along the Nile in the intense heat we came to Qalʿat Irnish. Both the fortress and the Friday mosque are of mud brick. There are 1,000 garrison troops and 50,000 black-crow subjects. It is a civilised place. The governor is Farjun Berberi. Here too there is no marketplace. Five hours further on is Qalʿat Jabriya, a handsome fortress built of stone. Inside are 300 reed houses and a mud-brick Friday mosque without a minaret. There are 500 Berberis residing here, but outside the walls are desert dwellers known as the tribes of Jabriya. They are not Malikis but belong to the Jabri legal school. Still, they never miss one of the five daily prayers, performing all five at the muezzin’s call, the only difference 146 The three MSS have different forms for this place: Benni, Betni and Besni; at least two must be wrong. The reading as Benni is confirmed by Peti Suma 1964, 445, n. 72.

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being that we say Hayya ʿala’l-salah (‘Come to prayer’) and Hayya ʿala’l-falah (‘Come to salvation’) twice while they say these phrases only once. Also, they are not strict as to time, but rather perform the five prayers at whatever times they like in the course of 24 hours. And sometimes they join the times together and pray all five at once. Their qamat (the muezzin’s call signalling the beginning of the prayer worship) is also not fixed. Such is the Jabriya sect. Twelve hours from Qalʿat Jabriya is Qalʿat Hannaq, a pentagonal mud-brick fortress on the western side. Inside are 700 Berberi reed houses and one Friday mosque of mud brick. Outside the fortress are desert dwellers, Maliki Berberis mixed with those of the Jabri legal school, 100,000 black-visaged subjects. In the clime of Funj there are no people more courageous and powerful than these, riders of dromedaries and elephants and wielders of javelins. Their shaikh is named Shaikh ʿAshab b. Malik Qaqan. The governor of the fortress, however, Husayn Funji, came bearing gifts for the Berberi king. Seven hours from Qalʿat Hannaq is Qalʿat Khandaq, a small fortress on the western side shaped like a golden ball. It is completely of mud brick, including its Friday mosque. Outside the wall is an extra layer of fortification in the form of a moat sunk into the ground; that is why it is called Qalʿat Khandaq (‘Fortress of the Moat’). Some parts of it are filled-in rubble construction. Inside are 200 Berberi reed houses. Jabris are not allowed inside the fortress. They leave their hair to grow on either side of their heads but shave it from the forehead to the nape − that is how you know they are Jabris. Also, they are desert dwellers. The governor of Qalʿat Khandaq, Husayn, brought the Berberi king a gift of 100 skins of boza and the Berberis had a festival. Twelve hours from Qalʿat Khandaq is Y403b Qalʿat Quli, a mud-brick construction on the western side of the Nile with a Friday mosque and 300 Berberi thatch houses. The governor is Sulayman b. Bashir. He brought 100 sheep, 5 camel foals, 70 skins of soured camel’s milk and 10 camel-loads of millet bread. After that is Qalʿat Baqir, a mud-brick construction on the western side of the Nile. It is situated lengthwise and, owing to the action of the Nile, the eastern side has fallen into ruin. Inside dwell destitute Berberis. The governor, Husayn Funji, brought the Berberi king one horse and three camels as gifts. Now the king let out all the elephants and camels, as well as the other animals that he had received from the booty and that were not immediately needed, to pasture on the grass of the Baqir plain, along with the mahouts and camel-drivers and sheep drovers and flocks. At this juncture, greeting parties from Dongola came out with gifts for the king and congratulated him on the ghaza. He in turn bestowed on some of their ulema five or ten sheep each from the booty. I realised now how stingy this Berberi king

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was, since he only gave five or ten sheep each from those countless flocks to the ulema notables, whereas in that country one paid ten sheep for a single ell of linen backcloth that in Girga only cost 1 para and 2 jadids; that is, 2 mankırs. And he drank camel’s milk and ate millet bread in his derim tent. His food and drink were always mean and miserable. He was always drinking boza. I paid no attention, however, and continued being sociable, humbly conforming to my surroundings in this place of exile. The following morning all the Berberi troops put on clean clothes and decked themselves out with their weapons, according to their means. The king drew up his spear-bearing troops to the right and the left, like two wings. In the van were his countless horse- and dromedary-mounted troops, brandishing their javelins. And in front of them were his innumerable footsoldiers, like herds of swine, with pikes in their hands and waterskins at their waist, speaking their various dialects and singing their songs as they marched. The king came behind with his retinue and 160 clan beys and fortress qans, all to the thunder of drums and kettledrums. In this fashion we proceeded south along the shore of the Nile for seven hours until we reached Dongola.

Description of the Land of Sudan, the Great City and Ancient Capital of Berberistan, Qalʿat Dongola According to the Coptic historians, it was founded by Dongol son of Ham son of Noah. [Noah’s curse of Ham: that he have many descendants in the torrid lands, but that they go about naked, not covering their pudenda, and that they be black. The Land of the Blacks (Sudan).] Y404a […] Y404b […] It is an ancient fortress built of red brick, rectangular in shape, on the eastern shore of the Nile, with three gates, one of which faces the Nile. Inside are 650 Berberi houses of unbaked brick, 7 Friday mosques, 9 neighbourhood mosques and 6 primary schools. There are no other public buildings. It is situated atop a bare cliff. The king’s palace, of mud brick, is also inside the fortress. Our quarters were also of mud brick. These are the most built-up houses in the city. Outside the walls, however, on the eastern side, are 3,000 Berberi houses, some of unbaked brick, some of reed, and some of thatch like orchard huts. In the ten or so brick-built Friday mosques they first say a prayer in the name of the ruler of Funjistan and then for the Ottomans, the Servitors of the Two Holy Cities (see Y414a). There are very observant Malikis among them who know nothing of falsehood and slander and other such sins. It is because they are such upright men that Berberis predominate as servants of the merchants and shopkeepers in



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Cairo. People speak of the Berberi subject class and the Berberi military class: the military number 60,000 while the subjects number 300,000. There are also over 1,000 jallaba − that is, merchants from Sudan and Aswan and Funjistan − who reside in this extramural settlement. The Berberis engage in agriculture as well as trade, sowing and reaping barley and durra, which is millet. Their foodstuffs are barley bread and millet bread, the flesh of fowls, camel’s meat and camel’s milk. And they have excellent boza. Eating cat’s meat is permissible (mubah) − they say jiddi qutta, meaning ‘tasty cat’ − and they eat it when compelled to do so. The drinking water comes from the Nile. Another Berberi tribe hunts giraffes and elephants and rhinoceroses and gazelles in the deserts and eats these animals on the grounds that they have cloven hooves. […] In fact, the servants of our host caught a baby giraffe and made kebabs from its flesh. It was incredibly fat. They offered me some and I ate it. God willing, it is permissible (helal); I have not seen anything about it in the legal texts. [Description of the giraffe] Y405a […] Because of the mild climate there are lovely boys and girls. The boys have doe eyes and dark skin and red faces, and an elegant manner of walking and talking. They are truly the progeny of the Prophet Noah. But they hardly wear any clothes; they only wrap themselves in a Berberi ihram (see note at Y311a) and a Berberi loincloth. They plait their hair. They are skin and bones, and sunburnt as though they have been fried in hellfire. But they are very courageous. They are much given to sexual intercourse. They are so greedy and stingy that they wander about day and night and if they find free food they gobble it up. That is the sort of barefoot and bareheaded people they are. The governor of Dongola is our friend Muhammad b. Husayn. He was with us in the campaign against the fire-worshippers, by command of the Sultan of Funjistan, to whom he is subject. The vilayets under his control are extremely secure. Anyone who commits highway robbery in his country is put to death immediately. Also, there is no gold or silver coinage in this country, no marketplaces, no khan or hammam, and no soup kitchens or water dispensaries or madrasas. But there are boza shops and coffee-houses. And there are no orchards or gardens. Monkeys are plentiful. There is no fruit to speak of, but there are plenty of melons and watermelons in the market gardens. There are no minarets. On Fridays swarms of people gather in a large square in the exurban settlement and buy and sell their goods in an open market. Date palms are found here and there. The country of Nubia lies 80 stages to the north of Dongola, which is in the first clime. West of here is Zaghawa, also in the first clime; it is said to be a large city, but I have not seen it.

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I spent three days here conversing with the king. Then the governor took the booty of Kör Husayn Qan, the King of Hafir, and the Berberi king prepared the gifts that he was sending to the Sultan of Funjistan as well as the 1,000 camels, 70 elephants, 1,000 cattle, 6,000 sheep, and 500 fireworshipping and Magian captives from his own property and various items from the rest of the booty. While he was busy doing that I made myself scarce and went to visit the saints’ tombs round about the city. […] [Saints’ tombs] Y405b […] After visiting these tombs and returning to my quarters, the King of Berberistan honoured me with a visit. He brought gifts − 12 camels loaded with elephant tusks and grain, 20 black boys and 6 girls mounted on 10 dromedaries, 10 tawusi dromedaries,147 1 silver candle-holder and a large inkpot containing garnets like so many Badakhshan rubies; plus 3 dromedaries for my servants − and made his excuses. He also appointed the qan of one of the fortresses with 1,000 soldiers as our guard as far as Funjistan. As he departed for his palace, I presented him with 1 bolt of woolen cloth, 2 judi (?) turbans, 1 pillow-cover ornamented with hand-drawn designs and 2 gold-embroidered handkerchiefs. He jumped for joy when I gave him these, because he had never seen this kind of Turkish handiwork. Receiving them, he went off to his palace and almost immediately sent me additional gifts − 5 beautiful and sweet-spoken maidens, 2 more camel-loads of elephant tusks and 2 dromedaries loaded with cardamom. And he ordered the kadi of Dongola, Hamd Allah b. Jalal, to go to Funj with 10,000 men in charge of the Funj sultan’s gifts (from the booty) and the gifts from himself. In the morning I bade the king farewell and set off to the south along the Nile, arriving at the Town Wall of Tangusi in eight hours. It is a large fortress built of brick on an island in the Nile close to the west bank. I inquired about its founder but they couldn’t tell me anything. It also has three gates, like Dongola, but it is not on a rock cliff like that city; rather it is built on soil and is square-shaped. It is under the governance of Funjistan. Inside are (—) Berberi houses. There is an extramural settlement and some Friday mosques and boza shops, but no other public building. The governor disposes of 3,000 troops and 7,000 Berberi subjects; most of them were with us on the Firdaniya expedition. The island of this fortress is frequented by a large number of crocodiles that are always snatching sheep and cattle and camels, drowning them in the water and feeding them to their young. These are even more formidable creatures than the Aswan crocodiles, measuring 40 or 50 cubits each. 147 See EÇSOS s.v. ṭāvūsī.

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Y405b–408a Continuing from there along the Nile through teak forests we came in eight hours to Wadi al-ʿAfarit (Valley of Ifrits) where we halted at the western end of a vast plain. [Description of a bronze statue of a giant female ifrit] Y406a […]Y406b […] In the morning the kettledrums sounded for loading our baggage and we proceeded south along the Nile for 11 hours, frying in the heat.

Description of Hisar Kanisa It is a sturdy fortress, like the Rampart of God, on the west bank of the Nile. This is the most celebrated fortress on the shore of the Nile after Qalʿat Ibrim. It was founded by Azraq Jadu (see Y390b–391a). It is not a masonry building but wholly an ancient construction of brick, though it is nevertheless extremely sturdy. Square in shape, it has two gates, one opening to the west and the other to the Nile. Inside are 200 brick houses and one Friday mosque, but outside the fortress are 1,000 houses of mud brick, grass and thatch, as well as 7 mosques large and small and 40 boza shops. Nailed to the wooden doors of the gates are crocodile skins. The people are all lovely dark-skinned Berberis. The reason this fortress is called Kanisa (‘Church’) is that three hours west of here, in a pleasant and airy plain, is the Friday Mosque of the Prophet Solomon, which is constructed like a church, with its prayer-niche facing north towards Jerusalem. Thus this ancient mosque was called Kanisa, and the fortress was named after the mosque. [Elaborate description of the ‘mosque’ with 1,700 porphyry columns, etc.] Y407a […] Y407b […] If this mosque were in a civilised country it would be a paradise; but it is an orphaned mosque, without a congregation. It is, however, the site of an annual gathering in the autumn season, when myriads of people from throughout the African continent set up their tents in and near the mosque and around the nearby lake and have a lively open-air market for 40 days and 40 nights. This large lake has a circumference of 11 stages. All these people camp on both sides of the lake and drink its water for a blessing, saying that it is water that was drunk by the Prophet Solomon; and by God’s command, those afflicted with various illnesses are cured. At the end of 40 days, when the market is over, countless elephants and camels and donkeys are loaded with skins and pots full of the life-giving water of this lake, which are taken throughout Christendom (kafiristan) and the Arab world. Not a drop of water is left in this lake, which has a circumference of 17 stages. By the following year, however, it is full to the brim, by God’s command. It is a great marvel. And it is a great mosque of light, whose servants and scholars Y408a shut the 40 doors constructed of yellow

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brass and tin and busy themselves with the religious sciences. The people are all Malikis. […] Having toured these sights and prayed in the mosque, I returned to Qalʿat Kanisa in double time and in the morning we continued along the west bank of the Nile, past the Shrine of Shaikh Dolib, for 18 hours in the intense heat, only stopping twice to rest in forests of ebony and holm oak. As the sun was setting we arrived at Abkur, a small square-shaped fortress of mud brick on the east bank of the Nile. Inside are 200 thatch houses and one Friday mosque. The governor is a tough individual named Gurja, appointed from Funjistan. The fortress has two gates. There are no shops, no hammams, no wakalas and no gardens. The people are desiccated Berberis, dark-skinned and red-faced. Four hours to the north is the unwalled Town of Argi, with a good number of houses and a Friday mosque. But the mosque is very narrow (dar) and the people also eat millet (darı). There we visited the tombs of several shaikhs. [Four tombs enumerated by name.] Each of these rests in a small domed structure of mud brick. Gladdening their noble spirits with a Fatiha for each one, we continued our journey along the shore of the Nile. After 11 hours over desert roads bereft of elephants, monkeys, rhinoceroses and giraffes, and having passed by seven ruined fortresses, we came to Ribat Deffare.148 It is a strong new fortress on the east bank of the Nile, built of brick and shaped like an almond. In the year (—) the (Mamluk) Sultan of Egypt, al-Malik Aybak al-Turkmani,149 motivated by friendship, had it built as a refuge for the Funj king, who was being oppressed by his subjects [!]. It is 200 paces in circumference. Inside is a Friday mosque of mud brick and 300 Berberi houses. The wooden gate that faces north has crocodile skins nailed to it and above it is an inscription dated (—). Otherwise there is no public building. Sixteen hours further on is Qalʿat Malik Idris, a small pentagonal mud-brick fortress on the east bank of the Nile, on the edge of a vast flat plain. Inside are a Friday mosque and 700 houses. Its gate faces east. The people are all dark-skinned Berberis and Muslims of the Maliki rite. Their lovely boys and girls are tall and striking. The people are very naïve and worshipful, with no trace of rebelliousness or lying or slander. They go to Cairo and other cities and find employment as servants, since they are very trustworthy. From here we continued on our mounts Y408b for nine hours to Qalʿat Gherri, a small ruined fortress on the east bank of the Nile, round in shape and built of mud brick. It has a Friday mosque and no other public building. Proceeding in the 148 See note 135 at Y389a. 149 r. 1250–57.



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morning for six hours along the Nile through fertile plains we came to the Great City and Ancient Abode, Qalʿat Halfaia, also on the east bank of the Nile. It consists of mud-brick houses and a Friday mosque and no other public building. The people are all Zangi-faced, camel-lipped Berberis of the inconstant people of Mocha. They are a different kind of Mocha people: fierce and tyrannical, rogues and knaves, men with flaming eyes. Setting off from there, we came in 18 hours to the Great City of Ilgun Dongola (Old Dongola). In former times it was governed by the King of Berberistan. Then the Sultan of Funj invaded, and it is now governed by him. But since it was the capital of Berberistan the buildings are all in Berberi style. It is a lovely city. When the Funj conquered the fortress they partially destroyed it. Now the Berberi people of Dongola sigh and say, ‘Ah Ilgun! If only the paradise of Ilgun were ours, we would not wish for the paradise of the herafter.’ Such a garden city is it, like Iram of the Pillars, resembling Damascus fragrant as paradise in this hellish country of intense heat. One is dumbfounded gazing at the domes of its ancient buildings, its halls and markets, and the foundations of its Khawarnaq-like pavilions. The marvels and wonders found here are paralleled only by those in Aswan. Due to the mild climate, the orchards and gardens here produce lemons and bitter oranges and dates and various other delicious fruits. The people as well, although skinny and black-skinned, are very sturdy and given to sexual intercourse. By God’s wisdom, thanks to the mild climate, both the women and the animals give birth to twins every year. The animals, though not the humans, give birth three times a year, but their lambs are very scrawny. The boys and girls reach puberty by age ten. The women give birth to twins once every seven or eight months. The populace consists of Berberi subjects, upright men. Their crops are millet and barley. They have many orchards and gardens, camels and sheep and cattle. And they have mines of naphtha and pitch, the only such in Berberistan and Funjistan and Sudan. There are also numerous hot springs. People come here from all the surrounding provinces to bathe in the hot springs and rid themselves of leprosy and other terrible diseases. That is why the people of Ilgun, especially their tawny-skinned and lovely boys and girls, are held in high regard from Aswan to Funjistan. Ever since the Berberi kings lost this city, their state has been overturned and subject to the Funj. They are a people without number: Y409a God alone knows how many they are. Resuming our journey south, across rocky mountains on treacherous roads, we came in 18 hours to the Great City of Kotrai. It, too, is on the east bank of the Nile and under Funj authority. There are extensive vestiges of monumental

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buildings. Other than these ruins, the only extant structures are 700 or so houses and a Friday mosque, plus three doum palms. Eleven hours further on is the City of ʿIdai, under Funj authority. Here we boarded ship and crossed from the east to the west bank to tour the town. This too was a great city in ancient times, as one can see from the vaults and palaces and other traces of civilisation. Still flourishing are 2,000 or so small Berberi houses. The populace is a mixture of Malikis, who are true Muslims, and Jabris, who are not. They are a bunch of shameless people whom the Funj king has promoted. Their shaikh, Saʿid al-Jabri, is in charge of 40,000 Jabris and Jabbaris,150 all of them scoundrels and villains. The city, on the west bank of the Nile, has seven prayer-niches and several thatched shops, but no khan or other public building. There are also no orchards or gardens, no dates or barseem (Egyptian clover). The people eat millet, crocodiles, cats, foxes, musk cats (i.e., civet) and Nile fish. Because they consume crocodile meat, they are courageous. Occasionally they do battle with Berberistan, but they are invariably defeated. Going another eight hours along the Nile one comes to Qalʿat Hillat al-Malik, a wooden fortress on the east bank with one Friday mosque and 600 houses of reed and mud brick. Five hours beyond that is Qalʿat Nagga at the Funj border. The fortress is made from large (trunks of) acacia trees with rubble and grassy soil to fill the crevices. It has one gate, one Friday mosque, and 200 hut-of-sorrow houses. In the morning we went another eight hours to Arbaji.

Description151 of the Great City and Ancient Work, Qalʿat Arbaji It is a lovely city on the east bank of the Nile, built in the middle of a vast and fruitful plain. The fortification is made of lofty tree trunks, joined together with wooden planks and mud bricks morticed with millet stalks, sedge and rubble, making walls stronger than if they were of brick. In this country there are trees used in building construction that are 2,000 or 3,000 years old and have never decayed − trees such as the doum palm, acacia, tamarisk, teak, oleander and ilex. The fortress is rectangular in shape, 1,000 paces in circumference. Inside are 700 houses made of reeds and mud bricks − there is no sign of stone in this city. There is one Friday mosque and a single east-facing gate whose doors Y409b are made of doum palm wood. Outside the fortress are 3,000 reed and mud-brick houses, 7 Friday mosques, and 11 boza shops. There are no other amenities − no 150 Jabbari is here a nonce term based on jabbar (‘tyrant’). 151 The following section is taken from TRAVELLER 442–45, slightly modified.



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minaret, khan, public bath, water dispensary or madrasa − and no orchards or flower gardens, though there are many vegetable gardens. This city was originally the residence of the Funj king’s vizier, Qan Pir, and is now the residence of the king’s brother, Qan Girgis. He is in command of 40,000 troops and 600,000 Berberi subjects. Qan Girgis is a good-natured individual, and I was honoured with the pleasure of his company. I handed over some of the booty that Kör Husayn Bey had received from the Firdaniya ghaza, plus the gifts of the kadi of the Berberi king, saying, ‘Husayn Qan sends his greetings.’ He inquired about the ghaza, and when they related how it came out, he performed a prostration of thanksgiving. He was also very pleased with the gifts of the Berberi king. At this point, I presented him with a jar of sorrel sherbet flavoured with musk, a handkerchief and a shirt with a pair of breeches, which pleased him exceedingly. This Qan Girgis was, however, a rather simple-minded person. When he first caught sight of me and my retinue he got up and hid in a corner, shouting to his interpreter, ‘Who are these raw men?’ ‘They are from the vizier of Egypt and are going to your brother, the Sultan of Funj,’ he replied. ‘Why then are they so white and raw?’ he asked. ‘Why aren’t they qaqan (i.e., cooked) like us?’ The interpreter turned to me and said, ‘Qan Girgis wishes to know why these men are so white? Have they come to complain about someone having flayed the skin off their faces? If they are seeking justice against someone who has made them so white and raw, he will certainly give them justice and punish the offender.’ I was somewhat taken aback at this absurd speech, and I began to bemoan my state, thinking that I had travelled through 18 empires and kingdoms only to end up in this country and to hear such foolishness. But then I considered that I had come here of my own free will, so I praised God and began to answer the interpreter thus: ‘We are servants of the Sultan of Mecca and Medina, king of the Arabs and Persians and Turks, and Caesar of Constantinople, Sultan Mehmed Khan. We reside on the soil of his jurisdiction. By the command of God Most High, and in accordance with divine custom (i.e., natural law), all the people of that region are white like us. In your country of Funjistan, in Berberi and Sudan and Baghanisqa − in short, everywhere in the Egyptian peninsula (i.e., the African continent) − the people are descended from Ham, son of Noah, and like you their faces are black and their eyes are black and even their words are black. God, Lord of the Worlds, created you black and us white. Otherwise, no one has flayed the skin of our faces; had they done so, our faces would be bleeding. Y410a And we have not come to complain and seek justice. The one who makes our faces white (i.e., proves our innocence) in this world and the next is God − and who can demand justice of God?’

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In this preacher-like fashion I made my reply, and the interpreter conveyed it point by point to Qan Girgis the Silly. In his amazement he kept crying Illalla illalla! and, addressing his crow-like cronies, said, ‘Have you ever seen uncooked men like these?’ Among those present was a Berberi man who had travelled as far as Cairo and Gaza. He replied, ‘May God increase your life, O Qan Girgis! I have seen such uncooked men in Egypt. In that country the sun does not blaze so hot as it does here, and that is why the people there stay so raw.’ At this I nearly went out of my mind, thinking that now this madman was going to strip us naked and grill us in the sun for a few days so that we could get cooked. ‘My lord, I take refuge in You,’ I muttered, and I continually recited the Muʿawwizatayn (the final two surahs of the Qurʾan) and repeatedly called on God the Preserver. God be praised, he did not do anything of that sort. But he did get up from his place and come towards me. I just stood there, without flinching, though my eye was on my servants and theirs was on their weapons. He approached with his cronies and said: ‘Let’s see what sort of clothing they wear. Let’s see if the rest of their bodies are as raw as their faces.’ He tried to get me to loosen my waistband, and was very insistent about it. All sorts of fearful fancies started going through my mind. I pulled up the sleeves of my robe as far as the elbows and showed him my arms, but he was not satisfied. ‘You must loosen your waistband,’ he said. ‘Let us see your clothes and your body.’ I began to get angry at such an unreasonable proposal. But I was also still afraid that he was going to strip us and cook us in the sun, and I began to cry for help. With us were some Ethiopian Djabarti men (Ethiopian Muslims) from Dongola, who now intervened. ‘O Qan Girgis,’ they said, ‘these are Turks. They have never seen such behaviour or heard such proposals. They think you will loosen their waistbands, take their clothing, leave them naked, and steal their money and goods. You see that their servants are fully armed, with three or four muskets apiece. It looks as though there will be a tussle and we’ll end up like the sword bazaar in Arbaji. Then how will you answer your brother Malik Qaqan?’ He returned to his seat and, with a smile, called me over. I tried to beg off, but he begged and wheedled, so I went and settled next to him knee to knee. He said lots of things, and also apologised. ‘In my entire life,’ he said, ‘I have never seen such raw men in this country as you are. Y410b That is why I requested to see your skin. Otherwise, God forbid, we had no designs on your person.’ He stood up and once again tried to kiss my hand. ‘At least undo your turban so we can see your head,’ he said. I realised that this man had a screw loose, and it is crazy to consort with someone who is crazy. So I said: ‘The reason we have such long turbans is that we are those who struggle in God’s path (i.e., those who engage in



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jihad). When we are martyred, we will be wrapped and buried in our turbans. It is a token of the Prophet and signifies Muhammadan honour and dignity. To undo a man’s turban from his head is to undo his honour. It is thus such a sign upon our heads.’ This was how I answered him, and I did not undo my turban. He took out six pastilles of white ambergris from behind his leather cushion and gave them to me. He also gave me a bag of aloe wood, two bags of carnelians, and large seeds of coral the size of nutmegs. And he gave me two black virgin maidens and eight swarthy boys. In return, and to lighten my load, I gave him an elephant. He was delighted with this exchange, but I was even more delighted, since these elephants consumed 100 camel-loads of grass per day and drank half the Nile. On152 the third day we bade each other farewell and our party, along with his donation of soldiers, headed towards Funjistan along the shore of the Nile. That day we went for 12 hours to Qalʿat Itshan, a round fortress of mud brick on the west bank of the Nile with one Friday mosque and 600 houses of mud brick and thatch. By God’s wisdom, its governor was Rumlu (i.e., from Turkey) Kara ʿAli Çelebi, an elegant and eloquent gentleman (çelebi) who had been born of an Ethiopian slavegirl in Tophane (in Istanbul). In his youth, while journeying from Habesh to Zeila, he had fallen captive to these Funj and for these 50 years was unable to free himself. He had a wife and children and was a good-natured and sweet-spoken ‘mad lover’ (i.e., one inclined to poetry and mysticism). We toured the mosque and the weekly marketplaces of the town, enjoyed the singers and musicians in the boza shops, and then proceeded to the gardens outside the town, where we indulged in melons and watermelons.

A melancholy incident This humble one, the world traveller and boon-companion of mankind, Evliya Gulshani, having traversed the globe and viewed its cities and countries, had now set foot in Itshan, one of the cities of Sudan in the country of the blacks, and after diligently touring the town and studiously visiting its streets and markets, I was now enjoying the melon season in its gardens, while my slaveboys Kazım and Sührab stood nearby surveying all four directions − for I never went a single moment without a guard and a sentry, since that is what they had advised me in Ibrim and Saï. Y411a ‘Agha,’ they said, ‘two men have appeared. They are approaching, 152 The following section is taken from TRAVELLER 445–47, slightly modified.

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mounted on I don’t know what.’ ‘Keep your weapons at hand,’ I told them, and busied myself eating watermelon. They arrived. Both were white men, but I had never seen the likes of their mounts. As I pondered what animals they could be, I heard the resounding noise of a Bektashi trumpet. I stood up to observe these individuals. Two lovers of God appeared, graceful and lively, Bektashi dervishes in their Kalender outfits.153 As they came near, they sounded some reverberating salutes with their trumpets, in the muʿaşşer (?) musical mode. After greetings, they dismounted and we kissed and embraced. Then they sat down, holding the reins of their beasts in their hands. ‘Boys,’ I said to my servants, ‘take these lovers’ animals from their hands and let them graze.’ ‘No,’ said the Bektashis, ‘these animals will not go near any man who eats meat, nor can such men go near them.’ I was dumbfounded. Taking a closer look at these beasts, I saw that one was a rhinoceros [described at length]. Y411b […] The other was an oryx (kazık boynuz, lit. stake horn), known in Arabic as baghal barri (wild mule). It is indeed very much like a mule, except that it has two thin black nodose horns just below its ears, the tips of which are like lancets, and cloven hoofs. Its flesh can be eaten according to the four Sunni rites. It is very swift, like a gazelle, and the female gives birth once every two years − a marvellous creature indeed! These lovers had tamed these beasts, attached reins and put saddles on their backs, and rode them. Having examined these creatures, I sat with the Bektashis in the garden and had much lively discourse with them. At dinnertime, we offered what we had − The best food is what is readily at hand − which consisted of camel meat and chicken. But they refused, saying they had not tasted meat for seven years, and then they began to weep. When we inquired the reason, they related as follows: ‘We were three brothers travelling with India-merchant ships from India to Ethiopia. Portuguese infidels seized our ships and took all three of us captive. They imprisoned us in their hold. By God’s wisdom, one of our brothers died, and they roasted his body and forced us to eat it. We fed on our brother’s flesh for an entire month. At the end of a month, by God’s wisdom, as we were sailing in the Indian Ocean, a storm hurled us ashore and our ship broke apart. We fled to a mountain top where we bathed in a stream and performed two prostrations of thanksgiving. And we swore never to eat the flesh of any living thing. That is the reason.’ They wept as they told us this, and then continued: ‘The next day, these two 153 The Kalender or Qalandar were antinomian, often itinerant dervishes who wore distinctive clothing, frequently including ear and body piercings.



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animals came and associated with us. Though dumb creatures, they conveyed a thousand sentiments. It is now seven years that we have been wandering with these animals, and we have not yet reached a place of safety. We are left amidst black Zangis who treat us with contempt, saying that we are raw men.’ They complained bitterly, but gave thanks to God and ate a little barley bread and millet bread and some melons and watermelons. It turned out that they had been grazing with their animals for the past seven months, subsisting on grass. Sometimes, when they went into cities, people were abusive and refused to give them food. ‘Of what garden are you the roses?’ I boldly inquired. ‘Of what country’s pure earth do you derive, and of what river’s water have you drunk? What is your birthplace?’ ‘We are from Larende near Konya in the land of Turkey,’ they replied. ‘I have seen your hometown,’ I said. ‘I have visited the tomb of the mother of Mawlana (Jalaladdin Rumi) in her mosque, and have toured the noteworthy madrasas of Karamanoğlu Yaʿkub and Ibrahim Bey.’ They were pleased at this response. ‘O faithful brethren,’ Y412a I continued, ‘if you wish to reach a place of safety, do not depart a single step from this humble one, but accept our fellowship and, by God’s command, I will bring you to the country of Egypt in honour and security.’ We joined hands, made vows, and exchanged pieces of bread. The three of us became brothers in this world and the next, and we had many fine conversations together. It warmed my heart to see Ottoman dervishes in such inhospitable coasts as these. Leaving the garden, we made our way back to our quarters in Itshan castle, where I indicated a place for these Bektashis among our companions. In the course of our conversations I learned that their names were Seyyid Niʿmetullah and Seyyid Carullah. I also offered them each a suit of clothing that I had on hand, but they refused, saying they would not depart from their dervish habit, nor would they sully themselves with this world’s refuse. I saw that they were pure souls who nested like the phoenix on the Qaf of contentment. And I gave thanks to God, mindful of the proverb, First the companion, then the road. Departing from Itshan we cut stages and rolled up stations, tormented by the heat, and in ten hours came to Qalʿat Baqith. It is a wooden fortress on the west bank of the Nile. The houses are also of wood, and there is one small Friday mosque. Hastening on from there, riding seven hours in that intense heat, at noon we arrived at Qalʿat Hillat al-Rikabi. It is a wooden fortress on the east bank of the Nile, with no mosque or any other public building. Nine hours further on, but away from the Nile, is Hisar Hillat al-Jundi Thawr, a wooden fortress on the west bank of the Nile. The fortress is named Jundi Thawr (‘Soldier Bull’) after its governor. Inside are 1,000 Berberi houses of wood, mud brick and reeds, and there is also a Friday mosque. But the ground is too brackish for date palms.

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From here some men were dispatched to the Funj sultan to announce our imminent arrival. That night we got ready all of our gifts and official letters, and in the morning we set out for Sennar, having disposed of these things as follows: one plain caparisoned horse, a gift from our lord Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha to the King of Funjistan, which I gave to one of our slaveboys to keep in tow; one stallion with a silver-threaded velvet saddle, divan harness, a packsaddle noseband, and silverthreaded and brocaded Mardin horsecloth, which I gave to one of our slaveboys to keep in tow; ten sherbet goblets arranged in a coffee tray; and three bundles of bone-notched and gilt-notched and sparrowhawk-feathered arrows, which I wrapped in three silk handkerchiefs and gave to my servants. I decked out all my servants in clean clothes and also decorated the horses and dromedaries. Our party advanced neck by neck, with one of our men in front Y412b holding out an embroidered sack containing a satin purse with the official letters inside it. After going along the Nile for six hours we suddenly saw, in the air ahead of us, a cloud of dust coming in our direction. Two hours later several thousand men mounted on horses, elephants, dromedaries and donkeys appeared, having come out to greet us. In their rear was the Funj king’s vizier, Qanfin, mounted on a white elephant. We greeted each other, he on his elephant and I on my horse, and then he led the way for another hour. Seventy or 80 tents and pavilions came into view, all set up on the shore of the Nile. The gleam of gilded cannons dazzled our eyes. The vizier said that the sultan had come out in person to greet us, and that he was waiting over yonder. We approached without breaking our ranks. Then, leaving all the gifts behind, and neck by neck with the kadi of Berberistan, I rode up to his pavilion and dismounted just below the mosquito netting. As I approached with both hands at my breast, in accordance with protocol, he rose from his place and came to greet me. ‘Al-salamu ʿalaykum, O Sultan of Sudan,’ said I, humbly and quietly. ‘Wa-ʿalaykum al-salam, O servant of the House of Osman,’ he replied. He took my hand. Hand in hand we kissed and smiled at one another. Remaining where he was, he sat me down beside him, knee to knee. After an exchange of pleasantries, a Muhammadan spread arrived and we dined in Funj style, after which we washed our hands with soap using ewer and basin. Then a black-skinned slaveboy brought something in an inkpot. The sultan took some of it and rubbed it on his face, at which a heavenly fragrance suffused the tent pavilion, gladdening our souls. He motioned for the boy to present the inkpot to me, and I did the same. It was a white powder, with a scent more penetrating than musk or ambergris. Marvelling, I summoned the Funj interpreter and inquired what it was. He told me it was called ‘essence of tabur’.



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Now the vizier, Qanfin, came and said something into the king’s ear. The sultan then said something to the interpreter, who in turn said to us: ‘Have the gifts that you have brought go before us with your retinue.’ ‘Your wish is my command,’ I replied. Kettledrums resounded on all sides as we reformed our ranks. The sultan went in front on his elephant with me next to him, I having mounted this ‘Beast of the Earth’ (cf. Qurʾan 27:82) after putting my horse in tow. There were seven of us in the howdah, plus the mahout and 22 slaveboys. In this fashion, rank on rank and regiment on regiment, we proceeded for three hours along the highway to the city of Sennar. Y413a The road was lined with row upon row of citizens who bowed ceremoniously when they saw the sultan. As the city came into view cannons were fired from the fortress and the cry Allah Allah! filled the air, and then drums and kettledrums were beaten as we entered the fortress. A grand divan assembled, with all the Funj notables present and the sultan seated on his throne. I stepped forward according to protocol and presented the official letters. The birrani − that is, the master of ceremonies (divan efendisi) − read out the letters that were in Arabic and gave an elaborate description of us. The sultan rose, took my hand, and motioned me to sit on the throne, but I indicated that it was not my place to do so. He kissed the letters and put them in his bosom. Then I put the other gifts before him one by one. He was immensely pleased with the arrows and bows and goblets. Marvelling at the arrows and examining them one by one, he said: ‘Does one shoot something so precious at an enemy?’ ‘Even the weapons of a sultan must be magnificent, so that he saves his head when he engages in ghaza,’ I replied, hinting at his stinginess. After that I brought the caparisoned horse, which also pleased him immensely, and then the chestnut stallion with the elegant trappings. The servants had to pull it forward, holding on to it on both sides. When it saw so many black-crow soldiers it neighed so loudly that the onlookers gasped, their astonishment turning to panic when it glared at them like a raging lion. But I understood how the animal felt and became very crestfallen myself.154 154 The horse is reacting to the unfamiliar African court, and Evliya shares its dismay. cf. Evliya’s description of the reaction of one of the two gift horses at the Viennese court (VII 66a–b; trans. from Römer 2012, 294): ‘One of the horses – a thoroughbred stallion named Tureyfi, with no saddle but with a brocaded saddlecloth – seeing that it was left amidst black-hatted infidels and with no one in sight in Muslim dress, suddenly reared up on its two hind legs and came down with its forelegs upon the hats on the heads of those two infidels, spattering their brains and sending their souls to hell.’ The expression dilim dilim [dilim] olup âhir işim hâk oldu (translated ‘and became very crestfallen myself’) literally means, ‘my heart was cut to pieces and in the end my condition turned to dust’. cf. II 342b: Ammâ bir mücrim âdemin girîbânı anın destine girince ol âdemi dilim dilim dilrîş edüp ana bir

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The sultan, when he saw the stature of this horse and its precious trappings, looked at it for two full hours until the call for the afternoon prayer. Then he left the divan, having given us quarters in a corner of his palace, an Iram-like orchard of lemon and bitter orange trees on the shore of the Nile. Thus I entered Sennar, with all my servants, on 20 Shaʿban 1083 (11 December 1672).

Description of the vilayet of Sudan and the Capital of Funjistan, Qalʿat Sennar The following morning another divan was held and I delivered all the gifts sent by Kör Husayn Qan out of the ghaza booty. Then I conversed with the king and had a meal with him. Their meals are always the same, beginning according to the Sunna with barley bread and zaatar, followed by mutton and lamb kebabs, gazelle meat, camel’s meat and camel’s milk, and millet. That is all the food they know. If they ever have rice or chickpeas or beans, it comes from Cairo and Girga. At the beginning of Ramadan they did cook some rice pilaf and squash and some taro and cauliflower. Y413b They distributed 1,000 troughs of food daily. He (the sultan?) is served five kinds of food in 200 Sudanese plates. He appointed 50 cases of food and 400 loaves of millet bread daily for our servants and 200 quarts of millet for our horses. He himself is good-natured and sweet-tongued, advanced in years, dark and handsome, of medium height, wearing a white turban and a white smock, and devoted to his daily prayers. But on days of the divan he covers his mouth and nose. Plaintiffs who come before him make their case while lying prone on the ground. Defendants too come and lie prone while the kadis beside the king listen to the case. They are excellent Maliki ulema, since all the lands of Berberistan and Sudan adhere to the Maliki legal school. The kadi’s name is Shafiʿ al-Din; the sultan is Malik Qaqan; the vizier is Qanfin; the treasurer is Dabir Qan; the secretary is Birrani Qan; the governor of the city is Sirdim; the gatekeeper is Hajib. The military class or sulam are 300,000 black-crow Arabs (or Bedouin) with no fixed salary. Only God knows the number of peasants and subjects, because however many clothes-wearing men there are in this world, there are a thousand times as iş ederdi kim ol âdemin âhir işi tamâm olurdu (‘Whenever he collared a criminal he cut that man’s heart to pieces and in the end put an end to the man’s condition [i.e., put him to death]’); also the verse at VII 111b ([…] oldu dilim dil dilim dilim). Note that Prokosch (FUNC, 178) translates this sentence, plausibly but mistakenly, as: ‘Ich Geringer jedoch verstand das Verhalten des Tieres durchaus und redete ihm gut zu, bis es schliesslich ganz gefügig wurde.’

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many naked and hungry people on this African continent. And they all live long, having no knowledge of the various diseases. In Sennar there are chief muftis for the Shafiʿis, Malikis, and Hanbalis, but none for the Hanafis. There is a naqib al-ashraf, since noble descendants of the Prophet are to be found here and there. They attend the king’s divan, but without pomp and ceremony. Nor do they wear fancy garments of silk or the like. All the notables wear a white shirt and white turban and sandals, while the middle classes go about barefoot and bareheaded. If a man is sentenced to death, the notables are consulted and he is either executed or banished. If women come to the divan, they make their petitions from behind a reed-plaited screen in a chamber attached to the king’s hall. Otherwise women in this country may not go about in the presence of strangers. There is a special guesthouse for plaintiffs who come from far away, say a distance of a seven or eight months’ journey, and their food and drink are also provided by the king. He is very hospitable to wayfarers. The vilayets of the kingdom of Sennar cover a vast area and include 645 cities, 1,500 fortresses, 40 tîg (?), 70 great mountains, 300 deserts, 40 freshwater lakes and 50 salt lakes. The country has 40 kinds of mines, more than that of any other kingdom. Gold dust in particular is found everywhere in the deserts. But the gold mines have guardians like dragons that kill a man with their venom. Y414a If one gathers the gold dust at dawn, however, when snakes and centipedes are inactive, one can escape unharmed. Other mines contain silver, copper, iron, lead, naphtha and pitch, crystal dust, gypsum, red earth, bole armoniac and sulphur. Many such mines, as well as the buried treasures guarded by talismans, are common and accessible, but the people in whose midst they are found are too uncivilised to be able to extract them. They are idle and dissolute, like beasts. It would be a thankless task to expatiate on their manners and customs, so let this much suffice. Regarding Sudan, it borders on Habesh 40 stages to the north; on the sultanate of Dembiya 10 stages to the east; on the kingdom of Qirmanqa a two-months’ journey to the south − the source of the Nile is in this Qirmanqa, at the Mountain of the Moon; on the kingdom of Baghanisqa a three-months’ journey to the west; on the kingdom of Berberistan (i.e., Nubia) 6 stages to the north − though actually, the Sudanese and Berberi subjects live together cheek by jowl; and on the kingdom of ʿAlawi to the north-east (cânib-i şarkî tarafında yıldız rûzgârı üzre). The wonders and marvels and noteworthy sights in this vast area cannot be expressed by the tongue or recounted by the pen, but I will note them down, in their proper places, as far as I am able to. In such a huge expanse there are no Jews, Christians, Copts, Turks (Rum),

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Armenians, Franks, Qizilbash (i.e., Persians), Indians or Turks (Ervam). But there are fire-worshipping Banyans who come from Habesh to trade. And there are Magians in the vilayet of Firdan, which is subject to Sudan and at the conquest of which I was present. The people are all black or red or yellow of complexion. And they are all skin and bones; I never saw a fat man among them. They are agile and lively, given to sexual intercourse, and tolerant of the intense heat. They go about naked, content with their lot. There are no fine fabrics of any kind, whether broadcloth, velvet, velour, moiré or silk. They do not use gold and silver money, nor do they have need of it. Following the custom of their ancestors, they exchange all goods by barter. They pay for whatever goods merchants bring with camels, sheep, cattle, water buffalo, elephant tusks, rhinoceros horns, lizard hides, elephant-hide shields, civet, cardamom, Funji spikenard, skinks, parrots, ebony, balsam wood, teak and so on. So there are no gold and silver coins for buying and selling. They do have large amounts of gold dust, but since they do not know how to smelt it for minting, they have no coinage. Y414b They do, however, have the Friday sermon.155 At the Friday noon prayer, their preachers harangue the congregation from the minbar and after the customary blessings on the Prophet say, in Arabic, Sahib al-bilad al-sudan, vasiʿ al-buldan, al-sultan ibn al-sultan, Qaqan b. Ghulam Muhammad Qaqan b. Idris Qaqan (Ruler of the land of Sudan, the vast country, the sultan son of the sultan, Qaqan b. Ghulam Muhammad Qaqan b. Idris Qaqan); and after that, al-Mawlana sahib al-Haramayn Muhammad, ayyada’llahu saltanathuma ila’nqirad al-dawran (Our lord, ruler of the Two Holy Cities, Muhammad (i.e., the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV), may God promote his sultanate until the end of time). They then recite the (Qurʾanic) verse, God and His angels bless the Prophet (33:56), the muezzins say the call to prayer, and they all perform the two prostrations of the Friday noon prayer and then leave the mosque. Their practice is not to perform the additional prayers of Final Noon and Sunnah. A man may not marry except in the presence of the king. Everything in the country depends upon the king’s leave. Indeed, they regard the king with the same awe as the Prophet. When he goes to the mosque or to the hunt, they line the road and bow to him ceremoniously. Nevertheless, the king goes barefoot to the mosque, carrying his own sandals, such a humble man is he.

155 Coinage (sikka) and the Friday sermon (khutba) are the two traditional Muslim venues for the assertion of authority, the name of the ruler being invoked in each.



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Description of the Capital of Sudan, the City of Sennar It is a large fortress and ancient city in a broad plain in the territory of the vilayet of Sudan on the west bank of the Nile. Founded by King Khalha Qan, it is strongly built, rectangular in shape, and completely of mud brick, but without a moat. The outer wall is lined with large tree trunks tied together and filled in with rubble. The reason for this long description is that I have seen (—) fortresses, large and small, since leaving the vilayet of Ibrim, and this one is the largest and most finely constructed, it being the capital of Funjistan. It is 3,000 paces in circumference and has three gates. Inside is the Qaqan Idris Friday mosque, of mud brick and with a minaret, in contrast to the Friday mosques in most of the fortresses I have passed. The king’s palace and the houses of the courtiers and notables are of mud brick, while the rest comprise 2,000 small houses of reed and thatch daubed with Nile mud, without orchards or gardens. The king’s palace, facing the Nile, is the airiest of all, a beautiful residence with a hammam, lemon and bitter orange trees, date palms, sweet basil and roses. There is no market at all inside the fortress, but west of it is a large extramural settlement with 6,000 houses of mud brick, wood, reed, thatch and matting, where the main roads are pure sand. The population of this region mainly consists of desert-dwelling nomads, a myriad of blacks with black tents. When repairs are needed on the fortress walls of the extramural settlement, these people are ordered to go with their camels Y415a to fetch trunks of the tamarisk and acacia and teak trees that grow on the islands in the Nile and use them to make the repairs. Apart from this, and unlike Ottoman fortresses, this one has no castle warden or garrison troops. There is an armoury of sorts, stocked with black gunpowder and 50 Shahi cannons, and there are some musketeers, but they hardly dare to fire their weapons. Indeed, they are a very apprehensive and pusillanimous people. Above the fortress gates are cannons made of the shin bones of large elephants and wrapped in iron bands. These make a very loud bang. When the Funj go off on campaign, they load these elephant-bone guns on camels and take them along. On the day of Eid and the night of the new moon of Ramadan they fired these cannons, much to my dismay, while rattling the air with kettledrums and lighting the sky with festive lamps lit with naphtha and pitch. The hue and cry and celebration lasted until dawn, like an imperial wedding or circumcision party among the Ottomans. When the Zangis of Habesh and the Zangis of Mandabiya come to Sennar on a raiding expedition, they fire these cannons and immediately 70,000 or 80,000 black-crow tribesmen fly here from the surrounding districts and perch in this fortress to help counter them. The Berberis are very fearful of these Mandabis, who are not Muslims and who deny the Resurrection and Last Judgment.

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In the lower suburb are 7 Friday mosques of mud brick; 40 neighbourhood mosques of thatch; 300 rickety shops; and numerous coffee-houses and boza shops. Judging by the large population, it is a prosperous place, but it is not at all prosperous in terms of construction, since it lacks large buildings of the sort one finds in Aleppo and more generally among the Turks and Arabs and Persians. There is no stone-built khan or hammam, and no covered market, soup kitchen, public fountain, primary school or madrasa. The reason is that there is no stone at all in this city, not even one the size of a bean. On the other hand, the soil is so fine that it can be used to make goblets and vases like Chinese porcelain. It is also very productive. One bushel of millet produces 100 bushels, and the same goes for barley and wheat. And due to the mild climate, those kings of some sophistication have made gardens here and there. While lemon trees and bitter orange trees exist, the orchards are not very inspiring. There are a great many vegetable gardens, however. There is no end to the lovely dark-skinned boys and girls. You might think that, since they are black, they are also camel-lipped and scowling Zangis, but it is not like that at all. The girls are so pliant and lovely, with rosy cheeks and a sprightly gait, with coquettish glances that wound the hearts of their lovers − praise be to God the Creator, Who made them tall and elegant with doe-like eyes and sweet speech. In the Maliki rite it is permitted to marry a girl that you see, and while mutʿa marriage156 is forbidden, the ulema have made a concession, based on a weak Hadith report, such that you may marry a woman and use her for one or two weeks, then give her an ell of linen Y415b as a dower and pronounce her divorced. So much for the girls. As for the boys, black-skinned and stark naked, penniless and hungry, they will serve you for three or four days if you give them a thread or even just still their hunger. Such is their miserable state and miserable wages. But when roused to anger they flare up − such a bilious and pugnacious people! The people of Sudan are not degenerate, like those of Bangala and Dongola, Afnu and Bornu, Qirmanqa and Baghanisqi. Everyone observes the principle of equality in marriage.157 Indeed, none of them, from the king on down, is very ugly. They are not demon-headed, camel-lipped, elephant-footed, ghoul-limbed people. Rather, they are well-proportioned, pleasant of face and speech, witty, small-mouthed, dark-complexioned, with dimpled chins and date-like noses and 156 A controversial short-term marriage arrangement. 157 See EÇSOS, 162 küf gözet-. For the principle (Ar. al-kufw, al-kafaʾa) see EI2 s.v. kafāʾa. Note that Prokosch (FUNC, 178) translates this sentence, plausibly but mistakenly, as: ‘Jedermann übt Zurückhaltung.’



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rosy lips between which are rows of pearly teeth, each tooth as white and bright as a Hormuz pearl. […] Their clothing is lightweight and beautiful. The wealthiest tie a gazelle skin or tanned sheepskin around their waist, edged with multicoloured beads − beads being a much-prized ornament in this region. Above this they wear a Cairene waistcloth or Alexandrian ihram − but that is in the winter; otherwise they go bare. The women wrap themselves in ihrams of Upper Egypt or embroidered kutni (silk and cotton) sheets and put 20 or 30 glass bracelets on their arms and anklets on their legs. Their speech is Hebrew, as passed down from the Prophet Idris. [Specimen of ‘Hebrew’]158 Y416a […] The mystics and women of Sennar sing all sorts of songs,159 accompanied by drums and tambourines and gourds filled with pebbles, as entertainment for wedding parties that go on for nights and days. They consume boza and onions and garlic and sing varsağıs and fıractes − that is, quatrains. It is an indescribable show. As the city is under the sign of Venus, the people are all fun-loving and jolly. [Discursus on men’s and women’s names] Among the women are some who are very destitute. The women cover their pudenda with sheepskin or the skin of a gazelle or goat, the ends of which they cut into ribbons and tassels that they decorate with beads. Otherwise they are naked. They cannot wear clothing, not only because of the heat but also because they do not own any. Such is their custom, passed down from their ancestors and based on Noah’s curse (of Ham). They have very many animals, but no mules. They drink Nile water and boza made from millet, which is more intoxicating than Crimean boza. They eat millet bread and barley bread, mutton and goat’s meat. They also raise water buffalo, cattle, camels, elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, gazelles, cats, ostriches, oryxes, lions and tigers for their flesh, whose flavour they prize, and ostriches for their eggs. And they use the skins of these animals to cover the floors of their houses. They make pillows from gazelle skins and lambskins. The women adorn their houses with ostrich feathers and ostrich eggs. Another thing they drink is fermented camel’s milk, which is more intoxicating than boza − it is more like arrack, with the intoxication lasting five or six days. Y416b Since they have no vineyards, there is no wine or arrack: they have no intoxicant apart from boza and milk. The reason that camel’s milk is so 158 See discussion in MENTALITY, Ch. 5; also Habraszewski 1967. 159 ‘Mystics’ translates ʿirfânlar, which seems to be thrown in to provide a rhyme with nisvânlar (‘women’). ‘Songs’ translates fıracte, for which see EÇSOS 150 ḳıraḫte.

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intoxicating is that they put some halfah root into it, which makes it more intoxicating than wine. They even get drunk on water if they should put some halfah root into it. But these intoxicants are suitable to the intense heat of this country. By God’s command, the populace is unaffected by the heat. God be praised, I too was unaffected. I went about barefoot and bareheaded, as though in my pilgrim garb at ʿArafat, conforming to Funj ways. Neither I nor my retinue was downcast from the heat, because a refreshing breeze blows from evening to dawn. The Nile here is delicious sweet water, since its rise is a month’s journey to the south and it reaches this point without passing over brackish ground or mines of naphtha and pitch, sulphur, iron or arsenic. Nor does it branch out into a myriad of canals where poisonous creatures − snakes and centipedes and scoop-tails (kepçe kuyruk – i.e. horned viper?) − have drowned, but rather it comes here to Funjistan directly from its source. That is why it is delicious. To be sure, the water flowing here is very warm, but they fill gazelle skins with it and it cools from exposure to the wind. In fact, it is a good idea to drink the water at a moderate temperature, because in this hot climate drinking very cold water can bring on fever and diarrhoea. There are no fleas or lice or bedbugs in this country, because the people oil themselves with ghee and lie in the sun like water buffalo, and fleas and lice and bedbugs cannot live in oily environments. The people here are also free of trickery and treachery, slander and calumny, oppression, prevarication, fornication, sodomy and other such vices. And they know nothing of such diseases as plague, pleurisy, apoplexy, tremors, syphilis, tuberculosis, anthrax, ulcer, leprosy, ringworm or fever. Only when their appointed term comes do they develop an illness, one similar to typhoid fever, which makes them grow weak and stop eating and drinking, and then they are hauled off to be buried. They do not run away from sickness and death, as the Tatars and the Albanians do. And they never weep and wail when someone dies; instead, they laugh. When I asked why they do not weep, they said, ‘We too must die. Why should we weep? It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is a law of nature; we all die.’ In sum, they are a people who completely trust in God and do not save anything for later.160 If they find something, they eat it; if they don’t find anything, Y417a they go hungry or else catch a fish from the Nile and eat that. But I must stop here: if I were to recount all the manners and customs of the Sudanese that I am familiar with, I would need an entire volume! Regarding latitude and longitude and climes determined by taking 160 The translation is conjectural and follows that of Prokosch (FUNC 189). The text is: leyletü’l-ʿaşâya melek (?) değillerdir—two MSS have mlk, one has mâlik.



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elevations with an astrolabe and quadrant according to the science of astronomy: First of all, the equator is in the first clime, which touches on the vilayets of Berberistan and ʿAlawistan (Al-Awi) and Dembiya. Where night and day are equal, this is called the ‘equator’ and constitutes the first clime. But this vilayet of Sudan, where we now were, is 31 stages south of the equator and is governed by Capricorn. Ptolemy the Philosopher called this realm the first clime and put the equator in the second clime. But we passed beyond the equator, 30 stages south of Funjistan, those places where night and day are equal. Taking an elevation, we found it to be 16 degrees and 25 minutes. […] Y417b […] But here on the Funjistan side at the equator there are cities near the vilayets of ʿImran and Zanj and the country of Habesh that are uninhabitable because of the extreme heat, and thus they have not been included in the scheme of climes [→ C4]. [Description of saints’ tombs] We stayed for 40 days in this city of Funjistan, including the entire month of Ramadan of the year [10]83 (January 1673), partying with Malik Qaqan and celebrating the Eid quite naked, since we would be roasted alive if we wore clothes. I resisted at first but, bowing to the principal that the minority must accede to the majority, I too stripped naked for the Eid celebration. As gifts for the Eid, the king sent me 1 suit of white embroidered cloaks, 50 Khitai and 50 Barwaji twills, 50 Gujarati kutnis (silk and cotton), 1 porcelain censer, 1 sack of tırnak (?) aloes, 1 rose-water sprinkler and 2 Habeshi slavegirls. While the man who brought the gifts was present, I gave one of the Gujarati and one of the Barwaji pieces of cloth to each of my mamluks and servants and Y418a to the two dervishes, Seyyid Niʿmetullah and Seyyid Carullah, who had joined our company in Qalʿat Itshan. To the man who brought the gifts I gave a bag of undershirts, which delighted him no end. To Malik Qaqan I sent the 2 elephants, which were proving to be a huge headache, and also a horse, 2 twin bags of red chemise trousers, 2 bolts of woollen cloth, 1 piece of londrine suitable for underclothing, 1 bundle of Ferhadhani turban cloth and 3 gold-embroidered handkerchiefs. All these I sent to the king with some of my own men, to each of whom, when they returned, I gave five kutnis and a horn of civet, which pleased them mightily. Following this exchange of gifts the king came to my quarters, where he partook of a meal. God be praised, two of my mamluks were excellent cooks and he would come every night of Ramadan and eat ten different dishes, enjoying them so much that he generously tipped my cooking boys. He especially liked the börek and baklava and shish kebab with onions cooked in a pan. After the meal, a group of Habesh merchants and Djabarti Janissaries came seeking leave to return to Habesh and requesting an armed escort. He gave them a troop of

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1,000 horsemen, 1,000 dromedary riders and 2,000 footsoldiers armed with clubs. Seizing the opportunity, I too sought leave to go and requested an escort. ‘Absolutely,’ he said. ‘And I will accompany you. Take me to the vizier of Cairo (i.e., the Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Egypt) and let me be his slave and his sacrifice. I will not leave your side for a moment. You have been excellent company to me, may God be pleased with you. Your good nature and sweet speech have endeared you to me. God willing, I will detain this troop for three days, then show you the sights of our vilayet and send you on your way.’ The next day provisions and gifts for our journey arrived: 20 camel-loads of freshly baked bread, something like biscuits of mixed barley and millet; 50 Zangi spears of pirnal oak and 20 elephant-hide shields; 20 pairs of elephant tusks and 20 pairs of rhinoceros horns; 1 waist wrap of lizard skin and 1 of pied genet skin; 10 Habeshi girls and 10 boys, each bearing a box full of ambergris or musk, civet or bezoar, or else precious stones such as onyx, agate, chrysolite and chrysoberyl. They also brought a tawusi camel like a houri, corpulent and stout like Buraq of Rafraf.161 And he gave me official letters addressed to the governors of the fortresses under his authority. The man who brought these bounties told me they were making ready other gifts for the vizier of Cairo. I gave him a striped Damascus cloak, a turban and a bag of undershirts, Y418b and one handkerchief each to the ten men who were with him, at which they were greatly pleased. The next day the gifts for the Pasha arrived: 100 superb tawusi dromedaries, half of them mounted by black mamluks and half by black-skinned maidens; 50 camel-loads of elephant tusks and rhinoceros horns with their registers; 200 elephant-hide shields and 1,000 pairs of spears; 100 pairs each of leopard skins and tiger skins; 100 lizard skins and 100 genet skins; 10 pack-loads of ebony and 10 of pirnal oak; 2 pack-loads of gold dust; 1 bale each of civet and chelidonium; 1 box of musk and 60 pastilles of ambergris; 1 box of hannaban, a kind of black herb whose fragrance perfumes the brain; 1 large box of qarchidan, the root of a grass whose fragrance is more penetrating than that of violets; 1 box of skinks; 1 box of oil of sesbania aegyptiaca and 1 pen-box of oil of sulphur; and 6 large boxes of cardamom. All of these were recorded in documents and we made out a receipt for them. The next day the gifts were prepared for the Pasha’s deputy, porte agent, treasurer and sealkeeper, as well as for the reverend Shaikh Bakrizade (see Y157b, 161 Buraq is the fabulous steed that carried Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem prior to his ascension to heaven, while Rafraf was a green settee that served as Muhammad’s final means of conveyance during the ascension.



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Y360a). The king handed them over to one of his men and I conferred with my retinue about how to load and unload all these heavy items day by day without tying us down. Noticing this, the king offered to put all his gifts on boats belonging to his vilayet. ‘That way,’ he said, ‘they will go securely as far as the vilayet of Shallal (i.e., the First Cataract), where you will put them on other boats. Thus, you will be able to monitor their progress from the land, conferring with trustworthy agents whom both of us will place on the boats.’ This seemed the best plan. And so the next day 200 Nile boats showed up, which they loaded with all the mamluks and the other baggage and the agents, together with provisions of food and drink. Putting their trust in God, they set sail, promising to meet us at Qalʿat Ibrim. On the previous day, camels and dromedaries loaded with the gifts for the Pasha and for myself had set out along with agents of the king and with three Berberi agents of mine. I was now left with 53 men and the lighter and more precious of our belongings. The next day we departed from Funjistan in the king’s company, ostensibly on a hunting expedition, with an escort of 8,000 horsemen and 10,000 troops mounted on dromedaries.

Chapter 72: Account of the wonders we saw in the king’s company when touring the city of the vilayet of Rumeilat al-Himal, having departed from the city of Sennar, the capital of Funjistan, on the fifth day of the Eid of Ramadan (= 5 Shawwal) 1083 (24 January 1673) Y419a First of all, word went out to the Habesh caravan and their Djabarti tribesmen fired their muskets and raised a shout. Thousands of bales of precious goods were loaded on camels and elephants. Before we drew up in formation, the Habeshis set out from the city with 20,000 troops in parade style and proceeded to the north. On our side, the king and his numberless troops, mounted on elephants and sounding the royal kettledrums and his other drums, left Sennar and headed south along the Nile. ‘My sultan,’ said I, ‘the road to Ottoman territory is to the north, but we are heading south. Why is that?’ ‘Well,’ he replied, ‘the flourishing places of our vilayet of Sudan and the marvellous talismans that you must see are in this direction. That is why we are going south. We will go a distance of 10 stages into the heartland of Funjistan and you will tour our vilayets as well.’ Cutting stages, we came in nine hours to the Ancient Building, Qalʿat Apshuqa. It was a large city in ancient times and the foundations of its monuments are still visible. But now it is a mighty fortress on the west bank of the Nile, the walls made of rubble filled in with tree trunks of holm oak, balsam wood and teak. It is 3,000 paces in circumference and rectangular in shape. We set up camp

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with tents and pavilions in a meadow on the shore of the Nile, next to the fortress. [Descriptions of entertainments, magicians’ performances, fire-worshippers, etc.] Y422b […] After these spectacles we set out from Qalʿat Apshuqa and, as we proceeded along the Nile, we came upon a large ditch 50 cubits deep. Apparently, before Noah’s Flood the blessed Nile used to flow through here and empty into the Atlantic Ocean, in the west. After the Flood, Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan cut the Strait of Shallal (i.e., the First Cataract) and made the Nile flow towards Egypt, leaving this riverbed dry [→ F15, F16] (see Y31a, Y279b, Y384b, Y388b). Passing that, we came in 12 hours to the large Town of Abu Tamr. Since there is no fortress it is not called Qalʿat Abu Tamr, but rather Town (beled) of Abu Tamr. Nevertheless, it is surrounded by a wooden palisade that is like a fortress. It also has a moat, the first such that we have seen in this region. The town, on the west bank of the Nile, has 200 or so reed and thatch houses covered with earth; 40 or 50 shops; an inn for travellers; 6 coffee-houses; and 10 boza shops. And there are 7 Friday mosques of mud brick, the people being Malikis. Whatever gifts they brought the king, he in turn gave to me. Continuing south along the Nile, we passed through several prosperous villages and in ten hours arrived at the City of Borushesh. Y423a A qan who is the Sultan of Sudan’s vizier governs here over 100,000 troops, 2,000 elephants, 500,000 subjects and countless animals. He came out to greet the sultan with all kinds of creatures − God be praised, None shall question Him about His works (Qurʾan 21:23). And what sorts of human beings He has created! How can hearing measure up to seeing? When this vizier came out to greet us, he brought two enormous elephants, one of them as white as milk and 1,000 years old, or so they told us. They could only be mounted with a rope ladder of 20 rungs. I had never seen such huge elephants. And they were very tame and docile, following a man like a dog for a scrap of bread. But they were not voracious like the elephants in Ottoman lands, though they had grown pleasantly plump from catching the breeze. And they were enamoured of people. What happened was that the rhinoceros of Dervish Niʿmetullâh, our companion from Qalʿat Itshan, when it saw those elephants, started to attack them and Dervish Niʿmetullâh had a hard time controlling it. And when the elephants saw the rhinoceros, they became restless and began picking up sticks and the like from the ground and spewing them in the air and trumpeting with a melancholy voice like that of a virgin girl. Each elephant was mounted by 40 lovely Baghanisqi mamluks. Such were the gifts brought to the king. Departing from Borushesh, we went another seven hours south along the Nile to the Stage of Qalʿat Boruste, the City of ʿIbristan (‘The Hebrew Country’).



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As we entered this city in grand procession, the royal kettledrums and other drums resounded on all sides. In every marketplace a sea of men came out to greet us while their black-skinned women ululated from the benches and made the city reverberate. But they were all looking at us, not at the king, wondering what these white, raw men were and crying in their astonishment, ‘God be praised!’ Some even fled when they saw us. This fortress is also of mud brick. It has six Friday mosques and 1,000 houses of reed and mud brick. Here and there are thatch shops and boza shops. The population consists of 600,000 Zangis and blacks subject to Funjistan, and their language is Hebrew. [Specimen of ‘Hebrew’]162 Y423b […] There are several different languages in this country of Funjistan and I have recorded what I know about them. But it is really astounding when the people of Boruste speak with this elegant language, because it is very obscure and complex. Moreover, they are very polite when addressing one another, prefacing every remark with azhandazhi, meaning ‘my dear sir’. Rich and poor alike speak in this fashion. They are mainly sun-worshippers. They pay a tax to the king. There are also very wealthy merchants among them who travel beyond the source of the Nile where, on the other side, they reach the Indian Ocean and go to the Portuguese cities, where they buy and sell with the Franks, refusing gold and silver coins and instead getting merchandise for merchandise. I was a guest here at Qalʿat Boruste for two days, having very good relations with the people, and so I was able to note down some of their speech. They are a good-natured sort of people. [Description of battling stars] Y424a […] The next morning we set off once again, travelling south along the Nile through prosperous fields of fine halfa and alfafa. In 11 hours we arrived at Qalʿat Donqade. According to the local people, it is one of the cities founded by Asaf al-Barkhiya, upon the instruction of the sages. Truly, it was a great and ancient city, but the current residents live amidst ruins. There are 6,000 stone houses. The fortress is on the western side. There is also a large domed Friday mosque built of stone, as well as some small marketplaces. But there was a sea of men. In particular, the city was full of black-crow rustics and rebels who had come to get a glimpse of the sultan. The governor, a vizier named Rahim al-Din Qan, came out to greet the king with 100,000 troops and abundant gifts. The people are Malikis, but they eat cats, rhinoceroses, wild asses, earth rats, monkeys, gazelles, deer and rabbits. In the mountains, there is a seeded fruit called qarman that tastes like chestnuts, and that is what they eat. And there is also a fruit called lawzurimta that grows on a bush and is very sweet and invigorating. It is 162 See MENTALITY Ch. 5.

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shaped like a small fish, growing from the tail, and if you cut the bush a fragrant oil oozes out that is like fish oil. The ʿIbran (‘Hebrew’) folk rub this oil on their heads to get rid of head lice. They also apply it to eyes that have white specks, much as one might apply indigo to the skin, and if this is done for three days the white accumulated over 40 years disappears. But one must not apply too much or it can ruin one’s vision. I have obtained an inkpot of it and, God be praised, it is the greatest elixir. The only crop grown in this region is millet; there is no wheat, barley, beans, lentils, Y424b flax, chickpeas or barseem (Egyptian clover). Here in Boruste the sultan had a man put to death by stoning. Although married to another woman, the man had deflowered a virgin. As punishment, they buried him up to the waist and stoned him to death.163 Continuing on from Boruste, as we travelled south along the Nile we observed thousands of crocodiles, like so many dragons. Now passing over sand and now over soil or crossing mountains, we came in nine hours to marvels and wonders, Mt. Sindas of the Prophet Idris. [Sacrifices of camels, sheep, goats, roosters, snakes and cats. The sultan’s troops break through the wall of a cave and enter to consult the oracle of the Prophet Idris. It addresses Evliya in Turkish, giving his entire genealogy and foretelling future events, as well as addressing his companions and slaves.] Y425a […] Y425b […] We camped in this plain for three days and three nights. Every day groups of people went to consult the oracle Y426a and returned with satisfactory replies. I went three times and learned everything I wanted to know, except that it would say nothing about the Five Hidden Things.164 On the third day, the sultan and all the notables went and performed the sacrifices once again, and then the masons closed the door of the cave, walled it up again with stones, said a prayer, and departed. It seems that every year in July great numbers of people from Funjistan and Berberistan gather in this plain for three days and three nights, during which everyone consults the oracle. […] Departing from this plain, we continued southwards along the Nile for six days, even travelling by moonlight. Mornings we spent hunting. The name of this valley is Wadi Shiljalah, meaning the ‘Plain of Dhu’l-Jalal’. It is an endless, heart-expanding plain, with productive Y426b forests, lakes and streams, and date groves and rose gardens. Ten parasangs to the west, on the sea coast, lies 163 See Habraszewski 1969. 164 The Five Hidden Things (al-Mughayyabat al-Khamis) are those things that, no matter what one’s spiritual insight may be, cannot be known, as they are known only to God. They are: the time of the Last Judgement; when rain will come; the gender and number of unborn children; what a person will eat the following day; and when a person will die.



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Sinichtere, one of the fortresses of the Portuguese Franks. It is reportedly a large city, but I have not seen it. We spent three days hunting in this plain of Sinjilah [sic] and bagged 70 elephants, 16 rhinoceroses, quite a few tigers and leopards, and thousands of rabbits, wild asses, oryx, giraffes and wild sheep. […] In this vast plain we dined on gazelle, rhinoceros and wild sheep. At noon on the fourth day, 70,000 or 80,000 troops appeared with ten huge elephants, mounted by 200 boys and girls, having been sent as a gift from the governor of Rumeila, which we now entered in grand procession. [More about the Prophet Idris and the establishment of this institution.]

Description of the Great City and Ancient Country, Rumeilat al-Himal It was founded by Asaf al-Barkhiya, vizier of the Prophet Solomon. It was originally a town that was more like a village. Because it was Asaf’s birthplace, he built it up in accordance with wisdom. When he had finished, he invited Solomon and the rulers of all God’s creatures to a feast, assigning a pavilion to each one. He had constructed lofty pavilions along the shore of the Nile, a distance of seven hours to the south and seven hours to the north, and placed above each one a statue carved with the exact image of a different creature. [Description of these statues and of the carvings and paintings of Solomon’s court] Y427a […] Y427b […] After viewing these marvellous images with the king, we came to the city of Rumeila. Asaf al-Barkhiya liked the climate here and so he built this city up over a period of 200 years. He then went to the Mountain of the Moon, where the blessed Nile has its source and where he constructed a dome of nine vaults above the spring and towers and wonders and marvels and talismans. [Named Rumeilat al-Himal (‘Rumeila of the Fetuses’) after a woman named Rumeila, who gave birth here after being barren] But its original name was Barkhiya. It was such a magnificent city that it gave a foretaste of the Vault of Khosrow, the citadel of Aleppo and the masterworks of Athens and Kashau. Its towers and lofty domes and pillars scraped the sky. Even now the talismans and treasures and noteworthy monuments leave the observer stunned. There are 1,000 stone-built houses, 7 Friday mosques without minarets, 100 shops, 1 khan and 20 boza shops, but no hammam or madrasa. After handing over his gifts, the qan of Rumeila, Rajaʿ al-Salam, took up the vanguard of the sultan’s soldiers with 10,000 troops, and we proceeded south along the Nile for five hours, arriving at the Mountain of the Beast of the Earth. We set up camp at the edge of a grassy plain, at the foot of this mountain. There was no sign of habitation, though there was a bare white cliff. [Description of the

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carvings of the ‘Beast of the Earth’ (cf. Qurʾan 27:82), Dajjal or the Anti-Christ, Og son of Unuq, the archangels, and other cosmological and eschatological figures] Y428a […] Y428b […] Y429a […] In July, when the Nile submerges Rumeila, the populace of the city comes to this Wadi al-Maʾwa (‘Valley of Refuge’), where they stay for three months enjoying life. […] Continuing on from there while hunting in this plain, in 11 hours we came to Mt. Shawam, at the foot of which flows a stream. Uttering a basmala I took the elevation here, as we began our journey north towards Egypt, at (—) longitude and (—) latitude. We had travelled 70 stages from the equator to this point, going towards the source of the Nile. Our compass did not work here but instead turned wildly, because we had also passed (—) (—). Y429b In the 180 stages from Cairo to this Mt. Shawam, we had viewed (—) cities and fortresses and towns. We spent two months in the battle at Firdaniya and one and a half months in Sennar, the capital city of Sudan. We also halted in a number of similar places, and so the entire journey took eight months. God be praised, on 1 Dhu’l-qaʿda 1083 (18 February 1673) we returned to the vilayet of Sudan. But so much rain falls in this country that the deluge sweeps away elephants. Six months of the year, however, the weather is very much like that in Turkey. Departing from Mt. Shawam we went five hours north to the Vilayet of the City of Jarsinqa and the Source of the Nile: It is a great vilayet and has its own king, just like Berberistan. In olden days they were great sultans, but their state collapsed and they are now subject to Funjistan. The people are all believers and monotheists and Muslims of the Maliki rite. At this time their king, Shanullah Qan, emerged with 100,000 troops and gifts for the Sultan of Funj amounting to 40 elephant-loads and 100 camel-loads. He entertained the king for three days, feasting the qans and myself and presenting us with gifts. During these three days, the sea that was our armies became lost in this Jarsinqa country. The reason is that they all dwell in caves in the marble mountains. Even their plains consist entirely of polished white marble. God has granted the people of this country such skill in marble carving that they have carved out marvellous caves in the plains and the mountains. There is not a single spot where they can sow crops or grow plants: all there is is marble everywhere. How, then, do they sustain themselves? In accordance with the Qurʾanic verse, There is not a creature on earth but God provides its sustenance (11:6), for an entire month before the month of July God rains down upon this country red earth [→ C4, C5] like sifted raw ambergris, which covers the marble rocks throughout the plain with 2 or 3 yards of earth. Then the people sow this fragrant earth night

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and day with whatever grain they have. Generally it is millet, because that gives a good crop. After that, the Master of the Universe causes sufficient rain to fall from the sky upon this seed, and the next day the entire plain turns into a meadow. Thereby God the Gardener irrigates this country according to His will. Forty days later they harvest the grain and store it in their caves. Everyone enjoys this wealth. They also make fish oil. Thus, the entire populace lives in these caves, whose entrances they block with stones so tightly that not a drop of water can enter. Y430a When July comes, it rains for three months and the red earth that had rained down earlier is washed away over these polished rocks and pours into the Nile, which becomes turbulent with this flood. That is the reason the Nile flows with red mud in the month of July and the land of Egypt is innundated for three months with the mud of Paradise, upon which, when the flood subsides, the fellahin sow their crops and become rich. That is the reason why the blessed Nile increases in July, when all other rivers decrease, and flows with red mud (see Y144b): it is because of the earth and the rain that fall upon this vilayet of Jarsinqa where we had now arrived. They told us it was 32 stages south from here in Jarsinqa to the source of the Nile. It was not vouchsafed me to go there. But God be praised that I did complete my journey and I did tour the thriving provinces and fortresses and great cities and wondrous monuments on both sides of the Nile. Men from the City of Qamar (‘Moon’), at the source of the Nile, regularly come to this city of Jarsinqa bringing chrysoberyl, gold dust and antimony (? − seng-i rasuk), trading them for twill, shirt-cloth and pitch. I conversed with one of them, and this is what he told me: ‘When we come to this city from the source of the Nile, we cannot travel by land, because the roads are very frightful and dangerous. There are poisonous leeches and serpents, and many other wild animals − snakes and centipedes and scorpions, elephants and rhinoceroses, lions and tigers and leopards, vultures and eagles. And there is no trace of civilisation; it is all jungle and wilderness. For that reason, travel by land is impossible. Also, in those regions there is a people known as the Sanjara who have no religion, and if they see anyone other than themselves, they are certain to capture him and roast him and eat him. ‘In the same way that the Nile rises in the Mountain of the Moon and comes to this point with no other great rivers joining it, so from here until it flows into the Mediterranean Sea, no rivers flow into it, but rather it branches out into streams and tributaries and irrigates the provinces through which it flows. After emerging from the Mountain of the Moon [→ A2] and flowing north for one day, it empties into a huge lake, filling it to the brim. The lake overflows and the river again

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flows north. It divides into two branches, one of which goes to the savage Sanjara people. The western branch flows through the regions of Lachna, which are governed by the Portuguese. We are of the Lachna people and reside in that country. It has been 70 years now since the Portuguese Franks came with cannons and muskets, seized our province, Y430b and imposed tributes and tithes upon us.’ He related this, in the presence of the king, and then continued: ‘In our country we have boats made of gourds, which we use to float down the Nile out of fear of poisonous creatures. The branch that comes to our city of Lachna flows into another large lake that has seven different peoples living around it. They are independent kingdoms, not subject to the Portuguese. We float down that branch and, after the two branches rejoin, come to this country.’ ‘Have you yourself gone to the source of the Nile and seen it?’ I asked. ‘Yes, I saw it three times. It is a ten-day journey from our city of Lachna. We go with our boats on the aforementioned lake to the City of Qamar (‘Moon’). Last year, my nephew fell captive to the Portuguese infidels and I went there to ransom him, taking ivory and dye roots. Qamar is a great city. The Prophet Solomon built two domed structures and two Solomonic pavilions at the source of the Nile, and he founded the City of Qamar at the foot of the mountain. There are still remains of his buildings there, constructed by demons. The source of the Nile is now governed by the Portuguese. On the south side of the Mountain of the Moon, where the Nile arises, there are towering and fearful mountains. Seven stages beyond those mountains, as one goes further south, one reaches the Encompassing Sea. Because the sea is nearby, the Portuguese were able to come there by ship, and for the past 70 years they have occupied our country and the City of Qamar at the source of the Nile. I ransomed my nephew from the Portuguese and this year came for trade from our land, the city of Lachna. The journey took one month. So now I have seen the Sultan of Funj in this province of Jarsinqa and I have seen your noble self.’ He arose and kissed the ground before the king. The sultan’s boon-companions bore witness that he was from that country; that he was a truth-telling Muslim and a trustworthy individual; that he had travelled a great deal in those regions, since they were nearby; and that he came to Funjistan every year to engage in trade. The fact is that all of the coastland of the Egyptian peninsula (i.e., the African continent) from the Strait of Ceuta in the west (i.e., the Strait of Gibraltar) to the Strait of Zeila in Habesh behind the source of the Nile in the east (i.e., the Strait of Bab al-Mandab) is in the hands of the Portuguese, who in addition have overrun 6,000 islands in India. When this humble one learned the true report about the source of the Nile from this individual, and that the area between was so frightful

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and dangerous, that it belonged to the infidels, and that it was not under civilised cultivation, I gave up my desire to go there, and found some consolation in this. While here in Jarsinqa, our qibla was to the north, for we had gone 29 degrees south of the first clime. Y431a T his is the s outhernmost b order of the S ultan o f Sudan and the plain where we witnessed so many marvels. To the south is the province of Lachna; to the east, the province of Donqada; to the north, the sultanate of Dembiya; north by north-west is the territory of Habesh; north-west is Berberistan; and west is the province of Firdan, who are fire-worshippers. When the time approached to return to Funjistan, in the course of conversation with the King of Jarsinqa I made the following request: ‘For the sake of the spirit of your ancestor, now that we have come to your country and have had to give up our hope of seeing the source of the Nile, we ought to take advantage of this opportunity. Please provide us with an escort of a few hundred men and in one or two months we will go to the Sultan of Fez, whose lands border on yours; to the Sultan of Marrakesh; to the city of Cordova and the city of Tangiers; from there to the provinces of Algiers and Tunisia and Tripoli; and then we will return to Cairo to convey our gifts, having made a complete circuit of the Egyptian peninsula.’ With these and many other words to this effect I begged leave of the Sultan of Funj. The king stood up, kissed my brow, and said: ‘By God, in the letters to us that you brought from the Sultan of Cairo (i.e., the Ottoman governor of Egypt) he wrote: “Let our brother Evliya Efendi tour your province and see all the noteworthy monuments, then send him back to Cairo with honour, safe and sound.” I cannot allow you to travel in the huge deserts of the provinces of Fez and Marrakesh. And our authority does not extend to those regions, which are waterless and hazardous in the extreme. They take captive white men like you and cook them and eat them. Men like you have never before come to our country. Don’t you see how the people here regard you with amazement, and every day ask us a thousand questions about you? Nor do you have any warrant or document authorising you to travel in that country. Travel there is in any case impossible. Where are Fez and Marrakesh? They are at the extremity of the Egyptian peninsula, with no open roads between. Between that country and ours lies a five-month journey west through the desert. By God, I cannot allow it!’ His boon companions and the Qan’s viziers agreed that it was not feasible. And my own servants and companions said that they were sick of this hot climate. I was very upset. That night I uttered the prayer for a dream omen and lay down to sleep. I dreamt that I was mounted on a camel foal and riding at random in the wilderness amidst elephants and rhinoceroses. Y431b I came to a large thicket.

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Suddenly a large camel appeared and began chasing me. It caught up and mounted on top of me, while I was mounted on top of the camel foal! The little camel fled and I was left under the big camel, terribly distressed. Amidst the commotion I recalled the Qurʾanic verse, And whoever trusts in God, He will suffice him (65:3), and I recited it. The camel on top of me leapt off and ran away. Feeling my strength renewed, I chased after this camel, caught up with it, and grabbed hold of it. Tying its neck with a sword-strap, I climbed up a ruined minaret, mounted the camel, and went off to Habesh with my companions. When I awoke I interpreted the dream by divine inspiration to mean that it was auspicious for me to return to Egypt, and I gave up the notion of travelling to Fez and Marrakesh. In the morning I had breakfast with the king before the kettledrums sounded for departure. We left the city of Jarsinqa and travelled six hours north, journeying inland from the Nile to the Plain of Jalama, whence we departed at dawn to travel another 13 hours north to the City of Janjafa. It had prospered in the time of the Prophet Solomon, and the ruined remains of its buildings lie there in the dirt. There are 2,000 houses of reed and mud brick, three Friday mosques and a number of shops. The governor is Sedan, with 10,000 soldiers at his command. We left the next day and after ten hours came to the City of Rumeilat al-Himal, where we stopped for a day before continuing north along the Nile, moving from fortress to fortress and city to city and halting on occasion in lands that we had visited before, all the while receiving magnificent gifts from the fortress commanders, the qans, and the local notables, and throughout the journey we hunted. Finally, after a total of 45 days, we arrived at the great City of Sennar, capital of Funjistan. We entered it again, safe and sound, and all the people of the vilayet came out to greet us, with cannons being fired from the fortress and celebrations held. After halting at our guesthouse for a full week, I asked leave of the king to return to Egypt and he warmly assented, bestowing upon me the following gifts: 5 Funj horses, 10 boys and 2 black girls mounted on 10 tawusi dromedaries, 10 camels loaded with grain, 10 boxes containing coral and carnelians and garnets and chrysoberyl and musk and amber and civet, a rosary of pearls, the sword of a Companion of the Prophet,165 an embroidered tent and 200 plates and bowls of Sennar ware. He also recited prayers of benediction. Qan Seyfi commanded his vizier, together with 1,000 men, to bring us as far as the sultan’s brother in Qalʿat Arbaji, and he gave us documents as well. We left the following morning. 165 bir sahâbe kılıcı: It is unclear whether this expression designates a type of sword or an actual sword that had belonged to a Companion of the Prophet.



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The king accompanied us for a full stage, after which we embraced and kissed and wept as we said farewell Y432a before finally parting. They returned to Funj while we headed north, saying a basmala and reciting a Fatiha as we took to the road. After eight hours we came to the city of Baqith, described earlier (Y412a), and then to Qalʿat Itshan and the great city of Qalʿat Arbaji, also described above (Y409a–412a). In Arbaji, we stayed with the brother of the King of Funjistan − that simple-minded man who had said to us, ‘What raw men you are! Who has flayed the skin from your faces?’ − and then the qan whom the king had sent along as our guide, having completed his duty, took his papers and returned. By God’s wisdom, and in accordance with the saying, When God desires a thing first he prepares its causes − for everything must have a cause − and with the Qurʾanic verse, We made him mighty in the land and gave him means to achieve all things (18:84–85), it seems that God Almighty had ordained to send us to yet another country. Five or six black-skinned men who spoke very fine Turkish showed up in my residence and we conversed for a long time. They turned out to be Habesh garrison soldiers and Djabarti musketeer officers. Three of them were in the retinue of Farfara Ahmed Pasha in the country of the Sultan of Habesh; ten were men serving under the tyrannical governor Kara Naʾib, one of the beys of Habesh; and one was the deputy of Mehemmed Agha. They had all come to this region on commercial business. I treated them respectfully and generously and inquired how many days’ journey it was from Habesh to Arbaji. When they answered that it was an easy 20-day journey, I conceived the desire to go to Habesh, though I did not tell them this. ‘And on what day,’ said I, ‘will you be travelling to Habesh?’ ‘God willing,’ they replied, ‘we will depart this city the day after tomorrow, Thursday.’ I wished them God speed and they returned to their quarters. Earlier, by God’s wisdom, I had loaded the heavier of the gifts that the king had given me for the Pasha onto boats and sent them off with a few of our men. It turned out that two of the men had fallen ill − one of them, apparently, by witchcraft − and stayed behind in Arbaji. I was surprised when they suddenly turned up. ‘Why on earth are you still here?’ I asked. ‘By God,’ they said, ‘ever since you went with the king towards the source of the Nile, the weather has been so bad that the boats could not leave. They stayed for 40 days and only set off three days ago when they heard you were about to arrive here. They cannot have got very far; probably they will wait for you at Ibrim fortress. As for us, we got sick and were left behind.’ Thus they explained everything in great detail, and I warned them to get ready to go.

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The next day the king’s brother gave me 3 horses, 10 camels loaded with grain, 5 girls and 5 black-skinned boys all mounted on 5 dromedaries, 6 pairs of elephant tusks, 5 pairs of rhinoceros horns, a black pup tent, a sack of civet hides Y432b and a sack of tiger and leopard hides. The day after that we made our preparations, I bade farewell to Qan Girgis and, meeting up with the Habeshi soldiers, we set off for Habesh.

Fifth Journey: Habesh Y432b–443a Setting off overland in a north-easterly direction from Arbaji, Evliya and his company pass through Wadi Qoz (Qoz Rajab?) and then continue on through Dembiya (Ethiopia), where they encounter a great variety of animals before finally arriving at the Red Sea coast. Travelling south, partly along the coast and partly inland through Maymunistan (‘Monkeyland’), they pass through Dunqunab and come to the island city of Suakin, where they stay for 12 days. After a brief tour of Kif on the mainland, Evliya departs for Dahlak on a Yemen jalba boat. A tour of Dahlak is followed by another sea journey to Massawa, which has long served as the Habeshi capital and whose Banyan merchants Evliya quite evidently admires. While Evliya is in Massawa, the local garrison troops stage a rebellion and he is forced to flee to the mainland port of Gherar. From here he continues his travels south to Arkiko, where his host is the de facto local ruler, Kara Naʾib. Continuing partly along the coast and partly inland, and calling at Irafalo, the salt fields of Tuzla and the ruined city of Beilul, Evliya arrives at Zeila on the coast of the Gulf of Aden. Here he spends a month recovering from his journeys and basking in the pleasant climate and local culture, including the sexual culture, about which he provides a wealth of detail. He then travels to Bab al-Mandab, where the Indian Ocean meets the Red Sea. There follows a long and quite suspect journey overland to Mogadishu, then a two-week return trip to Arkiko. Kara Naʾib grants Evliya leave to return to Egypt. The company retraces its previous route as far as Wadi Abrash, located in the vicinity of Maymunistan (‘Monkeyland’), then continues through Hadendoa and the lands of the Oqut tribe. They eventually arrive once again at the Red Sea coast, which they follow north for a number of stages before turning inland and travelling west through Wadi Halfa to Ibrim.



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Figure 2.15: Map of Evliya Çelebi’s fifth journey (Source: Michael D. Sheridan)

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Chapter 73: Account of the stages of our journey in the Sudan from the city of Arbaji to the vilayet of Habesh With 8,000 armed Muslim soldiers we travelled north-east through jungles and over stony ground, now under ebony trees and now forests of acacia, and after eight days we came to Wadi Qoz (Qoz Rajab?), a fruitful plain located among other plains to the east of the Nile. On the Habesh side it is under the rule of the King of Sudan, not that of Habesh or Dongola or Dembiya or Zanjiya. It marks the border with Funjistan. Its governor is called the Qoz, which is the title given to viziers in this land. To the east of the Nile, viziers are right-hand viziers and are known as qoz, while to the west of the Nile they are called qan and are the sultan’s left-hand viziers. The Qoz commands 300,000 soldiers and 1,000,000 subjects, who are all believers and monotheists of the Maliki rite. Because their viziers are termed qoz, the subjects are also given that name and are called the Qoz people. They are a brave and courageous people who all go about naked except for covering their genitals with hides of gazelle, lion, tiger and leopard. On this plain are 40,000 reed and thatch houses and Friday mosques. However, the palace of the ruler, the Qoz, is built of stone and wood, and it is very solid and serves as the local fortress. All of the houses are decorated with ostrich feathers and eggs. In some places in the mountains there are fruits endemic to this land. The major product is millet; they do not grow wheat, barley or barseem (Egyptian clover). In the mountains we also saw porphyry cliffs as well as mines of lead, sulphur, gold and silver; they are idle, however, as no one here knows how to extract and process the ore. There are streambeds all around the plain. When the Nile floods in July, the stream on the western side overflows and submerges this plain for three months, leaving behind a lake in the middle of the plain that the locals use to relieve their thirst. It is a large lake measuring some 10 stages all around. On it are rafts made of gourds that the people use to catch and eat the many varieties of fish. The Qoz people live in the area around this channel (i.e., the stream on the western side of the plain?). I presented the ruler of the Qoz with a handkerchief and in turn he gave us three camels, a slaveboy, and 100 men as guides. […] From there (Wadi Qoz) the next day, as we were travelling in the desert heading north, a black dust cloud appeared in the sky ahead of us. Wondering what it could be, we continued forward. It turned out that an eagle had seized a baby elephant (see Y398a–b) and, Y433a while the eagle was starting to eat it, the mother elephant had come and begun to battle with the eagle. That was the reason for the cloud of dust hanging in the air. We observed from a distance, without making a sound. The big elephant tried to protect the little one with her trunk, but it was



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no use; she was overcome by the terrible eagle and seriously wounded. Now our companions took pity. Crying Allah Allah! with a single voice, and shooting their muskets, they spurred on their horses and made the eagle take flight. It was like a black cloud, its wingspread casting a shadow on the ground that blocked the sunlight. The mother elephant seized the opportunity and ran away. We approached the baby elephant. The terrible eagle had gouged out its eyes and gnawed at several parts of its body. It staggered about in that plain, fearing for its life. We resumed our journey. When we had moved off some distance, the eagle swooped down from the sky, took the baby elephant in its beak, flew up into the air and dropped it on the ground, where it broke into pieces. The eagle settled over it and began to feed. At sunset we came to Mt. Tarjash, a high mountain covered with forests of ebony. We halted there for foraging and proceeded under moonlight, travelling all night till morning. Then we rested beside a lightly forested area and fed our horses before continuing north to the Vilayet of Dembiya,166 a border marking the limit of Funjistan. As soon as we set foot in Dembiya, the head of the caravan and Kara Naʾib’s deputy told their soldiers, ‘Men, from here on out stay together and keep your hands on your weapons. We have come to the country of the Dembiya rebels, and to the land of monkeys and fearsome monsters. Be on your guard.’ We travelled non-stop for six days and six nights without even unloading our pack animals. We passed through some of the Dembiya villages, giving gifts and hobnobbing with the natives, eating camel’s meat and rhinoceros meat and drinking boza and camel’s milk. For six days we went like this, stopping and going. On the sixth day we came to the Stage of the City of Porega, located in the midst of black rocky cliffs. It marks the border of the sultanate of Dembiya. [Observation of dead eagles and ‘scoop-tails’ (horned vipers?); description of local eagles] Y433b The governor of Porega attended us that night and the caravaneers presented him with gifts, and he, through God’s wisdom, presented us with gifts as well. The whole city consists of a few hundred houses and two Friday mosques, all made of reed, and everyone in the houses has a civet. [Description of the civet] Departing from Porega the following morning, we proceeded through an uninhabited valley. Eleven huge Mahmudi elephants accompanied us, five of them milk-white, six of them black. They paid us little heed, sometimes walking in front of us, sometimes to our right or left, chasing one another, or playing, or fighting. 166 Dembiya is an historic region of Ethiopia that includes the city of Gondar, which the emperor Fasilides (r. 1632–67) had made his capital in 1636.

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This went on for seven hours. Though we were armed, we agreed not to shoot at them, but simply to watch. One of them was a very large old elephant. He did not prance around like the others, but several times came close to the soldiers in order, it seemed, to exhibit his beauty. He was a very clever animal. His legs were like minarets, his tusks like ship masts, his trunk like a chimney, his belly like an Isfahan kettledrum, his hide like a worn carpet, his mouth like the mouth of a stokehold, his eyes like gazelle eyes, his tail like the staff of a dervish shaikh, and his anus like the Cave of Orphans. The 11 elephants accompanied us all the way to the next stage, and no one laid a hand on them. After eight hours, we came to the Stage of Ribda,167 which is under the authority of the King of Dembiya. It is a well-watered area in the midst of black mountains – if you dig in the ground just 3 or 4 spans deep, springs of sweet water bubble out. Y434a It turned out that the reason those poor elephants had travelled beside us was because people dig waterholes in this area and the elephants go towards the water. Some soldiers had camped here earlier, so we cleaned the waterholes at their campsite for the elephants, which drank and got drunk on the water and frolicked in this plain. Ribda consists of 1,000 reed houses and one Friday mosque, also of reed. Everyone here is of the black-skinned Dembiya tribe, and their lovely dark-skinned girls are famous. Leaving Ribda, we travelled for 11 hours beside a lake and through a verdant area full of birds and rose gardens, where we watched the comical monkeys before coming to Qalʿat Nazdi. It is also under the authority of Dembiya. The governor is a Zangi named Jarhaj who commands 40,000 naked soldiers. The castle appeared there before us, rising up to heaven, but we were unable to climb up to it so we could not observe it. In the exurban settlement below there are some 2,000 houses of reed and thatch with mud roofs, as well as two Friday mosques, a boza shop, and shops in front of which elephant tusks, cardamom, evergreen oak, balsam wood and ebony lay heaped up like mountains. Departing from Nazdi in the morning, we again headed north, encountering herds of elephant and rhinoceros, deer, gazelle, wild mule and oryx – so many animals that only God knows their number. And – glory to God! – this was a plain completely covered with trees and other vegetation. Birds in every corner cheered our spirits with their plaintive song. Actually, this bird jungle is quite well known in the vilayet of Dembiya, under the name of Wadisha. Once a year the King of Dembiya comes here to hunt – here and there one can see benches for his tents and cooking places. We stayed in this jungle plain for three days, camping and 167 = Rayda at Y30b.

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hiking, and saw many wonderful things. There are monkeys here as big as Merzifon donkeys. They use one another as mounts, and sometimes use goats. They are different colours – white, pied, red, black, grey and blue – and only the Creator knows their number. Some carry clubs on their shoulders, as though they were gatekeepers or going somewhere urgently on official business. Some are huge lumbering creatures that make the earth tremble when they run. In short, there are many kinds of monkey, each one more comical than the next. I found three baby monkeys beside the road and we put them on top of the baggage camels and fed them. It was in this plain that we reached the limit of the authority of the sultanate of Dembiya and entered Habesh, which is in the first clime. We made a thanksgiving sacrifice for having got this far in safety. The next day, however, the effect of the first clime began to make itself felt and our heads were cooked from the heat of the sun; but by God’s command it did us no harm. We always had ten men go in front as sentries. As we were going along, we saw the man at the very front Y434b get thrown off his horse, which then fled back in our direction as the others gripped the necks of their own horses and came huffing and puffing back towards us. ‘What’s going on?’ we asked. ‘By God,’ they answered, ‘there’s a scoop-tail (kepçe kuyruk – i.e., horned viper?). It sprayed its urine on that poor man, who was riding in front of us. He fell off his horse and the horse ran back towards you.’ As they reported this, the horse fell over headfirst and died, immediately swelling up like a mountain. Everyone ran away from the horse and then it exploded like a cannonball. ‘What should we do now?’ we said. ‘Is there another road we could take?’ Shouting and firing our muskets, we plucked up our courage and went forward. That damned creature known as the scoop-tail – it is somewhat like a gazelle in size and appearance, but its tail hangs down raggedly – scurried away into the mountains. We approached the poor man who had fallen. His body had turned into a coagulated mass. ‘Don’t go near him,’ they cried. ‘Don’t even look at him. The stench of the venom will affect you badly.’ So we left him there and resumed our journey. Some of his companions sighed in regret, since the dead man had 700 gold pieces in his belt. But what could they do? His body had turned to mush. Saying ‘Judgment belongs to God’ we continued north a full six days and six nights through black rocky mountains and black stony tracts inhabited by lions and tigers and elephants and rhinoceroses before coming to the Stage of Wadi Abrash [→ M48] in the territory of Habesh. All around were the signs of civilisation and fragrances wafted that gladdened the spirit. So we halted and the soldiers dug in the ground and springs of sweet water bubbled out. We had had little water

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for six days and had been rationing it, so now all the soldiers and animals recovered and their faces grew bright again. We found countless waterholes dug in the ground, and it turned out that this was a stopping place for soldiers and merchants travelling from Egypt to Habesh. Praise be to God, we had found the main route, where the ʿAbabida tribe pass through from Qena towards the coast. We too dug wells and relieved our thirst. Departing Abrash we travelled for three days over black stony ground, by black mountains and through black lands, all the while suffering under the intense heat. But when we came back into forested land our brains were perfumed by a fragrance of musk and raw ambergris and every breath that we took in and out was refreshing. I asked some of the merchants, ‘What is this lovely fragrance?’ ‘These mountains,’ they said, ‘are teeming with civets and musk snakes. The smell comes from them.’ Passing through this area, we came in three days to a vast plain, at the end of which was the Stage of Mt. ʿAzlun168 [→ M48 ʿAjlun], where we pitched camp at the foot of the mountain. It is in the eyalet of Habesh. In this valley camp the Yasri Bedouin, a tribe of black Zangis with 10,000 black tents who follow the Jaʿfari rite. Here, too, we dug pits in the ground and springs of sweet water bubbled out. Y435a After departing the next day, while we were again travelling north, the Red Sea appeared before us. Now we began to move east along the coast at the foot of black mountains, cutting stages for a full six days as we passed through the Vilayet of Maymunistan (‘Monkeyland’), where all sorts of monkeys and macaques and saʿdâns and zankalas (?) roamed over the mountains and rocks and the plain, performing their stunts, watching us from up in the trees, and crying Ah ah! or Kah kah! or Vah vah! as they did somersaults and flips and frolicked about. Watching them made us forget the difficulties of the journey. Surely God created no creature as comical or as clever. But they are inauspicious; although watching them is fun and relieves one’s worries, feeding them is said to bring poverty. The elephant is another clever animal. After passing through this land of monkeys we travelled now over stony tracts and mountainous terrain, now across sand dunes and hard, rocky ground along the Red Sea shore, and in six days we arrived at the Stage of Dunqunab [→M48]. Halting in this valley, we dug pits in the ground and springs of sweet water bubbled out. It lies within the bounds of the sanjak and kadi district of Suakin in the province of Habesh and is very near the shore of the Red Sea. Here dwell the Kandiya Bedouins, a naked tribe of some 100,000 Zangis. Across from Dunqunab, 150 miles to the north, stands the fortress and entrepot of Yanbu, which serves as the 168 = ʿAjun at Y30b and ʿAjlun on the map (at M48).



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port for Medina, from which it is 3 stages distant. Dunqunab is a large port, but the city itself is offshore on Pearl Island, which is visible from the port. On this island are 3,000 houses of reeds and rushes, a Friday mosque and boza shops, but no other structures. Nor is there any place for cultivation of crops. The people are all deep-sea divers who bring up a great variety of pearls from the Red Sea. Some are the size of hazelnuts, unique pearls that are a marvel of God’s handiwork. The governor here, an agha appointed by the pasha of Habesh, exacts a tithe from the pearls and renders an account to the pasha. He also collects duties from the ships that dock at the port of Dunqunab. Leaving Dunqunab we continued north,169 now along the Red Sea coast and now through mountains, all the while observing multicoloured Habeshi chickens and peacocks like those in the gardens of paradise – glory be to the Creator! The next day we arrived at the Stage of Etle, a sandy area in the midst of a broad valley under the authority of Suakin. There were Sadiya Bedouin Zangis camped here, a tribe of 40,000 like black swine and with black tents. They pay a pasture tax to the pasha of Habesh. Here too there were hand-dug wells of sweet water. Departing Etle, we travelled a full six days through black mountainous terrain and verdant and well-watered valleys where herd upon herd of elephants had come down to the shore like so many herds of black bulls. Y435b We observed them along our way before arriving at the Stage of the Harbour of Qum. It is a large harbour on the shore of the Red Sea, but there are no amenities. There are bubbling springs of sweet water on the seashore here, so we emptied all our waterskins and filled them with fresh water. Departing in the morning, we continued along the Red Sea coast, now through black stony terrain and now over fine white sand, observing the shells of oysters and molluscs as well as myriads of colourful fish. [Description of the coral reef along the shore.] Enjoying these sights, we arrived in Suakin in three days.

Description of the ancient Capital, the Island of the City of Suakin [→M3] In ancient times, it was the resort of a woman named Suakina, the mother of Landuha;170 the buildings are her work. In later days, when Suakin was controlled 169 A slip of the pen? They have been travelling roughly south-south-east. 170 Landuha is a figure in the saga of Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet. Evliya mentions him at I 199b as Lenduha b. Saʿdan in the company of other mythical figures (Maʿdi-Kereb, Divane Hurum); mentions one of his feats in archery at II 230b; and mentions his name again in connection with Hamza at II 231a (where, however, he is said to be Saʿdan’s father rather than his son).

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by the sultanate of Dembiya in the year (—), during the reign of Sultan Süleyman, the governor of Egypt, Tavaşi Süleyman Pasha, seized Diu and Ahmedabad in India from the Portuguese with a fleet of 300 ships and granted them to the Indian sultan before coming in victory and triumph to Yemen, where he seized the entrepots of Aden, Sana’a and Mocha from the Zaydis. Then he crossed over to Habesh with the imperial navy and 40,000 soldiers and made Özdemir Pasha the supreme commander in this region. The pasha then captured the island of Suakin and anchored all the ships and the soldiers settled in Suakin. It is Özdemir Pasha’s conquest. He became an independently ruling vizier whose renown spread throughout Habesh. A Circassian by birth and a relative of Sultan Ghawri, Özdemir Pasha was a prudent, worthy and famous soldier and very brave and valiant. We halted in this city for 12 days and engaged in buying and selling with the caravan merchants. I lightened my load by selling 40 dromedaries for 500 gurush and 50 elephant tusks for another 500 gurush. After this, we learned about the layout of the city and went out to see the sights. Opposite Suakin, 300 miles across the waters of the Red Sea to the north, Y436a lies the port and entrepot of Jeddah, which is 12 hours from Mecca. As such, the qibla is toward the north in Suakin, which lies in the first clime. The island of Suakin is a small island 3 miles lengthwise from east to west. It is so close to land that one can hear sounds coming from there. This island is also one of the seats of government of the pasha of Habesh, though the pasha does not reside here. The deputy governor, with 500 men, rules in the pasha’s name and sends him 100 purses per annum. The pasha’s palace, which is called the khurda, is at the harbour. It is where duties are collected and where the deputy governors reside. It is a solid stone construction, built by Özdemir Pasha. All the ships and jalba boats from India and Sind and Yemen and Habesh as well as Indian carracks dock before this palace and the tithe is collected from them. Suakin is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level. The nahiye is a bad-i hava district171 that the pashas grant as a permanent possession to their imams – a stroke of fortune that earns them 70 or 80 gurush per annum. On the island there are a total of 260 houses made of stone and reed and thatch, all of them small and covered with earth. There is only one Friday mosque, built of stone by Özdemir Pasha, with a low minaret. There are also a few neighbourhood mosques as well as 20 shops made of thatch and reed. At the harbour are the storehouses of 171 Bad-i hava (lit. ‘wind of the air’) refers to a variety of irregular and occasional income obtained through fines, fees, penalties, and in general unpredictable revenue sources.



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the Banyan tribe, fire-worshipping infidels, and these are full of all varieties of precious goods. Apart from those public buildings already mentioned, there are no khans or hammams or soup kitchens or gardens or orchards. Even so, because this serves as the regional port for the kings of Funjistan and Zanjistan and Dembistan (Dembiya), it is a place of plenty. The mainland lies to the south-east of the island and the sound of the call to prayer from this side can be heard there. On the shore on that side are three old towers, each only the distance of a musket shot from one another. They were built as storage towers for water for Suakin, as the island is waterless. They also serve as places of refuge for caravans and wayfarers before they cross over to Suakin. If not for these towers, the residents of Suakin would perish of thirst, since the Zangi tribes would not give them a single drop of water. To this day they ask ships arriving from Yemen and Jeddah whether they have any water from the Holy Land. That is why they are always well guarded.172 Some houses also have their own cisterns. And that is why these towers are so well built. They are the Main or Stone Tower, the Middle Tower and the Straits Tower. There are boats for transporting the water, Y436b as well as tower wardens and 50 or 60 garrison troops who receive their monthly stipend from the pasha. If the pasha comes to Habesh with a sizeable force, he assigns some of his retinue to these towers as aghas and garrison troops, which is a great kindness. The towers, which are all solidly built stone structures with a single wooden gate facing the sea, also have several Shahi darbzen cannons as well as armouries. There are loopholes for muskets all around the towers and the garrison troops are constantly at the ready there with their muskets, protecting the water and transporting it to the island of Suakin day and night by boat. From Suakin we went to Kif.

Description of the ancient City of Kif [→M6] It is also in the eyalet of Habesh and was conquered by Özdemir Pasha during the reign of Selim II. In earlier times it was a great entrepot under the authority of the King of Dembiya, but it is no longer very built up, though all around it the remains of ancient buildings are visible. It was a city of great expanse. In this country they call the pasha’s deputy governor the kashif, and he governs with a 172 The translation of this sentence is conjectural; the text is in a bit of disarray. Also, the following sentence is misplaced, breaking the continuity of the text concerning the water towers.

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retinue of 200 men, and the subashi district is headed by the pasha’s subaltern. Because Kif lies on the coast, ships dock here and duties are exacted from them. The city consists of 300 houses covered with earth. They are seaside houses, some made of mud brick and some made of reed; they are not stone buildings of Shaddadian construction. There are (—) Friday mosques, (—) neighbourhood mosques (—) (—) (—) and 50 small shops, but there is no hammam or khan or covered market or soup kitchen, nor are there any madrasas. There are, however, a few coffee-houses and boza shops, boza being an indigenous product in these climes. There are no orchards or flower gardens, though there are many vegetable gardens on the inland side. The waterholes dug out here have an abundance of sweet water. Because of the mild climate in Kif, women 100 years old can get pregnant and their stalwart 150-year-old husbands can deflower girls who perpetually remain virgins.173 Having toured Kif we returned to the island of Suakin, where we entrusted our heavy baggage and some of the extra animals to the deputy governor along with 20 captives and 20 of our men, and we sent 20 men with 10 horses and 10 dromedaries ahead by land to the vilayet of Dahlak. As for myself, I boarded a Yemen jalba boat with my friend Mehemmed Agha, Kara Naʾib’s deputy, and reciting the Qurʾanic verse, It will set sail in the name of God, and in the name of God it will cast anchor (11: 41) and putting our trust in God, we set off for the island of Dahlak. When we were out at sea, I saw that the boat’s sails were made of reed and, God help us, as the boat moved along the waters of the Coral Sea the skippers and all the sailors were sitting on the bow and constantly looking down at the sea. Whenever a coral reef loomed in sight, they informed the captain at the stern ‘to the right’ or ‘to the left’ and he turned the rudder accordingly. Woe on us if he happened to turn left when they said right or right when they said left – we would all end up in the water! A thousand Fatihas were being recited every step of the way, Y437a so the boat was brim-full of Fatihas. The truth is that without these Fatihas, that boat would not float safely on this sea for a single second: the sails are of reed, the skippers are poor, the ballast is gravel, the cargo is barren wounds,174 the nails are reed ropes, the oil under the hull is camel grease and the interior is full of barley flour. In short, we inched forward on the Red Sea in this fashion, threading our way night and day through coral reefs, full of anxiety as we carefully followed 173 cf. EÇSOS s.v. ḫıtāyī, and see below at Q338a. 174 ‘Barren wounds’ translates ḳarḥā-yı ʿaḳīr, which is put in here for the sake of the rhyme in a passage consisting of elaborate rhymed prose.



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the shore for six days, calling at a number of islands to see the sights and passing by many others, until we came to Dahlak.

Description of the Island of Dahlak It was the capital of King Najash (al-Najashi, the King of Aksum). It was first conquered in the time of the Prophet by the Caliph ʿUthman who sailed from Jeddah with 100 ships. Afterwards it was re-occupied by King Najash, and only reconquered by Çerkes Özdemir Pasha in the time of Selim II. It is a deputy governorship in the eyalet of Habesh. A large island 10 miles in circumference, it lies near the mainland at a distance of only one cannon-shot. There are pearl fisheries on the island. In former times there was a small fortress here, which is now in ruins, although some of the remains of its buildings can be seen here and there. It is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, although, because it is at such a great distance, it is granted175 to the imams of the pashas of Habesh. All told there are 600 houses in the city, whose walls are made of stone to halfway up their height and of thatch above that, with their roofs made of earth piled up like a turban.176 There are a few shops and storehouses as well as a Friday mosque and neighbourhood mosques. The houses are small, and they have no orchards or gardens. Beside the port is the palace of the deputy governor, which serves as the customs house, and 40 or 50 storehouses full of the merchants’ goods. Apart from these, there are no public buildings. Every house has its own cistern to collect rainwater. In the intense heat here, the water is as cold as ice. There is ample water in Dahlak, and some people sell the surplus water to sailors. Here too the climate is pleasant and there are many lovely dark-skinned boys and girls. They grow millet in some places on Dahlak and there are vegetable gardens as well. There are also a lot of goats. A marvel: The goats here eat the flesh found inside the mother-of-pearl in oysters, as well as eating live fish and even fish pickled in brine. They are funny-looking goats with wispy beards and their meat and fat has a pleasant fragrance like musk and raw ambergris. When the Caliph ʿUthman conquered Dahlak (the army included) thousands of Emigrants and Helpers and People of the Suffa177 and Companions of the Prophet 175 Reading mübaḥḥaren. The MSS have: Y münaḥḥazen, P münaḥḥaren, Q mübaḫḫaren. 176 Lit. ‘and their roofs made of earth and turbans’ (ve üstleri cümle toprak ve şaşdır) – perhaps only to provide a rhyme with the previous expressions (temelleri nısfına dek taşdır, andan yukarusı çalaşdır). 177 The Emigrants were those who went with Muhammad from Mecca to Medina, while the Helpers were those residents of Medina who hosted and assisted the Emigrants. The People

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were buried here. But I have not enumerated them because they have no tombs and tombstones and they are not mentioned in the chronicles. Y437b After touring Dahlak, we once again set off by boat on the Red Sea, again suffering night and day the trouble of the coral reefs as we moved eastwards along the coast with a favourable breeze, enjoying the marvellous view of many thousands of massive rocks. After 6 miles, or a day’s journey, we reached Massawa.

Description of the Island of Qalʿat Massawa It has been the capital of the sultans of Habesh since ancient times. It too was first conquered by ʿUthman, may God be pleased with him. Later came the Ottoman conquest, in the time of Selim II in the year (—), at the hands of Özdemir Pasha.178 It remains the seat of the pasha of Habesh. Since it had been a sultanate, Özdemir Pasha stuck an aigrette in his turban and held a divan. Even now seven sultanates are in its administration. [Administrative details regarding its 110 fortresses.] The late Mosdarlı Mustafa Pasha kept 2,000 Djabarti musketeers and got 1,000 purses a year plus another 1,000 in the form of gifts as tribute. As long as the pasha does not offend the Indian and Yemeni and Habeshi merchants, but gains their good will, and if three Indian carracks come annually, he will get 1,000 purses – judge by that how many he will get if five or ten come! As for his eyalet, it is boundless. A territory extending one year’s journey from east to west is in his authority. If he flexes his muscles, he can be an emperor; but if he is timid, he is reduced to the level of a customs agent; even so, without exercising injustice, he can earn 1,000 purses after expenses. But if he shows a white face to his black-faced subjects, he can maintain order with 100 or 200 men. All he has to do is send men with gifts to the kings of Funjistan and Dembiya and the Zangis and the ʿAlawis and Zeila, and send envoys to the sultans of Yemen and India, and so many merchants will come that he will earn a fortune (in customs revenue). Habesh was formerly a molla district (i.e., at the level of 500 akçe per diem). Today it is bestowed (on the chief kadi) at the level of 300 akçe. But because it is so remote, the expense is greater than the income, so no one seeks the office and it is assumed by the pasha’s imams. The villages and towns being fortresses and cities, the imams staff them with their deputies (naʾib) Y438a and earn 1,000 gurush per of the Suffa were a group of Muhammad’s Companions who studied and worshipped in the suffa or portico of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. 178 Özdemir Pasha’s conquest of Massawa took place in 1577; see Orhonlu 1974, 43.



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annum. The people know nothing of the Sharia or of Sufi orders or of religious truth or of spiritual knowledge. They are a bunch of black-crow bumpkins and rustic rebels, swarthy pagan hill people bound for hellfire, a tribe of looting Zangis who know nothing of religion or faith or creed. In this clime of Habesh, where the people are so many animals, how could the ulema manage to get even one akçe or one grain out of them? God help us, if a summoner to the Sharia court so much as steps outside his door, he is sure to perish from the biting heat or the burning simoom or at the hand of a cheating and thieving Zangi. A man from Turkey generally must go around with a white ihram of Indian (linen or cotton?) cloth on his back and another around his waist. But by God’s command the men and animals here are unaffected by the intense heat. In fact, the climate is quite pleasant; in particular, there is a gentle and refreshing breeze from late afternoon until dawn. This island of Massawa lies south of the mainland, the distance of a musket shot or nearly a mile. Indeed, voices can be heard across the strait. The pasha’s palace is a stone-built structure on the seaside. It is another of the buildings constructed by Özdemir Pasha. However, it is not very large or well built or finely ornamented, as it has little in the way of stability and all the chambers are completely covered with earth. It is here that the tithe on merchants’ goods is exacted – khurda being the term in this region for a customs office. All the ships from Portugal, England, Flanders, India, Sind, China, Cathay, Khotan, Yemen, Aden, Qumfuta, Mocha, Luhya (al-Luhayyah) [→M9], Jeddah, Yanbu, al-Tur and Suez, as well as these lands’ galleons and carracks, all dock in the fine harbour before this palace on the island of Massawa. Massawa is located in the first clime and its qibla is towards the north. Two hundred miles across the Red Sea lies the port of al-Luhayyah in Yemen, and because they are directly across from one another, when the weather is good ships from Yemen can come and go in two or three days. The city’s buildings are small since, as an island, it cannot support heavy buildings, because they would sink into the mud. There are a total of 1,600 houses, some of stone, others of mud brick or reed or wattle and daub. They are all single-storey houses except for the pasha’s palace, which has two storeys. There are (—) prayer-niches, including the Özdemir Pasha Friday Mosque in the marketplace, with a large congregation. It is an old-style mosque built of stone and has a low minaret, an earth-covered roof, and two gates, one the Seaside Gate and the other the Marketplace Gate. Özdemiroğlu179 and Boshnak Mustafa Pasha are buried in a tomb on the right side 179 A slip of the pen – actually Özdemir Pasha himself. His more famous son, Özdemiroğlu Osman Pasha, is buried in Diyarbekir.

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of the mosque. Y438b There is also the Shaikh Jamaliyya Mosque, a stone building where Shaikh Jamali lies buried. There are also six neighbourhood mosques, one of them being that of Kara Bey. Apart from these structures, there are no khans, hammams, madrasas, soup kitchens, water dispensaries, fountains or any similar buildings. There are some 100 shops where all kinds of precious items from India and Sind can be found at a low price, but there is no covered market. At the port are 100 Banyan storehouses, much like khans, all containing costly goods. In fact, musk and ambergris and cardamom all lie piled up on the floor there, for these storehouses are very secure, being stone buildings of Shaddadian construction. There are no orchards or gardens on the island at all, but there is a great abundance of gold and silver money. Items obtained lawfully and bedecked with jewels and purses of gold and silver lie in heaps in these storehouses. The people are all swarthy and black-skinned. But there is also a group called the Banyans, who are both light- and dark-skinned. They are fire-worshippers, and when one of them dies they burn the corpse. All of them wear pure white embroidered Indian garments and white turbans. Habesh’s entire income and expenses and all of its customs registers are under their control. They use their pens, their sagacity and their knowledge of accounting to count everything down to the last penny and register it as expenses; that is how calculating a people they are. Yet they are the most trustworthy men in all of Habesh. They never lie or slander. They never consume forbidden foods, such as wine or pork, and they are strict vegetarians. They eat alone, with two people never sitting down for a meal together, and they never eat of anyone else’s food or offer their own to others, unless they happen to have guests. They are very wealthy yet honest merchants, and they never go about in a state of ritual impurity. They make their living by engaging in trade in India and Sind, in Funjistan and Dembiya. They are a very calculating people, but no one has ever known or heard of them being rebellious or insubordinate. They are very good-natured and cheerful men as well as being quite affectionate and hospitable. They even bought from me 1,000 gurush’s worth of some of my heavier goods at above market value without any argument or opposition. For the pasha of Habesh, the Banyans serve as his hand of bribery180 and the water of his face (i.e., guardians of his honour). Whenever there is a new pasha 180 Yed-i rişvet – the significance of this term is unclear; probably it is not to be understood negatively in this context, particularly as it is coupled with ab-ı ru (lit. ‘water of face’), an idiom for ‘honour’.



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Figure 2.16: Detail from Ludolfi’s map of Abyssinia (1683), showing Dahlak, Massawa, Arkiko and Dafalo/Irafalo/Hindiya; note the legend under Arkiko reading ‘Habessiniae Portus, quem nunc Turcae tenent’ [‘Port of Habesh/Abyssinia, which is now held by the Turks’] (Source: Hiob Ludolf, Historia Aethiopica, Sive Brevis & succincta descriptio Regni Habessinorum (Frankfurt am Main: Joh[ann] D[avid] Zunner, 1681))

in Habesh, he sends a richly adorned chief agha along with a delegation of these Banyans to the Sultan of Dembiya, who is a great sultan with a large territory.181 When I was travelling from Funjistan to Habesh, to the city of Kif, we spent 21 days in Dembiya, passing through fortresses and cities and plains, but did not see the sultan himself. He has an army of a million unsalaried black-crow soldiers and rules over 10 million subjects. The Pasha’s aghas and the Banyans who have been to Dembiya report Y439a that there is never any plague there, so the people live to be 150 or 200 years old, and because the climate is very pleasant and invigorating, the people are said to be given to sexual intercourse and to have numerous children. The people of Massawa are given to sexual intercourse as well. When the pasha of Habesh dispatches an envoy to the Sultan of Dembiya, the delegation brings pearls and carnelians, bows and arrows, swords and pikes and muskets, bullets and gunpowder, naphtha and pitch, pine wood for resin, cypress wood and cones, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts, copper dishes and pans, twilled cotton, trousers and shirts, linen thread and silk – all choice items 181 This refers to Fasilides, the emperor of Ethiopia (r. 1632–67).

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similar to the greatest elixir and the rarest tutty. The delegation travels south for a full month along the same route that we came on. When they arrive, they present the gifts to the sultan, who treats them and the Banyans most respectfully and generously and in turn sends the pasha 40 or 50 budding Habeshi slaveboys and 40 or 50 lovely Habeshi slavegirls, civet and ivory, rhinoceros horns, civet cats and lizard hides, ebony, the beaks of phoenixes and stuffed birds of paradise, malachite and cardamom, raw ambergris perfume, small bezoar stones, elephanthide shields and elephant (penis) whips. Such are the gifts he sends to the pasha, to which he adds half as many again for the agha serving as envoy. He also sends to the pasha however many merchants he has available in his land, together with all their goods, and the pasha exacts customs duties from them and the land of Habesh enjoys plenty. From the vilayet of Dembiya come food items such as wheat, barley and millet, oil and honey, beeswax and flour, and also civet and cardamom, ebony and other goods, as well as sheep, lambs, camels, cows, deer, gazelles and goats. I planned to go and see the sultan, but just then there was a rebellion in Habesh. The garrison troops staged a general insurrection and Fortacı Ahmed Pasha, out of fear and because of the tyranny of that bandit Kara Naʾib, crossed the sea by boat overnight and took refuge with the Imam in Yemen. On this side, the vilayet was left without a governor and I was left alone and a stranger and unable to travel to another country. At this juncture, the servants that I had earlier sent by land arrived with our horses and we were all stuck on this island in terrible trouble. Finally, yielding to the concensus (? − iltiyâm-ı medâr ederek), we had to board a caique and leave Massawa. Travelling south the distance of a musket shot to the Cape of Gherar (Jarrarbashı), we disembarked with our horses. Gherar is the port across the narrows from the island of Massawa. Because we had come to Massawa from across the sea, we had not seen this crossing before. All the goods coming from the mainland are loaded onto boats at this port and taken across to Massawa. In ancient times there was a city here, and its ruins remain. Here and there are small groves of trees and vegetable gardens. The people of Massawa graze their animals here. Y439b There are also wells of sweet water; the island of Massawa itself does not have any fresh water. Mounting our horses we left Gherar and travelled for two hours over broad, flat plains, playing jereed, until we arrived at Arkiko.



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Description of Arkiko (Qalʿat Kharq-ova) [→M4] We entered the castle and came before Kara Naʾib Bey, who welcomed us and treated us with respect. I wanted to give him a handkerchief and kiss his hand, but he modestly declined. ‘Please,’ he said, ‘you are my dear brother. And I understand that you have been travelling in the company of my deputy Mehemmed Bey and have been desirous of meeting me ever since you left Funjistan. But from Dahlak you crossed to Massawa by boat and that crazy windbag Fortacı [Ahmed] Pasha detained you and would not send you on to me. Now that scoundrel has rebelled against the sultan and fled to the rebel Zaydi Imam in Yemen. He can go to hell. I will report this to the sultan.’ ‘You may give your report to me,’ I said. ‘I am experienced in such matters. I will take it the governor in Cairo, after which I will inform my master and, as you wish, continue to Istanbul.’ ‘By God,’ he replied, ‘you have got here just in the nick of time. Now rest for a few days as my guest and then take charge of the matter.’ He arranged a well-appointed room for me and provided our 20 horses and 20 men with rich and ample rations, and I was greatly relieved and refreshed. And he immediately charged his men with bringing to him all of [Fortacı] Ahmed Pasha’s goods, servants and provisions, and the aghas that had been under his command, and he sent some men out with couriers on tawusi camels and dromedaries to help preserve law and order in the land. In the meantime, I went out to tour the city. First of all, Arkiko has long been a city of great expanse and an ancient fortress. It too was conquered by Özdemir Pasha in the year (—). Standing on the shore of the Red Sea, it is a rather large stone fortress of Shaddadian construction, though it is not very solidly built or in good repair. It is 4,000 paces in circumference, square in shape, and has seven towers and six gates: the Main Tower Gate, the Toll Gate, the Port Gate, the Mt. Jida (Ghedem) Gate, the Shaikh Mazlum Gate and the Water Gate. Near the shore in a corner stands the citadel, a separate fortification in good repair, 600 paces in circumference. It is a modern construction and solidly built, having been renovated by Dervish Agha. But the outer fortress is still in need of renovation. The walls are all single layered. The citadel also has a few shahi darbzen cannons. A pompous agha of the pasha acts as deputy governor in Arkiko with 200 men and renders an annual account to the pasha of 100 purses, retaining 50 purses for himself as interest. And it is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level in the control of the pasha’s imams. There is also a castle warden and garrison troops who are aghas of the pasha and receive from him their monthly stipend, a good amount. Usually the pasha’s aghas reside here in Arkiko, because Massawa is a dirty

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valley182 and an island that gets its water from here by boat. The fortress Y440a is surrounded by hand-dug wells, all providing pure sweet water. The fortresses were originally built in order to guard these water sources, and the hinterland was subjugated because of the fortresses, then raids were conducted in the surrounding territory and the plunder used to fortify them and pacify the area. It is a critical fortification, very strategically located, for all around there are numerous black Zangi rebels. Arkiko comprises 700 houses built of stone and reed and thatch and covered with earth; about 20 small markets, 7 coffee-houses, a boza tavern and a khan; and there is also a Friday mosque of Özdemir (Pasha) and 7 neighbourhood mosques. There are no other public buildings. In this region, a hammam is unnecessary, because everyone goes around naked night and day, drenched in sweat, so they might as well be in a hammam already. It is a strange and marvellous city. Our host Kara Naʾib is the mirliva (i.e., sanjakbey or provincial governor) over all the naked Arabs and black Zangis, with authority to loose and bind and to maintain law and order. He is an autocrat with firm control of the government. In times of war he can muster 100,000 troops. Thanks to his generosity and liberality and the feasting he provides, he has made subjects of all the people of Habesh and has bound the pasha to him. Whatever he says goes. Fortacı Ahmed Pasha tried to get him out of the picture and become an independent vizier himself, but in the end he failed and, not knowing what else to do, he fled to the Imam in Yemen. As for Kara Naʾib, he resides permanently here in Arkiko. He has a ruddy complexion and a lean face with large eyes. Though rough spoken, he is fluent in Turkish. He generously distributes to all travellers wheat soup with chicken or lamb, or yoghurt and millet bread. All the people of Habesh and also the people and sultans of Funjistan, Dembiya and ʿAlawistan (Al-Awi), as well as the ʿAbabida, obey his command. He has an uncanny authority over them – he just has to utter a single word and 300,000 wild black-crow soldiers come from these three sultans. But if you throw a single stone at them, they all run helter-skelter like hounds, for they are a ramshackle army, starving and needy, with grasshopper legs and wooden knives and clubs and swaying unsteadily from hunger. Due to Kara Naʾib’s tyranny, the pashas are reduced to being customs agents, leaving the government of the provincial vilayets in his hands. At present, Kara Naʾib provides stipends and uniforms to 5,000 Djabarti soldiers. Djabarti is a term designating musketeers – like the Sekban and Sarıca units and the Janissaries – who hail from Turkey (Rum) or else are Zangis. Most of them 182 Pis ova, providing a rhyme with Musova = Massawa.



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are Turkish youths who fell in love with Habeshi girls. They wear a waistcloth and a loincloth and carry a musket and a handkerchief to wipe the sweat, since they cannot stand the heat. They wear themselves out for 3 gurush a month Y440b and otherwise wander about like stray dogs. Some of the more daring pashas gather a soldiery made up of these Djabartis and go after the Zangis who plunder the countryside, making raids on those raiders and amassing a fortune. From fear of these raiding expeditions, the pashas get countless gifts as tribute from all these countries. And (they get income) from the pearl fisheries – the peerless pearls from these waters cannot be found in the Sea of Hormuz. In short, if the pasha acts prudently and is on good terms with the populace, he is certain to get 1,000 purses a year and another 1,000 as tribute. He has to spend 500 of these purses on salaries for the aghas and garrison troops of the (—) fortresses in his eyalet, since he does not receive a penny from the Porte. [Details of administration and salaries] Departing from Arkiko on horseback, we proceeded south for a quarter of an hour through a gully and arrived at the Shrine of the estimable Shaikh Mazlum. He was a great saint, many of whose miraculous graces revealed themselves; indeed, he is one of those whose blessing is still effective. There are innumerable stories about him. When he died he would not accept a lodge and domed tomb, but went immediately to God’s mercy. Sometimes the pasha and the notables of the vilayet send their tent pavilions and royal kitchens a day in advance and go there on a pleasure outing. They hunt gazelles and rabbits and consume them there. It is an excellent hunting ground. Indeed, the entire vilayet offers wonderful scope for game. Forty or 50 armed youths may get together and spend five or ten days camping in the mountains and hunting elephants and rhinoceroses and tigers and leopards. Then they bring home the tusks and horns and skins and tails – the latter to be made into women’s turbans (hotas) – and trade in them. We saw all of Arkiko that there was to see, and it was there that we celebrated the Feast of Sacrifice for the year 1083 (29 March–1 April 1673). Then, on the fifth day of the festival (2 April 1673), when Kara Naʾib’s officials went from vilayet to vilayet to take control, I obtained leave from him and, still travelling with our friend Y441a Mehemmed Agha, we left Arkiko and journeyed eastwards, now through desert and now over stony ground, now along the Red Sea coast and now through the Black Qudays Mountains. Crossing these mountains in two days, we came to the Stage of Mt. Zula.183 Here, in black tents on a fruitful plain, live the Habeshi Bedouins of the Qudaysi tribe. Consisting of 7,000 Zangis, they are quite 183 The text here and just below has Wula; the correct form, Zula, is found at Y30a (as pointed out by Bombaci 1943, 270, n. 1).

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wealthy even though they are Bedouins. Their lovely black-skinned boys and girls are matched only by those in Berberistan, for they have wells with sweet water. Departing Zula, we travelled one stage eastwards to Qalʿat Hindiya (Irafalo) [→M8].184 In ancient times the Indian rajas set foot in this clime and built this castle, but they did not construct it in a very solid manner. It is a square-shaped structure made of stone and 700 paces in circumference. As it is located on the Red Sea shore, the crashing of waves has opened fissures here and there in the lower part of its walls. There is a wooden gate on the port side that looks out onto the customs office (khurda) and another on the southern side that opens onto the land. It is a sanjak in the eyalet of Habesh. One of the pasha’s aghas governs at the rank of sanjakbey with 200 men and remits the pasha 40 purses per annum. Hindiya is also a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, but the pasha’s imam’s deputy serves as kadi. This castle is another of Özdemir Pasha’s conquests, since there is a small Friday mosque (named after him), with no minaret, and there are two neighbourhood mosques as well. All the houses are made of thatch. The castle warden and the garrison troops are all part of the pasha’s retinue. There is an armoury with ten cannons. Zangi Bedouins have settled outside the castle in black tents. They make their living by gathering cardamom and musk-scented herbs in the mountains and by raising civet cats in their tents, each of which has five or ten. Departing Hindiya, we travelled east again for a distance of 3 stages over stony ground, and at noon we arrived at the Stage of the Tower of Tuzla (‘Saltpan’). It is a large tower on the coast, built by Özdemir Pasha, where 40 or 50 men are stationed and one of the pasha’s aghas is deputy governor. There is no marketplace or public building or Friday mosque. But it is from here that all of Habesh obtains its salt. It is a tax farm of 40 purses per annum, a prestigious state franchise. Myriads of camel-loads of excellent salt are produced here annually and sold at the rate of 3 official paras for 1 çatal bale and 5 clipped paras for 1 haviye bale.185 The Red Sea ebbs and flows – at high tide it spills onto the plain here, and when it withdraws the water left behind becomes white salt, by God’s command. The salt is immediately gathered by a tribe of Zangis, known as Runchiya, who live nearby and number perhaps 10,000; they pile it like mountains at the foot of the tower. That is how salt is produced here, and so it will be for as long as God wills. Continuing our journey to the east, now along the shore and now through sandy 184 As pointed out by Bombaci 1943, 270, n. 2, India (Hindiya) was the name given by the Portuguese to Irafalo. 185 Çatal yük and haviye yük are technical commercial terms that occur only here in The Book of Travels [Seyahatname] and have not been traced elsewhere.



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Figure 2.17: Detail from Ludolfi’s map of Abyssinia (1683), showing Baylur (Beilul) and Terra Salis (i.e., Tuzla) with camels bearing bales of salt (Source: Hiob Ludolf, Historia Aethiopica, Sive Brevis & succincta descriptio Regni Habessinorum … (Frankfurt am Main: Joh[ann] D[avid] Zunner, 1681))

deserts, all the while suffering from the intense heat, we travelled for a full six days, admiring the divine handiwork Y441b and the dreadful black mountains before arriving at Beilul.

Description of the Stage of the ruined City of Beilul It was once a great city on the coast. After it was conquered by Özdemir Pasha, the Portuguese infidels invaded, destroying both the fortifications and the city, whose foundations remain visible today. A tribe known as the ʿAbira dwell amidst the ruins, numbering some 150,000 individuals – a very clean people, redolent of musk and ambergris.186 Yet they are a forlorn and ill-omened tribe who know nothing of the four schools of jurisprudence, or indeed of anything concerning religion and piety, nor do they know of the Resurrection and Last Judgment, or of the Qurʾan or Hadith – but neither do they know of sudden death or plague or fleas or lice or other terrible things. They all camp in tents on the plains here and only God the Creator knows their number. They are good-natured men, and they are all naked save for a piece of leather covering their private parts. There is a large harbour here that can easily take 1,000 ships. It is protected 186 This description is a play on the word ʿabir, meaning ‘perfume’.

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from the eight winds and there is not a trace of coral in it. The ʿAbira who live here eat millet, as well as the flesh of sheep and goats and gazelles and deer, and they drink camel’s milk and boza. There are no horses, donkeys, elephants or rhinoceroses in this region, but there are many lions, tigers, leopards and panthers, because there are rocky places and jungles. The ʿAbira complain bitterly about the monkeys in the mountains here, saying: ‘They always do battle with us when we go up into the mountains to cut down ebony, acacia, oleander and teak. They take us captive and carry us further up into the mountains and use us sexually. We cannot escape their clutches – while some of them sleep the others keep watch, so it is impossible to get away. They abuse us again and again, and in this way they have killed many of our men. We have no weapons and we are few while they are many. What can we do? In the end we will surely have to move on from here.’ Continuing in this vein, they said: ‘These monkeys are horrible creatures, huge and high-handed. They come at night, into our very tents, and steal off with our boys, our girls and our women. We are powerless against them.’ And they warned us to be very cautious as we continued our journey. The next day at dawn we left Beilul and the ʿAbira people and continued east, and exactly as those unfortunate people had told us, there were huge, dreadful monkeys who rode around on mountain goats and wild cattle just as if they were aghas. All the mountain animals here are helpless against these monkeys. We saw some of the monkeys carrying wild cats around in their laps and feeding them and others carrying their children around swinging beneath their bellies. Some of them were lovely white monkeys that looked like white Angora goats, very handsome and bright. Observing these sights, we travelled for six days through mountains and over plains and along the coast before arriving at Zeila.

Y442a Description of the ancient City of Zeila [→M2] It was built in ancient times by the rajas of India. Then, in the year 938 (1531/32), Özdemir Pasha conquered it from the Portuguese. It is a large castle and an ancient entrepot on the shore of the ocean. The citadel is situated atop a bare cliff on the eastern side. The castle is a solidly built, pentagonal stone structure of Shaddadian construction, measuring 5,700 paces in circumference, and is located on a 100-mile headland that juts into the ocean. On both sides are excellent harbours able to take 1,000 ships each, and both are protected from the violence of the eight winds. The castle has two gates, both of iron, one facing the sea and one the land. There is a castle warden and a garrison of 700 troops, more



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than in any other castle in the Habesh Peninsula (the Horn of Africa). There is also an armoury with as many as 70 cannons, as the city lies on the very border of Habesh. From here eastwards, from this strait at Zeila through the Habesh Peninsula (the Horn of Africa) as far as the source of the Nile and on to the Strait of Ceuta in the Maghreb, all the sea coasts of the African continent are under the control of the Portuguese infidels (see Y30b). Zeila and its castle serve as the current border with the Portuguese infidels. An agha of the pasha serves as deputy governor and remits from here 40 purses annually to the pasha. Some years, if he is lucky, five or ten Indian ships and five or ten Portuguese ships arrive and he gets 5 purses of customs duties from them. But they only pay at the point of a spear. The infidels predominate: they fill their ships at will with honey and oil, sheep and cattle and other merchandise, then weigh anchor and depart. If the pasha’s agha maintains good relations with them, they pay the customs dues with good will in the form of cardamom, pearls, civet, ebony, ivory, rhinoceros horns and the like. When I was there, Kara Naʾib’s deputy, Mehemmed Agha, had become governor and, to his good fortune, seven Portuguese ships arrived and lay at anchor below the castle and paid 40,000 gurush in customs dues. All that is manufactured here is linen and cotton cloth, pine resin and pitch. In this region they boil resin in water and use it as a medicine. They also eat pitch and, once a year, rub it on their bodies like civet. It cures their ills, like the greatest elixir and tutty. The mountains round this castle are called the Qadari Mountains, named after the very large Qadari tribe. They are black Zangis, but by God’s command they have Tatar faces and dishevelled locks of hair, and they are a brave and courageous people. Being very vigorous and strong as giants, they practise agriculture in the mountains and reap all sorts of crops that they then sell. And they hunt many myriads of mountain sheep and gazelles and Habeshi water buffaloes, whose meat they pickle and cure in salt Y442b and sell to the Frankish galleons. That is why so many Portuguese come to this castle. These residents of the Qadari Mountains are all adherents of the Qadari sect,187 upright and clean men. Outside of the castle dwell 70,000 or 80,000 Banyan people, all wearing pure white embroidered Indian-style garments. They are fire-worshippers. When one 187 Based on the tribal name, Evliya associates them with the Qadari theological school, believers in free will, which he frequently joins with other heretical groups, e.g. III 74a: cümle Şîʿî ve Muʿtezilî ve Hurûfî ve Ceb­r î ve Kaderî-mezheb olmuşlardı. Below (Q338a), he jocularly provides them with a Sunni representative in Zeila to look after their interests.

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of them dies, they burn the corpse and worship the fire. They do not speak of it as the Creator; they simply say that this is what they saw their fathers and grandfathers doing. What is strange is that they will not remain for a moment in a state of ritual impurity, but will immediately perform ablutions. And whenever they eat or relieve themselves, they perform ablutions at once. Their body and their clothing are redolent with musk and ambergris and civet. The lovely boys and girls here are ruddy and dark-complexioned and white as well. The lovely girls of Zeila are renowned throughout the clime of Habesh. They have the eyes of does and fawns, paper-smooth lips and small mouths. Their teeth are many colours – red and yellow, green, black and white – because they dye their pearl-like teeth to give them a unique beauty. Their dimpled chins and silver necks are ornamented with painted patterns as well. The lovely boys have a refined manner of walking and talking that is even more elegant and exquisite than the women. They are sophisticates and dandies who set their lovers’ hearts on fire but then grow their beards and become worshippers of fire – they get what they deserve! The people of Zeila are wealthy merchants who conduct regular trade with India and Yemen and the Portuguese Franks. Their storehouses at the docks are filled to the brim with goods and merchandise worth hundreds of thousands of gurush.188 Q338a Most of their dealings are with the Indians, for in ancient times, when this country was under Indian rule, this fire-worshipping people came from India and remained here. To this day there is an envoy in Zeila from India, as well as an envoy from the Imam in Yemen, a bailo from Portugal and a consul from the English infidels. All these, plus a Sunni representative from the Qadari subjects, are involved in the government of this castle along with the deputy governor. Zeila is a great fortification and entrepot. The governor sent by the pasha is usually the chief of the food tasters; it is a prestigious post. Inside the castle are 1,000 houses made of reed and wattle, a Friday mosque, a storehouse for wheat and water cisterns. Outside the castle the water comes from wells. There are five or ten shops (inside the castle), a coffee-house and some boza shops, but no other buildings, private or public, and no hammam. Because Zeila is located in the very middle of the first clime, the climate is one of intense heat, but it is quite pleasant nonetheless. If you eat five or six times and then drink some of the pure water here, it works as a powerful digestive and makes you hungry again right away. That is how mild and bracing the climate is. As for sex in Zeila, it is absolutely delicious. Because the virginity of the 188  At this point there is a gap in MSS Y and P, the text continuing only in Q.



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women here is renewed after every act,189 this place is unique in terms of its pleasure-producing vaginas, that source of all human life. At every gathering there are lovely virgin girls. Owing to the intense heat, the men do not wear clothes, though they do have a white ihram on their back and another one at their waist. Sometimes, in the afternoon, they may be completely naked. But they are unaffected by heat or cold, as they are all quite robust. Even if you have sex several times a day, if you bathe in the sea afterwards it causes no harm. That is because the sea here is not the Red Sea but the ocean – the Zeila strait is located beyond the Red Sea. No matter how often one bathes here, the water does not burn one’s private parts, for there is no coral in the ocean. And since there is no danger from coral reefs, the docks of Zeila can be approached without fear by Indian carracks and Portuguese caravels, by flyboats and English bargias, even by galleons holding 1,000 men and 300 cannons. To the east of Zeila, exactly opposite at a distance of 700 miles, lie the Indian entrepots of Diu and Ahmedabad. To the north, at a distance of 300 miles, lies the Yemeni port and entrepot of (—), which is the furthest border of Yemen. The area beyond that and to the east is under the control of Lahsa (al-Ahsa), but I have not been to India or to Lahsa, may God facilitate my journey! In short, this land is the honour of all the vilayets of Habesh. For not only does a morning breeze blow, granting great refreshment, but there is regular and abundant rainfall, as in Turkey. And when the April showers fall drop by drop like royal pearls, the surface of the sea becomes adorned with mother-of-pearl (in oysters) waiting to capture an April raindrop. God knows, I have witnessed some of them capture ten, some five, and some but one drop of April rain and then descend to the bottom of the sea. And when the rain falls on the mountains and in the plains, such a quantity and variety of herbs and grasses spring up by God’s command that a man’s brain is suffused with the pleasant fragrance of the verdure and the flowers in the valleys and on the hills. And the animals graze on these plants and become fat and lovely. The sheep and lambs and goats and cattle and camels and water buffalo and gazelles and deer all have such plump and delicious flesh that it smells of musk and ambergris. And in the sea are myriad kinds of fish that also have the fragrance of musk. Those who consume the flesh of these animals grow so robust and vigorous that they can wrestle with their wives five or ten times every night like Adam and Eve, so invigorating is the game hunted here. In this land, too, one’s eyesight becomes very strong. When I was in the vilayet of Firdaniya in Funjistan, in that intense heat, God forgive us, it was as though 189 cf. EÇSOS s.v. ḫıtāyī, and see above at Y436b.

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a curtain had fallen over my eyes and they became weak and darkened, but here they recovered their strength and the bright of day returned. I stayed in Zeila enjoying myself for a full month. My eyes once again gleamed like the eyes of does and were as bright as Arab torches, and I gave thanks to God. I ate the meat of the animals mentioned above and my body took on a certain strength and supple fleshiness. My virility returned and my old companions Arouser (Emmâre) and Sleeper (Nevvâme) and Heedless (Mühmil[e]) got going again. The sperm started up and was activated in my sex veins and my weapon, named Mr Cudgel in the Socket (Zarfa Meçik Beşe), began to play his tricks; his eye and head reddened, but just when I had a desire to make him bleed, my loyal friends named Pleasing (Râzıye) and Pleased (Marzıyye) and Peaceful (Mutmeʾinne) – may God may be pleased with them – proved unwilling: they bowed to my command for silence and, with permission to kiss, they stilled my erection and rested content.190 What I mean to say by this pleasantry is that this city of Zeila, and indeed this entire region of Habesh, is a very invigorating country. Praise be to God, I saw all the sights of Zeila, at the extreme border of Habesh. The chief of the food-tasters who served as the deputy for the now escaped Fortacı Ahmed Pasha was clapped in chains and thrown in prison, and Kara Naʾib turned his post as deputy governor over to a man named Hindi Jar. Eventually I returned to Arkiko and Massawa together with Kara Naʾib’s deputy.

On my return to Arkiko from Zeila by another route Leaving Zeila, we headed west and came to a strait at the sea coast known as the Indian Ocean Strait. Across it lies Yemen. According to the Qurʾan commentators, the verse, They will come from every deep crevice (22:27) refers to the ocean at this strait. And indeed, here between the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea the ebb and flow of the tides and the turbulence of the waves leave one bewildered.

190 In this elaborate description of his erection, Evliya refers to the various aspects of the soul (Ar. nafs) in Muslim ethics and psychology, based on those mentioned in the Qurʾan: the soul that arouses to evil (12:53 nafs ammāra), the soul that blames (75:2 nafs lawwāma), the soul that is at peace (89:27 nafs muṭmẚinna), the soul that is pleasing and is pleased (89:28 nafs raḍīya, nafs marḍīyya), the inspired soul (91:7–8 nafs mulḥama). The substitutions of nawwāma ‘that sleeps’ for lawwāma ‘that blames’ and muḥmila ‘heedless’ for mulḥama ‘inspired’ are perhaps inadvertent. Evliya also employs some of his whimsical terms for his own penis (on which see EÇSOS s.vv. meçik, ṭavaḳān) and further plays on words, such as epsem ‘Silence!’ and öpsem ‘Let me kiss’.

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Q338b As reported by the pearl-divers in this area, the strait is extremely deep, or rather it has no bottom at all. It is indeed a deep crevice, as the noble verse states. The people of Habesh and sailors call it Bab al-Mandub (i.e., Bab alMandab). It is a strait like Mt. Behistun. Across the way the mountains of Yemen are conspicuously visible, only 15 miles away. The inner part of the strait is the Red Sea, extending westwards for 1,500 miles as far as the entrepot of Suez. In the direction of the qibla are Yemen and Aden, Mecca and Medina, Yanbu and al-Muwaylih and al-Tur. To the south [!] are the land of Habesh and the port of al-Qusayr. [Description of the shrine of Shaikh Mandub] After visiting this shrine we continued travelling west by south-west, through the mountains, and in late afternoon or early evening arrived at the Town (kasaba) of Saharsha. It used to be a great urban area in a plain, but is now in ruins. Some 40,000 or 50,000 Sahari tribesmen dwell here. There are orchards and gardens and places to farm. This people’s language is related to Hindi. They are nomads who dwell in tents, while those who do not nomadise reside amidst the ruins in the orchards and vegetable gardens. Saharisha is also in the first clime. From there we journeyed through mountains and over fertile plains, observing the wonders of creation, till on the sixth day, at sunset, we came to Qalʿat Wiqat. It is said to have been built by the Prophet Solomon. While under the control of the Sultan of ʿAmbariya, it was besieged by Özdemir Pasha for seven years without success. After the siege was lifted, however, by God’s command the castle’s garrison was overcome by the plague and all the people fled. At present it is a flourishing place in the eyalet of Habesh that contains orchards and gardens and sweet water. I did not go up to the castle, but the lower town (rabât) contains 1,000 houses of rushes and reeds. The inhabitants are ignorant of Islam and know nothing of the Resurrection and Last Judgment. But it is a land of plenty. It too is in the first clime, and its longitude and latitude are equal (i.e., it is on the equator). Portuguese infidels often come here to engage in trade, and in fact a young Portuguese man tagged along with us, converted to Islam, and entered into our service. The sugar cane that sprouts in the plains of Qalʿat Wiqat is finer than that of Egypt, but the people here do not know how to extract the sugar. Leaving Wiqat, the next day we came to the City of Hadiya. It is like the Garden of Iram, with an abundance of birds, orchards and gardens, palm groves and rose gardens. It too is in the first clime. The people are Muslims of the Maliki rite. There are some 6,000 thatched houses and three Friday mosques. Their governors come from among themselves. Ottomans rarely come here because it is located deep in the mountains.

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Leaving Hadiya, the next day we came to the City of Razdin, a place much like a small town (kasaba). Its 10,000 black-haired black Zangis are of the Razdin people. They are Muslims and claim to be descendants of King Rehoboam, son of the Prophet Solomon. Leaving Razdin, that same day we crossed many mountains and at sunset came to the Plain of Farran, a fruitful plain. Here we rested in our tents beside a stream. That night we gained eternal bliss from the nightingales’ laments, and at dawn a morning breeze blew and all the birds recited dhikr to the Creator with their mournful voices. As for us, we performed the dawn prayer, mounted our beasts and set off. For three full days we journeyed west, travelling non-stop over a plain much like the Kipchak Steppe and observing many remarkable sights, until on the fourth day we arrived in Mogadishu.

Description of the great City and ancient Capital of Mogadishu The Banyan historians of Habesh claim that this city was built by the Prophet Solomon. When Solomon, peace be upon him, brought Balqis from the land of Yemen, he camped in this plain of Mogadishu with all of God’s creatures in order to display his pomp and splendour in his tent pavilion, pitched tent-rope to tentrope, and came out to meet Balqis, the pure-starred daughter of the sultan of the city of Sheba in Yemen. She had seen many lands, but when she saw all the pomp and splendour and the men and djinn and the birds and beasts, she was stricken with terror and did not wish to stay in the tent pavilion. So Solomon built the city of Mogadishu for her. Today it is a magnificent city under the rule of Zanjistan. Mogadishu’s orchards and gardens and abundant waters bubbling in corners here and there, and the pleasant and plaintive songs of its birds, truly gladden the soul. The city is not especially thriving at present. It is located 20 degrees south of the first clime. Q339a The qibla here lies to the north. The city is situated on the coast in the southern part of the Indian Ocean, south of Habesh and the vilayet of Zanj. The people pass as Muslims of the Maliki rite, but they cannot observe the rituals of Islam because they have no ulema. Nonetheless, they perform their prayers five times a day and carry out the duties of fasting and pilgrimage. They speak Arabic, but have unusual terms and phrases; it is a strange dialect unique to them. Their governors come from among themselves, but they do not know what it is to govern or rule. Whenever there is a point of legal contention among them, they go to consult whatever merchant happens to be in the city, and whatever he says, be it good or ill, they abide by his ruling. They are rather stupid people, but they



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are courageous, and because of their courage the Portuguese infidels have never occupied their vilayets. Their cities are on the coast, and the lands on the coast are the outposts of the infidels, but the infidels have not been able to do anything about them. All around the city, near and far, the mountains and rocks and the hills and orchards teem with black crow men armed with spears. According to my friend Mehemmed Agha, Kara Naʾib’s deputy, they have 1 million men at arms. They never buy from or sell to an infidel, but rather take their merchandise to Qalʿat Zeila or Qalʿat Wiqat or Qalʿat Arkiko. They recite the khutba in the name of the Ottoman dynasty. Most of the surrounding villages are in the mountains, with both settled people and nomads, and they have orchards and gardens. The people here are called the Beni Safwan. Below the cities of Mogadishu flows a great river that comes here from Funjistan and Dembiya in the west, at the elevation (?)191 of the blessed Nile. It flows red and muddy and empties into the sea below Mogadishu. When the Nile is in flood, there are crocodiles in the river. I asked my friend, Mehemmed Ketkhuda, and he said that a branch of the Nile flows through Dembiya and Zanjistan before coming here. In Mogadishu, the Southern Cross and Canopus appear very low in the sky, but the North Star is not visible at all. As a result, in this region our compasses spun around wildly, no longer turning as they do in Turkey. We left Mogadishu and travelled west for one day to the Stage of Wadi Hunhas, a fruitful plain. From there we continued on our way and the next day, after traversing black mountains and forests and places inhabited by monkeys, we came to the Stage of the Hinqala Tribe. These are rebels, some 10,000 Zangis. Here we dug waterholes and fed our horses till midnight, when we continued on our way. The next day at sunset we came to the Stage of the Coast of the Red Sea. Here live some 10,000 Sharabazı people and, apart from them, 40,000 men of ruddy and dark complexion. We rested among them, eating camel’s meat and drinking camel’s milk and boza and feeding millet to our horses. In the morning we hit the road again and, to make a long story short, praise be to God, in 11 days we arrived at the Stage of Arkiko (Qalʿat Kharq-ova) [→M4]. Here I met with Kara Naʾib and delivered into his hands the chief foodtaster, the pasha’s agha who had been the governor of Zeila. In return Kara Naʾib presented me with a sword, a horse and a rosary of pearls. ‘Welcome,’ he said. ‘Once again you have travelled far and have returned to the easternmost part of the clime of Habesh. I bid you welcome, and a joy it is to see you.’ I produced all the aghas of the pasha who had fled. He imprisoned them and went about confiscating 191 The text here is in some disorder.

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the moneys they had on their persons that belonged to the sultan. The next day I begged leave to return to Egypt. ‘Your wish is my command,’ he said, and kissed my forehead. The next morning he invited me to breakfast, consisting of a kind of cream with honey and various jams – God knows, the pleasant fragrance of that cream and honey penetrated my brain. As I was washing my hands, I took my handkerchief from my bosom and placed it on my knee. When Kara Naʾib saw it he said, ‘What a marvellous and finely made handkerchief!’ So I took it and two others I had in my bosom and presented them to him, along with an illuminated Enʿam in the calligraphy of Dervish ʿAli192 and an elegant clock. He was very pleased. ‘God be praised,’ he said, ‘so many viziers and agents have come and gone from this land, yet none of them has given me a Qurʾan like this or a clock like this.’ He rose and went inside the harem, returning at once with 4 lovely virgin Habeshi girls wearing gauze blouses, 4 dark-complexioned slaveboys with earrings in their ears, a box of pearls, a box of garnets, a box of carnelians, a box of bezoar stones, a box of musk, 3 pastilles of ambergris, 1 bale of cardamom, 50 elephant tusks, 5 rhinoceros horns, 6 elephant-hide shields, 6 reed spears, 2 horses, 6 dromedaries and 10 camel-loads of food and drink. All these he gave to me, apologising. I accepted the apology and also the gifts, which I turned over to my servants. The next morning, we readied the dromedaries to send those of the pasha’s aghas who had been involved in the disturbances as prisoners to Cairo. Then, with petitions from the people of the vilayet, I and my old friend Kara Mehemmed Agha, (Kara Naʾib’s) deputy, together with 300 men on horses and dromedaries and our stores of food and drink, bid farewell to Kara Naʾib.

Chapter 74: On the stages of our journey from Habesh to Egypt, setting out on 1 Rabiʿ al-Awwal 1083 (27 June 1672) We recited a basmala and left Arkiko, but this time we did not call at the island of Massawa, but continued on until, in the afternoon, we reached the Stage opposite the island of Dahlak, described above. We stayed here one night and left in the morning, travelling once again along the Red Sea coast for three days to the City of Kif, described above. Passing through Kif, we came to the Island 192 The Enʿam is a breviary containing Surat al-Anʿām (Qurʾan , Surah 6). As Schimmel (1984, 58) points out: ‘The predilection for Sura 6, al-Anʿām, seems peculiar to the Turkish tradition.’ For its special importance to Evliya, see Dankoff 1991, 200, n. 23. For Dervish ʿAli (d. 1673) and an example of his Qurʾanic calligraphy, see Alparslan 1999, 47–48.



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and City of Suakin, whose praises are also recorded above. Here we collected from the deputy governor, in whose safekeeping we had left them previously, Q339b our heavy baggage and our dromedaries and camels and black slaves and other servants, all of whom we found in good health. But here the rhinoceros that served as the mount of Dervish Niʿmetullah, who had become our companion in the city of Itshan, died. He took its horn and hooves and I gave him a dromedary to ride. The oryx that served as Dervish Carullah’s mount, however, was alive and well. Here in Suakin we sold off 1,000 gurush’s worth of our heavy baggage, including camels and dromedaries and male and female black slaves, because to go from the land of Habesh to Egypt and get there in one piece is an heroic effort. We also sold 200 gurush’s worth of cardamom, but they paid us with coins of the Sultan of India rather than gurush. These coins are minted of fine, soft, pure and clean silver and have silver thread wound around the edge that has been drawn out into a wire before being struck. Leaving Suakin, we travelled west with soldiers accompanying us and arrived the next day at the Harbour of Qum, and after that Etle, Pearl Island, the City of Dunqunab, the vilayet of Maymunistan (‘Monkeyland’), Mount ʿAzlun and, finally, the Stage of Wadi Abrash, which we reached after a full 17 days of travelling. All of these stages with their descriptions and the distances between them are recorded above (Y434b–435b). When we arrived at Abrash there were 3,000 ʿAbabida tribesmen from the city of Qena in Upper Egypt camped on the coast in their black tents. They are among the dark-complexioned naked Egyptian (Bedouins) and they speak Arabic. But the Abrash tribesmen in this region have a strange and wonderful language of their own, some phrases of which I recorded from the imam of the Abrash governor. Sample of the Habeshi language: bread purasa anki water kiyam cheese dah meat aré namni Come sit aré marki Come take the akçe banula quta qurasa Walk bring bread shimtilewewa Hey pimp blind man aré lne qndq quta Come walk bring oil rafız qı­lım Let’s eat

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anki chlim kiyam buqumbu aré namni ye buqumbu raqsaqıbaq

Let’s drink water Eat cheese Come sit let’s eat food I won’t eat

When they speak using these expressions, one is simply amazed. While the people who talk like this are Habeshis, they are known as the Abrashi tribes. They are a black-skinned people, 100,000 in number, all believers and monotheists. They claim to be descendants of the prophet Luqman and they are respectable men who are obedient and submissive. [More discussion of languages, with an example of a Banyan song] Departing Wadi Abrash we continued west along the Red Sea coast on the royal road to Upper Egypt, through deserts and wastelands, stony ground and forest, travelling non-stop for five days and five nights, not even pausing to camp or unload our beasts until we reached the Stage of Hadendoa (Khanendeova ‘Singing Valley’). Here we camped and immediately dug waterholes and quenched our thirst. Hadendoa is a pleasant valley in the jurisdiction of Habesh. It has a delightful climate, productive villages, herbs and grasses, pasturages and birding grounds. This region of great mountains and broad plains teems with elephants and rhinoceroses and numerous other creatures and is also rich in mineral products. In the mountains and on the plains dwell myriads of the Hadendoa tribe in both tents and villages. Quite a few of them came to our tents bringing gazelles and lambs and Habeshi chickens, as well as millet and millet bread. Their language is Syriac, and I recorded some of that as well. Sample of the Syriac language. Beginning with the numbers: iʾʾi 1 biʾʾi 2 tiʾʾi 3 ṯiʾʾi 4 ciʾʾi 5 ḥiʾʾi 6 ḫiʾʾi 7 riʾʾis 8 ginni 9 riʾʾi 10 riiʾʾi 11 ribiʾʾi 12



Translation of Evliya Çelebi’s accounts

ritiʾʾi riṯiʾʾi riciʾʾi riḥiʾʾi riḫiʾʾi ririʾʾis riġiʾʾif qappah kebbaʾ lebbaʾ chippaʾ kḥemeṭir kḥemeṭirat sherṭab qusn ḥelum qaṭimn bedaḥenṯ ẓllin qd ḫatḫibet shiṭimcet keṭimceṯ ḫlli nacm ḫi ḥem ḫay lenna ḫi

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13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 30 40 50 sheep sheep (plural) lamb water bread cheese onion sun moon night daytime Peace upon you Upon you peace.

Q340a Such is the Hadendoan language, and when they speak they utter pearls of eloquence. They claim to be of the Maliki rite, but they eat the meat of cats and lions and tigers, and of elephants and rhinoceroses as well. They all go about naked, wear their hair plaited, and cover their private parts with the hide of a gazelle or deer or rhinoceros. They do not bury their dead in the ground; instead, they either carve a spot for them in a rock or inter them in a cave so that the bodies become desiccated. The caves here contain desiccated bodies many thousands of years old. The tribesmen have such names as Sajda, Sinanja, Qirmanja, Salimja, Salimaja, Yandiqa, Sarsam, Ghalfa, Hakman and Haranda. They are very lively people. They have knowledge of Arabic and of writing. In their black mountains are thousands of caves where they dwell in tents, either inside or outside the caves. As for those whom they inter in the caves, they always inscribe the names of the dead on

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headstones, using a curious kind of Syriac script. The writing system allows three alifs to be joined together, also h and k to be joined together and the vowels […] (? − ve hâ-i zamîr iʿrâbları yerinde yaʿnî refʿ ve nasb ve cer yerine kâʾimdir). Such is their script – How can hearing be like seeing? The mountain regions are very grassy and well-watered – veritable Persian groves enlivened by the mournful songs of many kinds of birds. The Hadendoans themselves have fine and powerful voices, like David the Psalmist, and they improvise all sorts of eloquent poems. They have a kind of stringed musical instrument called a kikhta, and five or six of them perform together playing this kikhta and singing, intertwining their voices in such a clear and harmonious manner that one is awestruck. It is because of how lovely their voices are when they recite mawwals that they are called the Singing (Khanende) Tribe. And because their rising star is bound to Venus, they are always joyful and laughing and know nothing of grief or sorrow. In their houses they keep myriads of civet cats and all sorts of comical monkeys. The civets and monkeys get along well with each other. They are never tied down, but roam freely. They even raise their young in the houses. It is a strange sight. The Hadendoans gave me 20 or 25 monkeys and baby civets. The monkeys in the mountains make caps for themselves out of the leaves and joke around with each other. They seem to be just as talented and capable as humans. They even have hovels and mountain huts. They are bizarre and comical creatures. One kind in particular, a greyish monkey known as sumba, is such a clown that all its antics are pure delight. We halted here for a day and provisioned ourselves with food and drink. After loading our beasts with 1,000 waterskins from the Hadendoa’s camels, we set off again to the west and travelled non-stop over black stony ground, across sandy dunes and through forests, viewing many astounding things on the way. On the sixth day, we came to the Stage of the Tribe of Oqut, which is surrounded on three sides by lofty mountains extending one stage in each direction and containing ilex, oak and ebony and many other kinds of trees. There are no rhinoceroses or elephants in these mountains, but there are many monkeys, gazelles and oryx. In fact, while we were camped in this place, the oryx that served as a mount for Dervish Carullah, who had accompanied us ever since we met in the city of Itshan, was standing bound to its stake. It sniffed the ground once, raised its head and let out a piteous call. Answering calls resounded throughout the mountains. Then several thousand oryx descended into the plain and threatened to overrun our camp. Our companions took up the stake where Dervish Carullah’s oryx was bound and it scampered off with its reins and saddle. It joined the troop of oryx



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that had come down from the mountain and they went off into the mountains, dancing and frolicking. After that I gave Dervish Carullah a riding camel to mount. The Oqut people who came to our camp were very friendly. They brought millet and bread, sheep and lambs, venison kebabs and Habeshi chickens and eggs. They also brought a kind of fruit, the size of a walnut but with the taste of an almond, which we could not get enough of. And they brought a kind of egg, white like a chicken egg and the same size, but with a root on one side, like a turnip, and with a flavour unlike anything else. They told us this egg grew in the ground. The shell is white and the yolk is ruby-red. In the very centre is a seed the size of a hazelnut. You break the shell and drink the nectar that is inside. By God’s command, it is as sweet as milk. If cooked in butter it is even more delicious and fortifying. It is called zarhar and is a kind of earth-egg, with a wonderful flavour. In this country there is nothing like the trees and fruits and plants in Turkey; all the vegetation is completely different. The climate is also different from Turkey’s, as is the character of the people, their complexion, and their way of making a living. These are all God’s creation – God is capable of everything (Qurʾan 2:20). The Lord goes to such an extent in order to demonstrate His power that the very sky over this country, the sun and moon and planets and stars, and the multicoloured clouds in the sky, do not show forth like the sky and the sunlight and moonlight in Turkey. It is God’s creation, and otherwise indescribable – None shall question Him about His works (Qurʾan 21:23). This tribe of Oqut, being descendants of Ham, have a reddish and swarthy complexion. They number 100,000 inhabitants of plain and village, all naked except for a piece of leather covering their pudenda. But they are not ugly like the camel-lips Q340b and Zangis; rather they are handsome and smiling, sweetspoken and good-tempered men, who try to get along with everyone and are friendly to strangers. And their lovely boys and girls are innumerable, very graceful and elegant. They are Muslims of the Maliki rite who know Qurʾanic verses and Hadiths and know about the Last Judgment. True, they live in the plains; but they do have ulema, their youngsters read the Qurʾan and know how to write, and they understand reckoning and buy and sell goods. But their trade is barter; they know nothing of gold and silver coins. As for their diet, they eat the flesh of cats and lions, giraffes and oryx and gazelles. The Habeshi chicken is a fat bird with succulent meat, resembling that of the francolin found in the thickets along the Tigris in Baghdad. It is very fortifying – a man who eats it can happily perform ghaza ten times with his wife. Indeed, all the food in this clime of Habesh is fortifying and easy to digest. For drink they

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have boza and also camel’s milk that has fermented for three or four days and is slightly intoxicating – it too has an aphrodisiac effect. They are great cattle traders, with incalculable numbers of animals. Their sheep graze in the mountains together with wild sheep. And they have a huge number of other animals as well, including camels, but extremely few horses. There is no fear of bandits in this country. There are not even any wolves in the mountains; they only need to have a shepherd over each flock to prevent their sheep being snatched by eagles. The science of charms and talismans is quite prevalent among the Oqut people. They use charms especially to make harmful animals, like wolves and monkeys, flee these mountains. And they use talismans to guard the numerous treasures that they have sunk in an artificial lake in the very centre of their plain. They made me a figure of a cat out of leather; their ruler’s imam incised six alifs and one mim on the cat’s belly and one sin on its head, and the leather cat immediately got up and walked away. He wrote these same letters on an egg, which then rolled out of our tent; a slave of mine named Kedi Ferhad told him to go and get the egg, and when he brought back the egg it crumbled to pieces in his hand. It was a strange spectacle. Their written and spoken language is ʿImrani. I record some of their expressions here: inni 1 benni 2 thinni 3 tebbi 4 shebbi 5 bebbi 6 yebbi 7 beyyi 8 yeyyi 9 yeththi 10 I recorded these numbers as far as 1,000. It is a marvellous number system which they recount as though it were verse. Poem of the Prophet Samuel (metre: müfteʿilün): blnwizha din qarida O this love of mine, how cruel lbble shillen qarida It was not in my body, mercy ajele bl threwedida My eye will weep this time azhrida azhrida O mercy, o mercy



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atam bkil la shrwm ketf kelim ya sheriwem zad bkilim kha sheriwem azhrida azhrida luʿbetina nat buʿati shlchghthath bugh buʿti qibbe finat jighi bnti azhrida azhrida hran shtumshiz shghilshirar tbrrr rash kilf khakhkh minjat seksam rahwat qinwat slnqan jaghjentinan habzendir qushaʿashat milghak

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He who is a man cannot be happy He cannot be happy with love For every rose there cannot be a nightingale O mercy, o mercy Look at your state, do not sin The final end is destruction Whoever is mortal, learn the lesson O mercy, o mercy

God the Prophet Muhammad the people of ʿAd the people of Thamud fire fish ox camel river paradise rain gardens of paradise great one of the great ones angels Satan

This is some of their eloquent speech that I have recorded in this place. God knows that there are hundreds of strange tongues in this country of Habesh that stun and confuse whoever hears them. The reason is that, after Noah’s Flood, the children of Adam multiplied in this Habesh Peninsula (the Horn of Africa) and the prophets that came here summoned them to religion, demonstrated miracles, and instructed them in various and sundry languages. A group of them claim to be descendants of the prophet Samuel; they have a shrine of Samuel in a cave, where a light shines forth, and it is a pilgrimage site. And the Oqut ulema claim that Noah’s flood never even reached this country! No one has knowledge of what is hidden except God (Qurʾan 27:65). Observing such sights as these, we continued west over hill and dale, through rough and smooth, and arrived at a plain so vast that it stretched from sunrise to sunset, like the Kipchak Steppe. The soldiers were cautioned to keep their

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weapons at hand, for whatever creatures God has fashioned upon the face of the earth were all here in this desolate wilderness. God alone knows how many herds of elephants, convocations of eagles, droves of camels, assemblies of rhinoceroses, gatherings of wild cattle, drifts of wild pigs, mobs of wild sheep, packs of mountain oryx and flocks of birds there were, or the number of lions and tigers and leopards and serpents. For this valley is not one that men pass through. If the animals here see a man they attack him en masse, as if to say, ‘How dare you come to our grove!’ In the middle of the plain God created a lake for all these creatures. And along the Red Sea coast are flower gardens and date groves and birding grounds and grassy meadows where the plaintive and pleasant melodies of birds are food for the soul and a joy to the heart. Stopping and going, eating and drinking, we travelled a full five days over this plain, and on the sixth day we came to the Stage of the Harbour of Shaha. In ancient times there was a thriving castle here193 Q341a Y442b but it is now in ruins. Docked in Shaha’s large harbour were a ship from Jeddah, another from Yanbu, two jalba boats from al-Muwaylih and a galleon from Yemen with a cargo of (porcelain?) cups. All these ships were filled to the brim with coffee and other merchandise, as well as with Muslim pilgrims who, when they saw us, gave a great cry of relief. For us, too, seeing them was as if new life came to a dead body. These pilgrims were in great want, having been stuck in this harbour for three months without provisions. That night we rested in our tents beside the seashore and distributed some of God’s blessings to the pilgrims, and the next day some 600 of them turned up and prepared to set off with us on foot. ‘Turn back,’ we said. ‘This is a barren wilderness and you will never make it.’ ‘If we die, let us die with you,’ they replied. ‘Just let us be your companions on the road.’ Slowly they began to walk, each with a club in his hands, and we followed suit. Eventually, on the sixth day, having traversed mountains and rocky ground, we came to the Stage of the Harbour of Jazira, a grassy and well-watered harbour. Here there was another ship that had been stranded for three months, and another 200 men joined us from there. We left the next day and travelled until the afternoon, Y443a making sure that those who were weak were mounted on my camels and those of Mehemmed Agha, and without halting we came to the Stage of Wadi Janfita. Some Kunuz tribesmen from among the Bedouins of Ibrim were camped here. Our companion Mehemmed Agha, Kara Naʾib’s deputy, immediately summoned the Kunuz shaikhs and hired 1,000 camels at 5 gurush to take the pilgrims as far as Ibrim, which made them heartily rejoice. 193  At this point MSS Y and P resume.



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Figure 2.18: Map of Evliya Çelebi’s sixth journey (Source: Michael D. Sheridan)

The following day we travelled non-stop until sunset, when we arrived at the Stage of Sahrij. It is a great ruined city on the shore of the Red Sea. But there is a large pool here that is full of rainwater. We stayed here one night, filling our waterskins, and the next day we travelled through desert to the Stage of Wadi Janij. At this point, with the Red Sea coast now off to our right, we moved to our left into the plain of Wadi Halfa. Travelling west across the plain and over stony ground and through the desert, we arrived on the fifth day at Ibrim.

Sixth Journey: Ibrim–Faiyum–Cairo Y443a Q341a – Q355a Crossing the Nile from Ibrim, Evliya and his company travel north along the west bank. They pass through some places already visited during the third journey (the First Cataract, Edfu) as well as several new places (Esna, Farshut, Samannut) and the lands of several Bedouin tribes (Kunuz, Hujayza, Jaʿ fari) and eventually arrive back in Girga. While staying with the governor, Özbek Bey, Evliya asks leave to travel to Al-Wahat (The Oases). The governor provides provisions and an escort and the company sets off west across the desert, arriving after five days and five nights at the First Oasis, the ancient city of Kharga. From here they travel

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slightly further west to the Great Oasis, which is the governor’s seat, encountering a simoom along the way. After the Oases, there is a lacuna in the manuscript. It picks up again some 250 miles to the north with the company in Bahnasa, the ancient Oxyrhynchus, described as being gradually swallowed up by the desert, which stretches west as far as Tripolitania and Morocco. From Bahnasa, the company travels north to Lahun and the Bridge of Joseph spanning Joseph’s Canal, after which they follow the canal northwards to arrive at Faiyum. Evliya provides a lengthy description of the city and the nearby lake, Birkat Qarun. The kashif of Faiyum provides the company with provisions and an escort and they proceed northwards, eventually arriving first at Giza and then returning to Cairo. On a subsequent short journey, after some political upheavals, Evliya visits Bilbais and Salihiya, located to the north-east of Cairo. [Evliya returns to Ibrim on 1 Jumadi al-Akhir 1084 (13 September 1673)]

Qalʿat Ibrim in Upper Egypt God be praised, having returned safe and sound, we sacrificed a camel and distributed the meat to the Haj pilgrims. We arrived on 1 Jumadi al-Akhir after journeying (—) stages from Habesh. We put up at the house of Dizdarzade Bekir Agha. While Ibrim is hell compared with other countries (see Y391b), for us it was like paradise. Praise God, it was also a great relief to see white men again. Even our horses smiled when they ate barley again. Our souls revived from eating wheat bread. We unloaded from the ships the gifts for the Pasha that we had sent from Funjistan, as well as our own belongings, according to the register. And we gave over our men and the men of the Funj king to Dizdar[zade] Bekir Agha, who took good care of them. He also let our animals graze in the millet fields. When I arrived with my retinue and he honoured us with his hospitality, I was immensely pleased. He had returned to Ibrim only eight days earlier, having also undergone a difficult journey and being unable to return prior to that because of the low level of the Nile. Praise be to God, we gathered all our goods together in one place and, after resting in Ibrim for three days, boarded our Haj pilgrims and our heavy baggage together with ten of our men on ships and sent them off towards Girga. Regarding my travels: My dear and honoured readers, who have deigned to peruse these jottings and to endure my wretched handwriting – you should know that this journey and these noteworthy adventures are now added to the works of cosmography and cartography, the Atlas and Geography and Mappa Mundi and Minor (i.e., the Atlas Minor of Mercator), and to the Coptic chronicles and the histories of Yanvan (i.e., the Kitab al-ʿUnwan of Agapios), as purveyed by the

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astronomers and the sages. For to travel in these torrid regions of Funjistan and Aswan and Berberistan and Sudan Y443b is not possible for us poor mortals; only by the grace of God has it been vouchsafed to this lowly one, full of fault. [Review of travels over the past 11 years] We bid a fond farewell to all our friends and embarked from Ibrim. First we crossed the Nile to the western bank. Earlier, when we were going to Funjistan, we had observed the eastern shore of the Nile, and now we wished to observe the western shore.

Account of the villages and towns and cities and noteworthy monuments that we observed on our return journey from the vilayet of Ibrim to Cairo First of all, travelling two hours along this western shore of the Nile, Y444a we passed by seven ruined fortresses before arriving at the Stage of the Town of Subuʿ [→ F3, F23], so called because of the stone lions formed by the magic of Pharaoh’s diviners (see Y390a). It is under the authority of Ibrim and has 200 reed houses and one Friday mosque. From there we proceeded 6 more stages, sometimes sailing along the Nile coast and sometimes going overland through the desert, through the territory of the Bedouin Tribes of Kunuz [→ F2]. We cut the stages short, camping and decamping, drinking Nile water and eating camel’s meat and camel’s milk and munching on millet bread. This tribe of Kunuz consists of 10,000 Muslims and white Arabs, who are also Arabic in speech and know about the Last Judgment and Qurʾanic verses and Hadith and religious obligations. There is another tribe of them, dwelling in Kunuzayn territory on the eastern side of the Nile, who are small in number and have narrow pastures (cf. Y389a [→ F24]), while the ones on this side are very numerous and have pastures without end, stretching as far as the Maghreb. On their territory, extending for 6 stages along the Nile, are 20 ruined fortresses. Were they repaired they would be so many Castles of Qahqaha. They were originally the forts of the provincial holdings of Pharaoh’s diviners and magicians. Moses’ brother Aaron, when he was vizier, came with an army of Islam and conquered them. He massacred the Pharaohites and destroyed these forts. There are also wondrous and marvellous monuments in this region [→ F1], and strange talismans, and caves inside the lofty Mountains of Bisutun. Were I to describe them all I would need a very long scroll. Touring these sights, on the seventh day we came to the Fortress of Tumanis. It has no castle warden or garrison troops. Those Kunuz Bedouin tribesmen who are no longer able to nomadise dwell in this fortress. The border of the kashif

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of Ibrim ends here and the authority of the kadi of Esna begins. Then, after nine hours, we came to the Town of Rukba, on the west bank of the Nile, with 600 reed houses and an old Friday mosque without a minaret. Proceeding north along the Nile shore, we came to the Bedouin Tribe of Karh. They are 6,000 white Arabs who nomadise with tents. All are Muslims and monotheists. Passing through this tribe for six hours we came to the Town of Hammam Firʿawn (‘Pharaoh’s Bath’) [→ F13], on the shore of the Nile in the territory of Esna. It has 600 houses of reed matting. The hammam is a hot spring that the Pharaoh used to bathe in. Later, one of the Coptic kings developed a case of leprosy and, after bathing here repeatedly, he was completely cured. He covered the hot spring with some imposing domed structures. It has become famous. Even now, if one sniffs the walls, one gets the heady fragrance of musk and raw ambergris. Eight hours from there is the Island of Bajja [→ D7(?), F14], a large island in the Nile Y444b that is overgrown with tamarisk trees. A branch of the Beni Hammam Bedouin dwells here. The island also has many mines, but they do not know how to extract the ore. This group of seven islands and the straits between them is known as the Island of Shallalat (i.e. the First Cataract), described above (Y386a). Fourteen hours further north is the Fortress of Edfu [→ F20] (see Y384a), an ancient Shaddadian construction on the bank of the Nile in the territory of Esna. It has no castle warden or garrison troops or munitions. But the construction is very solid. There is a single gate. It is square in shape, 2,000 paces in circumference. Inside are 200 Janissaries whose salary has been suspended, and there are 300 small reed houses. There are two Friday mosques and three neighbourhood mosques. The multazim and the naʾib are subordinate to Esna. There is no marketplace and no khan or hammam, but there are many date groves. Thence, the Bedouin Tribes of Hujayza [→ Ha2], 3,000 Sha iʿi Bedouins who nomadise in these parts with their tents. The Hujayza youth are famous. Their shaikh, Nasir ʿAli, gave us something to eat and we continued on, arriving at the time of the afternoon prayer at the Bedouin Tribes of Jaʿfari [→ G8]. They are 9,000 men who camp in these parts. Their shaikh, known as Shambar al-Din, has a seton or candlewick in his eye, which was wounded by a spear throw. When they take out the seton to change the dressing, one can see through the hole of the wound all the way to the back of his neck. He is a brave and famous shaikh. We spent one night as his guest and then continued north along the Nile, coming in six hours to the Town of Kalij [→ F18], with 150 houses and a Friday mosque. Going north another nine hours, we came to the Bedouin Tribe of Basali [→ F17]. They are 3,000 white Arabs. Their only occupation is sowing onions, which is why they are known as Basali (Ar. basal = ‘onion’). They are Muslims and their

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eyes are always tearful because they eat a lot of onions. They nomadise amidst date groves. They are reckoned as belonging to the Hawwara tribe. One branch of this tribe dwells next to the shrine of Shaikh Kom Sayyah (‘Mound of Sayyah’) [→ F19], a great saint (see Y384a–b). Six hours beyond that is the Fortress of Esna [→ F6], governed by an independent kashif under the authority of Girga. Its annual revenue is (—) purses and (—) ardabs of grain, overseen by the finance bureau of Girga. The kashif possesses a retinue of 100 men plus soldiers of the Seven Regiments. One of the Pasha’s aghas is in charge of the grain transfer. And it is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level with a nahiye of 76 villages earning 1,000 gurush per annum. The fortress is a Shaddadian structure on the shore of the Nile, square in shape, with 500 houses and 11 prayer-niches. [Description of the Mosque of ʿUmar] Y445a […] There are no khans, soup kitchens or madrasas, only a few shops and a coffee-house and a boza shop, and many date groves as well. The fertile plain west of Esna has no towns or other settlements but is inhabited by three tribes: a branch of the Hujayza, a branch of the Jaʿfariya and the Mutʿina. In winter they nomadise as far as Mount Zumurrud. Due to the mild climate of this region, the lovely boys and girls are highly spoken of. [Description of saints’ tombs] Thence, three hours north, is the Town of Isfun [Sufun → F5] in the territory of Esna, with 250 houses, date groves and a Friday mosque. It is a multazim district and an endowment (waqf) of the Cairo resident descendants of the Prophet. Continuing north through the tribe of Mutʿina we came in four hours to the Town of Ziqat [→ F7]. It is a prosperous town, inland from the Nile, with 150 houses, orchards and vineyards and date groves, and a Friday mosque that is an endowment (waqf) of Kalʿe-i Rükn (Qalʿat al-Rukn ‘Fortress of the Column’, also mentioned at Y323b) [→ Kb37] in Alexandria. Five hours north of that is the Town of Arman [→ F9], near the Nile, with 100 houses and a Friday mosque. The people are Shafiʿis who perform the ritual prayer religiously. It was such a great city in ancient times that we were unable to traverse its monuments and wondrous and noteworthy domes and halls and palaces in a single day. The urban space was extremely large. Indeed, some reliable historians have written that Moses son of ʿImran was born in this city and that, from fear of Pharaoh, they bound him atop a board and let him go in the Nile. By God’s wisdom, as baby Moses floated past Pharaoh’s palace, Pharaoh’s wife Asiya took him and fed him. When Pharaoh saw Moses he was pleased at the baby’s motions and gestures and said nothing. It is a long story found in the chronicles of Tabari and all the

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Qurʾan interpretations; there is no need to record it here. The reason the town is called Arman is that Arman was the father of ʿImran, the father of Moses. The cave where they dwelt is now a shrine, visited by the Jews Y445b and the Copts. Thus it is called the Town of Arman and the country around is called the Land of Arman. Another of Arman’s sons was Haram and his son was Hunam, who went to the country of Mahan and became ruler there and had a son whom he named Arman after his grandfather. That Arman became an independent king, and from him stem the tribes of Arman who trace their ancestry to Moses son of ʿImran and to the son of Arman. Proceeding from Arman northwards along the Nile, we passed several prosperous and beautiful villages and in eight hours came to the Town of Qurna [→ F11], where the border of Esna ends and that of Girga begins. The people here, known as Qurna Arabs, are white-skinned and live in caves. They were settled here by al-Mustakfi Bi’llah (see 382a) after Hulagu destroyed Baghdad and martyred al-Mustansir Bi’llah194 and the population of Qurna (in Mesopotamia) fled (from the Mongols). Tahir Baybars gave them this territory near Esna and they built it up, so it is known as the Town of Qurna after their homeland. The properties and fields of the Qurna Arabs extend a distance of 5 stages. The lofty caves where they dwell were built by Sayf b. Dhu’l-Yazan, carved out of the rock with workmanship so intricate that it boggles the mind and dazzles the eye of anyone who enters. Palaces and halls and kitchens and stables are carved out of the rock layer on layer, marvellous to behold. One stands in awe of the stonecutting skills of the ancients. The Qurna Arabs use some of these caves as dwellings and others to shelter their sheep and cattle. There are noteworthy caves of this sort in the mountains extending for a distance of 5 stages along the Nile. Passing these by, we came in six hours to the Town of Naqqada. It was founded after the Flood by Misrayim, one of the Pharaonic kings, who was the grandson of Noah and is known as Abu’l-Qababit (‘Father of the Copts’). It was a very extensive emporium with many monumental structures. Today its ruins are three times as large as those of Cairo. At present it has only 500 houses and is a prosperous endowment (waqf) of Medina, with two Friday mosques and two smaller mosques. Half the population is Muslim and half is Coptic. Continuing northwards along the Nile through broad plains we came in eight hours to the Town of Dandara, in the territory of Girga and the nahiye of Farshut. It is a flourishing town like the Garden of Iram, with 1,000 houses and one Friday mosque. Seven hours further on, over stony and sandy terrain, we came to the Town (kasaba) of Hu [→ Hb2], 194 Abbasid caliph, r. June–November 1261.



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an independent kashiflik under the authority of Girga. It has no soldiers from the Seven Regiments, only the kashif with his retinue of 100 Y446a men, who extract 20 purses and (—) ardabs of grain for the sultan. An agent of the Pasha is charged with collecting the grain. The nahiye pertains to the kadi of Farshut. The town of Hu is like the Garden of Iram, with 1,000 houses and 7 prayer-niches, 1 Friday mosque, 1 minaret, a marketplace, a coffee-house, a boza shop and 2 khans for travellers. There is no hammam or covered market. The date palms are without number. [Description of a huge thousand-year-old tree.] Having seen this sight, we went on another five hours north along the Nile to Farshut.

Description of the Town (kasaba) of Farshut [→ Hb3] This, too, is an independent kashiflik under the authority of Girga, with revenues amounting to (—) purses and (—) of grain. It has no soldiers from the Seven Regiments. And it is a kadi district, bestowed at the level of 150 akçe, amounting to 1,500 gurush per annum, because the peasantry is submissive, belonging to the Hawwara tribe [→ Hb1], whose shaikh ʿAli b. Berbera has a cavalry of 3,000 Hawwara youths. The city, situated on […] (?) on the bank of the Nile, has 800 prosperous houses with thriving orchards and vineyards and date groves; 11 prayer-niches including (—) Friday mosques, with the rest being neighbourhood mosques; several small marketplaces; coffee-houses and boza shops; but no hammams or madrasas. The Farshuti ulema, however, are quite numerous, with over 1,000 Qurʾan interpreters and Hadith experts and other authors and scholars. Y446b The famous ulema in Egypt are the Ghamrawi, the Farshuti and the Asyuti ulema. Due to the mild climate, both young and old are very intelligent, and the schoolchildren are wise beyond their years. The name Farshut comes from Farshut, son of Misrayim son of Bayzar son of Ham son of Noah. After the Flood, Noah gave this region to that Farshut, who lived for 1,100 years and who founded 140 great cities between here and Funjistan, one of which was this Farshut. It was a splendid city in ancient times and traces of its monumental buildings are still visible. From here we proceeded north another five hours to the Town (kasaba) of Samannut [→ Hb4]. It is also a great city founded by a descendant of Noah; namely, Samannut, the grandson of Bayzar. But passing from hand to hand like a child’s toy in the game of time, it has become a nest for owls and doves and bats. It, too, is a kashiflik and multazim district under the authority of Girga, with revenues amounting to 10 purses and 600 ardabs of grain. The grain is collected

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by a special agent. But there are no soldiers from the Seven Regiments, only the kashif with 100 men, who governs and collects taxes. And it is a nahiye belonging to the kadi of Farshut, not an independent kadi district. The city is a town (kasaba) on the Nile shore with orchards and vineyards and gardens and date groves like the Garden of Paradise. It has 2,000 prosperous houses, 7 town quarters, 20 prayer-niches of which 3 are Friday mosques and the rest neighbourhood mosques, quite a few small marketplaces, coffee-houses, and boza shops, but no hammam or madrasa or other public building. The people are all Hawwara tribesmen. The city is surrounded on three sides by fields, which grow excellent wheat and barley and beans because the climate is mild. There are also thoroughbred horses. [Description of a marvellous cave to the west of the city with ancient stores of flax seed guarded by vermin that consume any man or animal that tries to eat from the seed] Y447a […] After viewing this cave we continued our journey northwards in the company of my friend Mehemmed Agha, the deputy of Kara Naʾib of Habesh. In four hours, travelling over level plains, we came to the Town (kasaba) of Bardis [→ Hb5]. It is a naʾib district under the authority of Girga. Its grain, amounting to (—) ardabs, is collected by the Girga grain officer. And it is a kashiflik, governed by a kashif with 50 men who extracts the grain tax from 40 villages, earning a profit of 10 purses. There are no soldiers from the Seven Regiments. The city is a pretty town (kasaba) on the shore of the Nile with 800 finely built (houses), sakias, date groves and rose gardens, Friday mosques and neighbourhood mosques, and small shops, but there is no khan or hammam or other public building. The people are all Hawwara tribesmen whose shaikh is Abu Muʾazzinoghlu. While we were there a great battle took place, right before our eyes, between Barbaroghlu Shaikh ʿAli, also of the Hawwara, and Abu Muʾazzinoghlu, in which 700 men bit the dust. Immediately afterwards the two clans were reconciled and kissed each other and rode off. Cheerfully and without a fuss, the relatives of the fallen men loaded them on horses and camels and took them away. It was a strange spectacle. No one was questioned by the governor or by anyone else. It was as though such a battle were an ancient custom (kanun). They all consoled themselves and made no further mention of it. After witnessing this spectacle we set off from Bardis and proceeded along the Nile amidst date groves, passing hundreds of prosperous Hawwara towns. In five hours we arrived in the Great City of Upper Egypt, Girga [→ Hb6] (Y373a– 374a). Taking up residence in the Bey’s palace, we greeted all our friends and gave over the horses and dromedaries and camels that we had received as gifts to the ʿAʾid Bedouins for pasturing, then waited for the ships with the remaining gifts.



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But soon we learned that they were lying at anchor in the Shallalat Strait due to unfavourable winds. The following day I received 5,000 para as bath money (i.e., an emolument) and a suit of clothing from Özbek Bey, the governor of Girga, and requested that he send us on to the vilayet of Al-Wah (The Oases). ‘Of course,’ he said. He found us some couriers (najjab) and slave merchants (jallaba; see at Y367a–b) and gave us an escort of 100 armed musketeers on dromedaries and 50 camels loaded with water and 50 camels loaded with food and drink.

Account of the stages and noteworthy sights of our journey from Girga to the vilayet of Al-Wahat (The Oases) [→ Hc1–7, 12, 14] Going out of Girga to the west, we proceeded on a forced march (lit., ‘cutting stages’) across the desert, a merciless sea of sand without water or grass, for five days and five nights.

Description of First Al-Wah, the ancient City of Kharga […] [History] Y447b […] It is situated in the middle of a great desert, an oasis city with sources of fresh water, orchards and vineyards and gardens, plentiful date groves and rose gardens, and an excellent climate and lovely people. There are around 1,000 small houses, whether of baked brick or otherwise; 2 Friday mosques and 6 neighbourhood mosques; and coffee-houses and boza shops. But there are no khans or hammams or marketplaces. Once a week, however, thousands of people gather here from the Seven Al-Wahat in a great open-air market where goods are exchanged for ducats and gurush. The governor of First Al-Wah is the kashif of Great Al-Wah, who operates here as the lieutenant governor. The kadi, too, is the kadi of Great Al-Wah, represented here by his naʾib. The city has no fortification wall, but it is surrounded by a wall of wattle with an attached moat, stronger than any fortress, and this wall has seven barricade (tedribe) gates made of date palm boards that the guards close off every night from fear of attack by the desert Arabs. […] Y448a […] All of the Seven Al-Wahat are under the authority of the province of Girga. The kashif, however, is under the authority of the kashif of Manfalut and is subordinate to (lit., ‘dons a robe of honour from’) him. The reason is that there is a huge customs house in Manfalut where every year black Arabs and black traders take thousands of camels and sheep and cattle and blacks (i.e., eunuchs and slaves; see at Y367a–b) from the direction of Al-Wahat. When the kashif of Al-Wah is

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informed of this, he takes several thousand Bedouins and musketeers and goes to meet the caravan coming from the vilayet of the blacks. He beats them all with his stick and records their names and their merchandise, from which he takes his share of ‘alms’ before sending the register with a courier to the kashif of Manfalut, informing him of the procedure. When these merchants arrive in Manfalut, the kashif exacts from them the sultanic tithe according to the register of the kashif of Al-Wahat, making a fortune for himself. That is why the kashif of Al-Wahat is under the authority of the kashif of Manfalut, although Al-Wahat is in the province of Girga. The governor of Girga (also) exacts the sultanic tithe from the caravan that goes to Girga; that is the ancient statute (kanun). Having toured First Al-Wah, I obtained guides from the kashif’s deputy and 500 skins of water and set out westwards towards Great Al-Wah. On our way a simoom blew up. Our guides told us to keep the waterskins covered, which we did. But an hour later, when the storm was over, what should we see but not a drop of water remaining, whether in the skins or in our canteens or anywhere else. We were devastated, but our friends reassured us: ‘Thank God,’ they said, ‘that Great Al-Wah is nearby. Had this simoom blown up during the six-day journey when we left Girga and dried out all our water, Y448b we would have perished. God be praised, Great Al-Wah is nearby.’ We arrived at the time of the afternoon prayer.

Description of the strangest of wonders, Great Al-Wah, the nearest of marvels, City of Qalimun […] [History] It is an independent kashiflik under the authority of the kashif of Manfalut in the territory of Girga, with annual revenues amounting to 70 purses, but no grain nor grain agent. There is a garrison from the Seven Regiments and the kashif has 600 horsemen of his own plus 1,000 Bedouin horsemen. In his eyalet are the seven Al-Wahat cities, to be described in due course; otherwise there are no villages and towns. But there are many arable places like gardens of paradise. The kashif can make a profit of 100 purses per annum if the merchants come, but if he is unlucky and the slave merchants ( jallaba) do not come, he can eke out 10 purses from the tithe on orchards and vineyards and gardens and the usual fines and tariffs. Al-Wahat is also a kadi district at the 150-akçe level, garnering 1,000 gurush per annum. Y449a There are chief muftis of the four orthodox schools and a naqib al-ashraf, but no notables to speak of. And there are many destitute people. [Description of hidden treasures; mines; water sources and their medicinal properties]

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Y449b […] The vilayet of Al-Wahat consists of seven cities, each one day’s journey distant from the others, with orchards and vineyards and gardens and fields in between. They are in two groupings, one known as Outer Al-Wahat and the other as Great Al-Wahat. The latter is the most built up, being the seat of the governor and the residence of the kadi and the notables. [Y449b–450b:195 How Al-Wah got its name. Sketchy information about the city. Dates.] [Q344b P338b:196 Description of an ancient tomb]

Bahnasa [→ Hc8, Hc9] [Q345a P339a: Description of the Friday mosque of Bahnasa] Q345a […] Bahnasa has 5 minarets, 17 neighbourhood mosques, 3 madrasas, 7 dervish lodges, 40 public fountains, 17 primary schools and 3 wakalas. There are 300 shops, 70 of which constitute the sultanic marketplace, with the rest being weavers’ workshops and cloth shops just inside the doors of people’s houses. And there are 50 oil presses, 6 coffee-houses and 1 ruined hammam. The climate is very mild. Although the water comes from the Nile, it flows sluggishly here, and the people in the villages that it irrigates soak their flax in it, so it is rather heavy and not recommended for drinking. People of taste get their drinking water from wells. Since the populace is generally poor, they are free of taxes other than the sultanic tithe. The city itself is an endowment (waqf) and the inhabitants all descend from the Companions of the Prophet and the People of the Suffa and the Emigrants and Helpers who settled here at the time of the conquest. Among them are very pious and saintly individuals. They are of dark complexion, good-natured and humble. Their main source of livelihood is the garments and turban cloth that they weave from the white wool obtained from their sheep, according to the Hadith, He who earns his livelihood is the beloved of God. All their clothing is woollen shawl cloth, and their turbans as well. The women wrap themselves in white petticoats. The western side of this city is being submerged by sand, because the desert 195 Note that MS Y ends here. 196 Dankoff 2007, p. 227 [reprint 2008, p. 371] describes the lacuna in the MSS as follows: ‘Q 344b/345a and P 338b/339a (between folios): a gap of one or more folios. At the beginning of the new folio we are no longer among the tombs of Faiyum but among the mosques of Bahnasa. This means that Evliya’s travels between Faiyum and Bahnasa are lost and it is not possible to read this portion of Seyahatname [The Book of Travels].’

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extends from here all the way to Morocco and Tripolitania and from year to year the sea of sand takes over more and more of the city. As such, there are thousands of lofty palaces and hundreds of khans and hammams and shops and public buildings in this city that have fallen to ruin. On the grounds of the palace of Ptolemy the Greek stands a tall porphyry column with a lofty pavilion at the very top, said to be the place where Ptolemy used to do his prayers. It is now a tourist destination. [Description of saints’ tombs] Q345b […] In short, 5,000 noble Companions of the Prophet are buried in and around this city. God be praised, I visited them all and recited a Fatiha or a tenth part of the Qurʾan or a noble Yasin for the noble spirits of every one of them and I gained acquaintance with them all and requested succor from their spiritualities. […] Q346a […] If I were to describe everything in this city as it actually is it would hinder my travels and I would be accused of longwindedness. In any case, I only stayed for one week, and I have recorded what I could. Leaving Bahnasa, we travelled north along the foot of the mountains, passing through prosperous villages, and came in ten hours to the Stage of the Town of Lahun and the Bridge of Joseph [→ I4]. It is a prosperous town in the territory of Faiyum, a multazim district, with 600 houses, orchards and vineyards and gardens, 1 Friday mosque and 2 neighbourhood mosques and a coffee-house. Jisr Lahun (the Bridge of Lahun) is a large bridge, famous throughout Egypt. It was built by the Prophet Joseph himself and has suffered no impairment from that day to this: it is as though it has just now emerged from the hand of the master architect. It is a great bridge of (—) arches that stretches like a rainbow in the sky over Joseph’s Canal (= Bahr Yussef), which still flows by the miraculous grace of the Prophet Joseph [→ Hc10]. Crossing the bridge, we came to the Town of Hawwara, near the Kom Aswad Mountains, a multazim district and beautiful town of 100 houses in the territory of Faiyum. It is not a very productive village, since the ground is dry. Continuing along Joseph’s Canal, we crossed Qantarat Hawwara (the Bridge of Hawwara), another large bridge of ten arches, and Qantarat Nawaʿin (the Bridge of Nawaʿin). Here, as Joseph’s Canal flows in a northward direction, it splits into 70 channels that spread out over the vilayet of Faiyum [→ Hc13]. Each one of these has a levee, large or small. The openings of these levees, five or six as the case may be, are always sealed up. Once every year, at the season of the Cutting of the Nile, one of the Pasha’s important aghas comes from Cairo and − in the company of the Faiyum notables, including the kashif and the kadi and the mufti – he determines the height of Joseph’s Canal and then, with prayers and lauds, breaks through the

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openings of these levees where they have been sealed up and allows 20,000 ‘handfuls’197 of water to flow over the 310 villages and 46,000 orchards and vineyards and gardens of the vilayet of Faiyum. Then he seals them up again. The vilayet is submerged in water, and when it dries up again under the blazing summer heat he once again releases 20,000 ‘handfuls’ of water. Q346b Thereby water is distributed throughout Faiyum through these levees. All the magistrates attend this breaking-through of the water channels. Following ancient custom (kanun), if water is not released to the vilayet in accordance with the register, the populace of the vilayet put one another to the sword. Everyone demands that his own village gets water, since 5 or 10 Egyptian purses are exacted from each of the villages, and so battles ensue. On these occasions, the Pasha’s agent earns 5 purses. If he finds that the seal of one of the levees has been broken and water has been stolen, he punishes the shaikhs in charge of that village. Everyone is in awe of the Pasha’s agha, saying that he is ‘Governor of the Waters’ (Hakim-i Muy).198 Where these channels spread out over the Faiyum desert, there are myriads of vineyards and gardens, with thousands of vineyard palaces and sakias and pools and jets and fountains of paradise, astounding to behold. Viewing these things, we travelled from the Bridge of Lahun for seven hours through the aforementioned vineyards and gardens, smelling the roses and listening to the nightingales.

Description of the Ancient City and Object of Prophetic Vision, like a Garden of Paradise, the City of Faiyum and Capital of the Prophet Joseph [→ I12] Joseph himself built this city when he was the vizier of King Rayyan b. Walid. Afterwards, at age 40, when he received the gift of prophecy and became the sultan of Egypt, he made Faiyum his capital and built it up to such an extent that it has remained to this very day a pleasant emporium city like Iram of the Pillars, light of divinity, thanks to the blessings of his miracles. [Joseph and Faiyum (see Y8b–9a)] Q347a […] It is an independent kashiflik in the territory of Cairo, with annual revenues of (—) Egyptian purses and 6,000 ardabs of grain in the accounting of 197 Qabḍa, defined by Wehr 1966, 738–39 as: ‘(Eg.) a linear measure of 12.5 cm.’ 198 cf. Y242b discussion of Egyptian colloquial expressions: Ve muy suya der (‘And water is called muy’) cf. above at Y158a, where the governor (hakim) is also mentioned in this connection.

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the Cairo divan. The kashif keeps law and order with his retinue of 200 men and a garrison of Cairo Guards of the Seven Regiments. It is a nice appointment, earning him a profit of 40 purses after expenses. And it is a noble kadi district, bestowed at the level of 150 akçe. The nahiye was originally 360 villages, but then Joseph’s Canal submerged the province, leaving 110 villages, which provide the kadi with an annual revenue of 8 purses. An agha comes to collect grain, earning 3 purses for himself. Another agha comes for rose water; he gets 1 purse and also one thoroughbred roan horse from the kashif. The city has three chief muftis, lacking one only for the Hanbali school. There is a naqib al-ashraf and many notables and descendants of the Prophet, as well as countless ulema. The city is in the middle of a vast plain, adorned with prosperous mansions and beautiful houses, layer on layer, that line both sides of Joseph’s Canal, and vineyards and gardens; it is a lovely and flourishing city, founded by Joseph, son of Jacob. There are 9,060 beautiful houses and other buildings. It is a splendid and heart-gladdening city that is becoming more and more prosperous; a delightful city with buildings made of stone and brick and gypsum, whose roofs are covered with lime. The gates to every house and palace are magnificent, like the gates of a fortress. There are 67 town quarters and 67 prayer-niches, of which (—) have the Friday sermon and the remainder, numbering (—), are neighbourhood mosques with solid endowments. [Enumeration of 14 Friday mosques] Q347b […] Aside from these Friday mosques there are up to 50 thriving neighbourhood mosques; 7 madrasas; 40 primary schools; 2 hammams, endowments respectively of the Bakri Shaikhs in Cairo and of Shaikh ʿAlim; 16 flourishing khans that serve as guesthouses for travellers, of which the most prosperous is the White Khan of the Bakri Shaikhs in the marketplace; 12 wakalas [enumerated]; 48 public fountains; and 3 cistern wells that provide ice-cold water in July. There are sultanic markets in six places [enumerated], with a total of 900 shops. All the marketplaces are roofed over with planks of palm-tree wood, so even in the heat of summer the shopkeepers sit in cool comfort, and the roads and markets are continually watered and kept clean. Water being so abundant, the people, who are characterised by urbane refinement, have the water bearers sprinkle the main thoroughfares on a regular basis, removing the rubbish for burning in the stokeholds of the hammams. It is such a neat and clean city. However, it has no masonry-constructed covered market. Nevertheless, precious silks and other goods are abundant in all of the khans. [Description of the coffee-houses overlooking Joseph’s Canal; their entertainments; the mosques and houses overlooking Joseph’s Canal; recreation activities in the canal; bridges over the canal.]



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Q348a […] All the houses are equipped with sakias to draw up water for the hammams and for the vineyards and gardens. There are pools and jets and fountains of running water, as well as pavilions. Joseph’s Canal (Turʿa-i Yusuf) splits into channels and waters thousands of orchards and vineyards and gardens. Then the water is distributed to the fields and gardens of 220 villages, irrigating the whole of Faiyum province. Finally, what is left of the canal empties into Joseph’s Lake (Bahr-i Yusuf), one hour west of the city of Faiyum (see Y366a). The interesting thing is that while Joseph’s Canal is flowing through the city, the water is fresh and potable, but when it enters Joseph’s Lake it becomes bitter and poisonous. It is a very salty lake, a three-day journey in circumference. In some chronicles it is called Birkat al-Qarn (‘Horn Lake’) [= ? Birkat Qarun (Lake of Korah) → I3]. It is surrounded by flourishing villages that betoken the Garden of Iram. It is these villages that provide Cairo with cheap and plentiful fruit for seven or eight months of the year. Sixty qayasa fishing boats ply the waters of this lake, taking men and goods to the villages and carrying away fruit and other comestibles. Seventy kinds of fish are recorded in this lake, some as large as a person, including carp, sindiye (?) and şilbe. True, it is not as large as a sea, yet all sorts of living creatures are found in it, including hippopotamuses. Even crocodiles come into it via the Nile, only to die there by a miracle of Joseph. Another miracle is that half the Nile is continuously flowing into this lake through Joseph’s Canal, and yet it perishes there, having no outlet anywhere. It is a kind of Mediterranean Sea (i.e., inland sea), with waves surging back and forth. Until recently there were 360 flourishing villages, like gardens of paradise, on the shore of this lake. But one year it overflowed and submerged a good many of them. Now, only 105 villages remain that are counted as towns owing tax to the kashif, while another 100 are endowments and tax farms. While the Prophet Joseph, with sincerity and with his own hands, was digging, a revelation came to Gabriel from God through a divine command. Gabriel pointed with his blessed wing and this great canal full of life-giving water appeared in the ground, and thus this lake came into being (see Y8b–9a). But now it is more bitter than snake’s venom. In the Khiṭaṭ of al-Maqrizi we read that the people who dwelt on the shore of this lake were straying and stubborn nations who rebelled against Joseph. Joseph cursed them, and they and all their animals were engulfed in this lake, whose water turned to venom as a result. So now the fish in this lake resemble those people and those animals – horses and mules, camels and cows and water buffalo, donkeys and dogs, sheep and goats, and roosters. Some of them, when they die, float up near the shore and gape. And sometimes the hippopotamuses come out

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onto the land and devour the wheat and barley in the fields. If a male hippo finds a female oryx199 on the shore, he will mount her and she will give birth to a foal. In the year 1083 (1672/73), someone brought Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha a hippo foal that had scales and a mane and a tail like a fish but in other respects was like a hippo. It is reported that all the springs of the vilayet of Al-Wahat flow underground and empty into this lake. When Sultan Muhammad-i Akrad (i.e., the Ayyubid Sultan al-Kamil Muhammad) heard that the springs of Al-Wahat flowed into Joseph’s Lake, he poured straw and coal into the canal that vanished in Al-Wah, Q348b and six hours later the straw and coal turned up in Joseph’s Lake – this is recorded in the chronicle named Usul al-Bihar. Although such sweet waters empty into it, Joseph’s Lake is as bitter as oleander (zakkum – also the name of the bitter fruit of a tree that grows in hell, according to Qurʾan 69:36–37). The fish, on the other hand, are very delicious, with no fishy odour, and invigorating. By God’s wisdom, attached to this lake is another, smaller lake of fresh water [= ? Gharaq Faiyum → I13]. If the powers that be so desired, they could conduct the water of this little lake and of Joseph’s Lake in a northward direction in front of Hush ʿIsa and make it flow into the Mediterranean near Alexandria. It would be easy to do this, since the elevation of Lake Faiyum is higher than that of Alexandria and there is a distance of 2 stages between them. If this were to happen, 300 more villages could be built in the Faiyum region where this lake now is. Aside from the fact that this lake engulfed 300 villages that once stood here, it overflows its banks every year, with the water coming near the city of Faiyum. They say that it will eventually completely engulf Faiyum – may it be protected by the spirituality of the miracle of the Prophet Joseph! Meanwhile, on the western side, Faiyum is being taken over by a sea of sand. The steady encroachment of sand has already destroyed the city’s talisman against the sands, so that Faiyum is gradually going to ruin. One can see this in the northern part of the city, near the cemetery, where the palaces of King Muqawqis and King Totis and the Prophet Joseph – lofty structures reminiscent of the Vault of Khosrow – are being engulfed by a sea of sand on one side and the Sea of Joseph (i.e., Joseph’s Lake = Lake Faiyum = Birkat Qarun) on the other. This is the area where Joseph began to build the city of Faiyum. The fallen domes and columns are in plain view. The ruins extend in a northward direction from the present city 199 Kısrak-ı berri (‘wild mare’), presumably the same as the ‘wild mule’ that Evliya elsewhere (Y441b) says is the Arabic equivalent of kazık boynuz ‘stake horn’, which seems to be his designation for the oryx; cf. EÇSOS, 145; FUNC, n. 240; TRAVELLER, 446.



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Figure 2.19: Depictions of the lake in Faiyum from the 1818 Carte Topographique de l’Égypte (left) and from Vat. Turc. 73 (right) (Sources: Pierre Jacotin (ed.), Carte topographique de l’Égypte et de plusieurs parties des pays limitrophes (Paris: Dépôt de la guerre, 1818); Vat. Turc. 73 © 2018 Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana)

as far as the cemetery and for a distance of three hours lengthwise from east to west, an extensive urban agglomeration. Also visible is the foundation of an even earlier structure, a fortress built by King Rayyan. Parts of that, too, have been engulfed by Joseph’s Lake. It was such a firm and solid construction that even now three wagons side by side can pass over some of its foundations with room to spare. […] Thus, if this lake were made to flow into the sea near Alexandria, it would not only save Faiyum from being engulfed, but would also add enough productive land for 400 villages, making it a happy and prosperous part of the Ottoman Empire. […] In ancient times, Faiyum was famous for its excellent climate. Now, however, the climate is oppressive, both the air and the water.200 Because the city is hemmed in by 40,000 or 50,000 orchards and vineyards and gardens and date groves and the like, extending for a distance of two hours in all directions, it cannot get a breath of fresh air; there is no east wind (or zephyr, morning breeze, bad-ı saba). And while there is abundant water, it is used so intensively for irrigating those vineyards and gardens that it is otherwise useless. Furthermore, the non-stop 200 The term translated ‘climate’ is ab [u] hava (lit. ‘water and air’). Normally, it is a hendiadys referring to the overall climate, but here Evliya discusses the two discrete aspects separately.

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twittering and cooing of countless birds in the orchards all about, day and night, make it difficult to hear what anyone is saying. Added to that is the mournful creak of thousands of waterwheels and the frightful gurgle of myriads of gushing fountains. It is such an exemplary land of prophets. No other city in Egypt has so many parks and rose gardens. Not only the orchards but even the mountains and fields and deserts are brimming with red roses. And the rose gardens are not fenced in, but cover the landscape. At dawn one can even smell the roses in Tamiya, a town two hours away from Faiyum. The burial mounds and cemeteries of the city are situated towards the Etesian (tiyab, a dry north wind). Only Joseph’s Canal, which flows through the city, affords the people some relief. In winter, however, the climate is truly delightful, more than that of Aleppo or Raqqa or Sharazul – only Maʿarrat al-Nuʿman can compare with it. So the people of Faiyum work hard in the summer and enjoy themselves in the winter. They are quite given to pleasure, arranging trysts day and night with the lovely boys and girls in the 27,000 orchards and gardens and rose bowers. Indeed, the gardens here are unmatched anywhere in Arabia or Persia, and only those on the island of Chios can compare with them. Twelve varieties of rose are recorded in the Faiyum register. The people of Faiyum are very hospitable, and some are very upright and pious individuals. There is scarcely any use of intoxicants or drugs. And by the blessing of the miracle of the Prophet Joseph, Q349a there is no wine, despite the presence of so many vineyards. […] Famous products include juicy grapes, apples, pears, peaches, plums, pomegranates, dates and quinces, which provide Cairo with cheap and plentiful fruit for five months of the year. However, there are no apricots, cherries or sour cherries, though there are plenty of lemons, bitter oranges and pomelos. There is another fruit, known as hıyarşenbe (cassia fistula), whose tree and leaves resemble those of the walnut, with the fruit being green and long and pendulous, like a whip. When the fruit ripens, it forms a black shell enclosing nodes and a kind of black honey that is very sweet and highly purgative. It is not found in other countries, and is exported from Faiyum to Turkey, Arabia, Persia and Europe. It is also found in Alexandria, Rosetta and Damietta, and one occasionally sees it in Cairo as well. It is a state franchise: the cassia agent buys it from the owners of the trees for a fixed price. The franchise is worth 20 yüks of akçe. If the owners sell it themselves, they are severely punished. Also famous are Faiyum’s white bread, like cotton; its roses and rose water; its flax as tall as a man; and its white linen with white hems, good for making shirts. It is not as fine as Trabzon linen, but Faiyum has 700 weavers’ workshops, so its linen is famous for its abundance. Once a week there is a large open-air market

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where 40,000 or 50,000 men gather. The buying and selling that goes on there cannot be put into words. It is a sweet town that must be seen. May God make it prosper to the end of time. [Description of saints’ tombs] We said goodbye to our Faiyum friends, Kadri Çelebi, Arnabut Çorbacı, Kız ʿAli Çelebi and Hacı Mansur. The kashif gave us 1 horse, 3 camel-loads of fruit, 3,000 para, and an escort of 50 musketeers, and we set off in a northwards direction. Passing through several prosperous rose garden villages and keeping Joseph’s Canal on our left, we entered a flat plain and in four hours came to the Town of Tamiya [→ I15]. It is a multazim village in the territory of Faiyum with 200 houses, 1 Friday mosque with a minaret, orchards and gardens, 1 coffee-house, and several shops. Here a caravan of 3,000 men assembled. At noon we hung feedbags on the horses and at the time of the afternoon prayer we set out towards Cairo, fully armed. We travelled eastwards for 17 hours over barren desert, with no sign of civilisation, ever fearful of attack by faithless Bedouin tribes, since this road is the lair of Bahija and Hinadi bandits. But there is no other road to Cairo. To be sure, these districts are under the authority of Ibn Khabir, but by order of the governor of Egypt, Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha, Ibn Khabir conducted raids on the Bahija and Hinadi and Zuʿafa Bedouins on the shore of the lake, and in turn those tribes, to spite Ibn Khabir, have been conducting highway robbery in these Faiyum districts. So we were full of trepidation. Our party of 2,000 fully armed men spent one night in the desert and the following morning came to the Stage of the Coffee Khan (= The Coffeehouse, Y361a). This was described above, on the way to Funjistan, when we passed through this area, which is the limit of the Ibn Khabir domains [→ Ja10]. Here we enquired whether the ships with the gifts from the King of Funjistan had passed. We were told that they had not, but that they were in Beni Suef, 2 stages upstream from here. Considering that this stage is only a miserable khan, though a crossroads nonetheless, we put our horses on boats and crossed the Nile to the Vilayet of Sharq ʿAtfih. It is an independent kashiflik in the jurisdiction of the province of Girga, with no garrison from the Seven Regiments. The kashif, with his retinue of 150 men, collects 20 purses and (—) ardabs of grain and makes his account at the Corridor of Girga (see at Y373a), with a profit for himself of 10201 purses. He governs over 26 villages. There is no central city: the kashif dwells in tents. On the Cairo side, Sharq ʿAtfih borders on the town of Basatin (see Y106b, Y360b), which is also the eastern border of Girga. Q349b It is also a kadi 201 MS Q has ‘ten’ while MS P has ‘five’.

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district at the 150-akçe level. The nahiye is part of the allotment of the mollas of Cairo, with a monthly revenue of 1,000 para. We stayed two nights in Sharq ʿAtfih, sleeping in our tents, as guests of the kashif. On the third day our retinue caught up with us, bringing the gifts and the heavy baggage that we had put on boats in Girga. They continued up the Nile while we crossed to the western side, passed by the Town (kasaba) of Ibn Khabir [→ Ja6], and in five hours, travelling along the shore of the Nile, came to Giza.

Description of the Stage of the Town (kasaba) of Giza [→ Ja11] It is a large city and ancient district, founded by Surid the diviner, who also built the Pyramids. Giza is the port for the Pyramids and for Fustat or Old Cairo. It is a kashiflik and a multazim district of (—) purses in the territory of Cairo. The kashif governs with his retinue of 100 men and a ready and armed garrison from the Seven Regiments, earning for himself 40 purses per annum. His Shaikh of the Arabs is Ibn Khabir, who governs the desert areas (see Y361a). Another magistrate is the kadi at the 150-akçe level, whose (—) nahiye villages earn 6 Egyptian purses over two periods of appointment. It is a noble kadi office, bestowed as a stipend (arpalık) to the Shaikh al-Islam, Boluvi Mustafa Efendi. The city is a sweet town (kasaba) on the shore of the Nile, adorned with orchards and gardens and 1,000 houses. There are 40 prayer-niches, of which (—) have the Friday sermon. In particular, the Old Mosque is an ancient house of worship with a large congregation and a place where prayers are answered, since there are shrines inside that can be visited. There are also the (—) Mosque and the (—) Mosque. The rest are neighbourhood mosques. And there are 2 wakalas, 6 coffee-houses, 7 primary schools, 8 public fountains, 1 hammam and 3 dervish lodges. The loftiest and most beautiful of the palaces are those belonging to Iqbal Kashif and Boluvi Mustafa Efendi. There are many orchards and gardens and date groves, but no vegetable gardens, since there are so many cows and sheep. Most of the shopkeepers in the marketplace, around 200, are milkmen. The laban (strained yoghurt) and qashta (cream) of Giza are very tasty. Every day, 20,000 majurs202 of yoghurt and 10,000 jugs of cream are sent to Cairo, as well as thousands of jars of pure milk (Qurʾan 16:66), which feed Cairo. The cows and sheep of Giza are the milk nurses of Cairo. Abu Hurayra was very fond of milk and said a prayer for it, and so the yoghurt and the milk of Giza are highly praised by the Mother of the World (i.e., Cairo). Vegetation grows very abundantly here because of the 202 cf. Wehr 1966, 893: ‘(eg.)[…] tall, bulging earthen vessel with a wide mouth’.



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mild climate, and the animals graze in the fields and meadows between Giza and the Pyramids, which accounts for their giving so much milk. Shrines of Giza: First of all is the sultan of rich and poor, Shaikh Abu Hurayra, a transmitter of Hadith and one of the Companions of the Prophet. He belonged to the tribe of Dush, one of the tribes of Mecca. He took part with ʿAmr b. al-ʿAs in the conquest of Cairo (i.e., Babylon Fortress in Old Cairo), where he was wounded and martyred. I have spoken of this above in the section on the shrines of Cairo and also described his noble Moulid in detail (Y270b–271a), so there is no need to repeat it. […] And the Shrine of the Foot of the Stone of the Prophet Moses [→ Ja8]. […] Q350a […] Another shrine: the Prophet Joseph was imprisoned in a dungeon because of the slander of Zulaikha […] [cites Qurʾan 12:35–36] […] The place where Joseph was imprisoned is now in the town of Busir, attached to Giza, a thriving place of visitation [→ Ja9]. […] Some of the great ulema make their 40-day retreat in this prison. It is an important shrine of the prophets. We visited other shrines as well in this city of Giza and stayed here overnight. In the morning the ships with the gifts of the King of Funjistan arrived and we crossed over to Old Cairo and loaded the heavy baggage onto camels. We entered the palace of Cairo on 1 Muharram 1084 (18 April 1673), and in grand procession in the divan before his excellency, Ibrahim Pasha, in good order and without fault, we presented him with the protocols and letters and agents and gifts of the Sultan of Funjistan. Eight of us – including myself and two of my men and three of the King of Funjistan’s men, as well as some who had escorted us from Habesh and the deputy of Kara Naʾib, Mehemmed Agha – were awarded robes of honour. God be praised, in gratitude for returning safe and sound we sacrificed one camel and five sheep, offering prayers to God Q350b and showering the Pasha and his deputy and the şehir havalesi and the divan efendisi and others of our friends with our gifts and receiving benefactions from them in exchange. From what was left over we kept what we needed – 10 black mamluks and 3 eunuchs and 2 Habeshi slavegirls – and sold the rest for 6 Egyptian purses, as well as sending goods worth approximately the same amount to Istanbul with Hacı Niʿmetullah’s galleon. While our goal was travel, not gaining wealth, God vouchsafed us not only travel (seyahat) and commerce (ticaret) but also many many visitations of shrines (ziyaret). Praise be to God. This is of the excellence of my Lord. [Ketkhuda Ibrahim Pasha is dismissed from office; the new governor, Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha, arrives on 20 Jumadi al-Akhir 1084 (1 October 1673)]

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Qadam al-Nabi and the Dam of Janbuladzade Husayn Pasha [→ Jb1; Ja7, Jb2] (cf. Y115b–116b, Y224a, Y225b) Q351a […] Our lord Husayn Pasha governed for two full years, administering justice, so that the province of Egypt enjoyed great Ottoman security and plenty. He had a great trench dug from the Nilometer to Qadam al-Nabi (Footstep of the Prophet), a distance of 80,000 royal cubits, employing 70,000 to 80,000 men and 10,000 buffaloes and allowing the Nile to flow in front of Old Cairo as far as Bulaq, so that grain ships could fearlessly approach ʿAnbar Yusuf (Joseph’s Granary). He also constructed two dams on the Nile in the territory of Giza, in front of Qadam al-Nabi and the town of Basatin (see Y360b). Each one entered the Nile to a distance of 100 cubits and was 80 cubits high and 50 cubits broad. This humble one commemorated them in the following chronogram: When Evliya saw its foundation He uttered its date: ‘A great construction’ (bina-yı azim)   Year (—)

In short, they are noteworthy dams and canal trenches, beyond human capacity. [1 Jumadi al-Awwal 1087 (12 July 1676): Evliya sets out towards Syria to greet the new governor, ʿAbdurrahman Pasha. Fortress of Sabil al-ʿAllam; Mosque of Hasan Bey; Town of Matariya; City of ʿAyn al-Shams] Q354a […] Stage of Khankah [→ N2]: It is a subashi district under the authority of the kashif of Qalyub, in a place with orchards and gardens on a level plain. And it is a kadi district at the 150-akçe level bestowed as a stipend (arpalık) on the naqib al-ashraf of Cairo. The nahiye of 150 villages brings in an annual revenue of 5 Egyptian purses. There are 9 Friday mosques and 30 neighbourhood mosques. [Description of Sultan Ashraf Mosque and shrines] Q354b […] Proceeding one hour north amidst vegetable gardens we came to the Town of Munira, a prosperous town with orchards and gardens. The area north of here is the unsafe district of Bedouin tribes known as Sutuh [→ N3, N4]. It is difficult to cross for fear of Bedouin bandits. Having crossed this district without incident, we came to the Town of Ramin, a prosperous town with 500 houses, also in Qalyub territory. Passing through this and several pretty villages, in eight hours we arrived in Bilbais.

Description of the Stage of the vilayet of the Land of Hasan and the Abode of Diviners, the City of Bilbais [→ N1] […] It is the border of the Holy Land. The territory of Egypt (or Cairo?) south of



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here is not the Holy Land. There is a good deal of controversy on this topic, but all agree that this city of Bilbais is the limit of the Holy Land. It is an ancient city, clearly referred to in all the chronicles as the Land of Hâsân. […] At present it is the seat of the kashif of Sharqiya in the eyalet of Cairo. With his Cairo soldiers, he extracts 70 purses as sultanic property from 300 villages and makes the account at the divan of Cairo, leaving a profit of 40 purses for himself. There is no state grain tax. It is also a noble kadi district at the 300-akçe level, earning 15 purses per annum. It has muftis of the four Sunni schools, a naqib al-ashraf and notables and descendants of the Prophet. As the city is situated on a flat plain, it is touched by the morning breeze and the climate is mild, so there are countless orchards and gardens and reticulated vegetable gardens. The roads are laid out in chessboard fashion and the major thoroughfares are lined with sycamore figs (jummayz) and Christ’s-thorn (nabiqa) and teak (saj), providing ornament and shade. The city was laid out and adorned in this fashion by the Abbasid Sultan Muhammed b. Abu Saʿid b. al-Muqtadir Bi’llah.203 It has 4,000 houses, lofty mansions,and beautiful marketplaces. There are 8 town quarters and 8 Friday mosques, and there are also 86 neighbourhood mosques apart from these. […] Q355a […] There is 1 open hammam and 3 that are closed in the heat of the summer; 9 expansive coffee-houses; 15 wakalas, of which the one for wheat and the one for olives are the most prosperous; and 2 [sic; error for 200?] shops, but no covered market, although all precious goods can be found and there is a sea of men. There are also many lovely boys and girls because of the delightful climate. Bilbais gets its water from wells, but it is (like) the water of life. The city is in the desert, 2 stages from the Nile. But when the Cutting of the Nile takes place in Cairo during the flood season, where it is cut at the foot of the Abu’l-Majjana Bridge it flows under that bridge and waters the entire vilayet of Qalyub and then the vilayet of Sharqiya, including Bilbais. In that season, boats come to Bilbais and pick up grain and other goods. Famous comestibles here are grapes, very fresh and juicy, and pomegranates, juicier and with larger seeds than those of Fuwwa. Another product is henna, which is cultivated here in the great henna fields and is exported to all the lands of Islam, earning a treasure for Bilbais. Most of the populace make their living from this product. This is the henna that women apply as adornment to their hands and feet. The henna plant is a small bush whose leaves are gathered and crushed in mills to make henna powder. The plants are triennials.

203 Abbasid caliph, r. 908–32.

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Account of Lower Saʿid; that is, the Land of Hâsân of Bilbais According to the historian Mighdisi,204 the city of ʿArish [→ N8] is the border of Egypt, north of that being the Land of Syria. The area between ʿArish and Bilbais is the Land of Hâsân; that between Bilbais and Cairo is the Land of Zaydaniya (?); that between Cairo and Basatin is the Land of Amsus. Beyond that, east of the Nile, is the Land of ʿAtfih, since the city of Sharq ʿAtfih is on this side, the Cairo side. But on the other side of the Nile, towards the west, is the Land of Faiyum; above that, as far as Girga, is Upper Saʿid (Upper Egypt). So Lower Saʿid is Bilbais and ʿArish. As for the area across the Nile from Girga, it is known as the Corridor of Girga (see Y373a), since the Clime of Habesh is in that direction. The vilayet of Upper Saʿid is the breadbasket of the Mother of the World (i.e., Cairo). But Lower Saʿid, the territory of Bilbais and ʿArish, is the waterless and merciless desert of Qatiya and Umm al-Hasan near the Mediterranean, ending in the Sinai Desert. [Description of saints’ tombs] Prominent householders in this city whose largesse goes to the poor and to strangers include Boshnak Mahmud Agha, Husayn Çorbacı, Mehemmed Çelebi ibn Shuʿayb, Mehemmed Çorbacı and Yusuf Çorbacı. [Town of Rif; Fortress of Qurayn; Town of Sattara]

Description of the ancient City of Salihiya [→ N5] It is a subashi district under the authority of the kashif of Sharqiya. It is a city of fellahin amidst date groves extending a distance of two hours over a broad plain. There are around 1,000 houses along the date grove avenues: they are individual houses, but attached to one another, neighbour’s door to neighbour’s door, and each one fortified with loopholes all around. The reason for this is that the Bedouins of the desert come day and night demanding horses and sheep and fodder and food, and when they refuse to give it to them a battle erupts. That is why the houses have doors that give onto one another and are fortified with loopholes for muskets. They are a brave lot of Beni Salihi tribesmen. They are also divided into moieties, the Beni Juzam and the Beni Haram, who are always doing battle against one another. It was to pacify this tribe and to make this place a refuge for merchants and pilgrims that Sultan Salih built this town in the year (—), and it was named Salihiya after him. It was very prosperous in the early centuries, but, because it was a crossroads and a lair for the Bedouins of the 204 cf. Dankoff 1986.



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desert, nothing has remained of its prosperity, whether marketplace or khan or hammam. However, in the date groves Q355b there is a broad open area, adorned with all kinds of tall trees, where people from the surrounding villages gather once a week to buy and sell. Thousands of camel-loads of dates exchange hands at this time. There is also a large two-storey Friday mosque in this square, which was built by Sultan Qaitbay and is matched only by the Qaitbay Mosque in Cairo. It has a tall minaret with three balconies. But it lacks a congregation – a mosque stranded amidst the Bedouin! The people of Salihiya are great merchants, selling myriads of camel-loads of water to wayfarers and passersby, since there is no fresh water in the Umm al-Hasan desert for a distance of 6 stages from this city. It is the end of the Sinai Desert, a perilous wilderness of sand. No one sets out from here without hiring camels loaded with water. This is why the people of Salihiya are wealthy merchants. Furthermore, they go out into the Umm al-Hasan desert and retrieve any camels or horses or mules or donkeys that are exhausted and left behind, nurse them back to health, and sell them to pilgrims. And their young men are a rebellious lot who practise highway robbery and even kill people. But God, Who creates a Pharaoh for every Moses and a Moses for every Pharaoh, has also made it so that the Bedouins of the desert lord it, Moses-like, over these Pharaohites. […]

Appendix I

Turkish Text of the Vatican Map Note: / separates lines of text one or two words of illegible text an illegible phrase or a portion of the text that is cut off or mouse-eaten () parentheses enclose words in the text deemed redundant (*) misspelled place names, signalled by an asterisk before the corrected form, e.g. DSYR (*Dümsin), BLYFYH (*Feşne); also words deemed misspelled or misread, e.g. künbed (*kinedli) [] square brackets enclose elements not present in the text but posited for the sense Bismillâhi’r-raḥmâni’r-raḥîm. Dürer-i cevâhir-i bevâhir-i ḥamd-i bî-iḥṣâ ve iksîr-i ezâhir-i s̠ enâ-i bî-istiḳṣâ ol Mûcid-i küre-i merkez-i haḳîḳa-i Nâsût-ı ʿâlem, / Bâsıṭ-ı saṭḥ-ı arz maḳrûḥî-yi Lâhût-ı aʿzam, Cenâb-ı seʿadet-meʾâb dergâh-ı celîl-i pâk ṣamediyyetine ve ḳuds-ı aḳdes Ceberût deymûmiyyetine iẓhâr ve ibhâr ve nis̠ âr ḳılınur ki kemâl-i ḳudret-i irâdet ve celâl-i / ḥikmet-i ṣanʿatiyle çâr ümmehât künh-i ġaybdan peydâ ve semevât-ı arżûn heft tekvîn kevn-i ʿademden hüveydâ edüp ve aḳâlîm-i sebʿa aḳṭâr u emṣâr ve cihât ve müdün ü ḳurâ üzre tenvîʿ ve miyâh-ı ʿaẕbeyi ve milḥayı / ebḥur ve enhur üzre tefrîʿ edüp bî-mis̠ âl ve şekl-i tims̠ âl ʿâlem-i ʿademden vücûd-ı maẓhara getürdi. Zehî Kirdigâr-ı bende-perver ve Perverdigâr-ı baḫşâyende-i baḫşâyiş-ger ki naḳḳâş-ı ḳudreti levḥ-i sengîn-i kühsârda kilk-i / niçe(?) naḳş-ı nigâr u nîreng ḥikmeti dil-i zemîn ve ḳalb-i aḥcârdan meʿâdin-i gûnâgûn ve nebâtât-i rengâreng âşikâre ve iẓhâr edüp ḥuḳḳa-ı bîrûnda kevn-i çarḫ içre her derde devâ ve her bir ʿillete şifâ ḫalḳ edüp / her birin bir ḫâṣıyyete maṣdar ve esrâr-ı ġarîbe vü ʿacîbeye maẓhar



Turkish Text of the Vatican Map

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ḳılmışdır ki idrâkinde ʿuḳûl u efhâm-ı kâfet-i enâm ġarḳa-i deryâ-yı ʿacz ve taḥayyur-ı mâ-lâ-kelâmdır. Vaṣla-i ṣalâvât-ı ṭayyibât ve eslem-i teslîmât-i zâkiyât ol sebeb-i / esbâb-ı kevn ve tekevvün-i ʿâlem ve maẓhar-ı vücûd-ı benî-Âdem ḥażretlerine, ve teḥiyyât-ı bî-ḥad ve teslîmât-ı bî-ʿad âl-i ʿizzet-medâr ve aṣḥâb-ı büzürgvâr ḫuṣûṣan çehâr yâr-ı nâmdârlarına olsun ki cevher-i vücûd-ı bihbûdları iksîr-i devlet / dîn ve kîm[y]â-yı seʿâdet-i ehl-i yaḳîn, rıżvânu’llâh ʿaleyhim ecmaʿîn. Fîmâ baʿd bu ḫiṭâ müsteṭâbdan ṣoŋra maḳsûdumuz budur ki hemreng-i Ḥakîm’in bir fażîleti ʿâlem-i vücûdına edüp es̠ er ḳalup iḫvân-ı müteẕekkirîn / her ân yâd edüp duʿâ-yı ḫayr ile maġrûḳ-ı biḥâr-ı raḥme olur. Ḥaḳîr-i pür-taḳsîr daḫi baʿzı ekâbir-i ḫullân bize ilḥâḥ etler ki cümleden aġreb ü ebdaʿ Nîl-i Mıṣır’dır ki kimse tafṣîl ẕikr etmedi. Biz daḫi bu edüp cemʿ et[d]ikde beyân olun / kitâb-ı Coġrafyâ-i İskender bi-şerḥ-i Arisṭâṭâlîs-i ḥakîm ve Coġrafyâ-i Baṭlîmûs ve Tevârîḫ-i Büldân ve kitâb-ı El-ebḥur ve’l-enhur li’l-Balḫî [ve] kitâb-ı ʿAcâyibü’l-büldân ve kitâb-ı Tekvînü’l-büldân ve kitâb-ı Ġarâyibü’l-maḫlûḳât [ve] Coġrafyâ el-cedîd-i Ḫalî / Meʾmûn ve kitâb-ı Tuḥfetü’l-aḫbâr fî aḥvâli’l-bilâd ve’l-emṣâr ve kitâb-ı Ḫarîdetü’l-ʿacâyib ve kitâb-ı Esmâu’l-büldân ve kitâb-ı Tezyînü’l-ḳurâ ve’l-ḥuṣûn, bu cümle ẕikr olunan kitâb bâ-ḳadr-i müteʿalliḳ-ı umû / var ise cümlesini bu kitâb-ı cedîde vażʿ ve heyʾet-i resmile taṣvîr etdik, baʿde’t-taḥrîr ve’t-taḥḳîḳ. Ve bu kitâbın nâmını Dürr-i bî mes̠ îl în aḫbâr-ı Nîl. Ve bâb. A1 A2

A3

Cebel-i Maġnâṭîs. Benî-âdem ziyâdesiyle / sâyir ḥayvânâtı kendine / yarım sâʿatlik yerden ceẕb ed[er]. Va’llâhu aʿlem / bi-mâ ḫalaḳa ẕâlik. Ẕikr-i tafṣîl-i ḫaber-i Cebel-i Ḳamer yaʿnî Ḳamer şuʿâʿı bunuŋ üzerinde ziyâdesi ẓuhûr edüp ziyâde lemeʿân verüp anuŋ tesmiyesi ile / Cebel el-Ḳamer derler. Ve bu daġıŋ mevḳiʿ[i] ḫaṭṭ-ı istivâ cenûb ṭarafında on bir derece yerinde vâḳiʿ olmuşdur. Ve bu daġ ziyâdesiyle şâhiḳ / ve ṭulûʿ ziyâde ṣaʿbdır. Ve güneş ṭulûʿında şarḳîsi ziyâdesiyle iḥmirârlanup / ve ġurûb vaḳtinde keẕâlik ġarb ṭarafı / taḥammurlanur. V’allâhu aʿlem. [on the mountain] Cebel el-Ḳamer menbaʿu’n-Nîl Cebel el-Maġn benî-âdemi ceẕb / eder ke’l-evvel. / V’allâhu aʿlem bi-mâ fî ʿilmih.

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Ḳanṭara-i Hürmüs Ḥakîm Ḳanṭara-i Ḳıbṭîm Ḳanṭarat Aḥmîmûs Ḳanṭara-i Mıṣrâyim El-ekber Ḳanṭara-i Batlûmûs (*Batlîmûs) Ḥakîm Ḳanṭara-i İskender / Ṣûret-i menbaʿ-i Nîl-i Mıṣr / Bu on bir ḳanṭaranıŋ dâḫilinden / on iki menbaʿ ẓuhûr (ẓuhûr) edüp / cümlesi Buḥayre-i Kübrâ’ya munṣab olur Ḳanṭara-i Arasṭo Ḥakîm Ḳanṭara-i Bâlûṭîmûs El-melik Ḳanṭara-i Mârmîr Ḥakîm Ḳanṭara-i Sîmûn El-melik Ḳanṭara-i Dânyâl ʿm Bu ırmaḳ Ḥabeş-i Hind cevânibi memleket-i eḳâlîm-i Zengibâr ve eḳâlîm-i memâlik-i arż-ı Ceslâḳ ḳavmi / ve ekâlim-i arż-ı bilâd-ı Amlâḳ. Ve bu ırmaḳ gün baṭısı yere dek akup gider. Âḫir ʿimârât-ı / benî-âdem şehri Câbalsâ nâm şehrdir, biŋ ḳapusı vardır. Bu memlekete / İskender-i Ẕi’l-ḳarneyn varup ittiṣâl olmuşdur ve kendüne / ṭ[â]biʿ olmamışlar nitekim ḳavluhu taʿâlâ: Ḥattâ iẕâ beleġa (’l) maġrib [eş-şems]. Bu ırmaḳ memerr-i arż-ı Ḥabeş ṭaġları vâdîleridir. Medînetü’t-tüccâra / varup baʿdehu ḫarâb arżları geçdüginden ṣoŋra ʿimârât-ı Maġrib / zemîne aḳup gider, merecü’l-baḥreyn-i Maġrib zede SLLH (*Sebte) nâm şehre var. Ẕikr-i aḥvâl-i Nîl-i / mübârek bu hûrdur ki dünyâda naẓîri / olmaḳ ihtimali Ebû Alî bin Sînâ eydir ki Nîl-i Mıṣr’dan efżal / dünyada bir nehr yoḳdur. dört nesnedir. Evvelki ġâyet uzaḳ yerden gelür, çoḳ aḳmaḳ ile laṭîf olur. / İkinci pâk ṭopraḳ üzre den ḫâliṣ olur. Üçüncü cenûbdan şimâle aḳmaḳ ile aḫrâʾ-i radiyyesini taḥlîl eder. / Dördüncü pâk ṣu un aḫrâʾ-i fâside teʾs̠ îr etmez. Ġayrı ırmaḳlar eksildügi zamânda Nîl-i Mıṣr ziyâde olur. / ḳış olduġı zamân bu semtler ṣayf olur. Anıŋ içün cereyân ve ziyâde ve noḳṣân / bu tertîb üzre bu ẕikr olunan ḥükemâ ve mülûk vażʿ u terġîb / si üzre cereyân ede tâ kim intifâʿ oluna. / rek ʿacâyibâtı ve ġarâyibâtı lâ-yuḥsâ. Min cümletihâ / simâ[k] timsâḥ ve saḳanḳûr balıġı ve ġayrih. / V’allâhu aʿlem.



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Bu cezîrede ne kadar ḥayyât-i / semmiyye ve tenânîn-i elʿiyye(?) var / ise ġayrı yerlerde / yoḳdur. Ve kepçe ḳuyruḳ dedikleri / ḥayvân bu cezîrededir. / Cezîretü’l-Buḥayre derler. / On beş günlük mesâf[e]dir. Maʿâdin eẕ-ẕeheb. Bu vâdî-i ḫarâba şehr-i Mıṣr’dan bu araya gelince / kâmil toḳṣan beş aylıḳ yoldur. Beher ḳonaġı / dörder fersaḫdır ve baʿżı ḳonaġı beş fersaḫ / mesîredir yaʿnî fersaḫ deyü dört sâʿate / derler. Ve ednâ menzili on altı / sâʿatdir, var ḳıyâs eyle / ne miḳdâr mesîre yoldur. / Allâhu taʿâlâ aʿlem. Medînet el-Vardân muʿaẓẓam şehrdir ve muʿaẓẓam ḳalʿadır. Ḳalʿa-i derler. / Kör Ḥüseyn Beg ḥükminde elinden ḳahren almışdır. Bu semt daġları vâdîleri eks̠ erî muʿaẓẓam daġlar / sâkinlerdir. Ve çoḳluḳ ḳumdur. Ḥattâ ki melikleri / âdemzât yoḳdur derler. Ve yedikleri fîl / ve sâyir ḥayvânâtı ve yılanı ve çıyanı yerler. Bu vâdîler ḫâlîdir ve ḥâr [u] yâbisdir issidir, benî-âdem sâkin olamaz ve ḥayvân gezmez ve ṭopraġı ḳızıl aḥmerü’l-levn / yâḳut gibi ḳızıl olmaġla füzûni mübârek Nîl’de ḳızıl ve ḳırmızı olduġuna bâʿis̠ -i sebeb budur deyü rivâyet ederler. / Ve bu ḳızıl ṭopraḳdan tâ Cebel-i Ḳamer’e varınca üç yıllıḳ mesîre yoldur. Vâdî-i ḫarâbdır, lâ ins ve lâ cân ve lâ ḥayvân yoḳdur. Bu vîrân arż-ı ḳızıl ṭopraġa varınca dört aylıḳ vâdî [ü] ṣaḥrâ yoldur. Ve buradan ötesi ḫarâbdır, benî-âdem sâkin olacaḳ / köy kend ʿimârât yoḳdur. Muḥtelif elvân aġaçlıḳdır. Ve dürlü dürlü muḥtelif elvân otlar ḥaşâyiş ve eks̠ erî / otları bahârdır. Ve içinde olan ḥaşerât-ı mârân s̠ uʿbân aḳreb çıyan ve fîl gergedân kepçe ḳuyruḳ / bebr arslan ve ḳaplan ve yırtıcı ḥayvânât çoḳdur. Benî-âdem amân bulup ilerü öte yanına / geçüp varamaz. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesinden ṭarafa Ḳalʿa-i Vardân nâm ve Medînet elkübrâ derler. Func pâdişâhıŋ ḥükminde dâbiri / ḥâkimi oṭurur. Bir yigirmi biŋ siyâh-cerde zencî ʿaskeri vardır. Cümlesi / müʾmînîn-i muvaḥḥıdîn ḳavmdir. Ammâ güneşiŋ ḥarâret issisinden tenleri ġâyet siyâh / esveddir. Hem żaʿîfler ve naḥîf ḳavmdir. r ve ʿÂd ve S̠emûd ḳavminiŋ maġaralarıdır. / [B]u maḥallerde olan maġaralarıŋ eks̠ eri beni-âdem kemügiyle doludur. ʿİbretnümâdır / ṣubḥân Allâh el-ʿaẓîm. Bu maḥal ġarbiyyesi Ḳalʿa-i Sindî / nâm Kör Ḥüseyn Beg ḥükmindedir.

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Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbiyyesi Nâverdî-i (*Navrî-i) / ġarbî ḳalʿa nâm maḥal kühân zamân binâlarıdır. / Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir ve serḥanddir. / ḤŞLʾḲ (*Ḫandaḳ?) ilinden ḳavm gelür nehb ü gâret eder. Bu maḥal Ḳandî-i / ġarbî nâm ḳalʿadır. Kühâne binâsıdır. / Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ ḥükmindedir. yüz ḳamış / MSBYR (*Berberî) evi vardır ve siyâh zencî cengcidir. Ḥafîr-i Saġîr ḳalʿasıdır. Kör Ḥüseyn / taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. Yigirmi biŋ siyâh çerde zencî / ʿaskere mâlikdir. Ve niçe kerre yüz biŋ deveye ve hecîne / mâlikdir. Biŋ yüz ulu ṭaġları vardır. Vâdî-i ṣaḥrâları / çoḳdur, ḥayvânât gezer, ṣıġır gibi câmûs gibi ve develer gibi bu ṭaġlarda vardır. Vâdî-i / ve mesâlik yolları vardır. Maġrib zemîne ve Tatâvân’a ve Merânkûş’a ve Fezzâni’ye ve Bornuv’a ve Tekrûr’a ve Sennûre’ye ve Berberiyye’ye ve / Bu ṭaġlarda eks̠ erî zümürrüd ṭaşları çoḳdur ve vâdîlerinde nuşâdır ve ṭuz ve nebât ḥâṣıl olurmuş, mervîdir. Cebel-i Kerâkime (?) yolları vardır, otuz saḫt yolları vardır. / SRDʾḲ (?) maġrib ḥaṭṭ-ı istivâsı bilâd-ı Zenc ve Ṭanca ve Func ve Berberî serḥandlerine varınca serḥandleri vardır. Ve bu iḳlîmiŋ ibtidâsında günüŋ uzunluġı on üç sâʿat / ve yigirmi derecedir ve buçuḳ derecedir. Ve ortası on üç buçuḳ sâʿat olur. Şarkiyyesinden ġarbiyyesine varınca iki biŋ dört yüz fersaḫ mesîre yerdir, öyle olunca / yedi biŋ iki yüz mîl mesîre olur. Ġarbı yüz otuz altı fersaḫ yerdir, dört yüz on sekiz mîl mesîre olur. Ve basîṭ-i mesâḥası / yüz otuz iki biŋ yedi yüz mîl mesîre olur. Bu maḥal Daġ Bütün (*Narnarinte?) ṭûl u [ʿ]arż kühân binâsıdır. / ʿİbretnümâları çoḳdur. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbiyyesinde olan ḳalʿanıŋ adına Ḳalʿa-i Narnarinte-i Ṣaġire nâm derler. Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ oġlınıŋ taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. / Bu ḳalʿa içinde on biŋ siyâh çerde zencî ʿaskeri vardır. Ve Donḳola serḥandidir ve Fezâne serḥandidir ve Bornuv serḥandidir. Bu ḳalʿa Ġarbiyye Tekyesi’ne baġludur. / ʿAẓîmdir ve maḥṣûl ḫayrâtı vâfirdir. / Ve bu cezîreniŋ adına Cezîre-i Mâcce (*Bâcce?) / derler. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbiyyesinde ḳalʿa maḥall-i ʿamârdır. / İbrim kâşifiŋin taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. Ve ʿa ḫarâb vîrândır. İçinde ve eṭrâfında / sâkin ʿUrbân ʿArabıdir ve arż ṭopraġı çoḳdur. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adına Sindî derler. Kör Ḥüseyn Beg üzerine müstevlîdir / ve Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ ḥudûdı bu ḳalʿada tamâm olupdur. Ve Funcistân / serḥandidir, bundan öte Func meliki ḥükmindedir.



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Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adı Navrîdir. Ṭûl u ʿarz binâsı kühânedir, küçük ḳalʿadır. / Ve Kör Ḥüseyn Beg ḥükmindedir. Biŋ miḳdârı ḳamışdan evleri vardır. İki biŋ miḳdârı / siyâh çerd[e] zencî ʿaskeri vardır. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adına Ḳandî derler bir küçük ḳalʿadır. Kör Ḥüseyn Beg ḥükmindedir. / Yüz elli ḳamışdan evleri vardır. Bu ḳalʿaya Ḥafîr-i Kebîr derler muʿaẓẓam ḳalʿadır ve büyük şehrdir. Sâkin ḫalḳı siyâh zencîdir / ve cümlesi müʾminîndir. Ve bu şehrde câmiʿler ve mescidler ve ḫânlar ve ḥammâmlar ve ʿimârât-ı ḫayrât / çoḳdur. Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. Ve bu şehrde ḳumâş boġası / ve gömlek bezi ġâyet maḳbûldür ve fîl dişi ve gergedân boynuzı ve keler derisi / ve abanoz ve sâc aġacı yollarında ve soḳaḳlarında dökülmüş yatur, ġâyet em(î)n ü emân / memleketdir. Bu ḳalʿada Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ yetmiş biŋ çerd-i siyâh zencî ʿaskeri vardır ḥarb u ḳıtâle / ḥâżırlardır. Bu maḥal Cezîre-i Ḥammâm ʿaẓîm ılıcalardır. Mübarek Nîl ṭaşup ṭuġyân etdükde bu ılıcaları baṣar geçer / Mıṣr’a yeşil yeşil Nîl geldügine bâʿis̠ sebeb ılıcalardandır. Daḫı bu cezîreleri / ġarḳ edüp cemîʿi maʿâdin ṭaġların ve ılıcaların ve sâʾir ṣaḥrâ / ṭurʿaların baṣup ṭopraḳların alup âb-ı ḥayât mis̠ âl emṭâr / mis̠ âl aḳup gelür. Bu maḥal ḳabîle fâ Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbîsinde / < İbri>m-i Ṣaġîr NMʾNY (*nâm) ḳalʿasıdır. Bu ḳalʿa Ḳabâbıta nâm İbrim-i ġarbî derler / Melik Muḳavḳıṣ binâsıdır. Bu cezîrelerde maʿâdin-i muḫtelife vardır / ḳurşun ve ḳalay ve demür ve muġra gibi. Ve maʿâdin-i sengî alçı vardır. Bunda maʿâdin-i kibrît ve kükürt / ve ılıcalar ḳaynaḳlar vardır. Bu cezîre kül (?) buḥayresidir ve ṣuyı ḳaṭrân gibi siyâhdır. / Bi-ḳudretihi taʿâlâ ḳaṭrândır. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adına Ḥafîr-i Ṣaġîr derler ve maʿdiye’sidir. / Ancaḳ bir ḳulledir, Nîl’iŋ ġarbî cânibine gemiyle geçerler gelürler. / Ve Nîl’iŋ iḥtirâḳ tenzîlinde develer ile ve eşekler / ḳarşu cez[îre]ye geçerler Küçük Ḥafîr ḳalʿasına varırlar. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adına Narinte derler. Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. / Ve ḳalʿa ṭopları fîl kemügindendir. / Ve içinde olan ancaḳ üç biŋ siyâh çerd[e] zencî ʿaskeridir.

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Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adına Sese derler. Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. / Ve bir biŋ miḳdârı ḳamışdan evleri vardır. İçinde sâkin on biŋ / siyâh çerd[e] zencî ʿaskeri vardır. Çarşu bâzârı yoḳdur. Ve ceng âletleri / mancınıḳ ve mızraḳ ve teber ve kemândır. Ve fîl ve esb ve hecîn süvârlardır. Ve Ḥabeş serḥandlerine yedi / ḳonaḳdır. Ve maḥall-i istivâʾü’ş-şems cenûbına yedi derece ötedir, yedi biŋ fersaḫ / cenûbiyyede istivâʾ-i güneşden öbür cânibindedir. / Allâhu aʿlem. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adı Tennâre evâyil-i zamânda muʿaẓẓam şehristân imiş ve binâ es̠ erleri / ḥâlâ vardır. Funcistân ḥükminde idi. Kör Ḥüseyn Beg müstevlî olup / taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. Şimdi Funcistân / ṣınırı ve serḥandidir. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adına Maġraḳ derler muʿaẓẓam şehrdir, çarşu bâzârı vardır. / Ṣâbıḳâ Ṭûmâsî (*Ṭavâşî) Süleymân Paşa fetḥ edüp almışdı. Lâkin baʿde zamân / Func ḳavmi ġalebe edüp istîlâ etmişdir. Şimdi Kör Ḥüseyn Beg’iŋ / ḥükmindedir. Yedi biŋ siyâh çerd[e] zencî ʿaskeri vardir. Ve arż-ı şehr / on yedi ḳalʿaya mâlikdir. Ve cümle sâkinleri müselmân ancaḳ siyâh / çerdedir. Bu ḳalʿa ṣâbıḳda Mıṣr ḥükminde iken yedi bölükden / ʿasker ve bir beg var idi. Zîrâ âbı revân ḫûb / hevâsı laṭîfdir. Ve demür maḳûlesi / aṣlâ bu diyârda paṣlanmaz. Ve ḥâlâ / Funcistân serḥandidir. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adı cezîre-i Sây derler Vâdî-i Ḫalfa (*Ḥalfa) / olmaḳla buna Sây dediler. Bu maḥalle gelince çöldür ve Funcistân / altı ḳonaḳdır. Ve bî-emân vâdîdir, yılan ve çıyan s̠ uʿbân / ʿaḳreb fîl gergedân arṣlan ḳaplan kepçe ḳuyruḳ çoḳdur. Bu ḳalʿayı ṣâbıḳâ / Özdemir oġlı fetḥ etmişdir ve ḥâlâ Mıṣr’ın ḥudûdıdır ve Mıṣr’ın serḥandi idi. / Baʿdehu Func meliki müstevlî olup andan Kör Ḥüseyn Beg müstevlî olup ḥükûmet eder, / hem ḥudûddur. Vâdî Ḫalfa (*Ḥalfa) derler cezîredir. Allâhu aʿlem. Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adı İbrim-i Kabâbıta âḫir mülûkü’l-Ḳıbṭ / Melik el-Muḳavḳıṣ binâsıdır. Fetḥ-i ʿAmr ibnü’l-ʿÂs’dır. Ḥâlâ / Mıṣr ḥükmindedir. Dizdârı ve yedi bö[lü]kden / ʿaskeri mevcûddur. Ve âḫir-i Mıṣr ḥükm[i]dir, ḥâlâ Circe Beg’iŋ kâşiflikdir. Şeddâdî binâlardır ʿibretnümâ âs̠ âr-ı ʿaẓîmleri / ve ḳalʿalarda sâkinleriniŋ ʿacâyibâtları çoḳdur. / dur. Nîl’iŋ ġarbî cânibi semtinde / vardır. Ve bu şehrler ve ḳalʿalar cümle ḫar / Fâzıḳ (*Fâriġ) Künûzları durur. Ḥâlâ



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Bu maḥal daġları Vadî-i Sübûʿ derler. Evâyil-i zamânda / ʿaẓîm beled imiş. Ṣommâḳî ṭaşlardan fîl ḳadar arslan / ṣûretleri ḥâlâ vardır mesḫûtdur. Binâ âs̠ ârları ẓâhirdir. / Bir cânibi ʿamârdır. Beş yüz ḳamışdan ve ḥaṣırdan evleri vardır. / Siyâh ʿUrbân sâkinlerdir. Kûş-ı ġarbî ḳalʿası derler ve sâkinleri / muṭîʿlerdir. [B]u maḥal Sufûn / nâm beled İs̠ ni ḥükminde / daḫi ʿimâretler / evḳâfıdır. Bu maḥal Ḳalʿa-i İs̠ ni ve Circe / ḥükminde kâşiflikdir. / Yedi bölükden / nefer vardır. / Yüz elli aḳçe / ḳażâdır. Bu maḥal Beled-i Zîḳat / nâm beled Nîlden / bir maʿmûr beleddir. Ve bu ara maḥalleri ḳurâlardır / lâ tuʿad ve lâ tuḥṣâ ʿadeduhum. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbîsi / Medîne-i Ermen nâm şehr-i ʿaẓîm esâs-ı / âs̠ ârları vardır kim benî-âdem vâlih ü / ḥayrân olur. Ḳıbṭ müverriḫleri ẕikr / eder ki Mûsâ bin ʿİmrân ʿaleyhi’s-selâm / bunda raḥm-i mâderin (*mâderden) müştaḳ / olup Firʿavn ḥavfinden / bu maḥall aramda imişler. / Müverriḫ-i ehl-i Ḳıbṭ / kitâblarında. masṭûrdur / tâ Bu maḥal Beled-i Ḳurna nâm ḳasabadır ve bu beleddir. Melik-i Mıṣr / ve Circe ḥudûdıdır. Ve bu maḥalde ḳubbeler ve ẓẓam imiş. Bu cezîrede sâkin ʿUrbân-ı Fâriġ nâm / ḳabîle derler. Ḳadîm zamân-ı evâyilde Beled-i Ḥammâm Filbaṭîn (*Filbaṭır) nâm bir kâhin / ḥammâmı imiş, ḥâlâ ḥammâm vîrândır es̠ eri vardır. Ammâ / bir iki yüz ḳadar ḥaṣırdan / ve ḳamışdan ʿUrbân / obaları / vardır. Ve bu cezîrenin kül (?) buḥayresi / keẕâlik siyâh ḳaṭrândır reçine gibi / ve kükürt gibi râyiḥa verir ve neft / gibi râyiḥa verir be-fermân-ı Ḫudâ. Nîl bu maḥallerden / Maġrib zemîni ṭarafına / cereyân eder idi. / Ḥâlâ âs̠ âr yerleri / ẓâhir ü ʿayândır. Bu maḥallerde Şelâl’dir yüksek ṭaġlardan Nîl aḳar. Ve bu / maḥalde boġazı Ẕü’l-yezen kesüp daġları (*daġlardan) Nîli aḳıtmışdır. / Ve Nîl’iŋ iki cânibi evc-i semâya ser çekmiş(dir) siyâh yavuz (*yalçın) ḳara ḳayalardır. / Ve bu maḥalde baʿżı gemileri boşadup maḳaralar ile ḳayalardan çeküp / İbrim ṭarafına aşururlar. Ammâ ġâyet muḫâlifdir zîrâ / evâyil-i zamânda Nîl bu maḥalden aḳarmış. Bu cezîreniŋ ḳalʿaları vîrân ve ḫarâbdır. / Baṣalî ʿUrbân nâm ḳabîle bu maḥalde sâkin olurlar. Üç biŋ / bahâdır fârisü’l-ḫayl ḳavm vardır. Şimdi Ḥavvâre ḳabîle / ʿadd olunur.

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Bu beldeniŋ adına Kelḫ (*Kelic) derler. İs̠ ni ḥâkimi ḥükminde / ḥükm eder. Yüzden ziyâde evleri vardır. Bu maḥalde bir ʿaẓîm köm vardır. / Ziyaret-i MYNʾḤ (*Ṣayyâḥ) ederler. Bu maḥalde bir ḫarâb vîrân / vardır, adına Etfu Ḳalʿa derler. İs̠ ni ḥâkiminden / iltizâmdır. Ve ḳalʿanıŋ / dizdârı ve neferi yoḳdur / vîrân olmaġla. Bu maḥal şehr-i ḳadîm ṣâbıḳâ evâyilde / taḥt-ı ʿacûz Azraḳ Câzû şehri idi. / Binâ es̠ erleri ḥâlâ vardır. Ve şimdi ḳasaba-i Bender-i Der. / İbrim sancaġı ve taḫtı budur. Circe ḥükminde kâşif-i İbrim bunda ḥükm eder. / Ve ibtidâ evâyil-i zamânda fetḥ-i Ẕü’l-yezen’dir, baʿdehu ʿAmr bin alʿÂs zamânında / fetḥ-i Esved bin Miḳdâd ṣâbıḳâ zamân beglik idi, şimdi kâşiflikdir. / Yedi bölükden ʿasker vardır ḥâlâ. Bu bir vâdî-i ṣaḥrâ Vâdî-i ʿUrbân derler, bunda ʿUrbân / yılda bir kerre cemʿ olurlar, anıŋçün Vâdî-i ʿArab / ve ʿUrbân derler. Bu maḥalle Vâdî-i Sübûʿ derler ve Firʿavn Ṣaḥrâsı derler zîrâ / bu maḥalde Nîl’iŋ iki cânibinde fîller ḳadar ṣomâḳî ṭaşından arslan / ṣûretleri vardır, bi-emrillâh mesḫût ṭaş olmuşlardır. Bu maḥal cebel yanında bu ḳarye yetmiş seksan evli bir ḳaryedir. / Ḥaṣırdan evleri vardır. Bu maḥalle Künûz ʿUrbânı derler / ve ʿUrbân ḥudûdı bunda tamâm olur. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesinde ʿUrbân-ı Ebû Ḥûr nâm ḳabîle / ṣaçlı siyâh Zenc ḳara ʿUrbândır. Dîn dinâyet bilmezler, / ḥaşır neşir ḳıyâmet yoḳdur derler. Bu maḥal bir beldedir adına Kûş Tâmine derler. İkiyüz ḳamışdan / evleri vardır. Ve ḫalḳı muṭîʿ, bir mescid ve zâviyesi vardır. / Ve bir ḳahvesi ve bir bozacısı vardır. Bunda / ZYNWR (*Zü’l-yezen?) Künûz kabâʾil-i Senyâl ʿUrbânı / iki biŋ kadar müselmân geçinür / bir ḳavmdir. Ammâ ʿavretleri / setr olmaz ʿuryândır / ʿayıb deġildir. Bu yerde / yedi kabâʾil / Künûz temâm / oldı. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesinde sâkin Ḳabâyil-i Kelâpiş nâm ḳabîle-i ʿArab olur. / Bu maḥal ḳara ṭaşlıḳdır ve maġâralar çoḳdur ve bu ḳavm maġâralarda sâkin / olurlar. Ve bu maḥalde ḥûrmâ olmaz ve ekin ekmezler, ancaḳ / ḳara vâdîdir. Baʿżı yerine zirâʿat ederler, zîrâ bu maḥal / ṭarafa (?) ḫalfelikdir. Ve yedükleri timsâḥdır / ve timsâḥla cimâʿ ederler naḥs ḳavmdir.



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Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyye nâḥiyesine Mihriyye nâm ʿUrbân ḳabîle sâkinlerdir. Ve ġâyet faḳîr âdemlerdir. / Beş altı yüz ḥaṣırdan ve ḳamışdan evleri vardır. / Ammâ timsâḥ ile cimâʿ ederler ve timsâḥ yerler. / Bunlar daḫı Mihriyye meẕhebindedir, / ḳıyâmet ḥaşır neşir / inkâr ederler. Bu maḥal (ʿ)arż-ı Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyye cânibinde Künûzeyn ḳabîle nâm / ʿUrbân şeyḫlerine Şeyḫ Vâsıṭ[î] derler. Bunlar / Zü’l-yezen ḳabîlelerindendir. Yedi sekiz yüz esb-süvâr / fârisü’l-ḫayl kimesnelerdir. Bu maḥal ḳalʿanıŋ adı Ẕü’l-yezen inşâ / binâsıdır. Bu maḥalde Nîl-i mübârek yalıncaḳ ḳayalardan inüp aḳar. / Bu maḥalde Nîl’iŋ ṣadâ ve âvâzın gürültüsin bir ḳonaḳ yerden istimâʿ ederler. / Mıṣr gemileri bu maḥalle gelüp ʿubûr olamaz, bundan öte gemiyle geçilmez. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesinde İsvân nâm ḳalʿadır. ʿÂd bin Şeddâd binâsıdır. / Ve ḥâlâ dizdârı ve neferâtı Mıṣr ḳulıdır. Ve bu maḥal Funcistân ve ʿArab ʿUrbân serḥandidir. / Ve ġâyet eks̠ erî ʿUrbân serḥandidir. Bu ḳalʿaya İs̠ vân-ı s̠ ânî derler. Binâʾ-i ʿÂd bin Şeddâd / binâsıdır. Ve ḥâlâ dizdârı ve neferâtı Mıṣr ḳulıdır. Func ve ʿUrbân-ı / ʿâṣî serḥandidir. Bu maḥalde bir esâs-ı şehr-i ʿaẓîm âs̠ ârı vardır kim / ancaḳ bir günde ḫarâblıġı devr olunmaz ve içerüsinde ʿaẓîm binâ es̠ erleri vardır. [B]u maḥallerde daḫı ziyâret-i Şeyḫ ʿÖmer Ḥâcîn (*Racâyî) nâm maḳâm-ı / evliyâ ziyâretgâhıdır. Ve bu maḥal ʿaẓîm ṭaġ ve ṭaġıŋ şarḳiyyesi gün doġusından ḳıble ile râfiʿ müstevîdir ve Ḥabeş ve Func yolıdır. / Yedi ḳonaḳ yeri yabandır ve serḥanddir. Ve bu ṭaġda olan / maġâralarda niçe yüz biŋ kere yüz biŋ timsâḥları kefenlemişlerdir / ve ḫâzin etmişlerdir. Ve bu maḥalde Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesi cânibinde / Nîl kenârından öte üç sâʿatlik yol öte / bir muʿaẓẓam ḥammâm ḳubbesi âs̠ ârı vardır, / künbed (*kinedli) ṭaşlardır. Evâyil-i zamânda bir muʿaẓẓam şehristân imiş. Âs̠ âr-ı binâlarında / niçe yüz biŋ ṭaş direkler / ve ʿacâyiblerdir. Bu maḥal ḳalʿa ḫarâb vîrândır. / Bu ḳalʿanıŋ adı KLRRBV (*Kolombo) nâm İsvân nâḥiyesidir, içinde aġa ve neferâtı yoḳdur, / ancaḳ eṭrâfında sâkin üçyüz miḳdârı ḳamışdan ḥaṣırdan / evleri vardır. Benî Caʿfer ḳabîlesi derler. Ve müselmân geçinirler / ammâ meẕhebleri Caʿferî meẕhebdir ve ʿâṣîlerdir, / kimseye iṭâʿat etmezler. Ve yedikleri ḳût-ı ḥurmâdır / ve erzâḳ maḥṣûlları ḥurmâdır, / be-ġâyet ḥurmâ çoḳdur / bu maḥalde.

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Bu maḥal ḳalʿa ʿÂd u S̠emûd’dan ʿaẓîm / ʿibret maġâralar vardır. Bu maḥall[e] Cebel-i Silsile derler / ʿArab ʿUrbânı sâkinlerdir. Üç biŋ / âdem miḳdârı vardır. Şeyḫlerine Ebû ʿAṣîb / derler. Circe begine iṭâʿat etmezler ve Ḥabeş paşasına da / iṭâʿat etmezler. Kimseye tâbiʿ degillerdir. Ha1 Bu maḥalde bir ʿaẓîm ḳubbe vardır. / Şeyḫ ʿAbd ed-dâyim ziyâretidir. / Adına Beled-i Deyr-i Ümmü ʿAlî derler. Aṣl kilisadır. Ha2 Bu maḥalde Hüceyze ʿUrbânı sâkin olurlar. / Üç biŋ âdem miḳdârı ḳabîle / misâfirîn severler dostluḳ ederler ḳavmdir. Ha3 Bu maḥalde Beled-i / Ṭût derler nâḥiye-i / Aḳṣureyn derler. Ha4 Bu maḥalle Ḳasaba-i Aḳṣureyn derler. Kâşiflikdir ve ʿUrbân’dadır / ve Ḳûs nâḥiyesidir lâkin ol ḳadar maʿmûr degildir. / Ve Ebu’l-Ḥâc dedükleri anda medfûndur. Ha5 Bu maḥal Ḥavvâre Ebû Yaḥyâ ḥükmindedir. Ha6 Ve Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesinde / Medîne-i Aḥmîm Nûḥ ʿaleyhi’s /se ġlınıŋ / anuŋ / . Ha7 Bu maḥalde ûs-ı ḳadîm Şeddâd ibn ʿÂd / binâları çoḳdur ʿibretnümâdır, / insân ḥayrânda olur. Ha8 Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ Şarkiyye nâḥiyesinde / Bender-i Ḳına ḳasabası. Mekke’ye ve Medîne’ye / ticâret-i gılâl ve erzâk Kusayre gemiler[in]e / naḳl ederler. Ḥâlâ maʿmûr benderdir. Ha9 Bu maḥal ḳasabaya bender nâm FWR (*Füvve) derler. Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesindedir. / Ve daḫı bu maḥalden geçid maʿdiyedir Ḳuṣayr’a giderler, bu maḥalden Ḳuṣayre / iki üç menzil yerdir ʿubûr olunur. Yolında çoḳluḳ ṭaġlarında ʿaẓîm binâ âs̠ ârları / ʿibretnümâlar vardır. Ha10 Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ şarḳıyye cânibinde Ḳabîle-i ʿAbâb[ide] nâm ḳabîle sâkinlerdir. Bu ḳabîle muṭîʿlerdir. / Ṭâʾife-i ʿUrbândır, yedi sekiz biŋ miḳdârı âdem ḳavmdir. Ve daḫı bu ḳavm bu cânibden Ḳuṣayr nâm iskeleye işlerler, / Mekke ve Medîne ġılâllerin naḳl ederler emîn ḳabîledir. Ha11 Bu semtlerden maḥall-i Ḥabeşe varınca ulu ve muʿaẓẓam ṭaġlar ve ıssıs vâdî-i ṣaḥrâlardır ve ʿimâret yoḳdur. / Ve Nîl’iŋ yanına yaḳın sâkin olan ʿArablar ʿUrbân-ı ʿâsîlerdir ve Ḥarâmîlerdir. Hb1 Ḥavvâre Benî ʿUmrân / bender-i Hû’nuŋ ḥükmindedir. Hb2 Bu maḥal Bender-i Hû ḳasaba-i / muʿaẓẓam ve rûşen Circe ḥükminde kâşiflikdir. / Ve ġılâlin Circe ḥavâle aġası cemʿ ve taḥṣîl eder.



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Bu maḥal Farşûṭ / nâm benderdir ḳasaba Circe ḥükmindedir / kâşiflikdir ve yüz elli aḳçe ḳażâdır. / Ve içinde müfessirîn ʿulemâ-i kirâm mevcûd / ve ʿulemâsı ʿad olunmaz ġâyet çoḳdur. Bu maḥal Semenhûṭ nâm bender ḳasabadır. Circe ḥükmindedir kâşiflikdir. / şûṭ nâm nâḥiyesidir. Ve ḳabîle-i Ḥammâm nâm Mü’eẕẕinoġlı ve ʿAlî nâm / bunda sâkinlerdir. Bu maḥal Beled-i Berdîs nâm benderdir / Circe ḥükmindedir kâşiflikdir. Ve ġılâlın / Circe aġası taḥṣîl ve cemʿ eder ve ġılâl aġası / Circe’de oturur. Circe ḥâkimi beg üç biŋ ʿaskeriyle ve Mıṣrıŋ / sipâh bölük ʿaskeriyle yigirmi dört kâşiflik / mülk eḳâlîm-i bilâd żabṭ u rabṭ eder. / Bir sırr-ı ḥikmetdir. Şehr-i ḳadîm Dehlîz-i Ḥabeş-i Circe. / Ġanîmet taḫt-ı iḳlîm-i Ṣaʿîd bundadır. Bu maḥal Menşiyye nâm ḳasaba-i / ʿaẓîm ve ġâyet maʿmûr u rûşen benderdir. / Her dürlü erzâḳ firâvândır. Bu maḥal yerde Şehr-i Dehlîz-i ʿAtîḳ nâm / Ferâʿine evâyil-i zamânda ulu muʿaẓẓam şehristân imiş. Bu maḥal iḳlîm-i vilâyet-i Circeûb / olan bilâd beyâẕ (*beyâż) ve ḳara yaġız, ḥükm-i / eḳâlîm-i Ṣaʿîd ẕikr olanlardır. Bu maḥallerde zamân-ı ṣâbıḳda / şehr-i muʿaẓẓam imiş, şimdi ḫarâbdır. / Adına Şehr-i Ṣûhâc derler. / Ammâ ḳurâları maʿmûr u rûşendir. Bu maḥal yerde şehr-i Ḥarîre (*Cezîre) nâm benderdir ve kâşiflikdir. / Ammâ ḳadîmden olan şehr ḫarâbdır. Kurâları maʿmûr / u rûşendir ve erzâḳ firâvândır. Bu maḥal yerde muʿaẓẓam ḳasaba vardır / ve maʿmûrdur. Ve bu maḥalde kilim / ve seccâde işlenür / meşhûr benderdir. Bu maḥal Ebû Tîc nâm şehr-i ḳadîm / Tîme nâm evâyil-i zamânda şehristân / ve taḫt-ı mülk-i Ebû Tîc Ḳıbṭî şehri Ḥavvâre / ʿÂʾid nâm ḳabîle sâkinlerdir. Bu maḥaller ṭa[ġı]stândır ʿaẓîm ulu ṭaġlardır / ve maġâralardır ve ol maġâralarda / niçe yüz biŋ kerre yüz biŋ leylek ḳuşları / maġâralarda medfûn hazn / olunmuşdur. Elbetde yılda bir kerre / dünyâda olan leylek ḳavmi / bu maḥalle gelüp bu ṭaġı ziyâret / eder. Zîrâ bunda / leylek ḳuşlarınıŋ / bu maḥalde ṭılsımâtı / vardır. Bu ṭurʿanıŋ adına Ṭurʿat el-sulṭân derler

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Hb17 Bu maḥal Siyûṭ nâm melik-i Ḳıbṭî esâs- / ü binâsıdır. Bunda olan ʿibretnümâlar / mâ-lâ-nihâyedir, ḳıyâsa gelmez. Ve bu şehr-i ḳadîmdir / kâşiflikdir, Circe ḥavâle aġası ġılâlin / cemʿ ve taḥṣîl eder. Hb18 Bu maḥal Manfalûṭ nâm müzeyyen / şehr-i ʿaẓîmdir, kâşiflikdir / ve ḥavâle aġası ġılâlin / cemʿ ve taḥṣîl eder. Hb19 Bu maḥal Medîne-i Ümm el-Ḳuṣûr nâm beleddir. / Ve bu maḥal beled Nîlden baʿîd ıraḳdır / zîrâ mübârek Nîl ġâyetle müteḥarrik bu arada / cereyân eder, ʿaẓîm heybetlü aḳar. Hc1 Bu maḥal âl Ḳuṣûr / Elvâḥ nâm bilâd bender. Hc2 Bu maḥal ġarbîsinde ṭaġlar ardında / Elvâḥ yerleridir ve eks̠ erî ṭaġları / ḳum deryâsıdır. Hc3 Bu maḥal Ḳuṣûr Elvâḥ nâm bilâd. Hc4 Bu maḥal Rimâl Ḳuṣûr / bilâd-ı Elvâḥ’dır. Hc5 Bu maḥal Rimâl Ḳuṣûr Elvâḥ bilâd. Hc6 Bu maḥal rimâl ṭaġları / Elvâḥ Ḳuṣûr’dur. Hc7 Bu maḥal rimâl ṭaġları / Ḳuṣûr Elvâḥ bilâdlarıdır. Hc8 Bu maḥal ekâlim-i Behnise nâmdır / ḳaryeler ile maʿmûrdur. Hc9 Bu maḥal Medînet el-Behnise Benî Seyf / şehrdir. Aṣḥâb-ı güzîn fetḥidir ve fetḥinde / ʿaẓîm vâḳıʿalar olmuşdur ve yedi biŋ / Aṣḥâb-ı kirâm şehîd olmuşdur ve ḥâlâ maḳâmları ve ḳubbeleri isim be-isim meẕkûr masṭûr / ve medfûnlardır ve ziyâretgâhdır. / Ve ḥâlâ Benî Seyf kâşifî ḥükmindedir. Hc10 Bu maḥal Dârûd-ı Şerîf nâm ḳasaba benderdir. Ṣâbıḳâ evâyil-i zamânda / Ḥażret-i Yûṣuf peyġamber ʿaleyhi’s-selâm bu maḥalden Feyyûm denizin buradan kesüp aḳıtmışdır / ʿibretnümâ cereyân eder. Hc11 Bu maḥal Marnûṭ (*Ṣanabû) nâm bender-i muʿaẓẓam benderdir ve Ḥażret-i Risâlet / evḳâfıdır. Ḥâlâ dâʾimâ sâdâtlarıŋ / iltizâmlarındadır. Hc12 Bu maḥal rimâl ṭaġları / ve Elvâḥ Ḳuṣûr’larıdır. Hc13 Bu maḥal cüsûr ve ṭurʿalar arası / Feyyûm köyleridir. Ve ekin ile ve biçim ile maʿmûrdur, / bâg bostânı cinân-mis̠ âldır müferraḥdır. Hc14 Bu maḥal rimâl ṭaġları / ve Elvâḥ Ḳuṣûr’larıdır. I1 maḥal Ḥaḍra nâm / el-Maġrib-zemîn. I2 Bu maḥal Medîne-i Feyyûm / taḥt-ı Ḥażret-i Yûṣuf peyġamber ʿaleyhi’sselâm / eks̠ eri bâg-ı cinândır. I3 Bu maḥalde buḥayret-i Bürke-i Ḳârûn’dur ve ḥâlâ içinde / evleri görünür. I4 Bu maḥal / Ḳa[n]ṭarat Lâhût (*Lâhûn) / ʿaẓîm köpridir. I5 Bu maḥal maʿmûr / ḳarye.



I6 I7

I8 I9 I10 I11 I12

I13 I14 I15 I16 I17 I18

I19 I20

I21

Turkish Text of the Vatican Map

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Bu maḥal Bender-i Menlevî nâm ḳasabadır / evḳâfdır, ġılâlin ḥavâle aġası / cemʿ ve taḥṣîl eder. Bu maḥal Mişmûnîn (*İşmûnîn) nâm ʿaẓîm benderdir. Muḳaddemâ evâyil-i zamânda / İşmûn melik-i Ḳıbṭ esâsın binâsın urmuşdur. ʿAẓîm büyük / şehr imiş. Ḥâlâ binâ ve deyr direkleri ẓâhirdir. Bu maḥal Minye nâm benderdir. / Circe ḥükminde kâşiflikdir / ve ḥavâle aġası gılâlin cemʿ ve taḥṣîl eder. Bu maḥal Bender-i Semennûṭ nâm ḳasaba Benî Seyf ḥükmindedir / kâşiflikdir ve Benî Seyf ḥudûdı bunda tamâm oldı. Bu maḥalde BLYFYH (*Feşne) nâm ḳarye ve aʿmâlleri / ḳaryelerdir, iltizâmdır, Benî Seyf aġası / ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Keyrevân nâm / şehr-i muʿaẓẓam Tûnus ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal cirm-i Irmaḳ-ı Lâhûn / köprü altından yer altından / Tûnus nâm Ḥaḍra nâm şehrine aḳup / Nîlden gelür. Hükemâ-i selef zamân / getürmüşler. Bu maḥal Ġaraḳ-ı / Feyyûm dedikleri / buḥayredir. Bu maḥal Sûse nâm / şehr ve ḳalʿadır. Bu maḥal Ḳarye-i / Tâmiye dedikleri / bürkelerdir ve Mıṣr’a ḳâfile gider / Mıṣr yolıdır. Bu maḥal ṭaġlarında ʿaẓîm maġâralar / vardır, maġâralar içinde/ çarşu bâzâr dükkânlar / vardır, ḥâlâ / ẓâhirdir. Bu maḥal vilâyet-i Medîne-i Benî Seyf / ʿaẓîm ḳasabadır kâşiflikdir. Bu maḥal Cezîre ulu muʿaẓẓam yüksek / ṭaġlardır ve ol ṭaġlarda ṣâbıḳâ Ḥażret-i Âdem’den / evvel Merec (?) ḳavmi gelmişlerdir. Taġlarda ve maġâralarda / sâkinler imiş. Ḥażret-i Âdem ʿm dünyâya hubûṭ / olduḳda bu maġâralarda ḳavm-i [Âd] ve S̠emûd ḳavmi sâkin / olmuşlar. Ve ḥâlâ maġâralarda / benî-âdem kemükleri çoḳdur. Eks̠ erî / kemükle dolmuşdur. Ol zamânda / maġârada defn ederlermiş. Bu maḥalde bir muʿaẓẓam / ḳalʿa -i ḫarâbdır. Bu maḥalde manastır-ı Deyr-i Ehl-i Ḳıbṭ / Ḥażret-i Mûsâ peyġamber ʿaṣrında / esâs-ı binâ olunmuştur, ġâyet ʿibret- / nümâ binâ-i kühân-ı Firʿavn. Bu maḥallerde Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesi cânibi / ulu ʿâlî ṭaġlardır ʿimârât yoḳdur / sengistân u funcistân daġlarıdır, vâdîlerinde / ʿâsî ʿArablar ʿUrbânlar çoḳdur.

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I23 I24 I25 Ja1 Ja2 Ja3 Ja4 Ja5

Ja6 Ja7 Ja8 Ja9 Ja10 Ja11

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Bu maḥal beled-i bender Meymûne nâm ḳasaba ġâyet maʿmûrdur ve hem Benî Seyf ḳapucılar ketḫüdâsınıŋ dâʾimâ ḥimâyesindedir. / Ġılâlin daḫı cemʿ ve taḥṣîl eder. Bu iḳlîm kâşiflikdir. Bu maḥaller dahi Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesi ṭarafları sengistân / ṣaḥrâlar ve ʿâlî ṭaġlar olmaġla ʿimâret yerleri yoḳdur / ʿâsî ʿUrbânlar gezerler. Bu maḥal Deyr-i Ḳıbṭa nâm yerdir. Bu maḥal vilâyet-i eḳâlîm-i Ṣaʿîd ve maḥall-i Maʿdiye’dir. / Gemiler ve ḳayıḳlar ile ʿubûr ederler / ve ḳarşuya / ve Mıṣr ṭarafına geçerler. Bu maḥal Barḳa nâm / mercân çıḳduġı / yerdir Tûnus / ḥükmindedir. Cerbe nâm / cezîredir, Tûnus / ḥükminde[dir]. Bu maḥal Ṭarabulus / el-ġarb nâm ḳalʿa. Bu maḥal Manġazar (*Benġazi) nâm ḳalʿa. Bu maḥal Hirâm ṭaġlarıdır. Ṭûfândan / evvel binâ olunmuş, Ṭûfândan necât / oluruz deyü bi-emrillâh necât bulmadılar. / Feyyûm yolı buradan / daġlardandır, / ḳâfile işler. Bu maḥal bilâd ḳaryeler eḳâlîm-i ḥükm-i Ḫabîroġlı’nıŋdır. Bu maḥal redm ü seddir. Bu maḥal Maḳâm-ı Ḥażret-i / Mûsâ ʿaleyhi’s-selâm. Bu maḥal Cübb-i sicn-i / Ḥażret-i Yûṣuf ʿaleyhi’s-selâm. Bu maḥal cisr-i ṭurʿa-i Ġarb buḥayresi / ḥükm-i Cîze kâşiflikdir. / Bu aram cisr ḥudûd-ı Ḫabîroġlı’dır. Bu maḥal ʿarż-ı iḳlîm-i Cîze’dir ve maḥall-i / ziyâret-i maḳâm-ı Ebû Hüreyre raḍiya’llâhu ʿanh, ʿibret- / nümâ. Bu maḥall-i maḳâm yerde yılda ziyâret günü / benî-âdem kemüklerin yer ṭaşra aṭar, / yer yüzünde kemükler ẓâhir olur. Bu maḥal İnbaba / ziyâret-i maḳâm-ı Şeyḫ İsmâʿîl Bâbî raḥimehu’llâh. Bu maḥal Verrâkîn ḳaryeleridir / taḥt-ı ḥükm-i Cîze kâşiflikdir. Bu maḥal Ḳadem-i Nebî ʿaleyhi’sselâm ḫayrât-ı inşâ-i / ṣâbıḳâ Defterdâr Melek İbrâhîm Başa raḥmetu’llâhi ʿaleyh. Bu maḥal redm ü sedd-i Cânbûlâṭ nâm zâde Ḥüseyn Paşa raḥmetu’llâhi ʿaleyh / baʿdehû ṭurʿa oldı ve bi-emri Ḫudâ cezîre besledi.



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Jb5 Jb6 Jb7 Jb8 Jb9 Jb10 Jb11 Jb12 Jb13 Jb14 Jb15 Jb16 Jb17 Jb18 Jb19 Jb20 Jb21 Ka1 Ka2

Turkish Text of the Vatican Map

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Bu maḥal Eski Mıṣr’dır. Ṣâbıḳâ medîne-i Fusṭâṭ nâm demekle maʿrûf imiş. / Benî Ümeyye ḥükm-i evâyil-i zamânda yedi biŋ ḥammâmı var imiş. Bir ṣabâḥ bir âdem ġasla ḥammâma gider. Ḥammâmlarda / âdem izdiḥâmından yer bulamaz, birer birer dolaşur, yüz yigirmi ḥammâm gezer, gücile ṣoŋra birinde / yer bulur, ġasl eder. İmdi buna göre ḳıyâs eyleyesiz ki Mıṣr-ı ʿatîḳiŋ yaʿnî Fusṭâṭ nâm şehriŋ / ne mertebe evâyil-i zamânda muʿaẓẓamlıġı varimiş ve içinde olan ümmet-i Muḥammed ne mertebe kes̠ rette imiş. Raḥimehümu’llâh. Bu maḥal ġılâl ʿanbârlarıdır, yedi ʿanbârdır, üçyüz altmış biŋ erdeb buġday ile / beher yıl doldururlar, eytâmlar içündür ve ġayrılara daḫı ḥiṣṣesi vardır. Bu maḥall Cezîre-i / Ravża nâm. [in the picture] Ümmü’l-ḳıyâs maḥal sâḳıye ḫayrât-ı Sulṭân Gavrî, Mıṣr ḳalʿasına / ṣu gider. Bu maḥal Câmiʿ-i ʿAmrî. Bu maḥal dâʾire-i esvâr-ı Mıṣr-ı Ḳâhire / ḥarasaha’llâhu teʿâlâ. [in the picture] Biʾr-i Yûsuf Bu maḥal Ḳarâfet el-kübrâ ziyâret-i meḳâbiristân / ve maḳâm-ı evliyâ, raḥimehümu’llâh. Bu maḥal Ḳarâfet eṣ-ṣuġrâ ziyâret-i / meḳâbiristân ve maḳâm-ı evliyâ / raḥimehümu’llâh. Bu ḳalʿayı esâs u binâ eden / Meʾmûn ḫulefâʾi’l-ʿAbbâsiyyûn’dan / Hârûn er-reşîd oġlı inşâ eyledi. Bu maḥal Ḳaṣrîn. Bu maḥal Bulaḳ. Tekrûr: / Bu maḥal Bulaḳ. Bu maḥal ḤLLH. Bu maḥal Şubre. Bu maḥal Bisûs nâm ḳarye. Bu maḥal MʾSTʾ nâm maḥaldir. Ḳubbe-i ʿAzebân. Bu maḥal Cuyûşî ulu ṭaġlardır, ʿimâret yoḳdur, sengistâna varınca ṭaġlardır. Maḳâm-ı ziyâret-i evliyâ / ve Maḳâm-ı İmâm Şâfiʿî ibn İdrîs ḳuddise sırruhu’l-ʿazîz. Bu maḥal Ṭurʿa-i Birket el-Ḥabeş nâm derler. Kibrît körfesi. Reʾ[s] Hilâ[l] nâm / burundur.

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Ka7 Ka8 Ka9 Ka10 Ka11 Ka12

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Ka14 Ka15 Ka16 Ka17 Ka18

Ka19 Ka20 Ka21 Ka22 Ka23

Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbî semti ṭaġlardır ve eks̠ erî / ṭaġları ḳum rimâldir. Benî ʿÎsâ nâm ḳabîle ve benî Mûsâ nâm ḳabîle / ʿUrbân kabâyili sâkinlerdir. Üçer dörder biŋ / fâris aṭluları vardır, bu rimâl ṭaġlarında / meks̠ edüp sâkin / olmuşlardır. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbîsi Verrâḳ ḳaryeleridir / Cîze kâşif[in]iŋ ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Ümmü Dînâr / nâm beled ḳaryedir. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbî semti Reşîd’den yana cereyân eden / maḥalden Baṭn-ı Baḳar(a) nâm maḥal araya gelince beşyüz altmış mîldir. / Zîrâ mübârek Nîl ġarbîsi be-ġâyet münḥarif cereyân olur / ve hem ʿamîḳdir. Bu maḥal Dollâb-ı Dînâr nâm maḥaldir. Bu maḥalde Nîl-i mübârek iki bölünür, / bu daḫı Ḥaḳḳ’ıŋ luṭfıdır. Bu maḥal Derne nâm / ḳasaba Ṭarabulus / ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Saṭrûḥ (*Maṭrûḥ) / nâm limandır. Bu maḥal Kenâyis nâm / limandır. Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ ġarbîsi ḳum deryâsı / ve ṭaġlarıdır, bir şey ḥâṣıl olmaz. Benî Selâme / nâm ḳabîle ve Benî Rücbân nâm ḳabîle ʿUrbânlar sâkinlerdir / dört beş biŋ fâris atluları vardır. Bu maḥal Ḳuṭa nâm ḳarye beled / ve bu maḥal arada Cîze kâşifiniŋ ḥudûdı temâm oldı. / Bu ṭurʿadan öte cânibi Buḥayre kâşifiniŋ ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Şerâvî, Menûfiyye bu aramda / ḥâlî bu maḥalde ḥudûdı temâm oldı. Bu maḥal Kefr-i Çerkes nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal nâḥiye-i İşmûn / Cûreyş (*Cûreys) nâm ḳurâlardır. Bu maḥal Cezîre vâdîsi Menûfiyye iḳlîm ḳurâlarıyla maʿmûrlardır / ve Menûfiyye kâşifinin taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Şehr-i Menûfiyye / aṣl-ı esâs-ı binâsı Firʿavn / taḫtıdır ve Firʿavn bu şehrde oṭururdu / ve ḥâlâ kâşif-i iḳlîm-i Menûfiyye bu şehrde / iḳâmet ve ḥükm-i ḥükûmet eder. Bu maḥaller Ṭurʿat el-Ġarb dedükleri ḳurâlardır, maḥal yerleridir / ve Buḥayre kâşifiniŋ taḥt-ı ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Verdân Drîs nâm maḥall-i ḳurâlardır ve ġâyet maʿmûr [u] âbâdândır. Bu maḥal Zâviye nâm / beleddir. Bu maḥal Cizî nâm ḳarye beled / Menûfiyye berr[in]iŋ iskelesidir. Bu maḥall Ebû Nişâbe (*Nişâne) / nâm ḳarye beled.



Turkish Text of the Vatican Map

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Ka24 Bu maḥal Ḳuṣûr SYYVY (*Sîvâ) nâm / buḥayresi yaʿnî gölleri / ve ḥurmâlıḳları yerleridir. Ka25 Bu maḥal İskenderiyye-i ḳadîm ḳuleleridir / ve ḫarâbdır. Ka26 Bu maḥal Nîl’iŋ şarḳiyyesinde / Ṭurʿa-i Ebû Câmûs el-kebîr / dedikleri ṭurʿadır. Ka27 Bu maḥal Ṭarrâne ḳarye, naṭrûnu bu maḥal araya / ṭaġdan gelüp götürüp ḫâzin-i mîrî ederler. Ve ṣâbıḳâ / Celâlî Meḥemmed Beg ve ʿAlî Beg ve Ḥüseyn Beg yedi begler / bu arada tutulup ḳatl olundı ve her biriniŋ / defn olduġı yerlere birer ḳubbe / yapılmışdır. Ka28 Bu maḥal Temâliye nâm ḳarye / beleddir. Ka29 Bu maḥal DLḲM (*ʿAlḳame) / Ebu’l-Ḥâvî nâm beled. Ka30 Bu maḥal Emrûs nâm beled. Ka31 Bu maḥal Ṭarne (*Ṭayerne) nâm beled. Ka32 Bu maḥal Ṭunûb nâm / beleddir. Ka33 Bu maḥal Köm Şerîk / nâm beleddir. Kb1 Bu maḥal Ebû Sîr ʿUrbân nâm maḥaldir / âṣîlerdir. Kb2 Maḳâm-ı ziyâret-i Şeyḫ / Ḳûdîm nâm ṣaḥâbî. Kb3 Bu maḥal iḳlîm Bilâd-ı Buḥayre / kâşiflik hükümdür. Kb4 Bu maḥall Ṭurʿa-i Ebû Câmûs es-saġîr nâm ṭurʿa Buḥayre iḳlîmin ṣuvarur. Kb5 Ve bu maḥal Ṭurʿa / Es-seyfü’d-dîn nâm ṭurʿa Buḥayre iḳlîmin ṣuvarup şehr-i Demenhûr’a ittisâl olur. / Şehr-i Demenhûr nâm bender bu maḥaldedir. Kb6 Bu maḥal Bender-i Ḥûş nâm ḳasaba. Kb7 Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i / Ebû Aḥmed nâm beled. Kb8 Bu maḥal Selimûn beleddir. Kb9 Bu maḥal Şâbûr / nâm beleddir. Kb10 Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i / Ẓahriyye (*Ṭahriyye) / nâm beleddir. Kb11 Bu maḥal İşlîme (*İşlîmiyye) nâm beleddir. Kb12 Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Naḳle beleddir. Kb13 Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Kefr-i JVDYZ (*Cedîd) nâm beleddir. Kb14 Bu maḥal Maḥallet el-Celse (*Mihalicse) nâm beled. Kb15 Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Şibir Riş nâm beled. Kb16 Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Şibir Ḥadîs̠ nâm beled. Kb17 Bu maḥal Merḳas nâm beleddir. Kb18 Bu maḥal Sumrûḥaṭ / nâm beleddir. Kb19 Bu maḥal Şûrûm Beg nâm / beleddir.

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Kb20 Bu maḥal Ṭurʿa-i Nâṣırî / İskenderî, bu aradan reʾs-i Ḥâlic-i / İskenderiyye’ye aḳar, nâm[ı] Ḥâlic-i Nâṣırîdir. Kb21 Bu maḥal Duḥayle nâm / Bostân Adası. Kb22 Bu maḥal bilâd-ı Buḥayre eḳâlîmdir. Kb23 Bu maḥal ʿAṭıf nâm beled. Kb24 Bu maḥal Deyrût nâm beled. Kb25 Bu maḥal İtfibe (*İtfîne) nâm beled. Kb26 Bu maḥal Diyey nâm beled. Kb27 Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Emîr nâm beled. Kb28 Bu maḥal Hemmât (?) nâm beled. Kb29 Bu maḥal Ciddiye nâm beled. Kb30 Bu maḥal Buḥayret el-Etkûy nâm buḥayredir. Kb31 Bu maḥal Beyzâ / nâm ḳarye. Kb32 Bu maḥal Kerâyiş Buḥayre nâm beled. Kb33 Bu maḥal Akerîşe nâm [beled]. Kb34 Bu maḥal Kefr-i Selîm nâm beled. Kb35 Bu maḥal Cinân nâm / beleddir. Kb36 ʿAmûd-ı Ṣârî. Kb37 Ḳalʿa-i Rükn. Kb38 İskenderiyye ḳalʿasıdır. Kb39 Küçük Ḳalʿa. Kb40 Mıṣr-ı ġarbî’niŋ(?) ḳalʿasıdır. Kb41 Cezîre-i / İskenderiyye ʿRʾR / medînedir. Kb42 Ḳalʿa köprüsidir. Kb43 ḳalʿasıdır. Kb44 Bu maḥal Ebû Kîr nâm ḳalʿadır. Kb45 Bu maḥal Köm Efrâḥ / ve ziyâret-i Şeyḫ Mendûr (*Manṣûr). Kb46 Bu maḥal Bender-i / Reşîddir, şehrdir. Bu maḥal eṭrâfı / ḥurmâlıḳlardır. Kb47 Bu maḥal Reşîd ḳalʿası. Kb48 Bu maḥal maʿdiye-i / Reşîd / ve İskenderiyye. Kb49 Reşîd boġazı ikidir. Kb50 Ġarbî / boġazı budur. Kb51 Cezîredir. Kb52 Şarḳî boġazı / budur. Kc1 Bu maḥal cirm-i Menûfiyye / kâşifi ḥudûdı, ḥükmi bu cirmde / temâm oldı. Kc2 Bu maḥal Ḳırḳlar nâm / maḳâmıdır. Kc3 Bu cirmin berisi Ġarbiyye kâşifi / ḥükmindedir.



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Turkish Text of the Vatican Map

385

Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Ḥıyâriyye nâm beled. Bu maḥal Zaʿîre beleddir. Bu maḥal Kefr-i Cedîd / nâm beled. Bu maḥal Kefr-i Nâḥe nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Kefr-i Ziyât nâm beled. Bu maḥal Faraṣdaḳ nâm beled. Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Ebû ʿAlî nâm beled. Bu maḥal Raḥmâniye nâm ziyâret-i Seyyid İbrâhim-i Dessûkî. Bu maḥal Maḥalle-i Mâlik nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Sâlimiyye nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Şürefe nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Füvve nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Sindiyûn nâm beled. Bu maḥal Fezâre nâm beled. Bu maḥal Muṭûbis nâm beled. Bu maḥal İmşîre (*Cemşîre) nâm beled. Bu maḥal Mîrî Bal (*Birimbal) nâm / beleddir. Bu maḥal arż-ı iḳlîm-i Ġarbiyye kâşifi ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Ṭurʿat el-Burûlos nâm ṭurʿadır. Bu maḥal ziyâret-i Şeyḫ Câbir / nâm maḳâm-ı evliyâdır. Bu maḥal pirinc Üzbe / ḳaryeleri Ṣarı / Aḥmed ḳalʿasına varınca / pirinc ekerler. Bu maḥal Reşîd boġaz[ı] Ṣarı / Aḥmed nâm ḳalʿa. Bu maḥal Buḥayret el-Bur / nâm buḥayredir. Bu maḥal Beltim nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Ḳalʿa-i Burûlos nâm acı deŋiz kenârıdır. Maṭariyye nâm maḥal. Bu maḥal Biʾr < Matariyye> (Ḥażret) / Ḥażret-i ʿÎsâ zâtıdır. Ḥażret-i Meryem bu maḥalle Ḥażret-i / ʿÎsâ ʿaleyhi’s-selâm ile gelmiş köylüden ṣu istemiş / vermemişler. ʿÎsâ ʿaleyhi’s-selâmı yere ḳoyup anası ṣu aramaġa gitmiş bulamamış. / Ṣoŋra gelüp görür ki ʿÎsâ ʿaleyhi’sselâmıŋ iki avucundan ṣu çıḳmış dâʾire eder biʾr . / Ḥażret-i Meryem duʿâ eder ki bu ṣudan köylü içerse acı olsun, ve ġayrı her kim içerse ṭatlı ols un demiş / biemrillâh böylece olmuşdur. Bu maḥal Verrâḳ iḳlîmiŋ ḳaryelerine / dâʾiredir. Bu maḥal Şubre nâm beled. / Dimyâṭ’dan bu maḥalle gelince / dört yüz mîldir. Vazʿ-ı âs̠ âr / yerleri çoḳdur. Baʿżı yerler / Nîl tenzîl olduḳda / develer ile ʿubûr / olunur.

386

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Ottoman Explorations of the Nile

Bu maḥal Bârût köyleridir / Dimyâṭ’dan bu araya gelince Nîl’in şarḳiyyesinde / olan yedi pâre beled-i maʿmûr ḳasaba ve yedi pâre maʿmûr ḳurâ vardır. Bu maḥal Şaʿrâ nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Berr Şems / nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Minyet ʿAfîf nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal el-ʿAṭıf nâm / beleddir. Bu maḥal Berşûm nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Ṭanṭ nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Dicve nâm beleddir. Bu maḥall Minyet el-ʿaṭṭâr nâm beled Ḳalyûbiyye ḥudûdıdır, ḥükmindedir. Bu maḥal Benhî nâm beleddir. Bu ʿaddlerde (*ḥadlerde) Ġarbiyye ḥükmindedir. Bu Menûfiyye-i Berrî, bu maḥal / Seyyid Ḫıżır nâm beled / ḥudûdı, bu arada ḥükmü / temâm oldı. Bu maḥal Kefr-i Ebu’t-Ṭavâfî (*Ṭavâḳî) / nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Batay nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal DMLLV (*Remli) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Minyet el-Berrî nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Taġbenî (*Tefhenî) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Minyet el-Hârûn nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Eyş Bûl (*Eşbûl) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Sindî nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Kefr eṣ-ṣaġîr nâm beled. Bu maḥall Minyet el-ʿasr (*Maʿsara) nâm beled. Bu maḥall Sehrec nâm beled. Bu maḥal Bender-i Minyet ʿUmar (*Ġamr) beġâyet maʿmûrdur. Bu maḥal Minyet eş-şarʿî (*Şerencî) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Vasbîd (*Vasîd) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Kefr es-seyyid (*Kefr-i Misîd) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Kefr el-ġarîb nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Zifte nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Dehnûrî (*Dehnûr) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Şubâṭ (*Şunbâṭ) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥall Minyet Şubre / nâm beled. Bu maḥal Minyet / el-Bedr / nâm beled. Bu maḥal Minyet Beney nâm beled.



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Turkish Text of the Vatican Map

387

Bu maḥal iskeledir ve Maʿdiye / nâm maḥaldir. Bu maḥal Minyet Ebû Sıyr nâm beled. Bu maḥal Senûṭ (*Semennûṭ) nâm bender. Bu maḥal Minyet S̠uʿbâniyye nâm beled. Bu maḥal Minyet ʿAmâr nâm beled. Bu maḥal Minyet Farḳa (*Ġaraḳa) nâm beled. Bu maḥal SNCD nâm beled. Bu maḥal ŞRNKʾŞ nâm beled. Bu maḥal Minyet ʾMSYNY (*İşnî) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal DSYR (*Dümsin) nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Manẓara nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Burrû nâm beleddir. Bu maḥal Ebu’l-Ḥâris̠ nâm beleddir. Ebu’l-Ḥâris̠ bunda medfûndur. Bu maḥal Minyet el-M