Abu Abdullah Muhammad al-Idrisi al-Qurtubi al-Hasani as-Sabti, or simply al-Idrisi /ælɪˈdriːsiː/ (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد الإدريسي القرطبي الحسني السبتي; Latin: Dreses; 1100 – 1165), was an Arab Muslim geographer, cartographer and Egyptologist who lived in Palermo, Sicily at the court of King Roger II. Muhammed al-Idrisi was born in Ceuta then belonging to the Moroccan Almoravids.
Statue of al-Idrisi in Ceuta
|Died||1165 (aged 64–65)|
|Known for||Tabula Rogeriana|
|Fields||Geographer, writer, scientist, cartographer|
Al-Idrisi was born in the city of Ceuta, where his great-grandfather had been forced to settle after the fall of Hammudid Málaga to the Zirids of Granada. He spent much of his early life travelling through North Africa and Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain of the times) and seems to have acquired detailed information on both regions. He visited Anatolia when he was barely 16. He studied in Córdoba.
Al-Idrisi incorporated the knowledge of Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Far East gathered by Islamic merchants and explorers and recorded on Islamic maps with the information brought by the Norman voyagers to create the most accurate map of the world in pre-modern times, which served as a concrete illustration of his Kitab nuzhat al-mushtaq, (Latin: Opus Geographicum), which may be translated A Diversion for the Man Longing to Travel to Far-Off Places.
The Tabula Rogeriana was drawn by al-Idrisi in 1154 for the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, after a stay of eighteen years at his court, where he worked on the commentaries and illustrations of the map. The map, with legends written in Arabic, while showing the Eurasian continent in its entirety, only shows the northern part of the African continent and lacks details of the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia.
For Roger it was inscribed on a massive disc of solid silver, two metres in diameter.
On the geographical work of al-Idrisi, S.P. Scott wrote in 1904:
The compilation of Edrisi marks an era in the history of science. Not only is its historical information most interesting and valuable, but its descriptions of many parts of the earth are still authoritative. For three centuries geographers copied his maps without alteration. The relative position of the lakes which form the Nile, as delineated in his work, does not differ greatly from that established by Baker and Stanley more than seven hundred years afterwards, and their number is the same. The mechanical genius of the author was not inferior to his erudition. The celestial and terrestrial planisphere of silver which he constructed for his royal patron was nearly six feet in diameter, and weighed four hundred and fifty pounds; upon the one side the zodiac and the constellations, upon the other-divided for convenience into segments-the bodies of land and water, with the respective situations of the various countries, were engraved.
Al-Idrisi in his famous Tabula Rogeriana mentioned Irlandah-al-Kabirah (Great Ireland). According to him, "from the extremity of Iceland to that of Great Ireland," the sailing time was "one day." Although historians note that both al-Idrisi and the Norse tend to understate distances, the only location this reference is thought to have possibly pointed to, must likely have been in Greenland.
Al-Idrisi mentioned that Chinese junks carried leather, swords, iron and silk. He mentions the glassware of the city of Hangzhou and labels Quanzhou's silk as the best. In his records of Chinese trade, al-Idrisi also wrote about the Silla Dynasty (one of Korea's historical Dynasties, and a major trade partner to China at the time), and was one of the first Arabs to do so. Al-Idrisi's references to Silla led other Arab merchants to seek Silla and its trade, and contributed to many Arabs' perception of Silla as the ideal East-Asian country.
As well as the maps, al-Idrisi produced a compendium of geographical information with the title Kitab nuzhat al-mushtaq fi'khtiraq al-'afaq. The title has been translated as The book of pleasant journeys into faraway lands or The pleasure of him who longs to cross the horizons. It has been preserved in nine manuscripts, seven of which contain maps.
The translated title of this work (in the "pleasure of him ..." form) attracted favourable comment from the team selecting lists of names for features expected to be discovered by the New Horizons probe reconnoitring the Pluto system. The Al-Idrisi Montes is a geographical feature in that system named after him.
In the introduction, al-Idrisi mentions two sources for geographical coordinates: Claudius Ptolemy and "an astronomer" that must be Ishaq ibn al-Hasan al-Zayyat; and states that he has cross-checked oral reports from different informers to see if geographical coordinates were consistent.
An abridged version of the Arabic text was published in Rome in 1592 with title: De geographia universali or Kitāb Nuzhat al-mushtāq fī dhikr al-amṣār wa-al-aqṭār wa-al-buldān wa-al-juzur wa-al-madā’ in wa-al-āfāq which in English would be Recreation of the desirer in the account of cities, regions, countries, islands, towns, and distant lands. This was one of the first Arabic books ever printed. The first translation from the original Arabic was into Latin. The Maronite's Gabriel Sionita and Joannes Hesronita translated an abridged version of the text which was published in Paris in 1619 with the title of Geographia nubiensis. Not until the middle of the 19th century was a complete translation of the Arabic text published. This was a translation into French by Pierre Amédée Jaubert. More recently sections of the text have been translated for particular regions. Beginning in 1970 a critical edition of the complete Arabic text was published.
Al-Idrisi's geographical text, Nuzhat al-Mushtaq, is often cited by proponents of pre-Columbian Andalusian-Americas contact theories. In this text, al-Idrisi wrote the following on the Atlantic Ocean:
The Commander of the Muslims Ali ibn Yusuf ibn Tashfin sent his admiral Ahmad ibn Umar, better known under the name of Raqsh al-Auzz to attack a certain island in the Atlantic, but he died before doing that. [...] Beyond this ocean of fogs it is not known what exists there. Nobody has the sure knowledge of it, because it is very difficult to traverse it. Its atmosphere is foggy, its waves are very strong, its dangers are perilous, its beasts are terrible, and its winds are full of tempests. There are many islands, some of which are inhabited, others are submerged. No navigator traverses them but bypasses them remaining near their coast. [...] And it was from the town of Lisbon that the adventurers set out known under the name of Mughamarin [Adventurers], penetrated the ocean of fogs and wanted to know what it contained and where it ended. [...] After sailing for twelve more days they perceived an island that seemed to be inhabited, and there were cultivated fields. They sailed that way to see what it contained. But soon barques encircled them and made them prisoners, and transported them to a miserable hamlet situated on the coast. There they landed. The navigators saw there people with red skin; there was not much hair on their body, the hair of their head was straight, and they were of high stature. Their women were of an extraordinary beauty.
This translation by Professor Muhammad Hamidullah is however questionable, since it reports, after having reached an area of "sticky and stinking waters", the Mugharrarin (also translated as "the adventurers") moved back and first reached an uninhabited island where they found "a huge quantity of sheep the meat of which was bitter and uneatable" and, then, "continued southward" and reached the above reported island where they were soon surrounded by barques and brought to "a village whose inhabitants were often fair-haired with long and flaxen hair and the women of a rare beauty". Among the villagers, one spoke Arabic and asked them where they came from. Then the king of the village ordered them to bring them back to the continent where they were surprised to be welcomed by Berbers.
Apart from the marvellous and fanciful reports of this history, the most probable interpretation is that the Mugharrarin reached the Sargasso Sea, a part of the ocean covered by seaweed, which is very close to Bermuda yet one thousand miles away from the American mainland. Then while coming back, they may have landed either on the Azores, or on Madeira or even on the westernmost Canary Island, El Hierro (because of the sheep). Last, the story with the inhabited island might have occurred either on Tenerife or on Gran Canaria, where the Mugharrarin presumably met members of the Guanche tribe. This would explain why some of them could speak Arabic (some sporadic contacts had been maintained between the Canary Islands and Morocco) and why they were quickly deported to Morocco where they were welcomed by Berbers. Yet, the story reported by Idrisi is an indisputable account of a certain knowledge of the Atlantic Ocean by Andalusians and Moroccans.
Furthermore, al-Idrisi writes an account of eight Mugharrarin all from the same family who set sail from Lisbon (Achbona) in the first half of that century and navigated in the seaweed rich seas beyond the Azores.
Year 1099 (MXCIX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.1154
Year 1154 (MCLIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.African Romance
African Romance or African Latin is an extinct Romance language that is assumed to have been spoken in the Roman province of Africa by the Roman Africans during the later Roman and early Byzantine Empires and several centuries after the annexation of the region by the Umayyad Caliphate in 696.
African Roman is poorly attested as it was mainly a spoken, vernacular language; texts and inscriptions in Roman Africa were written exclusively in Classical Latin. It was, along with other languages spoken in the region such as Berber languages, subsequently suppressed and supplanted by Arabic after the Muslim conquest of the area.
Later Romance languages to arrive in the continent (notably French and Portuguese) are not covered by this article.Al-Qurtubi (surname)
The Arabic nisbah (attributive title) Al-Qurtubi (Arabic: القرطبي) denotes an origin from Córdoba, Spain.
Abu 'Abdullah Al-Qurtubi was a famous mufassir, muhaddith and maliki faqih scholar from Cordoba.Al-Qurtubi may also refer to:
Ibn Abi al-Shukr: 13th-cetnruy astronomer, astrologer and mathematician of the Islamic Golden Age.
Ibn Hayyan: 11th-century Muslim historian.
Muhammad al-Idrisi: 12th-century Muslim geographer, cartographer, Egyptologist and traveller who lived in Sicily.Ali ibn Yusuf
Ali ibn Yusuf (also known as "Ali Ben Youssef") (Arabic: علي بن يوسف) (born 1084 died 26 January 1143) was the 5th Almoravid king. He reigned from 1106–1143.Battle of Caltavuturo
The Battle of Caltavuturo was fought in 881 or 882 between the Byzantine Empire and the Aghlabid emirate of Ifriqiya, during the Muslim conquest of Sicily. It was a major Byzantine victory, although it could not reverse the Muslim conquest of Sicily.
In 880, a succession of naval successes under the admiral Nasar allowed the Byzantine emperor Basil I the Macedonian to envisage a counter-offensive against the Aghlabids in southern Italy and Sicily. In Sicily, however, the Aghlabids still held the upper hand: in spring 881, the Aghlabid governor al-Hasan ibn al-Abbas raided the remaining Byzantine territories and in the process defeated the local commander, Barsakios, near Taormina.In the next year, however, AH 268 (881/882 CE), according to the Ibn al-Athir (The Complete History, VII.370.5–7), the Byzantines had their revanche, defeating an Aghlabid army under Abu Thawr so completely that reportedly only seven men survived. The victorious Byzantine commander is identified by modern historians with Mosilikes, who is known to have served in the area in the early 880s. According to the hagiography of the Patriarch of Constantinople Ignatios, the general invoked the patriarch during the battle, and he appeared on a white horse in the air before him, advising him to launch his attack towards the right. Mosilikes followed the advice, and won. The battle gave its name to the locality: the 12th-century geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi records the Qalʿat Abī Ṯawr ("Castle of Abū Ṯawr"), which is the origin of the modern name Caltavuturo.Over the next years, the Muslims launched several raids, against Catania, Taormina and "the king's city" (possibly Polizzi) in 883, against Rometta and Catania in 884, and again against Catania and Taormina in 885. These expeditions were successful in so far as they yielded sufficient booty or tribute to pay the army, but failed to capture any Byzantine strongholds.Chronology of European exploration of Asia
This is a chronology of the early European exploration of Asia.Geography and cartography in medieval Islam
Medieval Islamic geography was based on Hellenistic geography and reached its apex with Muhammad al-Idrisi in the 11th century.Idrisi
Idrisi may refer to:
Muhammad al-Idrisi, a 12th-century explorer, geographer and writer
Idris I of Libya, a 20th-century Libyan king
IDRISI, a GIS computer program
The former ruling family of the Emirate of AsirIdrisi (surname)
Idrisi (Arabic: ادريسي) is a family name in Middle East and South Asia. Idris is a masculine first name. It may refer to the following:
Muhammad al-Idrisi, a 12th-century explorer, geographer and writer
Idris I of Libya, a 20th-century Libyan kingKitab al-Rawd al-Mitar
Kitab al-Rawd al-Mitar, (The Book of the Fragrant Garden), is a fifteenth-century Arabic geography by Muhammad bin Abd al-Munim al-Himyari that is a primary source for the history of Muslim Spain in the Middle Ages, though it is based in part on the earlier account by Muhammad al-Idrisi. It was edited and translated into French by E. Levi-Provençal in 1938 and into Spanish by Maria Pilar Maestro González in 1963.List of Muslim geographers
The following is a non-exhaustive list of Muslim geographers.
Al-Khwarizmi (Algoritmi, 780-850)
Al-Kindi (Alkindus, 801-873)
Ya'qubi (died 897)
Ibn Khordadbeh (820-912)
Ahmed ibn Sahl al-Balkhi (850-934)
Khashkhash Ibn Saeed Ibn Aswad (fl. 889)
Ali al-Masudi (896-956)
Ibn al-Faqih (10th century)
Ahmad ibn Fadlan (10th century)
Ahmad ibn Rustah (10th century)
Ibn Hawqal (died after 977)
Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen, 965-1039)
Abū Rayhān Bīrūnī (973-1048)
Ibn Sina (Avicenna, 980-1037)
Abu Said Gardezi (died 1061)
Abu Abdullah al-Bakri (1014–1094)
Muhammad al-Idrisi (Dreses, 1100–1165)
Ibn Rushd (Averroes, 1126–1198)
Ibn Jubayr (1145–1217)
Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179–1229)
Abu al-Fida (Abulfeda, 1273–1331)
Hamdollah Mostowfi (1281–1349)
Ibn Battuta (1304-1370s)
Ahmad Bin Majid (born 1432)
Mahmud al-Kashgari (1005–1102)
Piri Reis (1465–1554)
Amin Razi (16th century)
Mohammad Reza Hafeznia (born 1955)
Ghazi Falah (born 20th century)List of geographers
This list of geographers is presented in English alphabetical transliteration order (by surnames).Marettimo
Marettimo (Sicilian: Marrètimu) is one of the Aegadian Islands in the Mediterranean Sea west of Sicily, Italy. It forms a part of the municipality (comune) of Favignana in the Province of Trapani. It takes about an hour to reach the island from Trapani.Merca
Merca (Somali: Marka, Arabic: مركة) is an ancient port city in the southern Lower Shebelle province of Somalia. Facing the Somali Sea, it is the main town in the province. It is located approximately 109 km (68 mi) to the southwest of the nation's capital Mogadishu. the major inhabitant of Merca are Biimaal which were inhabitants of the city for centuries.Oiva Tuulio
Oiva Johannes Tuulio (17 January 1878, Pyhäjärvi – 21 June 1941, Helsinki) was a Finnish linguist specializing in the Romance languages. He bore the surname Tallgren until 1933.Tuulio was son to provost Ivar Markus Tallgren and Jenny Maria Montin. He earned his PhD in 1907, was awarded the title of docent in 1910 and served as extraordinary professor of the Southern Romance languages at the University of Helsinki from 1928 to 1941. Before accepting the professorship, he had refused offers from the universities of Tartu and Riga. He made study trips to Paris 1901–1902 and to Southern Europe 1903–1904, 1907–1908, 1926 and 1931.Tuulio pioneered the field of Spanish research in Finland; his PhD thesis, Estudios sobre la Gaya de Segovia (1907), was the first study about Spanish written in that language at the University of Helsinki. Tuulio had to obtain permission to write it in Spanish and the defense was held in French. He also studied the Arabic influence on Spanish as well the status of Sicilian within the Romance family. His other interests included Vulgar Latin, Italian and French. Together with his brother, archaeologist Aarne Michaёl Tallgren, he published Idrisi, la Finlande et les autres pays baltiques orientaux (1930), in which he attempted to show similarities between place names on the maps by Muhammad al-Idrisi and place names in Finland and the Baltics. He returned to this topic in his Du nouveau sur Idrisi (1936).Tuulio made an impact as a popularizer of the Spanish language and culture in Finland, as he organized cultural events and produced works aimed at a general audience, such as travel writing about Spain.He was appointed auxiliary member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in 1910 and full member in 1925.Oiva Tuulio was married to writer Tyyni Tuulio; they had three sons. He is buried in the Hietaniemi Cemetery in Helsinki.Tabula Rogeriana
The Nuzhat al-mushtāq fi'khtirāq al-āfāq (Arabic: نزهة المشتاق في اختراق الآفاق, lit. "the book of pleasant journeys into faraway lands"), most often known as the Tabula Rogeriana (lit. "The Book of Roger" in Latin), is a description of the world and world map created by the Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi in 1154. Al-Idrisi worked on the commentaries and illustrations of the map for fifteen years at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, who commissioned the work around 1138.Tsarevo
Tsarevo (Bulgarian: Царево, also transliterated Carevo or Tzarevo) is a town and seaside resort in southeastern Bulgaria, an administrative centre of the homonymous Municipality of Tsarevo in Burgas Province. In the past, it was known as Vasiliko (Greek: Βασιλικόν) and Michurin (Bulgarian: Мичурин). It lies on a cove 70 km southeast of Burgas, on the southern Bulgarian Black Sea Coast at the eastern foot of Strandzha mountain, at a few kilometers from Strandzha Nature Park. As of December 2009, the town has a population of 5,884 inhabitants.World map
A world map is a map of most or all of the surface of the Earth. World maps form a distinctive category of maps due to the problem of projection. Maps by necessity distort the presentation of the earth's surface. These distortions reach extremes in a world map. The many ways of projecting the earth reflect diverse technical and aesthetic goals for world maps.World maps are also distinct for the global knowledge required to construct them. A meaningful map of the world could not be constructed before the European Renaissance because less than half of the earth's coastlines, let alone its interior regions, were known to any culture. New knowledge of the Earth's surface has been accumulating ever since and continues to this day.
Maps of the world generally focus either on political features or on physical features. Political maps emphasize territorial boundaries and human settlement. Physical maps show geographic features such as mountains, soil type or land use. Geological maps show not only the surface, but characteristics of the underlying rock, fault lines, and subsurface structures. Choropleth maps use color hue and intensity to contrast differences between regions, such as demographic or economic statistics.