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Document Details :
Title: Geographical 'aǧā'ib in a Neo-Aramaic Manuscript of the London Sachau Collection
Author(s): BELLINO, Francesca , MENGOZZI, Alessandro
Journal: Le Muséon
Volume: 129 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2016
A collection of Neo-Aramaic and Arabic mirabilia, preserved in the ms. London British Library Or. 9321, is here published with introduction and English translation. The first part of the collection contains short descriptions of wondrous buildings and monuments that are found in various regions of the world, including Alexandria, Egypt, al-Andalus, Syria, and the Caspian Sea. The second part describes wondrous rivers, wells and water streams in Syria, Anatolia, and the Arabian Peninsula. It is always possible to find Arabic geographical sources providing the data and kinds of information that this collection gives in abridged forms. The author of the collection or its Vorlage would appear to have been especially interested in the geographical notices that, in the works of classical Arabic geographers such as Ibn Rustah, Ibn Ḫurdādbah, Ibn al-Faqīh, or their later epigones, described wondrous buildings and intermittent rivers, as mentioned in the epic narratives about Alexander the Great. As for other prose texts preserved in the Berlin and London Sachau collections of Neo-Aramaic manuscripts, Sachau probably asked his informant to translate into his own Aramaic dialect Arabic texts that may reflect the literary and scientific interests of the German scholar.