Yaqut al-Hamawi

Yaqut al-Hamawi

Overview
Yāqūt ibn-'Abdullah al-Rūmī al-Hamawī) (1179–1229) was an Islamic biographer and geographer
Geographer
A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society.Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography...

 renowned for his encyclopedic
Encyclopedia
An encyclopedia is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge....

 writings on the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

. "al-Rumi" ("from Rûm
Rûm
Rûm, also Roum or Rhum , an indefinite term used at different times in the Muslim world to refer to the Balkans and Anatolia generally, and for the Byzantine Empire in particular, for the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in Asia Minor, and referring to Greeks living outside of Greece or non-muslims...

") refers to his Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 (Byzantine
Byzantine Greeks
Byzantine Greeks or Byzantines is a conventional term used by modern historians to refer to the medieval Greek or Hellenised citizens of the Byzantine Empire, centered mainly in Constantinople, the southern Balkans, the Greek islands, Asia Minor , Cyprus and the large urban centres of the Near East...

) descent; "al-Hamawi" means that he is from Hama
Hama
Hama is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria north of Damascus. It is the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate. Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syria—behind Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs—with a population of 696,863...

, Syria, and ibn-Abdullah is a reference to his father's name, Abdullah
Abdullah
-Places:*Abdullah Gan, mountainous region of Afghanistan*Abdullah Hukum LRT station, elevated rapid transit station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia*Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum, was an urban village located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

. The word yāqūt means ruby
Ruby
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum . The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. Its name comes from ruber, Latin for red. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires...

or hyacinth.

Yaqut was a Greek sold as a slave to someone who later moved to Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.
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Encyclopedia
Yāqūt ibn-'Abdullah al-Rūmī al-Hamawī) (1179–1229) was an Islamic biographer and geographer
Geographer
A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society.Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography...

 renowned for his encyclopedic
Encyclopedia
An encyclopedia is a type of reference work, a compendium holding a summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge....

 writings on the Muslim world
Muslim world
The term Muslim world has several meanings. In a religious sense, it refers to those who adhere to the teachings of Islam, referred to as Muslims. In a cultural sense, it refers to Islamic civilization, inclusive of non-Muslims living in that civilization...

. "al-Rumi" ("from Rûm
Rûm
Rûm, also Roum or Rhum , an indefinite term used at different times in the Muslim world to refer to the Balkans and Anatolia generally, and for the Byzantine Empire in particular, for the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in Asia Minor, and referring to Greeks living outside of Greece or non-muslims...

") refers to his Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 (Byzantine
Byzantine Greeks
Byzantine Greeks or Byzantines is a conventional term used by modern historians to refer to the medieval Greek or Hellenised citizens of the Byzantine Empire, centered mainly in Constantinople, the southern Balkans, the Greek islands, Asia Minor , Cyprus and the large urban centres of the Near East...

) descent; "al-Hamawi" means that he is from Hama
Hama
Hama is a city on the banks of the Orontes River in west-central Syria north of Damascus. It is the provincial capital of the Hama Governorate. Hama is the fourth-largest city in Syria—behind Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs—with a population of 696,863...

, Syria, and ibn-Abdullah is a reference to his father's name, Abdullah
Abdullah
-Places:*Abdullah Gan, mountainous region of Afghanistan*Abdullah Hukum LRT station, elevated rapid transit station in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia*Kampung Haji Abdullah Hukum, was an urban village located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia...

. The word yāqūt means ruby
Ruby
A ruby is a pink to blood-red colored gemstone, a variety of the mineral corundum . The red color is caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. Its name comes from ruber, Latin for red. Other varieties of gem-quality corundum are called sapphires...

or hyacinth.

History


Yaqut was a Greek sold as a slave to someone who later moved to Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

. He was one of the last scholars who accessed to the libraries east of the Caspian Sea before Mongol invasion of Central Asia
Mongol invasion of Central Asia
The Mongol invasion of Central Asia occurred after the unification of the Mongol and Turkic tribes on Mongolian plateau in 1206. It finally completed when Genghis Khan conquered the Khwarizmian Empire in 1221....

. He travelled to the peaceful scholarly city of ancient Merv
Merv
Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

 in present-day Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

. There Yaqut spent two years in libraries, learning much of the knowledge he would later use in his works.

Works

  • Kitāb mu'jam al-buldān (معجم البلدان "Dictionary of Countries")
  • Mu'jam al-udabā', (معجم الأدباء "Dictionary of Writers") written in 1226.
  • al-Mushtarak wadh'ā wal-Muftaraq Sa'qā (المشترک وضعا والمفترق صعقا ), a version of which was printed in 1845 by Ferdinand Wüstenfeld
    Ferdinand Wüstenfeld
    Heinrich Ferdinand Wüstenfeld was a German orientalist, known as a literary historian of Arabic literature, born at Münden, Hanover....

    .

External links