« PreviousContinue »
from them several years ago, but which he discontinued on undertaking the publication of his “ Travels in various Countries of the East.” These passages I have gladly incorporated with my own part of the translation, availing myself, at the same time, of a few hints for short notes, which he obligingly added to his communication; and I shall here transcribe an extract from his answer to my Letter requesting some literary and biographical anecdotes of Sádik Isfaháni, and an account of the two works which, at Sir William's suggestion, I had undertaken to translate :
“ Of the two Persian Manuscripts which I have much pleasure in consigning to you, each is a complete and distinct composition,
* See the “ Catalogue of several hundred Manuscript Works in various Oriental Languages, collected by Sir William Ouseley, LL.D., &c.” In this Catalogue (which was printed last year, 1831, and intended for private circulation,) the Geographical Tracts of Sádik Isfaháni are noticed (p. 11) under the titles of “Tahkik al Iráb," (two copies, No. 380, in quarto, and No. 381, in folio,) and “ Takwim al Buldán," No. 383, a folio MS.
although, as both treat on the same subject, they are bound together in one volume. The first work, entitled “ Tahkik al Iráb;' (W) züs") gives, in alphabetical order, the names of countries, cities, rivers, and other objects geographically interesting, with short descriptions. The second MS. is entitled • Takwim al Buldán,' (uluu't pagës) and likewise exhibits, in alphabetical order, the names of various places, with descriptions, (shorter than those given in the former work,) also the degrees of longitude and latitude. From what points these are computed the author does not state; but it is evident that he follows those eastern geographers who, like Nasir ad’dín Túsi, Hamdallah Kasvíni, and Ulugh Beig, calculate their longitude (lvia gli ;) 'from the Fortunate Islands,' and their latitude (laiul bi ; !) • from the Equinoctial Line.'
Respecting Sádik Isfaháni (as our ingenious author is commonly styled) I have been able to obtain but little information. His principal work, the • Subhh Sádik,' ( a General History of Asia,) occupies
four large folio volumes: one of these, comprising the ancient part, is in my Collection. . He composed also on
also on different subjects, chiefly historical, many tracts, (some of which I possess,) constituting a Miscellany denominated “Shahid Sadik' ( jako vol): to this belonged the two tracts now in your hands, and I believe that it did not contain any other work on the subject of geography.
“ In one of his historical compositions he is entitled at full length Mírzá Muhammed Sádik ben Mirzá Muhammed Sáleh Zobeiri Isfaháni, Azadáni. * A note made above thirty years ago by an accomplished friend, who brought those historical manuscripts to Europe, states that Sódik Isfaháni had visited many parts of India, where he died about one hundred and fifty years before; †
میرزا محمد صادق بن میرزا محمد صالح زبيري اصفهاني
csildl;' We may reasonably suppose that Muhammed Saleh derived the surname Azadáni from the village of Azadán, which Sádik describes as a place belonging to Isfahán. (See the “ Tahkik al Iráb," p. 2.)
+ I have lately found a date which proves that Sadik Isfaháni was employed on his great work, the “ Subbh
and various passages scattered throughout his Geographical Tracts show that he was much better acquainted with that country than most Persian writers.
“ He has not quoted any authority for the geographical positions in his second work, the · Takwim al Buldán;' but that he consulted the Tables composed by Nasir addín Túsi, Abu' l' Fedá, and Ulugh Beig, and the admirable Nuzahat al Kulub of Hamdallah Kazvini, we can scarcely doubt, although it will be found on examination that he differs from them in numerous instances respecting either the longitude of certain places or the latitude, or sometimes both. He has supplied a multiplicity of names omitted by them, and to many which they give he has added short descriptions : of his Tables also, the order, being alphabetical, seems to me a far more convenient mode of arrangement than that which was adopted by the older
Sadik” above mentioned, in the year 1045 of the Muhammedan era, or of Christ 1635. This date occurs in his account of Noah's Deluge.
geographers above mentioned, whose system causes some difficulty in finding the name of any particular place without a previous knowledge of the climate, kingdom, or province to which it belongs.
“ The Tables of Abú l Fedá, Ulugh Beig, and Nasir addin Tusi, were printed (with Latin translations) above an hundred years ago, at Oxford, in Hudson's Collection of Minor Geographers.'
As this valuable and useful work (which has latterly become extremely scarce) does not appear in the list of your books, I send the third volume containing those Tables, so that you may form a just opinion respecting the comparative merits of Sádik Isfahani and his prede
“In my translation from some articles of the · Tahkík al Iráb'
you will perceive that I have not inserted the luc, a minute, and prolix enumeration of all the letters which com
Geographiæ Veteris Scriptores Græci Minores : accedunt Geographica Arabica,” &c. Oxoniæ, 1697-1722, &c. Four volumes, octavo.