Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the Hejrah 300.5+ But this admirable work, in the original Arabic, is so extremely rare that the humble author of this tract has never, to the present hour, seen more than two volumes of it; and if a reasonable judgment may be formed from the contents of these two portions, it is evident that the whole work must have occupied at least twenty volumes.35

34 Corresponding to the year of the Christian era 912; but we have seen in the note above quoted from Pococke, that TABRI brought his history down to a period later by two years.

35 It has long been supposed, on the authority of eminent writers hereafter quoted, that the original Arabic text of TABRI's Chronicle exists only in fragments; but the Editor has lately felt much satisfaction on learning from a highly accomplished Orientalist, Dr. Rosen, that he had himself examined in the Royal Library at Berlin a great portion of the Arabic Work, comprised in five volumes. Yet that the whole should not exceed four, would appear from a note of the learned Erpenius, quoted in Sir William Ouseley's account of a rare and valuable MS., preserved in the British Museum (Cottonian Library, Vitell. A. iv). This account is given in the “ Oriental Collections,” vol. ii. p. 185, as follows: “ An ancient Arabic volume, in quarto, containing the second “ of the four parts which compose the • Táríkh Kabír, or Great “ Chronicle,' of the celebrated historian ABI JAAFER Mo

(( “ from Tabaristán, in Persia, the place of his birth, Al Tabarí. “ This volume contains the history of the Prophets from

surnamed ,(ایی جعفر محمد بن جریر) HAMMED EBN JARIR ‘‘

In the next place I shall mention a celebrated

Shaieb (Vu) until the time of Mohammed. Tabari, « the venerable author, was born in the year of Christ 838 : “ his work contains the ancient traditions of the Jews, Per“sians, and Arabians -the history of the Patriarchs, Pro• phets, and Kings ; and as it is supposed that the original in “ Arabic complete does not exist, this fragment may be con“ sidered a literary treasure. The learned Ockley, in his «• History of the Saracens;' styles TabArI the Livy of the Arabians, the very parent of their history, and congratulates “ himself on having found a folio fragment of his Chronicle “ among Archbishop Laud's MSS. Fortunately, however, “' this work is preserved in the Persian and Turkish transla“ tions: the former, made within a few years after the author's “ death, is enriched with many curious additions by the learned “ translator, particularly on the subject of Persian history and “ antiquities. From the latter part of TABARI's Chronicle ELMAKÍN compiled his · History of the Saracens,' pub“ lished by ERPENIUS; and it would appear that this volume

once belonged to that celebrated Orientalist, from the fol

lowing note written at the beginning of the MS.— Continet “ hoc volumen historiam propheticam a Sjuabio, (qui vixit

tempore Jacobi,) Patriarchæ ipsoque Jacobo ad tempora “ usque Muhammedis Abulcasimi pseudoprophetæ Arabum, “ estque tomus secundus celeberrimi apud Orientales historici " Muhammedis ABUJOAFARIS, qui floruit circa annum Christi " 800, et in Oriente Arabicè existimatur periisse, et Persice

atque Turcicè tantum extat : hic tamen liber Arabicas est, " et de quatuor tomis secundus.'—ERPENIUS. There are also “ some marginal notes in Latin."-" I am as yet,” says Ockley in his “ History of the Saracens,” vol. ii. Intr. &c.

Arabic chronicle entitled “ Táríkh Kámel, 36 com

xxxiii.) “ destitute of Turkish, which I should not be so much concerned at, were it not for five volumes in that language in our Public Library (Cambridge), which I behold with delight and concern at the same time—with delight, because they are ours, and so not to be despaired of; with concern, because I do not understand them. They are a translation of the great TABARI, who is the Livy of the Arabians, the very parent of their history; and, as far as I could find by inquiry, given over for lost in Arabic. I formerly inquired of my predecessor, Dr. Luke, concerning him, who said he had never met with him in the East, and that he was to be despaired of in Arabic. Monsieur D'Herbelot says the same." We learn from Sir W. Ouseley's Preface to EBN HAUKAL'S “Oriental Geography," that the Persian translation of Tabri's great work was made by a man of considerable learning (vazír to one of the Sama. nian princes) in the year of the hejira 352, (anno Christi 963,) about forty years only after the death of TABRI; and this translator enriched the work with so much additional matter, from rare books of the astronomers, the Persian Fireworshippers, Jews, and Muselmáns, that D'Herbelot prefers the translation to the original Arabic text,“ de sorte que cette traduction est beaucoup plus curieuse que le texte Arabique.”—(Bibl. Orient. in Thabari.) It was this passage, as Sir William remarks, that gave occasion to a note in Gibbon's “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (chap. 51 note 33): “ Amidst our meagre relations, I must regret that D'Herbelot has not found and used a Persian translation of Tabari, enriched, as he says, with many extracts from the native historians of the Ghebers, or Magi.” It appears also, from the same Preface to Ebn HAUKAL, that a fine copy of this Per

posed by Ibn Arhír, 37 bringing the general his

a

sian translation (two folio vols. transcribed in 1446) was styled

Phænix Librorum” by the learned Professor Tychsen of Rostock. This inestimable MS. seems (from some lines written in gold letters) to have once been deposited in a royal library: it now belongs to Sir W. Ouseley's Collection, and is described in the Catalogue of his Oriental MSS. No. 269. This Catalogue (printed for private circulation) enumerates other precious copies of the Persian TABRI —especially No. 271, in 3 vols. 4to, a beautiful and perfect MS. transcribed in 1488, and No. 274, in 2 vols.

This,” says Sir William, “ is particularly valuable for a Preface, (of which I have never seen another copy,) containing much curious historical matter; tables of the different dynasties, ruled with red lines; the names and titles of sovereigns; duration of their reigns; works for which they were celebrated; their costume and attributes, (which may have been taken from gems, pictures, or statues). These tables come down to the time of the

Jl or family of Búiah.From a fine old copy of the Persian “ TABRI," collated with others in the Bibliotheque du Roi, Monsieur Dubeux, a very ingenious Orientalist of Paris, is engaged in preparing a translation,

برية

[blocks in formation]

37

tas !! The following notice of this author, and of his work the “ Táríkh Kámel,” (taken from EBN KHALEKÁN,) is given by Pococke in a note to bis “ Specimen Historiæ Arabum,” p. 370. Oxon. 1650. ALI EBNOL ATHIR

ابو الحسن علي بن ابي الكرم محمد بن عبد الكريم الشيباني المعروف بابن الأثير الجزري الملقب عزالدین

ABUL HASAN ALI EBN ABIL CARM MOHAMMED EBN

B

tory (of Asia) down to the year six hundred and twenty-eight of the hejrah, 38 and comprising records of most Muhammedan countries, such as Maghreb (or the north-western parts of Africa), Andalus (Spain), Misr (Egypt), Shám (Syria), Arab (Arabia), Irán (Persia), Túrán (Turkomania), and Hindústán (India). The “ Táríkh Kámel” is a most excellent and useful work, forming ten volumes, which in this part of the world (India) are rarely seen.

Another Arabic chronicle is the “ Kitab al Bedáiet wa al Neháiet,” 39 written by Ibn Kathir Shání,40 which fills two volumes of considerable

جزيرة بن عمر

ABDIL CARIM AL SHAIBANI, notus nomine EBNOL ATHIR AL JAZARI, cognominatus EzzodDÍN, frater AL MOBARACI EBNOL ATHIRI, natus in

w? anno H. 555, (an. Christi 1160,) mortuus an. 630, (1232,) historiam cho B inscriptam, ab origine mundi usque ad finem anni H. 628 perduxit (EBNOL CHALEC). Respecting EBN AL ATHír, the learned Professor Hamaker, of Leyden, says, “ Restat ut de IBN ATSIRO videamus quod nomen tribus fratribus commune fuit, notissimo historico auctori libri AL KAMEL, AZZEDINO ABOUL HASSANO Alio-defuncto Mausulæ a. 630 (Christi 1232-3). See the “ Specimen Catalogi Codicum MSS. Orientalium Bibl. Academ. Lugduno-Batavæ," p. 164. 38 Of the Christian era 1230. ,

juis

10

كتاب البداية والنهاية

« PreviousContinue »