Yaqut al-Hamawi

Yāqūt Shihāb al-Dīn[1] ibn-ʿAbdullāh al-Rūmī al-Ḥamawī (1179–1229) (Arabic: ياقوت الحموي الرومي) was a Muslim scholar of Byzantine Greek ancestry[2] active during the late Abbasid period (12th-13th centuries). He is known for his Mu'jam ul-Buldān, an influential work on geography containing valuable information pertaining to biography, history and literature as well as geography.[3][4]

Yaqut ibn-'Abdullah al-Rumi al-Hamawi
Died1229 (aged 49–50)
EraLater Abbasid era 12th-13th century
Main interest(s)Islamic history, geography, biography


Yāqūt (ruby or hyacinth) was the kunya of Ibn Abdullāh ("son of Abdullāh"). He was born in Constantinople, and as his nisba "al-Rumi" ("from Rūm") indicates he had Byzantine Greek ancestry.[2] Yāqūt was "mawali"[note 1] to ‘Askar ibn Abī Naṣr al-Ḥamawī, a trader of Baghdad, Iraq, the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate, from whom he received the laqab "Al-Hamawī". As ‘Askar's apprentice, he learned about accounting and commerce, becoming his envoy on trade missions and travelling twice or three times to Kish in the Persian Gulf.[5] In 1194 ‘Askar stopped his salary over some dispute and Yāqūt found work as copyist to support himself. He embarked on a course of study under the grammarian Al-‘Ukbarî. Five years later he was on another mission to Kish for ‘Askar. On his return to Baghdad he set up as a bookseller and began his writing career.[6]

Yāqūt spent ten years travelling in Persia, Syria, and Egypt and his significance as a scholar lies in his testimony of the great, and largely lost, literary heritage found in libraries east of the Caspian Sea, being one of the last visitors before their destruction by Mongol invaders. He gained much material from the libraries of the ancient cities of Merv – (present-day Turkmenistan), where he had studied for two years,[7] – and of Balkh. Circa 1222 he was working on his "Geography" in Mosul and completed the first draft in 1224. In 1227 he was in Alexandria. From there he moved to Aleppo, where he died in 1229.[6]


Marâçid; a 6-volume Latin edition by Theodor Juynboll, published as Lexicon geographicum, cui titulus est, Marâsid al ittilâ’ ‘ala asmâ’ al-amkina wa-l-biqâ, in 1852. vol.3, archive.org


  • Heer, Friedrich Justus (1898). Die historischen und geographischen Quellen in Jāqūt's geographischem Wörterbuch (in Arabic and German). Strassburg: K.J. Trübner.
  • Abdullah, Muhammad A.H. (1983). "Yaqut al-Hamawi, the Man and His Work Mu'jam al-buldan" (Thesis). Ypsilanti: Eastern Michigan University.
  • ‘Abd al-Karim, Gamal (1974). "La España musulmana en la obra de Yaqut (s. XII[-]XIII)". repertório enciclopédico de ciudades, castillos y lugares de al-Andalus: extraído del Mu’yam al-buldan (diccionario de los países). Granada: University of Granada.
  • ‘Abd al-Karim, Gamal (1977), Terminología geográfico-administrativa e historia político-cultural de al-Andalus en el Mu'yam al-buldan de Yaqut (3rd ed.), Seville: University of Seville
  • Blachère, Régis (1936) [1913]. "Yaqut al-Rumi, 1153[-]54". In M.T. Houtsma; et al. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. Vol. 4 (1st ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill.
  • Barbier de Meynard, Charles (1861), Dictionnaire géographique, historique et littéraire de la Perse et des contrées adjacentes, extrait du Modjem el-Bouldan de Yaqout, et complété à l'aide de documents arabes et persans pour la plupart inédits, Paris: Imprimerie Impériale
  • Bloch, Ernst (1929), Harawîs Schrift über die muhammedanischen Wallfahrtsorte, eine der Quellen des Jâqût, Bonn: Verein Studentenwohl
  • Dib, al-Sayyid, Muhammad (1988), Yaqut al-Hamawi: 'adiban wa-naqidan, Cairo: Dar al-Tiba’ah al-Muhammadiyah
  • Elahie, R.M.N.E. (1965), The Life and Works of Yaqut ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Lahore: Panjab University Press
  • Heer, F. Justus (1898), Die historischen und geographischen Quellen in Jaqut's geographischem Wörterbuch, Strassburg: K.J. Trubner
  • The Introductory Chapters of Yaqut's Mu'jam al-Buldan, translated by Jwaideh, Wadie, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987 [1959]
  • Krachkovskii, I.J. (1957), "Izbrannye sochineniia", Arabskaia Geograficheskaia Literatura, Moscow: Akademiia Nauk SSSR, 4
  • Maqbul Ahmad, Seyyed (1980) [1970], ""Yaqut al-Hamawi al-Rumi"", in Coulston Gillispe, Charles (ed.), Dictionary of Scientific Biography, vol. 14: 546[-]48, New York: Scribner
  • Marun, Jurj Khalil (1997), Shu'ara' al-amkinah wa-ash'aruhum fi Mu'jam al-buldan, vol. 2, Beirut: al-Maktabah al-’Asriyah
  • Rescher, Oskar (1928), Sachindex zu Wüstenfeld's Ausgabe von Jâqût's "Mu'gam el-buldân" (nebst einem alfabetischen Verzeichnis der darin angeführten Werke), Stuttgart: Harrassowitz
  • Sa’di, ‘Abbas Fadil (1992), Yaqut al-Hamawi: dirasah fi al-turath al-jughrafi al-'arabi ma'a al-tarkiz 'ala al-'Iraq fi Mu'jam al-buldan, Beirut: Dar al-Tali’ah lil-Tiba’ah wa-al-Nashr
  • Sellheim, Rudolf (1966). Voigt, Wolfgang (ed.). "Neue Materialien zur Biographie des Yaqut". Forschungen und Fortschritte der Katalogisierung der Orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. Wiesbaden: Steiner: xvi[–]xxxiv.
  • Shami, ‘Abd al-Al ‘Abd al-Mu’nim (1981), Mudun Misr wa-quraha 'inda Yaqut al-Hamawi, Kuwait: al-Jam’iyah al-Jughrafiyah al-Kuwaytiyah
  • Shamsuddin, Ahmad (1993), Faharis mu'jam al-udaba', aw, Irshad al-arib ila ma'rifat al-adib, Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-’Ilmiyah
  • Tawanisi, Abu al-Futuh Muhammad (1971), Yaqut al-Hamawi: al-jughrafi al-rahhalah al-adib, Cairo: al-Hay’ah al-Misriyah al-’Ammah lil-Ta’lif wa-al-Nashr
  • ‘Umari, Muhammad Abu ‘Abd Allah (1994), Ithaf al-khillan bi-ma'arif Mu'jam al-buldan, vol. 2, Riyadh: Dar al-Sumay’i

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The term "mawali" can be translated as client, apprentice or slave.


  1. ^ Dodge, Bayard, ed. (1970). The Fihrist of al-Nadim. Vol. 2. New York & London: Columbia University Press. p. 902.
  2. ^ a b "The Dictionary of Countries". World Digital Library. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  3. ^ David C. Conrad, Empires of Medieval West Africa: Ghana, Mali, and Songhay, (Shoreline Publishing, 2005), 26.
  4. ^ Ludwig W. Adamec, The A to Z of Islam, (Scarecrow Press, 2009), 333.
  5. ^ cf. F. Wüstenfeld, "Jacut's Reisen" in the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, vol xviii. pp. 397–493
  6. ^ a b c   One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Yāqūt". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 904.
  7. ^ Homework Help, Book Summaries, Study Guides, Essays, Lesson Plans, & Educational Resources. BookRags.com. 2010-11-02. Retrieved 2012-11-20.

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