Superphysics Superphysics
Part 2f

Zone 3

by Ibn Khaldun Icon
17 minutes  • 3411 words
Table of contents

Zone 3

This is contiguous with the northern boundary of Zone 2.

Section 1

This is about 1/3 of the way from the southernmost part of the zone, contains the Atlas Mountain 1 07 which runs from the western part of the first section at the Surrounding Sea to the eastern end of the section.

This mountain is inhabited by innumerable Berber nations, as will be mentioned.108 In the region between this mountain and the second zone, at the Surrounding Sea, there is the Ribat (Monastery) Missah. 109 East of here are the adjoining countries of (as-)Sus 110 and Noun (Nul). Directly to the east of (these countries) is the country of Dar’ah, followed by the country of Sijilmasah and then by a portion of the desert of Nisar, the stretch of desert that we mentioned in describing the second zone.

The Atlas Mountain towers over all these countries of the first section. The western region of the Atlas has few passes and roads but near the Moulouya (Malwiyah) River, and from there on to where it ends, the Atlas has a great number of passes and roads. This region contains the Masmudah nations= at the Surrounding Sea the Saks1wah, then theHintatah, the Tinmallal, the Gidmiwah,111 and then the Haskurah who are the last Masmudah in this area.

Then there are the Zanigah, 112 that is, the Sinhijah- tribes. At the boundary of the first section of the third zone, there are some Zanatah tribes. To the north, Mount Awras (L’Aures), the mountain of the Kutamah, adjoins (the Atlas). After that, there are other Berber nations which we shall mention in their proper places.

The Atlas Mountain in the western part of the section towers over Morocco to the north of it. In the southern part of (Morocco) lie Marrakech, Aghmat, and Tadla. On the Surrounding Sea there, are the Ribat Asfi and the city of Sale (Sala). East 112a of the country of Marrakech lie Fez, Meknes, Taza, and Qasr Kutamah,113

This is the area that is customarily called the Farthest Maghrib (Morocco) by its inhabitants. On the shore of the Surrounding Sea in that region lie Arcila (Azila) 114 and Larache (al-‘Ara’ish). Directly to the east of this area, there is the country of the Middle Maghrib whose center is Tlemcen (Tilimsan). On the shores of the Mediterranean there, lie Hunayn,115 Oran, and Algiers.

The Mediterranean leaves the Surrounding Sea at the Straits of Tangier in the western part of the fourth zone, 116 and then extends eastward to Syria. Shortly after it leaves the narrow straits, it widens to the south and to the north and enters the third and fifth zones.

This is why many places within the third zone are on the Mediterranean coast, from Tangier up to al-Qasr as-saghir, then Ceuta, the country of Badis, and Ghassasah.

Algiers, which comes next, is near Bougie (Bajayah) on the east. Then, east of Bougie at the boundary of the first section is Constantine, a day’s journey from the Mediterranean. South of these places, toward the south of the Middle Maghrib, is the territory of Ashir, with Mount Titteri, followed by Msila (al-Masilah) and the Zab. The center of (the Zab) is Biskra, north of Mount Awras which connects with the Atlas, as has been mentioned. This is the eastern end of the first section.

Section 2

This is like the first section in that about one-third of the distance from its southern (limit) lies the Atlas Mountain which extends across this section from west to east and divides it into two portions. The Mediterranean covers one area in the north. The portion south of the Atlas Mountain is all desert to the west.

To the east, there is Ghadames. Directly to the east (of this portion) is the land of Waddan, the remainder of which is situated in the second zone, as has been mentioned. The portion north of the Atlas Mountain between the Atlas and the Mediterranean contains in the west Mount Awras, Tebessa, and Laribus (al-Urbus).

On the seacoast is Bone (Bunah). Directly east of these places lies the country of Ifriqiyah, with the city of Tunis, then Sousse (Susah), and al-Mahdiyah on the seacoast. South of these places and north of the Atlas Mountain, is the country of the Djerid (Jarid, al-Jarid), Tozeur (Tuzar), Gafsa (Qafsah), and Nefzoua (Nafzawah). Between them and the coast is the city of Kairouan (al-Qayrawan), Mount Ousselat (Ouselet, Waslat), and Sbeitla (Subaytilah).

Directly east of these places lies Tripoli on the Mediterranean. Facing it in the south are the mountains of the Hawwarah tribes, Dammar (Mount Demmer), and Maqqarah (the city of Maggara), which connect with the Atlas and are opposite Ghadames which we mentioned at the end of the southern portion. At the eastern end of the second section lies Suwayqat Ibn Mathkud 116a on the sea.

To the south are the desert plains of the Arabs in the land of Waddan.

Section 3

This is also traversed by the Atlas Mountain, but at the limit (of the section) the Atlas turns northward and runs due north up to the Mediterranean. There, it is called Cape Awthan. The Mediterranean covers the northern part of the third section, so that the land between it and the Atlas narrows.

Behind the mountain to the southwest, there is the remainder of the land of Waddan and the desert plains of the Arabs. Then, there is Zawilat Ibn Khattab,117 followed by sandy deserts and waste regions to the eastern boundary of the section. To the west of the area between themountain and the sea, there is Sirte (Surt) at the sea.

Then, there are empty and waste regions in which the Arabs roam. Then, there is Ajdabiyah and, where the mountain makes a turn, Barca (Barqah). Next comes Tulaymithah (Ptolemais) on the sea. Then, to the east of the mountain, after it makes the turn, are the desert plains of the Hayyib 118 and the Ruwahah, which extend to the end of the section.

The southwestern part of the fourth section of the third zone contains the desert of Berenice. North of it is the country of the Hayyib and the Ruwahah. Then, the Mediterranean enters this section and covers part of it in a southern direction almost to the southern boundary.

Between it and the end of the section, there remains a waste region through which the Arabs roam. Directly to the east of it is the Fayyum, at the mouth of one of the two branches of the Nile. This branch passes by al-Lahfin in Upper Egypt, in the fourth section of the zone, and flows into the Lake of the Fayyum.

Directly to the east of (the Fayyum) is the land of Egypt with its famous city (Cairo), situated on the other branch of the Nile, the one that passes through Dalas in Upper Egypt at the boundary of the second section. This latter branch divides a I, log second time into two more branches below Cairo, at Shattanawf and Zifta(h).119

The right branch again divides into two other branches at Tarnut.120 All these branches flow into the Mediterranean. At the mouth of the western branch is Alexandria; at the mouth of the middle branch is Rosetta; and at the mouth of the eastern branch is Damietta. Between Cairo and the Mediterranean coast at these points lies the whole of northern Egypt, which is densely settled and cultivated.

Section 5

This contains all or most of Syria. The Red Sea ends in the southwest (of the section) at Suez, because in its course from the Indian Ocean northward, it turns eventually westward.

A long portion of its western extension lies in this section, with Suez at its western end. Beyond Suez, on this part of the Red Sea, there are the mountains of Paran (Faran), Mount Sinai (atTur), Aila (Aylah) in Midyan (Madyan), and, where it ends, al-Hawra’. 121 From there, its shoreline turns southward towards the land of the Hijaz, as has been mentioned in connection with the fifth section of the second zone.

A portion of the Mediterranean covers much of the northwestern part of the fifth section. On its (coast) lie alFarama 122 and al-‘Arish. The end of this portion of the Mediterranean comes close to al-Qulzum.

The area in between there is narrow. It becomes a kind of gate leading into Syria. West of this gate is the desert plain (at-Tih), a bare country in which nothing grows, where the Israelites wandered for forty years after they had left Egypt and before they entered Syria, as the Qur’an tells.123

In this portion of the Mediterranean, in the fifth section, lies part of the island of Cyprus. The remainder (of Cyprus) lies in the fourth zone, as we shall mention. Along the coastline of that narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, are al’Arish, the boundary of Egypt, and Ascalon. Between them, there is a (narrow) strip of land (separating the Mediterranean and) the Red Sea. Then, this portion of the Mediterranean turns to the north into the fourth zone at Tripoli and ‘Argah.124 That is the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

This portion of the Mediterranean comprises most of the Syrian coast.

East and slightly to the north of Ascalon, is Caesarea. Then, in the same general direction, are Acco, Tyre, Sidon, and ‘Arqah. The sea then turns north into the fourth zone.

Opposite these places on the coast of this portion of the Mediterranean, in the fifth section, there is a big mountain which rises from the coast at Aila (Aylah) on the Red Sea. It runs northeastward until it leaves the fifth section. It is called Amanus (al-Lukkam).

It is a kind of barrier between Egypt and Syria. At the one end, near Aila (Aylah), lies al- ‘Aqabah which the pilgrims pass through on their way from Egypt to Mecca. After it, to the north, is Abraham’s tomb at Mount ash-Sharah 125 which is a continuation of the afore-mentioned Amanus north of al-‘Aqabah. It extends due east, and then turns slightly(to the south). East of there is al-Hijr, the land of the Thamild, Tema (Tayma’), and Dumat al-Jandal, the northernmost part of the Hijaz. South of it is Mount Radwa. 126

Farther south, there are the castles of Khaybar. Between Mount ash-Sharah and the Red Sea lies the desert of Tabuk. North of Mount ash-Sharah is the city of Jerusalem near the Amanus.

Then, there is the Jordan and Tiberias. East of it lies the (Jordan) depression (Ghor, al- Ghawr) 126a which extends to Adhri’at and the Hawran. Directly to the east of (the Hawran) is Dumat al-Jandal which constitutes the end of the Hijaz and the fifth section. Where the Amanus turns north at the end of the fifth section is the city of Damascus, opposite Sidon and Beirut on the coast.

The Amanus lies between (Sidon and Beirut, on the one hand), and (Damascus, on the other). Directly east 127 of Damascus and facing it, is the city of Ba’lbakk. Then, there is the city of Emesa at the northern end of the fifth section, where the Amanus breaks off. East of Ba’lbakk and Emesa are the city Palmyra and desert plains extending to the end of the fifth section.

The southernmost part of the sixth section contains the desert plains of the Arab Bedouins, (which are) located to the north of the Najd and the Yamimah in the area between the Mountain of al-‘Arj and as-Sammin and extending to alBahrayn and Hajar at the Persian Gulf.

In the northernmost part of the sixth section, to the north of the desert plains, lie al-Hirah, al-Qidisiyah, and the swampy lowlands of the Euphrates. Beyond that to the east is the city of al-Basrah. In the northeastern part of the sixth section, the Persian Gulf ends, at ‘Abbidan and al-Ubullah. The mouth of the Tigris is at ‘Abbidan. The Tigris divides into many branches and takes in other branches from the Euphrates. All of them come together at ‘Abbidan and flow into the Persian Gulf. This portion of the Persian Gulf is wide in the southernmost part (of the section).

It narrows toward its eastern boundary, and where it ends in the north it (also) is narrow. On the western coast lie the northernmost portion of al-Bahrayn, Hajar, and al-Ahsa’. To the west of this portion of the Persian Gulf, lie al-Khatt, as-Sammin, 128 and the remainder of the land of the Yamimah.

The eastern coast comprises the shores of Fars. In their southernmost part, at the eastern end of the sixth section, along a line stretching from the Persian Gulf eastward and beyond it to the south, are the mountains of al-Qufs 129 which are in Kirman.

North of Hurmuz on the coast of the Persian Gulf, are Sirif and Najiram. In the east, toward the end of the sixth section and north of Hurmuz, is the country of Firs, comprising, for instance, Sibur, Darabjird, Fasi, Istakhr, ash-Shihijin, and Shiriz, the principal city. North of the country of Firs, at the end of the Persian Gulf, lies the country of Khuzistin which includes al-Ahwiz, Tustar, Jundishibur, Susa (as-Sus), Rimhurmuz, and other cities. Arrajin is on the boundary between Firs and Khuzistin.

To the east of the country of Khuzistin are the Kurdish Mountains, which extend to the region of Isfahin. The Kurds live there. They roam beyond the mountains into the country of Firs. They are called az-zumum. 130

The southwestern part of the seventh section contains the remainder of the Mountains of al-Qufs to which are adjacent in the south and north the countries of Kirman (and Mukran). They include the cities of ar-Rudhan, ash-Shirajan, Jiruft (Jayruft), Yazdshir, and al-Fahraj.

North of the land of Kirman is the remainder of the country of Fars up to the border of Isfahan. The city of Isfahan lies in the northwest corner of the seventh section. East of the countries of Kirman and Firs, there is the land of Sijistin to the south, and the land of Kuhistan to the north. Between Kirmin-Firs and Sijistan-Kuhistin, in the middle of this section, is the great desert which has few roads because of the difficult terrain.

Cities in Sijistin are Bust and at-Tiq. Kuhistan belongs to the country of Khurisin. One of Khurisan’s best known places is Sarakhs, 131 on the boundary of the section.

Section 8

This contains, in the southwest, the plains of the Khalaj, 132 a Turkish nation. They adjoin the land of Sijistan in the west and the land of Kabul of Eastern Indiain the south. North of these desert plains are the mountains and country of al-Ghar starting with Ghaznah, the key to India. Where al-Ghur ends in the north, lies Astarabadh.

Then, to the north is the country of Herat in the middle of Khurasan, extending to the boundary of the section. It includes Isfarayin, Qishan, Bushanj, Marw-ar-rudh, at-Taliqan, and al-Juzajan. This part of Khurasan extends to the river Oxus. Khurasanian places on this river are the city of Balkh to the west, and the city of at-Tirmidh to the east. The city of Balkh was the seat of the Turkish realm.

The Oxus comes from the country of Wakhan in the area of Badakhshan which borders on India, in the southeast corner of this section. It soon turns west to the middle of the section. There, it is called the Kharnab River. It then turns north, passes Khurasan, flows due north, and finally flows into Lake Aral in the fifth zone, as we shall mention.

In the middle of the eighth section where it turns from the south to the north, five large rivers belonging to the country of Khuttal and Wakhsh 133 flow into it on the east. Other rivers, coming from the Buttam Mountains to the east and north of Khuttal, also flow into it. The Oxus, thus, becomes wider and larger, so much so that no other river equals it in these respects.

One of the five rivers flowing into the Oxus is the Wakhshab 134 which comes from the country of Tibet that extends over the southeastern portion of this section. It flows toward the northwest.

Its course is blocked by a great mountain which runs from the middle of this section in the south toward the northeast, and leaves this section close to its northern (boundary) to pass into the ninth section. It crosses the country of Tibet toward the southeast portion of this section. It separates the Turks from the country of Khuttal. It has only one road in the middle of this section to the east. AlFadl b. Yahya constructed a dam there with a gate in it, 135 like the Dam of Gog and Magog.

When the Wakhshab leaves the country of Tibet and comes up against that mountain, it flows under it for a long distance, until it enters the country of Wakhsh and flows into the Oxus at the border of Balkh. (The Oxus) then sweeps on to at-Tirmidh in the north and flows into the country of al-J(izajan.

East of the country of al-Ghur, in the region between (this country) and the Oxus, is the country of al-Bamiyan, which belongs to Khurasan. There on the eastern bank of the river is the country of Khuttal, most of which is mountainous, and the country of Wakhsh.

This is bordered in the north by the Buttam Mountains, which come from the border of Khurasan, west of the Oxus, and run eastward. Finally, where they end, a large mountain range begins, behind which lies the country of Tibet and under which there flows the Wakhshab, as we have stated.

The two mountain ranges join at the gate of al-Fadl b. Yahya.

The Oxus passes between them. Other rivers flow into it, among them the river of the country of Wakhsh, which flows into it from the east, below at-Tirmidh in the north. 135a The Balkha River 136 comes from the Buttam Mountains where it starts at al- Juzaj an, and flows into it from the west. On the western bank of this river (Oxus) lies Amul, which belongs to Khurasan. East of this river (Oxus) are the lands of the Soghd and Usrushanah, which belong to the country of the Turks. East of them is the land of Farghanah, which extends to the eastern end of the section.

The entire country of the Turks here is crossed by the Buttam Mountains on the north.

In the western part of the ninth section lies the country of Tibet, up to the middle of the section. In the south is India, and in the east, to the boundary of the section, is China. In the northernmost part of this section, north of the country of Tibet, is the country of the Kharlukh, 137 which belongs to the country of the Turks, extending to the northern boundary of the section.

Adjacent to it on the west is the land of Farghanah, 138 and on the east is the land of the Turkish Tughuzghuz, 139 extending to the northeastern end of the section.

The southern part of the tenth section is entirely occupied by the remaining northernmost portion of China. In the north is the remainder of the country of the Tughuzghuz. East of them is the country of the Turkish Kirghiz, 140 extending to the eastern end of the section. North of the land of the Kirghiz is the country of the Turkish Kimak.141

Opposite (the Kirghiz and Kimak countries), in the Surrounding Sea, lies the Hyacinth (Ruby) Island in the middle of a round mountain that completely blocks access to it. Climbing to the top of the mountain from the outside is extremely difficult. On the island, there are deadly snakes and many pebbles of hyacinth (ruby). The people of that region contrive to mine them with the help of divine inspiration.

The regions in the ninth and tenth sections extending beyond Khurasan and Khuttal are desert plains where innumerable Turkish nations roam. They are wandering nomads who have camels, sheep, cattle, and horses for breeding, riding, and eating. There are very many, (indeed) innumerable groups. There are Muslims among them in the area adjacent to the Oxus. They make raids on the unbelievers among them, who follow the Magian 142 religion. They sell their captives to their near (neighbors), who export them to Khurasan, India, and the Iraq.

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