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“ with him. Some of them replied that he deserved to be flogged or impri“soned; others, that his thumb should be cut off, so as to prevent him from
again committing such a crime, and discourage others from imitating him in “ matters of more importance. The opinion of those who were the most indul
gent was, that Ibn Zanbûr should be informed of the circumstance, and receive “ orders to expel the fellow and frustrate his expectations. On this Ibn al-Furàt
replied: “How far removed you are from nobleness and goodness ! how repul“«sive are such qualities to your nature! Here is a man who employs our medi“ation and endures the fatigues of a journey to Egypt, in hopes of furthering ““ his welfare through our influence, and of procuring, through the favour of
Almighty God, some advantage for himself by stating that he is connected “with us; yet, according to the most indulgent among you, this man is to “ receive no better treatment than to have his favorable opinion of ourself be" lied, and his efforts terminated in disappointment! By Allah ! that shall never ““ be!' He then took a pen out of his ink-bottle and wrote these words on the forged letter : “ This is my letter, and I know not how you could have sus
pected the bearer or disappointed him; you cannot know all the persons who “o have served us or placed us under obligations. This man has rendered us "services in the days of our disgrace, and what we consider a meet recompense " • for his deserts would far surpass that which we have granted him in recom
'mending him to your patronage ; aid him therefore in bis pursuit, make him “ an ample donation, and employ him in some lucrative occupation, so that he
may return to us with (a fortune) sufficient to prove that his expectations were
just and his reception honorable.' On that very day, he sent off the letter to 66 Ibn Zanbûr. A great length of time then elapsed when, one day, a man of “ respectable appearance and elegantly dressed came into the presence of Abů “ 'l-Hasan Ibn al-Furât, and, going up to him, offered up prayers for his wel“ fare and extolled his virtues; he then burst into tears and kissed the ground “ before him. * God's blessing be on thee!” exclaimed Ibn al-Furât, who art "6 thou?'—'I am the author of the forged letter addressed to Ibn Zanbûr, and "• which was authenticated by thy generosity and kindness; may God reward .66 thee!' Ibn al-Furât smiled and said : How much didst thou gain by "" him?' — The sum which I received from him and the subscriptions " " which he obtained for me from the agents and other persons under his juris
" " diction, joined to the employment which he gave me, have produced me
twenty thousand pieces of gold.'-'Praise be to God!' replied Ibn al-Furåt; "attach thyself to our person, and we shall place thee in a situation whereby
thy fortune may be increased still more.' He then put his talents to the proof, and finding him an able (16) kâtib, he admitted him into his service, and " thus enabled him to acquire great wealth.”
(1) This life is omitted in the autograph.
(2) In Mekka the karat was the twenty-fourth part of the dinar, or gold piece; but, in Iråk, it was the twentieth. The dinar of that time may be valued at fourteen shillings, and the karat will be then equal to eightpence halfpenny. The mann is generally considered as equivalent to two pounds troy weight, from which may be deduced that the price of wax-lights augmented fourpence farthing a pound in consequence of the demand. This is by no means so great a rise in the price as the author would have us to suppose.
(3) Throughout this article, the word katib denotes a person employed in the civil service. (4) See vol. I. page 29, note (4), and vol. II. pages 299, 300.
(5) This date is false; Ibn al-Furât first exercised the functions of vizir in the year 296, as has been already said.
(6) See the Diwan of al-Bohtori, MS. No. 1392, fol. 102, where this poem is given.
(11) The pages of the Moslim grandees were slaves bought at a very early age and educated as the children of the family. They were especially instructed in warlike exercises, and usually lodged together in a separate establishment, where they lived under a discipline partly conventual and partly military.
(12) “ The quarter of Baghdad called al-Mamuniya is of great length and breadth, and extends from the “ canal (or river) al-Mualla sledll to the gate of al-Azaj.”—(Marasid al-Ittila.)
(13) His life will be found in this work.
(14) Abû Ali al-Husain Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rustum al-Mâridåni, generally known by the name of Ibn Zanbûr (not Abů Zanbûr, as the manuscripts have it throughout this article), was a katib of great abilities, and had been employed by the Tulùn family. He was afterwards presented by the khalif al-Muktadir to Ibn alFuråt that his talents might be put to the proof, and this examination procured him the post of collector of the land-tax in Egypt. Having incurred at a later period the displeasure of the khalif, he was summoned to Baghdad and fined in the sum of three million six hundred thousand pieces of gold. He then returned to Egypt with Mupis the eunuch, and he died at Damascus, A.H. 314 (A.D. 926-7). He taught some Traditions on the authority of Abû Hafs al-Attår, and his own authority as a traditionist was cited by ad-Darakulni.(An-Nujum )
(15) Here, in the Arabic text, I should prefer sk, but the manuscripts give the latter reading.
(16) In place of law I am certain that we must read Its tw. It is true that the manuscripts give the former reading, but here, as in other places of this notice, they are evidently in the wrong.
ALI IBN YUNUS THE ASTRONOMER.
Abû 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Abi Said Abd ar-Rahman Ibn Ahmad Ibn Yûnus Ibn Abd al-Aala as-Sadafi (1), a native of Egypt and a celebrated astronomer, is the author of the az-Zij al-Håkimi (the Hakimite tables), called also Zij Ibn Yûnus, a large work, of which I have seen a copy in four volumes (2). In this treatise he amply discusses the subject and indicates the application of the rules which are there given, whilst its correctness testifies the great care with which it was drawn up. I have seen many works containing astronomical tables, but never met with one so full as this. The author states that the person by whose orders he commenced it was al-Aziz, the father of al-Hâkim, and sovereign of Egypt. He made astronomy his particular study, but he was well versed in other sciences and displayed an eminent talent for poetry. His work is so highly esteemed for for correctness, that, like the Zij of Yahya Ibn Abi Mansûr (3), it is taken by the people of Egypt as their standard authority in calculating the position of the heavenly bodies. (His moral character was so well established that, in the month of the first Jumada, A. H. 380 (July-Aug. A.D. 990), the kâdi Muhammad Ibn an-Nomân (5) appointed him to act as adl (4). He left an only son, whose stupidity was so great (6) that he sold to the soap-makers all his father's books and works at so much a pound. Ali Ibn Yûnus spent his life in making astronomical observations and calculating nativities (7), wherein he displayed unequalled skill; he would even make long stations in order to get an observation of a star. The emir al-Mukhtår al
Musabbihi says: “I was told by Abû 'l-Ha“ san at-Tabarâni, the astronomer, that he went up with Ibn Yûnus to Mount 523 “ Mukattam and made a station there, with the intention of taking an observa“ tion of the planet Venus; and that, on arriving, he took off his cloak and tur
ban, which he replaced by a woman's gown and hood, both of a red colour; “ he then produced a guitar, on which he commenced playing, whilst he kept “ perfumes burning before him: It was, says he, an astounding sight!” The same writer says, in his History of Egypt : “Ibn Yûnus was a careless and ab“ sent man; he would wind his turban-cloth around a high-peaked cap and
place his cloak over that; he was himself very tall, and when he rode out,
“ the people used to laugh at him for his odd figure, his shabby appearance, “ and tattered dress. But, notwithstanding the strangeness of his aspect, he “was singularly fortunate in his astrological predictions, and therein remained without a rival.” He was versed in a great variety of sciences, and played on the guitar, but merely as an amateur. The following is a passage from his poetry :
When the breeze begins to blow, I charge it with a message from a passionate lover to the presence of his beloved. I would sacrifice my life for her, whose aspect gives life to our souls and whose presence perfumes and rejoices the world. I swear that since her departure, I left my wine-cup untouched; it was absent from me, because she was absent. And what renews my passion is her image appearing in my dreams, approaching al midnight, unseen by jealous spies (8).
He composed a great quantity of poetry. We have already spoken of his father (vol. II. p. 93), and we shall give a notice on his (great- grandfather in the letter Y. It is related that at one of al-Håkim al-Obaidi the (Fatimite) sovereign of Egypt's private parties, mention was made of Ibn Yûnus and his absence of mind, on which this prince mentioned the following circumstance: “He came
into my presence one day with his heavy shoes in his hand, and, after kissing “the ground, he sat down and placed them by his side; I saw both them and “him, for he was quite near me; and when he thought of retiring, he kissed “ the ground, brought forward his shoes, put them on, and withdrew (9).” This anecdote seems given as a proof of his inattention and carelessness. AlMusabbihi says that he died suddenly on Monday morning, the 3rd of Shawwal, A. H. 399 (June, A. D. 1009). The funeral service was said over him in the principal mosque of Old Cairo by the kâdi Mâlik Ibn Said Ibn Ahmad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Thawwab, and he was buried in his own dwelling, situated in the quarter inhabited by the furriers.
(1) See vol. II. page 94.
(2) An analysis of the first volume of this work has been published, by M.Caussin père, in the seventh volume of the Notices et Extraits. He has inserted therein the lives of Ibn Yunus, of his father Abd ar-Rahmân the Egyptian historian, and his great-grandfather Yûnus Ibn Abd al-Alà; all extracted from Ibn Khallikån's work and translated by himself. Some of the passages in these texts are incorrectly given and others wrong rendered.
(3) Read , grais so word l. -Yahya Ibn Abi Mansdr al-Mamani (client of the khalif al-Mamun), an astronomer of great talent, acquired by his skill a high rank in the favour of the khalif al-Mâmûn, and when that
sovereign decided that observations should be made on the stars, he charged Yahya and some others with the task, and directed them to ameliorate their instruments. They in consequence made observations at as-Shammásiya, near Baghdad, and Mount Kàsiyùn, near Damascus, in the years 218 (A. D. 830), 216, and 217, but the death of al-Mámún, in 218, put a stop to their operations. Yahya died in the land of the Greeks (Bilad ar-Rum, or Asia Minor). He is the author of the astronomical tables called az-Zaij al-Mumtahin, and a work, apparently astrological, entitled Kitab al-Ami i Joell).- (Tarikh al-Hukama.)
(4) See vol. I. page 281, note (8).
(8) The adl (justice) is an officer exercising, with the authorisation of the kadi, the functions of witness to the bonds, deeds, and contracts entered into by individuals; they put their seal to these documents, and when a litigation arises afterwards between the contracting parties, their testimony is required. In all the large cities the adls bave offices where they receive persons making contracts, and serve as witnesses to the whole proceeding, wbether it be a verbal or a written agreement. In the last case, it is the adl who draws up the deed. To be eligible to these functions a man must not only be well acquainted with the laws relative to conventions and obligations, and capable of writing them out in proper form, but he must also bear a high character for integrity, and be exempt even from the suspicion of corruption. It is one of the kadi's duties to keep a watchful eye over the conduct of these functionaries. The office of adl was established by Muhammad himself; we read in the Koran, Surat 2, verse 232: “O true believers ! when you bind yourselves one to “ the other in a debt for a certain time, write it down, and let a writer write between you according to “ justice (adlı ; and let not the writer refuse writing according to what God hath taught him.” (6) This passage exists no longer in the autograph; it was written on a fly-leaf, which has fallen out. Here,
, I . (7) It must be recollected that, with the Moslims, astronomy and astrology are synonymous. Their most learned astronomers were also their most skilful astrologers. They felt, probably, that truth could not make its way unless protected by falsehood.
(8) See vol. I. p. xxxvi.-M. Caussin has given these verses in his notice, but imagines that the last relates to some star or planet which was long watched for, but did not appear. It seems to me, however, that neither the grammatical construction of the verse nor the genius of Arabic poetry will allow this interpretation.
(9) Common politeness required that the shoes should have been left outside the door.
مختلط I have no hesitation in reading ,مختلفا for
OMARA TAL-YAMANI THE JURISCONSULT.
The jurisconsult (al-fakih) Abû Muhammad (1) Omâra tibn Abi 'l-Hasan Ali Ibn Raidân Ibn Ahmad al-Hakami al-Yamani, surnamed Najm ad-din (star of religion), bore a high reputation as a poet. I extracted the following particulars from one of his works: He drew his descent from Kahtân through al-Hakam Ibn Saad al-Ashira (2) of the tribe of Madhij, and was an inhabitant of a city