Islamic Cities-forgotten ones-
One corner of the Islamic world, a very old one that gets often forgotten are the medieval Swahili cities that dot the East African coast. People visiting them during the Middle Ages wrote accounts of them. I collected translations of their accounts and published them on the net. So far I have 160 translated texts. Some are only one line long others 30 pages. These travelers came mostly from Persia and China. Many also from India; but none of those last ones wrote down his account. I will give the link to the most important of these from before the year 1000. My hope is to contribute this way to the History of the Swahili.
Abu Zaid Hassan (851) the earliest known Muslim traveler to Africa and China to have left an account.
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/abu_zaid.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/abu_zaid.html
Al Jahiz (869); with a complete translation of his book called : The pride of the blacks over the whites, and extracts from several of his other books
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/jahiz.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/jahiz.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/jahiz_other.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/jahiz_other.html
Tuan Ch’eng-Shih (863) : the first Chinese to give a lengthy description of the east African coast.
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/tuan_chen_shih.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/tuan_chen_shih.html
Al Masudi : (916) who with his account of the Zanj and their kingdoms is the most important eyewitness of the 10 century. http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/masudi.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/masudi.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/massoudi_map.hmtl - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/massoudi_map.hmtl
Buzurg ibn Shahriyar.(955) Who collected seaman’s tales in Basra many of them related to the East African coast. http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/buzurg.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/buzurg.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/buzurg_notes.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/buzurg_notes.html
Istakhri (957) whose account of east Africa has never been published before.
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/istakhri_map.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/istakhri_map.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/istakhri.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/istakhri.html
Ibn Hawqal (970) with his description and maps of East Africa.
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal_map.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal_map.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal2map.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal2map.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal3map.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal3map.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal4map.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal4map.html
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hawqal.html
Hudud al A’lam (982) an anonymous book from Persia.
http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hudud_al_alam.html - http://www.geocities.com/pieterderideaux/hudud_al_alam.html
These are the most important ones from before the year 1000.