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Tarjumah-ʼi ʻAjā’ib al-makhlūqāt ترجمۀ عجائب المخلوقات Anonymous translator [‎397r] (812/958)

The record is made up of Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. iv+466+ii. It was created in 17th and 19th centuries. It was written in Persian. The original is part of the British Library: Oriental Manuscripts.

About this item


The ʻAjā’ib al-makhlūqāt (عجائب المخلوقات) by Zakarīyā ibn Muḥammad Qazwīnī (زكريا بن محمد قزوینی) translated from Arabic into Persian at the request of Ibrāhīm ʻĀdil Shāh, ruler of Bijapur in Shaʻbān AH 954 (1547). The text is illustrated with 461 mid-seventeenth-century Deccani paintings and diagrams.

The original translation (ff.1v-426v) has been supplemented (ff. 427r-463r) by an appendix written in a 19th-century hand, perhaps for Henry Miers Elliot, containing the following chapters omitted by the ʻĀdilshāhi translator and copied from a different, earlier, Persian translation (see Add. MS. 16739, Rieu, p. 462): races of men (f.427r), arts and sciences (f.436v), and the second species of the animal kingdom, or the Jinns (f.457v).

The margins are extensively covered with explanatory works and glosses, some of which are described in a detailed list of contents (ff.1v-6r), completed on 17 Shavvāl, regnal year 4 of Aḥmad Shāh (8 September 1751). These correspond approximately to the marginal works included in IO Islamic 3243, described by Ethé in vol 1 of his Catalogue of Persian manuscripts in the Library of the India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. (Oxford, 1903), no. 714.

Begins (f.7v, lines 2-3):

العظمة لک و الکبریاء لحلالک اللهم یا قایم الذات و مفیض الخیرات واجب الوجود و فايض

الجود ...

End of 1547 translation (f.426v, line 6):

و الاتمام و الیه المرجع و الماب فی جمیع الامور و هو حسبنا و نعم الوکیل

Colophon Section at the end of a manuscript text. (f. 426v, lines 7-12):

و این اخر کلامست از ترجمه کتاب عجایب مخلوقات و غرایب موجودات بعون الله و منه و الحمد لله رب العالمین‫…‬و آله اجمعین

End of supplement (f.464r, lines 17-19):

فقال رسول الله صـ هذا شيطان يكلم الناس في الأوثان يقال له مسعر والله تعالى مخزيه فيمكثوا ثلثة أيام فإذا هتف من أعلى الجبل فقال صـ دونكم عفريت من الجن يقال له سمحج سميته عبد الله آمن من لي أخبروني أنه في طلبه منذ أيام فقال علي جزاه الله تعالى خيرًا


  • f.26r: Diagram of the celestial spheres.
  • f.27r: Diagram of the orbit of the moon.
  • f.27v: The full moon represented by a haloed figure and a crab.
  • f.28r: Phases of the moon.
  • f.29r: Eclipse of the moon.
  • f.31v: Sphere of Mercury.
  • f.32r: Mercury (women and a man with a scroll).
  • f.32v: Orbit of Venus.
  • f.33r: Venus (woman playing a lute).
  • f.33v: Orbit of the sun (incomplete diagram).
  • f.35r: (above) Diagram of the eclipse of the sun; (below) The sun represented by a man with rays proceeding from his head, accompanied by two lions.
  • f.37r: (above) Mars (man holding a sword and a severed head); (below) Jupiter (man holding a book and with angels beside him).
  • f.38r: Saturn (six-armed man).
  • f.38v: Diagram of the orbit of the Zodiac (damaged).
  • f.40v: Ursa Minor (bear).
  • f.41r: Ursa Major (bear).
  • f.41v: Draco (dragon).
  • f.42r: Cepheus (young man).
  • f.42v: (above) Boötes (man holding a stick); (below) Corona Borealis (disk).
  • f.43r: Hercules (man with a goad).
  • f.43v: (above) Lyra (vulture); (below) Cygnus (hen).
  • f.44r: Cassiopeia (woman on a throne).
  • f.44v: Perseus (man holding a sword and a severed head).
  • f.45r: Auriga (man holding a stick).
  • f.45v: (above) Ophiucus (man holding a serpent); (below) Sagitta (arrow).
  • f.46r: Aquila (eagle).
  • f.46v: (above) Delphinus (dolphin); (below) Equleus (horses head).
  • f.47r: Pegasus (winged demi-horse).
  • f.47v: Andromeda (fettered figure).
  • f.48r: (above) Equus Major (trotting horse); (below) Triangulum (triangle).
  • f.48v: Aries (ram).
  • f.49v: (above) Taurus (white demi-bull); (below) Gemini (twins).
  • f.50r: Cancer (crab).
  • f.50v: Leo (lion).
  • f.51r: (above) Virgo (man cutting corn with a sickle); (below) Libra (woman holding scales).
  • f.51v: Scorpio (scorpion).
  • f.52r: Sagittarius (centaur holding a bow and arrow).
  • f.52v: Capricorn (goat with a fish's tail).
  • f.53r: (above) Aquarius (man holding a rope and water bottle); (below) Pisces (two fish).
  • f.53v: Cetus (fish with a deers head).
  • f.54r: Orion (man holding a sheathed sword).
  • f.54v: Eridanus (serpent).
  • f.55r: Lepus (hare).
  • f.55v: Canis Major (dog).
  • f.56r: (above) Canis Minor (dog); (below) Argo Navis (ship).
  • f.56v: Hydra (snake).
  • f.57r: (above) Crater (mans head); (below) Corvus (raven).
  • f.57v: Centaurus (galloping centaur holding a trident).
  • f.58r: (above) Leo (lion); (below) Ara (flaming brazier).
  • f.58v: (above) Corona Australis (crown); (below) Piscis Australis (fish).
  • ff.59a-70r: The lunar mansions represented by gold disks, 27 out of 28 shown (No. 27 is always omitted).
  • f.72v: Angels which support God’s throne.
  • f.73v: The angel, al-Rūḥ.
  • f.74v: Israfil with his trumpet.
  • f.76r: Jibrāʼīl.
  • f.76v: Mikāʼīl.
  • f.77r: Izrāʼīl.
  • f.79v: (above) Cow-headed angels of the first heaven; (below) Eagle-shaped angels of the second heaven.
  • f.80r: (above) Vulture-formed angels of the third heaven; (below) Angels of the fourth heaven with double-horses heads and birds claws.
  • f.80v: (above) Houris of the fifth heaven; (below) Boys of the sixth heaven.
  • f.81r: Men of the seventh heaven.
  • f.82r: Recording angels with asses ears seated either side of a man.
  • f.85r: Harut and Marut with asses ears, hanging upside-down.
  • f.98r: Diagram of the months.
  • f.118v: Diagram showing the position of the winds (unfinished).
  • f.121v: Diagram of the reflection of the light (unfinished).
  • f.123r: Aureole round the moon.
  • f.123v: A rainbow.
  • f.127v: Map of the oceans of the world (unfinished).
  • f.129r: Winged cats of Sumatra.
  • f.129v: (above) Muskdeer of Sumatra; (below) Apes of Sumatra.
  • f.130r: Winged tree-dwellers of Sumatra.
  • f.130v: Tree-dwellers of Ramni.
  • f.131r: Rhinoceros of Ramni.
  • f.131v: Waqwaq tree.
  • f.132v: Bird (China Sea).
  • f.133v: Serpent (China Sea).
  • f.136r: Dog-headed people of the island al-Qasr.
  • f.136v: Adam on Sarandib.
  • f.137r: People of Jaba with their heads on their chests.
  • f.137v: A dragon with an ox in its mouth on the Island of Tannin.
  • f.138r: Horned-hare which the islanders gave to Alexander.
  • f.138v: Human-headed fish (Indian Sea).
  • f.142v: (above) Dragon-headed monster (Persian Sea); (below) Swordfish (Persian Sea).
  • f.143r: Fish like a shield (Persian Sea).
  • f.144r: A giant bird saving a shipwrecked man (Persian Sea).
  • f.145v: (above) Fish which frightens sailors in the Red Sea; (below) Fish which becomes like cotton when the flesh is dried (Red Sea).
  • f.146r: Owl fish (Red Sea).
  • f.147v: Dog-headed monsters of the Island of Sagsar (Sea of Zanj).
  • f.148v: Man with two women (Sea of Zanj).
  • f.149r: Horned fish (Sea of Zanj).
  • f.149v: Whale (Sea of Zanj).
  • f.152r: A spotted yellow serpent and a snake-tailed fish.
  • f.152v: Jewish Shaykh fish of the Western Sea.
  • f.153r: Camel fish (Western Sea).
  • f.153v: (above) The fish of Joshua and Moses (Western Sea); (below) ‘Hat-like’ fish (Western Sea).
  • f.154r: (above) Winged fish (Western Sea); (below) Fish like a lighthouse (Western Sea).
  • f.156r: A serpent (with front paws) (Caspian).
  • f.156v: Human-headed monster (Caspian).
  • f.157v: (above) Sea-hare; (below) Large fish which eats bones.
  • f.158r: Water men.
  • f.158v: Water cow.
  • f.159v: Crocodile.
  • f.160r: Sea dragon ( tinnīn ).
  • f.161r: (above) Catfish; (below) Lamprey.
  • f.161v: (above) Dolphin; (below) Zūbyān fish.
  • f.162r: Torpedo fish.
  • f.162v: Fish whose burned skin is used to heal the eyes of cattle.
  • f.163r: Crab.
  • f.163v: Five-legged crab.
  • f.164r: Skink.
  • f.165r: Turtle with a tree growing from its shell.
  • f.166r: (above) Carp; (centre) Shifnīn ; (below) Ṣīr ; (border) Frog in human form.
  • f.167r: Frog.
  • f.167v: Leech.
  • f.168r: Mollusc with a head.
  • f.168v: Winged Nile horse.
  • f.169r: Whale.
  • f.169v: Qusṭā fish.
  • f.170r: Beavers.
  • f.170v: Sea hedgehog.
  • f.171r: (above) Narwhal; (below) Water-dog and a man with a dagger.
  • f.171v: Shark found near Basrah.
  • f.175v: Diagram of the seven climes.
  • f.182r: Khusrau visiting Shirin, with Farhad standing nearby (Mt. Bisitun).
  • f.213r: Harut and Marut chained upside down in a well in Babel.
  • f.251v: Myrtle.
  • f.252r: Ebony.
  • f.252v: Citron.
  • f.253r: Plum ( ijjāṣ ).
  • f.253v: (above) Persian lilac; (below) Gum Arabic tree ( umm ghaylān ).
  • f.254r: (above) Horseradish tree; (below) Turpentine tree ( buṭm ).
  • f.254v: Balsam tree ( balasān ).
  • f.255r: Oak.
  • f.255v: Apple.
  • f.256r: (above) Spruce; (below) Mulberry.
  • f.257r: Fig tree.
  • f.257v: Sycamore fig.
  • f.258r: (above) Walnut; (below) Galingale.
  • f.258v: (above) Castor-oil; (below) Egyptian willow.
  • f.259r: Peach.
  • f.259v: (above) Spiny broom; (below) Elm.
  • f.260r: (above) Plane tree; (below) Laurel.
  • f.260v: Pomegranate.
  • f.261v: Olive.
  • f.262v: Cypress.
  • f.263r: Quince.
  • f.263v: (above) Sumac tree; (below) Umbrella Thorn Acacia.
  • f.264r: (above) Juniper gum tree; (below) Shabāb tree.
  • f.264v: (above) Chestnut; (below) Sandalwood.
  • f.265r: (above) Pine; (below) Balm that grows in Yemen.
  • f.265v: (above) Tamarisk; (below) Juniper.
  • f.266r: (above) Mudar plant; (below) Gall oak ( ʻafs ).
  • f.266v: Jujube tree.
  • f.267r: (above) Aloes wood ( ʻūd ); (below) Sorbus.
  • f.267v: (above) Desert poplar; (below) A hard wood ( fāvāniyā ).
  • f.268r: (above) Pistachio; (below) Pepper tree.
  • f.268v: Hazlenut.
  • f.269r: (above) Wolfberry; (below) Clove.
  • f.269v: Sugar-cane.
  • f.270r: Camphor.
  • f.272r: Grapevine.
  • f.272v: (above) Pear tree; (below) Sun spurge.
  • f.273r: (above) Frankincense; (below) Almond tree.
  • f.274v: Lime.
  • f.275r: Apricot.
  • f.275v: (above) Banana; (below) Orange.
  • f.276r: (above) Coconut palm; (below) Buckthorn.
  • f.277v: Date palm.
  • f.278r: Rose.
  • f.279r: Generic herb with purple flowers.
  • f.279v: (above) Tarragon; (centre) Wormwood; (below) Lentil.
  • f.280r: (above) Indigo plant; (below) Nightshade.
  • f.281r: (above) Radish; (below) Purslane.
  • f.281v: Vitex.
  • f.282r: (above) Calamint; (centre) Wolf's bane; (below) Dog’s bane.
  • f.282v: Milkvetch.
  • f.283r: (above) Armenian cucumber; (below) Safflower.
  • f.283v: (above) Cotton; (below) Prickly thrift.
  • f.284r: Hemp.
  • f.284v: (above) Cauliflower; (centre) Yarrow; (below) Bugloss.
  • f.285r: Flax.
  • f.285v: (above) Leek; (below) Vetch.
  • f.286r: (above) Celery; (below) Caraway.
  • f.286v: (above) Coriander; (centre) Kakvāsah (?); (below) Cumin.
  • f.287r: Mangosteen.
  • f.287v: (above) Truffle; (centre) Bindweed; (below) Plantain (fleawort).
  • f.288r: (above) Sacred fig; (below) Caper.
  • f.288v: (above) Mandrake; (below) Black-eyed peas.
  • f.289r: (above) Arum lily; (centre) Water lily; (below) Mung bean.
  • f.290r: (above) Daphne; (centre) Māhūzānah; (below) Levant A geographical area corresponding to the region around the eastern Mediterranean Sea. nut.
  • f.290v: (above) Marjoram; (below) Nard.
  • f.291r: Ajwain.
  • f.291v: (above) Narcissus; (below) Dog rose.
  • f.292r: Peppermint.
  • f.292v: (above) Asparagus; (below) Chicory.
  • f.293r: (above) Turmeric; (below) Gourd.
  • f.345r: Horses.
  • f.346r: Mule.
  • f.347r: Domestic asses.
  • f.348r: Wild asses.
  • f.349v: Camels.
  • f.351r: Humped white bull.
  • f.352r: Antelopes.
  • f.352v: Buffalo.
  • f.353r: Giraffe.
  • f.354r: Ram and ewe.
  • f.355r: Goats.
  • f.355v: Blackbuck.
  • f.356v: Mountain goat.
  • f.357v: Jackal.
  • f.358r: Weasel ( ibn ʻirs ).
  • f.358v: Hare.
  • f.360r: Lion.
  • f.360v: Tiger.
  • f.361v: Foxes.
  • f.362r: Unicorn ( jarīsh ).
  • f.363r: Wild boar.
  • f.364r: Bear.
  • f.364v: Marten ( dalaq ).
  • f.365v: Wolf.
  • f.366r: Sinād.
  • f.366v: Squirrels.
  • f.367r: (above) Cats; (below) Wildcat.
  • f.367v: Shīr-i uns.
  • f.368r: Shādahvār.
  • f.369r: (above) Hyena; (below) Caracal.
  • f.369v: (above) Demonic camel killer; (below) Falā.
  • f.370r: Cheetah.
  • f.371v: Elephant.
  • f.372r: Apes.
  • f.373r: Rhinoceros.
  • f.375r: (above) Leopard; (below) Tiger-striped horned feline.
  • f.375v: Stag.
  • f.376v: (above) Abū Barāqish (similar to a crane); (below) Abū Hārūn.
  • f.377r: (border) Goose.
  • f.377v: Hawk.
  • f.378r: (above) Parrot; (below) Nightingale.
  • f.378v: Owl.
  • f.379r: (above) Pheasant; (below) Weaver bird.
  • f.379v: (above) Vipers Nurse bird; (below) Bustard.
  • f.380r: Kite.
  • f.381r: Dove.
  • f.382r: Swallows.
  • f.383r: (above) Bats; (below) Francolin.
  • f.384v: Cock.
  • f.385r: Hen.
  • f.385v: A kind of vulture ( rakhmah ).
  • f.386r: Raven.
  • f.386v: (above) Starling; (below) A kind of vulture (zamj).
  • f.387r: (above) Quail; (centre) Gyrfalcon; (below) Peregrine.
  • f.387v: (above) Turtle dove; (below) Roller.
  • f.388r: (above) Ṣāfir (bird which sings at night); (below) Falcon.
  • f.388v: Sea bird.
  • f.389r: (above) Peacock; (below) Grouse.
  • f.389v: Sparrows.
  • f.390v: Eagle.
  • f.391r: Magpies.
  • f.391v: Simurgh ( ʻanqā ).
  • f.392v: (above) Crow; (below) Cranes.
  • f.393r: Diver.
  • f.393v: Laughing dove.
  • f.394r: (above) Partridge; (below) Lark.
  • f.394v: Sandgrouse.
  • f.395r: (above) Barbary dove; (centre) Phoenix; (below) Grus.
  • f.395v: Curlew.
  • f.396r: (above) Egret; (below) Desert lark.
  • f.396v: Vulture.
  • f.397r: (above) Ostrich; (below) Hoopoe.
  • f.398r: (above) Diving bird; (below) Gold firebird.
  • f.400v: Viper.
  • f.402r: Dragon.
  • f.402v: Locust.
  • f.403r: (above) Chameleon; (centre) Flea-like insect ( Ḥurqūṣ ); (below) Snails.
  • f.404v: Bird-eating snakes.
  • f.405r: Earthworm.
  • f.405v: Black beetle.
  • f.406r: (above) Silkworm (dūd al-qazz) drawn as a beetle; (below) Worms.
  • f.407r: Flies.
  • f.407v: (above) Cantharides; (below) Tarantulas.
  • f.408r: (above) Hornet; (below) Gecko in text but drawn as a fly.
  • f.408v: Turtle.
  • f.409r: (above) A moth called bint Warwar which resembles a green plant; (below) Ṣannājah .
  • f.410r: (above) Uromastyx; (below) Polecat.
  • f.410v: Lizard.
  • f.411r: Scorpion.
  • f.412r: Spider.
  • f.413r: Coin-stealing mouse.
  • f.413v: (above) Mole; (centre) Musk mouse; (below) Black and white mouse; (below) Wolfsbane mouse.
  • f.414r: Jerboas and holes.
  • f.414v: Salamanders.
  • f.416v: (above) Hedgehog; (below) Ticks.
  • f.418r: Bees.
  • f.419v: Monitor lizard (damaged).
  • f.420r: Giant man and woman from the Land of Gog and Magog.
  • f.420v: (above) Elephant-eared people from the Land of Mansuk; (centre) Black pygmies; (below) Tree-dwellers of Sumatra.
  • f.421r: (above) Naked dwellers of Ramni; (below) One-eyed inhabitants of an island of Zanj.
  • f.421v: (above) Dog-headed people of Zanj; (below) Beautiful people of Zanj who had no bones in their legs.
  • f.422r: (above) Winged people with elephants' trunks; (centre) Winged people with horses' heads; (below) Two-headed people with tails.
  • f.422v: (above) Two-headed people with many legs; (centre) Human-headed serpents; (below) People with their faces on their chests.
  • f.423r: (above) Split people; (centre) Human-headed turtle; (below) A 'Giraffe' (Cross between a camel and an ox).
  • f.423v: (above) Cross between a horse and a wild ass; (centre) Cross between a camel and a dromedary; (below) Cross between men and bears.
  • f.424r: (above) Cross between a wolf and a hyena; (centre) Cross between a dog and a wolf; (below) Cross between a domestic pigeon and a wild pigeon.
  • f.424v: The giant Ūj ibn ʼAnaq.
  • f.425r: A giant from the land of the Bulgars.
  • f.425v: (border) Two fish inscribed with the Basmala; (above) A giant of Mosul; (below) A person from Yemen with two conjoined bodies from the waist up.
  • f.426r: (above) Human-headed bird; (centre) The winged fox which was presented to Nūḥ ibn Manṣūr; (below) A woman with the double-headed child she gave birth to in Khurāsān.
  • f.426v: The horned horse presented to Nūḥ ibn Manṣūr.
Extent and format
Codex A collection of pages, usually gathered into quires, and bound between covers. ; ff. iv+466+ii
Physical characteristics

Material: Paper

Dimensions: 310 x 210 mm leaf [ 210 x 146 mm written]

Foliation: British Museum foliation in pencil; Arabic foliation in red and black ff. 2 (i.e. f.8)-416 (ie. f.426)

Ruling: 19 lines per page; vertical spacing 9 lines per 10 cm

Script: Naskh

Ink: Black ink, with rubricated headings and overlinings in red

Decoration: Sarlawḥ ; opening (ff.7v-8r) text block in white cloud-bands against gilt background with floriated decoration (red and green); text illustrated with 457 mid-17th century Deccani paintings.

Binding: Red leather oriental binding without flap; stamped and pasted central medallion with pendants, corners, and cartouches

Condition: Waterstains, torn edges.

Marginalia: Extensive.

Seals: f.7r: round seal of Muḥammad ʻĀdil Shāḥ; f. iv verso The back of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'v'. : red British museum stamp.

Written in
Persian in Arabic script
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Tarjumah-ʼi ʻAjā’ib al-makhlūqāt ترجمۀ عجائب المخلوقات Anonymous translator [‎397r] (812/958), British Library: Oriental Manuscripts, Or 1621, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 15 July 2024]

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