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Chapter Summary

This introductory says that the treatise now designated as Bodleian Library MS Arab. c. 90 is divided into two parts (maqalahs): The first part or book, on celestial matters, is composed of ten chapters, and begins with a description of the heavens and their influence upon events on Earth. The second book, on the Earth, is divided into twenty-five chapters. Some illustrations, such as those depicting comets or small islands, have traces of gold or silver sprinklings, while other areas in the maps may have been over-painted or coated in a shiny lacquer-like material that is now crackled and crazed. The later copies show more interest in Book One, on the heavens, than in Book Two, on the depiction of the Earth. A special problem is posed by the transliteration of unidentified place-names or star-names, which are often left without diacritical dots by the copyists.

Keywords:Bodleian Library MS Arab; celestial matters; diacritical dots; maqalahs; shiny lacquer



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