Al Idrissi or Al-Idrīsī or Charif Al Idrissi , of its complete name Abu Abdallah Muhammad Ibn Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Idriss Al-Qurtubi Al-Hassani (), known also under the Latin name of Draw up , is a geographer and botanist Almoravides, born with Ceuta (Spain) towards 1100, died towards 1165. It owes its fame with the drafting of a work of descriptive geography entitled Kitâb Nuzhat Al Mushtâq or Kitâb Rudjâr or the Book of Roger . This book was written at the request of Roger II, king Norman of Sicily, to illustrate and comment on large a silver planisphere built by Al-Idrīsī.
BiographyOne knows few things on the Al-Idrīsī life. It would have been born with Ceuta, at the time part of the empire of the Almoravides, about 1099 or 1100, of a noble family. It seems to have studied with Cordoue. He would have travelled to the the Maghreb, in Andalusia, with the Portugal, and perhaps even in minor Asia, bringing back his voyages of the notes on the geography and the flora of the visited areas. One knows little about the circumstances of his arrival in Sicily where it arrives at Palermo in 1139. The Norman king Roger II of Sicily would have called it at his court to carry out large a silver planisphere there, and especially to write the geographical comment corresponding. This work will take 18 years of its life to him. One loses his trace in 1158, after it had carried out this work. The historians locate the date of his death between 1164 and 1180. Perhaps the little of information on this scientist of the Middle Ages, resides, according to the historian F. Pons Boigues, in the fact that the Arab biographers regarded Al-Idrīsī as a renegade, with the service of a Christian king.
The geographerWhen it arrived at Palermo in 1139, it launched out in the constitution of a Planisphère and a comment associated it Livre of the entertainment with that which wishes to discover the world ( Kitāb nuzhat Al-mushtāq fī ikhtirāq Al-āfāq ) - more commonly known under the name of Livre of Roger , who constitutes one of the best works of medieval cartography.
The Livre of Roger includes/understands a description of Sicily, of Italy, of Spain, Northern Europe, and Africa, as well as Byzance: it is a description resolutely universalist who includes/understands as well the physical geography as the human activities. Its knowledge of the Niger, the Sudan and the the Nile is remarkable for its time. The work profited from the typical location of the Norman kingdom of Sicily at the 12th century and of the Syncrétisme between civilizations Byzantine, Norman and Arabic which characterized it.
To carry out this work, Al-Idrīsī was based on the results of its own voyages but also on the observations which it ordered from other travellers.
It seems that the first publication of the work goes back to 1157. One had of it only one summary, published for the first Arabic time with Rome in 1592, and translated into Latin under the title of Geographia Nubiensis , by Gabriel Sionite, Paris, 1619. Pierre Amédée Jaubert found in 1829 of it a complete manuscript with the National library of France and published of it the translation in French, Paris, 1837 - 1839, 2 volumes in-4, with notes. It is the only complete translation of the Livre of Roger : she is regarded as not very reliable because of the manuscripts of second hand that she uses. A new edition corrects only partially these errors.
Later, Al-Idrīsī developed another geographical encyclopedia, more complete still, than the author entitled Rawd-Unnas wa-Nuzhat Al-Nafs ( Plaisir of the men and joy of the hearts ), delivers also known as Kitab Al-Mamalik wa Al-Masalik ( Livre of the kingdoms and the roads ).
As regards medicinal plants, its Kitab Al-Jami-Li-Sifat Ashtat Al-Nabatat ( Book gathering fragmentary descriptions of the plants ) testifies to its thorough knowledge in botany. He studied and examined the literature available in his time on the subject of the medicinal plants and made progress knowledge on the matter since the old Greeks. A great number of new plants, Drug S with their medical evaluation, was thus given to the doctors. It gave the names of drugs in six languages: Greek Syriaque, , Persan, Hindi, Latin and Berber.
Beside botany and the geography, Al-Idrīsī also wrote on the fauna, the Zoologie and the aspects therapeutic. Its work written in Arabic was translated quickly into Latin. Its books on the geography remained popular several centuries in the East and Occident.
- an exploration of the book of Roger to the BNF
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