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Collected Poems of Aisha Durrani
This work is a lithographic print, published in Kabul, of the collected poems of 'Āyisha Durrānī, an Afghan poetess from the Durrani family, who was active in the second half of the 19th century. The poems include qasidas (a lyric form) and ghazals (a metrical form expressing the pain of loss and the beauty of love), and are arranged alphabetically according to qāfiya (the effect of rhyme). The collection was compiled during the reign of 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān, emīr of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. The Durrani family led a ...
Natives of Ziarat-e-Hazratji
This image of a group of people at a Muslim shrine is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Ziarat generally means “visit” in Arabic, but here it refers specifically to religious pilgrimage sites found across the Middle East and North Africa and visited by Muslims of all persuasions. The remains of great religious teachers or members of bāyt ʻAlī (the family of ʻAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib, the fourth Muslim caliph) are buried in such shrines. This monument to Hazratji ...
Afghanistan: A Short Account of Afghanistan, Its History, and Our Dealings with It
This book is a brief history of Afghanistan and its relations with the British Empire. It was published in London in 1881 as Parliament and the British public were debating policy toward Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, which was fought between 1878 and 1880. The author, Philip Francis Walker, was a London barrister who had recently served with the British army in Afghanistan, and the book contains vivid accounts of fierce fighting with the Afghans. In a typical passage, Walker describes the Afghan tribesmen as “being ...
The Book Known as “The Sulṭānī History”
Tārīkh-i Sulṭānī (The Sulṭānī history) is a historical study of the Afghan people and the rulers of Afghanistan from the beginnings of Islam to the mid-19th century. The work was published as a lithographic print in Bombay (present-day Mumbai) in 1881. This copy has been rebound, with “Ṣaḥāfī Sulṭān Muḥammad, Kabul" gold-stamped on the back cover. The title page and pages 3−4 are damaged and repaired with no loss of text. The last page (page 291) has been repaired and missing text added in ink in a later hand ...
Discourse on Universal History
This work is a translation into Arabic of Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet’s history of the world, Discours sur l’histoire universelle (Discourse on universal history), in which the author argues for the divine right of kings. Bossuet’s book, originally published in 1681, is regarded as a classic statement defining the monarch as the embodiment of the state. Bossuet wrote the book for the benefit of the crown prince of France and based his argument on an interpretation of Biblical history. The work was translated by ‘Abd Allah al-Bustāni. It was ...
Persia, Afghanistan and Baluchistan
This colored map of Persia (present-day Iran), Afghanistan, and Baluchistan (in present-day Iran and Pakistan) was published by Chicago-based Rand McNally and Company, which became a major publisher of atlases, maps, globes, and travel guides in the United States in the second half of the 19th century. The map shows major cities and towns, mountains, rivers, deserts and other geographic features, and submarine telegraph cables in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Two distance scales are given, one in Persian fursakhs (also seen as parasangs or farsangs, an ancient Persian ...
Map of Kafiristan
Kafiristan, or “The Land of the Infidels,” was a region in eastern Afghanistan where the inhabitants had retained their traditional culture and religion and rejected conversion to Islam. In 1896 the ruler of Afghanistan, Amir 'Abd al-Raḥmān Khān (reigned 1880−1901), conquered the area and brought it under Afghan control. The Kafirs became Muslims and in 1906 the region was renamed Nuristan, meaning the “Land of Light,” a reference to the enlightenment brought by Islam. Kafiristan was visited by British expeditions and survey missions in the 1870s and 1880s and ...
Layout Plan for the Sheltered Port of La Luz and the Projected Works
This document is an original plan for the port of La Luz, situated in the Bay of Las Isletas in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain). It was drawn up by the engineer Juan de León y Castillo (1834-1912), whose idea was to construct an outer dock measuring 1,240 meters long, starting from an anterior pier providing shelter on a north-south axis. A transverse dock some 600 meters in length running in an east-west direction would complete the port seawall and separate the port from the outer ...
Minas and Rio Railway, Brazil: Mantiqueira Tunnel: Visits from Your Majesties on the 25th of June, 1882
The Minas and Rio Railway, also known as the Rio Verde Railway, was opened for traffic on July 14th, 1884, in the presence of Emperor Pedro II (1825–91), his daughter Princess Isabel, and her husband, Prince Gastão de Orléans, conde d’Eu. The British-owned and constructed line ran from Cruzeiro in the interior of the state of São Paulo, across the Mantiqueira Mountains, and through cities and towns in the southern part of the state of Minas Gerais as far as Três Corações do Rio Verde. The line played ...
Passage of Venus, December 6, 1882
This photograph, taken by Marc Ferrez on December 6, 1882, is contained in an album that commemorates the participation of Brazil in the international effort to track the transit of Venus that same year. Ferrez honored Brazil’s contribution by compiling a photomontage of the three men commissioned by the Imperial Observatory of Brazil to view the transit on the island of St. Thomas in the Antilles. Antonio Luiz von Hoonholtz Tezpur, the Baron of Teffé, is shown at the top of the picture. Captain Lieutenant Francisco Calheiros da Graça ...
Map of North Borneo
Borneo is the world’s third-largest island. Sabak and Sarawak in the north are part of Malaysia, Kalimantan in the center and south is part of Indonesia, and the Sultanate of Brunei occupies a part of the island along the northern coast. The island was known for centuries to the Indians, Chinese, Arabs, and Japanese, but came under increasing Dutch and British influence from the 17th century onward. In 1878, the Sultan of Sulu leased the northern part of the island to the British North Borneo Company. This map, drawn ...
Comprehensive Reference on Algebra and Equations
This manuscript is a didactic work on arithmetic and algebra, composed in versified form, as a qasīda of 59 verses. It was composed by Ibn al-Hā’im al-Fardī in 1402 (804 A.H.). The beginning of the work also names ‛Alī b. ‛Abd al-Samad al-Muqrī al-Mālikī (died Dhu al-Ḥijja 1381 [782 A.H.]), a scholar and teacher who had come to Egypt and taught at the ‛Amr b. ‛As madrasa for several years. The main part of the qasīda begins by introducing and defining key terms in arithmetic and algebra ...
Various Types of Surinamese
This watercolor by Arnold Borret (1848-88) consists of small sketches of different members of society and their various ethnic backgrounds in the Dutch colony of Suriname in the late 1880s. Borret was an accomplished amateur artist who was also a lawyer and a Roman Catholic priest. He studied law at the University of Leiden and practiced in Rotterdam before becoming a clerk, in 1878, to the Supreme Court in Paramaribo. He became a priest in 1883, with the intention of working with lepers in Suriname. He died of typhus in ...
“The Instrument of the Beginners in the Science of the Beginning of the Months and of the Years” and “The Gem of the Disciples in the Explanation of the Instrument of the Beginners”
While in the West, particularly in modern times, poetry and science tend to differ sharply in their approach to describing the world, this is not the case in the Arabic-speaking world, where the use of the literary form of the poetical treatise has produced remarkable works in a variety disciplines, including mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, and astrology. The present manuscript shows that the tradition of the Arabic poetical treatise was not confined to the Middle Ages but was still alive in the 19th century. Aḥmad ibn Qāsim Al-Miṣrī (1814-1856) is the ...
Features of the Mountainous Region North and West of Peking
This map by Otto Franz von Möllendorff (1848-1903) originally was published as one of two appendixes to an 1881 article by Möllendorff in the journal of the German Geographical Society. Möllendorff was a zoologist and German consular official whose primary interest was the animals of northern China and Central Asia. He used a number of existing maps, such as those by the British Admiralty, the Russian geophysicist Hermann Fritsche, and the Polish-Russian military officer and scientist Nikolai Przewalski, as well as his own surveys and observations, to produce this highly ...
Map of Eastern Indochina
This 1881 map of eastern Indochina is by Jules Léon Dutreuil de Rhins (1846-94), a French naval officer, explorer, and geographer. Dutreuil de Rhins led an adventurous life that took him to Mexico, the Congo, Indochina, and Central Asia. In 1876-77, he commanded a ship in the navy of the King of Annam, and in 1879 published a book entitled Le royaume d’Annam et les Annamites (The kingdom of Annam and the Annamites). Dutreuil de Rhins is best known for his expeditions to Central Asia and Tibet, where he ...
Imperial Order to Dispatch Mission Head Plenipotentiary Itō to Europe to Study Constitutional Forms of Government
This document is the 1882 imperial order commanding Itō Hirobumi (1841–1909) to visit Europe to study the constitutional systems of various European countries. A separate document presents a concrete list of 31 different items to be studied, including each country's constitution, royal family, legislature, cabinet, judiciary, and system of local government. On March 14, 1882 (Meiji 15), Itō set sail from Yokohama. He spent 14 months in Europe, traveling around Prussia (Germany), Austria, Britain, Belgium, and other countries. In Prussia he was influenced by the lectures of such ...
Lives of the Physicians
Muaffaq-addin Abu Al-Abbas Ahmad Ibn Al-Qasim Ibn Khalifa Al-Khazraji, better known as Ibn Abī Usaybiah (died circa 1269 AD), was an Arab physician and historian, who was born in Damascus, Syria. The son of an oculist, he studied medicine in Syria as well as in Egypt. Uyūn ul-Anbā fī Ṭabaqāt ul-Aṭibbā (Lives of the physicians) is an encyclopedia containing biographies of known Greek, Roman, Indian and Muslim physicians from ancient times to around 1245 AD. The work is divided into 15 chapters, the first of which is a general treatment ...
Ornaments of Domestic Industry: Ruthenian Peasant Metalwork
Vzory promyslu domashnogo vyroby metalevi selian na Rusi (Ornaments of domestic industry: Ruthenian peasant metalwork) is one of a series of books published by the Industrial Museum in L’viv (present-day Ukraine), this one appearing in 1882. The explanatory text appears in Polish, Ruthenian (a predecessor of modern Ukrainian), German, and French, and it highlights the art and aesthetic taste shown in everyday objects. The book’s focus is the Hutsuls, a people of the Carpathian Mountains, mainly in western and southwestern Ukraine, but also northern Romania and eastern Poland ...
El Mosquito, January 3, 1875
El Mosquito, which described itself as a “weekly independent, satirical, burlesque periodical with caricatures,” appeared for the first time on May 24, 1863. In the more than 1,500 issues published between then and the last issue in 1893, the newspaper satirized the behavior of local politicians. The publication provides a unique vantage point on the formation of the modern nation-state in Argentina. Published on Sundays, the newspaper consisted of four pages, with the two middle pages exclusively dedicated to lithographs that caricaturized current events and important figures of the ...