Yaqut al-Hamawi Open this page in a new tab

Yaqut al-Hamawi (1179-1229 CE) was a Muslim scholar of Byzantine Greek ancestry who is most widely known for the Geographical work Mu'jam ul-Buldān; which translates to Dictionary of Countries (wikipedia).

Yaqut, whose nisba al-Rumi indicates Byzantine ancestry, was born in Constantinople. Though captured during a war and enslaved, the Baghdad merchant who bought him, gave him a good education and set him free (muslimheritage.com). Although Yaqut spent many years as a book seller in Baghdad, he also traveled widely throughout the Islamic world. As a refugee of the Mongol conquests, he finally ended up in Aleppo where he died in 1229 CE (muslimheritage.com).

Only four of his many works have survived with Mu’ajam al-Udaba (Dictionary of the learned men) and Mu’ajam al-Buldan (Dictionary of countries) being the best known (muslimheritage.com).

1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 28 provides the following information regarding editions and manuscripts of Yaqut's works
The parts of this work relating to Persia have been extracted and translated by Barbier de Meynard under the title Dictionnaire géographique, historique et littéraire de la Perse (Paris, 1871). Some account of its sources is given in F. J. Heer's Die historischen und geographischen Quellen in Jacut's geog rap his chem Wörterbuch (Strassburg, 1898), and the material relating to the Crusades is treated by H. Derenbourg, "Les Croisades d'apres le dictionnaire géographique de Jacout" in the volume of the Centenaire de I'école des langiies orientates vivantes, 71–92. A digest of the whole work was made by Ibn 'Abdulhaqq (d. 1338) under the title Marāṣid ul-Ittilā (ed. T. G. J. Juynboll, Leiden, 1850–1864). Yaqut also wrote a dictionary of geographical homonyms, the Mushtarik (ed. F. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen, 1846). Besides all this activity in geography Yaqut gave his attention to biography, and wrote an important dictionary of learned men, the Mu'jam ul-Udabā. Parts of this work exist in MS. in different libraries; vol. i. has been edited by D. S. Margoliouth, Irshād al-Arib Il ā Mārifat al Adib (London, 1908).