The Book of Curiosities

In 2002, the Bodleian Library, Oxford purchased a previously unknown Islamic manuscript. The title is Kitāb Gharāʾib al-funūn wa-mulaḥ al-ʿuyūn, or the “Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes”.
The above picture is a diagram of the winds. The manuscript is in two parts, the “universe” and the “earth”. The earth part contains one of the first rectangular maps of the world prior to the renaissance, while the universe section talks of the astronomical.

The manuscript is a cosmographical one, written in Fatimid Egypt in the 12th century, a copy of an earlier 11th century one.

The Bodleian Library has high resolution scans of the books, as well as Arabic & English translations (by holding the mouse over the text). On a strange note, the maps have south at the top of the maps, and north at the bottom. Follow the link-

Medieval Islamic Views of the Cosmos: The Book of Curiosities

Bibliography
Bibliodyssey– The Book of Curiosities.
Desicritics.org– The Book of Curiosities.
art-humanities.net– The Book of Curiosities: An early 11th-century Arabic cosmography.

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