The Hudud al-'Alam, written in AD 982 for a Prince of Guzganan (located in the North West of modern Afghanistan), is a geography covering the whole known world and one of the earliest works of Persian prose. It was designed to accompany a map and, though the product of cabinet scholarship rather than original observation, it preserves much material from earlier compositions which are lost and shows originality in its organization. A facsimile edition of the unique MS, which came to light in Bukhara in the late 19th century, was published in Russia in 1930 by Barthold but it was left to Minorsky to make the data widely accessible by his English translation and his extensive commentary, which analyses the work's position in the early Islamic geographical tradition and identifies and discusses the places mentioned in the light of a wealth of other information. V. Minorsky was a former Professor of Persian in the University of London and his other translations include Tadhkirat al-Muluk, A Manual of Safavid Administration in this series.
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