Ms. nº 1550. Bibliothèque Nationale, Algiers (Fagnan, 1983: 426-427)

A miscellaneous work written in very small maghrebi script that is difficult to read. It has 21 lines per page. There are no marginal notes, except catch-words. Chapter titles and the beginning of paragraphs or themes are written in a different coloured ink and in larger letters than in the text.

Though it is difficult to be sure it seems that there is more than one copyist at work in the manuscript, though their identities remain unknown. The date of the copy is given in folio 151v: 1197 hijri corresponding to 1782-3.

The manuscript has 200 numbered folios but the chapters relating to Andalusian agronomy are found only in fols. 154v to 193v1. These contain two agricultural texts that also occur in manuscript 5754 of the National Library in Paris, along with two identical explicits, here found in folios 180r and 193v. In the Parisian manuscript both texts register the name of Abū ’l-Qāsim b. ‘Abbās al-Nahrāwī, whereas in the Algerian copy this name occurs only in the first explicit (fol. 180r). We therefore conclude that this manuscript is of the same family as the Parisian one and is possibly a copy of it. Consequently folios 154v to 180r contain the first part of the Jordanian edition of Al-Muqni‘, with practically the same differences between this and the ones noted in the Parisian manuscript no. 5754. These are:

Textual differences in the headings of the first agricultural work; the loss of some lines from the introduction and also from that concerning the vine; alterations in the chapter on crop diseases; absence of the heading entitled ‘Vines with bountiful shoots”; change in the order in the cultivation and grafting of trees; addition of a few words on vinegar and oil; loss of part of the chapters on bees, doves and peacocks, and some textual alterations in the section concerning mice, snakes, fleas, ants and mosquitoes 2. [By comparing the text of this manuscript with other codices it was concluded that these folios (154v-180r) were authored by Ibn Wāfid, acc. to Carabaza Bravo, J. M. & García Sánchez, E., 1998. ‘Códices Misceláneos de Agronomía Andalusí’. Al‑Qantara 19, p. 399]

In respect to folios 180r to 193v they have the same text as we have seen in folios 176v to 186r of the Parisian manuscript 5754, i.e. part of the summary of Ibn al-‘Awwām’s Kitāb al-Filāḥa.

(translated from Carabaza Bravo, J. M., García Sánchez, E. & Llavero Ruiz, E., 1991. ‘Obras manuscritas de los geoponos andalusies (siglos X-XII)’, pp. 1130-31. In: Emilio Molina et al. (eds.). Homenaje al Profesor Jacinto Bosch Vila, vol. 2. Granada: Universidad de Granada).


1 On pages 1v to 151v is a compendium of the geographical work of al-Idrīsī entitled Al-Kalām ‘alà ṣurat al-arḍ; folios 152r to 154r are blank, as are folios 194r to 196r. In folios 196v to 200r – the final text – is a story based around the figure of Dhū’l Qarnayn (Alexander the Great).
2 Compare Ibn Ḥajjāj, Al-Muqni‘, pp. 5, 20-22, 24-26, 43-44, 48-49, 52, 55-56, 69-70, 75-78 and 80-84, and ms. 1550 fols. 154v, 160r, 161r-161v, 167v-168r, 169r, 170v, 172r and 176r-180r.