Under: From a German translation of Ibn Baytar: Ambergris is collected on the shores.

From a french translation of the simple medicines; Aloes is collected from floating on a river.

From an Indian ms: a snake sharmer makes the snakes leave the sandalwood trees.

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Sa'id al-Tamimi: Kitab Jayb al-‘arus

(The Bosom of the Bride) (d. 980)


Taken from: Sitzungsberichte der Physikalisch-medicinischen Societät zu Erlangen, Volumes 47-51

Nuwayri : Nihayat al-Arab

also called Tib al Arus


(about amber)

……….Husain Ibn Jazid al Sirafi relates that the Ambra, which reaches the shores of Shihr, is thrown up by the waves from the Indian ocean. The best and most excellent is that which comes from the Barbar sea, and up to the borders of the countries of the Zang and of the regions on the other site of it, as well as the white round one, and the precious blue one. He says: The people of these regions ride on well-trained camels during the moon lit nights along their shores. These camels knows the Ambra. Sometimes the rider sleeps on them or is inattentive. When the camel sees Ambra on the coast, he kneels down. The rider descends and takes the amber. He says; There is also the amber, which is found floating on the sea in inside the big fishes. He says: after the Ambra from Shihr, comes the one from Zang, who is brought from the land of Zang to Aden, is the white amber. Then comes the Ambra al salahati (schalahati); There are various excellent species, the best is the blue salahate, the fat one which contains a great deal of oil, it is the one used in the Galija; after the alahti comes al qaquli, it is large, of excellent smell, of a beautiful appearance, light; It is a little dry, and is worse than al salahati; it is not used in the Galija, nor is it used for perfuming or purifying (Tathir), except when absolutely necessary; It is useful as rinsing aid and similar. (Dara'ir, plural of Darira) and for calcined things. This amber comes from the sea of Qaqula to Aden. After the Ambra of Qaqula, comes the one from Hind; it is the one coming from the reentrant coasts of Hind, and they are taken to Basra. After that comes the one from Zang, which is like that of Hind and stands close to it.


(about aloes)

There are people who order the aloe species al Sini differently according to their value like Ahmed Ibn Abi Ja'qub. They say that the best kind of aloe al Sini is the aloe al qata'i. After her comes al kalahi. It is a moist aloe that is chewed; it contains a great sharpness (Za'ara) and is very bitter due to the oil contained in it. Of all the Aloe species, it most firmly attaches to garments; it is also the most stable. After the kalahi comes the alaqi, an aloe from the island of Qulat in the area of Qamarus (?) imported in Hind, it resembles the lawaqini, and Lawaqin is the extreme end of Hind. It comes after this one in smell and value, in the clothes it shows fragrance (Chamara). After the lawaqini comes the mantai which comes from a tree of the island of Manta, has the same price as the lawaqini, it is light and has no nice color. After that comes rajtai from the island of Rajta, it comes in the smell and value after the mantai, it is used in the Mutallatat (certain perfume) and the Barmakijat (certain perfume), and then comes al qund-ali, which comes from the area of Kalah, the coast of Zang, which is like the qamari, but it is not as suitable as a fragrance, then comes al-samuli, an aloe of a beautiful appearance, with a perfume (chamara), it is persistent in clothes and in fire; it is not praised, but it quickly provides a good odor..... (still very long)


(about sandalwood)

The red sandalwood comes from the naggari (used by the carpenters), it is hard, without smell, it is not used in perfumes, but only for the mentioned carpentry and turnery work because of its hardness and weight. He says: All the mentioned species of sandalwood come from Sufala. The yellow fragrant, the maqasiri is used with the damp and dry perfumes for the women, the Barmakija, the Mutallata and the smelling powders. It is also made into necklaces, and it is added to the remedies and patches (vimada) for the liver and the stomach. It is cold and dry and can be absorbed as a solvent for the ulcers


Note: none of the drawings are from a ms of Tamimi.