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Sources on the Dīvār-i Kanpirak

 

Tārīkh-i Bukhārā

(Persian text, ed. M. Riḍawī, Tehran ²1984, 46-48)


‎ذكر ديوار [بخارا] كه مردمان آنرا ديوار كنپرك گويند

.احمد بن محمد بن نصر گويد كه اين فصل محمد بن جعفر نرشخى بدين ترتيب نياورده است، و ليكن بعضى از اين در اثناء سخن رانده است

و ابو الحسن نيشابورى در خزائن العلوم به ترتيب آورده است كه چون خلافت به امير المؤمنين مهدى رسيد، يعنى پدر هارون الرشيد، و هيچ كس از خلفاى عباسى از وى پارساتر نبودى، پس اميرى جمله خراسان ابو العباس فضل بن سليمان طوسى را داد، در سال صد شصت و شش، و او بيامد تا به مرو، و آنجا بنشست، پس وجوه و مهتران و بزرگان [بخارا] به نزديك او رفتند، و مهتران سغد نيز جمله به مرو رفتند، به سلام امير خراسان. و از حال ولايت ايشان پرسيد، اهل بخارا گفتند كه ما را از كافران ترك رنج است، كه به هر وقت ناگاه مى آيند و ديهها غارت مى كنند. (و) اكنون به تازگى آمدهاند، و ديهه سامدون را غارت كرده اند، و مسلمانان را اسير كرده بوده اند‫.‬

ابو العباس طوسى گفت هيچ تدبيرى داريد تا بفرمايم. يزيد بن غورك ملك سغد آنجا بود گفت بقاى امير خراسان باد. به روزگار پيشين در جاهليت تركان ولايت سغد را غارت مى كردهاند به سغد زنى پادشاه بوده است، و سغد را باره بر آورده است، ولايت سغد از تركان امان يافته‫.‬

ابو العباس طوسى بفرمود مر مهتدى بن حماد بن عمرو الذهلى را كه كه امير بخارا بود از جانب او، تا بخارا را باره زند چنانكه همه روستاهاى بخارا اندرون (آن) باره بود  به شكل سمرقند، تا دست تركان به ولايت بخ نرسد. اين مهتدى بن حماد بفرمود تا اين ديوار بزنند، و [در فرسنگى] دروازه اى نهند، و به هر (نيمه) ميلى يكى برج استوار (بر آرند‫).‬ 

و سعد بن خلف البخارى رحمة اللّه عليه كه قاضى بخارا بود، اين شغل را قيام نمود، تا به روزگار محمد [بن يحيى بن عبد اللّه] بن منصور بن هلجد بن ورق تمام شده، در سال دويست پانزده‫.‬

و هر اميرى كه بودى بعد از آن عمارت مى فرمود و نگاه مى داشت، و مئونت و خرجى عظيم بر مردمان بخارا بود، و هر سالى مالى عظيم ببايستى، و حشرهاى بسيار، تا به روزگار امير اسماعيل سامانى رحمه اللّه كه او خلق را رها كرد تا آن ديوار خراب شد، و گفت تا من زنده باشم باره  ولايت بخارا من باشم، و آنچه پذيرفت تمام كرد، و پيوسته به تن خويش حرب مى كرد، و نگذاشت كه به ولايت بخارا دشمنان ظفر يابند‫.‬

(English translation, R. N. Frye, The History of Bukhara. Translated from a Persian Abridgment of the Arabic Original by Narshakhī, Cambridge/Mass. 1954, 33-34)

The wall of Bukhara which the people call the wall of Kanpirak

Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad (ibn) Naṣr says Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar al-Narshakhī did not mention this chapter in this order but mentioned some of it in the middle of his account. AbuʾI-Ḥasan Nīshāpūrī in "The Treasury of the Sciences," however, mentioned it in this order. When the caliphate passed to the Amir of the Faithful Mahdī, (158-169/775-785) the father of Hārūn aI-Rashīd, and none of the ʿAbbāsid caliphs was more pious than he, he gave the governorship of all of Khurāsān to AbuʾI-ʿAbbas al-FaḍI ibn Sulaimān Ṭūsī in the year 166 (782 or 3). The latter went to Merv and resided there.

Then the chiefs, lords, and nobles of Bukhara went to him. All of the nobles of Sughd also went to Merv to hail the new governor of Khurāsān. He inquired into the condition of their district. The people of Bukhara said, "We suffer from the infidel Turks who continually come without warning and plunder the villages. Now they recently came and plundered the village of Sāmdūn and carried off Muslims into captivity." AbuʾI-ʿAbbas Ṭūsī said, "Is there anything you recommend I do?" Yazīd ibn Ghūrak, king of Sughd, was there and said, "Long live the amir of Khurāsān! In olden times, in the 'Time of Ignorance; the Turks used to plunder the district of Sughd. A woman was ruler in Sughd. She constructed walls around Sughd and the district obtained respite from the Turks." AbuʾI-ʿAbbas Ṭūsī ordered Muhtadī ibn Ḥamād ibn ʿAmr al-Dhahlī, who was his amīr of Bukhara, to build walls for Bukhara so that all of the villages of Bukhara would be inside those walls, similar to Samarqand, so the Turks could not enter the district of Bukhara. Muhtadī ibn Ḥamād ordered the wall built, and a gate constructed at every parasang, and every half mile a strong fort. Saʿd ibn Khalaf al-Bukhārī [God show him mercy], who was a judge in Bukhara, superintended this work till the time of Muḥammad ibn Yaḥyā ibn ʿAbdallāh ibn Manṣūr ibn Haljad iهbn Warraq. It was completed in the year 215/830. Every succeeding amir ordered more construction and took care of it. This represented a great trouble and expense to the people of Bukhara, for every year much money and a large labor force were necessary. So it was till the time of the amīr Ismaʿīl Sāmānī, who freed the people of this burden. The wall fell into ruins. He said, "While I live, I am the wall of the district of Bukhara." That which he claimed he performed. He constantly fought in person and did not allow the foe victory in the province of Bukhara.

 


Gardēzī, Zayn al-akhbār

(Persian text, ed. Ḥabībī, Tehrān 1963, p. 283-284)

و پس ابو العباس نيز بيامد اندر ماه ربيع الاول سنه هذه و سيرت گرفت، و پنج هزار بست آب كه سرهنگان و مهتران بغلبه بگرفته بودند بمردمان مرو باز داد، و مسجد مرو بزرگتر كرد و جايها خريد، از حايطها و باغها، و اندر گورستانهاى مرو افزود، و روزى‏ سرهنگان افزود و بخشش خراج ميان مردمان راست كرد. و به قهستان و طبسين و آمل و نسا و باور دو هراة و پوشنگ ما چنان گشت: كه جز رسم وى نپسنديدندى و هر چه مسيب زياد كرده بود اندر خراجها، از مردمان برداشت. و فضل آباد اندر بيابان آموى او بنا كرد، و ميان سغد و بخارا ديوارى عظيم بكشيدند، تا از تركان ايمن شدند

(English translation, C. E. Bosworth, The Ornament of Histories. A history of the Eastern Islamic lands, AD 650-1041. The original text of Abū Saʿīd ʿAbd al-Ḥayy Gardīzī, London 2011, 36)

AbuʾI-ʿAbbas then arrived also in the month of Rabīʿ of this same year [October 783], and embarked on a course of [praiseworthy] conduct. He gave back to the people of Merv the 5,000 boards for measuring the quantities of water alloted to the cultivators which the military commanders and prominent persons had arbitrarily appropriated. He enlarged the mosque of Merv. He purchased tracts of land, comprising enclosures and gardens. He enlarged the burial grounds at Merv. He increased the pay alottments of the military leaders. He divided up the land-tax amongst the people in a just manner. In our places Quhistān, the Ṭabasayn, Āmul, Nasā, Bāward, Herat and Pūshang, the situation now prevailed that only the costumary rate of taxation fixed by him should be approved, and he removed from the people all the extra tax on top of the land-tax that Musayyab had imposed. He founded the settlment of Faḍlābād in the desert of Āmūy. A stout wall was constructed between Sogdia and Bukhara to protect the people from the Turks.


al-Masʿūdī, Kitāb al-Tanbīh wa l-ishrāf

(Arabic text, ed. M. J. de Goeje = Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum 8, Lugdunum-Batavorum 1894, p. 65)

من فربر الى بخارى دار مملكة آل إسماعيل بن احمد بن أسد بن احمد ابن سامان خداه صاحب خراسان ثمانية عشر فرسخا منها خمسة عشر الى السور الأعظم المحيط ببخارى وعمائرها، ومن باب السور الى مدينة بخارى ثلاثة فراسخ بنى هذا السور ملك من ملوك الصغد في سالف الدهر مانعا لغارات أجناس الترك ودافعا لأذيتهم، وجدد في أيام المهدي وقد كان تهدم على يدي ابى العباس الطوسي أمير خراسان على ما ذكر سلمويه في كتابه في الدولة العباسية وأمراء خراسان

(English translation, kindly provided by Erik Hermans)

From Farabr to Bukhārā – the royal capital of the family of Ismāʿīl b. Aḥmad b. Asad b. Sāmān-khudah, the governor of Khorāsān – it is eighteen parasanges, that is fifteen parasanges until the great wall that surrounds Bukhārā and its structures, and three parasanges from the gate of the wall to the city of Bukhārā. One of the Sogdian kings built this wall in ancient times to stop the raids of the Turkic tribes and to halt their plundering. It was rebuild in the times of al-Mahdī, after it had been destroyed by Abu ’l-ʿAbbās al-Ṭūsī, amir of Khorasān, according to the account of Salmawayh in his book on the ʿAbbāsid dynasty and the amirs of Khorasān.

 

Eṣṭakhrī, Early Persian translation of his Kitāb al-masālik wa’l-mamālik

(Persian text, ed. I. Afshār, Tehrān 1968, p. 239)

و بخارا را نومجکث خوانند. شهریست بر هامون و خانه ها از چوب ساخته باشند. و کوشکها و باغها و بوستانها در هم دیگر ساخته است، ودیهها به  نزدیک یکدیگر، چنان کی باغها همه پیوسته باشد-مقدار دوازده فرسنگ در دوازده فرسنگ.  و گرد بر گرد آن دیواری در کشیده کی در ین همه مسافت ویرانی یا فضای خالی نتوان یافت

(English translation, Sören Stark)

Bukhara is (also) called Numijkath. ُThe city is situated in a plain, and the houses are made of wood. Pavilions, gardens, and parks are densely clustered, and villages are close to each other, so that there are continuing gardens amounting to (a territory of) 12 farsang to 12 farsang. Around this stretches a wall, (so) that over this whole distance no desolation or empty place is found.

 

Ibn Ḥawqal, Kitāb ṣūrat al-arḍ

(Arabic text, ed. J. H. Kramers = Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum 2 [editio seconda], Lugdunum-Batavorum 1939, p. 482)

وبخارا فيها دار الإمارة على جميع خراسان وهى مستقيمة على رصيف كور ما وراء النهر [ثمّ يتبعها ما يتّصل بها] ، واسمها بومجكث وهى مدينة فى مستواة وبناؤها خشب مشبّك ويحيط بهذا البناء المشتبك من القصور والبساتين والمحالّ والسكك المفترشة والقرى المتّصلة ما يكون اثنى عشر فرسخا فى مثلها ويحيط بأجمعها سور يجمع هذه القصور والأبنية والقرى والقصبة ولا يرى فى أضعاف ذلك كلّه قفار ولا خراب ولا بور

(English translation, kindly provided by Erik Hermans)

Bukhārā is the seat of the government of all of Khorāsān, which is on a straight line from the regions of Transoxania, as are the lands that border it. Its name is Numijkath and it is a city located in a plain; its buildings are wooden and joined together. These buildings are surrounded by a series of palaces, orchards, shops and paved roads, and hamlets that continue for twelve parasanges in a similar style. A wall surrounds all of this: all of the palaces, the houses, the hamlets and the qaṣabah. In all of this land there is no wilderness, no barren or uncultivated soil.

 

Ḥudūd al-ʿālam min al-mashriq ila al-maghrib

(Persian text, ed. Sotoodeh, Tehrān 1962, p. 106)

و حدود بخارا دوازده فرسنگ اندر دروازه فرسنگست و دیواری بگرد این همه در کشیده بیک پاره وهمه رباطها و دهها از اندرون این دیوارست

(English translation, Minorsky, V.: Ḥudūd al-ʿālam. ‹The Regions of the World› – A Persian Geography 372 A. H. – 982 A.D. Translated and explained by V. Minorsky. Ed. by C. E. Bosworth, London, 1970, p.112)

The territory of Bukhārā is 12 farsangs by 12 farsangs, and a wall has been built round the whole of it, without any interruption, and all the ribaṭs and villages are within this wall.

 

al-Muqaddasī, Aḥsan al-taqāsīm fī maʿrīfat al-aqālīm

(Arabic text, ed. de Goeje = Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum 3 [editio seconda], Lugdunum-Batavorum 1906, p. 265-66)

واما بخارا فانها كورة غير واسعة الرقعة الّا انها عامرة حسنة يدور على خمس من مدنها حائط سعته اثنا عشر فرسخا فى مثله ليس فيه ارض بائرة

(English translation, The Best Divisions for Knowledge of the Regions: a translation of Ahsan al-Taqasim fi Maʿrifat al-Aqalim / Al-Muqaddasi. Translated by Basil Anthony Collins, Reading 2001, p. 240)

Bukhara is a district not very extensive, nonetheless well developed and pleasant. A wall surrounds five of its towns. Its dimensions each way are twelve farsakhs, it has no untilled land, no village left fallow.

 

al-Idrīsī, Kitāb nuzhat al-mushtāq fī ikhtirāq al-āfāq

(Arabic text, ed. E. Cerulli et al., Neapoli-Roma: 1970ff., p. 493)

‎وبخارا مدينة تشف على المدن كبرا وترهي على المحاسن نظرا فرجة الأرجاء والجهات كثيرة الاشجار والثمرات وهي مدينة في مستو من الأرض وبناؤها خشب مشبك ويحيط بهذا البناء المشبك من القصور والبساتين والمحال والسكك المفترشة والقرى المتصلة ما يكون طوله ستة وثلاثين ميلا في مثلها ويحيط بها كلها سور يجمع هذه القصور والمساكن والمحال التي تعد من القصبة ويسكنها من يكون من أهل القصبة شتاء وصيفا

(English translation, kindly provided by Erik Hermans)

Bukhārā surpasses other cities in size and exceeds them in beauty because of its open spaces and its tree-lined vistas. And it is a city located in a plain; its buildings are wooden and joined together. These buildings are surrounded by a series of palaces, orchards, shops and paved roads, and hamlets that continue for thirty-six miles in a similar style. A wall surrounds all of this: all the palaces, the houses, and the places that are counted as part of the qaṣabah and whoever inhabits it during both winter and summer.

 

Notes

[1] 2 parasanges according to Ibn Khurdādhbih's Kitāb al-masālik wa'l-mamālik (ed. de Goeje, p. 25) and Qudāma's Kitāb al-kharāj (ed. de. Goeje, p. 203), both of which, however, don't say anything else about the oasis wall of Bukhārā.

 

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© Sören Stark            update: 21-04-2014