collections

Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing

banner

Images from an illustrated version of a 13th-century Arabic treatise by Zakariya al-Qazwini titled ‘Ajā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa-gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt (Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing). The text is probably the best known example of ‘ajā’ib or ‘jā’ib al-makhlūqāt literature, a genre of classical Islamic literature that was concerned with “mirabilia”: cosmographical and geographical topics that challenged understanding. Al-Qazwini’s treatise explored an eclectic mix of topics, from humans and their anatomy to strange mythical creatures; from plants and animals to constellations of stars and zodiacal signs. The treatise was extremely popular and was frequently illustrated over the centuries into both Persian and Turkish. The images featured here are from an exquisitely illustrated Persian translation, thought to hail from 17th-century Mughal India. For more info see the note on the US National Library of Medicine website.

US National Library of Medicine
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
Download: Right click on image or see source for higher res versions

p253a

p2149a

p259a

p2208b

p2208a

p2206a

p2197a

p2177b

p2171b

p2151a

p280a

p265a

p263a

p259b

p247a

p224b