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A Screenshot of al-Thurayyā. Click on the screenshot to open the Gazetteer in full screen.

This is our first usable demo of al-Thurayyā Gazetteer. Currently it includes over 2,000 toponyms and almost as many route sections georeferenced from Georgette Cornu’s Atlas du monde arabo-islamique à l’époque classique: IXe-Xe siècles (Leiden: Brill, 1983). The gazetteer is searchable (upper left corner), although English equivalents are not yet included; in other words, look for Dimashq/دمشق, not Damascus.

You can browse the Gazetteer by clicking on any toponym marker. The popup will show the toponym both in Arabic script and transliterated. We are using a slightly modified transliteration system that facilitates conversion between fully transliterated, transliterated, and Arabic forms of toponyms. It should be easily understandable. There may be typos, because of the nature of how the data has been generated, so please, let us know if something should be corrected. The popup also offers a selection of possible sources on a toponym in question. You can check Arabic Sources: currently, al-Samʿānī’s Kitāb al-ansāb and Yāqūt’s Muʿjam al-buldān. Currently, the Gazetteer will only check for exact matches, which means that in some cases there will not be any entry at all, while in other cases there may be more than one and they may refer to other places with the same name. Improving the precision of this lookup is on our to-do list. You can also check if there is information on a toponym in question in Brill’s Encyclopaedia of Islam, Pleiades, and Wikipedia.

Credits & Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Adam Tavares (programmer @ Perseus Project, Tufts) and, particularly, Cameron Jackson (senior, double-majoring in Arabic and Computer Science, Tufts) for the technical development; to Vickie Sullivan (Chair, Classics Department), Gregory Crane and the entire Perseus team on the both sides of the Atlantic for support and inspiration.

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Posted by Maxim Romanov

Research fellow (PhD in Near Eastern Studies, U of Michigan, 2013) at the Humboldt Chair for Digital Humanities [Institut für Informatik], University of Leipzig. He studies Islamic historical texts with computational methods, currently focusing on the analysis of multivolume biographical and bibliographical collections.