Kitab al-Bulhan (The Book of Wonders)

The Kitab al-Bulhan, or Book of Wonders, is an Arabic manuscript dating mainly from the late 14th century CE and probably bound together in Baghdad during the reign of Jalayirid Sultan Ahmad (1382-1410). The manuscript is made up of astrological, astronomical and geomantic texts compiled by Abd al-Hasan Al-Isfahani, as well as a dedicated section of full-page illustrations, with each plate titled with “A discourse on….”, followed by the subject of the discourse (a folktale, a sign of the zodiac, a prophet, etc.).

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circa 1400 CE

Sign of the zodiac: Aries or al-ħamal.

Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol. 2b.

circa 1400 CE

Sign of the zodiac: Libra, or al-Mīzān.

Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol. 13b.

circa 1400 CE

Signs of the zodiac: Capricorn, or al-Gadī. Zodiac picture.

Original held by the Bodleian Libraries.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol. 19b.

circa 1400 CE

Signs of the zodiac: Aquarius, or al-Dālī.

Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol. 21b.

circa 1400 CE

A representation of the ancient temple (barabi).

Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol. 29a.

circa 1400 CE

Maymūn, the demon king of Saturday. Demon portrait.

From a manuscript of Kitab al-bulhan, mostly 14th century.
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS.
Bodl. Or. 133, fol. 32a.

circa 1400 CE

Shamhurash, the demon king of Thursday.

From a manuscript of Kitab al-bulhan, mostly 14th century.
Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS.
Bodl. Or. 133, fol. 32v.

circa 1400 CE

The lighthouse of Alexandria.

Illustration of a tale. Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol 33b.

circa 1400 CE

The lighthouse of Alexandria.

Illustration of a tale. Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol 36a.

circa 1400 CE

The great wall of Gog and Magog.

Illustration of a tale. Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol. 38a.

circa 1400 CE

Demons: a demon. Demon portrait.

Illustration of a tale. Page from a manuscript known as Kitab al-bulhan or "Book of Wonders" held at the Bodelian Library.
Shelfmark: MS. Bodl. Or. 133. Fol. 28b.

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