Al-Maqrizi’s account of Coptic feast days – online in English by Anthony Alcock

In the Topographical and Historical Description of Egypt by al-Makrizi (or al-Maqrizi), a 13th century Muslim author, there is a section which describes the Feast Days of the Copts.  Anthony Alcock has translated this from the Patrologia Orientalis text into English and made it available for us all online.  It’s here:

The work by al-Makrizi should really exist in English.  However the French translation of 1854 is online and doubtless accessible using Google Translate.[1]

  1. [1]Al-Maqrizi (1895). Mémoires publiés par les membres de la Mission archéologique Française au Caire: Description topographique et historique de l’Égypte (in French) 17. Translator: Urbain Bouriant. Cairo: Mémoires publiés par les membres de la Mission archéologique. Alternative: Al-Maqrizi (1895). Mémoires publiés par les membres de la Mission archéologique Française au Caire: Description topographique et historique de l’Égypte (in French) 17. Translator: Urbain Bouriant. Cairo: Mémoires publiés par les membres de la Mission archéologique

Al-Maqrizi on the pyramids

Jason Colavito has done something great, and something sensible.  He has translated all the passages in al-Maqrizi’s al-Khitat which relate to the pyramids of Egypt and placed them online:

Ancient astronaut proponent Giorgio Tsoukalos claims that the fourteenth century Al-Khitat of Al-Maqrizi (1364-1442 CE) contains evidence that ancient astronauts assisted human beings in the construction of Egypt’s pyramids. This book, the most significant collection of medieval Arabian and Coptic pyramid lore ever assembled, has never been translated into English, so I have translated the passages dealing with pyramids to make this text accessible to interested readers. The following contains all of the significant references to the pyramids in the volume, though some minor allusions have been omitted.

He adds, quite properly:

I do not speak Arabic, so I am translating from the French edition published in 1895 and 1900. I cannot claim to be a professional translator, so before citing any material below, be sure to consult the original Arabic version.

The fact is, however, that this enterprise will still make these passages far more accessible.  It is rather a point against the “ancient astronauts” people that they have not made such a translation. 

It doesn’t seem to be possible to add comments, or I would have asked where he found the French edition.  I suspect it is online somewhere, and it would be nice to know where.  The book itself should plainly be translated into English in its entirety.

(Via Paleobabble)

UPDATE: From Wikipedia I get the following:

The most important is the Mawaiz wa al-‘i’tibar bi dhikr al-khitat wa al-‘athar (2 vols., Bulaq, 1854), translated into French by Urbain Bouriant as Description topographique et historique de l’Égypte (Paris, 1895–1900; compare A. R. Guest, “A List of Writers, Books and other Authorities mentioned by El Maqrizi in his Khitat,” in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1902, pp. 103–125).

Volume 1 is on Google books here.

The whole book in two volumes is at Gallica.bnf.fr here.