Union Catalogue of Manuscripts from the Islamicate World

RSPA 96 (Oriental Manuscripts, British Library)

India Office Library

Jones Collection

Royal Society Arabic and Persian


1 copy of Murūj al-dhahab wa-maʿādin al-jawhar by al-Masʿūdī

Language(s): Arabic

Incipit: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم وبه نستعين. الحمد لله أهل الحمد ومستوجب الثنا والمجد وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد خاتم النبيين وعلى آله الطاهرين وسلم تسليما.
Explicit: ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله العلى العظيم وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين وسلم وشكرا كثيرا إلى يوم الدين والحمد لله رب العالمين آمين.
Colophon: وقد وقع الفراغ من كتابة هذا الكتاب الميمون إن شاء الله على صاحبه عبد الله ابن سليمان في حفظه الملك الديان ضحوة الاربعاء ثاني عشر شهر صفر سنى خمس وسبعين بعد الالف من هجرته صلى الله عليه وسلم غفر الله لماكه ولكاتبه ولجميع المسلمات والمسلمين والموقر والموهنات برحمتك يا أرحم الراحمين آمن.

First part of a large ʿAbbāsid-era universal history.

There is a seal bearing the name Qiwām al-Dīn Khānon f1r dated 1176AH/1763AD.

Ff i-ii contain within a framed text block four (non-consecutive) lines of poetry from Ṣafī al-Dīn al-Ḥillīfrom his well-known poem which begins "kun ʿan humūmika muʿriḍan". Two central circles contain (fiv) an introduction to the text with title and author name, and (fiir) the name of the scribe, ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sulaymān ibn ʿĪssā al-ʿUqrāwī, as well as his seal.

An ownership note (fiir) names an Aḥmad ibn ʿĀmir ibn Ḥusayn al-Saʿadī al-Ḥaḍramī, presumably the Arab historian who died in 1087AH/1676AD.

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Thick cream woven paper.
Extent: ff. ii+ii+378+iv
Dimensions (leaf): 290 × 190 mm.
Dimensions (written): 210 × 133 mm.

European numerals in pencil; Perso-Arabic numerals in black ink pen.


The manuscript is in relatively good condition. There are presumably several folios missing as the Arabic numerals continue until 396, whereas the European numerals finish at 378. There are also several folios which appear to have been added to the MS later, as they are blank. Some folios have been laminated and (at times extensively) repaired. The illuminations are in good condition.



Neat black naskh script with rubrications.


Ff1v and f2r contain coloured geometric patterns. Some later folios (e.g. f236) also have coloured patterns drawn on them.


Frequent marginal notes and additions in various hands usually in black ink, as well as extra-textual scribal annotation in (usually) red ink. Some sections have been highlighted in pencil using curly brackets, a method of highlighting found in other texts in the collection which may be Jones's own method of annotating texts. These pencil annotations cluster around the Biblical narratives at the start of the text.


Standard brown half-leather India Office binding.

Accompanying Material


Origin: 12_Ṣafar_1075 AH; 4 September 1664 CE ; Iraq

Provenance and Acquisition

RSPA 1-118 were presented to the Royal Society in January 1792 by Sir William and Lady Jones. According to Wilkins, this manuscript was presented to the Royal Society by Sir William Jones.

The Royal Society's collection of 280 Persian and Arabic, and 86 Sanskrit manuscripts were transferred to the India Office Library in 1876.


India Office Library

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on E. Denison Ross and E. G. Browne, Catalogue of two collections of Persian and Arabic manuscripts preserved in the India Office Library (London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1902), p. 65 no. XCVI


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card for admissions procedures contact British Library, Registering for a Reader Pass. Contact apac-enquiries@bl.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript. For information on catalogues and ordering manuscripts see Finding and ordering Persian manuscripts in the British Library.

Funding of Cataloguing



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