Book of Roads and Kingdoms (al-Bakrī)

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Book of Roads and Kingdoms or Book of Highways and Kingdoms (Arabic: كتاب المسالك والممالك‎, Kitāb al-Masālik wa'l-Mamālik) is the name of an eleventh-century geography text by Abu Abdullah al-Bakri.

It was written in 1067-8 in Córdoba, al-Andalus (present day Spain). Al-Bakri based his work on the accounts of traders, the writings of Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Warraq,[1] (On the Topography of North Africa), and Abraham ben Jacob. Despite the fact that al-Bakri never left al-Andalus, his writings are regarded as objectively reporting the accounts of other travelers by contemporary historians, and much of what he wrote is substantiated in other sources.

He described a wide array of regions from the Atlantic Ocean, through the Sahara, to Central Africa, giving descriptions of the geography, people, culture and political situation in each region; the Book of Roads and Kingdoms exists today only in fragmentary form. It is sometimes confused with a work by the same name written in the ninth century by ibn Khordadbeh.


  1. ^ Levtzion, Nehemia (1973). Ancient Ghana and Mali. New York: Methuen & Co Ltd. p. 22. ISBN 0841904316.