Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia. “’al-Sijill al-tarikhi lil-Khalij wa-ʻUman wa-ʾawasiṭ ʾal-Jazirah al-ʻArabiyah”. NINETEEN VOLUMES.
LORIMER, JOHN GORDON.
Book ID: 9794
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The Gazetteer of the Persian Gulf, Oman and Central Arabia was compiled and written by John Gordon Lorimer (1870-1914), an official of the Indian Civil Service, and assisted by a dedicated team of researchers from the Political Department of the British government in India. It was originally intended as a ‘convenient and portable handbook’ for British policy makers and representatives in the area. So thorough were the fact-finding missions which Lorimer undertook over a ten-year period, that the scale of the work escalated; a geographical and statistical volume was published in 1908, to be followed by a two-part historical ‘volume’ in 1915. A separate portfolio of genealogical charts of the ruling families of the region was also published. For the first time, a comprehensive and accurate bilingual English and Arabic edition of this work is being published. The 2000-page, alphabetically ordered survey which comprises the geographical volume, and the large-scale fold-out map which accompanied it, is being published in seven volumes. The original historical volume, which includes the region’s general history from the Abbasid Caliphate of 1258 to the early twentieth century plus individual histories of the eleven political entities within the region, is published as a further ten volumes. In addition, there are two boxed volumes of maps and genealogical tables, bringing the total number of volumes in this set to nineteen. The wealth of historical, political and geographical information from which Lorimer composed the Gazetteer was sourced from official documents of the British government in India and the Gulf, from British naval and military establishments and the East India Company archives, plus, of course, first-hand research and surveys. A bibliography of all previously published explorers’ accounts of the region is a further useful resource for researchers. Since being declassified in the 1970s from its original status as ‘Secret’ and ‘For official use only’, the Gazetteer has been reproduced in various editions, but this is the first comprehensive and accurate bilingual rendering of the work. A team of translators across the Middle East have worked on rendering both the facts and the style of the original work into Arabic. All the Arabic texts have been checked and approved by Dr Derek Hopwood, Director of the Middle East Centre of St Antony’s College, University of Oxford.