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Granada (Spain) in the "Book of All Kingdoms" (late 14th century)

Last modified: 2014-03-29 by ivan sache
Keywords: book of all kingdoms | granada |
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Flag of Granada, after the Book of All Kingdoms - Images by Eugene Ipavec, 8 April 2006
- Left, as shown in the Illustrated Transcription (2005);
- Right, as shown in Siegel's flag chart (1912)

See also:

The "Book of All Kingdoms"

The "Book of All Kingdoms" [f0fXX], of 1350, tells the voyages of an anonymous Castilian friar and is illustrated with 113 flag images, referred to (though seldom described) in the text.

António Martins, 3 November 2007

The Hakluyt Society edition (1912) [f0f12] of the "Book" notes that there are three to four texts, which were designated as "R" [f0fXXr], "N" [f0fXXn] and "S" [f0fXXs]. "R" is the more modern and has 41 leaves; "N" has 67 leaves, but incomplete and appears to be from the latter 15th century, while the "S" codex is the most complete and in the national library in Madrid. The Society notes that there are differences in the codices. The Hakluyt Society version is translated from the edition produced in 1877 by Don Marcos Jimeñez de la Espada [f0f77], who appears to have used the "S" codex and gave each codex its designation.

Phil Nelson, 19 November 2007

Flag of Granada in the "Book of All Kingdoms"

The 23th flag mentioned and illustrated in the "Book of All Kingdoms" is attributed to Granada. The 2005 Spanish illustrated transcription of the "Book" [f0f05] shows a red flag with yellow Arabic letters, in the ogival default shape of this source. Siegels Flag Chart [sig12] (plate No. 17, row No. 3, column No.2) gives a similar rendition of the flag.
The anonymous author of the "Book" describes the flag thusly: E las señales d'este rey son un pendón bermejo con letras de oro arávigas como las traía Mohamad su profeta, e son estas que se siguen (And the sign of this king is a red pennant with golden Arabic letters like those sported by Mahomad his prophet and which are those which follow).

Both National Geographic 1917 (p. 390) [gmc17] and the Hakluyt Society version of the text (p. 14) indicate that the lettering is recorded in error by the friar and should read "No conqueror but God" in Arabic. A note by C.R.M. in the Hakluyt Society version says "و لا جالب للا الله" (spelled "u la jalb lla allh"). Probably the flag the friar sought to depict included this writing in full, with all vowel marks, as the extra dots on the image seem to imply (markless writing has only two dots, in "b" and "j"; the flag shows a third dot, under the "la" ligature, and two squiggles on the fly tip.

António Martins & Klaus-Michael Schneider, 12 September 2008