- 一般社団法人 日本オリエント学会
- オリエント (ISSN:00305219)
- vol.26, no.2, pp.75-94, 1983 (Released:2010-03-12)
In the Arabic geographical works the term “iqlim” appears frequently. According to Yaqut, an Arabic geographer, this word has four different meanings, i. e. (1) a region; (2) a large village in Andalusia; (3) a “kishwar”; and (4) a climate or a mathematically arranged climatic zone.The word “iqlim” is the Arabicized form of the Greek word “klima” which means a climate. This word was used first to indicate one of the seven climatic zones of the inhabited world. This usage corresponds to the stage of introduction by the Moslems of a foreign (i. e. Greek) concept. Then it came to be used as a word that signified the kishwar, a concept of Persian origin. The Persians conceived the whole world to be composed of seven circular kingdoms with their own as the center. Each of these seven kingdoms was called kishwar. The Persian view of the world resembled that of the Greek in that both of them divided the world into seven different units. Because of this similarity the Greek concept of “klima” came to be intermingled with the Persian concept of “kishwar”, both being expressed by the word “iqlim”. One can call this stage as the fusion of the two different concepts.Finally, the word “iqlim” was given a new meaning, namely a region. This meant more exactly a kind of administrative unit such as provinces or districts. A large village in Andalusia was also called an “iqlim”. The transformation of the connotation of the word expresses the process in which the fused notion of iqlim and kishwar evolved into an Islamic notion of administrative entity.Those who used the term “iqlim” to signify a climate were mainly the scholars of ‘the science of longitudes and latitudes’ such as al-Khuwarazmi, al-Farghani, al-Biruni, az-Zargali and at-Tusi. The writers who belonged to ‘the science of marvels of countries’ used the the term to denote the kishwar. Examples of these writers were Ibn al-Fagih, al-Mas'udi, Abu Hamid al-Gharnati and ad-Dimashgi. The scholars of ‘the science of roads and realms’ such as Ibn Khurdadhbih, al-Balkhi, al-Mugaddasi, al-Bakri and Abu ‘l-Fides’ used the word to mean regions or administrative units.A further explanation is provided by Yaqut about the seven climatic zones. He divides the inhabited world (i. e. the northern hemisphere of the globe) into seven climatic zones so that there are differences by thirty minutes from zone to zone in the length of the longest summer day. The zone nearest to the equator is named the first and the furthest the seventh. Then you have thirteen hours of day on the summer solstice in the first zone and sixteen hours in the seventh zone. (Some scholars such as al-Farghani and al-Biruni, on whom Yaqut himself relied, arranged the zones so that you have thirteen hours on the summer solstice in the middle line of the first zone. Another group of scholars such as al-Khuwarazmi adopted a different method according to which you have thirteen hours on the dividing line of the first and the second zones. The latter group belonged to a minority.)Yaqut also arranged various regions and cities in each climatic zone from the east to the west. This system of arrangement was also adopted by al-Farghani and al-Biruni. The works of these scholars had a great influence and Yaqut followed their example in his conspectus.