State document: AIU XII.92

State document AIU XII.92



State document. Dated: 26 Ramaḍān 524 AH = 2 September 1130 CE. A makhzūma (a type of official account) concerning the construction of a new or renovated belvedere (manẓara) across from either the Rawḍa island or a specific government garden (muqābil al-rawḍa al-saʿīda). Begins with the header "makhzūma," followed by, "bi-mablagh al-munfaq fī ʿimārat al-manẓara al-mustajadda al-maʾmūr bi-inshāʾihā." The project is overseen by officials with titles such as "majd al-khilāfa wa fakhruha" and "ṣanīʿat al-khilāfa." One may be named al-Qāḍī [...] al-ʿUmr (?) ʿAbd al-Wahhāb (?). They are both described as "mutawallī al-maʿūna bi-Miṣr." Al-Maqrīzī mentions this position during the Fatimid Caliph al-ʿĀmir's time in 515 H (See Ittiʿāẓ, III, p. 69). The date on the document is 524 H which fits with al-Maqrīzī's chronology, hence, it is plausible that the person referred to in the chronicle could be one of the officials mentioned in the document. Goitein translates 'maʿūna' as "a police building, although containing gruesome prisons, was called maʿūna, 'help' while the security forces themselves were divided into a number of specialized groups. The head of the police was called wālī, literally, 'governor'" (Goitein, Mediterranean Society, II:368). There are also copious other jottings in Arabic, most of them poetry and some pen trials. Needs further examination.