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SAMI, Amin.

Taqwim al-Nil: [Almanac of the Nile]

Availability: In stock

Published: Cairo al-Matba'ah al-'Amiriyah, 1915-36

Stock Code: 130259

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First editions of 2,000, scarce with only 4 sets on Copac (BL, SOAS, Oxford, Manchester). Sami, an Egyptian civil servant, dedicated over 20 years to this monumental document of Egyptian history from 622 to 1879 CE, including a supplementary volume on the bridges, barrages and dams along the Nile river.
By the early 20th century the genre of the chronicle was already somewhat of an anachronism and this work is now considered "the last celebrated Egyptian example" of the style (Crabbs, p. 121) and "the most ambitious historical project" of the period (Gorman, p. 14). This work is considered an "unprecedented reservoir of primary source material" (Di-Capua, p. 82) on the minutiae of 19th century Egyptian history, with information gleaned from state archives and contemporary historical writings. The exacting detail of the text, along with the eclectic nature of its sources, mean that this book is still considered a vital source for modern historians, as well as a testament to one man's dedication to the meticulous recording of history.
From the library of Michael Collins Dunn, former lecturer at Georgetown University Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and editor of The Middle East Journal, with his embossed library stamps.

Confused? Read our glossary


3 vols. in 5 plus a 6th supplementary volume (Mulhaq taqwim al-Nil). Quarto (306 x 210 mm), contemporary black quarter sheep, black leather-textured cloth boards, titles gilt to spines in gilt ruled compartments, plain end papers. Arabic text.


Portrait frontispieces, 64 full page portrait plates, 42 other full page plates of photographic reproductions and maps, 22 folding plates with maps, plans and photographic reproductions.


Backstrips scuffed, a few bumps to boards of two volumes, light foxing to edges, slight worming to volume I and II, text largely unaffected. Final few leaves of volume II slightly crumpled at the fore-edge with light associated closed tears. Tear in portrait in supplemental volume partially repaired with archival tape, small closed tear to one folding plate in volume II, closed tear along fold of plate in volume VI. Remains a very good set.


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