Dividing the World

Zayde Antrim

in Routes and Realms

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199913879
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980178 | DOI:
Dividing the World

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This chapter examines the textual practice of dividing the world in early Islamic geographical literature. The resulting regions were represented at a larger scale than cities in the discourse of place, but could still be distinguished from the world as a whole by a degree of particularity and boundedness. By exploring the different methods of dividing the world into regions, including the latitudinal clime (iqlīm) system, the circular kishwar system, and others, this chapter argues that regions were endowed with meanings that differentiated peoples as well as plots of land. It moves on to a consideration of itineraries as a method of spatial organization in world geographies and their emphasis on cities as nodes along linear routes. It argues that even in these works, regions appear as meaningful divisions of the world that transcend the cities within them and the routes that crosscut them and enable particular claims to authority.

Keywords: regions; world; scale; geographical literature; geographies; clime; Kishwar; itineraries; nodes; routes

Chapter.  10263 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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