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Tile with two rabbits, two snakes and a tortoise. Illustration for Zakariya al-Qazwini's book, Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing (13th century). Earthenware, molded and underglaze-painted decoration. Iran, 19th century.
It was to the latter that Qazvini dedicated his famous cosmography titled "The Wonders of Creation" (, Marvels of Creatures and Strange Things Existing). This treatise, frequently illustrated, was immensely popular and is preserved today in many copies. It was translated into his native Persian language, and later also into Turkish.
Qazvini was also well known for his geographical dictionary "Monument of Places and History of God's Bondsmen" (? ). Both of these treatises reflect extensive reading and learning in a wide range of disciplines.
Qazvini mentioned how alchemists dubbed "swindlers" claimed to have carried out the transmutation of metals into gold; he states:
...they ruined the development of the science of chemistry, by fooling powerful rulers such as Imad ad-Din Zengi and thus many scholars and various colleagues turned against alchemy thus resulting in the isolation of the science.
^R AL-BEL?D, C. E. Bosworth, Encyclopaedia Iranica; "?tar Al-Belad: the title of a geographical work composed in Arabic during the 7th/13th century by the Persian scholar Ab? Ya?y? Zakar?y b. Mo?ammad Qazv?n?". iranicaonline.org
^Iranian Entomology: An Introduction, Volume I, ed. Cyrus Abivardi, (Springer, 2001), 495.
^Bernard Lewis, A Middle East Mosaic: Fragments of Life, Letters and History, (Random House, 2000), 439.
^Lewicki, T. (1960-2007). "Al-?azw?n?". In Bearman, P.; Bianquis, Th.; Bosworth, C.E.; van Donzel, E.; Heinrichs, W.P. (eds.). Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. doi:10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_4093.CS1 maint: date format (link)
His cosmography was edited by F. Wüstenfeld, 'Aja'ib al-makhluqat (Göttingen, 1849) - a partial German translation was published by A. Giese, Al-Qazwini, Die Wunder des Himmels und der Erde (Stuttgart and Vienna, 1986).