This detailed study of the physical layout and traditions of the Holy Land and Syria contains an enormous amount of detailed information. For readers who wish to correct their vision of the actual physical geography of Syro-Palestine, this work remains a recommended source.
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While not specifically a travelogue, Le Strange’s Palestine under the Moslems serves as a detailed description of the Holy Land and Syria from the seventh to the sixteenth centuries C.E. With a geographer’s eye toward detail, Le Strange describes such characteristics as the physical features and climate of the land, how lands were divided, significant bodies of water, and mountains. Dwelling on Jerusalem for three chapters, he provides meticulous, yet readable, descriptions of the main sites. The focus then migrates to Damascus where details are also provided. For both cities he provides traditional accounts and legends as well as physical descriptions. Once outside the capital cities, Le Strange turns to the provincial capitals and major towns. Illustrated and indexed, this volume may still serve as a useful gazetteer.
Guy (Styleman) Le Strange (1854-1933) was an accomplished linguist, translator, and geographer. Although suffering from vision difficulties that finally left him blind, he produced many publications. A second major work was The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate: Mesopotamia, Persia, and Central Asia.