Kastílie 1312

Translations of this page:

Istifaan al-Ajpād ibn Alī ibn Abī Zara, merchant, astrologer


My name is Istifaan al-Ajpād ibn Alī ibn Abī Zara.

I was born in the Moroccan city of Fez in year 658 of Hijri (1280 AD according to the count of Christians), as the sole heir to the famous Moroccan writer Alī ibn Abī Zara.

My grandfather's family came to Fez from Cordóba. We fled from the wrath of the Christians who enslaved ours and forced them to carry church bells on their backs from Cordóba to the north of the country to Compostella. They say something like retribution. Barbarians.

My father is a prominent historian and writer in the court of the Marinid sultan Abu Sa'id Uthman II.

My father led me firmly to study reading, writing, counting and history, philosophy and artistic calligraphy. While studying business I also mastered the basics of astronomy and navigation. My father chose me the best teachers and madrasas. I studied theory and practice, I enjoyed learning about the world and how things work. Since I've been thirteen, he has become sending me as a helper on business trips throughout the Mediterranean, especially to Egypt and Syria. Gradually I proved myself and the family fortune flourished.

At the age of twenty, my father began commissioning me occasionally to deliver confidential messages and also homing pigeons. I began to travel more often to the viziers of the Tatar ilkhanates, where I was surrounded by the immense wealth and luxury of Chinese, Indian and African goods.

I didn't get too much into marrying - business, diplomacy, and life on the road absorbed me fully.

In 682 Hijri (1309 AD) I was sent to Jibr al Tariq with important news of the coming war. Unfortunately, the storms at sea delayed us, I arrived late and remained trapped in the city by a naval blockade of Christians who were besieging the city. Neither incendiary grenades nor gunpowder helped us and in the end the city fell. Because I defended the city with the weapon in my hand, although I've got bad skill in handling arms, I got into captivity by don de Haro. I had a lot of gold with me and offered him a ransom for my life and don de Haro accepted. He also generously offered to me that if I value my freedoms, I can send a message to my family to accumulate and send five times the original ransom, to release me from captivity. Since then my father has been collecting every possible maravedí. In two years, I will finally be free. We exchange letters with family every two months and stay in touch.

Don de Haro has passion for our music performed on drum and flute. He enjoys my service, my education and my practical skills, and because I know more languages ​​and have travelled around the world, he took me with him on a journey across the European kingdoms.