Chao, Ju-Kua / Hirth, Friedrich / Rockhill, W. W. Chau Ju-Kua: His Work on the Chinese and Arab Trade in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Entitled Chu-fan-chi.

St Petersburg, Printing Office of the Imperial Academy of Sciences, 1911.

4to (200 x 265 mm). X, 288 pp. With a large folding map. Near-contemporary green cloth binding with original wrappers pasted on (imprint date on cover reads 1912).


The first English language edition of Chao's important book on trade between China and various countries in the Arabian Peninsula, South East Asia, and Africa in the 13th century.

"Zhu Fan Zhi", commonly translated as "A Description of Barbarian Peoples" or "Records of Foreign Nations", is a two-volume book that Chao Ju-Kua wrote when he was supervisor of maritime trade in Quanzhou, Fujian, based on his interviews with foreign merchants and information from early Chinese texts. The first volume describes the various countries and their customs, the second volume describes their produce. He describes nearly sixty places including Mecca, Oman, Mosul, Baghdad, Alexandria, India, the Byzantine Empire, Taiwan, and Korea. As he never travelled outside China and his information was based on hearsay from merchants, some of the places he described are imaginary, apparently based on the Arabic myths, such as the "Countries of Women". The second volume describes various products that are local to these countries, such as frankincense, myrrh, dragon's blood, parrots, pearls, rose water, aloe, etc. The folding map is titled "Map to illustrate the 'Description of Barbarous Peoples' (Chu-Fan Chi) by Chau Ju-Kua", marking the mentioned countries and cities.


From the collection of the U.S. conservationist Esmond Bradley Martin (1941-2018), long a U.N. special envoy for the conservation of rhinoceros.


Browning, minor stains; a short tear to the map's inner margin (not touching text). Edges and spine worn.


OCLC 59760719.