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India in the "Book of All Kingdoms"

Last modified: 2011-06-11 by ian macdonald
Keywords: india | book of all kingdoms | scim | delhi |
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Delhi

[Flag of Scim] image by Eugene Ipavec, 12 December 2009

The 84th flag mentioned and illustrated in the Book of All Kingdoms is attributed to Lini / Dilini / Delini which in the Halkyut Society edition is identified as Delhi, currently in India. This is depicted in the 2005 Spanish illustrated transcription, a white flag with a thin vertical yellow stripe in the ogival default shape of this source.

The anonymous author of Book of All Kingdoms describes the flag thus: "E las señales d'este rey es un pendón de plata con un bastón de oro tal." ("The device of the King is a white flag with a gold pale", as translated in the Halkyut Society edition.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 10 December 2007


Scim

[Flag of Scim] image by Eugene Ipavec, 8 December 2009

The 92nd flag mentioned and illustrated in the Book of All Kingdoms is attributed to India Transgangetica. This as depicted in the 2005 Spanish illustrated transcription, a white flag with a red sun with black facial features in the ogival default shape of this source.

The anonymous author of Book of All Kingdoms describes the flag thus: "E las señales del rey de Scim son un pendón de plata e en medio la figura del sol atal." (= "The flag of the King of Scim is white with a figure of the sun in the centre", as translated in the Halkyut Society edition.)
António Martins-Tuválkin, 12 December 2007

The Hakluyt text notes that this is a kingdom of hearsay, possibly Bengal, Burma or even Siam.
Phil Nelson, 11 December 2007

Byron McCandless and Gilbert Grosvenor "Flags of the World" [gmc17a] quotes the source document (Libro...) as reading "In the Empire of Catayo there is a kingdom called Scim (perhaps a kingdom of hearsay), which borders on the Kingdom of Sarmagant (Samarkand), Bocarin (Bokhara),and Trimic (Tibet). The flag of its king is white, with a figure of the sun in the center."
(could it be Sinkiang?)

This would place it somewhere between modern Uzbekistan and China, and would leave Sind, in southern Pakistan, somewhat displaced from the described area. But more importantly, perhaps we ought to double-check that quotation - I know that there are some discrepancies between different versions of the Libro.
Ned Smith, 9 December 2009

The Empire of Catayo is obviously the Chinese Empire. I'm not familiar with eastern Asian history, but I don't recall India being under Chinese rule in the 1350s.
Alex Danes, 10 December 2009

Could this perhaps be Sind? I know it was spelt Scinde at one time - Scim wouldn't be too hard a stretch from there.
James Dignan, 11 December 2009

This seems to be a good hypothesis - depending upon the way one understands the Hakluyt text description "And from this kingdom of Scim comes the great mountain Caucasum which extends from the eastern sea to India the low." That seems to limit it to either the Sindh or possibly to the Sultanate of Delhi during the Tughlaq dynasty which at its broadest extent reached from the Kashmir area to Bengal, bordering the then crumbling Mongol Empire. The Hakluyt text seems to pinpoint one of the cities of Scim as Chittagong (but places a question mark after the identification). If so, then the emergent victor becomes the Sultanate of Delhi.
Phil Nelson, 13 December 2009

I'm by no means very familiar with the world of vexillology but it does occur to me that this flag (the flag of "Scim" in India from the book of all kingdoms) might in fact be the flag of the state today known as Sikkim. It is, at least to me, similar to the one they would use later on and the kingdom should have existed at the time of the creation of the book. It also seems to fit the description as it's a mountain kingdom north of Bengal and not far from Burma. Lastly Scim is a rather similar name to Sikkim. It's a rather small kingdom to be included if it is and I suppose this is just guesswork but as it seems to fit the description otherwise I thought I'd mention it.
Henrik Lohmander, 12 March 2010


 
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