Names In Gibbon

Ongoing Table of Names

I should have done this long ago, but was overcome by blog-sloth and blog-entropy – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m only doing it now because sometimes it takes a good five minutes for me to figure out how Benjamin Franklin would have spelled the names of Persian shahs or Arabic cities in order to link it to the modern spellings you find in current references online (say Wikipedia). 18th Century Englishmen had a field day with non-Latin alphabet transliteration. Very imaginative. So, once I’ve done it and I’ve got a link, I figure, well, I ought to save you some of that trouble. Thus the table below.

Although, to be truthful, I could have been doing this all along, for the last 2 years and the table (including Latin, Greek, Chinese, Turkish, Arabic, Russian, etc) would have extended to hundreds if not thousands of entries by now.

But here it is now, today, such as it is. As you can see, I’m still lazy. It’s not much of a table. But it’s a start.


Names in Gibbon – Translation Table to Modern Terms


Gibbon 18th c. Modern 21st c. Type Description
Bassora Basra,Iraq (Al-Basra) City Foremost port of Iraq. Nearby Umm Qasr is the deepwater port on the Gulf.
Cadesia Qadisiyya or Kadisiya Battle Decisive battle – Arab victory over Persian Empire (636).
Cufa Kufa,Iraq, (Al-Kufah) or Najaf (An-Najaf) City First great mosque of Kufa in Iraq 630’s, tomb of Ali is in Najaf. Kufa now part of larger town Najaf.
Madayn Al-Mada‘in, Iraq City Also known as Ctesiphon, Seleuca, One Cap. of Persian Emp. Arabs let Ctesiphon decay, founded new capital 110 miles north on Tigris – Baghdad.

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