October 7th, 2008

Fifteenth-century Samarkand

Two questions, one major, one  utterly trivial.

How would a stranger arriving in Samarkand in the 1420's go about looking for work?  He's a soldier and a gifted administrator, though the latter isn't immediately apparent.  I'm trying to give him a rest from "caravan guard"; poor bloke's already been travelling for two years and is getting a bit tired.

Secondly, whereabouts in Samarkand was Ulug Beg's giraffe kept?  I'm assuming it was in one of the parks, but would the general public have been able to see it?

Books:
Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo's account of his trip to the city in1402
David Nicolle "History of Medieval Life"
Francis Robinson "The Mughal Emperors"
Colin Thubron "The Lost Heart of Asia" and "Shadow of the Silk Road"

Google:
"Medieval sourcebook" and Samarkand
Combinations of Samarkand, job, emplyoment, work, giraffe and "Ulug Beg".

Any help gratefully received!





 

Egyptian honorifics for a woman (sort of)

Hello! I've got a weird little snag in a fic, one which doesn't really matter to the overall story, but... I'm strange about wanting to get the little details correct. Hence coming to all of you lovely people!

In my story (which would date roughly in the present, within 10 years or so, and is set out in the desert near Giza, if it really matters), a character is addressing a sphinx, and I want to have him address her with an Egyptian or Arabic honorific that conveys a great deal of respect. It's okay if it's anachronistic; after all, the creature herself is absolutely ancient. However, most honorifics I've turned up tend to be for males, and often with Islamic overtones that don't really apply in this situation. I've searched Arabic honorific and Egyptian honorific on Google (both with a modifier of "woman"), Arabic and Egyptian titles and terms of address, as well as doing some prowling around Wikipedia, but I'm not having any luck.

If you know of any- especially if you know of several- please let me know what the meaning of the title is. Any education you can give me on this is greatly appreciated.

Also, if there is a different community that specializes in this sort of query, I'll be happy to take it up there. I just have no idea where else to start other than here, and you have all been more than helpful in the past with my odd questions.

Thank you in advance. I hope someone can help me out! :D