Published online by Cambridge University Press: 15 March 2011
The important rôle which the Kārimī merchants played in Oriental trade at the end of the Middle Ages has been touched upon by some outstanding orientalists. The last to treat the subject exhaustively was W. J. Fischel in his paper “Über die Gruppe der Kārimī-Kaufleute”, published in 1937 in the series Analecta Orientalia (of the Pontifical Bible Institute) no. 14. The Arabic historical works of the later Middle Ages contain, however, additional material, which partly corroborates and partly modifies Fischel's conclusions. A good many of the notices on the Kārimīs to be quoted in this paper are taken from the hitherto unpublished chronicle Inbā' al-ghumr bi-abnā al-'umr of Ibn Ḥajar al-'Asqalānī (d. 1449), MS. Constantinople, Yeni Cami 814 and the Who's Who of the fifteenth century composed by al-Sakhāwī (d. 1497) and called ad-Ḍau' al-lāmi' fī a'yān al-qarn al-tāsi' (Cairo, 1353–55).