Yāqūt Shihāb al-Dīn ibn-'Abdullāh al-Rūmī al-Hamawī (1179–1229) (Arabic: ياقوت الحموي الرومي) is famous for his great "geography", Mu'jam ul-Buldān, an encyclopedia of Islam written in the late Abbāsid era and as much a work of biography, history and literature as a simple work of geography.
Yāqūt (ruby or hyacinth) was the kunya of Ibn Abdullāh ("son of Abdullāh"). He was born in Constantinople, and as his nisba "al-Rumi" ("from Rūm") indicates he had ByzantineGreek ancestry. Yāqūt was "mawali"[note 1] to ‘Askar ibn Abī Naṣr al-Ḥamawī, a trader of Baghdad, Iraq, the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate, from whom he received the laqab "Al-Hamawī". As ‘Askar's apprentice, he learned about accounting and commerce, becoming his envoy on trade missions and travelling twice or three times to Kish in the Persian Gulf. In 1194 ‘Askar stopped his salary over some dispute and Yāqūt found work as copyist to support himself. He embarked on a course of study under the grammarian Al-‘Ukbarî. Five years later he was on another mission to Kish for ‘Askar. On his return to Baghdad he set up as a bookseller and began his writing career.
Yāqūt spent ten years travelling in Persia, Syria, and Egypt and his significance as a scholar lies in his testimony of the great, and largely lost, literary heritage found in libraries east of the Caspian Sea, being one of the last visitors before their destruction by Mongol invaders. He gained much material from the libraries of the ancient cities of Merv – (present-day Turkmenistan), where he had studied for two years, – and of Balkh. Circa 1222 he was working on his "Geography" in Mosul and completed the first draft in 1224. In 1227 he was in Alexandria. From there he moved to Aleppo, where he died in 1229.
Kitāb Mu'jam al-Buldān (Arabic: معجم البلدان) "Dictionary of Countries".(Ar) Book 1(Ar) Appendix Book 1; Classified a "literary geography", composed between 1224-1228, and completed a year before the author's death. An alphabetical index of place names from the literary corpus of the Arabs, vocalizations, their Arabic or foreign derivation and location. Yaqut supplements geographic descriptions with historical, ethnographic, and associated narrative material with historical sketches and accounts of Muslim conquests, names of governors, monuments, local celebrities etc., and preserves much valuable early literary, historical, biographic and geographic material of prose and poetry. (ed. F. Wüstenfeld, 6 vols., Leipzig, 1866–73)
Lexicon geographicum, cui titulus est, Marâsid al ittilâ’ ‘ala asmâ’ al-amkina wa-l-biqâ’, (مراصد الاطلاع علي اسماء الامكنة والبقاع Observation study of placenames and sites) 6 vols, ed by T.G. Juynboll, 1852[-]64; as Marasid al-ittila’ ‘ala asma’ al-amkina wa-al-biqa’: wa-huwa mukhtasar mu’jam al-buldan li-Yaqut, 3 vols, ed by ‘Ali Muhammad al-Bajjawi, 1992
Abdullah, Muhammad A.H. (1983). "Yaqut al-Hamawi, the Man and His Work Mu’jam al-buldan" (Thesis). Ypsilanti: Eastern Michigan University.
‘Abd al-Karim, Gamal (1974). "La España musulmana en la obra de Yaqut (s. XII[-]XIII)". repertório enciclopédico de ciudades, castillos y lugares de al-Andalus: extraído del Mu’yam al-buldan (diccionario de los países). Granada: University of Granada.
‘Abd al-Karim, Gamal (1977), Terminología geográfico-administrativa e historia político-cultural de al-Andalus en el Mu’yam al-buldan de Yaqut (3rd ed.), Seville: University of Seville
Blachère, Régis (1936) . "Yaqut al-Rumi, 1153[-]54". In M.T. Houtsma; et al. (eds.). The Encyclopaedia of Islam. 4 (1st ed.). Leiden: E.J. Brill.
Barbier de Meynard, Charles (1861), Dictionnaire géographique, historique et littéraire de la Perse et des contrées adjacentes, extrait du Modjem el-Bouldan de Yaqout, et complété à l’aide de documents arabes et persans pour la plupart inédits, Paris: Imprimerie Impériale
Bloch, Ernst (1929), Harawîs Schrift über die muhammedanischen Wallfahrtsorte, eine der Quellen des Jâqût, Bonn: Verein Studentenwohl
Dib, al-Sayyid, Muhammad (1988), Yaqut al-Hamawi: ‘adiban wa-naqidan, Cairo: Dar al-Tiba’ah al-Muhammadiyah
Elahie, R.M.N.E. (1965), The Life and Works of Yaqut ibn Abd Allah al-Hamawi, Lahore: Panjab University Press
Heer, F. Justus (1898), Die historischen und geographischen Quellen in Jaqut's geographischem Wörterbuch, Strassburg: K.J. Trubner
The Introductory Chapters of Yaqut's Mu’jam al-Buldan, translated by Jwaideh, Wadie, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1987 
Rescher, Oskar (1928), Sachindex zu Wüstenfeld's Ausgabe von Jâqût's "Mu’gam el-buldân" (nebst einem alfabetischen Verzeichnis der darin angeführten Werke), Stuttgart: Harrassowitz
Sa’di, ‘Abbas Fadil (1992), Yaqut al-Hamawi: dirasah fi al-turath al-jughrafi al-’arabi ma’a al-tarkiz ‘ala al-’Iraq fi Mu’jam al-buldan, Beirut: Dar al-Tali’ah lil-Tiba’ah wa-al-Nashr
Sellheim, Rudolf (1966). Voigt, Wolfgang (ed.). "Neue Materialien zur Biographie des Yaqut". Forschungen und Fortschritte der Katalogisierung der orientalischen Handschriften in Deutschland. Wiesbaden: Steiner: xvi[-]xxxiv.
^ abc One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Yāqūt". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 904.