“Muruj adh-dhahab” (943)
Abū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī al-Masʿūdī, scholar of great culture, known in the West as the “Arab Herodotus,” visited many Middle East countries, including Palestine. A compendium of history, geography and literature entitled "Muruj adh-Dhahab" (The meadows of gold) remains of his writings.
His brief description of Nazareth is precious, because it is a testimony of a pre-crusade situation where a "highly revered" church continues to exist in whose interior some sarcophagi exhibit miraculous manifestations.
« They say the Messiah was from a village called Nazareth, in Jordan’s provincial area; thereby the name Nazarene. I saw a church in the village much worshipped by the Christians where stone sarcophagi lay with bones from the dead, exuding a syrup-like ointment that they use to anoint themselves as a sign of devotion. »
Donato Baldi, Enchiridion Locorum Sanctorum, Jerusalem, 1935, pg. 6