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3 The Historiographical Works of Barhebraeus on the Mongol Period

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Chapter Summary

Barhebraeus is the author of two chronicles of dissimilar length. The first of these is a Syriac universal history in two parts. The Mukhtaṣar contains supplementary details on a number of iconic political events. Barhebraeus asserts in Maktebonout zabnē that his main source is al-Juwaynī's chronicle, composed between 1252 and 1260. That chronicle recounts the conquests and reign of Genghis Khan and the Great Khans who succeeded him up to Möngke, as well as Hülegü's progress in the lands of Islam. His account of the history of the Mongols before Genghis Khan is certainly based on the oral sources collected by al-Juwaynī during his stay in Qaraqorum, which was long before Hülegü's arrival in Persian territory. Barhebraeus adapts his method of historical narrative to the cultural references of his intended readers.

Keywords: al-Juwaynī's chronicle; Barhebraeus; Genghis Khan; Islam; Maktebonout zabnē; Mongols; Mukhtaṣar; Persian territory



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