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Ibn al-Athīr

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Chapter Summary

Al-Kāmil fi'l-ta⁠ʾrīkh, ('The Complete History'), which Ibn al-Athīr completed in Mosul in the late 620s/early 1230s, is almost unanimously considered to be 'one of the most impressive achievements of pre-modern historiography in any culture' and 'the high point of Muslim annalistic historiography', and its author to be 'l'un des plus grands historiens du Moyen Âge islamique'. Ibn al-Athīr's historical works are formed of biographies and chronographies. It seems he composed an initial version of the text before he wrote al-Bāhir, giving it a different title, as there is every reason to believe that al-Mustaqṣā fi'l-ta⁠ʾrīkh, to which references are made in al-Bāhir, is not a different work, but the original title of al-Kāmil. As his aim was to write a history of all Islamic lands, the whole of the umma, significant space is devoted to all the great dynasties of Islam.

Keywords: al-Bāhir; Al-Kāmil fi'l-ta⁠ʾrīkh; al-Kāmil; Ibn al-Athīr; Muslim annalistic historiography; pre-modern historiography



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