Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle

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Subject: History

Edited by:  Edited by Graeme Dunphy and Cristian Bratu

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle brings together the latest research in chronicle studies from a variety of disciplines and scholarly traditions. Chronicles are the history books written and read in educated circles throughout Europe and the Middle East in the Middle Ages. For the modern reader, they are important as sources for the history they tell, but equally they open windows on the preoccupations and self-perceptions of those who tell it. Interest in chronicles has grown steadily in recent decades, and the foundation of a Medieval Chronicle Society in 1999 is indicative of this. Indeed, in many ways the Encyclopedia has been inspired by the emergence of this Society as a focus of the interdisciplinary chronicle community.

The online version was updated in 2014 and in 2016.

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Iacobus de Delayto

(259 words)

Author(s): Damian-Grint, Peter
after 1350 ca 1409. Northern Italy. Son of Nascimbene de Delayto; we have no details about his family apart from a mention of a brother, though other Delaytos appear in documents around this time. He was born in Rovigo; after studying law he became a notary in the chancery of the Este court in Ferrara. Alberto d'Este, marchese di Ferrara (1347–93), made him chancellor in 1390, and he continued in post under Alberto's son, Niccolò III (1384–1441). He probably died around 1409, as his chronicle breaks off at that date.Delayto is nowhere given the title of court historian, but his Chronica nova …
Date: 2016-10-17

Iacopo Piacentino

(238 words)

Author(s): Kohl, Benjamin G.
[Iacopus Placentinus, Giacomo da Piacenza] 14th century. Italy. Born in Piacenza at the end of the 13th century, Iacopo da Piacenza served as a public notary in the ducal chancery of the Venetian Republic from 1317, sometimes acting as an envoy on missions to Sicily and other states. In 1340 he was charged with trading state secrets to Venice's enemies, fined and dismissed from office. He ended his days as a schoolmaster in Venice, probably murdered in a local quarrel in 1349. His major work is a Latin prose ch…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn ʾAbd al-Ḥakam

(170 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[ʾAbū al-Qāsim ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakam] 187-257 ah (803-71 ad). Egypt. Under the name Ibn ʿAbd al Ḥakam are known the son and the four grandsons of Abd al Ḥakam (d. ca 171 ah/787-88 ad), a family of influential historians and legal teachers of Egypt. One historian of this family, named Abū ʾl Qāsim ʿAbd al-Rahmān ibn ʿAbd Allāh, wrote the earliest extant history of Egypt in seven books called Futūḥ Misr (Conquest of Egypt). The work offers not only dates on the conquest of Egypt, but also on the conquest of North Africa and Spain. The book descr…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Abī al-Dam

(116 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[Shihāb al-Dīn ʾIbrāhīm ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʾAbī al-Dam al-Ḥamawī] 583-642 ah (1187-1244 ad). Lebanon. Arab historian and Shāfiʿī, born and died in the Lebanese village of Ḥamāt. After studies in Baghdad, he taught in Cairo, Aleppo and in his native city, where he became judge. His main contribution to historical writing is an annalistic work which covers the period from the life of the Prophet until the year 628 ad and which survives in Alexandria, Municipal Library, ms. 1292b. He also wrote a huge biographical work, al-Taʾrīkh al-Muzaffarī, which is lost.Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.Bibliog…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn ʾAlqāmā, ʾAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn al-Khālaf

(183 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[Abū ʾAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn al-Khālaf Ibn ʾAlqāmā] 428-509 ah (1036/37-1116 ad). Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). Born in Valencia, he was a bureaucrat and wrote a local history of his native city which describes the capture of Valencia by El Cid and his rule over this city. This work, which bears the title "The clear exposition of the disastrous tragedy", seems to finish before the death of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (el Cid) in 1099. The original text is lost, but a great part has come down to us by the later hist…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn ʿArabshāh

(314 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[Shihāb al-Dīn ʾAbū al-ʿAbbās ʾAḥmad ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn ʾIbrāhīm ibn ʿArabshāh al-Dimashqī al-Ḥanafī al-ʿAjamī] 791-854 ah (1392-1450 ad). Syria. Ibn ʿArabshāh had to leave his native city, Damascus, when it was conquered by Tīmūr (known in the west as Tamerlane 1336-1405) in 803 (1400/01), and was brought to Samarkand with other inhabitants of Damascus. Here he learned several languages which helped him on his journeys as well as for working as a translator at the court of the Ottoman Sultan Meḥemmed I (reigned 1413-21). His last years were spent in Cairo.His Adjāʾib al-maqdūr fī naw…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn ʿAsakir, Thiqqat al-Din ʿAli

(352 words)

Author(s): Hirschler, Konrad
[Thiqat al-Dīn ʾAbū al-Qāsim ʿAlī ibn ʾAbī Muḥammad Ḥasan ibn Hibat Allāh ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn al-Ḥusayn ibn al-ʿAsākir al-Dimashqī al-Shāfiʿī al-Ḥāfiz] 499-571 ah (1106-75 ad). Syria. The most famous member of the notable ʿAsakir family of Damascus, hadith-scholar and author of the Arabic biographical dictionary Tarikh madinat Dimashq (History of Damascus).This work is centred on Syria and especially Damascus, containing some 10,000 biographies of individuals (among them 200 women) who lived in the town or passed through it. Some thirty biographi…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn al-ʾAthīr

(553 words)

Author(s): Waines, David | Krauss-Sánchez,Heidi R.
[ʿIzz al-Dīn ʾAbū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Karīm Ibn al-ʾAthīr] 555-630 ah (1160-1233 ad). Mesopotamia. ʿIzz al-Dīn was born near Mosul in northern Iraq. One of three brothers, each of whom achieved fame in a different scholarly discipline, ʿIzz al-Dīn was the noted historian among them. Their father was an official of the ruling Zangid Atabeg dynasty of Mosul which provided the family with sufficient comfort for ʿIzz al-Dīn to lead the life of a private scholar working from a country home. The f…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Bassām

(292 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī Ibn Bassām al-Shantarīnī] d. 542 ah (1147/8 ad). Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). Historian and Poet, born in Santarém. Ibn Bassām is the author of the al-Dhakīra fī maḥāsin ahl al-Jazīra (The Treasury of the Virtues of the People of the Peninsula), written between 1106 and 1109 in Seville, an eight volume biographical dictionary. The work contains large passages of the al-Matīn of Ibn Hayyān, these being the only parts of the work of Ibn Ḥayyān that survive today.The major aim of the al-Dhakīra (e.g. Gotha, LB, no. 266) is to show the literary achievements of the A…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn al-Faradī

(246 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[ʾAbū al-Walīd ʿAbd Allāh ibn Muḥammad ibn Yūsuf ibn Nasr al-ʾAzdī ibn al-Faradī] 351-403 ah (962-1013 ad). Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). Biographer, and author of the Taʾrīkh ʿulamāʾ al-Andalus (History of the learned men of al-Andalus). Ibn al-Faradī studied law in Córdoba, as well as history and literature, expanding his knowledge during his travels to the East and further studies in Egypt and Mecca. He returned to Spain and taught for a while in Córdoba, before he was named judge ( qādī) of Valencia. He was killed during the sack of Córdoba by the Berbers.His Taʾrīkh ʿulamāʾ al-Andalus, t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn al-Furāt

(271 words)

Author(s): Massoud, Sami
[Nāsr al-Dīn Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Rahīm ibn al-Furāt] 735-807 ah (1335-1405 ad). Egypt. Circassian Mamlūk period historian, author of the Arabic Tārīkh al-Duwal wa'l-Mulūk (History of Dynasties and Kings).Most of the medieval chroniclers who wrote about or during the early Circassian Mamlūk sultanate (roughly, the last two decades of the 14th century) and after, are directly or indirectly indebted to Ibn al-Furāt, then the foremost historian of Egypt. His Tārīkh al-Duwal, a universal annalistic chronicle ending in 1401, is typical of the period, with one section f…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Ḥabīb

(194 words)

Author(s): Massoud, Sami
[Badr al-Dīn ʾAbū Muḥammad al-Ḥasan ibn ʿUmar ibn Ḥabīb al-Dimashqī al-Ḥalabī al-Shāfiʿī] 710-799 ah (1310-77 ad). Syria. Circassian chancellery employee in the Mamluk period, minor religious official, and historian from the city of Aleppo. Author of Durrat al-Aslāk fī Dawlat al-Atrāk (A Pearl Necklace in the History of the Turkish Mamluk State). Durrat al-Aslāk chronicles the Turkish Mamluk period between 1250 and 1376. Its annals begin with a few accounts of socio-political events, are followed by numerous reports of religious and political appo…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Hayyān

(359 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R. | López Pita,Paulina
[Abū Marwān Hayyān b. Khalaf b. Husayn b. Hayyān] 377-469 ah (987/88-1076 ad). Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). Ibn Hayyān was born in Córdoba, where he must have received a profound education and he worked for the government chancery at Córdoba. He wrote his works (the Muqtabis and the al-Matīn) at a time when Muslim Spain was split into different Taifa-kingdoms and which is considered as the Golden Age of Historiography in al-Andalus.The Kitāb al-Muqtabis fī tarīkh al-Andalus (Book of Him who seeks knowledge about the history of Al-Andalus), a ten volume work, deals with t…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Hazm

(576 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[Abū Muhammad ʿAlī ibn Ahmad ibn Saʿīd] 384-456 ah (994-1064 ad). Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain). An Islamic man of letters, theologian and historian, and one of the most outstanding thinkers of the Muslim world. He was born into a wealthy family of Córdoba and received a sound education in religious sciences, poetry and literature. His most important position was that of a vizier under the rule of Abd al-Rahman III and Abd al-Rahman V, which brought him the enmity of the faquis (judges) and obliged him to go into exile where he devoted himself to writing and where he died in at…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Hishām

(273 words)

Author(s): Sánchez Anchante, Rosa V
[ʾAbū Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Malik Ibn Hishām] d. 213/8 ah (828-33 ad). Egypt. A historian of Mesopotamian origin, famous for his edition of the Sīra (Life of the Prophet) of Ibn Ishāq. Ibn Hishāms birthplace is unknown. He grew up in what is now Iraq, in the city of Basra but lived afterwards in Fustat (old Cairo) where he built a reputation as a grammarian and historian.He wrote an edited version from the original biography of Muhammad written by Ibn Ishāq with some interpolations, making additions, but also omitting from Ibn Ishāq's original biography those deta…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn-i Bībī

(945 words)

Author(s): Shukurov, Rustam
[al-Ḥusayn ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿAlī al-Jaʿfarī al-Rughadī Ibn al-Bībī al-Munajjima] pre- 627-684 ah (1230-85 ad). Persia. Known as Ibn Bībī al-Munajjima (son of the Astrologer Lady), a high-ranking official and the author of al-Awāmir al-ʿAlāʾiyya fi ʾl-umūr al-ʿAlāʾiyya, the principle work on the history of the Seljūq rulers of Rūm, which is written in Persian and was completed before Dhū al-Ḥijja 679 ah (23.03.1281), covering the period from 588-679 ah (1192/3-1280/1 ad).Ibn Bībī's (or Persianised Ibn-i Bībī) parents belonged to intellectual and administrative elite…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn ʿIdhārī

(195 words)

Author(s): Maíllo Salgado, Felipe
[ʾAbū al-ʿAbbās ʾAḥmad ibn Muḥammad ibn ʿIdhārī al-Marrākushī] ca 648 - 720 ah (1250 - 1320 ad). Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) and Maghreb. Author of an Arabic chronicle entitled Al-Bayan al-Mugrib fī Akhbār mulūk al-Andalus wa al-Maghrib. Apart from the fact that he was k aʾi d of Fes (now Morocco), his personal life is unknown. He is famous for his important work on the kings of the Islamic West. This chronicle in Arabic, which contains excellent material, has come down to us fragmented. It is structured in three parts running from 641 to 1…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Isḥāq

(292 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[ʾAbū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Isḥāq ibn Yasār ibn Khiyār ibn Isḥāq] ca 85-150 ah (704-67/68 ad). Arabia. Ibn Isḥāq was a muslim historian and hagiographer famous for writing the first biography of the prophet Muhammad. A native of Medina, he studied the Hadīth in Alexandria around 733. He returned to Medina ca 749. After the Abbasids had taken the power over Medina he went back to Baghdad, where he probably died. His work Sirat Rasul Allah (Life of God's Messenger) is based on collected oral traditions. His historical writings are summarized under the title al-kitāb al-kabīr (The great Boo…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn Iyās

(569 words)

Author(s): Krauss-Sánchez, Heidi R.
[Zayn/Shihāb al-Dīn ʾAbū al-Barakāt Muḥammad ibn ʾAḥmad ibn Iyās al-Nāsirī al-Jarkasī al-Ḥanafī] 852- ca 930 ah (1448-1524 ad). Egypt. Ibn Iyās belonged to a Mamlūk military family. What little information we have on his life derives from his own writings but we do learn the important fact that he studied under prominent teachers including al-Suyūtī and the Hanafī jurist and historian ʿAbd al-Bāsit ibn Khalīl al-Hanafī (d. 920/1514).His major work, the Badāʾiʿ al-zuhūr fī wakāʾiʿ al-duhūr (Wondrous Flowers of the Events of Time), is primarily important for the author's…
Date: 2016-10-17

Ibn al-Jawzī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān

(308 words)

Author(s): Hirschler, Konrad
[ʾAbū al-Farash ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʿAlī ibn Muḥammad ibn al-Jawzī] 510-97 ah (1126-1200 ad). Mesopotamia. Hanbali preacher and scholar of history, law and hadith, native of Baghdad, and author of the Arabic al-Muntazam fī taʿrīkh al-muluk wa-al-umam (The Well-Organised [Book] Concerning the History of Kings and Peoples).Throughout his life, Ibn al-Jawzī played an active role in the political and religious life of Baghdad, maintaining close relationships with the Caliphs, viziers and the leading scholars. Until he fell into disgrace towards …
Date: 2016-10-17
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