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Ibn Yūnus’s Use of Documentary Evidence in his History of Egypt

Thursday 13 September 2018
Free to visit, drinks after
What's New?! fall lecture series
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Ibn Yūnus al-Ṣadafī (d. 347 AH/958 AD) is one of the most important historians of fourth/tenth-century Egypt. His magnum opus, Tārīkh Miṣr, has survived only in the form of citations in the Arabic historical and literary sources, showing it to be a biographical dictionary of the residents of, and visitors to, Egypt from the conquest of Egypt in the first/seventh century until the author’s time. These citations reveal the author’s inclination to use at least four types of documentary materials. Analysis of these materials allows for an assessment of the author’s awareness of the value of documentary evidence for historical writing and the effect of his attitude on later historians familiar with his work.

About Wadad Kadi

Wadad Kadi is the Avalon Foundation Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago, where she was Professor of Islamic Thought at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from 1988 until her retirement in 2009; she was also the  Editor of the Journal of Near Eastern Studies there from 2007 until 2009.  Born in Lebanon, she received her higher education at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and in Tübingen, Germany, and has taught at AUB, Harvard, Columbia, and Yale, before going to Chicago.  During her career she received several honors and awards, including the King Faisal International Prize in Arabic Literature in 1994, the presidency of the American Oriental Society in 2004, and the Life Achievement Award by Middle East Medievalists in 2012; she has also been recently elected Honorary Member of the Union Européenne des Arabisants et Islamisants. For several years she was Associate Editor of E. J. Brill’s Encyclopaedia of the Qur’an and the Princeton Encyclopedia of Islamic Political Thought, and co-editor of Brill’s book series “Islamic History and Civilization,” of which she is currently Honorary Editor. 

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