Copto-arabic universal chronography. Between antiquity, judaism, christianity and islam: The K. al-Tawārīkh of N. al-Khilāfa Abū Shākir Ibn al-Rāhib (655 Heg./973 Mart./1257 Chr./1569 Alex./6750 AM)

Adel Y. Sidarus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The historical work by the polymath and encyclopaedist from the golden age of Coptic Arabic literature, of which Dr. Samuel Moawad (Munster) is preparing an edition, represents in fact a collection of three treatises artificially divided into 51 sequential chapters. The chronological core is preceded by a long treatise of 47 chapters on astronomical and ecclesiastical reckoning and the historical eras and calendars of different nations. The historical part itself (ch. 48-50), of which the so-called Chronicon orientale is but a reworking, deals successively with universal history, Islamic dynasties and the Coptic Patriarchs. A survey of the first seven/eight Church Councils (ch. 51) ends the entire compilation. The well known historian al-Makīn Ibn al-'Amīd makes large use of his contemporary's work and, apparently through him, the great Muslim historians Ibn Khaldūn, Maqrīzī and Qalqashandī made constant mention of Ibn al-Rāhib. Later in the sixteenth century the K. al-Tawārīkh was translated into Ethiopian and had a significant impact on the historical and computational literature of the Ethiopians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-250
Number of pages30
JournalCollectanea Christiana Orientalia
Volume11
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Christian arabic
  • Coptic arabic
  • Cultural interchanges
  • Historiography
  • Middle ages

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