The History of al-Tabari Vol. 13

The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt: The Middle Years of 'Umar's Caliphate A.D. 636-642/A.H. 15-21

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 251

View: 929

This volume deals with the aftermath of the decisive battle at al-Qadisiyyah described in the previous volume. First, the conquest of southern Iraq is consolidated; in rapid succession there follow the accounts of the battles at Burs and Babil. Then in 16/637 the Muslim warriors make for the capital al-Mada'in, ancient Ctesiphon, which they conquer after a brief siege. The Persian king seeks refuge in Hulwan, leaving behind most of his riches, which are catalogued in great detail. In the same year the Muslim army deals the withdrawing Persians another crushing blow at the battle of Jalula'. This volume is important in that it describes how the newly conquered territories are at first administered. As the climate of al-Mada'in is felt to be unwholesome, a new city is planned on the Tigris. This is al-Kufah, which is destined to play an important role as the capital city of the fourth caliph, 'Ali. The planning of al-Kufah is set forth in considerable detail, as is the building of its main features--the citadel and the great congregational mosque. After this interlude there follow accounts of the conquests of a string of towns in northern Mesopotamia, which bring the Muslim fighters near the border with al-Jazirah. That region is conquered in 17/638. The history of its conquest is preceded by an account of the Byzantines' siege of the city of Hims. Also in this year, 'Umar is recorded to have made a journey to Syria, from which he is driven back by a sudden outbreak of the plague, the so-called Plague of 'Amawas. The scene then shifts back to southwestern Iran, where a number of cities are taken one after another. The Persian general al-Hurmuzan is captured and sent to Medina. After this, the conquest of Egypt--said to have taken place in 20/641--is recorded. The volume concludes with a lengthy account of the crucial battle at Nihawand of 21/642. Here the Persians receive a blow that breaks their resistance definitively. This volume abounds in sometimes very amusing anecdotes of man-to-man battles, acts of heroism, and bizarre, at times even miraculous events. The narrative style is fast-moving, and the recurrence of similar motifs in the historical expose lends them authenticity. Many of the stories in this volume may have begun as yarns spun around campfires. It is not difficult to visualize an early Islamic storyteller regaling his audience with accounts that ultimately found their way to the file on conquest history collected by Sayf b. 'Umar, al-Tabari's main authority for this volume. A discounted price is available when purchasing the entire 39-volume History of al-Tabari set. Contact SUNY Press for more information.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 11

The Challenge to the Empires A.D. 633-635/A.H. 12-13

Author: Abu Jafár Muhammad B. Jar?r al-Tabar?

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 261

View: 382

Although this volume deals with the part of al-Tabari's History covering the years 12 and 13 (633-35), in the caliphates of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and 'Umar b. al-Khattab, the narratives contained in it, which are lengthy and detailed, are concerned with the first Muslim conquests in Iraq and Syria. Although it might be expected, therefore, that this volume would be a basic source for these conquests, the actual value of the bulk of the reported traditions is in considerable doubt because most of the material is derived from a later Kufan traditionist, Sayf b. 'Umar (d. 170-93/786-809), who apparently exaggerated and distorted his material considerably. Indeed, Sayf's transmissions clearly reveal the tendency of his party, an anti-Shi'ite faction based on the Arab Mudar tribal group in al-Kufah that had lost out with the fall of the Umayyads and the coming of the 'Abbasids to power. Although Sayf's transmissions thus have limited value as far as the earliest conquests themselves are concerned, they are of the utmost value in revealing the content and character of Islamic historical debates in the late 2nd/8th century. In addition, they permit us to elucidate and reconstruct an early harmonizing tendency in Islam that undoubtedly had a significant effect on the way later Muslims viewed their earliest history. The translation is preceded by an introduction analyzing the tendencies of Sayf and his party as revealed in this volume. Extensive notes accompany the text for the benefit of historians in other fields, as well as of Islamic specialists.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 10

The Conquest of Arabia: The Riddah Wars A.D. 632-633/A.H. 11

Author:

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 248

View: 668

Volume X of al-Tabari's massive chronicle is devoted to two main subjects. The first is the selection of Abu Bakr as the first caliph or successor to the Prophet Muh'ammad following the Prophet's death in 632 C.E. This section of the History reveals some of the inner divisions that existed within the early Muslim community, and sheds light on the interests and motivations of various parties in the debates that led up to Abu Bakr's acclamation as caliph. The second main subject of Volume X is the riddah or "apostasy"--actually a series of rebellions against Muslim domination by various tribes in Arabia that wished to break their ties with Medina following the Prophet's death. The History offers one of the more extensive collections of accounts about this early sequence of events to be found in the Arabic historical literature. It provides richly detailed information on the rebellions themselves and on the efforts made by Abu Bakr and his Muslim supporters to quell them. It also tells us much about relationships among the tribes of Arabia, local topography, military practice, and the key personnel, organization, and structure of the early Islamic state. The successful suppression of the riddah marked the transformation of the Muslim state from a small faith community of importance only in West Arabia to a much more powerful political entity, embracing all of the Arabian peninsula and poised to unleash a wave of conquests that would shortly engulf the entire Near East and North Africa. The riddah era is, thus, crucial to understanding the eventual appearance of Islam as a major actor on the stage of world history.

History of al-Tabari Vol. 13, The

The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt: The Middle Years of 'Umar's Caliphate A.D. 636-642/A.H. 15-21

Author:

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 280

View: 438

This volume deals with the aftermath of the decisive battle at al-Qadisiyyah described in the previous volume. First, the conquest of southern Iraq is consolidated; in rapid succession there follow the accounts of the battles at Burs and Babil. Then in 16/637 the Muslim warriors make for the capital al-Mada'in, ancient Ctesiphon, which they conquer after a brief siege. The Persian king seeks refuge in Hulwan, leaving behind most of his riches, which are catalogued in great detail. In the same year the Muslim army deals the withdrawing Persians another crushing blow at the battle of Jalula'. This volume is important in that it describes how the newly conquered territories are at first administered. As the climate of al-Mada'in is felt to be unwholesome, a new city is planned on the Tigris. This is al-Kufah, which is destined to play an important role as the capital city of the fourth caliph, 'Ali. The planning of al-Kufah is set forth in considerable detail, as is the building of its main features--the citadel and the great congregational mosque. After this interlude there follow accounts of the conquests of a string of towns in northern Mesopotamia, which bring the Muslim fighters near the border with al-Jazirah. That region is conquered in 17/638. The history of its conquest is preceded by an account of the Byzantines' siege of the city of Hims. Also in this year, 'Umar is recorded to have made a journey to Syria, from which he is driven back by a sudden outbreak of the plague, the so-called Plague of 'Amawas. The scene then shifts back to southwestern Iran, where a number of cities are taken one after another. The Persian general al-Hurmuzan is captured and sent to Medina. After this, the conquest of Egypt--said to have taken place in 20/641--is recorded. The volume concludes with a lengthy account of the crucial battle at Nihawand of 21/642. Here the Persians receive a blow that breaks their resistance definitively. This volume abounds in sometimes very amusing anecdotes of man-to-man battles, acts of heroism, and bizarre, at times even miraculous events. The narrative style is fast-moving, and the recurrence of similar motifs in the historical expose lends them authenticity. Many of the stories in this volume may have begun as yarns spun around campfires. It is not difficult to visualize an early Islamic storyteller regaling his audience with accounts that ultimately found their way to the file on conquest history collected by Sayf b. 'Umar, al-Tabari's main authority for this volume. A discounted price is available when purchasing the entire 39-volume History of al-Tabari set. Contact SUNY Press for more information.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 12

The Battle of al-Qadisiyyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine A.D. 635-637/A.H. 14-15

Author: ?abar?

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 237

View: 573

The present volume of the History of al-Tabari deals with the years 14 and 15 of the Islamic era, which correspond to A.D. 635-637. The nascent Islamic state had just emerged victorious from the crisis that followed the Prophet's death in 632 and had suppressed what was known as the riddah ("apostasy") rebellion in the Arabian peninsula. Under the leadership of 'Umar b.'al-Khattab, the second caliph, or successor to the Prophet Muhammad, the Muslims embarked on the conquests that would soon transform the whole of the Middle East and North Africa into an Arab empire. Most of the present volume describes the battle of al-Qadisiyyah, which took place on the border between the fertile Iraqi lowlands (al-sawad) and the Arabian desert and resulted in the decisive defeat of the Persian army. The Muslim victory at al-Qadisiyyah heralded the downfall of the Sasanian dynasty, which had ruled Persia and Mesopotamia since A.D., the third century; it also paved the way for the conquest of Iraq and facilitated Islamic expansion in Persia and beyond. The volume also deals with the conquest of Syria and Palestine and the Expulsion of the Byzantines from those regions. Particular attention is devoted to the traditions related to the conquest of Jerusalem at the hands of 'Umar b. al-Khattab, the first Muslim prayer on the Temple Mount, and its transformation into an Islamic sanctuary. The volume contains colorful descriptions of the various battles, expatiations on the bravery of the Muslim warriors, and portrayals of the futile negotiations between the parties before the beginning of hostilities. It thus provides the reader with a fascinating insight into the later Muslim traditions related to those crucial events of early Islamic history.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 39

Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors: al-Tabari's Supplement to His History

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 406

View: 690

This is biographical material that al-T'abari appended to his History, bringing together biographies of Companions and successors of the Prophet. Many chapters are devoted to women who played a role in the transmission of knowledge.

History of al-Tabari Vol. 11, The

The Challenge to the Empires A.D. 633-635/A.H. 12-13

Author:

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 900

Although this volume deals with the part of al-Tabari's History covering the years 12 and 13 (633-35), in the caliphates of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq and 'Umar b. al-Khattab, the narratives contained in it, which are lengthy and detailed, are concerned with the first Muslim conquests in Iraq and Syria. Although it might be expected, therefore, that this volume would be a basic source for these conquests, the actual value of the bulk of the reported traditions is in considerable doubt because most of the material is derived from a later Kufan traditionist, Sayf b. 'Umar (d. 170-93/786-809), who apparently exaggerated and distorted his material considerably. Indeed, Sayf's transmissions clearly reveal the tendency of his party, an anti-Shi'ite faction based on the Arab Mudar tribal group in al-Kufah that had lost out with the fall of the Umayyads and the coming of the 'Abbasids to power. Although Sayf's transmissions thus have limited value as far as the earliest conquests themselves are concerned, they are of the utmost value in revealing the content and character of Islamic historical debates in the late 2nd/8th century. In addition, they permit us to elucidate and reconstruct an early harmonizing tendency in Islam that undoubtedly had a significant effect on the way later Muslims viewed their earliest history. The translation is preceded by an introduction analyzing the tendencies of Sayf and his party as revealed in this volume. Extensive notes accompany the text for the benefit of historians in other fields, as well as of Islamic specialists.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 3

The Children of Israel

Author: Ab?-?a?far Mu?ammad Ibn-?ar?r ?abar? (a?-)

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 194

View: 970

This volume continues the stories of the Israelite patriarchs and prophets who figured in Volume II, as well as of the semi-mythical rulers of ancient Iran. In addition to biblical, Qur'anic, and legendary accounts about Moses, Aaron, and the exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt; of the Judges, Samuel and Ezekiel; and of Saul, David, and Solomon, it includes a version of Iranian prehistory that emphasizes the role of Manuchihr (Manushihr in Arabic) in creating the Iranian nation and state. Woven into these accounts are stories about figures belonging to the very earliest literatures of the Middle East: the mysterious al-Khidwith echoes from the epic of the Sumero-Akkadian hero Gilgamesh; the legendary exploits of Dhu l-Qarnayn, mirroring the ancient romance of Alexander; and incorporating elements about the encounter of King Solomon and Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, of Jewish midrash and South Arabian lore. The Islamic empire was at its political and economic height during the tenth and eleventh centuries, and a new civilization was forged at the caliphal court and in society at large. One of the literary triumphs of that civilization was this rich and colorful tapestry belonging to the Islamic genre of "tales of the prophets." The tales in this volume show how threads from all the ancient civilizations of the Middle East were incorporated, absorbed, and Islamized in the brilliant fabric of that new civilization.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 19

The Caliphate of Yazid b. Mu'awiyah A.D. 680-683/A.H. 60-64

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 617

This volume deals with the caliphate of Yazid. Yazid was not accepted as a legitimate caliph by many of the leading Muslims of the time, and, therefore, al-Tabari has concentrated his account of Yazid's caliphate almost entirely on the opposition to him. This opposition had its leadership in two of the leading Islamic figures of the time, al-Husayn, the son of the caliph 'Ali, and Ibn al-Zubayr, a leading Muslim who felt that he had had some claims to the caliphate himself. The first revolt was led by al-Husayn. This revolt, although ineffectual in military terms, is very important for the history of Islam, as al-Husayn came to be regarded by Shi'ite Muslims as the martyred imam; his martyrdom is still commemorated every year by them. In his account al-Tabari has preserved for us some of the earliest historical writing on the subject. The amount of space he devotes to this event shows the importance it had already assumed by his own time. The second revolt, that of Ibn al-Zubayr, was much more serious in immediate terms. The revolt or civil war can be divided into two stages. This volume covers the first stage, ending with the timely death of Yazid, which saved Ibn al-Zubayr from defeat.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 21

The Victory of the Marwanids A.D. 685-693/A.H. 66-73

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 260

View: 422

Volume XXI of the History of al-Tabari (from the second part of 66/685 to 73/693) covers the resolution of "the Second Civil War." This conflict, which has broken out in 64/683 after the death of the Umayyad caliph Yazid I, involved the rival claims of the Umayyads (centered in Syria) and the Zubayrids (centered in the Hijaz), each of whom claimed the caliphal title, Commander of the Faithful. Both parties contented for control of Iraq, which was also the setting for al-Mukhtar's Schi'ite uprising in al-Kufah during 66/685 and 67/686. Kharijite groups were active in south-western Iran and central Arabia, even threatening the heavily settled lands of Iraq. By the end of 73/692, the Umayyad regime in Damascus, led by Abd-al-Malik, had extinguished the rival caliphate of Ibn al-Zubayr and had reestablished a single, more or less universally acknowledged political authority for the Islamic community. Al-Tabari's account of these years is drawn from such earlier historians as Abu Mikhnaf, al-Mada'ini, and al-Waqidi and includes eyewitness accounts, quotations from poems, and texts of sermons. Notable episodes include al-Mukhtar's slaying of those who had been involved in the death of al-Husayn at Karbala, the death of al-Mukhtar at the hands of Mus'ab b. al-Zubayr, the revolt of Amr b. Sa'id in Damascus, the death of Mus'ab at the Battle of Dayr al-Jathaliq, and al-Hajjaj's siege and conquest of Mecca on behalf of Abd-al-Malik. There are excursuses on the chair that al-Mukhtar venerated as a relic of Ali, the biography of the colorful brigand Ubaydallah b. al-Hurr, and the development of the secretarial office in Islam. The translation has been fully annotated. Parallels in the works of Ibn Sa'd, al-Baladhuri, and the Kitabal-Aghani have been indicated in the notes where these accounts supplement or diverge from that of al-Tabari.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 18

Between Civil Wars: The Caliphate of Mu'awiyah A.D. 661-680/A.H. 40-60

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 261

View: 508

This volume presents for the first time in English Tabari's complete account of the twenty-year long reign of the fifth caliph, Mu'awiyah (661-680). The importance of this account lies partly in Tabari's quotation of major portions of the work of earlier authors, such as Abu Mikhnaf and other eighth-century compilers. It is also significant because Tabari's selection of themes has had a decisive influence on modern interpretations of this period, particularly on the identification of what the important issues were in the works of Henri Lammens and Julius Wellhausen. Here one can read the exciting account of the Khariji revolt of Mustawrid ibn Ullifah, the impressive but controversial record of the governorship of Ziyad b. Abihi, the entertaining escapades of the poet Farazdaq in his youth, and the tragic story of Hibn 'Adi. Tabari's presentation of different points of view about these and other events makes his account an indispensable source for early Islamic history.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 7

The Foundation of the Community: Muhammad At Al-Madina A.D. 622-626/Hijrah-4 A.H.

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 182

View: 849

The contents of this volume are extremely significant: The specific events in this earliest period set precedents for what later became established Islamic practice. The book deals with the history of the Islamic community at Medina during the first four years of the Islamic period--a time of critical improtance for Islam, both as a religion and as a political community. The main events recounted by Tabari are the battles between Muhammad's supporters in Medina and their adversaries in Mecca. Tabari also describes the rivalries and infighting among Muhammad's early supporters, including their early relations with the Jewish community in Medina.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 16

The Community Divided: The Caliphate of 'Ali I A.D. 656-657/A.H. 35-36

Author: Mu?ammad ibn ?ar?r Al- ?abar?

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 214

View: 738

This volume 16 of Tabari's great 40-volume history of the Arabs treats the Caliphate of 'Ali I, 656-651

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 15

The Crisis of the Early Caliphate: The Reign of 'Uthman A.D. 644-656/A.H. 24-35

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 285

View: 282

Before the caliphate of the 'Uthman b. 'Affan, the Muslim community had grown from strength to strength in spite of a series of major crises--the Hirah, the death of the Prophet, the Riddah wars, the assassination of 'Umar by a Persian slave. But 'Uthman's reign ended in catastrophe. His inability to manage the social and political conflicts that were now emerging among various factions within the community led to his death at the hands of Muslim rebels. The consequences of this tragic event were bitter: not only a century of civil war, but also political and religious schisms of such depth that they have not been entirely healed even now. Most medieval Muslim historians told this story in an overtly partisan manner, but al-Tabari demands more of his readers. First of all, they must decide for themselves, on the basis of highly ambigous evidence, whether 'Uthman's death was tyrannicide or murder. But, more than that, they must ask how such a thing could have happened at all; what had the Muslims done to bring about the near-destruction of their community? Al-Tabari presents this challenge within a broad framework. For, even while the internal crisis that issued in 'Uthman's death was coming to a head, the wars against Byzantium and Persia continued. The first expeditions into North Africa, the conquest of Cyprus, the momentary destruction of the Byzantine fleet at the Battle of the Masts, the bloody campaigns in Armenia, the Caucasus, and Khurasan are all here, in narratives that shift constantly between hard reporting and pious legend. Muslim forces retain the offensive, but there are no more easy victories; henceforth, suffering and endurance will be the hallmarks of the hero. Most evocative in the light of 'Uthman's fate is the moving account of the murder of the last Sasanian king, Yazdagird III--a man betrayed by his nobles and subjects, but most of all by his own character.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 25

The End of Expansion: The Caliphate of Hisham A.D. 724-738/A.H. 105-120

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 219

View: 128

This volume deals with the part of Tabari's great History covering the first fifteen years of the caliphate of the Umayyad Hisham b. 'Abd al-Malik, which represents almost the last period of universal political unity in Islamic history. Tabari's work is generally recognized as among the most important sources for Hisham's reign. Here the bitter fighting faced by the Muslim forces on the frontiers receives extensive and graphic coverage. In particular, the unrewarding and continous war against the pagan Turks in Khurasan, a struggle that did so much to alienate the troops and thus to spread disaffection with Umayyad rule, is recorded in much more detail than elsewhere. Military disasters such as the Day of Thirst, the Day of Kamarjah, and the Day of the Defile are vividly portrayed. Tabari also devotes considerable attention to the growing internal problems that clouded the latter days of Hisham's rule, including the persistent contest for power between the great tribal groupings and the struggle of non-Arab Muslims for better status for themselves in the Islamic state. The burgeoning fiscal difficulties that threatened the state under Hisham are also highlighted. Additionally, there are many reports of the easliest 'Abbasid revolutionary activity. This volume is not only essential for the study of the reign of Hisham but also for understanding the background of the Umayyads' downfall and the establishment of 'Abbasid rule, laying bare some of the roots of the final breakdown of Islmaic political unity. A discounted price is available when purchasing the entire 39-volume History of al-Tabari set. Contact SUNY Press for more information.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 30

The 'Abbasid Caliphate in Equilibrium: The Caliphates of Musa al-Hadi and Harun al-Rashid A.D. 785-809/A.H. 169-193

Author: Muhammad ibn Yarir al- Tabari

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 365

View: 634

This volume of al-Tabari's History covers nearly a quarter of a century, and after covering the very brief caliphate of al-Hadi, concentrates on that of Harun al-Rashid. During these years, the caliphate was in a state of balance with its external foes; the great enemy, Christian Byzantium, was regarded with respect by the Muslims, and the two great powers of the Near East treated each other essentially as equals, while the Caucasian and Central Asian frontiers were held against pressure from the Turkish peoples of Inner Eurasia. The main stresses were internal, including Shi'ite risings on behalf of the excluded house of 'Ali, and revolts by the radical equalitarian Kharijites; but none of these was serious enough to affect the basic stability of the caliphate. Harun al-Rashid's caliphate has acquired in the West, under the influence of a misleading picture from the Arabian Nights, a glowing image as a golden age of Islamic culture and letters stemming from the Caliph's patronage of the exponents of these arts and sciences. In light of the picture of the Caliph which emerges from al-Tabari's pages, however, this image seems to be distinctly exaggerated. Al-Rashid himself does not exhibit any notable signs of administrative competence, military leadership or intellectual interests beyond those which convention demanded of a ruler. For much of his reign, he left the business of government to the capable viziers of the Barmakid family--the account of whose spectacular fall from power forms one of the most dramatic features of al-Tabari's narratives here--and his decision to divide the Islamic empire after his death between his sons was to lead subsequently to a disastrous civil war. Nevertheless, al-Tabari's story is full of interesting sidelights on the lives of those involved in the court circle of the time and on the motivations which impelled medieval Muslims to seek precarious careers there. A discounted price is available when purchasing the entire 39-volume History of al-Tabari set. Contact SUNY Press for more information.

History of al-Tabari Vol. 34, The

Incipient Decline: The Caliphates of al-Wathiq, al-Mutawakkil, and al-Muntasir A.D. 841-863/A.H. 227-248

Author:

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 282

View: 352

The events described in this volume took place during al-Tabari's own time. Al-Tabari was thus writing "contemporary history," and his narrative, often based on first-hand reports, is drawn in vivid and arresting detail. The volume portrays the summit of "the Samarra period," following al-Mu'tasim's transfer of the 'Abbasid capital upstream from Baghdad to Samarra. Three caliphs are portrayed in this volume: al-Mu'tasim's son and successor, al-Wathiq; al-Wathiq's brother al-Mutawakkil; and al-Mutawakkil's son al-Muntasir. At this time the 'Abbasid caliphs came under the dominant influence of the Turkish military elite. The crowning example of Turkish power and 'Abbasid frailty was the dramatic assassination of al-Mutawakkil by Turkish officers within the precincts of his own palace. The Turks were afterward not only instrumental in raising al-Muntasir the caliphate, they also forced him to depose his two brothers as heirs apparent. Finally, they had al-Muntasir himself killed. During the period of al-Wathiq and al-Mutawakkil, insurrections erupted in the center of the empire, and serious revolts broke out in distant provinces, including Africa and Armenia. The Byzantine raids on Damietta and Samosata were memorable events, and periodic Muslim forays were made into Byzantine territory. Prisoner exchanges between Muslims and Byzantines are reported in engaging detail on the basis of eyewitness testimony. The report of a prisoner release by a Shi'ite emissary to the Byzantine emperor contains a charming description of his visit to Constantinople and his audience with Michael III. A discounted price is available when purchasing the entire 39-volume History of al-Tabari set. Contact SUNY Press for more information.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 36

The Revolt of the Zanj A.D. 869-879/A.H. 255-265

Author: Mu?ammad ibn ?ar?r Al- ?abar?

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 229

View: 652

The present volume of al-Tabari's monumental history covers the years 255-265/869-878, the first half of the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tamid in Samarra. Although the decade was one of relative calm in the capital, compared with the anarchy of the years immediately preceding, danger signals were flashing in territories adjacent to the imperial heartlands. Chief among them was the revolt of the Zanj, the narrative of which occupies the bulk of the present volume. A people of semi-servile status, the Zanj, who were based in the marshlands of southern Iraq, were led by a somewhat shadowy and mysterious figure claiming Shi'ite descent, 'Ali b. Muhammad. Their prolonged revolt against the central authorities was not crushed until 269/882. Al-Tabari's account of these momentous events is unique in both the quality and the quantity of his information. He himself was present in Baghdad during the years of the revolt, and he was thus able to construct his story from reports by numerous eyewitnesses. The result is a detailed narrative that brings alive for the modern reader the main personalities and engagements of the revolt.

History of al-Tabari Vol. 23, The

The Zenith of the Marwanid House: The Last Years of 'Abd al-Malik and The Caliphate of al-Walid A.D. 700-715/A.H. 81-96

Author:

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 270

View: 709

This volume covers the years 700-715 A.D., a period that witnessed the last five years of the caliphate of the Umayyad 'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan and the whole of the caliphate of his son al-Walid. In retrospect, this period can be seen to have marked the apogee of Marwanid Umayyad power. It began with the dangerous revolt of the Iraqi tribal leader Ibn al-Ash'ath, which seriously imperilled Marwanid control of Iraq and was countered with considerable difficulty; but this proved to be the last of the obstacles faced by 'Abd al-Malik in the wake of the Second Civil War of 685-693. Thereafter he was able to preside over a strong and dynamic Arab kingdom, with al-Hajjaj b. Yusuf as his powerful governor of Iraq and the East. When 'Abd al-Malik died in 705, the caliphate passed to his son al-Walid, during whose decade of office al-Hajjaj remained at his post and further Arab expansion took place in Central Asia, in Sind, and in the Iberian Peninsula. To many of their contemporaries, the Arabs of that time must have looked like potential world conquerors. The volume ends shortly after the deaths of al-Hajjaj and al-Walid and just two years before the dispatch in 717 of the ill-fated Arab expedition to Constantinople.

The History of al-Tabari Vol. 26

The Waning of the Umayyad Caliphate: Prelude to Revolution A.D. 738-745/A.H. 121-127

Author: Ab? Ja'far Muhammad B. Jar?r al-Tabar?

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 300

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The years 738-745/121-127, which this volume covers, saw the outbreak in Syria of savage internecine struggles between prominent members of the Umayyad family, which had ruled the Islamic world since 661/41. After the death of the caliph Hisham in 743-/125, the process of decay at the center of the Umayyad power--the ruling family itself--was swift and devastating. Three Umayyad caliphs (al-Walid II, Yazid III, and Ibrahim) followed Hisham within little more than a year, and the subsequent intervention of their distant cousin Marwan b. Muhammad (the future Marwan II) could not arrest the forces of opposition that were shortly to culminate in the 'Abbasid Revolution of 750/132. In this volume al-Tabari deals extensively with the end of Hisham's reign, providing a rich store of anecdotes on this most able of Umayyad caliphs. He also covers in depth the notorious lifestyle of al-Walid II, the libertine prince and poet, whose career has attracted much scholarly attention in recent years. Moreover, al-Tabari chronicles at great length the events of the rebellion and death of the Shi'ite pretender, Zayd b. 'Ali, at al-Kufah, as well as recording in detail the activities farther to the east, where Nasb. Sayyar was serving as the last Umayyad governor of Transoxiana and Khurasan, the very area from which the 'Abbasid Revolution was to spring. The text also contains several official letters which shed much light on Umayyad propaganda and on early Islamic epistolary style. The hindsight conferred by subsequent centuries highlights the full significance of these half-dozen years or so. Al-Tabari documents the incubation of the 'Abbasid Revolution, an event of great importance in world history, and traces the failure of the principal Shi'ite revolt of the eighth century, a debacle which was also to have serious repercussions, for it generated the foundation of Zaydi principalities in Iran and the Yemen. Yet even these major themes are secondary to the epic tale that al-Tabari unfolds of the tragic downfall of the first dynasty in Islam.