First-hand mediaeval history of Al Andalus

'Abd al-Wahid al-Marrakushi / Dozy, Reinhart Pieter Anne (ed.). (Kitab al-Mu'jib fi talkhis akhbar ahl al-Maghrib). The history of the Almohades, preceded by a sketch of the history of Spain, from the time of the conquest till the reign of Yusof ibn-Ta´shifi´n, and of the history of the Almoravides. Now first edited from a MS. in the Library of Leyden, the only one extant in Europe.

Leyden, S. & J. Luchtmans, 1847.

XXII, 290, 8 pp. Contemporary full blue cloth with remains of a printed spine title.

 2,800.00

First edition.

Entitled "The Book of Wonder, or the Summary of News of the Maghreb", this is the best-known work of the Moroccan historian 'Abd al-Wahid (1185-1250): a personal and at the same time neutral account of Almohad rule from its foundation to the 13th century, but also of the preceding dynasty of the Almoravids, with a summary of Al Andalus history from the Muslim conquest until 1224. The book is written in a lighthearted spirit with many anecdotes; 'Abd al-Wahid explained that his intention was to inform and entertain the students in a summarized way since academic history books tend to be overly lengthy which can sometimes bore the reader. The work also contains valuable information about 'Abd al-Wahid's contemporary Ibn Rushd (Averroes), whom he may have known personally, as well as information directly taken from the Almohad archives, various princes and accounts of events that the author witnessed. A number of details point to Egypt as the place of writing, and the author himself states that he completed the work on 15 July 1224. Dozy's important edition of the Leyden MS. was republished in 1881.

Corners and spine-ends a little bumped. Occasional quite insignificant foxing; uncut and untrimmed as issued. Provenance: removed from the library of Carberry Tower, the Scottish castle mansion owned by the Elphinstone family from the 1860s to the 1960s, with bookplate and shelfmark to front pastedown.

GAL I, 322. For Dozy's editions of historical texts on the history of Muslim Spain see Fück, p. 182.

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