Baladhuri - Encyclopedia


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'BALADHURI (ABU-L- ` ABBAS AHMAD IBN YAHYA IBN JABIR AL-BALADHURI), Arabian historian, was a Persian by birth, though his sympathies seem to have been strongly with the Arabs, for Mas`udi refers to one of his works in which he refuted the Shu`ubites '(see ABU ` UBAIDA). He lived at the court of the caliphs al-Mutawakkil and al-Musta`in and was tutor to the son of al-Mu`tazz. He died in 892 as the result of a drug called balddhur (hence his name). The work by which he is best known is the Futuh ul-Bulddn (Conquests of Lands), edited by M. J. de Goeje as Liber expugnationis regionum (Leiden, 1870; Cairo, 1901). This work is a digest of a larger one, which is now lost. It contains an account of the early conquests of Mahomet and the early caliphs. Baladhuri is said to have spared no trouble in collecting traditions, and to have visited various parts of north Syria and Mesopotamia for this purpose. Another great historical work of his was the Ansdb ul-Ashrdf (Genealogies of the Nobles), of which he is said to have written forty parts when he died. Of this work the eleventh book has been published by W. Ahlwardt (Greifswald, 1883), and another part is known in manuscript (see Journal of the German Oriental Society, vol. xxxviii. pp. 382-406). He also made some translations from Persian into Arabic. (G. W. T.)

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