1902 Encyclopedia > Arabia > Arabic Literature - History, Historical Writing

(Part 53)


(53) Arabic Literature - History (Historical Writing)

History, however, proved from first to last an effort beyond Arab skill, which contented itself with the less intellectual task of multiplying chronicles to an almost unparalleled amount. In this the voluminous work of Ebn Atheer, which after commencing the Arab annals, along with those of the world from the creation itself, carries them down to the overthrow of the Abbaside caliphate in the 13th century; that of Musa’oodee, containing a pre Islamitic summary of the geography and history of the world in general, till the birth of Mahomet, after which the chronicle confines itself exclusively to the fortunes of the Arab empire; and that of abul-Feda, especially interesting by its curious notices of pagan Arabia, may be mentioned as favourable specimens in their line. In particular, Egypt was amply chronicled by Markreezee and Siyootee; Spain by Makkaree; Africa by Ebn Kateeb; Syria and Baghdad by writers out of number. A more voluminous, and, it must be added, a more childish collection of writings could scarcely be found in any language.

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