10 Entre l’épée et le calame : Abū l-Fidāʾ, prince et savant ayyoubide

In: Rulers as Authors in the Islamic World
Anne-Marie Eddé
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Abū l-Fidāʾ (r. 710–732/1310–1331), belonged to a family of literate Ayyubid princes. He himself fought in the army of the Mamluk sultans of Egypt and Syria, was appointed prince and then sultan of Hama, which did not prevent him from taking a keen interest in science and literature. He wrote several works, but is mostly known for his compendium of universal history, al-Mukhtaṣar fī taʾrīkh al-bashar, and his geographical treatise entitled Taqwīm al-buldān. It is through these two works that we question, here, the reasons which pushed him to conciliate military activities and intellectual life, the finalities of his work as well as his sources and his methods. This study shows, among other things, his desire to praise his sovereign, to assert the legitimacy of his own power, as well as his attraction for the transmission of knowledge.

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