al-Makīn Ǧirǧis Ibn al-ʿAmīd: Universal History

The Vulgate Recension. From Adam to the End of the Achaemenids


When the 13th-century Coptic official al-Makīn Ibn al-ʿAmīd was thrown into prison by Sultan Baybars, he set out to compile a summary of Biblical, Graeco-Roman, and Islamic history for his own consolation. His work, which drew from a vast array of sources, enjoyed enduring success among various readerships: Oriental Christians, in Arabic-speaking communities but also in Ethiopia; Mamluk historians, including Ibn Ḫaldūn and al-Maqrīzī; and early modern Europe. A major instance of Christian-Muslim interaction in the pre-modern era, Ibn al-ʿAmīd’s chronography is still unpublished in its pre-Islamic part. This volume edits, analyzes, and translates the section from Adam to the Achaemenids.

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Martino Diez, Ph.D. (2007), is Associate Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Catholic University of Milan. He is scientific director of the Oasis International Foundation. In 2019 he was a visiting member to the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. He has mainly published on Abbasid literature (al-Mutanabbī and al-Maʿarrī) and Christian-Muslim relations.
This volume is addressed to scholars of Christian-Arabic literature, Islamic-Christian relations, Ayyubid and Mamluk studies, the Arabic Bible, Arabic Hermetica, Judaism in the Arabic world, as well as historians of the Middle East and early modern Europe, Byzantinists, Ethiopicists, and Coptologists. It can also be used as a training text for graduate students working on Middle Arabic and the translation of Greek and Syriac materials into Arabic. The Arabic edition is fully annotated. As a self-standing text, it could be of interest to Arabic-speaking Coptic cultural institutions in Egypt outside the usual academic circle.
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