This work is an annotated translation of the Funj Chronicle, the only full-length Arabic account of the Nilotic Sudan from 910/1504-5 to 1288/1871, produced by a succession of nineteenth-century Sudanese writers. The earlier part is based on a king-list of the Funj dynasty of Sinnār. From the mid-twelfth/eighteenth century an increasingly detailed narrative describes the rule of Hamaj regents, the conquest by Muḥammad 'Alī Pasha's forces and the first half-century of Turco-Egyptian government.
The translator's Introduction discusses the textual history, structure and authorship of the Chronicle, while four Appendixes provide supplementary materials. This is a major source for Sudanese history, to which non-readers of Arabic have previously had access only through the summary translation in Harold MacMichael's
History of the Arabs in the Sudan (Cambridge, 1992).
P.M. Holt, M.A., D.Litt, (Oxford), is the Emeritus Professor of the History of the Near and Middle East in the University of London at the School of Oriental and African Studies. His publications include
The Madhist State in the Sudan (Oxford U.P., 1985, 1970),
The Age of the Crusades (Longman, 1986),
Early Mamluk Diplomacy (Brill, 1995).
In sum, the Funji Chronicle
offers rich rewards to anyone willing to invest the considerable effort necessary to understand it, and this very welcome edition should help it gain the attention it deserves.'
Journal of African History, 2000.
Readers interested in the Sudanese past and in nineteenth-century Egyptian history; more generally, those concerned with Arab culture, Islam and governmental structures in an African environment.