This work consists of the translation and annotation of three East African Arabic / Swahili manuscripts together with the original texts. They cover aspects of the history of the coast from the early Himyaritic period up to the beginning of the 20th century. By the use of earlier, in some cases hitherto unused Arabic sources, the authors of the texts have contributed to a fuller picture of the East African coastal history. The texts relate directly to works on East African coastal history that have appeared since the latter part of the 19th century. They are presented against the background of general Arabic and Islamic history. The annotations indicate, and some case stress, significant hints and references to matters that need to be borne in mind, along with archeological and other evidences.
In this book, Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui edit, translate, and study an Arabic manuscript of the Royal Library of Rabat, containing 77 appointments of provincial officials. The Almohad Caliphs were the first Berbers to unite the whole Maghrib and the Iberian Peninsula under an imperial ideology elaborated at the end of the 12th C.E. by the most famous scholars, such as Averroes.
This peripheral Islamic dynasty produced a pragmatic documentation that provides exceptional information about the administrative, political, ideological, and religious organisation of the largest medieval European-African Empire. Buresi and El Aallaoui convincingly stress the importance of the literature of the Chancellery in renewing the history of power and authority in medieval Islamic lands.