Usamah Ibn Munqidh

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Usama ibn Munqidh
Poet, courtier, soldier
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Usamah Ibn Munqidh


Born June 4, 1095, in Shayzar, northern Syria; died 1188 in Damascus. Arab writer and military leader who fought against the Crusaders.

Usamah ibn Munqidh traveled in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, and Mesopotamia. He was the author of Instruction by Examples (published in Leiden in 1884), an autobiographical chronicle telling of the life of the Arabs in the 12th century and of relations between the Arabs and the Crusaders. The book is valuable both as a work of literature and as an important historical source dealing with life in medieval Arabic countries. Usamah ibn Munqidh also wrote poetry collections and historical tales, including The Book of the Staff and The Book of Camps and Dwellings.


Kitab al-ukkaz. Cairo, 1953
Kitab al-mawaqif wa al-masakin. Cairo, 1956.
In Russian translation:
Kniga nazidaniia. 2nd ed. [Introductory article by I. Iu. Krachkovskii and E. A. Beliaev.] Moscow. 1958. (Bibliography, pp. 321–24.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
With its cast of expressive, intricately garbed marionettes animated by unseen hands, Wael Shawky's "Cabaret Crusades" video trilogy, 2010-15, spurns the Eurocentric narrative of the campaign for the Holy Land, drawing instead on medieval Islamic accounts by Usama Ibn Munqidh and Ibn al-Qalanisi, and on Amin Maalouf's more contemporary retelling, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (1984).
(81.) These views counterbalance the evidence of Usama Ibn Munqidh, whose Kitab al-lctibar mentions nonMuslims primarily in narratives of battles with Franks.
The Dome of the Rock is likely the "small mosque that the Franks had converted into a church" mentioned by Usama Ibn Munqidh (2008: 147; 1930: 134-35), in which he would pray with permission from the Templars.
"It's important, for example, in the second film, that I took some of the memoires of Usama ibn Munqidh who, when he was the ambassador of Damascus, was sent to Jerusalem to make a written agreement with the Crusaders.
Usama ibn Munqidh. The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades.
It is perhaps the best example of the anecdotes about which Smith remarks: "There is the distinct feeling that many such tales are the product of all-male gatherings where they are told and told again, with additions and exaggerations each time they are recounted." They are, indeed, not unlike Usama ibn Munqidh's account of the "Franks" altitude to their womenfolk, including taking a daughter to the men's hammam to be shaved--these, too, have all the characteristics of tall stories told in male gatherings.