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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Female Honor in Usamah ibn Munqidh's Kitah al-I'tibar.
Usamah ibn Munqidh was born in Shayzar, in northern Syria, just months before Pope Urban's speech at Clermont in 1095 unleashed the First Crusade.
A more nuanced and potentially more authentic, collective memory of the Middle Eastern Crusades does exist, symbolized in part by the memoirs of a twelfth-century Syrian emir, Usamah Ibn Munqidh. He saw the positive and negative aspects of the crusading enterprise, but his voice is a forgotten one.
"Wounds, Military Surgery, and the Reality of Crusading Warfare: The Evidence of Usamah's Memoires" is the least successful of the studies, because it does not go much further than quoting from the Kitab al-I'tibar of Usamah ibn Munqidh itself, and because David Nicolle does not seem to have been familiar with the genre in which this work was written, one in which contradictions were deliberately juxtaposed; he cites a grisly description of one Western treatment, but does not add that Usamah also included examples of European medicine, which he admired.
Ibn al-Qaysrani's interest in crusader manners and customs was unusual, though it was echoed in the writing of the well-known twelfth-century poet and warrior, Usamah ibn Munqidh (1095-1188).