The Chronicle of Ibn al-Athir (1160-1233AD), entitled "al-Kamil fi'l-Ta'rikh", is one of the outstanding sources for the history of the mediaeval world. It covers the whole sweep of Islamic history almost up to the death of its author and, with the sources available to him, he attempted to embrace the widest geographical spread; events in Iraq, Iran and further East run in counterpoint with those involving North Africa and Spain. From the time of the arrival of the Crusaders in the Levant, their activities and the Muslim response become the focus of the work. A significant portion of this third part deals with the internal rivalries of the Ayyubid successors of Saladin, their changing relations with the Crusader states and in particular the events of the Damietta Crusade. As always, these events are portrayed against the wider background, with considerable emphasis on events in the eastern Islamic world, the fortunes of the Khwarazm Shahs and the first incursions of the Mongols.
’Richards' translation of the Arabic text is clear and engaging, permitting easy access to the wealth of material provided by Ibn al- AthÃ®r. In its present form, this volume will be welcomed by scholars who work on the crusading period, or are interested in the complex political relationships across the broader Near East during the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries. The text will also be invaluable for military historians who will find a treasure trove of material concerning warfare. Of particular importance in this context is Ibn al-AthÃ®r's emphasis on the capture and defense of fortifications, and particularly fortified cities, as crucial to territorial conquest. … The text also can be a valuable addition to undergraduate and graduate courses on the crusades, medieval surveys, and even western and world civilization surveys.’ The Medieval Review ’The al-Kamil fi'l-Ta'rikh is a remarkable achievement and the present translation into English is long overdue and most welcome. … D S Richards' highly readable translation opens up a period of history which had a global impact.’ Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
Contents: Preface; Introduction; The Chronicle of Ibn al-Athir: Year 589 -Year 628 [1230-1231]; Bibliographical references; Index.
The crusading movement, which originated in the 11th century and lasted beyond the 16th, bequeathed to its future historians a legacy of sources which are unrivalled in their range and variety. These sources document in fascinating detail the motivations and viewpoints, military efforts and spiritual lives, of the participants in the crusades. They also narrate the internal histories of the states and societies which crusaders established or supported in the many regions where they fought. Some of these sources have been translated in the past but the vast majority have been available only in their original language. The goal of this series is to provide a wide ranging corpus of texts, most of them translated for the first time, which will illuminate the history of the crusades and the crusader-states from every angle, including that of their principal adversaries, the Muslim powers of the Middle East.