The Egyptian Historian 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti: His Life, Works, Autographs, Manuscripts and the Historical Sources of 'Aja'ib al-Athar

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This study is the companion volume to the new Arabic Edition of 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti's imposing magnum opus 'Aja'ib al-Athar fi 'l-Tarajim wa-'l-Akhbar (The Marvellous Compositions of Biographies and Events) that was edited by Moreh. Al-Jabarti's work presents the main chronicles and biographies dealing with the history of Egypt between 1688 and 1821. Moreh has responded to the long felt need for a critical scientific edition of this work, based upon its manuscripts scattered all over the world. Moreh has, for the first time, made a rigorous comparison of the entire text as found in the most important manuscripts and in the printed editions. The Arabic text produced is the first three volumes of 'Aja'ib to be based on al-Jabarti's autograph kept at the Cambridge University Library and the fourth volume at the Berlin Staatbibliothek copied accurately from the lost autograph of the fourth volume. This English introductory volume is a product and analysis of the research undertaken for the new Arabic edition. 'Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti (1753-1825) was a talented and original historian, best known for his three accounts of the history of Egypt. His account of the French occupation of Egypt (1798-1801) is of particular interest. Al-Jabarti's 'Aja'ib may be regarded as the swan song of medieval Arab-Muslim history and culture and reflects the decline of medieval Islamic civilization and military witnessed and recorded by a historian possessing unusual insight.