Usama ibn Munqidh

Pages: 160
Subject: Religion: Islam
Series: Makers of the Muslim World
Imprint: Oneworld Academic
Illustrations: illustrations

Usama ibn Munqidh

Warrior-Poet of the Age of Crusades

Paul M. Cobb

Focussing on both his literary achievements and political adventures, Paul Cobb introduces the great Syrian warrior poet.
Hardback
9781851684038 (22 Feb 2006)
RRP £25.00 / US$30.00

The Book

Usama Ibn Munqidh (1095-1188) was a Syrian poet and warrior whose life coincided with some of the most dramatic moments in Islamic history: the invasion of the Turks into the Middle East, the collapse of the Shi'ite political power, and above all, the coming of the Crusades. Often at the frontline of such events whilst on military service representing one of his many Lords, including on occasion the legendary Saladin, Usama was nonethless best-known to his contemporaries as a poet.



Covering his exquisite anthologies of Arabic poetry, his witty and well- loved memoirs, and his political adventures, this comprehensive biography examines both the literary works of the famous "Arab- Syrian Gentleman" and the tumultuous life which inspired them. With a guide to further reading, a dynastic family tree and a glossary of the principal characters encountered in the book, it offers an indispensable window into Usmama's life, times and world of thought.

 

CONTENTS


Preface

Introduction

 

1 THE YOUTH AND THE CASTLE

The setting of Shayzar

Childhood

Hunting at Shayzar

Shayzar's bad neighbors

Nizaris attack Shayzar

Relations with the Franks

Quiet moments

Exile

Service to Zangi

Last days in Hama

 

2 THE OUTCAST AND THE KINGS

Damascus (1138-1144)

Usama among the Franks

Trouble in Damascus

Egyptian adventures (1144-1154)

The lesson of Ridwan

A new patron

An expedition to Syria

Conspiracy in Cairo

The final straw

Damascus and Nur al-Din (1154-1164)

Calamity

 

3 THE POET AND THE TOMB

Diyar Bakr (1164-1174)

Literary output

Denouement in Damascus (1174-1188)

Intellectual pursuits

 

4 ORDER AND CHAOS

God's will and the vicissitudes of Time

Usama's Islam

Pious exemplars and the miraculous

Women's honor

Male honor and social status

The manners and customs of animals

Conclusion

 

5 FRANKS AND MUSLIMS

Usama, ethnographer

Usama and the coming of the Crusades

Usama on Antioch

Social relations with the Franks

Medicine

Frankish justice

Usama and Christianity

 

Afterword

Further reading

Works cited

Principal people encountered in this book

Simplified lists of principal dynasties and rulers in Usama's lifetime

Index

Additional Information

Subject Religion: Islam
Series Makers of the Muslim World
Pages 160
Imprint Oneworld Academic
Illustrations illustrations

 

About the Author

Paul M. Cobb is Professor of Islamic History in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania.