By Kenneth M. Setton, Norman P. Zacour, Harry W. Hazard
The six volumes of A historical past of the Crusades will stand because the definitive background of the Crusades, spanning 5 centuries, encompassing Jewish, Moslem, and Christian views, and containing a wealth of data and research of the background, politics, economics, and tradition of the medieval global.
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Additional resources for A History of the Crusades, Volume V: The impact of the crusades on the Near East
Though he was not a historian in the strict sense of the word, mention should be made of Usamah ibn-Murshid, better known as UsAmah lbn-Munqidh (d. 1188), perhaps the first Arab to produce an autobiography. In his memoirs, entitled the Kiti1b al-i'tibiir (The book of example [and reflection]), 107 he has included the earliest Arabic treatise on falconry and the chase, of which he himself was a master. The book preserves eyewitness reports and observations on Fatimid Egypt and Zengid and Aiyubid Syria, as well as many details about MoslemFrankisb relations during the second half of the twelfth century.
Another who contributed in the field of antidotes was Ibn-at-Tilrnidh (d. 1165), 87 whose Aqriibiidhin (Book on simples) superseded earlier Arab works on the subject. In this field, too, as in astronomy, mathematics, and geography, the contribution of western Arabs was more considerable than that of their eastern brethren. Commerce in precious stones, drugs, and perfumes gave rise to special works or handbooks to prevent frauds and to regulate transactions. These handbooks were sometimes specially written for the benefit of the mul]tasib, the official in charge of the supervision of markets, in which case they might be loosely described as manuals for the bureau of standards.
From their ranks came vizirs, judges,and lecturers in the new schools. ltivated members of the class 38. 8Cil. US), p. 276. 39. , p. 269. 40. lbn-JubaJr, Rih/Qh, p. 227. 41. Ibid. 42. JlqA, AI-Pakhrf, pp. 284-285, 287. 14 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES v because of their inordinate influence on the populace. Even discerning individuals like Ibn-Jubair, who criticized the people of Baghdad for their hypocrisy and deceit, exempted from this harsh judgment "their religious leaders, who were versed in the science of tradition, and their preachers, who ceaselessly admonished their followers to do right.