1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Balādhurī

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2926031911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 3 — BalādhurīGriffithes Wheeler Thatcher

BALĀDHURĪ (Abū-l-ʽAbbās Ahmad ibn Yahyā ibn Jābir al-Balādhurī), Arabian historian, was a Persian by birth, though his sympathies seem to have been strongly with the Arabs, for Masʽūdī refers to one of his works in which he refuted the Shuʽūbites (see Abu ʽUbaida). He lived at the court of the caliphs al-Mutawakkil and al-Mustaʽīn and was tutor to the son of al-Muʽtazz. He died in 892 as the result of a drug called balādhur (hence his name). The work by which he is best known is the Futūh ul-Buldān (Conquests of Lands), edited by M. J. de Goeje as Liber expugnationis regionum (Leiden, 1870; Cairo, 1901). This work is a digest of a larger one, which is now lost. It contains an account of the early conquests of Mahomet and the early caliphs. Balādhurī is said to have spared no trouble in collecting traditions, and to have visited various parts of north Syria and Mesopotamia for this purpose. Another great historical work of his was the Ansāb ul-Ashrāf (Genealogies of the Nobles), of which he is said to have written forty parts when he died. Of this work the eleventh book has been published by W. Ahlwardt (Greifswald, 1883), and another part is known in manuscript (see Journal of the German Oriental Society, vol. xxxviii. pp. 382-406). He also made some translations from Persian into Arabic.  (G. W. T.)