1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Maqrīzī

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MAQRĪZĪ, or Makrizi [Taqī ud-Dīn Aḥmad ibn ‛Alī] (1364–1442), Arabian historian, known as al-Maqrīzī because of his ancestral connexion with Maqrīz, a suburb of Baalbek, was born at Cairo and spent most of his life in Egypt, where he was trained in the Hanifite school of law, though later he became a Shāfi‘ite with an inclination to Zāhirite views. In 1385 he made the pilgrimage. For some time he was secretary in a government office, and in 1399 became inspector of markets for Cairo and northern Egypt. This post he soon gave up to become preacher at the mosque of ‛Amr, president of the mosque ul-Hākim, and a lecturer on tradition. In 1408 he went to Damascus to become inspector of the Qalānisīyya and lecturer. Later he retired into private life at Cairo. In 1430 he made the pilgrimage with his family and travelled for some five years. His learning was great, his observation accurate and his judgment good, but his books are largely compilations, and he does not always acknowledge the sources to which he is indebted. Most of his works are concerned with Egypt. The most important is the Mawā‘iz wal-I’tibār fī dhikr ul-Ḥitaṭ wal-Āihār (2 vols., Bulāq, 1854), translated into French by U. Bouriant as Description topographique et historique de l’Égypte (Paris, 1895–1900; cf. A. R. Guest, “A List of Writers, Books and other Authorities mentioned by El Maqrīzī in his Khiṭat,” in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1902, pp. 103–125). Of his History of the Fatimites an extract was published by J. G. L. Kosegarten in his Chrestomathia (Leipzig, 1828), pp. 115–123; the History of the Ayyūbit and Mameluke Rulers has been translated into French by E. Quatremère (2 vols., Paris, 1837–1845). Maqrīzī began a large work called the Muqaffā, a cyclopaedia of Egyptian biography in alphabetic order. It was intended to be in 80 volumes, but only 16 were written. Three autograph volumes exist in MS. in Leiden, and one in Paris.

Among smaller works published are the Mahommedan Coinage (ed. O. G. Tychsen, Rostock, 1797; French translation by S. de Sacy, Paris, 1797); Arab Weights and Measures (ed. Tychsen, Rostock, 1800); the Arabian Tribes that migrated to Egypt (ed. F. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen, 1847); the Account of Hadhramaut (ed. P. B. Noskowyj, Bonn, 1866); the Strife between the Banī Umayya and the Banī Hāshim (ed G. Vos, Leiden, 1888), and the Moslems in Abyssinia (ed. F. T. Rink, Leiden, 1790). For Maqrīzī’s life see the quotations from contemporary biographies in S. de Sacy’s Chrestomathie arabe (2nd ed., Paris, 1826), ii. 112 seq., and for other works still in MS. C. Brockelmann, Gesch. der arabischen Litteratur (Berlin, 1902), ii. 38-41. (G. W. T.)