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HISTORIOGRAPHY. The modern-day historians of the Islamic world, particularly those of the Middle East and South Asia, are the heirs of a powerful and sophisticated tradition of historical writing, and they appeal to (or feel the burden of) this tradition on many levels. Historical writing was one of the earliest and most highly developed literary genres in every region and language of the Islamic world. The characteristic formal structures, subject matter, and explanatory paradigms of this literature took shape between the early eighth and eleventh centuries, and persisted-with much flexibility and elaboration but little change at a deep level-down to the early nineteenth century. By the 1840s, however, the forms and perspectives of traditional historiography, rich and varied as they were, no longer seemed adequate in face of the radical challenges posed by Europe to every aspect of life in the Islamic world. By the beginning of the twentieth century, a few historians were beginning to model their work (with mixed but not inconsiderable success) on European approaches and research methods. The 1910s and 19205 witnessed the founding of universities on the European model, and as an inevitable consequence, a growing professionalization of history. That movement has continued down to the present, so that now (as in Europe and America) the writing of history has become largely an academic enterprise, with all the gains and losses that this implies.

In a brief article we cannot follow the evolution of historiography throughout the entire Islamic world. We will therefore focus only on three areas: the central and eastern Arab lands (with an emphasis on trends in Egypt), Turkey, and Iran. Historiography in India and Pakistan on the one side, and North Africa on the other, has not developed in isolation from the Middle East; on the contrary, the parallels and mutual influences have been close and profound. But historical writing in these countries has followed a distinctive path, shaped by a far tighter (even suffocating) colonial domination, and marked by a clear preference for English and French (rather than Arabic or Urdu) among the leading modern historians.

Nineteenth Century. The challenge of Europe was of course felt most immediately in political and economic life, but that in itself might have compelled few changes in historical vision; Muslim intellectuals had faced many equally acute crises on this plane over the centuries, and the deeply rooted but still flexible conceptual tools and cultural resources of their societies had permitted them to address these quite effectively. The European cultural challenge cut deeper, however. Felt only by a tiny minority as late as the mid-nineteenth century, it had become inescapable to almost everyone (at least in the major urban centers) by the beginning of the twentieth. Not only did it threaten the political independence and economic autonomy of Muslim societies; it assailed the very foundations of Muslim identity.

The rapid intellectual readjustments of the late nineteenth century (down to World War I) of course affected historical writing, although the works produced in this genre do not reach the level of the political and cultural essays of Rifa’ah Rafi` al-Tahtawi (1801-1873), Namik Kemal (1840-1888), Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1839-1897), or Muhammad `Abduh (1849-1905). This is probably due in large part to the fact that history continued to be (as it always had been in Muslim countries) the work of amateurs, and moreover was seldom attempted by the leading intellectuals of the age. As one might expect, the shift toward new forms and approaches began in Cairo and Istanbul, the two largest cities in the region, the seats of the most ambitiously reformist regimes, and the places most directly and profoundly exposed to Western pressures.

Cairo was the first and most important center of a changing historiography. It had in fact produced the last great work in a traditional mold, the `Aja’ib al-dthdr of `Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti (1753-1826). Al-Jabarti witnessed the catastrophic self-destruction of the Mamluk regime in the late eighteenth century, the shock of the French occupation in 1798-1801, and the tumultuous changes forced on the country by Muhammad `All (r. 1805-1848). He was an acute observer, but he regarded none of this as progress, and he was content to work within the chronicle/biographical dictionary framework bequeathed to him by the great Egyptian historians of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Muhammad `All, illiterate soldier that he was, had more than a little to do with the rise of an altered historical consciousness. Quite apart from his military, administrative, and economic initiatives, so disruptive of deep-rooted institutions and habits of thought, he took the risk of sending student missions to study in France, thereby exposing at least a few of his subjects to the thought and culture of contemporary Europe. No less important was his founding of the Translation Bureau (under the directorship of al-Tahtawi), which rendered many works of medicine, engineering, geography, and even history into Turkish and Arabic. To be sure, the few historical works chosen for translation (e.g., Montesquieu’s Considerations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur decadence, or Voltaire’s lives of Charles XII and Peter the Great) represented the Enlightenment, not the new scientific history of Ranke or the romantic nationalism of Michelet; even so, they suggested radically new ways of imagining and representing the past.

The first major history in Arabic to reflect new possibilities and tensions was Al-khitat al-tawfiqiyah aljadidah (2o vols., Cairo, 1886-1888) by ‘All Mubarak (1824-1893), the engineer who oversaw Khedive Ismail’s ambitious revamping of Cairo in the 1860s and early 1870s. Modeled to some degree on the classic work by Taq! al-Din al-Maqrizi (d. 1442), it is a remarkably rich miscellany of historical-biographical information, geographical description, and administrative data. Conceptually and structurally conservative (like al-Maqrizi’s work, it is organized by toponym), its contents nevertheless reflect many aspects of the new order. A hybrid work of this kind could not generate many successors, although the Taqwim al-Nil (6 vols., Cairo, 1916-1936) of Amin Sami (c. 186o-1941) comes closest in spirit and content. Like al-Tahtawi and `Al! Mubarak, Sam! spent his life in loyal service to the regime, chiefly as an educator; he was director of the government teachers’ college, Dar al-`Ulum, under Tawfiq and `Abbas II, and was appointed to the Senate by King Fu’ad.

In Egypt the political and ideological crisis of the `Urab! period proved in the long run to be a turning point, but for a time one sees only limited results-owing in large part to the stifling of political life under Lord Cromer until almost the turn of the century. An exception to this generalization would be Salim alNaqqash’s passionate, richly detailed, but still littlestudied history of the `Urab! Revolt, Misr lil-Misriyin (6 vols., Alexandria, 1884), based heavily on government documents and trial proceedings. By the end of the century we can perceive a marked shift from neotraditional to contemporary European models of historiography. Of the new historians by far the most successful and widely read was the staggeringly prolific Syrian immigrant Jirj! Zaydan (1861-1914). He edited several journals and wrote in many genres; among his works the most significant in the present context is his Tdrikh al-tamaddun al-Islami (5 vols., Cairo, 1902-19o6). This is less an original work of scholarship than a popular synthesis derived in large part from European Orientalist scholarship; even so, it is a very competent job and earned an English translation of one volume (Umayyads and Abbasids, London, 1907) by the formidable David Margoliouth. Zaydan’s was thus the first Arabic work in “modern” style to address medieval Islamic history. It was widely read but not much emulated, perhaps because as a Christian committed to a westernizing approach, Zaydan could not address adequately the deeper issues raised by his subject for modern Muslims. Nor could he really share the aspirations and frustrations of Egyptian nationalist writers. He was in fact offered the position in Islamic history at the new Egyptian University in 191o, but outrage in politically engaged circles compelled the offer to be withdrawn.

Istanbul was the home of a rather different historiographic evolution. It was still the capital of a vast empire, ruled by an autocrat who increasingly defined his role in terms of the Islamic caliphate. Moreover, its historians continued to be, as for centuries past, part of the scribal-bureaucratic elite whose careers and personal identities were closely linked to the fortunes of the Ottoman state. A strongly conservative trend is thus no surprise in the two leading historians of the mid/latenineteenth century-Ahmed Cevdet Pasha (1822-1895) and Ahmed Lutfi Efendi (1816-1907), both of whom were official court historians (vakanuvis), the last men to hold that post under the Ottoman sultans. Both recognized the changes going on all around them, but Lutfi resisted them, while Cevdet Pasha exhibited a more realistic mentality. Lutfi, for example, drew heavily on the official gazette for his information on the Tanzimat decades-a method that ensured a narrow, superficial, and highly laudatory account of this critical period (Tarihi Lutfi, 8 vols., Istanbul, 1873-1910; the final volumes remain unpublished). Cevdet Pasha, in contrast, had a strong grasp of law and administrative institutions and was deeply concerned with the processes governing the decline and fall of states. He was several times Minister of Justice and of Education and occasionally acted as a provincial governor (usually in Syria). He was the editor in chief of the Mecelle (the shari`ah-based code of civil law issued between 187o and 1877) as well as a translator of Ibn Khaldun. Although his chronicle of the crucial half-century between 1774 and 1826 (Tarihi vekayii devleti dliye, 12 vols., Istanbul, 1885-1892), composed over a period of some thirty years, is traditionally constructed, it makes considerable use of European as well as Ottoman documents. Apart from Cevdet and Lutfi, we should mention the several historical works of the leading Young Ottoman intellectual Namik Kemal, a far more progressive spirit than his two older contemporaries. But his historical writings (many either never published or quickly suppressed) were hastily written inspirational and patriotic exercises and had almost no impact on the development of modern Turkish historiography. [See the biography of Kemal.]

The old mold was broken first by the Young Turk seizure of power in 19o8, and then, decisively, by the Kemalist revolution. Whatever his defects as a thinker and politician, Ziya Gokalp (1875-1924) brought contemporary European sociology and history into the mainstream of Turkish intellectual life, where it found a ready reception. After World War I, Ataturk’s generation would create modern Turkish historical writing. [See the biography of Gokalp.]

Nineteenth-century Iran did not witness the deep intellectual transformations of Cairo and Istanbul; the country’s poverty and isolation, not to mention the political ineptitude of the Qajar court, left its historians working in a traditional framework (albeit enormously sophisticated) until the turn of the century. The Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911) was the culmination of a long process, and it would be misleading to attribute the later explosion in Persian intellectual life solely to this cataclysmic event. Yet the Revolution did crystallize the new currents of thought in the country, still illformed and shallow-rooted before 1905. It also created a powerful myth of promise, betrayal, and struggle for redemption-a myth that continues even now to shape many realms of Iranian life.

Interwar Period, 1919-1945. World War I was the turning point in almost every aspect of Middle Eastern life; indeed, this titanic event really laid down the agenda for the entire twentieth century within the region. It created vast new hopes and possibilities, and of course even more bitter disappointments and insoluble problems. It is no surprise that it ushered in a new era of historical writing marked by several characteristics: growing, if far from complete, professionalization (with several scholars getting doctorates in Europe, especially from Paris), institutionalized within the new universities of Cairo, Istanbul, and Tehran; a much closer approximation in form and methodology to the kinds of historical writing practiced in Europe; and a definition of persistent subject-matter areas, somewhat different for each of the linguistic/cultural realms. One apparently odd product of the period was a marked bilingualism among the new generation of historians, who often wrote in French or English for European audiences, and in Arabic, Persian, or Turkish for their own countrymen; in the latter works the cultural agendas and conflicts of their native countries came to the fore. This phenomenon continues strongly in the present.

It would be incorrect to assume that all traces of traditional literary-historical culture disappeared during these two decades. On the contrary, some of the most significant and useful historical compositions adhere to long-established genres. Thus Osmanli devrinde son sadrazamlar (Istanbul, 1940-1949) is an invaluable biographical compilation on the last thirty-seven Ottoman grand viziers by Ibndlemin Mahmut Kemal Inal (18701957) himself a senior bureaucrat in the empire’s final decades and a scholar steeped in all aspects of Ottoman literary culture. Another writer, Muhammad Kurd `All (1876-1953) the founder of the Arab Academy of Damascus and a prolific journalist and litterateur, composed a monumental history of Syria, Khitat al-Sham (6 vols., Damascus, 1925-1929). Although Kurd `Al! was well acquainted with the critical methods of Western Orientalism, this is the last great work of historical topography, a Syrian tradition going back to Ibn `Asakir (d. 1176) that flourished at least until the eighteenth century.

Works of more “modern” style tended to reflect in quite direct ways the central contemporary politicalcultural debates of the countries in which they were written. This was true not only of works on recent history, but of those dealing with the more remote past. Indeed, the segments of the past chosen for discussion provide an excellent index of these debates. In Egypt, attention was focused equally on the nineteenth century (especially Muhammad `All, Isma’il, and the `Urabi Revolt) and on the beginnings of Islamic history. On the nineteenth century, the key works were probably those written by `Abd al-Rahman al-Rafi’i (1889-1966), Muhammad Sabri (1894-1978), and Shafiq Ghurbal (1894-1961) Al-Rafi’i, an ardent partisan of the old National Party founded by Mustafa Kamil at the turn of the century and deeply immersed in Egypt’s political struggles, was self-taught as a historian and wrote exclusively in Arabic. Sabri and Ghurbal were professional academics; both took doctorates from the Sorbonne, held chairs at Cairo University, and published much of their major work in French or English.

In regard to early Islamic history, Taha Husayn’s Fi al-shi`r al jahili (Cairo, 1926), Muhammad Husayn Haykal’s Hayat Muhammad (Cairo, 1934) and Ahmad Amin’s three books on early Islamic history (Fajr alIsldm, Duhd al-Islam, and Zuhr al-Isldm, Cairo, 19281953) are landmarks in their various ways. Taha Husayn had taken a Sorbonne doctorate with a thesis on Ibn Khaldun; his attack on the authenticity of pre-Islamic Arabic poetry was an effort (almost disastrous for him and Cairo University) to apply European textual criticism to a culturally sanctified body of literature. The works of Haykal and Amin, in contrast, were attempts to synthesize Islamic piety and “scientific” historical method. However one judges Haykal’s use of modern critical methods, his biography of the Prophet was a literary tour de force, a superbly integrated portrait infused with a distinctively twentieth-century sensibility. Ahmad Amin’s studies, though less accessible, have commanded broad respect since their first publication.

Although he was a graduate of the School for Qadis and was largely self-taught as a historian, his European colleagues at Cairo University formally recommended him for a professorial chair on the strength of his publications.

In Turkey scholars followed Atatfirk’s lead by turning their backs on the recently-extinguished Ottoman Empire in favor of an older, more “authentic” Turkish history, in particular Central Asia and the Seljuks. Here the leading figures were two exact contemporaries. Zeki Velidi Togan (1890-1970) was an emigre from Russian Turkestan and devoted his life to the history and literature (both medieval and modern) of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia. Mehmet Fuat Koprulu (1890-1966), a descendant of a famous seventeenth-century vizierial family, was essentially an autodidact, but he became the most influential scholar of his generation in Turkish literature and the history of the Seljuks of Anatolia. He published mostly in Turkish, but his 1935 lectures in Paris, Les origines de l’Empire Ottoman, marked a turning point in the study of that controversial subject.

In Iran work was inevitably affected by the neoAchaemenidism and anti-clericalism of the Reza Shah regime; the historiography of this era, though by no means always royalist in tendency, was deeply nationalist and often anti-clerical. These trends are perhaps most tellingly summed up in the writings of Ahmad Kasravi (1890-1946). Born in Tabriz, politically the most progressive and cosmopolitan city in Iran at the turn of the century, and trained as a cleric, he abandoned that path by the age of twenty. In the early years of the Reza Shah era he served as a judge and lawyer and then taught history at the University of Tehran, but in 1934 he left these official careers for one as a journalist and cultural critic. His vitriolic attacks on Shiism and Iranian cultural traditions earned him both a devoted following and deadly hostility; his assassination by the Fida’iyan-i Islam was almost predictable. He was, when he set his mind to it, a talented historian. An early work, Shahriyaran-i gumnam (Forgotten Rulers, 3 vols., Tehran, 1928-1930), deals with the pre-Seljuk dynasties of his native province and is still regularly cited. His most important work, however, was on the Constitutional Revolution (Tdrikh-i mashrutah-i Iran, 3 vols., Tehran, 1940-1943) in which he had participated as a youth and in which his native city of Tabriz had played a critical part. [See the biography of Kasravi.]

The leading historians of this period did not simply toe the official line. On the contrary, many of them were opponents of the new governments and often in trouble with them. Nor is their work merely a coded statement of their own ideological predilections, for the work of every writer mentioned above has proved of enduring value. Al-Rafi”s books, for example, have been regularly reprinted down to the present. But it remains the case that all these works were shaped in the context of the political struggles of their day, including the struggles for cultural identity as Egyptian, Turk, Iranian, or Muslim.

Cold War and Middle Eastern Nationalisms, 19451970. World War II marked another watershed as the domination of the region by Great Britain and France collapsed, to be replaced by a bipolar world of American-Soviet rivalry. At least until the early 1970s, and in some arenas until the present, intellectuals in the Arab lands and Iran tended to interpret their past within a single broad framework, as a struggle against foreign domination-by England and France in the modern period, of course, but often by fellow Muslims (Mamluk amirs, Arab invaders, and so on) in the medieval past. In the revolutionary age beginning in the mid1950s, it was inevitable that many would also begin to look seriously at Marxism as an intellectual tradition, and thus to link issues of internal class struggle with long-established concerns about imperialism.

Turkish intellectual life moved along a somewhat different path. There the Ataturk revolution had successfully forestalled direct foreign domination. Likewise, while the Ataturk regime’s etatist and autarchist policies may well have limited Turkey’s economic growth, they also reduced concern over covert foreign influence, at least until the late 1 960s, when a rise in antiAmericanism was provoked in part by the repeated crises over Cyprus. Marxist interpretations did, however, speak to the pervasive poverty of the Turkish countryside and the frustrations of an emerging working class in the major cities.

The inevitable engagement of historians in the political struggles of the postwar years did not prevent the increasing professionalization of historical writing. The process was rooted in the rapid growth of higher education in Middle Eastern countries: a flood of new students into the universities required more professors, and professors had to have advanced research degrees. Down to the early 1970s credible Ph.D.s could only be obtained abroad, preferably in Paris or London (the old imperial capitals, ironically), but many students found themselves in newer and less prestigious institutions in the north of England or the American Middle West. The bilingual nature of historical research among Middle Eastern scholars continued and even increased; many of the major French and English monographs published during these years had begun life as doctoral theses at the Sorbonne or the University of London.

Again, it would be extremely misleading to interpret scholarly production simply as a reflection of ideology and political conflict. If a test for the “pure scholarship” of a work is its usability by scholars of disparate political-ideological commitments, then much produced in this era must rank very high indeed. To take only the most eminent names, it is hard to imagine modern Ottoman studies without Halil Inalcik, or early Islamic history without `Abd al-`Aziz al-Duri. [See the biography of Duri.] The study of Seljuk history became a favored preserve of Turkish scholarship, and the collective contribution of Osman Turan, Mehmet Koymen, and Ibrahim Kafesoglu probably outranks work on this subject done anywhere else in the world. In spite of political controls placed on Egyptian scholars under the Nasser regime, the students of Muhammad Anis at Cairo University initiated a major body of scholarship on the social and economic history of nineteenth- and twentieth-century Egypt. For an earlier but hardly lesscontested era, that of the Crusaders, Ayyubids, and Mamlfiks, Said `Abd al-Fattah `Ashur and his many students produced (and continue to do so) a major corpus of texts and studies still too little consulted among Western scholars. Even so, the free play of historical research was undeniably constrained by political pressures that far exceeded the partisanship of the previous era, notably the internal security apparatus of Nasser’s Egypt and Muhammad Reza Shah’s Iran, the unpredictable violence of political life in Syria and Iraq, the intermittent military interventions in Turkey, and the taboos inspired by the Arab-Israeli conflict. Since 1970. Several of the underlying trends established during the 1950s and 1960s have continued apace, in particular the burgeoning of universities and research institutes throughout the Middle East. In spite of chronic underfunding and a strong emphasis on scientific-technical training, this trend has led to an expansion of academic history. Particularly important, especially for the Ottoman period in Turkey and the Arab lands, has been a great improvement in the organization of archives and documentation centers of all kinds. (Unfortunately, Iran seems not to have benefited from such a process under either the shah or the Islamic Republic.) Another trend, already discernible before 1970 but much stronger since, has been the growing number of historians from the Middle East who hold permanent academic appointments in Europe and the United States. Admittedly, most of these completed their graduate studies in Western universities, but even so they bring a perspective rooted in the cultures and historical experience of the Middle East.

The political climate in which historians must try to work has been variable. Egypt has witnessed an unsteady but substantial liberalization; in contrast, Syria and Iraq have moved from instability to tightly regimented dictatorships. Turkey has experienced a cycle of almost chaotic openness, severe military censorship, and, since the mid-1980s, a gradual easing; however, it remains illegal to criticize Atatirl, which inevitably constrains work on the crucial quartercentury from 1914 to 1938. In Iran, the Islamic Revolution has opened up certain possibilities for research while closing others; historians of a secularist orientation have obviously had to choose their topics and their words with great tact. In general, the Islamic movement everywhere has increasingly affected historical inquiry and writing, as it has intellectual life in general. For example, a trend seen in the Arab world during the early 197os-a radical critique of the nature of early Islamic society and even of the soundness of the sourceshas been silenced or at least driven underground. There has been no real progress in Arabic-language works on the life of Muhammad since Haykal’s famous biography was published more than sixty years ago.

In spite of such official and cultural pressures, however, many periods and topics seem to be politically and religiously neutral, in the sense that historians are relatively free to construct their accounts of them in accordance with their own purposes and outlooks rather than externally-dictated agendas. The middle periods of Islamic history (c. 900-1500) have long fallen in this category, with the partial exception of the Crusades and the figure of Saladin, and we can now add the early `Abbasids and the Ottoman era, no longer a useful target for Arab nationalist polemics. The social and economic history of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in particular has attracted a great deal of first-rate work during the past two decades. In pre-modern times, the early `Abbasids, the Seljuks, and the Mamluks have continued to be the subject of valuable and sometimes ground-breaking studies. To name individual scholars for the last two decades seems invidious, since there are now so many historians at work, and it is hardly possible as yet to identify those whose contributions will prove seminal or enduring. What can be said is that there now exists, in all the major countries of the Middle East, a substantial corps of professional academic historians writing chiefly in the languages of the area. In this respect, the history of the region is increasingly in the hands of its own scholars-the natural state of things, we might suppose, but one that was hardly the case for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.


The reader may consult the new edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam for useful, sometimes essential entries, on many key figures. See the following entries: Ahmad Am-in; Ahmad Djewdet Pasha; `All Mubarak; al-Djabarti (`Abd al-Rahman); Gokalp (Ziya); Inal (Ibn alAmin); Kasrawl Tabriz! (Ahmad); Kemal (Namik); Koprulu (Mehmed Fuad); Kurd ‘Ali (Muhammad); and Lutfi Efendi (Ahmad). Other important sources are listed below.

Afshari, M. Reza. “The Historians of the Constitutional Movement and the Making of the Iranian Populist Tradition.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 25.3 (1993): 477-494. A sophisticated ideological analysis of modern Iranian historiography.

Amanat, Abbas. “The Study of History in Post-Revolutionary Iran: Nostalgia, or Historical Awareness?” Iranian Studies 22. 4 (1989): 3-18. Astute and well-documented critique.

Crabbs, Jack A., Jr. The Writing of History in Nineteenth-Century Egypt: A Study in National Transformation. Detroit, 1984. Careful and extremely useful study, although the author’s knowledge of premodern historiography is a bit superficial.

Delanoue, Gilbert. Moralistes et politiques musulmans dans l’Egypte du xixesiecle, 1798-1882. 2 vols. Cairo, 1982. Indispensable for nineteenth-century intellectual life, with extended treatments of the careers and writings of al-Jabarti, al-Tahtawi, and `All Mubarak. Ende, Werner. Arabische Nation and Islamische Geschichte: Die Umayyaden im Urteil arabischer Autoren des 20. Jahrhunderts. Beirut, 1977. Classic discussion of how twentieth-century ideological conflicts have shaped the debate over the significance of the Umayyad dynasty in Islamic and Arab history.

Hourani, Albert. Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age, 1798-1939. London, 1962. Contains only occasional remarks on historians per se, but irreplaceable for its account of modernizing social and political thought among modern Arab intellectuals.

Humphreys, R. Stephen. Islamic History: A Framework for Inquiry. Rev. ed. Princeton, 1991. Recent overview of premodern Islamic historiography, from its origins down to (but not including) the Ottoman and Safavid periods, with an extensive bibliography. See as well “Historiography, Islamic,” in Dictionary of the Middle Ages, vol. 6, pp. 249-255 (New York, 1982-).

Koran, Ercument. “Ottoman Historiography of the Tanzimat Period.” In Historians of the Middle East, edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt, pp. 422-429. London, 1962. Terse but useful overview.

Leiser, Gary, trans. and ed. A History of the Seljuks: Ibrahim Kafesoglu’s Interpretation and the Resulting Controversy. Carbondale, Ill., 1988. Translation of a significant piece of modern Turkish scholarship, framed by a review of the bitter academic and political quarrel connected with its writing.

Lewis, Bernard, and P. M. Holt, eds. Historians of the Middle East. London, 1962. Obsolete but still valuable collection of essays on many aspects of Islamic historiography, both medieval and modern. Mardin, Serif. The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought: A Study in the Modernization of Turkish Political Ideas. Princeton, 1962. Still the best account of Ottomanism and early constitutionalism in the midnineteenth-century Ottoman Empire.

Philipp, Thomas, Gurgi Zayddn: His Life and Thought. Beirut and Wiesbaden, 1979. The best study of a writer who is important both for his own literary achievement and for the broader intellectual trends which he symbolizes.

Rafeq, Abdul-Karim. “Ottoman Historical Research in Syria since 1946.” Asian Research Trends: A Humanities and Social Sciences Review, no. 2 (1992): 45-78. Careful survey that throws much light on ideological and methodological shifts among historians in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Reid, Donald Malcolm. Cairo University and the Making of Modern Egypt. Cambridge, 1990. Invaluable for understanding the institutional milieu in which the most important body of twentiethcentury Arabic historiography has been produced.

Shayyal, Jamsl al-Din al-. A History of Egyptian Historiography in the Nineteenth Century. Alexandria, 1962. Distinguished Egyptian historian’s interpretation of the work of his immediate intellectual ancestors. See as well “Historiography in Egypt in the Nineteenth Century,” in Historians of the Middle East, edited by Bernard Lewis and P. M. Holt, pp. 403-421 (London, 1962).

Sivan, Emmanuel. “Modern Arabic Historiography of the Crusades.” Asian and African Studies 8.2 (1972): 109-149. Perceptive if somewhat chilly critique of Arabic historical writing since 1952. See as well “Arab Revisionist Historians,” Asian and African Studies 12.3 0978): 283-311.

Smith, Charles D. Islam and the Search for Social Order in Modern Egypt: A Biography of Muhammad Husayn Haykal. Albany, N.Y., 1983. Essential for understanding the political and intellectual climate of the interwar period in Egypt.

Strohmeier, Martin. Seldschukische Geschichte and dirkische Geschichtswissenschaft: Die Seldschuken im Urteil moderner dirkischer Historiker. Berlin, 1984. Fundamental for the evolution of Turkish historiography since World War I. Wessels, Antonie. A Modern Arabic Biography of Muhammad: A Critical Study of Muhammad Husayn Haykal’s Hayat Muhammad. Leiden, 1972. Very useful introduction to the problems presented by this crucial work.


Azhar Niaz Article's Source: http://islamicus.org/historiography/

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