Ali ibn al-Athir

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Izz ad-Dīn Abu al-Hassan Ibn al-Athīr
Titleibn al-Athir
Born1160 CE, Jazirat Ibn Umar, Kurdistan/present-day Cizre, Turkey
DiedAH 630 (1232/1233), Mosul, Iraq[1]
EthnicityArab or Kurdish
EraIslamic golden age
Main interest(s)History
Notable work(s)The Complete History and The Lions of the Forest and the knowledge about the Companions
Muslim leader

Abu al-Hassan Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ash-Shaybani, better known as Ali 'Izz al-Din Ibn al-Athir al-Jazari (Arabic: علي عز الدین بن الاثیر الجزري) (1233–1160) was an Arab[2] or Kurdish[3] historian and biographer who wrote in Arabic and was from the Ibn Athir family. According to the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, he was born in Jazirat Ibn Umar, Abbasid Caliphate. The city is situated in modern-day Turkey.[4]


Ibn al-Athir belonged to the large and influential Arab tribe Banu Bakr[5] [6], who lived across upper Mesopotamia, and gave their name to the city of Diyar Bakr.[7][8] He was the brother of Majd ad-Dīn and Diyā' ad-Dīn Ibn Athir. Al-Athir lived a scholarly life in Mosul, often visited Baghdad and for a time traveled with Saladin's army in Syria. He later lived in Aleppo and Damascus. His chief work was a history of the world, al-Kamil fi at-Tarikh (The Complete History). He died in the city of Mosul.

Modern age[edit]

According to Reuters, his tomb was desecrated in Mosul by members of the al-Qaeda offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in June 2014.[9] However, the actual tomb had been moved to a museum while the destroyed one was just a modern replica.[citation needed]


  • Al-Kāmil fī al-tārīkh (الكامل في التاريخ): "The Complete History"; 11 volumes[10]
  • Al-Tārīkh al-bāhir fī al-Dawlah al-Atābakīyah bi-al-Mawṣil
  • Usd al-ghābah fi ma‘rifat al-ṣaḥābah: "The Lions of the Forest and the knowledge about the Companions"
  • Al-Lubāb fī tahdhīb al-ansāb

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fourth to Seventh century
  2. ^ a. Encyclopædia Britannica, 2014. Ibn al-Athīr
    b. Historiography of the Ayyubid and Mamluk epochs, Donald P. Little, The Cambridge History of Egypt, Vol.1, ed. M. W. Daly, Carl F. Petry, (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 415.
    c. Ibn al-Athir, The A to Z of Islam, ed. Ludwig W. Adamec, (Scarecrow Press, 2009), 135.
    d. Peter Partner, God of Battles: Holy wars of Christianity and Islam, (Princeton University Press, 1997), 96.
    e. Venice and the Turks, Jean-Claude Hocquet, Venice and the Islamic world: 828–1797, edited by Stefano Carboni, (Editions Gallimard, 2006), 35 n17.
    f. Marc Ferro, Colonization: A Global History, (Routledge, 1997), 6.  – via Questia (subscription required)
    g. Martin Sicker, The Islamic World in Ascendancy: From the Arab Conquests to the Siege of Vienna, (Praeger Publishers, 2000), 69. – via Questia (subscription required)
  3. ^ 1. Philip G. Kreyenbroek , Oral Literature of Iranian Languages al-Athir..a historian and biographer of Kurdish origin
    2. Yasir Suleiman, "Language and identity in the Middle East and North Africa", Curzon Press, 1996, ISBN 0700704108, p. 154. Ibn al-Athir, (d.1233), a Kurdish historian and biographer...
  4. ^ Thatcher, Griffithes Wheeler (1911). "Ibn Athīr" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 219.
  5. ^ Kazhdan, Alexander P. 1991. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Ibn al-athir.
  6. ^ Donner, Fred McGraw. “The Bakr B. Wā'il Tribes and Politics in Northeastern Arabia on the Eve of Islam.” Studia Islamica, no. 51, 1980, pp. 5–38. JSTOR,
  7. ^ Donner, Fred McGraw. “The Bakr B. Wā'il Tribes and Politics in Northeastern Arabia on the Eve of Islam.” Studia Islamica, no. 51, 1980, pp. 5–38. JSTOR,
  8. ^ Trudy Ring, Noelle Watson, Paul Schellinger. 1995. International Dictionary of Historic Places. Vol. 3 Southern Europe. Routledge. P 190.
  9. ^ Isra' al-Rubei'i. "Iraqi forces ready push after Obama offers advisers." Reuters, June 20, 2014.[1]
  10. ^ Al-Kāmil fī al-Tārīkh (Arabic)

External links[edit]