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History of the Prophets and Kings

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History of the Prophets and Kings
16-volume book on the history of Tabari
Original titleتاريخ الرسل والملوك
تاریخ طبری
SubjectHistory of the World, Islam and Arab Caliphates
GenreHistorical biography of events
Publication date
10th century
Pages16 volumes

The History of the Prophets and Kings (Arabic: تاريخ الرسل والملوك Tārīkh al-Rusul wa al-Mulūk), more commonly known as Tarikh al-Tabari (تاريخ الطبري) or Tarikh-i Tabari or The History of al-Tabari (Persian: تاریخ طبری) is an Arabic-language historical chronicle completed by the Muslim historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (225–310 AH, 838–923 AD) in 915 AD. It begins with creation, and charts Muslim and Middle Eastern history from the myths and legends associated with the Old Testament through to the history of the Abbasid era, down to the year 915. An appendix[1] or continuation,[2] was written by Abu Abdullah b. Ahmad b. Ja'far al-Farghani, a student of al-Tabari.[3][4]


Various editions of the Annals include:

  • An edition published under the editorship of M.J. de Goeje in three series comprising 13 volumes, with two extra volumes containing indices, introduction and glossary (Leiden, 1879–1901).
  • An edition published under the editorship of Muhammad Abu al-Fadl Ibrahim (1905-1981) in 10 volumes (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1960–1969.)
  • A Persian digest of this work, made in 963 by the Samanid scholar al-Bal'ami, translated into French by Hermann Zotenberg (vols. i.-iv., Paris, 1867–1874).
  • An English translation in 39 volumes (plus index), published by the State University of New York Press from 1985 through 2007. Various editors and 29 translators. ISBN 978-0-7914-7249-1 (hc), ISBN 978-0-7914-7250-7 (pb), Author: Tabari (various translators), Publisher: SUNY Press [5]

Volumes of the SUNY edition[edit]

  • Vol. 01 General Introduction and from the Creation to the Flood (Franz Rosenthal)
  • Vol. 02 Prophets and Patriarchs (William Brinner)
  • Vol. 03 The Children of Israel (William Brinner)
  • Vol. 04 The Ancient Kingdoms (Moshe Perlmann)
  • Vol. 05 The Sassanids, the Byzantines, the Lakhmids, and Yemen (C. E. Bosworth)
  • Vol. 06 Muhammad at Mecca (W. Montgomery Watt and M.V. McDonald)
  • Vol. 07 The Foundation of the Community - Muhammad at al-Madina, A. D. 622-626 (M.V. McDonald)
  • Vol. 08 The Victory of Islam (Michael Fishbein)
  • Vol. 09 The Last Years of the Prophet: The Formation of the State, A.D. 630-632-A.H. 8-11 (Ismail Poonawala)
  • Vol. 10 The Conquest of Arabia, A. D. 632-633 - A. H. 11 (Fred M. Donner)
  • Vol. 11 The Challenge to the Empires (Khalid Blankinship)
  • Vol. 12 The Battle of al-Qadisiyyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine (Yohanan Friedmann)
  • Vol. 13 The Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt: The Middle Years of 'Umar's Caliphate, A.D. 636-642-A.H. 15-21 (G.H.A. Juynboll)
  • Vol. 14 The Conquest of Iran, A. D. 641-643 - A. H. 21-23 (G. Rex Smith)
  • Vol. 15 The Crisis of the Early Caliphate: The Reign of Uthman, A. D. 644-656 - A. H. 24-35 (R. Stephen Humphreys)
  • Vol. 16 The Community Divided: The Caliphate of Ali I, A. D. 656-657-A. H. 35-36 (Adrian Brockett)
  • Vol. 17 The First Civil War: From the Battle of Siffin to the Death of Ali, A. D. 656-661-A. H. 36-40 (G. R. Hawting)
  • Vol. 18 Between Civil Wars: The Caliphate of Mu'awiyah 40 A.H., 66 A.D.-60 A.H., 680 A.D. (Michael G. Morony)
  • Vol. 19 The Caliphate of Yazid ibn Mu'awiyah, A. D. 680-683 - A. H. 60-64 (I. K. A. Howard)
  • Vol. 20 The Collapse of Sufyanid Authority and the Coming of the Marwanids: The Caliphates of Mu'awiyah II and Marwan I (G. R. Hawting)
  • Vol. 21 The Victory of the Marwanids, A. D. 685-693-A. H. 66-73 (Michael Fishbein)
  • Vol. 22 The Marwanid Restoration: The Caliphate of 'Abd al-Malik: A.D. 693-701 - A.H. 74-81 (Everett K Rowson)
  • Vol. 23 The Zenith of the Marwanid House: The Last Years of 'Abd al-Malik and the Caliphate of al-Walid A.D. 700-715-A.H. 81-95 (Martin Hinds)
  • Vol. 24 The Empire in Transition: The Caliphates of Sulayman, 'Umar, and Yazid, A. D. 715-724-A. H. 96-105 (Stephan Powers)
  • Vol. 25 The End of Expansion: The Caliphate of Hisham, A.D. 724-738-A.H. 105-120 (Khalid Blankinship)
  • Vol. 26 The Waning of the Umayyad Caliphate: Prelude to Revolution, A.D. 738-744 - A.H. 121-126 (Carole Hillenbrand)
  • Vol. 27 The Abbasid Revolution, A. D. 743-750 - A. H. 126-132 (John Alden Williams)
  • Vol. 28 The Abbasid Authority Affirmed: The Early Years of al-Mansur (Jane Dammen McAuliffe)
  • Vol. 29 Al-Mansur and al-Mahdi, A.D. 763-786-A.H. 146-169 (Hugh N. Kennedy)
  • Vol. 30 The Abbasid Caliphate in Equilibrium: The Caliphates of Musa al-Hadi and Harun al-Rashid, A. D. 785-809 - A. H. 169-192 (C. E. Bosworth)
  • Vol. 31 The War Between Brothers, A. D. 809-813 - A. H. 193-198 (Michael Fishbein)
  • Vol. 32 The Absolutists in Power: The Caliphate of al-Ma'mun, A.D. 813-33 - A.H. 198-213 (C. E. Bosworth)
  • Vol. 33 Storm and Stress Along the Northern Frontiers of the Abbasid Caliphate (C. E. Bosworth)
  • Vol. 34 Incipient Decline: The Caliphates of al-Wathiq, al-Mutawakkil and al-Muntasir, A.D. 841-863-A.H. 227-248 (Joel L Kraemer)
  • Vol. 35 The Crisis of the Abbasid Caliphate (George Saliba)
  • Vol. 36 The Revolt of the Zanj, A. D. 869-879 - A. H. 255-265 (David Waines)
  • Vol. 37 The Abbasid Recovery: The War Against the Zanj Ends (Philip M Fields)
  • Vol. 38 The Return of the Caliphate to Baghdad: The Caliphate of al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi and al-Muqtadir, A.D. 892-915 (Franz Rosenthal)
  • Vol. 39 Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and Their Successors: al-Tabari's Supplement to His History (Ella Landau-Tasseron)
  • Vol. 40 Index (Prepared by Alex V Popovkin under the supervision of Everett K. Rowson)


The main purpose of Tabari was to write history according to the science of narration. That is to say he quotes the narrator without interfering in any way.[6][7][non-primary source needed]

Among its content can be found:[citation needed]

Tabari at times draws on the Syriac Julian Romance.[8]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Autonomous Egypt from Ibn Tulun to Kafur, 868-969, Thierry Bianquis, The Cambridge History of Egypt, Vol. 1, ed. M. W. Daly, Carl F. Petry, (Cambridge University Press, 1998), 98.
  2. ^ History and Historians, Claude Cahen, Religion, Learning and Science in the 'Abbasid Period, 203
  3. ^ History and Historians, Claude Cahen, Religion, Learning and Science in the 'Abbasid Period, ed. M. J. L. Young, J. D. Latham, R. B. Serjeant, (Cambridge University Press, 1990), 203.
  4. ^ Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, The History of al-Tabari Vol. 1: General Introduction and From the Creation to the Flood, transl. Franz Rosenthal, (State University of New York Press, 1989), 7.
  5. ^ SUNY Press :: History of al-Tabari
  6. ^ Tarikh Al-Tabari. Vol. 1. pp. 7–8. Let the reader be aware that whatever I mention in my book is relied on the news that were narrated by some men. I had attributed these stories to their narrators, without inferring anything from their incidents
  7. ^ Tarikh Al-Tabari. Vol. 1. p. 8. If a certain man gets horrified by a certain incident that we reported in our book, then let him know that it did not come from us, but we only wrote down what we received from the narrators
  8. ^ Butts, Aaron M. (2011). "Julian Romance". In Sebastian P. Brock; Aaron M. Butts; George A. Kiraz; Lucas Van Rompay (eds.). Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage: Electronic Edition. Gorgias Press. Retrieved 1 December 2021.