Ibn al-Athir belonged to the large and influential Arab tribe Banu Bakr, who lived across upper Mesopotamia, and gave their name to the city of Diyar Bakr. 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 included some information on the Rus' people in his chronology. He died in the city of Mosul.
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