Foutouh al Bahnasa.

Mu'izz, Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad / Emile Galtier.

Book ID: 27375


Folio. ii, 217 pp., half-title, translation from original Arabic edited by E. Chassinat, publisher’s original wrappers, chipped at spine and partly disbound, otherwise copy inside clean & in very good condition, Ministére de L’Instruction Publique et des Beaux Arts, Mémoires Publiés par les Membres de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale du Caire sous la direction de M. Emile Chassinat; Tome 22, Chez Imprimerie de L’Institut Français D’Archéologie Orientale, Le Caire, first edition, 1909.


This work was attributed by some authorities to either Muhammad ibn ʾUmar al-Wakii or Muhammad ibn Muhammad, al-Muʾizz.
Emile Galtier ( 1864 – 1908), a French scholar who lectured at Algiers, and later was appointed a member of the Institut Français D’Archéologie Orientale. He translated this important work into French even before it was published in Arabic. The work is an epic romance written by an unknown author according to the Encyclopaedia of Islam. But according to Sarkis he contributed this work to Sheikh Mohammed bin Mohammed Al-Ma’z or to Al-Wakidi. In spite of certain legendary elements Foutouh Al Bahnasa offers us valuable information regarding the general manner in which the warfare between the Arabs and Byzantine took place in that famous city in Mediaeval Egypt. It was known during the Byzantine period that Al Bahnasa was a flourishing city, it gave its name to a province at the time of the Fatimid administrative reorganisation at the end of 11th century. Ibn Battuta and Al-Idrissi described in details the woven products produced in the city.
The Byzantine resistance to the advance Muslim forces is described in details in this translation, mentioning how the Copt sided with the Arabs, although they usually assisted the Byzantine. The text reveal also how certain Sudanese tribes from Nubian rushed to help the Byzantine such as the Beja tribes, but later they were stopped by the treaty of Bala (652) between them and the Arab forces.

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