The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the Crusades
Islam and the Crusades contains the autobiographical works of Usama ibn Munqidh, a twelfth-century Arab aristocrat. Full of detail, wit and melancholy, Usama's narrative anecdotes illustrate the inscrutability of God's will in life, as well as providing a memorable record of Islam's long encounter with the Crusaders, known to Usama only as the Franks. This edition focuses on the Book of Contemplation, but also uses extracts from the Book of the Staff and Kernels of Refinement to produce a complete and human portrayal of Islamic perspectives on a day-to-day existence, warfare, and the curious European invaders.
Paul M. Cobb's accessible translation is accompanied by an introduction that places Usama's writings in their historical and literary context, explains the poetry of his language and examines the divisions between Islamic sects at the time. This edition also contains maps, a chronology of the author's life, a family tree, suggested further reading and a glossary.
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Review: The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the CrusadesUser Review - Richard White - Goodreads
Usama ibn Munqidh was a Muslim faris or cavalier from Northern Syria who experienced and wrote a great deal during the Crusades. His most famous work, The Book of Contemplation, survives as a rare ... Read full review
Review: The Book of Contemplation: Islam and the CrusadesUser Review - Rachel Cogswell - Goodreads
A great primary source written by Usamah who worked under Nur al-din and then later Saladin. He writes of a world where the first generation of crusaders have gotten used to living in the Near East ... Read full review