The History of al-Tabari Vol. 36: The Revolt of the Zanj A.D. 869-879/A.H. 255-265

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SUNY Press, 1992 - History - 229 pages
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The present volume of al-Tabari's monumental history covers the years 255-265/869-878, the first half of the reign of the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tamid in Samarra. Although the decade was one of relative calm in the capital, compared with the anarchy of the years immediately preceding, danger signals were flashing in territories adjacent to the imperial heartlands. Chief among them was the revolt of the Zanj, the narrative of which occupies the bulk of the present volume.

A people of semi-servile status, the Zanj, who were based in the marshlands of southern Iraq, were led by a somewhat shadowy and mysterious figure claiming Shi'ite descent, 'Ali b. Muhammad. Their prolonged revolt against the central authorities was not crushed until 269/882.

Al-Tabari's account of these momentous events is unique in both the quality and the quantity of his information. He himself was present in Baghdad during the years of the revolt, and he was thus able to construct his story from reports by numerous eyewitnesses. The result is a detailed narrative that brings alive for the modern reader the main personalities and engagements of the revolt.
 

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Contents

VI
1
VII
3
VIII
10
IX
13
X
25
XI
29
XII
30
XIII
59
XXXII
142
XXXIII
146
XXXIV
150
XXXV
152
XXXVI
153
XXXVII
156
XXXVIII
158
XXXIX
161

XIV
68
XV
72
XVI
91
XVII
95
XVIII
108
XIX
110
XX
111
XXII
115
XXIII
119
XXIV
121
XXV
122
XXVI
123
XXVII
125
XXVIII
134
XXIX
136
XXX
137
XXXI
139
XL
163
XLI
164
XLII
168
XLIII
174
XLIV
181
XLV
185
XLVI
186
XLVII
187
XLVIII
189
XLIX
190
LI
193
LII
200
LIII
205
LIV
209
LV
213
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About the author (1992)

David Waines is Professor of Islamic Studies, Department of Religious Studies, Lancaster University.