The Oxford History of Historical Writing: Volume 2: 400-1400
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How was history written in Europe and Asia between 400-1400? How was the past understood in religious, social and political terms? And in what ways does the diversity of historical writing in this period mask underlying commonalities in narrating the past? The volume, which assembles 28 contributions from leading historians, tackles these and other questions. Part I provides comprehensive overviews of the development of historical writing in societies that range from the Korean Peninsula to north-west Europe, which together highlight regional and cultural distinctiveness. Part II complements the first part by taking a thematic and comparative approach; it includes essays on genre, warfare, and religion (amongst others) which address common concerns of historians working in this liminal period before the globalizing forces of the early modern world.
its completion in 1013. A palace ﬁre destroyed the imperial library in 1015, making the Cefu yuangui today ‘perhaps the richest single source for T’ang history, and certainly the most important source for the history of the Five Dynasties’.14 The work’s structure, its many prefaces, and especially the division entitled ‘state history’ (guoshi) provide a good sense of early Song historiographical issues and values before the literati revolution of the mid-eleventh century. These are classic
India’s pre-Islamic past into a heroic prelude for the introduction of Islam into the subcontinent. This was, no doubt, because Indian elites, unlike those of Iran, never converted in large numbers (at least during our time period) and thus required no assimilation of their past. At the same time, the elite of the Sultanate frequently looked back to Central Asia and beyond for their sense of identity. History was generally referred to by the Arabic term taʾrīkh, which denoted a subject rather
Authority, 22. 37 For somewhat more detailed classﬁcations, see the discussions of Peter Hardy, ‘Some Studies in Pre-Mughal Muslim Historiography’, in C. H. Philips (ed.), Historians of India, Pakistan and Ceylon (London, 1961), 116; and Sunil Kumar, The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate (Delhi, 2007), 366–77. Indian Historical Writing, c.600–c.1400 95 Mongol scourge of Islamic Asia, the Tabaqat-i Nasiri’s twenty-three chapters are essentially divided along the lines of groups who shared some
ibn Kuryun [The Book of Yusuf ibn Kuryun].25 Nevertheless, Yosippon, written in Hebrew in 953 in Southern Italy, is a reworking of Josephus’s Antiquitates Judaicae.26 In the eleventh century it was translated into Arabic by a Yemenite Jew, Zakariya ibn Sa id, and circulated among the Jewish communities of the Near East. Over time it found its way into Egyptian-Christian circles, where it reached an almost canonical status, as evidenced by the fact that it was often copied in biblical manuscripts.
even though not well documented in the epoch in question. Here the genre of ecclesiastical historiography was almost non-existent. It can probably be explained by the fact that the Ethiopian Church was not independent. The translation of Ibn al-Muqaffa ’s Kitab al-majami was caused less by interest in history, than by an interest in religious dogmatics, which nolens volens had to rely on historical argumentation. One may see here a certain parallel to Byzantine historiography that after the