Ibn al-Qalanisi

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Hamza ibn Asad abu Ya'la ibn al-Qalanisi (* around 1070; † March 18, 1160 ) is one of the most important Muslim chroniclers of the entire Middle Ages , especially during the First Crusade .


His family belonged to an important family from Damascus . He studied literature , theology and law . Although he also wrote poetic works, only his chronicle has survived. His Chronicle Dhail or Mudhayyal Ta'rikh Dimashq (continuation of the Chronicle of Damascus) was an extension of the Chronicle of Hilal al-Sabi ' and reports the years from 1056 to 1160.

When the First Crusade arrived in Syria, he was already an adult. He writes less like an eyewitness and more like a “news collector”.

As a high state official of the Atabeg of Damascus, he knew all the archives of the time and also the diplomatic correspondence. His work on the "Frengs" (the Franconian crusaders) was also used by other Islamic chroniclers. It contains, among other things, that a certain Pope in Rome called on all Franconian peoples to recapture Jerusalem .

He is also the first to list the individual European contingents and peoples who still bear the name in the Arabic language that Qalanisi once gave them. For example, the Almans are "the toughest of all Franconian peoples" and "sometimes stubborn".


  • Hamilton AR Gibb (translator): The Damascus Chronicle of the Crusades. Extracted and Translated from the Chronicle of Ibn Al-Qalānisī. Luzac, London 1932, (Reprinted. Dover Publications, Mineola NY 2002, ISBN 0-486-42519-3 ).
  • Julie Scott Meisami, Paul Starkey (Eds.): Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature. Volume 1. Routledge, London et al. 1998, ISBN 0-415-18571-8 , p. 358.