The History of Al-Tabari: The Sasanids, the Lakhmids, and Yemen

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This volume of al-Tabari's History has a particularly wide sweep and interest. It provides the most complete and detailed historical source for the Persian empire of the Sasanids, whose four centuries of rule were one of the most glorious periods in Persia's long history. It also gives information on the history of pre-Islamic Arabs of the Mesopotamian desert fringes and eastern Arabia (in al-Hira and the Ghassanid kingdom), and on the quite separate civilization of South Arabia, the Yemen, otherwise known mainly by inscriptions. It furnishes details of the centuries'-long warfare of the two great empires of Western Asia, the Sasanids and the Byzantine Greeks, a titanic struggle which paved the way for the subsequent rise of the new faith of Islam. The volume is thus of great value for scholars, from Byzantinists to Semitists and Iranists. It provides the first English translation of this key section of al-Tabari's work, one for which non-Arabists have hitherto relied on a partial German translation, meritorious for its time but now 120 years old. This new translation is enriched by a detailed commentary which takes into account up-to-date scholarship.
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Editorial Reviews

The fifth of 39 volumes presenting the full English translation of al- Tabari's (839-923 AD) history of the world of Islam up to 915. Here he continues his account of the centuries preceding the rise of the Prophet, and though he has yet to adopt a year-by-year format, he shifts from his early tales of monotheism decaying into idolatry and ignorance to what modern readers recognize as real history. The focus is on the Sasanid dynasty and its relations with Romans and Byzantines to the west, Persians to the east, and Bedouins to the south. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791443569
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Series: SUNY series in Near Eastern Studies Series
  • Pages: 458
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Foreword

1. The Sasanid Emperors
2. The Roman and Byzantine Emperors, from Constantine the Great to Heraclius
3. The Lakhmid Rulers
4. The Chiefs of Kindah
5. Rulers in South Arabia during the Sixth and Early Seventh Centuries

1. The Sasanid Empire
2. The Roman-Byzantine and Persian Frontierlands
3. The Northeastern Frontier of the Sasanids
4. The Arabian Peninsula: the lands of the Lakhmids, Kindah, etc.
5. Southwestern Arabia

[The Kings of the Persians]

[Ardashir I]
[The History of al-Hirah]

Mention of the Holders of Power in the Kingdom of Persia after Ardashir b. Babak

[Sabur I, called Sabur al-Junud]
[Hurmuz I]
[Bahram I]
[The History of al-Hirah]
[Bahram II]
[Bahram III]
[Hurmuz II]
[Sabur II Dhu al-Aktaf]
[The History of al-Hirah]
[Ardashir II]
[Sabur III]
[Bahram IV]
[Yazdajird I]
[The History of al-Hirah]
[Bahram V Jur]
[Yazdajird II]
[Fayrus I]
Mention of Events in the Reigns of Yazdajird (II), Son of Bahram (V), and Fayrus, and the Relations of Their Respective Governors with the Arabs and the People of Yemen
[Qubadh I]
Mention of What Has Been Recorded Concerning the Events Taking Place Among the Arabs in Qubadh's Reign in His Kingdom and Involving His Governors
[Kisra I Anusharwan]
[The History of al-Hirah]
[The History of Yemen]
Mention of the Rest of the Story of TubbĂ  in the Days of Qubadh and the time of Anusharwan and the Persians' Dispatch of an Army to Yemen in Order to Combat the Abyssinians, and the Reason This Last
[Resumption of the History of Kisra Anusharwan]

Mention of the Birth of the Messenger of God

[The Remainder of Kisra Anusharwan's Reign and the Last Sasanid Kings]

[Kisra II Abarwiz]

Mention of Those Who Say That (i.e., those who say that the words of Surat al-Rum refer to Abarwiz's defeat of Hiraql)

Mention of the Account Concerning the Events That Happened when God Wished to Take Away from the people of Persia Rule over Persia, and the Arabs' Overrunning It by Means of God's Favoring Them with His Prophet Muhammad, Involving the Prophethood, the Caliphate, the Royal Power, and the Dominion, in the Days of Kisra Abarwiz

[The Encounter at Dhi Qar]

Mention of Those Vassal Rulers Set over the Desert Frontier of the Arabs at al-Hirah as Appointees of the Monarchs of Persia, after 'Amr b. Hind

The Story Returns to the Mention of al-Maruzan, Who Governed Yemen on Behalf of Hurmuz and His Son Abarwiz, and His Successors
[Qubadh II Shiruyah]
[Ardashir III]
[Jushnas Dih]
[Kisra III]
[Khurrazadh Khusraw]
[Fayruz II]
[Farrukhzadh Khusraw]

[The Chronology of the World]

Mention of Those Who Say That (i.e., that there elapsed ten centuries from Adam to Noah, a further ten from Noah to Abraham, and a further ten from Abraham to Moses)

Bibliography of Cited Works

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