Ibn al-Qalanisi Open this page in a new tab

Ibn al-Qalanisi was an Arab politician and chronicler who wrote in the 12th century CE and lived in Damascus ( Gibb, 1932:8). He is known for his work as the continuator of the Damascus Chronicle (Dhail Ta'rikh Dimashq) originally composed by Hilal ibn al-Muhassin who died in 1056 CE ( Gibb, 1932:9). Al-Qalansi covered the following years until 1160 CE - the year in which he died.

Gibb (1932:12-13) noted difficulties in terms of language and style.
Ibn al-Qalanisi frequently covers up his meaning with a mass of verbiage and vague phrases which make it difficult to gather the precise significance of his words. To the modern student this difficulty is enhanced by the peculiarities of his vocabulary. Many usages of words are apparently peculiar to the Syrian style of his time, and while the Memoirs of Usama ibn Munqidh, the only other Syrian author of this period whose work is still extant, occasionally throw some light upon them, in most cases their meaning can only be inferred from the context.