'Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi Open this page in a new tab

Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi, also known as Ibn al-Labbad, was born in Baghdad in 1161 or 1162 CE and died there in 1231 CE (Guidoboni and Comastri, 2005). al-Baghdadi was a polymath and he wrote a large corpus of at least 173 books on a variety of subjects including but not limited to religious studies, linguistics, law, medicine, alchemy, flora and fauna, literary criticism, philosophy, education, mathematics, science, and history (El Daly, 2005). Unfortunately only some of these have survived. In between his birth and death in Baghdad, he visited and studied at a variety of places including Mosul, Aleppo, Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus, Turkey, and Afghanistan (El Daly, 2005). His historical work Observations and Reflections on Things Seen and Events Witnessed in the Land of Egypt (‘Al-Ifadah wa 'Al-I'tibar fi Al‘Umour Al-Mushahada wa Al-Hawadith Al-Mu'ayanah bi-Ard Misr’ or Kitab al-ifada for short) is about Egypt, and became known in Europe thanks to Latin, German, French, and now English translations (Guidoboni and Comastri, 2005). An autograph copy of Kitab al-ifada exists in the Bodleian Library in Oxford (El Daly, 2005). This book contains an extensive and detailed description of the May 1202 CE earthquake.