Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Der Islam

Journal of the History and Culture of the Middle East

Ed. by Heidemann, Stefan / Hagen, Gottfried / Kaplony, Andreas / Matthee, Rudi / Richardson, Kristina L.

CiteScore 2018: 0.12

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.147
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.267

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 86, Issue 2


Ṭabar's Biography of al-Mu῾taṣim. The literary Use of a Military Career

Tayeb El-Hibri


The reign of the ῾Abbsid caliph al-Mu῾taṣim (833842) is usually recognized among historians for its military character with the recruitment of new Turkic troops, the foundation of Smarr᾿ as a new capital, and the campaign against ᾿Ammriyya. Chronicle accounts about al-Mu῾taṣim, however, also hold potential as a topic for narrative criticism. This article analyzes the little examined use of military history for literary and allusive purposes by medieval narrators. The overall accomplishments of al-Mu῾taṣim were dramatized in the classical texts within a matrix of tensions that permeated his reign, including: the caliph's backing of the Miḥna while undertaking jihd against the Byzantines and the Khurramiyya, his sudden reversal for the fortunes of al-Afshn in spite of the latter's military skill, and the lingering mistrust between the ῾Alids and the ῾Abbsids, Persian officials and the Arab leadership. The article shows how the narratives of Ṭabar in particular display a careful construction which deployed these various dimensions as objects for readership reflection to varying degrees of criticism or support.

About the article

Published in Print: 2011-12-01

Citation Information: Der Islam, Volume 86, Issue 2, Pages 187–236, ISSN (Online) 1613-0928, ISSN (Print) 0021-1818, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ISLAM.2011.020.

Export Citation

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in