The Method of al-Hafiz b. Bashkuwal in Arranging his Book al-Silah

Yousef Ahmad Bani Yaseen, Isam M. Oqlah


The people of al-Andalus were greatly interested in the biographies of their
famous men and scholars and for that purpose they prepared a number of
books of biographies, arranged in alphabetical order and date of death. The
historian Ibn Bashkuwal (died 578/1182) was one of the most prominent. In
his book al-Silah he continued the history of the scholars of al-Andalus
written by Ibn al-Faradi (died 403/1012), an important history of the
intellectual movement there. He presented the names of 1553 scholars in al-
Andalus and their cultural activities from the middle of the third century until
the middle of the sixth century A.H./tenth and eleventh centuries A.D.,
organized, as he mentioned, according to the original that his book continued.
This study seeks to discover the active principle that Ibn Bashkuwal followed
in organizing his book and the extent to which that principle follows the
principle that he explained in the introduction to his book of following the
letters of the alphabet and the year of death as the basis of organization. The
study concludes that Ibn Bashkuwal’s adherence to his principle shows many
gaps, especially in connection to the years of death.


Ibn Bashkuwal, Historical Methodology, Biographies, Scholars,

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