Al-Madāʾinī and the Narratives of the ʿAbbāsid Dawla
Keywords:Arabic historiography, Islamic history, Abbasid revolution
This is a study on the Arabic historical narratives of the ʿAbbāsid revolution and its aftermath that occurred in 747–755 CE. Its main focus is a medieval work on these events, called the Kitāb al-Dawla, composed by an Arabic Muslim collector and composer of historical narratives, Abū l-Ḥasan ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-Madāʾinī (d. c.228/842–843). The work is not extant, but its skeleton can be reconstructed on the basis of later quotations of it. Al-Madāʾinī’s Kitāb al-Dawla is an important source for the events of the the ʿAbbāsid revolution: since al-Madāʾinī was not directly sponsored by the ʿAbbāsid dynasty, he was not constrained to be a spokesperson for the ruling house’s propaganda needs.