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Usama ibn Munqidh

Warrior-Poet of the Age of Crusades

Usama Ibn Munqidh (1095-1188) was a Syrian poet and warrior whose life coincided with some of the most dramatic moments in Islamic history: the invasion of the Turks into the Middle East, the collapse of the Shi'ite political power, and above all, the coming of the Crusades. Often at the frontline of such events whilst on military service representing one of his many Lords, including on occasion the legendary Saladin, Usama was nonethless best-known to his contemporaries as a poet.

Covering his exquisite anthologies of Arabic poetry, his witty and well- loved memoirs, and his political adventures, this comprehensive biography examines both the literary works of the famous "Arab- Syrian Gentleman" and the tumultuous life which inspired them. With a guide to further reading, a dynastic family tree and a glossary of the principal characters encountered in the book, it offers an indispensable window into Usmama's life, times and world of thought.

More books in this series: Makers of the Muslim World