Muhammad b. Hatim's chronicle, is the fullest and best historical source on Yemen for the period it covers, from the conquest of Yemen by Saladin's brother Turanshah to the author's own time, by which the Rasulids, who had come to the country as followers of the Ayyubids, had replaced their old masters as its rulers. Ibn Hatim himself came from an Isma'ili tribe of the region of San'a. From the middle of the 13th century he often gives his own account of events and he soon became one of a group of leading Amirs involved in the management of affairs for the Rasulid Sultan al-Muzaffar and thus well informed of the political situation. His book was begun in 1295.Volume I contains the text of the Kitab al-Simt, edited on the basis of the three known manuscripts. Volume II includes studies of the author and his work, and of aspects of the Yemeni history of the period, as well as a glossary, geographical and tribal indices and maps.
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G. Rex Smith was Professor of Arabic in the University of Manchester with numerous publications on the Yemen including The Manuscript of Al-Malik Al-Afdal al-'Abbas b. 'Ali b. Daud b. Yusuf b. 'Umar b. 'Ali Ibn Rasul A Medieval Arabic Anthology from the Yemen and The Book of the Superiority of Dogs over many of those who wear Clothes.
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