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IBN KHALDOUN (1332-1406), a celebrated Arabic historian, poet, and philosopher, was born at Tunis on the 1st llamadhan 732 A.II. (February 8, 1332). His name was Abu Zeid Abdarrahman, that of Ibn Khaldoun being a patronymic derived from an ancestor Khaldoun ibn Othman, who came over with a band of Arab warriors and settled at Carmona in Spain. The family afterwards established itself in Seville, which it quitted for Tunis on the approach of Ferdinand III. Ibn Khaldoun at an early age applied himself to the study of the various branches of Arabic learning with very great success, and entered the employment of the sultan as private secretary at the age of twenty-one. Not believing, however, in the stability of his master's throne, he soon afterwards took refuge with and obtained employment under the Merinide sultan Abu Einan at Fez. In the beginning of the year 1356, Ins integrity having been suspected, he was thrown into prison until the death of Abu Einan in 1358, when the vizier El Hasan ibn Omar set him at liberty, and reinstated him in his rank and offices. He here continued to render great service to Aim Salem, Abu Einan's successor, but, having offended the prime minister, his position became less pleasant at court, and he sought and obtained permission to emigrate to Spain, where, at Granada, he was received with great cordiality by Ibn el Ahmer, who had been greatly indebted to his good offices when an exile at the court of Abu Salem. The favours and honours he received from the sovereign soon, however, excited the jealousy of the vizier, and he was driven back to Africa, where he was received with great cordiality by the sultan of Bujaiye, Abu Abdallab, who had been formerly his companion in prison. Jealousies and intrigues again drove him forth, this time to take refuge with the lord of Biskera, Ahmed ibn el Alozni. In answer to an appeal from the sultan of Tlemcen, Ibn Klialdoun raised a large force amongst the desert Arabs of the district, and passed over to the service of that prince. A few years later he was taken prisoner by Abel el Aziz, who had defeated the sultan of Tlemcen and seized upon the throne. He then entered a. monastic establishment, and occupied himself with scholastic duties, until in the year 1370 he was sent for to Tlemcen by the new sultan, Abd el Aziz. After the death of Abd el Aziz lie resided at Fez, enjoying the patronage and confidence of the regent. After some further vicissitudes he entered the service of the sultan of his native town of Tunis, where he devoted himself almost exclusively to his studies. Having received permission to make the pilgrimage to •Aiecca, he set out and reached Cairo, where his reputation had already preceded him, and was presented to the sultan, El Melek eel Dhaher Berkouk, who insisted on his remaining there, and in the year 1384 promoted him to the high rank of grand cadi of the Malekite rite for Cairo. This office he filled with great prudence and probity, and succeeded in removing a mass of abuses with which the administration of justice in Egypt was overgrown. A terrible misfortune now fell upon him ; the ship in which his wife and family, with all his property, were coming to join him, was shipwrecked, and every one on board lost, He endeavoured to find consolation in fresh devotion to his studies, and to the completion of his great work the history of flee Arabs of Spain, in which he had long been engaged. At the same time he was removed from his office of cadi, which gave him still more leisure for his work. Three years later he made the pilgrimage to Mecca, and on his return lived in strict retirement at the village of Faiyoum until 1399, when he was again called upon to resume his functions as cadi. He was removed and reinstated in the office no less than five times.
In the month of llabia I. 803 A.H. (October to November 14-00 A.D.), he was sent to Damascus, in connexion with the expedition intended to oppose the celebrated Timur or Tamerlane. When Timer had become master of the situation, Ibn Khaldoun let himself down from the walls of the city by a rope, and presented himself before the conqueror, who, charmed with his dignified appearance and his learned discourse, permitted him to return to Egypt. Ibn Khaldoun died on the 25th Ramadhan 808 A.H. (16th March 1406), at the age of sixty-four.
The great work by which he is known is a " Universal I listoly," but it deals more particularly with the history, of the Arabs of Spain and Africa. Its Arabic title is Kiltib el 'Iber, •a dinyin el ►Pubtadd wee '1 Khabe•, fi aiyam el 'Arab we '1' Ajam sea '1 Berber ; that is, " The Book of Examples and the Collection of Origins and Information respecting the Ilistory 'of the .Arabs, Foreigners, and Berbers." It consists of three books, an introduction, and an autobiography. Book i. treats of the influence of civilization upon man; book ii. of the history of the Arabs and other peoples from the remotest antiquity until the author's own times; book iii. of the history of the Berber tribes and of the kingdoms founded by that race in North Africa. The introduction is an elaborate treatise on the science of history and the development of society, and the autobiography contains the history, not only of the author himself, but of his family and of the dynasties which ruled in Fez, Tunis, and Tlemcen during his lifetime. An admirable edition of the Arabic text has been printed at Boulak (Cairo), and a part of the work has been translated by the bite Baron de Slane under the title of Ilisloi•e des Perb&es (Algiers, 1852-56); it contains an admirable account of the author and analysis of his work. (E. II. If.) IBN K HALLE: AN (1211-1282). Abu 'I AbbAs Ahmed, better known as Ibn Khallikan,2 author of the celebrated Arabic biographical dictionary, was born at Arbela on the 22d September 1211. Some of Isis biographers trace his descent to Jaafer the Barmecide, the well-known unfortunate friend and vizier of Ilaroun Alraschid. His life was that of a scholar and literary man, and he was promoted in his later years to the office of cadi of Damascus. lie died in the Najibiyeli College of that city on the 29th October 1282. His great work is the Kitdb Wajitg(it el `Alyin, "The Obituaries of Eminent Alen," and contains brief sketches of the lives of all the most important personages of Muslim history and literature, with many appropriate anecdotes illustrative of their personal character, and extracts from the works of such of them as were authors or poets. It is the most complete and at the same time the most universal and comprehensive biographical dictionary in the Arabic language, and is the indispensable companion of the student of Mahometan literature. Pm Khallikan has many imitators, the best-known work of the kind being the _Paw& el' iirrifayat, "Omissions of the Wafayat," by Salah ed dfn Mohammed ibn Shakir, which has been published, as well as the work which it is intended to supplement, at the Boulak press.
Ibn Rhallikan's work has been published in Arabic with an English translation by Baron MaeGnekin de Slane for the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland (Paris, 1842), and this edition, which is found in most public libraries, is the best and the most accessible one extant.