Ahmad Ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri
Personal Details
Title al-Baladhuri
Died 278-279 AH/892 CE[1][2]
Ethnicity Persian
Era Islamic golden age
Region Iraq
Religion Islam
Main interest(s) History
Notable work(s) Kitab Futuh al-Buldan and Ansab al-Ashraf

ʾAḥmad Ibn Yaḥyā al-Balādhurī (Arabic: أحمد بن يحيى بن جابر البلاذري) was a 9th-century Persian[3] or Arab[3][4] historian. One of the eminent Middle Eastern historians of his age, he spent most of his life in Baghdad and enjoyed great influence at the court of the caliph al-Mutawakkil. He traveled in Syria and Iraq, compiling information for his major works.

His full name was Ahmad Bin Yahya Bin Jabir Al-Baladhuri (Arabic: أحمد بن يحيى بن جابر البلاذري), Balazry Ahmad Bin Yahya Bin Jabir Abul Hasan[5] or Abi al-Hassan Baladhuri.[6]


A Persian by birth, though his sympathies seem to have been strongly with the Arabs, for Masudi refers to one of his works in which he rejects Baladhuri's condemnation of non-Arab nationalism Shu'ubiyya.[2]

He lived at the court of the caliphs al-Mutawakkil and Al-Musta'in and was tutor to the son of al-Mutazz. He died in 892 as the result of a drug called baladhur (hence his name).[2] (Baladhur is Semecarpus anacardium, known as the "marking nut"; medieval Arabic and Jewish writers describe it as a memory-enhancer). [7]


Wikisource has original works written by or about:
Ahmad ibn Yahya al-Baladhuri

His chief extant work, a condensation of a longer history, Kitab Futuh al-Buldan (فتوح البلدان), "Book of the Conquests of Lands", translated by Phillip Hitti (1916) and Francis Clark Murgotten (1924) in The Origins of the Islamic State, tells of the wars and conquests of the Arabs from the 7th century, and the terms made with the residents of the conquered territories. It covers the conquests of lands from Arabia west to Egypt, North Africa, and Spain and east to Iraq, Iran, and Sind.

His history, in turn, was much used by later writers. Ansab al-Ashraf (أنساب الأشراف, “Lineage of the Nobles”), also extant, is a biographical work in genealogical order devoted to the Arab aristocracy, from Muhammad and his contemporaries to the Umayyad and Abbāsid caliphs. It contains histories of the reigns of rulers.[8]

His discussions of the rise and fall of powerful dynasties provide a political moral. His commentaries on methodology are sparse, other than assertions of accuracy.[9]

See also


  1. Translation of Futuh al-Buldan by Hitti
  2. 1 2 3  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Balādhurī". Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 233.
  3. 1 2 Gholamali Haddad Adel; Mohammad Jafar Elmi; Hassan Taromi-Rad (31 January 2013). Historians of the Islamic World: Selected Entries from Encyclopaedia of the World of Islam. EWI Press. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-1-908433-12-1.
  4. Bosworth, C. E. "BALĀḎORĪ". ENCYCLOPÆDIA IRANICA. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  5. Salaam Knowledge
  6. :: Fadak; The property of Fatima al-Zahra [as]
  7. Bos, Gerrit: " 'Baladhur' (Marking-Nut): A Popular Medieval Drug for Strengthening Memory", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, Vol. 59, No. 2 (1996), pp. 229-236 (full-text via JSTOR; article's first page available for all)
  8. "Balādhurī, al-." Encyclopædia Britannica 2006.

External links

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