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Kamal al-Din ʻUmar ibn Aḥmad Ibn al-Adim (1192–1262; Arabic: كمال الدين عمر بن أحمد ابن العديم) was an Arab[1] biographer and historian from Aleppo.[2]


His workEdit

He is best known for his work Bughyat al-ṭalab fī tārīkh Ḥalab (بغية الطلب في تاريخ حلب; Everything desirable about the History of Aleppo), a multi-volume collection of biographies of famous men from Aleppo, introduced with a volume on the geography and traditions of the region. It is saved in part in manuscripts in the library of sultan Ahmed III in Topkapi Palace. He also published a chronicle version of the work, Zubdat al-Halab fi ta'arikh Halab (زبدة الحلب في تأريخ حلب; The cream of the history of Aleppo), a copy of which reached the library of Jean-Baptiste Colbert and then the Bibliothèque nationale de France [1], and selections of which were published with Latin translation by Georg Freytag in 1819. His historical sources are various, some oral and some written, and two of the more famous are Usama ibn Munqidh and Ibn al-Qalanisi (Lewis 1952). Another work is a guide for the making of perfumes Kitab al-wuslat (or wasilat) ila-l- habib fi wasf al-tayibat wal-tibb (Houtsma 1927). He is an important source of knowledge on the Syrian Assassins, first analyzed by Silvester de Sacy (Lewis 1952).


Numerous Ayyubid rulers entrusted Ibn al-Adim as a diplomatic ambassador. On his last mission in 1260, he was sent to Egypt seeking military assistance against the Mongols.[3]


  1. ^ John Julius Norwich, Byzantium: The Apogee, (Alfred A. Knopf Inc., 1992), 342.
  2. ^ Farhad Daftary, The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines, (Cambridge University Press, 2007), 309.
  3. ^ Ibn al-Adim, David Morray, Medieval Islamic Civilization:An Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, ed. Josef W. Meri, (Routledge, 2006), 342.


  • Freytag, G. Selecta ex historia Halebi Paris: Typographia Regia, 1819.
  • Kamāl al-Dīn (1896): Histoire d'Alep, in Revue de l'Orient Latin
  • Kamāl al-Dīn ʻUmar ibn Aḥmad Ibn al-ʻAdīm, Edgar Blochet (1900): Histoire d'Alep
  • Houtsma, M. Th., ed. E. J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936, BRILL, ISBN 978-90-04-08265-6
  • Ibn al-'Adîm, Bughyat al-talab fî târîkh Halab / Everything desirable about the History of Aleppo. Set of 11 volumes: I-X. ed. F. Sezgin; XI. Register of Biographies, compiled by David W. Morray. 1986-1990. ISBN 3-8298-0236-6
  • Lewis, Bernard, "The Sources for the History of the Syrian Assassins", Speculum Vol. 27, No. 4 (Oct., 1952), pp. 475–489
  • Morray, David W., An Ayyubid Notable and his World: Ibn al-'Adim and Aleppo as Portrayed in His Biographical Dictionary of People Associated with the City, Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994