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Al-Bayan al-Mughrib

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Title: Al-Bayan al-Mughrib  
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Subject: Abd-ar-Rahman III, Battle of Tours, Ramiro I of Asturias, Tariq ibn Ziyad, Uqba ibn Nafi, Ibn Idhari
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Al-Bayan al-Mughrib

'Kitāb al-bayān al-mughrib fī ākhbār mulūk al-andalus wa'l-maghrib' (Book of the Amazing Story of the History of the Kings of al-Andalus and Maghreb) is an important medieval text on the history of the Maghreb (Morocco and Algeria) and Iberia, written in Arabic in Marrakech in about the year 1312 by Ibn Idhari. It is widely regarded among modern researchers as containing valuable information not found elsewhere, including excerpts from older works now lost. It is generally known by its short title al-Bayān al-Mughrib (The Amazing Story; Arabic: البيان المغرب‎) or even just as the Bayān.

The author himself divided the work into three parts:

While the Arabic text of the first two parts has been known for some considerable time, portions of the third part only came to light during the 20th century. This part is still known only in incomplete form because of missing pages (including beginning and end) and insect damage to the manuscripts.[1] Nevertheless, the fragments are important in correcting many of the errors and omissions of the more widely known Rawd al-Qirtas.

The Arabic text of the first two parts was first published in the 19th century by Dozy; a second corrected edition of these parts was published in 1948 by Colin and Levi-Provençal. The 1983 Beirut edition published by Ihsan Abbas includes the incomplete Part 3.

There are few translations. Fagnan's 1901 French translation, based on Dozy's edition, is not favourably regarded. There are a number of Spanish translations, most notably those by Huici Miranda.



  • Spanish Translation of Parts 1 and 2: A. Huici Miranda, Colección de crónicas árabes de la Reconquista vols. 2 and 3, Tetuan, 1953-4.
  • Spanish Translation of Part 3: A. Huici Miranda, Al-Bayán al-Mugrib. Nuevos fragmentos almorávides y almohades. Anubar Ediciones, Valencia, 1963.
  • N. Levtzion & J.F.P. Hopkins, Corpus of early Arabic sources for West African history, Cambridge University Press, 1981, ISBN 0-521-22422-5 (reprint: Markus Wiener, Princeton, 2000, ISBN 1-55876-241-8). English translation of extracts dealing with the Almoravids.
  • Comparative notes (in English) on sources of Moroccan history during the Almoravid period by French historian Lagadère
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