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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

The Contribution to Islam                  359
of Islam (Tarikb al-duwal wa?l-muluK)> planned to cover the
whole period of Muslim history: the author commenced with
the fourteenth century and worked backwards, but had only
reached the tenth century when he died, in 1405. A Syrian
scholar, C. K. Zurayk, is now editing the surviving nine
volumes.
Of great importance for the history of Egypt is the detailed
chronicle of Ibn lyas (1448-1524), the pupil of al-Suyuti, called
Badd'i* al-zuhur: the same author wrote also a Universal History
(Marj al-zuhur)9 and a cosmography with special reference to
Egypt (Nashq al-azhdr). By al-Suyuti himself three historical
works were written, of which the most important is his local
history, Husn al-muhddara fi akhbdr Misr, a valuable book of
reference-. Numerous other Egyptians of lesser fame but equal
industry have compiled extant historical works.
In the nineteenth century wrote al-Sharqawi (d. 1812), bring-
ing the story down to include the expedition of Napoleon;
al-Jabarti, whose *Aj$ib al-dthdr, invaluable for the history of
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, and generally
accounted the last great work of classical Arabic literature, is
held by some to have been responsible for his being murdered
on the Shubra road in 1822; and cAli Pasha Mubarak (1823-93),
holder of various important official posts, whose principal work,
al-Kbitat al-jadida, intended as a continuation of al-Maqrizi's
al-Mawai% wa'l-i*tibdr, was published, in twenty volumes, at
Bulaqin 1888.
Printing in the Arabic characters hardly began in the East
before the end of the eighteenth century. When it did begin,
however, Egypt at once took the lead, and remains to this day
far in advance of other Islamic countries in both quantity and
quality of output. The style of printing in use down to quite
recent times was hardly attractive and quite ruinous to the
eyesight: but since the Great War the art of typography has
made great advances, and in particular the volumes produced