Paul M. Cobb introduced by Max Rodenbeck


Usama Ibn Munqidh (1095-1188) was a Syrian poet and warrior whose life coincided with some of the most dramatic moments in Islamic history: the invasion of the Turks into the Middle East, the collapse of the Shi’ite political power, and above all, the coming of the Crusades. Often at the frontline of such events whilst on military service representing one of his many Lords, including on occasion the legendary Saladin, Usama was nonetheless best-known to his contemporaries as a poet. Covering his exquisite anthologies of Arabic poetry, his witty and well-loved memoirs and his political adventures, this session with Paul M. Cobb, Professor of Islamic History at the University of Pennsylvania, examines both the literary works of the famous Arab-Syrian Gentleman and the tumultuous life which inspired them.