Taqiyy al-Din Ahmad bin ‘Ali al-Maqrizi (1364-1442), is the historian with the most expansive repertoire of the entire Mamluk historiography. His al-Maqrizi’s books is the Kitab al-Mawa‘iz wa-l-I‘tibar bi-Dhikr al-Khitat wa-l-Athar, in particular, is a unique achievement that narrates the evolution of Cairo, covering every aspect of its history: its transformative moments, monuments and their patrons, wonders and religious merits, and its changing relationship to its environment.
The book I am proposing aims to re-present al-Maqrizi as a historian with a structured project that chronicled Egypt’s history through successive annals, prosopographies, and short treatises. The project revolved around the Khitat with which al-Maqrizi started and which he was continuously redacting until his death. Indeed, the Khitat articulated the cumulative narratives on the various facets of Egyptian history and illustrated in an almost visual way the ravages of unjust rule, which al-Maqrizi blamed on the Mamluks of his time, and which he treated thoroughly in several other writings. This was al-Maqrizi's critical stance, conceived from within the epistemological framework of a medieval Muslim thinker; in other words, moralizing, inherently teleological, and evidently pre-humanist, but still redolent with an anguished search for truth.