Usama Ibn Munqidh

(1095 - 1188)

Born in 1095, the same year that Pope Urban II inaugurated the First Crusade at the Council of Clermont, Usama Ibn Munqidh became one of the primary Muslim historians of the encounters between Christianity and Islam. He fought Frankish infidels as a young man and later in life joined the court of Sultan Saladin.

All Writing


“One of the wonders of the human heart,” wrote twelfth-century poet Usama ibn Munqidh, “is that a man may face certain death and embark on every danger without his heart quailing from it, and yet he may take fright from something that even boys and women do not fear.” He relates the story of a battle hero his father knew who “would run out fleeing” if he saw a snake, “saying to his wife, ‘The snake’s all yours!’ And she would have to get up to kill it.”

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