Names From the Diary of Ibn al-Bannāʼ, as Translated by George Makdisi
collected and arranged by Basil Dragonstrike


In early-to-mid 11th century CE, there lived in Baghdād a historian and jurisprudent named Abū ‘Alī al-Ḥasan ibn Aḥmad ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn al-Bannā’ al-Baghdādī al-Ḥanbalī, usually called simply Ibn al-Bannā’. He kept a diary, of which a portion covering covering 14 lunar months is extant. This was translated by George Makdisi in 1956 and 1957, and printed as five articles in the Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, later reprinted in 1990 by Variorum Press in a book titled History and Politics in Eleventh-Century Baghdad.
This article contains all the personal names mentioned in that work, save a few that are post-medieval, and a few I cannot verify as being medieval.

At the time of Ibn al-Bannāʼ most of the people in and around Baghdād had Arabic names, but some people of note had names that were Turkish, Persian, Arabized Turkish, or Arabized Persian (there may even be names from other languages). I don't have the background to make positive identification of non-Arab names, I have included all names from Ibn al-Bannāʼ diary. Thus, these lists should be considered "Names from an Arabic/Islamic context in 11th century CE Baghdād."

Regarding transliteration; Makdisi uses, throughout, mostly what I believe to be the LOC/ALA transliteration scheme. The only exceptions worth noting are in footnotes, where Makdisi sometimes has copied a name that was transliterated by a different scheme. In one case, the name appears, frequently, in LOC/ALA form, so I have dropped that other transliteration. In another case, the name is given in the Encyclopaedia of Islam transliteration, and is the only example of that name. I have therefore changed the given "Ḳuss Ibn Sā‘ida" to "Quss ibn Sā‘ida" in compiling these lists. Also note that "(?)" is an indication by the translator that he is not sure of the spelling of a word, "(???)" means a number of consecutive words are uncertain.

There are two particular ways Makdisi does not follow the LOC/ALA scheme. First, he changes the "l" of "al-" to the following letter when that letter is a "sun letter". That is, where spoken Arabic pronounces, for example, "al-Samarqandī" as "as-Samarqandī", Makdisi spells it to conform with pronunciation. Second, he transliterates the diphthongs as "au" instead of the LOC "aw" and "ai" instead of "ay".

Makdisi has the unfortunate habit, in footnotes, of "cutting down" names where someone is usually called by a byname; that is, where someone is usually called "al-XYZ" or "ibn XYZ", Makdisi will call him "XYZ". More about this will be found in the head notes of the list "Multiple Names".

A note on the form of this article: I have arranged the names I found into a number of different lists, and put each list on its own page. There is one page for one for isms, one for laqabs/nisbas, and one for al-Dīn-style honorifics; as well, there is a page listing all examples of where a single person is referred to under different names. Finally, there is a page showing the various name formations in the Diary. Some of these pages have more than one list, and further information is provided on each page.