Names Found in An Arab-Syrian Gentleman
and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades: Memoirs of Usāmah
Ibn-Munqidh, as translated by Philip K. Hitti
collected and arranged by Basil Dragonstrike
Around 1183 Usāmah ibn Murshid ibn ‘Ali ibn Muqallad ibn Naṣr ibn
Munqidh, generally known as ibn Munqidh, wrote, or dictated, his
memoirs of a long and full life, being around 88 years old at the
time. In 1929 Phillip K. Hitti translated ibn Munqidh's memoirs
under the rather ponderous title An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and
Warrior in the Period of the Crusades: Memoirs of Usāmah
Ibn-Munqidh (published by Princeton University Press).
In this article I have collected and arranged all the personal names
from ibn Munqidh's work. To the best I am able, I have not included
any non-personal names, nor (save for the list of titular names) any
"titles" or "terms of honor/respect".
It is important to keep in mind that in ibn Munqidh's time and place
(12th century northern Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt) that there
were quite a few powerful and influential Turkic individuals, as
well as less important Turkic warriors, servants, etc. Thus, a
significant percentage of the people named by ibn Munqidh had names
that were in whole or in part Turkic or Arabized Turkic (or even
Turkicized Arabic). Note as well, that there was a noticeable
Persian influence, and Persian, Arabicized Persian (even Persianized
Arabic) names may be present.
Though most of the people named were sultans, wazirs, battle
leaders, warriors, etc., there is a goodly percentage of servants
and ordinary fighters. However, there are few names from outside the
A note on transliteration: Hitti has mostly followed the LOC/ALA
romanization scheme. But, there are a few things to note; He always
puts a hyphen after "ibn" and "abu"; He never capitalizes "abu" nor
marks the "u" as long. I have used Abū throughout, as well as Abī,
and removed the hyphen from those and from "ibn".
Most important: there is not a single name element ending in a long
vowel (that is, one marked with a macron). Given that nearly every
name element from other sources I've seen that ends in a vowel, has
that vowel marked with a macron, I conclude that Hitti, for whatever
reason, "shortened" all final vowels. Since using such spellings
alongside spellings (from other sources) that do end in long
vowels would lead to peculiar names (and violate SCA strictures), I
have used other sources to determine if the final vowels should be
Specifically: I accepted ʻAlī, Mūsā, and ʻĪsā throughout. Where I
found evidence of a name being a locative or a tribal byname, I have
used the spelling with a final long vowel (or short, if my other
sources show it as short). Where I could document the particular
individual, I have used the "proper" spelling. Where I could
do none of the above, I have removed that person from these lists.
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 isms
(essentially given names), one for laqabs/nisbas
(bynames), and one for honorific
names (that is, ones of the form ______ al-Dīn, ______
al-Dawla, etc.). Some of these pages have more than one list, and
further information is provided on each page.
FURTHER NOTE: Since these pages were first written, I have
learned more about Arabic onomastics. Thus, a few changes have been
I have changed the lists to reflect all this; what is posted
currently are the corrected lists.
- Some names beginning with al- that I thought were
bynames have turned out to be isms. I have moved them to
the proper list.
- The Abbasid and Fatimid caliphs used "throne names," all of
which start with al-. As such "names" are actually
titles, I have removed all of them from these lists.
- Abū Bakr was not, in fact, used as an ism. Kunyas
were (depending on time and place) sometimes given to children,
and/or used by adults who had no child. Abū Bakr is
itself a metaphorical kunya (meaning "Father of a camel
foal"). It was sometimes used by children and childless adults;
as such persons did not have an eldest son named Bakr, I
have removed all references to Abū Bakr from these
- Names I now realize are Turkish, Persian, etc. have been
- There may be other, minor errors I've corrected.