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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islamic Historiography of the Nilotic Sudan
Author:McHugh, Neil
Periodical:Northeast African Studies
Geographic term:Sudan
History and Exploration
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/43660275
Abstract:The 18th-century Nilotic Sudan witnessed the emergence of a historiographical tradition that has maintained continuity up to the present. It posits the advent and development of Islam and the Arabic language as the pivotal theme of recent Sudanese history, stresses political and religious aspects of historical change, and harmonizes with the current social, economic, and political structure in the Democratic Republic of the Sudan. This article examines two of the initial and paradigmatic examples of this historiography. 'Kit¯ab al-.Tabaq¯at' of Wad .Dayf All¯ah, and the Funj Chronicle are interpreted in terms of their respective author's perspective and intentions and of the use made of the two works by later historians. The '.Tabaq¯at' and probably the first recension of the Funj Chronicle were penned during the half century before the Turco-Egyptian conquest of 1820-1821, an era in which the virtual dissolution of the Funj governmental system occurred. The '.Tabaq¯at' consists of 270 biographical notices prefixed by a brief introduction on the founding of the Funj monarchy and the advent of Muslim teachers who propagated the Shari'a and Sufism. The discussion of the Funj Chronicle begins with the question of its authorship and of the progressive elaboration of its several extant recensions. Its core is a kinglist. Succeeding generations of historians have drawn on the '.Tabaq¯at' and the Chronicle for material relating to the emergence of modern northern Sudanese society during the Funj and Turkiyya periods. Ref.