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Towards a New Study of the So-Called Tārīkh al-fattāsh

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 May 2015

Abstract

This article advances a new theory about the composition of the chronicle generally referred to as Tārīkh al-fattāsh. The Tārīkh al-fattāsh, allegedly written in the sixteenth-seventeenth century, is one of the most famous chronicles on which scholars have relied for information about West Africa’s pre-colonial history. However, there are still many puzzling issues and unsolved problems associated with this work, as edited by Octave V. Houdas and Maurice Delafosse in the early twentieth century. This analysis uses unexplored manuscripts that were either unknown or unavailable to previous scholars, and advances a new theory on the genesis and authorship of the chronicle: that the edited text in fact conflates two texts, a seventeenth-century chronicle and a nineteenth century one.

Résumé

Cet article propose une nouvelle théorie sur la composition de la chronique généralement appelée Tārīkh al-fattāsh. Supposément écrite entre les XVIème et XVIIème siècles, il s’agit de l’une des chroniques les plus célèbres utilisées par les chercheurs de l’histoire de l’Afrique de l’Ouest précoloniale. Cependant, telle qu’elle a été éditée par Houdas et Delafosse, cette chronique pose toujours des énigmes aux chercheurs et contient de nombreux problèmes. Cet article utilise des manuscrits inusités qui étaient auparavant soit inconnus soit non disponibles pour les chercheurs. Cet article propose donc une nouvelle théorie sur l’origine et la paternité de la chronique en avançant que la chronique telle qu’elle a été éditée réunit en fait deux textes différents, le premier datant du XVIIème siècle, le deuxième du XIXème siècle.

Type
Critical Source Analysis
Copyright
Copyright © African Studies Association 2015 

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