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The Timbuktu Chronicles, 1493-1599 C.E.: Al Hajj Mahmud Kati’s Tarikh al-fattash
  • Christopher Wise, Western Washington University
  • Hala Abu Taleb
Some five hundred years ago, the Askiya Muhammad founded the Songhay Dynasty of the Askiyas, which flourished for more than a century in Sahelian West Africa. The Askiya Muhammad administered his kingdom from Gao, Mali, although many of his most loyal followers were located in Timbuktu, Mali. The Timbuktu based scribe al hajj Mahmud Kati was a close friend of the Askiya Muhammad, who accompanied the famous Songhay leader during his pilgrimage to Mecca. The Tarikh al fattash is an eyewitness account of the rise and fall of the Songhay Empire, told from Kati’s perspective as a key participant in many of the most important events in the era of the Askiyas. Wise’s The Timbuktu Chronicles, 1493-1599 is a translation of the Octave Houdas and Maurice Delafosse’s rendition of the Tarikh al fattash, which was compiled from three versions of the text that surfaced in the early twentieth century, and that were edited by Houdas and Delafosse in 1913.
  • Mahmud Kati,
  • Tarikh al fattash,
  • Christopher Wise,
  • Timbuktu Chronicles,
  • Timbuktu Manuscripts
Publication Date
Christopher Wise, Translated by Christopher Wise and Hala Abu Taleb
Africa World Press
Citation Information
Christopher Wise and Hala Abu Taleb. The Timbuktu Chronicles, 1493-1599 C.E.: Al Hajj Mahmud Kati’s Tarikh al-fattash. Tenton, New Jersey and Asmara, Eritrea(2011)
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