EBN AL-ṬEQṬAQĀ, ṢAFĪ-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD b. ʿAlī b. Ṭabāṭabā, historian and naqīb of the ʿAlids in Ḥella (b. 660/1262 ?; d. after 709/1309 ?); his dates of birth and death remain speculative (Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā, 1860, pp. xvi-xviii; 1895, introd., p. 14).
Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā was a direct descendant of Ḥasan b. ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭāleb (Ebn al- Ṭeqṭaqā, tr. Amar, pp. x-xiii). His father, chief naqīb in Iraq and overseer of the Ḥella tax districts, was murdered in 672/1273 outside Baghdad, perhaps at the instigation of ʿAlāʾ-al-Dīn ʿAṭā Malek Jovaynī (Boyle, p. 177; pseudo- Ebn al-Fowaṭī, pp. 362, 366, 377; Ebn ʿEnaba, pp. 180-81; Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā, 1895, pp. 4-6; Kerkūš, I, pp. 76-77; Kritzeck, pp. 166-67).
Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā maintained an open house to scholars, among them Ebn al-Fowaṭī, who visited it around 687/1288 (IV/1, pp. 60, 515; Kerkūš, II, p. 78), and was in Baghdad when Ḡāzān visited in 696/1296-97 (pseudo-Ebn al-Fowaṭī, pp. 492-93) or 698/1299, according to his own statement. In 697/1298 he visited Marāḡa (Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā, 1895, pp. 43, 408). He knew Persian and married a Persian woman from Khorasan (tr. Amar, p. xiv).
In the winter of 701/1302, detained in Mosul on his way to Tabrīz, he wrote al-Faḵrī for Faḵr-al-Dīn ʿĪsā, governor of Mosul (Ebn al-Fowaṭī, IV/3, p. 277). The work is in two parts. The first, in the “mirror for princes” genre, uses anecdotes to explain the collapse of the ʿAbbasid caliphate in terms of their unfitting qualities as rulers. He commends the Mongol rulers for their justice, discipline, and attention to such practical skills as accountancy and medicine (Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā, 1895, p. 23; Kritzeck, pp. 167-69). He occasionally cites wise sayings of Persian sages (e.g., pp. 51, 67).
Part II surveys the Islamic dynasties from the four Orthodox Caliphs to the fall of the ʿAbbasids in 656/1258. Dynasties such as the Buyids and the Saljuqs are treated only briefly, and some attention is paid to matters of particular interest to the Shiʿites. The historical material is largely derived from the chronicle of Ebn al-Aṯīr (d. 630/1233).
Derenbourg’s edition of the Faḵrī made use of a copy, dated 711/1311, that omits the reference to Faḵr-al-Dīn, executed for his tyranny in Ramażān 702/April 1303 (Rašīd-al-Dīn, Jāmeʿ al-tawārīkò, Baku, p. 356), and shows that Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā continued to revise his book for other patrons. This manuscript covers only the first part.
Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā evidently wrote another, undated, version of the Faḵrī, entitled Monyat al-fożalāʾ fī tawārīḵ al-ḵolafāʾ wa’l-wozarāʾ for Zangīšāh b. Badr-al-Dīn Ḥasan of Dāmḡān. Hendūšāh b. Sanjar Naḵjavānī translated this into Persian around 714/1314 as Tajāreb al-salaf for the Hazaraspid ruler Noṣrat-al-Dīn Aḥmad b. Yūsofšāh (see ATĀBAKĀN-E LORESTĀN). This contains only the second part, to which Naḵjavānī added a life of the Prophet Moḥammad. The Persian translation was edited by ʿAbbās Eqbāl in 1313 Š./1934, on the basis of late and faulty manuscripts. This edition was annotated in detail by Qāżī Ṭabāṭabāʾī. Browne (pp. 250-54) and Eqbāl (p. y) noted that Naḵjavānī gives a fuller treatment of Buyid and Saljuq viziers than the Faḵrī. Sayyed Ḥasan Rawżātī has published a facsimile edition of an earlier manuscript, dated 846/1443, and discusses some of the main variations between this text and the Eqbāl edition (pp. 12-14).
Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā apparently went to Shiraz during the governorship of ʿEzz-al-Dīn ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz (706-13/1306-13) and wrote a history for him, perhaps another version of the Faḵrī (Ebn al-Fowaṭī, IV/1, pp. 205-06; Zarkūb Šīrāzī, pp. 73-75). Ebn al-Fowaṭī quotes various poems by Ebn al-Ṭeqṭaqā and mentions another work on genealogy, called Ḡāyāt (IV/2, pp. 211, 515, 604, 784).
Bibliography: (For cited works not given in detail, see “Short References.”)
M. ʿA. ʿAzzāwī, al-Taʿrīf bi’l-moʾarreḵīn fī ʿaṣr al-Moḡūl wa’l-Torkomān, Baghdad, 1376/1957, pp. 131-37.
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Brockel-mann, GAL II, pp. 207-08, S II, pp. 201-02.
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Ebn ʿEnaba, ʿOmdat al-ṭāleb fī ansāb āl Abī Ṭāleb, ed. M.-Ḥ. Āl Ṭālaqānī, Najaf, 1380/1961, pp. 180-81.
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pseudo-Ebn al-Fowaṭī, al-Ḥawādeṯ al-jāmeʿa wa’l-tajāreb al-nāfeʿa, ed. M. Jawād, Baghdad, 1351/1932.
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Zarkūb Šīrāzī, Šīrāz-nāma, ed. B. Karīmī, Tehran, 1931.
Originally Published: December 15, 1997
Last Updated: December 6, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VIII, Fasc. 1, pp. 58-59
Charles Melville, “EBN AL-ṬEQṬAQĀ, ṢAFĪ-AL-DĪN MOḤAMMAD,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, VIII/1, pp. 58-59, available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ebn-al-teqtaqa (accessed on 30 December 2012).