Mīkhā'īl Mishāqa - The first historian of modern Syria

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This article enlarges on the life and ideas of Mīkhā'īl Mishāqa, a nineteenth-century 'Syrian' Christian intellectual, author of the much-quoted book al-Jawāb 'alā Iqtirāh + (Combining dot below sign) al-Ah + (Combining dot below sign)bāb. It further interprets his book and discusses its importance to Syrian historiography, showing that Mishāqa was perhaps one of the first historians to write the nineteenth-century history of Syria within which Mount Lebanon is seen as an integral region - i.e. he identifies the region of Syria as a single territorial entity. As for Mishāqa's style of writing, I shall show that his book is not a chronicle, as were those of earlier and contemporary writers, but that it is written as a 'proper history'. The last part of the article offers the thesis that Mīkhā'īl Dimashqī, an unknown 'historian' of the same decade, who wrote the book, Ta'rīkh H + (Combining dot below sign)awādith Jarat bi'l Shām wa-Sawāh + (Combining dot below sign)il Barr al-Shām wa'l-Jabal, was probably Mīkhā'īl Mishāqa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-87
Number of pages21
JournalBritish Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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