Tabari Translation Project

The History of the Prophets and Kings (Taʾrīkh al-rusul wa'l-mulūk) by Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (839-923), a Muslim scholar of Iranian origin writing in Arabic, has long been recognized as the most important universal history produced in the world of Islam.  The Tabari Translation Project, supported and funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Persian Heritage Foundation, was designed to translate this work in its entirety for the first time into English, for the benefit of non-Arabists, with historical and philological notes for those interested in the particulars of the text.

Tabari Translation Project: Published Volumes

Front cover tabor Vol 5

The monumental History of al-Ṭabarī explores the history of the ancient nations, with emphasis on the biblical peoples and prophets, the legendary and factual history of ancient Iran, the life of the Prophet Muḥammad, the rise of Islam, and the history of the Islamic world year by year down to 915.

Planning for the translation of this great chronicle into English began in 1971, led by Ehsan Yarshater as General Editor and assisted by an Editorial Board (Ihsan Abbas, American University of Beirut; C. E. Bosworth, University of Manchester; Jacob Lassner, Wayne State University, as Supervising Editor; and Franz Rosenthal, Yale University).  Estelle Whelan at the Columbia Center for Iranian Studies served as Editorial Coordinator.

The History of al-Ṭabarī, translated and annotated by a number of scholars, has now been published in 39 volumes plus an index volume by SUNY Press (in hardback and paperback). Below is a list of the volumes, titles, translator-annotators, and dates of publication:

Volume IGeneral Introduction and From Creation to the Flood, Franz Rosenthal (1989)

Volume IIProphets and Patriarchs, William M. Brinner (1987)

Volume IIIThe Children of Israel, William M. Brinner (1991)

Volume IVThe Ancient Kingdoms, Moshe Perlmann (1987)

Volume VThe Sasanians, C. E. Bosworth (1999)

Volume VIMuhammad at Mecca, W. Montgomery Watt and M. V. McDonald (1988)

Volume VIIFoundation of the Community, W. Montgomery Watt and M. V. McDonald (1987)

Volume VIIIThe Victory of Islam, Michael Fishbein (1997)

Volume IXThe Last Years of the Prophet, A.D. 630-632/A.H. 8-11, Ismail K. Poonawala (1990)

Volume XThe Conquest of Arabia: A.D. 632-633/A.H. 11, Fred M. Donner (1993)

Volume XIThe Challenge to the Empires, Khalid Y. Blankinship (1993)

Volume XIIThe Battle of al-Qādisiyyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine, Yohanan Friedmann (1992)

Volume XIIIThe Conquest of Iraq, Southwestern Persia, and Egypt, Gautier H. A. Juynboll (1989)

Volume XIVThe Conquest of Iran: A. D. 641-643/A.H. 21-23, G. Rex Smith (1994)

Volume XVThe Crisis of the Early Caliphate: A.D. 644-656/A.H. 24-35, R. Stephen Humphreys (1990)

Volume XVIThe Community Divided: The Caliphate of ʿAlī I: A.D. 656-657/A.H. 35-36, Adrian Brockett (1997)

Volume XVIIThe First Civil War: From the Battle of Ṣiffīn to the Death of ʿAlī: A.D. 656-661/A.H. 36-40, G.R. Hawting (1996)

Volume XVIIIBetween Civil Wars: The Caliphate of Muʿāwiyah: A.D. 661-680/A.H. 40-60, Michael G. Morony (1987)

Volume XIXThe Caliphate of Yazīd b. Muʿāwiyah: A.D. 680-683/A.H. 60-64, I.K.A. Howard (1990)

Volume XXThe Collapse of Sufyānid Authority and the Coming of the Marwānids:The Caliphates of Muʿāwiyah II and Marwān I and the Beginning of The Caliphate of ʿAbd al-Malik A.D. 683-685/A.H. 64-66, G.R. Hawting (1989)

Volume XXIThe Victory of the Marwānids: A.D. 685-693/A.H. 66-73, Michael Fishbein (1990)

Volume XXIIThe Marwānid Restoration: The Caliphate of Abd al-Malik, A.D.  693-701/A. H. 74-81, Everett K. Rowson (1989)

Volume XXIIIThe Zenith of the Marwānid House: The Last Years of ʿAbd al-Malik and The Caliphate of al-Walīd: A.D. 700-715/A.H. 81-96, Martin Hinds (1990)

Volume XXIVThe Empire in Transition: The Caliphates of Sulaymān, ʿUmar, and YazīdA.D. 715-724/A.H. 97-105, David S. Powers (1989)

Volume XXVThe End of Expansion: The Caliphate of HishāmA.D. 724-738/A.H. 105-120, Khalid Y. Blankinship (1989)

Volume XXVIThe Waning of the Umayyad Caliphate: Prelude to Revolution, A.D. 738-745/A.H. 121-127, Carole Hillenbrand (1989)

Volume XXVIIThe ʿAbbāsid Revolution: A.D. 743-750/A.H. 126-132, John Alden Williams (1985)

Volume XXVIII, ʿAbbāsid Authority Affirmed: The Early Years of al-Manṣūr: A.D. 753-763/A.H. 136-145, Jane Dammen McAuliffe (1995)

Volume XXIXAl-Manṣūr and al-Mahdī: A.D. 763-786/A.H. 146-169, Hugh Kennedy (1990)

Volume XXXThe ʿAbbāsid Caliphate in Equilibrium: The Caliphates of Mūsā al-Hādī and Hārūn al-Rashīd, A.D. 785-809/A.H. 169-193, C. E. Bosworth (1989)

Volume XXXIThe War Between Brothers: The Caliphate of Muḥammad al-Amīn, A.D. 809-813/A.H. 193-198, Michael Fishbein (1992)

Volume XXXII, The Reunification of the ʿAbbasid Caliphate: The Caliphate of al-MaʾmūnA.D. 812-833/A.H. 198-213, C.E. Bosworth (1987)

Volume XXXIIIStorm and Stress along the Northern Frontiers of the ʿAbbāsid Caliphate: The Caliphate of al-Muʿtaṣim, A.D. 833-842/A.H. 218-227, C.E. Bosworth (1991)

Volume XXXIVIncipient Decline: The Caliphates of al-Wāthiq, al-Mutawakkil, and al-Muntaṣir, A.D. 841-863/A.H. 227-248, Joel L. Kraemer (1989)

Volume XXXVThe Crisis of the Abbasid Caliphate: The Caliphates of al-Mustaʿīn and al-Muʿtazz, A.D. 862-869/A.H. 248-255, George Saliba (1985)

Volume XXXVIThe Revolt of the Zanj: A.D. 869-879/A.H. 255-265, David Waines (1992)

Volume XXXVIIThe ʿAbbāsid Recovery: The War against the Zanj Ends, A.D. 879-893/A.H. 266-279, Phillip Fields (1987)

Volume XXXVIIIThe Return of the Caliphate to Baghdad: The Caliphates of al-Muʿtaḍid, al-Muktafī, and al-Muqtadir, A.D. 892-915/A.H. 279-302, Franz Rosenthal (1985)

Volume XXXIX, Biographies of the Prophet's Companions and their Successors, Ella Landau-Tasseron (1998)

Volume XL, Index, prepared by Alex V. Popovkin under the supervision of Everett K. Rowson (2007)

For purchasing books in the Tabari Translation Project, please check with the publisher, State University of New York Press.