Warnie B.'s Reviews > An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades: Memoirs of Usamah Ibn-Munqidh

An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Cru... by Usamah Ibn-Munqidh
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Jan 16, 12

bookshelves: biography-autobiography-memoir, history, non-fiction, read-in-2012, war, religion, byzantium, egypt, 1000-1600s
Read from January 03 to 15, 2012 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Man, this was cool! Since it was written in the late 1100s, I was expecting it to be pretty difficult, but it think it helps that this is a modern translation, and also by the fact that, other than one section that is a eulogy, it was apparently written in a fairly casual style. I found it really interesting. A lot of it is details of battles with the Franks, or battles with lions or other wild animals, and sometimes that got a little old, although at times it was pretty entertaining. There is also a section on the character of the Franks that was kind of fascinating. And I loved his poems towards the end, about being an old man and not being able to fight Franks and lions anymore. I didn't expect the humor, I think, but I found myself laughing several times at various descriptions of events, or at obvious exaggerations. This certainly doesn't read like a modern adventure story or anything of the sort--it's more like listening to your grandfather meander his way through memories of his past: "It reminds me of this other time, when something similar happened..." But I found the whole thing kind of delightful.
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01/04/2012 page 30
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