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Tabari (Abu Jafar Muhammad ibn Jarir at-Tabari)täbäˈrē, c.839–c.923, Arab historian and commentator. The name Tabari was given him because he was born in Tabaristan, Persia. He traveled widely in Syria and Egypt, setting finally in Baghdad. He was admired for his erudition, his memory, and his industry. He wrote two great works, a commentary on the Qur'an and Annals of the Apostles and the Kings. The commentary became a standard from which later commentators drew. The annals are an attempt at recounting universal history from the creation to 915. Condensed from an even longer work, they are not a continuous narrative but contain differing versions of the same story and are thus a prime collection of Arabic sources. Tabari also taught law.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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