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Ibn Al-Hītī, David ben Se'adel


IBN AL-HĪTĪ, DAVID BEN SE'ADEL (mid-15th century), Karaite chronicler. As his surname indicates, Ibn al-Hītī was a native of the ancient town of Hit in Iraq, some 90 miles (150 km.) west of Baghdad. He himself lived and studied in Egypt. Nothing else is known about his life. Ibn al-Hītī's only known work is a concise chronicle, in Arabic, of Karaite scholars from *Anan b. David (eighth century) to his own time. It follows no strict chronological arrangement, but is written in a factual manner, the author having carefully consulted a number of ancient manuscripts and used oral traditions and other sources which are no longer extant. His work is, therefore, of considerable historical value.


S. Poznański, Karaite Literary Opponents of Saadiah Gaon (1908), 82; Margoliouth, in: jqr, 9 (1896/97), 429–43 (text of the chronicle with Eng. tr.); L. Nemoy (ed.), Karaite Anthology (1952), 230–5 (new Eng. tr. of the chronicle based on a corrected text).

[Leon Nemoy]

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