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Muhammad I al “Mustansir”  

Allen J. Fromherz

whose name means the one who calls for victory with the help of God, was one of the most influential rulers of the Hafsids, recognized by Mecca as the spiritual leader of the Islamic world, renowned for his military prowess, remarkable building program in medieval Tunis, and his signing of a treaty in 1270 that ended the eighth crusade. His reign made Tunis one of the greatest cities of the Islamic world. He was, to many, one of the most powerful and respected rulers in the Muslim world in the second half of the thirteenth century, a century that saw many calamities for the Dar al Islam (the Abode of Islam). For instance, there was the Mongol invasion and fall of Baghdad, which led to the crushing of the last Abbasid caliph in 1248 and the destruction of Muslim cities throughout the east The origins of the Hafsids however ...

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Russel, Chloe  

Eric Gardner

fortune-teller and author, does not appear in public records until 1820, at which time she is listed in the federal census, and nothing definitive is known about her parentage or childhood. A purportedly autobiographical text that introduces one extant copy of Russel's The Complete Fortune Teller and Dream Book claims that she was born in 1745 in the “Fuller nation” three hundred miles southwest of Sierre Leone, taken into slavery, and sold to Virginia planter George Russel after experiencing the horrors of the Middle Passage. In Virginia, the narrative asserts, after great torment, she gained the power of divination and then great fame as a seer, was freed, and raised money to free other slaves.

Though the veracity of this narrative is doubtful for several reasons—for example, the birthplace it gives is in the Atlantic Ocean—it is clear that the title-page attribution of The Complete Fortune Teller ...