The Agadez Chronicles and Y-Tarichi: a reinterpretation

Benedetta Rossi

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This article focuses on the texts known as the “Agadez Chronicles” and “Y Tarichi,” which have been used by historians of the Central Sahara and Sahel to reconstruct the history of the Sultanate of Agadez and the Ader Kingdom in today’s Republic of Niger. The most frequently cited of these texts are published translations of copies of Arabic manuscripts that were made available to French and British colonial administrators by members of the elites of Agadez, Ader, and Sokoto in the first decade of the twentieth century. This article suggests that the copies handed over to the representatives of European empires had been altered to promote the interests of the local elites who circulated these sources. The article compares texts in the Agadez corpus with independent sources on the history of this region in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries; it discusses the political context in which the Agadez Chronicles were circulated at the beginning of the twentieth century; and it considers the implications of the proposed reinterpretations for the historiography of the Aïr and Ader regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-140
Number of pages46
JournalHistory in Africa
Early online date28 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016


  • Sahara
  • sources
  • Agadez
  • Ader
  • Tuareg
  • Sokoto


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