The Muqaddimah : an introduction to history ; in three volumes. 1

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The Muqaddimah, often translated as "Introduction" or "Prolegomenon," is the most important Islamic history of the premodern world. Written by the great fourteenth-century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldūn (d. 1406), this monumental work laid down the foundations of several fields of knowledge, including philosophy of history, sociology, ethnography, and economics. The first complete English translation, by the eminent Islamicist and interpreter of Arabic literature Franz Rosenthal, was published in three volumes in 1958 as part of the Bollingen Series and received immediate acclaim in America and abroad. A one-volume abridged version of Rosenthal's masterful translation was first published in 1969.


This new edition of the abridged version, with the addition of a key section of Rosenthal's own introduction to the three-volume edition, and with a new introduction by Bruce B. Lawrence, will reintroduce this seminal work to twenty-first-century students and scholars of Islam and of medieval and ancient history.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - wellreadcatlady - LibraryThing

I read this for Mark Zuckerberg’s book club, A Year Of Books. I did not read The Muqaddimah fully, the first 100 pages I read, but after that I just skimmed. This book isn’t for me, I don’t care for ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ajdeus - LibraryThing

The Muqaddimah is a pleasurable read for experts with many surprises (in the background/sidelines). Rosenthal's bracket fillers are sometimes annoying and misleading. Khaldun finished the work in 1377 ... Read full review

About the author (1958)

Called the Father of the Philosophy of History and the Father of Sociology, Ibn Khaldun is considered the first and one of the greatest philosophers of history. Born in Muslim Spain and educated in Tunis, he served as a judge and a secretary in the service of rulers in both Spain and North Africa. In 1382 he moved to Egypt, where he became chief judge of Cairo and a lecturer at the Azhar Mosque University. In 1400 he accompanied the Egyptians on their campaign against the Mongol warrior Tamerlane and played a role in the arrangements for the surrender of Damascus. Ibn Khaldun gained much recognition for his seven-volume work on universal history, Kitab al-Ibar (Book of Lessons). In the work, focused mostly on the Muslim world, Ibn Khaldun attempts to treat history as a science. He made his most important contribution in the first part of the work, Muqaddimah (The Introduction), in which he outlines his philosophy of history, analyzing causes of events and setting social, geographic, and economic contexts for historical changes.

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