Baghdad

The city of Baghdad was founded under the second Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur (ruled 754-775). After a lengthy research along the course of the Tigris as far north as Mosul, he decided to construct a palace complex at the junction of the Tigris and the Sarat canal. It appears that al-Mansur decided on this particular location because of strategic and geographic advantages.

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In the words of Artz:


Figure 1. Al Khulafa historical mosque in Baghdad (Source)

Baghdad, in the tenth century had at least 800,000 inhabitants and was, after Constantinople, the largest city in the world. The Tigris River and a system of canals gave the city access to the sea, and its trade and manufacture brought an enormous accumulation of wealth. Its palaces, mosques, schools, and public buildings were the wonder of the world.[1]

The city of Baghdad was founded under the second Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur (ruled 754-775). After a lengthy research along the course of the Tigris as far north as Mosul, he decided to construct a palace complex at the junction of the Tigris and the Sarat canal. It appears that al-Mansur decided on this particular location because of strategic and geographic advantages.[2] The Sarat was deep enough to accommodate commercial traffic, so that the caliph was able to utilise two major river systems, which the Sarat connected: The Tigris and the Euphrates.[3] 

The first major structure to be erected was the famous round city, called madinat al-salam (City of Peace).  Thousands, if not tens of thousands of workers, the skilled and unskilled, the artisans from outlying districts, and the military required housing, services and an industrial complex for the production of construction materials. Baghdad therefore acquired a quality of permanence even before the Round City was completed.[4] The Round City had four equidistant gates lying one Arab mile apart from each other and from every gate went a high road.[5] The four gates of the Round City were:

1. The Basrah Gate to the SE, opening on the suburbs along the Tigris bank were the various branches of the Isa canal flowed out;

2. The Kufah Gate to the SW, opening on the high road going south, which was the pilgrim road to Mecca;

3. The Syrian Gate to the NW where the high road branched left to Anbar on the Euphrates, and right to the Towns on the western Tigris bank north of Baghdad, and

4. The Khurasan Gate leading to the main bridge of boats for crossing the river.[6]

Great suburbs were in time built on these four roads, and these before long came to be incorporated in the circuit of the great metropolis.[7] In time the urban area grew around the original walls of the Round City and developed into a sprawling complex of interdependent elements, each containing its own markets, mosques and cemeteries.[8]


Figure 2. The Round city of Baghdad between 767 and 912 AD (Source)

Throughout the history of the city, movement across the Tigris was funnelled onto a series of pontoon bridges that could be cut from their moorings, whilst the other canals similarly served as natural barriers in time of attack.[9] The river links with Baghdad had another role. Ibn Rustah writing in the 9th century speaks of ‘sea going ships sailing from India came up the Tigris from Basra, and thence could attain to Madain (formerly Sasanid Ctesiphon), for sailing on they came out above Fam as-Silh into the Tigris reach of Baghdad.’[10] 

During the five centuries of the Abbasid caliphate, the plan of Baghdad with its suburbs changed considerably; in 836, the seat of the Caliphate was removed to Samarra, but in 892 Samarra was abandoned, and the caliph re-established his court in the old capital, and for the next four centuries, down to the invasion of the Mongols (1258), the caliphs permanently established their residence on the east bank.[11]

In the tenth century, the surface area of Baghdad could have reached 7,000 ha, which was five times larger than tenth century Constantinople.[12] The population of Baghdad might have been 200 people per ha,[13] which gives a total of 1.400,000 people, which fits with other figures from other sources.

Baghdad, besides its size and opulence, its role as the centre of the caliphate, was also the capital of Islamic learning and science for a period, escaping the ravages of the Crusades (1095-1291), but was extinguished in February 1258 by the Mongol onslaught on it. This splendour and the manner it was ended are looked at in turn.

The Splendour of Baghdad: Its scholarly institutions:


Figure 3. Scholars at an Abbasid library in Baghdad (Source)

Harun al-Rashid became Caliph in 786, his rule marking the zenith of growth of Baghdad. In the following century, the 9th, the city achieved its greater strides in civilisation. The sources speak of magnificent residences, exquisitely appointed and featuring unusual elements, including a zoological garden and fantastic mechanical devices.[14] The city’s scholarly glory can be easily appreciated by looking at any work dealing with the medieval era, especially in the centuries that followed the 8th, to become aware of the countless numbers of scholars connected in one form or another with Baghdad.[15]

The city was also marked by an innovative spirit in crafts and industries. Paper, originally, was brought by the Muslims from China. From an art, the Muslims developed it into a major industry.[16] Paper mills were built in Baghdad in 793. By 950 water power was used in the fibre pounding process in Baghdad.[17] From Baghdad, the industry progressed west to Syria, Egypt, North Africa, and eventually Muslim Spain.

In the ninth century, the potters of Baghdad distinguished themselves by making lustered pottery: the decoration was painted in a metallic oxide upon the glazed coating of the clay, and the vessel was then submitted to a smoky and subdued second firing, which reduced the pigment to a thin layer of metal, and gave the glaze an iridescent glow.[18] Lovely monochromes were produced in this manner, and still lovelier polychromes in gold, green, brown, yellow, and red, in a hundred almost fluid tints. The luster technique was applied also to the ancient Mesopotamian art of decorative tiles.[19] The rich colours of these squares, and their harmonious combinations, gave unique splendour to the portals or mihrabs of a hundred mosques, and to many a palace wall.[20]


Figure 4. Iraqi potters work on a clay pots at a workshop in Najaf, south of Baghdad, July 23, 2015. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani (Source)

The gold-embroidered silks and mulhams attributed to Baghdad on the basis of inscriptions, technique, and richness of decoration. An important small group of such pieces is in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.[21] Despite the small number of surviving examples, however the prestige of Baghdad can be gauged from its impact on other centres. Iraqi textiles were reaching Spain in the tenth century and were much admired there; so great was their reputation that a famous silk, also in the Museum of Fine Arts, though manufactured in Spain in the eleventh or early twelfth century, was falsely inscribed "made in the city of Baghdad."[22]

The intellectual fervour in Baghdad at the height of its glory is best expressed by one symbol: the library. In the thirteenth century before the Mongols devastated the city, Baghdad had thirty-six public libraries and over a hundred book-dealers, some of whom were also publishers employing a corps of copyists.[23] Including amongst such libraries were Al-Mamun's Bayt al Hikma (House of Wisdom), founded in the 8th century, the Nizamiyyah College Library, carrying the name of its founder, the Seljuk minister, Nizam al-Mulk (murdered 1092); the Mustansiriyah school library, the library of Muhammad ibn al Hussain of Haditha, containing a collection of rare manuscripts kept under lock.[24] The Mustansiriya college library was a fine one, in which rare scientific manuscripts were kept.[25] Students were allowed to make copies of them, and they were supplied with pens and paper for that purpose.[26] There were also one hundred book-dealers.[27] We also hear of a private library in Baghdad, as early as the ninth century, that required a hundred and twenty camels to move it from one place to another.[28] This could be the very library of the scholar of Baghdad who refused to accept a position elsewhere because it would take four hundred camels to transport his books; the catalogue of this private library filled ten volumes, which is the more astonishing when it is realized that the library of the king of France in 1300 had only about four hundred titles.[29]


Figure 5. Madrasa-i al-Nizamiyya © Herzfeld Papers (Source)

In the company of books, vast intellectual exchanges took place amongst the scholars of Islam. A pupil of a pupil of al-Farabi established at Baghdad, about 970, an association of savants—known to us only from its founder's place name as the Sidjistani Society—for the discussion of philosophical questions.[30] Nothing was asked as to the national origin or religious affiliation of any member. The group seems to have drowned itself in logic and epistemology, but its existence indicates intellectual fervour in the capital.[31]

Al-Mamun (ruled 813-833) sponsored philosophers, philologists, traditionalists, and other jurists, mathematicians, physicians, astronomers, and chemists.[32] He organized the House of Wisdom, which included a library and an observatory.[33]  It was primarily a research and translation institute.[34] Artz lists in it a library, scientific equipment, a translation bureau, and an observatory.[35] Instruction in Bayt al-Hikma included rhetoric, logic, metaphysics and theology, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, physics, biology, medicine, and surgery.[36]


Figure 6. The Byzantine embassy of John the Grammarian in 829 to Ma'mun (Source)

Baghdad, soon, became the place where was founded the precursor of our modern university college: the Madrasa.[37]  Madrasa, commonly translated as "theological college," the word madrasa (Turkish: medrese; Maghribi: medersa) derives from the Arabic verb darasa, meaning "to study."[38]


Figure 7. Nizam al-Mulk monument in Mashhad (Source)

It denotes an Islamic building, usually erected under state patronage but often by private benefactors, which housed students and the salaried staff that taught them there.[39] Many madrasas were erected during the later eleventh century in the major cities of the Seljuk Empire by the celebrated Nizam al-Mulk (assassinated 1092), who was the vizier of two Seljuk rulers, Alp-Arslan and Malik Shah, these madrasas named Nizamiyas in his honour.[40] For Abu Shamah ‘The schools founded by Nizam al-Mulk are very famous all over the world. No single village lacks one of these schools....’[41] The largest and most splendid of such was the Nizamiyah in Baghdad, founded by the same Nizam al-Mulk in 1065. From the descriptions, it seems, the Nizamiyah stood between the Bab al-Azaj and the Tigris bank, not very far from the Basaliyah gate of the town wall.[42] The Nizamiyah had celebrated lecturers that included the great theologian Al-Ghazali and Baha Eddin, the celebrated historian of Salah Eddin al-Ayyubi.[43] Close to the Nizamiyah was another college called the Bahaiyah next to which stood the hospital called the Tutushi, named after Tutush, one of the Seljuk rulers, who fought during the crusades (died 1114).[44] A century after its founding, the Nizamiyah was still standing, and was visited by Ibn Jubayr in 1185, who describes it in ‘glowing’ terms.[45] The traveller Ibn Jubayr attended prayers in the Nizamiyah on the first Friday after his arrival in Baghdad, and he describes it as ‘the most splendid’ of all thirty colleges which then adorned the city of East Baghdad.[46] Ibn Jubayr reports that in his day the endowments derived from the domains and rents belonging to the college amply sufficed both to pay the stipends of professors and to keep the building in good order, besides supplying an extra fund for the sustenance of poor scholars.[47] Nizam al-Mulk, himself, visited the madrasas to discuss with the pupils and took it upon himself to guide the most intelligent in their choice of a career.[48] Those whom he considered would make good teachers were immediately installed as such; he opened a new school, complete with library, especially for them.[49] The madrasas were put in place when the Muslim world was experiencing its worst phase of utter disintegration from within, torn by diverging factions. Hence, according to Wiet et al:

It was the colleges, the madrasas, that formed the minds of those who later substantially contributed to the resistance to Crusader and Mongol alike. It may be justifiably claimed that, politically, the madrasa saved Islam.[50]

In 1234 was constructed the Mustansiriyah college in Baghdad by Caliph al-Mustansir the penultimate Abbasid Caliph, the father of al-Mutasim, who was subsequently to be put to death by Hulagu, the Mongol general. Located immediately south of the Gharabah gate, on the eastern side of the Tigris


Figure 8. Mustansiriya University in Baghdad (Source)

River in a large walled-in compound, known as the Harim or Sanctuary.[51] The college as described by many sources,[52] was built as a large two storied structure. It was oblong in shape with a great open court in the centre. Around the courtyard there were rooms for teachers and students, opening out to arched cloisters.[53] Nearby, the Great Mosque of the Palace (Jami al-Kasr) was also restored by Mustansir, who also restored the four platforms (Dikkah) on the western side of the pulpit.[54] There, the students sat and held their disputations after the Friday public prayers. The remains of this mosque still exist to the present.[55] Lodging and food were provided to those who needed them, and it was said that a monthly payment of a gold dinar was given to the poor students.[56] The students also received medical care in addition to free tuition. Daily rations of bread and meat were provided to all inmates by a large kitchen.[57] Somewhere in the building were store rooms and bathing facilities (hamam), and attached to the college was a hospital with a dispensary and rooms for teaching medicine.[58] One of the curiosities of the institution was a famous clock, with twelve doors opening to announce the hours.[59] The students were taught by a head professor and his assistants, the curriculum including not only the traditional linguistic, legal and religious subjects, but also arithmetic and the division of inheritance, land surveying, history, poetry, hygiene, the care of animals and plants and other phases of natural history.[60] There was also a course in medicine with a physician in charge.[61] There were also smaller classes of a teacher for ten students (like modern tutorials/seminars), a librarian with an assistant and attendants.[62] According to Ibn al-Furat, the library (Dar al-Kutub) had rare books dealing with various sciences, and made available easily to students, either for consultation, or copying. Pens and paper were supplied, and so were lamps and due provision of oil.[63]

The Caliph al-Mustansir himself took great interest and passion in the work of `his' institution, that he inspected it nearly every day. He also had a belvedere (Manzarah) overlooking the college, with a window opening upon one of the college halls, from where he watched the building, and heard the lectures of the professors and the disputations of the students.[64] Al-Mustansir insisted upon high standards for admission to the college. Not more than 308 students were admitted, and only ten were accepted as medical students.[65] Elgood says "It is, however, quite evident that the conception of al-Mustansir was an enormous advance not only in the teaching of medicine, but also in education in general.'[66] According to Hitti, the Mustansiriyah is almost the only one structure surviving from Abbasid days, and is today used as a customs warehouse.[67]

Al-Hasan of Baghdad (fl.825) (known for his book on the measurement of the sphere) was one of the earliest scholars to build an astronomical observatory in his home.[68] His contemporaries, the Banu Musa Brothers, also made observations from their house located on the Tigris River; studying The Ursa Major (or the Great Bear), measuring maximum and minimum altitudes of the sun, and making observations of lunar eclipses.[69] Under Al-Mamun was completed in 829 the first state sponsored and financed observatory. It was located at Shammasiyah (Baghdad), and was associated with Bayt al-Hikma. This observatory was a major landmark as an institution of scientific purposes established by the state. From this observatory, in the year 830, was determined the position of the solar apogee as 82039'.[70] Astronomers at al-Mamun’s court also found the inclination of the ecliptic to equal 23° 33' and tables of the planetary motions were constructed.[71] Al Mamun ordered two degree-measurements to be made to determine the size of the earth, one of them near Tadmor (a degree = 562 miles, hence circumference of the earth = 20,400 miles; diameter = 6,500 miles).[72] Expressed in other equivalents, the earth circumference was found through the measurement of the length of the terrestrial degree equal to 56.666 Arabian miles (111.812 km), which brought the circumference to 40,253.4 kms (the accurate figure being 40,068.0 km through the equator, and 40,000.6 km through the poles.)[73] A large map of the world was drawn for him.[74]

One of the astronomers was Habash al-Hasib (d.864) who had made observations of solar and lunar eclipses and of planetary positions at Baghdad, Samarra and Damascus. He compiled astronomical tables and gave the first instance of a determination of time by an altitude, besides introducing the notion of shadow (umbra versa) corresponding to our tangent. He also compiled a table of tangents, probably the earliest of its kind.[75]


Figure 9. The statue of al-Farghani in Farg'ona (Source)

Al-Farghani, of Farghanah in Transoxiana, was one of Caliph Al-Mamun’s astronomers. He wrote on the astrolabe, explaining the mathematical theory behind the instrument and corrected faulty geometrical constructions of the central disc.[76] His most famous book Kitab fi Harakat Al-Samawiyah wa Jaamai Ilm al-Nujum contains thirty chapters including a description of the inhabited part of the earth, its size, the distances of the heavenly bodies from the earth and their sizes. Al-Farghani corrected Ptolemy on several points.[77] His Compendium of astronomy was translated into Latin in the 12th century by both Gerard of Cremona and Johanes Hispalensis.

Another scholarly institution of Baghdad was the hospital. In 914 the minister Abul Hassan founded a hospital in the quarter called al-Harbia, near the tomb of Ahmad ibn-Hanbal. He assumed all the expenses in its construction. He appointed his physician, Abu Osman Said Ibn-Yaqub al-Dimashki, to be the director of the hospital, who at the same time was the director of other hospitals in Baghdad, Mecca and Medina.[78]

In 918 Caliph al-Muqtadir Billah ordered Sinnan Ibn-Sabat to build a new hospital. Sinan chose the site of the hospital in the area of the Syrian Gate, in the quarter at the extreme western section of Baghdad, and was named the al-Muqtadiri Hospital.[79] From his private funds the caliph gave the monthly sum of 200 dinars toward the support of the hospital. This must have been one of the great hospitals in Baghdad, judging from the list of distinguished physicians who were on the staff. Issa Bey mentions especially two of the famous ones. The first was Jibra'il ibn-Bakhtishu, the court physician of the caliph. He had come from Jundi-Shapur and had spent some thirty years of his life in Baghdad. At the hospital he spent two days and two nights each week caring for and studying the patients.[80] The other physician was Al-Razi. Issa Bey says:

Al-Razi was unquestionably the greatest savant of his century, for he knew all the sciences, especially that of medicine. He was a man of the first rank, generous, full of sympathy for the poor and their sick, whom he cared for gratuitously, and to whom he gave generously in food and alms.[81]

The Scholars of Baghdad:

It is impossible to list and deal with all the scholars who lived and worked in Baghdad. We can only make a selection, which might look wrong to some. What we say here is that so much is said elsewhere by other modern historians of science that it is impossible for this author to indulge in repeating the same, or trying to repeat the same and doing it less proficiently than they. So, he just makes what he deems a general survey to highlight the diversity of the scientific effort in medieval Baghdad.

One of the earliest scholars of Islam was Al-Fazari, Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim, an astronomer, who flourished around the second half of the 8th century. He is first heard of in connection with the building of Baghdad in the latter half of 762, when he was associated with the other early scholars of Islam: Nawbakht, Masha’Allh and Umar ibn al Farrukhan al-Tabari, who were involved in the same task.[82] The first work that al-Fazari completed was the Zij al-Sindhind al-kabir, which bore much Indian influence. Probably about 790, Al-Fazari completed the Zij ala sinin al-Arab (Astronomical tables according to the years of the Arabs), in which he apparently tabulated the mean motions of the planets for one to sixty saura days, 1,0 to 6,0 saura days (6,0 saura days being equal to one sideral year), one to sixty sideral years, and an unknown number of sixty years periods; and he obviously added tables for converting kalpa aharganas into Hijra dates.[83] Of this latter set of tables we still have copies of the Mujarrad tables for finding the day of the week with which each Muslim year and month begin.[84] Al-Fazari also gives a list of the countries of the world and their dimensions from this zij. Al-Fazari’s other works, understandably, are little known.[85] They include, however, a few lines of his poem Qasida fi ilm al-Nujum (Poem on the science of the stars), which have been preserved by the 13th century traveller-geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi, and al-Safadi. Bibliographers, more importantly, have recorded books on the use of the plane astrolabe, Al-Fazari said to be the first in Islamic civilisation to have constructed one, and an armillary sphere.[86]


Figure 10. Kitāb al-hiyal manuscript by the Banu Musa brothers (Source)

The Banu Musa, three brothers, the sons of Musa ibn Shakir, flourished in the mid ninth century Baghdad, and were involved in engineering, astronomy and mathematics.[87] Their father was a robber in his youth, but later worked for Caliph al-Mamun who sponsored his children, enrolling them in the House of Wisdom.[88] The three brothers were particularly interested in geometry, but they also led astronomical observations. It is difficult to distinguish the part played by each brother; the most important seems to have been Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Musa (died in 872/3), who was particularly skilled in geometry and astronomy, and who eventually became a celebrated local leader (kaid).[89] Ahmed was especially interested in mechanics and Hassan in geometry; the latter, Hassan, De Vaux says, had a remarkable memory and superior intellect.[90] Many mathematical, mechanical, and astronomical writings are ascribed to the brothers,[91] the most important The Book on the Balance (farastun or qarastun) and the Book on the measurement of the sphere, the trisection of the angle, and the determination of two mean proportionals between two given quantities (translated into Latin by Gherardo da Cremona under the title Liber trium fratrum de geometria).[92] Of the many works attributed to the Banu Musa was the Book on Mechanical devices which can be found in both The Vatican library and in Berlin.[93] This is the Kitab al-Hiyal (Book of Ingenious Devices).[94] Kitab al-hiyal includes the description of about a hundred devices, of which trick vessels of various sorts, fountain lamps, and other apparatuses and gears including a gas mask for use in polluted wells. The mastery of aerostatic and hydrostatic pressures, and the use of automatic control and switching systems, according to Hill, ‘make the work a unique achievement, to be surpassed only in modern times.’[95] From the treatise, Wiedemann has focused his attention on an apparatus used to gather pearls from the depth of the sea, which is formed by two cylinders lowered to the deep sea, and which close upon each other when raised above.[96] This exactly reminds of our modern techniques used in the deep oceans. The devices in the Banu Musa treatise impacted considerably on many aspects and operations of modern technology.

Ibn Sarayun (known in Latin as Ibn Serapion) (fl. Beginning of 9th century) not to be mistaken with the physician Yahia Ibn Sarafyun. A geographer, he is the author of a book on geography containing a description of the various seas, islands, lakes, mountains, and rivers of the world. His descriptions of the Euphrates and Tigris and of the Nile are very important. His account of the canals of Baghdad is our main basis or the reconstruction of the mediaeval plan of that city. This reconstruction was done by Guy Le Strange (1900) who also used many other authorities, chiefly Ya'qubi.[97] Ibn Serapion's account of the network of the water system and Ya'qubi’s description of the highroads radiating from Baghdad complete one another very well.[98] The Arabic text was edited from a manuscript in the British Museum with translation and notes.[99]

Abu’l-Faraj Muhammad Ibn Ishaq Ibn Abi Ya'qub al-Nadim al-Warraq al- Baghdadi; the two last names mean, the copyist or stationer from Baghdad (d. in 995.) Ibn al-Nadim was a Historian, bibliographer. He completed in 987-88 his "Index of the Sciences" or Fihrist al-ulum. It is, to use his own words, "the index of the books of all peoples of the Arabs and non-Arabs whereof somewhat exists in the language and script of the Arabs, on all branches of knowledge" together with biographies and appreciations of the authors.[100] It is divided into ten discourses (maqalat), which are subdivided into sections (funun). The subject of the discourses can be roughly defined as follows: (1) Languages; writings, Scriptures, Qur'an; (2) grammar and philology; (3) history, belle Lettres, biography, genealogy; (4) poetry; (5) scholastic theology; (6) jurisprudence and tradition; (7) philosophy and "ancient sciences," in three sections (a, materialist philosophy and logic; 6, mathematics, music, astronomy, mechanics, engineering; c, medicine); (8) magic and fables; (9) sects and creeds; (10) chemistry.[101]

Because of the destruction of Baghdad in 1258 by the Mongols, not one in a thousand of the books quoted in the Fihrist is extant. There is no complete translation in any language, and no translation at all in English, noted Sarton in 1927.[102] The scholar who would undertake a complete and annotated translation ‘would be sure to win the gratitude of the whole Republic of Letters,’ Sarton added.[103] This task was performed by Bayard Dodge in 1970.[104]


Figure 11. Conquest of Baghdad by the Mongols in 1258 (Source)

Abu’l Wafa al-Buzjani (940-998), as his name tells was born in Buzjan (Quhistan) but flourished in Baghdad where he died.[105] After he moved to Baghdad in 959, he wrote important works on arithmetic, trigonometry, and astronomy.[106] He wrote commentaries on Euclid, Diophantos, and al-Khwarizmi (all lost); astronomical tables (zij al-wadih.) of which we have possibly a later adaptation;[107] a practical arithmetic; "the complete book" (Kitab al-kamil), a book of applied geometry (Kitab al handasa).[108]

Abu’l-Wafa was the greatest mathematician of the tenth century, according to Kettani.[109] He wrote on solutions of geometrical problems with one opening of the compass; Constructions of a square equivalent to other squares; Regular polyhedra; approximate construction of regular heptagon (taking for its side half the side of the equilateral triangle inscribed in the same circle); Constructions of parabola by points; Geometrical solution of x4 = a and X4 + ax3 = b.[110]

His work: Fīmāyahtāju ilaihi l-kuttāb wa-l-ummāl min ‘ilm al-hisāb (On What Scribes and Officials Need from the Science of Arithmetic)[111] was written for state officials, and therefore gives an insight into tenth-century Islamic administration.[112] His interest in practical mathematics is obvious in the following works:

-Fīmā yahtāju ilaihi as-sāni˓min a˓māl al-handasīya (On the Geometrical Constructions Necessary for the Craftsman), written after 990.

-Al-Mudkhal al-hifzī ilā sinā˓at al-arithmātiqī (Introduction to Arithmetical Constructions).

-Risāla al-shamsīya fīl-fawā’id al-hisābīya (On the Benefit of Arithmetic).

On What Scribes and Officials Need, written between 961 and 976, was extremely popular. The first three parts, “On Ratio,” “On Multiplication and Division,” and “Mensuration,” are purely mathematical.[113] The other four contain solutions of practical problems with regard to taxes, problems related to harvest, exchange of money units, conversion of payment in kind to cash, problems related to mail, weight units, and five problems concerning wells.[114] In this compendium Abu’l-Wafa sets forth the methods of calculation used by merchants, clerks in the departments of finance, and land surveyors in their daily work; also introducing refinements of commonly used methods and criticism of some for being incorrect.[115] Ahmad S. Saidan has made an extensive study of Abu’l Wafa’s arithmetics.[116]

In astronomy, Abu’l Wafa made observations and assisted at observations in the garden of the palace of Sharaf al-Dawla, and wrote two astronomical handbooks.[117] Information about his tables is found in later zijes that incorporated material from his works, such as the Baghdadi Zij, compiled shortly before the year 1285. This includes a solar equation table attributed to Abu’l-Wafa.[118] In his Risāla fī iqāmat al-burhān ‘alā ’l-dā’ir min al- falak min qaws al-nahār wa‘rtifā’ nisf al-nahār wa‘rtifā’ al-waqt (On Establishing the Proof of the [rule for finding the] Arc of Revolution from the Day Arc, the Noon Altitude, and the Altitude at the Time), Abu’l-Wafa deals with a fundamental problem of ancient astronomy that of finding the time in terms of solar altitude.[119] He mentions in the introduction that the formula stated by Habash al-Hasib (fl. 850) is only approximate. Abu’l-Wafa gives three proofs of the formula.[120]

 Abu’l-Wafa' contributed considerably to the development of trigonometry.[121] He was probably the first to show the generality of the sine theorem relative to spherical triangles; he gave a new method of constructing sine tables, the value of sin 30’ being correct to the eighth decimal place.[122] He made a special study of the tangent; calculated a table of tangents; introduced the secant and cosecant; knew those simple relations between the six trigonometric lines, which are now often used to define them.[123] Contrary to Hindu trigonometry and most Islamic astronomers, Abu’l Wafa was one of the few who defined the trigonometric functions with respect to the unit circle, as is the case nowadays.[124]

In Fī hirāfat al-ab˓ād bain al-masākin (On the Determination of the Distances Between Localities) Abu’l-Wafa gives two rules for calculating the great circle distance between a pair of points on the earth’s surface.[125] He, Yvonne Dold Samplonius explains, ‘applies both to a worked example: given the terrestrial coordinates of Baghdad and Mecca he calculates the distance between them, a matter of some interest to Iraqi Muslims undertaking the pilgrimage.’[126]

On some of the influence of Abu’l Wafa on subsequent Western science, a return must be made to the work by Sedillot, unfortunately extant only in French, and dating from the 19th century.[127] Baron Carra de Vaux holds that the secant can be found in Abu’l-Wafa, something he calls ‘the diameter of the shadow,' and whose introduction is credited to Copernicus.[128]

Al-Karaji (al-Karkhi), Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad ibn al-Husayn (al-Hasan) (fl. ca. 1000), was a mathematician active in Baghdad. Virtually nothing is known of his origins, teachers, or education, except what he himself wrote:

When I arrived in Iraq and saw how both small and great people loved and venerated science, I began to write works on arithmetic and geometry, one quickly after another, until I went back to the mountain countries [cities located between Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kurdistan, Persia, and the lands bordering on the Caspian Sea] where I came to stay.[129]

Al-Karkhi relates to Karkh, a suburb of Baghdad, where the author flourished under the vizierate of Abu Ghalib Muhammad ibn Khalaf Fakhr al-Mulk.[130] It is confirmed by others that al-Karkhi wrote all his mathematical and almost all his scientific works in Baghdad. Al-Karkhi’s contribution is most important in algebra and arithmetic. His three extant treatises on mathematics have often been referred to by subsequent mathematicians and bibliographers: al-Fakhri and al-Badi', both on algebra, and al-Kafi, on arithmetic.[131] His book on arithmetic (the sufficient on calculation, al-kafi fi’l-hisab) has been translated into German by A. Hochheim.[132] There are two other extant texts, a short elementary treatise on algebra, 'al-hisab al-jabr (Oxford, Bodleian, 1, 986, 3), and a fragment on the arithmetic triangle, cited by his thirteenth-century successor, the mathematician al-Samawal.[133] In addition to his books on mathematics, al-Karkhi wrote an engineering work on "extraction of underground waters" (Inbat al-miyah al-khafiyyat). Other works attributed to him seem to be lost.[134]

 In order to understand al-Karkhi's importance and the meaning of his contribution, Rashed explains, it is necessary to review briefly the conception of algebra since it had been established as an autonomous discipline by al-Khwarizmi at the beginning of the ninth century. In his Algebra al-Khwarizmi conceives algebra mainly as a theory of equations of the first and second degrees.[135] He examines associated binomials and trinomials and then discusses the solution of arithmetic and geometric problems, which, according to his view, can all be reduced to one of six basic equations. The elaboration of the tools of abstract algebraic calculus made it possible for al-Karkhi to conceive a new mathematical project: the arithmetisation of algebra.[136] In the words of one commentator, he enabled the algebraist "to work with unknowns with all the arithmetic instruments, just as the arithmetician works with the knowns." This involves a transposition and extension of elementary arithmetic operations—the algorithms as well as Euclidean division or the extraction of roots—to algebraic terms and expressions, and particularly to polynomials. Thanks to the arithmetisation of algebra, al-Karkhi arrived at the construction of the algebra of polynomials and also gained a better understanding of the algebraic structure of real numbers.[137] One of the consequences of this new project was the algebraic interpretation of Book X of Euclid's Elements. Previously considered a geometry book by most mathematicians, it was reinterpreted by al-Karkhi as a book on algebra.[138] According to this new view, its concepts refer not only to geometric magnitudes but also to magnitudes in general, numerical as well as geometric.[139]

Al-Karkhi's work marked forever arithmetic algebra. He stands at the beginning of a whole tradition, which brings together the most important algebraist-arithmeticians from the twelfth until the fifteenth century, such as al-Samaw'al, al-Farisi, al-Kashi, and also the most notable Western mathematicians, such as Leonardo of Pisa (Leonardo Fibonacci).[140]

Al-Karkhi made other contributions. He defines points, lines, surfaces, solids and angles. He also gives rules for measuring both plane and solid figures, often using arches as examples. He also gives methods of weighing different substances. [141]

Al-Ghazali, known in Europe as Algazel, is one of the most illustrious Muslim scholars, born in 1058 near the city of Tus and died in 1111. He was the son of a poor, illiterate man, and as a youth, studied law, theology and philosophy, then became a teacher of law, and he became famous throughout Islam for his eloquence and learning.[142] Focus in this article is on Al Ghazali as a teacher, a profession he held primarily in Baghdad. Al-Ghazali spent much of his life teaching and writing, making stays in Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad, where he flourished and where he taught at the Nizamiyyah College. Al-Ghazali wrote:

It has always been my practice, as a youth and as a man, to thirst for knowledge of the true nature of things…. So that I can be freed from the bond of imitation.[143]

For al-Ghazali personal knowledge should spur on to good deeds which please God and lead to salvation.[144] In his thirties, he became the principal teacher at the Madrasah Nizamiyyah of Baghdad, the most renowned institution of learning in eastern Islam (Cordova in the West). His ideas on education dominated Islamic educational thought for centuries after his death.  He studied the education of the child and the role of the master. According to Al-Ghazali ‘knowledge exists potentially in the human soul like the seed in the soil; by learning the potential becomes actual.’[145] The child, al-Ghazali also wrote, ‘is a trust (placed by God) in the hands of his parents, and his innocent heart is a precious element capable of taking impressions.’[146] Al-Ghazali insists that a child should be taught the words of the creed in his earliest days and be taught the meaning gradually as he grew older; corresponding to the three stages of memorising, understanding and conviction.[147] The way the child relates to the world at large occupies a large concern in Al-Ghazali’s mind.[148] In concert with Ibn al-Hajj,[149] he stresses amongst others that a child must not boast about his father’s wealth, and must be polite and attentive to all. He should be taught not to love money for love of it is a deadly poison.  The perspective of al-Ghazali is centred upon personal effort in the search for truth; and this presupposes, he insists, a received education and the direction of a master.[150] Education (tarbiya), Al-Ghazali states in Ayyuha l-walad is like `the labour of the farmer, who uproots the weeds, trims wheat so as it grows better and gives a better harvest.'[151]

The religion al-Ghazali preaches was a vivid one, full of the love of God on the one hand, and of the horrors of sin and hell on the other.[152] Al-Ghazali’s views on religion and faith were written largely in Jerusalem after he secluded himself in the Aqsa Mosque, and details on such views are found in the article on the said city. But briefly, here, his most influential books were the Destruction of Philosophy and the Revival of the Science of Religion (Ihya Ulum Addin). In these he argues that sensation is illusory, and that reason, based on sensation, is deceptive and leads only to doubt.[153] Logic and science cannot prove God the only great reality. Only a life of prayer and good works can bring man to know God, at the same time, without a belief in God and a desire to do His will there can be no moral order in society. [154]

Al Ghazali was a very influential scholar. His Maqasid al-Falasifah (the aims of the philosophers) translated into Latin in the 12th century became very influential amongst scholastic Christian theologians.[155]

Al-Baghdadi is sometimes known as Ibn Tahir, ibn Abdallah al-Tamini al-Shaffi al-Baghdadi (980-1037). We can deduce from al-Baghdadi's last two names that he was descended from the Bani Tamim tribe, one of the Sharif tribes of ancient Arabia, and that he belonged to the Madhhab Shafi'i school of religious law.[156] In Asfirayin, al-Baghdadi taught for many years in the mosque on several subjects never taking any payment. Although he was one of the greatest theologians of his age, and many works are attributed to him, none has been studied scientifically. Here concern is with two mathematical works of his.[157]

The first book is a small treatise on mensuration: Kitab fi'l-misaha, which gives the units of length, area, and volume, and ordinary mensuration rules.[158] The second treatise, al-Takmila fi'l-Hisab, is a work in which al-Baghdadi, in the introduction notes that earlier works are either too brief to be of great use or are concerned with only one chapter (system) of arithmetic. In this work, therefore, he seeks to explain all kinds of arithmetic in use.[159]

Several important results in number theory appear in the al-Takmila as do comments which allow us to obtain information on certain texts of al-Khwarizmi which are now lost.[160] In al-Takmila, Al-Baghdadi gives an interesting discussion of abundant numbers, deficient numbers, perfect numbers and equivalent numbers.[161]

The Greek mathematician Nicomachus had made claims about perfect numbers in around 100 CE which were accepted, seemingly without question, in Europe up to the 16th century. However, al-Baghdadi knew that certain claims made by Nicomachus were false.[162]

The last of Al-Baghdadi’s seven systems, business arithmetic, begins with business problems and ends with two chapters on curiosities that would find a place in any modern book on recreational problems or the modulo principle. One example can be given here: Your partner thinks of a number not greater than 105. He casts out fives and is left with a; he casts out sevens and he is left with b; he casts out threes and is left with c; Calculate 21a+ 15b+ 70c; cast out 105’s, and the residue is the number.[163]   

'Ali ibn 'Isa was a notable oculist (kahhal) of Baghdad, whose life falls in the first half of the 11th century. His main work is Tadkirat al-kahhalin, or (Manual for Oculists), or (Note-book of the Oculists,). It is the classical handbook of Muslim ophthalmology, translated once into Hebrew and twice into Latin, and was printed, with the title of Tractatus de oculis Jesu Halis, in Venice in 1497, 1499, and 1500.[164] It is the oldest Muslim work on ophthalmology that is complete and survives in the original.[165] It would be of interest to the modern reader to quote Elgood on the three sections of the Tadkirat:

The first part is devoted to anatomy, the second to the external diseases of the eye, and the third part to internal diseases of the eye which are not visible upon inspection. This last section is perhaps the most interesting from a modern point of view, for it shows the very definite limitations of Greek and Arab ophthalmology. The ophthalmoscope and the power of seeing the retina have revolutionized ophthalmologic practice. When Ali speaks of internal diseases of the eye, he literally means diseases confined to the eye. The possibility of first diagnosing diabetes, kidney disease and cerebral tumour in the ophthalmic consulting room is not conceived of by the oculists of those times. The nearest approach that Ali makes to the modern conception of eye disease as a manifestation of general disease is when he urges the practitioner to realize that defective vision may be due to a disease of the stomach or brain just as much as to an incipient cataract. And with that he leaves the question.[166]

Despite this limitation which was common to all oculists of Ibn Isa’s day and which continued for many centuries later, his Tadkirat, passed over to Europe and became the foundation of Western practice.[167] It has been used on a large scale by later Muslim oculists until the present day, both for the practical and theoretical portions, and whole chapters have frequently been quoted, and a German translation of the Manual for oculists' based on the Muslim manuscripts can be found.[168]

Ibn Jazla was born of Christian parents at Baghdad in 1074, and converted later to Islam.[169] His dispositio corporum de constittutione hominis, Tacuin agritudinum, as the name implies was translated into Latin. There is a story, which says that he was the physicist for Charlemagne, and that he wrote his Tables or Tacuin at the instigation of the latter.[170] This story by Browne has no historical foundation unless Ibn Jazla was two century older, for indeed, Charlemagne was emperor down to 814.  The Tacuin was translated by the Jew Farragut and the Latin version was published in 1532. A German translation was published at Strasbourg in 1533 by Hans Schotte.[171] Ibn Jazla also wrote another work which was translated by Jambolinus, and was known in Latin translation as the Cibis and medicines simplicibus.

Al-Badi al-Asturlabi (d. 1140) died at Baghdad; a Muslim astronomer; director of astronomical observations in the palace of the Seljuk sultan of Iraq, Mughith al-Din Mahmud; compiled astronomical tables, known as the Zij al-Mahmudi (the Mahmudic tables; the greatest expert of those times in the knowledge and construction of astrolabes.[172] He made astronomical observations in Baghdad in 1130.[173] He also wrote a complement to the book of Al-Khujandi on the universal instrument, which is kept in few examples such as at Birmingham (560), and Tehran (Nasiri A2).[174]

The Destruction of Baghdad

Baghdad stayed away from the Crusades conflict, the Abbasid Caliph resolutely refraining from any too militant attitude. As the fighting took place in Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, Baghdad was hence spared the woes that afflicted other places. Tragedy came to Baghdad much later in the mid 13th century, from another direction, from the east. Baghdad fell to the Mongols in February 1258. The massacre of its million or so inhabitants, and the disastrous impact this had on the civilisation of Islam is recognised by older Western historical sources, in particular. Thomas Arnold comments:

Muslim civilisation has never recovered from the destructions which the Mongols inflicted upon it.... Under the command of Hulagu, they appeared before the walls of Baghdad, and after a brief siege the last Caliph of the Abbasid house, Mustasim, had to surrender, and was put to death together with most of the members of his family; 800,000 of the inhabitants were brought out in batches from the city to be massacred, and the greater part of the city itself was destroyed by fire.[175]

Glubb’s outline of the capture of the city is as follows:

On 10th February (1258), the Khalif Mustasim gave himself up. Hulagu ordered him to instruct the whole population to gather on the plain outside the walls, where they also were shot, slashed and hacked to death in heaps, regardless of age or sex. Not until 13th February did the Mongols enter the city. For a week, they had been waiting on the walls, not a man daring to leave his unit to plunder. Such iron discipline, unknown in the Middle Ages, goes far to account for their invincibility. The city was then systematically looted, destroyed and burnt. Eight hundred thousand persons are said to have been killed. The Khalif Mustasim was sewn up in a sack and trampled to death under the feet of Mongol horses."[176]

Glubb concludes:

For five hundred years, Baghdad had been a city of palaces, mosques, libraries and colleges. Its universities and hospitals were the most up to date in the world. Nothing now remained but heaps of rubble and a stench of decaying human flesh."[177]

Increasingly, though, and for a while, now, the history of the city, the demise of Islamic civilisation, the role of the Mongols in this, and who even the Mongols were, have all been distorted to such a degree hardly anyone makes any sense of anything. Of course this author is not going to resolve every issue to the length and clarity everyone seeks. What will be done here in view of the many constraints is to clarify the situation well enough, and offer enough good sources for whoever wishes to delve deeper into the matter.

First who were the Mongols? What’s their role? And why did they do what they did?

There is an unfortunate error, fallacy, myth, or something of similar nature that has found its way into historical knowledge and that is leaving many people in the worst confusion at best. They understand nothing about the Mongols, and believe that the Mongols were Muslims, that the Turks are in fact Mongols, and that it was the Turks who destroyed Baghdad in 1258. For many, the Turks have been responsible for the collapse of Muslim civilisation. This, whenever read or heard by many, raises their hostility towards the Turks.  This hostility is worse amongst those who are made to believe that the Turks who came into Egypt, North Africa, and Arabia, early in the 16th century, were imperialists who ruined these parts of the world and terribly treated their populations.

Of course, as people’s poor knowledge of history is a major manifestation of Muslim society, and as historians, including Turks, are not doing their job to correct such and other distortions (with few exceptions such as Mesut Uyar,[178] and the now departed Salahi Sonyel,) such distortions are easily absorbed by most.

A correct understanding of history is absolutely necessary, for history has great impact, as we just briefly noted, on both present and future. However, this author is not going to be as the French say ‘Au Four et au Moulin’ (to take care of both oven and mill). He has limits, and definitely is not the Superman of historical truth. He can only do as much as he can. Regarding the so-called Ottoman imperial policy of the early 16th century, this author has dealt with it in part in heading 3 of his essay on the Ottoman Navy. He is not going to repeat anything he wrote there. Readers interested need to make the necessary step over.

Here focus is on the Mongols. Let’s, first, explain the origins of the confusion between Mongols and Turks. Regarding this issue, we won’t say anything in regard to today’s Muslim historians’ incompetence and Muslim society poor book readership for this website is a family friendly web-site that rejects any form of aggressive writing. Instead let’s deal with the other fundamental causes of this confusion.

The Sources of the Confusion

Sir Sykes (the father of the Sykes-Picot Treaty,) who, when employed by the British Ministry of War Propaganda during the First World War (1914-1918), played a major role in making it a scholarly fact that Baghdad was not destroyed by the Mongols in 1258 but by the Turks. Sir Sykes even fabricated quotations by different members of the Ottoman government claiming that it was, indeed, the Turks who had invaded and destroyed Baghdad, Sykes’ action being ‘a conscious attempt,’ The Swedish diplomat/scholar, Karllson, remarks, ‘to interfuse the history of the Turks and the Mongols.’[179] This was done then in order to widen the divide between Arabs and Turks when the Arabs were needed to back-stab the Turks during the First World War. This might have also inspired some of today’s scholars who turn one into the other and the deeds and misdeeds of one are attributed to the other.

Although the Mongol army might have included Turks, and also many other Muslims, in many cases, Muslims were forced to fight in the van of the Mongol armies or perish with their families. There is also a minority amongst Muslims who willingly served the Mongol cause, whether in the destruction of Baghdad and Syria, and also in China in killing and persecuting both Chinese and Muslims of China.

Who were the Mongols?

From around the 13th century, there could be observed, or noted, two main strands of Mongols, which is a major source that complicates everybody’s life, including unfortunately many scholars who try to enlighten us. So, let’s begin with a map to show it simply and clearly and then add the text to clarify things further.


Figure 12. Map depicting Asia during the 13th Century.

We can see clearly from this excellent map, that the area traced in green to the top left corresponds to the territory of the Golden Horde, whom we can call Good Mongols, who early joined Islam, and fought together with the Mamluks, and did not slay Muslims. Under Berke, who had adopted Islam early, they were the allies of the Mamluks and other Turks, and had opposed and even fought Hulagu and his descendants.[180] These Mongols formed the ancestors of many modern day Turks, for their territory was incorporated in places under the Ottoman realm by Mehmet II. These Mongols of the north suffered grievously due to Timur’s invasions, which in fact were at the source of the collapse of their power, and the reason why subsequently they lost most of their land to the Russians.

If we look at the map again, we see the Mongols of the southern parts, based in Persia, and whose territory is surrounded in red. These were the Mongols who were behind the woes of Islam, even when apparently they had converted to Islam (see entry on Damascus for more on this issue). We look now at these southern Mongols’ acts against Islam.

The Mongol misdeeds and why

There is a recurrent claim that there was a Mongol (among those of the South: Mongke, Hulagu, and Kubilai and their descendants) ‘tolerance’ of all religions and that Muslims were allies or close to these Mongols.[181] Ibn Taymiyya, as we have seen in the entry on Damascus, explained many centuries ago what Mongol tolerance meant in such a masterly way no scholar today, including this author, can match.

The scholars making the claim of Mongol tolerance have, indeed, little knowledge of Mongol-Muslim history such as that the Mongols killed millions of Muslims in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere.[182] In Baghdad alone, they massacred 800,000 people.[183] Muslims who served them did so either to save their lives or out of narrow political, sectarian, or other interests. Included amongst the latter Muslims we can cite the Vizier of the Abbasid Caliph, Ibn Alqami, who played a central role in the collapse of the Caliphate; the vizier in the Ayyubid court of Damascus, Zein Eddin al-Hafizi; also included were the Persian scholars and civil servants: Nassir Eddin al-Tusi, Rashid Eddin, Al-Juwaini, his brother, Shams Eddin, and others, who were even present at the destruction of Baghdad and during the mass slaughter of its population.[184] It is not because of these exceptions that it should be claimed that Muslims were allies or servants of the Mongols. It is utterly illogical; and should we use the same logic of the exception turned into a rule, we will have to rewrite the whole world history, even turning every single Ally into a friend of the Nazis during World War Two just because some Ally subjects had sympathy, or worked, for the Nazis. The historical truth regarding Mongols and Islam is that throughout history Muslims were loathed by the Mongols, slain by the Mongols, and the whole collapse of Muslim civilisation and power was due in large measure to the Mongols (and the Crusaders). The Muslim victims of massacres by the Mongols were in the millions, whether during the first invasions by Genghis Khan (1219-1221), or in the second by Hulagu (1258 and after).[185] The destruction of the Muslim world from Khwarizm to Nishapur, Merw, Bukhara, Samarkand, Aleppo, Baghdad, and so on was by the Mongols.[186]

Now we note a crucial element of the history of such southern Mongols: an alliance was made between the Papacy and these Mongols aiming at the destruction of Islam.[187] The simple reason was that Hulagu, his generals, his brothers, including Mongke and Kubilai (who became Emperor in China) were all either Christian or their mothers or wives, or both were; and they all shared in their loathing of all things Islamic or Turkish.[188]

Throughout the 13th and 14th centuries countless coalitions and alliances were built between these Mongols and Crusaders and also Christian rulers, including Byzantines, in joint military campaigns against Muslims in general and Turks in particular.[189] Mongol leaders such as Ghazan (d.1304), for instance, were in constant contact and alliance with the Christians whether of the East or of the West (see entry on Damascus).

This alliance with the Mongols was built in the 1240-early 1250s by the Crusader leadership and the popes. It was made possible by the fact that not just both sides hated Islam, but most importantly by the fact that Nestorian Christianity held a great place alongside Shamanism amongst Mongol beliefs.[190] Hulagu, the Mongol leader who was to take Baghdad in 1258, and his general Kitbuka had affinities with Nestorian Christianity.[191] It was Hulagu’s protection of the Nestorians, and the respect with which he welcomed and promoted the Katholikos Nestorian of Baghdad, which was to play a major role in the alliance between Mongols and Crusaders.[192] Hulagu’s wife, Doqouz Khatun, was also Christian, and she ferociously loathed Islam.[193] She, personally, had great influence,[194] and in order to please her, Hulagu supported and promoted this community, so that it was able to build new churches everywhere.[195] In fact the wives of Mongke, Kubilai and Hulagu, all of them Christians, played the leading part in the favours shown by the Mongols to the Christians.[196] And the Popes in Rome, aware of this, in order to achieve their wished aims, worked very hard to stimulate the zeal of these Christian wives.[197] The Latin envoys to the Mongols did not just find churches in very large numbers, they also found that Christians exerted functions with great influence in the local Mongol communities.[198] There were also Christian soldiers employed as archers, or sailors... and adventurers all in the Mongol court.[199]

In order to cement the Christian alliance with the Mongols, a strong number of Christian envoys were sent to the Mongols by St Louis, King of France, and the Popes.[200] In 1245, Pope Innocent IV commissioned Giovanni de Carpini to explore the alliance with the Mongols against Islam.[201] In 1249, in Cyprus, there came Mongol envoys to the devout French king, St Louis, on his way to attack Egypt, offering alliance against the Muslims.[202] The agreed joint attack by Louis and the Mongols failed because Louis’ crusade was crushed by the Mamluks (led by Baybars) at the Battle of Al Mansurah (in 1250), whilst the death of the Mongol leader, Guyuk, prevented the Mongols from attacking until a new Emperor was elected.[203] Three or so years later, in 1253, St Louis sent the Franciscan William of Rubrouck to the Mongols.[204] He was tasked to meet the great leader himself, Mongke Khan further to the east.[205] These envoys were mainly Franciscan and Dominican missionaries.[206] Ironically, they generally passed through the lands controlled by Muslim rulers, and with their blessings and help.[207]

The details of such an alliance have been partly uncovered by Pelliot,[208] Spuler,[209] Saunders,[210] and above all, in the best work on the subject by the Swedish diplomat and scholar: Baron d’Ohsson.[211] But the Vatican remains silent on the details of such alliance.[212] Western authorities, religious, or scholarly, remain on the whole, silent about such an alliance, seeking to detach the Christian role from the Mongol atrocities committed against the Muslims.[213]  What is definitely known is that, three years after the return of the Pope’s envoy, Rubrouck, Hulagu crossed Persia and devastated Baghdad.[214] Christian quarters, on the other hand, were spared.[215]And it did not stop there, the Mongols destroyed nearly the whole of Syria (see the entries on Damascus and Aleppo), and advanced on Egypt to destroy the last power standing in front of them: The Mamluks. This advance and devastation of the land of Islam followed a promise by Mongke, the Mongol general, brother of Hulagu, to the King of Armenia to conquer the Holy Land and give it straight back to the Christians.[216] For the Christians, however, it was not Jerusalem that was the aim, but to turn the Mongols `into a major asset for the West,’[217] and `to deal the mortal blow to the Muslims and thus guarantee the rule of the cross over the Holy Land.’[218] For the Christian West the Mongol invasions were, indeed, aimed at `the final and long awaited fall of Islam.’[219] Maybe reaching even further, such invasions a response to a dream `of a world from which the Arabs had been eradicated.’[220]

The Fallacies Regarding the Fall of Baghdad and the Collapse of Islamic Civilisation:

The collapse of Islamic civilisation in nearly all modern works dealing with Islam and its civilisation is blamed on Islam and its `Orthodox’ followers. Particularly blamed are the Caliph al-Mutawakil and the theologian al-Ashari after he converted to Sunni Islam. Multhauf, for instance, says:

Abbasid metaphysical toleration began to break down under the caliph Mutawakkil (847-61) who backed the Orthodox Sunnite sect against Muslim liberalism.[221]

For Durant:

The whole structure of Islam, resting on the Koran, seemed ready to collapse. In this crisis three factors made Orthodoxy victorious: a conservative caliph, the rise of the Turkish guard, and the natural loyalty of the people to their inherited beliefs. Al Mutawakkil, coming to the throne in 847, based his support upon the populace and the Turks; and the Turks, new converts to Mohammedanism, hostile to the Persians, and strangers to Greek thought, gave themselves with a whole heart to a policy of saving the faith by the sword."[222]

Al-Ashari (b. in Basra in 873-874-d.935-6) [Sarton tells us] was first a Mu'tazilite, he was `reconverted to Sunnite orthodoxy in 913 and henceforth his whole activity was devoted to the rationalization and the defence of his faith.’ He may be called the founder of Muslim scholasticism, and re-established theological unity and orthodoxy.[223]

The ‘destructive’ role of al-Ashari is also told by Wiet et al:

His (Al-Ashari) ideas were seized on by the pious bigots, and it was this group that precipitated the decline of Islamic intellectual life. Its pietist rigour could lead nowhere but to the enslavement of thought; its ideas were imposed on the believer in the form of a catechism.[224]

For E.G. Browne, the destructiveness of al-Ashari’s influence ‘compares to that of Genghis Khan and Hulagu.’[225]

Multhauf also acknowledges that:

An Orthodox and anti intellectual reaction gained momentum in Baghdad during the lifetime of al-Farabi (b.ca 870; d. Damascus 950), and the great philosophers of Islam subsequently appeared elsewhere."[226]

The Mamluks (just like other Turks) are also blamed for the devastation of the land of Islam. Hence for Ashtor:

The Mamluks were foreigners ruling over millions of people who were excluded from the higher ranks of the feudal hierarchy. They had no interest in developing the economic forces of their countries. So their rule degenerated into reckless exploitation, which ruined once flourishing countries."[227]

Hence according to this narrative, whilst Al-Mutawaqil, the Turks, al-Ashari, and the Mamluks destroyed Islamic civilisation, the Mongols, on the other hand, did it hardly any harm, and in fact did Islamic civilisation much good. The Mongols only killed 100,000 people tells us Ashtor, and the blood letting that accompanied the Mongol conquest was followed by a sort of recovery. The administration of Irak by Ata Malik Djuwaini, who held his post for 24 years (1258-82), brought relief to the sorely afflicted country.[228]

Of course Ashtor fails to tell us that Djuwaini was at the service of the Mongols.

Trade, it is also claimed, thrived under such same Mongols:

On the other hand, the trade of Iraq with Persia and the countries of Central Asia was considerably intensified after the Mongol conquests. Iraqi merchants began to regularly visit Khwarizm and to travel through Turkestan to China. Others took advantage of the Pax Mongolica to carry on trade with Kiptchak, the great Mongol kingdom north of the Caucasus."[229]

Obviously Ashtor knows very little history, for Iraqi merchants had already visited China centuries earlier.[230] Nor does he know his geography, for the Kiptchak Mongol realm of the North Caucasus was a completely different one from the one in Iran as shown in the map above.

Let’s here deal briefly with the claims made above in regard to al-Mutawakil and Al-Ashari. Thousands of Muslim scholars flourished around and after the time of both men, and thus to accuse them of having ended Islamic civilisation is one of the most ridiculous claims one can come across.

With regard to the Mongol factor, which Ashtor, and the hordes of modern historians who today praise Mongol accomplishments in civilising the land of Islam, this is equally puzzling to this author. Every single contemporary depicted the Mongols’ devastation of the land of Islam.[231] We will show, albeit briefly, for there is no need to indulge in gore, some aspects of Mongol devastation of the land of Islam. Let’s first look at the role of Muslims, especially the Abbasid Caliphs’ and some of their Viziers’ role in such destruction.

The Not so Blameless Role of the Abbasid Caliphate:

Many people have an overawed attitude towards the Abbasid Caliphate as an age of glory, and great characters. Let’s disappoint them: it was not that wonderful, all the time, at all. The Abbasid Caliphate had, and, from the start, horrendous moments of corruption, civil wars, degenerate characters in leadership, murderers also in the lead, and much else. Al Ma’mun, himself, the so called father of Islamic civilisation never played such a role, and, although he had some decent qualities, he was also a persecutor of the faithful, and he even instaured the Inquisition. Of course, his Inquisition was not as murderous as the Spanish Inquisition,[232] for it is hard to beat the latter in all that is evil, but he still did not like dissent, and relied on inflicting physical pain on quite a few imams who disagreed with him. Under his rule, the Mu'tazilites were favoured as the empire's official school.[233] The great Muslim imam, Ibn Hanbal, was famously called before the Inquisition or Mihna of the Caliph. Al-Ma'mun wanted to assert the religious authority of the Caliph by pressuring scholars to adopt the Mu’tazila view that the Qur'an was created rather than uncreated.[234] Ibn Hanbal was among the scholars to resist the Caliph's interference and the Mu’tazila doctrine of a created Qur'an.[235] Due to his refusal to accept Mu'tazilite authority, Ibn Hanbal was imprisoned in Baghdad throughout the reign of Al Ma’mun. During the rule of al-Ma'mun's successor, Al Mu’tasim (833-842), Ibn Hanbal was flogged to unconsciousness.[236] After al-Mu’tasim’s death, Al Wathiq became caliph (on 5 January 842). Al-Wathiq was fond of eating and drinking. He played the lute and composed more than a hundred musical works. He took little interest in government, which he left entirely to his vizier. He died in 847 after a reign of six years.[237] Before his death, he continued his predecessors policies of Mu'tazilite enforcement and in this pursuit, he banished Ibn Hanbal from Baghdad.[238] It was only after al-Wathiq's death and the arrival of his brother, Al Mutawaqil, that Ibn Hanbal was welcomed back to Baghdad.[239]

We will return to the last Abbasid Caliph to show that it was his corruption, weakness, and unsatiable eagerness for the goods and joys of this earth, strenously trying not to take any risk to endanger them that in the end cost the Caliphate to the House of Abbas, and also cost the lives of over a million people in 1258.

Ibn Khaldun writes:

Corruption of the individual inhabitants is the result of painful and trying efforts to satisfy their needs caused by their luxurious customs; the result of the negative qualities they have acquired in the process of satisfying (those needs), and the damage the soul suffers after it has obtained them. Immorality, wrong-doing, insincerity and deceit for the purpose of making a living in a proper or improper manner has increased among them. The soul comes to think about (making a living), to study it, and use all possible deceit for that purpose. People are now devoted to lying, gambling, cheating, fraud, theft, perjury, usury... Thus, the affairs of people are disordered, and the affairs of the individual deteriorate one by one, the city becomes disorganized and falls into ruin."[240]

Indeed, Ibn Khaldun warned many centuries back that once the restraining powers of Islam are removed, and society abandons the early simplicity of Islam, and begins to  indulge in overconsumption and ever seeking more and more to the point of becoming wasteful, it becomes self destructive. The urge to overspend and indulge, by both individual and society at large, always leads to collapse, for once the demon is out there, there is no chance of restraining the insatiable needs of both individual and society until the moment they drown in their excesses and waste. The Abbasid Caliphate had reached that stage. The luxuries and culture of waste had become generalised. In Baghdad, everything was plastered with gold. Not only was it used to adorn the women but also the pillars and the roof beams of the houses.[241] The buckles of the men’s belts were gold, which likewise covered the hilts and scabbards of their swords and daggers, and the saddles and the bridles of their horses.[242] Women, many of them concubines collected from distant countries, ‘were adorned by the lavish use of jewels and pearls. Everywhere abounded the silks and embroidered fabrics, the priceless carpets and cushions, the sparkling fountains, the soft music and the exotic perfumes of the private apartments.’[243]

Here we must go back to an old source that captures the state of decay of the Caliphate much better than any modern one. The 18th century historian, Gibbon, tells us:

The caliph Al-Mamun might proudly assert, that it was easier for him to rule the East and the West, than to manage a chess-board of two feet square, yet I suspect that in both those games he was guilty of many fatal mistakes; and I perceive, that in the distant provinces the authority of the first and most powerful of the Abbassides was already impaired.  The analogy of despotism invests the representative with the full majesty of the prince; the division and balance of powers might relax the habits of obedience, might encourage the passive subject to inquire into the origin and administration of civil government.  He who is born in the purple is seldom worthy to reign; but the elevation of a private man, of a peasant, perhaps, or a slave, affords a strong presumption of his courage and capacity.  The viceroy of a remote kingdom aspires to secure the property and inheritance of his precarious trust; the nations must rejoice in the presence of their sovereign; and the command of armies and treasures are at once the object and the instrument of his ambition.  A change was scarcely visible as long as the lieutenants of the caliph were content with their vicarious title; while they solicited for themselves or their sons a renewal of the Imperial grant, and still maintained on the coin and in the public prayers the name and prerogative of the commander of the faithful.  But in the long and hereditary exercise of power, they assumed the pride and attributes of royalty; the alternative of peace or war, of reward or punishment, depended solely on their will; and the revenues of their government were reserved for local services or private magnificence.  Instead of a regular supply of men and money, the successors of the prophet were flattered with the ostentatious gift of an elephant, or a cast of hawks, a suit of silk hangings, or some pounds of musk and amber."[244]

Gibbon also blames:

The luxury of the caliphs, so useless to their private happiness, relaxed the nerves, and terminated the progress, of the Arabian empire. Temporal and spiritual conquest had been the sole occupation of the first successors of Mahomet; and after supplying themselves with the necessaries of life, the whole revenue was scrupulously devoted to that salutary work. The Abbasids were impoverished by the multitude of their wants, and their contempt of economy.  Instead of pursuing the great object of ambition, their leisure, their affections, the powers of their mind, were diverted by pomp and pleasure: the rewards of valour were embezzled by women and eunuchs, and the royal camp was encumbered by the luxury of the palace.  A similar temper was diffused among the subjects of the caliph.  Their stern enthusiasm was softened by time and prosperity. They sought riches in the occupations of industry, fame in the pursuits of literature, and happiness in the tranquillity of domestic life.  War was no longer the passion of the Saracens; and the increase of pay, the repetition of donatives, were insufficient to allure the posterity of those voluntary champions who had crowded to the standard of Abu Bekr and Omar for the hopes of spoil and of paradise."[245]

Personifying this decadence of Abbasid power was the last of their caliphs: Mustasim. The Mongols had already slaughtered millions in the east by the time they reached the capital of the Caliphate, Baghdad, in January 1258.[246] Mustasim, who was the ruling caliph, in the words of Baron d’Ohsson:

Lacked good judgment and energy, and delegated the levers of power to his ministers, whilst he spent his time in frivolous occupations. He was passionate for music, the spectacles offered by passing singers and mimes, and amusements of the sort. His pride equalled his poor mental state. The princes who came to pay homage to him were not admitted to his presence, but could only kiss a piece of cloth of black silk, representing a piece of the Caliph’s robe, which was suspended to the palace door. And they had to prostrate themselves to kiss it. This way the Caliph sought to imitate the pilgrims kissing the black stone of the Kaaba. And whenever he ventured outdoors, the caliph did in a luxurious suite, his face covered by a black veil."[247]

The weakness of the caliph was compounded by betrayal around him, in the person of his vizier, Ibn al-Camiyi (also spelt elsewhere Ibn al-Aqlami, and other spellings), who sent many secret letters to Hulagu informing him of both his loyalty, and talking down the character of the Caliph, insisting to Hulagu that the conquest of Baghdad would be very easy; and whilst Hulagu was reticent, Ibn al-Camiyi  pressed him to advance on Baghdad.[248] The same minister convinced the Caliph, against Turkish officers’ advice, to cut down the numbers of the military to save on expenses, and the Caliph gave him all powers to do so.[249] Hulagu himself was advised by his Muslim astrologer, Nasir Eddin al-Tusi to advance and destroy Baghdad as a favour written in the stars.[250] Hussam Eddin another Muslim astronomer sought to dissuade Hulagu, but Al-Tusi was the more convincing of the two, and Hulagu moved on Baghdad. [251]

Hulagu did what he did to Baghdad as we noted. We will not dwell on what happened to the Inhabitants of the city on those dark days of February 1258. We will limit ourselves to note again how betrayal took central stage again in the mass murder of Baghdad’s population. Ibn al-Alqami went to the camp of Hulagu, then returned to the population of Baghdad, announcing to the nobles and officials to come out of the city to attend the marriage between the daughter of Hulagu and the caliph. As they came out they were killed en masse.[252] Then, each Mongol officer was assigned a quarter of the city to slay its inhabitants. The whole Muslim population, between 800,000 and one million was, hence, entirely exterminated.[253] The chronicler Ez Zehebi says that only those who hid in under-ground galleries escaped, and those were only few in numbers.[254] Those who surrendered immediately and those who fought were all killed. Women and children perished with the men.[255] A Mongol soldier came across forty new born babies whose mothers had been killed, and ‘as an act of mercy (because their mothers had died),’ says Runciman, he slaughtered them.[256] The Georgian troops with the Mongol army, who had been first to break through the walls, Runciman adds, were particularly fierce in their destruction.[257]

Whilst the massacre of Muslims proceeded, the Christian population of the city was spared, and Christian quarters were not harmed.[258] The Christians who found refuge in their churches were, obviously, protected.[259] Some rich Muslim dignitaries gave all they had to the Christian patriarch in return for their lives, but they were all massacred.[260] The Dominican, Ricoldo da Monto Groco says:

When the Mongols arrived in Baghdad, where there were many Christians, the Khan (Hulagu) ordered that no Mongol should enter the homes of the Christians to cause them any harm, but that they should put to death all the Saracens."[261]

At the end of March 1258, that is a month after the massacres, the stench of decaying corpses was such that Hulagu withdrew his troops in fear of pestilence.[262] Many of them left with regret, believing that there were still objects of value to be found there.[263]

The Vizier Ibn al-Alqami was rewarded by Hulagu, and kept his post as vizier, and one Ahmed Ben Amran became the prefect of East Baghdad.[264] It was Ahmed Ben Amran who, during the siege of the city, when hunger got hold of the Mongols, told them about a secret place where large quantities of wheat were hidden. The Mongols thus sustained themselves until the end of the siege.[265]

The news of the destruction of Baghdad, the fall of the caliphate, and the extermination of Muslims made Christianity erupt in exultations, especially when it was found that Christian coreligionists were amongst the chiefs of the conquering Mongol army.[266] The destruction of Baghdad was said to be the fall of the New Babylon. Kirakos of Gantzak thus wrote:

For all the time that she (Baghdad) conserved her empire, like a blood thirsting leech, she engulfed the whole world. Now she has returned all she had taken… She has been punished with the blood she herself has spilled, for all the evils she has committed, now paying for them in front of God.[267]

For Marco Polo:

I believe that our Lord Jesus Christ sought to take revenge for all Christians."[268]

Hulagu, understandably, received most adulation. Gregory of Akanc, hence wrote:

He (Hulagu) made Muslims wash pigs with soap every Saturday, and feed these pigs with almonds and dates every night. He forced the Muslims to eat pork.[269]

At the end of the year 1260, after the Mongols inflicted on Syria what they had done to Baghdad, Pope Alexander IV congratulated Hulagu on his supposed conversion to the Christian faith, and recommended him to see the Patriarch of Jerusalem.[270] Years later, in the brief Exultavit of 1264, Pope Urban IV authorised the Patriarch of Jerusalem to baptise Hulagu if he followed up his project of conversion to Christianity.[271]

Dotuz Khatun, Hulagu’s wife, was already a devout Christian who hated Islam. The Armenian contemporary historian, Hayton/Heythoum, says that:

She was the best of all Christians, and she did not just rebuild churches that had been damaged, but also destroyed the ‘temples’ of the Saracens, and she reduced them (the Muslims) to such a condition of servitude that they no longer dared show themselves."[272]

As the Muslim armies were routed and the Muslim populations were slaughtered en masse wherever the Mongols roamed, only stood one force ready and determined to reply: the Mamluks of Egypt. It is they who crushed the Mongols at Ain Jalut in September 1260, and saved the land of Islam from the fate of Iraq and Syria.[273] It is they who, led by one of Islam’s greatest figures, Baybars (d. 1277), launched the re-conquest and liberation of Syria and the lost lands, and eventually crushing the crusaders and removing them before removing the Mongols.[274] By the death of Baybars much of the job was done and subsequent Mamluk leadership continued the task. Thus, now can be understood why in modern history, the Mamluks are evil, and why the Mongols are good, and why Nasir Eddin Al-Tusi is the greatest scholar of Islam, and so many other fallacies which crown and cram the unfortunate writing of the history of Islam.

The sorry history of Baghdad is not finished, though. Just about a century and half after Hulagu, in 1401, exactly, it was Timur’s turn to do what he did. We read this account by a contemporary:

And when he (Timur) reached the city with that host, he sent on them calamities and gave them to taste terror and extreme hunger and consternation and smote them with mighty blows, and besieged them during the months of the Hajj…. Timur kept the festival, as he had said, by slaying Muslims and performed his sacrifice on them. Then he ordered each of those who were enrolled in his register and reckoned among his soldiers and army to bring to him two heads from among the people of Bagdad. Accordingly they gave each of them to drink the wine of plundered life and plundered wealth, two cups. Then they brought them singly and in crowds and made the river Tigris flow with the torrent of their blood throwing their corpses on to the plains, and collected their heads and built towers of them, but they slew violently of the people of Bagdad about ninety thousand. Some, when they could not have Baghdadis, cut the heads of Syrians who were with them and other prisoners; others, when heads of men were wanting, cut off the heads of ladies of the marriage-bed… And this number aforesaid was besides those, who perished in the siege or storming or were drowned in the Tigris; for many are said to have hurled themselves into the water and died by drowning…. And there were built about a hundred and twenty towers (of heads), as I was told by Qazi Tajuddin Ahmad Namani, the Hamiite, Governor of Bagdad, who died at Damascus in the beginning of the month of Muharram in the year 834. Allah Almighty have mercy upon him! Then Timur laid waste the city, after he had taken thence the hidden wealth and made poor its people and desolated its habitations, and overturned the whole city from top to bottom, so that after it had been the city of peace, it became the house of surrender. And its feeble people that remained they took captive and the hands of the time tore them apart and scattered them utterly after they had lived in shade and luxury and dwelt in two gardens on the right side and the left, but now in their homes the owl and crow made nests and in the morning only their houses appeared; and this city is more famous than can be described and the aroma of its excellence and merits more fragrant than can be shown; but let it suffice that it has the name and fame of City of Peace, and in it, as is said, the Imam does not die."[275]

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-F. Woep>Notes


[1] F.B. Artz: The mind, The Mind of the Middle Ages; Third edition revised; The University of Chicago Press, 1980; pp. 149-50.

[2] J. Lasner: Baghdad; in Dictionary of the Middle Ages; vol 2; J.R. Strayer Editor in Chief; Charles Scribner’s Sons; New York; 1982 fwd; vol 2; pp. 44-7; at p. 45.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] G. Le Strange: The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate; Cambridge University Press; 1930; vol 2; p. 30.

[6] Ibid; p. 30.

[7] Ibid; p. 30-1.

[8] J. Lasner: Baghdad; op cit; p. 45.

[9] Ibid.

[10] G. Le Strange: The lands; op cit; p. 28.

[11] Ibid; p. 32.

[12] J. Lasner: Baghdad; op cit; p. 47.

[13] Ibid; p. 46.

[14] Ibid.

[15] See, for instance G. Sarton: Introduction to the History of Sciences, The Carnegie Institution; Baltimore, 1927 fwd; esp volume 1.

[16] For more accounts on the growth of the industry see:

-J. Bloom: Paper Before Print: The History of Paper Making in the Islamic World. Connecticut: Yale University Press; 2001.

- J. Pedersen; The Arabic Book, translated by Geoffrey French; Princeton University Press; Princeton, New Jersey (1984).

-M. M. Sibai: Mosque Libraries: An Historical Study; Mansell Publishing Limited: London and New York: 1987.

[17] F and J Gies: Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel subtitled "Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages". Harper Perennial, 1995; p. 97; J. Mokyr: The Lever of Riches subtitled "Technological Creativity and Economic Progress". Oxford, 1990; p. 41.

[18] W. Durant: The Age of faith, Simon and Shuster, New York; 6th printing; 1950. p. 275.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] E. Whelan: Textiles; Dictionary of Middle Ages; op cit; pp. 715-8. at p. 717.

[22] Ibid.

[23] F. B. Artz: The Mind; op cit; 153.

[24] M. Nakosteen: History of Islamic Origins of Western Education A.D 800-1350; University of Colorado Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1964; p. 69.

[25] A. Whipple: The Role of the Nestorians and Muslims in the History of Medicine. Microfilm-xerography by University Microfilms International Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S.A. 1977; p. 76.

[26] Ibid.

[27] M. Nakosteen: History; op cit; p. 69.

[28] F.B. Artz: The Mind; op cit; p. 153.

[29] Ibid.

[30] W. Durant: The Age; op cit; p. 254.

[31] Ibid.

[32] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; I; 558.

[33] Ibid.

[34] F.B. Artz: The Mind, op cit; p. 151.

[35] Ibid.

[36] Ibid.

[37] See George Makdisi: On the origin and development of the college in Islam and the West, in Islam and the Medieval West, ed. Khalil I. Semaan, State University of New York Press/Albany; 1980; pp. 26-49. 

[38] R. Hillenbrand: Madrasa; Dictionary of Middle Ages; op cit; vol 8; p. 11.

[39] Ibid.

[40] Ibid.

[41] A Shalaby: History of Muslim Education. Beirut: Dar al Kashaf, 1954; p. 58.

[42] G. Le Strange: Baghdad during the Abbasid Caliphate; Oxford at the Clarendon Press; 1900; p. 298.

[43] Ibid.

[44] Ibid.

[45] J. Pedersen; The Arabic Book, tr by Geoffrey French; Princeton University Press; Princeton, New Jersey (1984); p. 127.

[46] G. Le Strange: Baghdad; op cit; p. 298.

[47] Ibid; p. 299.

[48] J. W. G. Wiet et al: History of mankind; Vol III; The Great Medieval Civilisations. Part Two: section two; Part three; Translated from the French; UNESCO; 1975; p. 458.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Ibid; p. 457:

[51] A. Whipple; The Role; op cit; pp.76.

[52] I.e Yaqut: Irshad al-Arib ila Ma'arifat al-Adib, or Muja'am al-Udaba (Dictionary of learned men,), edt. D.S. Margoliouth (Luzac, 1907 ff), Vol.V, p. 231. Vol VI; p. 343.

A. Shalaby: History of Muslim Education. Beirut: Dar al Kashaf, 1954.

Ma'ruf, Naji: Al-Madrassah al-Mustansiryah, Nadi al-Muthanna, Baghdad, 1935.

[53] Bayard Dodge: Muslim Education in Medieval Times; The Middle East Institute, Washington D.C, 1962; p. 23;

[54] Yaqut: Irshad al-Arib ed. D.S. Margoliouth; op cit; Vol VI. p. 343.

[55] Ibid.

[56] A. Whipple: The Role; op cit; p. 76.

[57] Bayard Dodge: Muslim Education; op cit; p 23.

[58] Ibid.

[59] Ibid.

[60] Ibid.

[61] A. Whipple; The Role; op cit; pp.76.

[62] Bayard Dodge: Muslim Education; op cit; pp. 23.

[63] M. Nakosteen. History of Islamic origins; op cit; pp. 50-1. Bayard Dodge: Muslim Education, op cit; p 23.

[64] Ibid.

[65] A. Whipple: The Role; op cit; pp.76.

[66] C. Elgood: A Medical History of Persia; Cambridge University Press; 1951; p. 232.

[67] P.K.Hitti: History of the Arabs; MacMillan, London, 1970; p. 411.

[68] World Who’s Who, in B. Hetherington: A Chronicle of Pre-Telescopic Astronomy; John Wiley and Sons; Chichester; 1996; p. 92.

[69] In L.A. Sedillot: Histoire generale des Arabes, 2 Vols., Paris, 1877; vol 2, p. 11.

[70] W. Hartner: The Role of Observations in ancient and medieval astronomy; in The Journal of History of Astronomy; Vol 8; 1977; pp. 1-11; at p. 8.

[71] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; I; p. 558.

[72] Gustav Weil: Geschichte der Chalifen; vol. 2, pp. 198-294.

J.T. Reinaud: Geographie d'Aboulfeda (vol. 1, 269 sq., 1848).

J.L.E. Dreyer: History of the Planetary System from Thales to Kepler; Cambridge; 1906; p. 245, 249, 278.

 R. A. Nicholson: Literary History of the Arabs; 1907; p. 359.

 G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit;  I;  op cit; p. 558.

[73] M.A. Kettani: Science and technology in Islam: the underlying value system, in The Touch of Midas; Science, values, and environment in Islam and the West’ edited by Z. Sardar; Manchester University Press (1984); pp. 66-90; p. 75.

[74] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; vol I; p. 558.

[75] Ibid, p. 545.

[76] C. Ronan: The Arabian Science, in The Cambridge Illustrated History of the World’s Science; Newness Books, Cambridge University Press; 1983; pp. 201-44; at p. 207.

[77] R. Morelon: Eastern Arabic astronomy, in Encyclopaedia of the History of Arabic Science; edited by R. Rashed; Routledge; London; 1996; vol 1; pp. 20-57; at  p. 24.

[78] A Issa Bey: Histoire des hopitaux en Islam; Beyrut; Dar ar ra’id al’arabi; 1981; p. 175.

[79] A. Whipple: The Role; op cit; p. 84.

[80] Issa Bey:  Histoire; op cit; p. 177.

[81] Ibid: p. 178.

[82] D. Pingree: Al-Fazari; in Dictionary of Scientific Biography; Editor Charles C. Gillispie; Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1973 fwd. Vol IV; pp. 555-6; p. 555.

[83] Ibid; p. 556.

[84] Ibid.

[85] For these, see: D. Pingree: The Fragments of the works of al-Fazari, in Journal of the Near eastern Studies; vol 29; 1970; pp. 103-23.

[86] D. Pingree: Al-Fazari; op cit; p. 556.

[87] G. Sarton: Introduction; vol 1; op cit; p. 560.

[88] M. Steinschneider: Die Sohne des Musa ben Schakir; Bibliotheca Mathematica, pp. 44-48, pp.71-75, 1887.

[89] Carra de Vaux: Les Penseurs de l’Islam; 2 Vols; Paris, Geuthner; 1921; vol 2; p. 140.

[90] Ibid; p. 140-1.

[91] H. Suter: Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber (20-21, 1900); Nachtrage (160, 1902).

[92] Verba filiorum Moysi, filii Sekir, id est Maumeti, Hameti et Hasen. Der Liber trium fratrum de geometria. Nach der Lesart des Codex Basiliensis F. II, 33 mit Einleitung und Commentar herausgegeben von Maximilian Curtze; in Nova Acta acad. germ. naturae curiosorum, vol. 49, 105-167, Halle, 1885; in G. Sarton: Introduction; vol 1; op cit; p. 560.

[93] Eilhard Wiedemann: Bemerkungen zum Werk fi-l-hiyal; Beitrage VI, 6, 55, 1906, deals with pneumatic tricks, hiyal; Beitrage X, 341-8, 1906, extracts from same treatise; Beitrage XII, 200-205, 1907; idem, lamps.

E. Wiedemann und F. Hauser: Uber Trinkgefasse und Tafelaufsatze nach al-Jazari und den Benu Musa; in Der Islam, vol. 8, 55-93, 268-291, 1918; Isis, III, 478.

Friedrich Hauser: Uber das Kitab al-hijal, das Werk uber die sinnreichen Anordnungen, der Benu Musa (Abhdl. Zur Gesch. Der Naturwis. Und der Medizin, heft 1. 188 p. 22pl. Erlangen, 1922; ISIS; V; p. 208.

[94] Banu Musa, The book of Ingenious Devices, tr and annoted by D. R. Hill, Dordrecht: Reidel, 1979; Arabic text, ed. Ahmad Y. al-Hasan; Aleppo: Institute for the History of Arabic Science, 1981.

[95] D.R. Hill: `Arabic Fine technology and its influence on European Mechanical Engineering,' in The Arab Influence in Medieval Europe, edition D.A. Agius and R. Hitchcock, Ithaca Press, 1994; pp. 25-43; p. 27.

[96] E. Wiedemann:Beitrage zur Geschichte der Natur-wissenschaften. X. Zur Technik bei den Arabern. Erlangen, 1906., p. 343.

[97] Guy Le Strange: Baghdad during the Abbasid Caliphate; Oxford, 1900; reprinted, 1924.

[98] G. Le Strange: Description of Mesopotamia and Baghdad, written about the year 900 by Ibn Serapion.

[99] Journal of Royal Asiatic Society; 1-76; 255-315; 1895.

[100] G. Sarton: Introduction; vol 1; op cit; p. 663.

[101] Ibid.

[102] Ibid.

[103] Ibid.

[104] B. Dodge: The Fihrist of al-Nadim. A tenth century survey of Muslim culture, Columbia Records of Civilisation: Sources and Studies, No LXXXIII, 2 Vols, New York and London; 1970.

 See also M. Nakosteen, History... op cit, for extracts from al-Fihrist, pp. 29-33.

[105] A.P. Youschkevitch: Abu’l Wafa; in Dictionary of Scientific Biography; Ed. Charles C. Gillispie. Vol. 1. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1975; 39–43.

On his works, see the old, but still relevant L. Am. Sedillot Decouverte de la variation par Aboul Wefa; Journa1 Asiatique; vol 16; 1835; pp. 420-38. But in this entry, we rely primarily, as in notes, on the excellent outline by Y. Dold Samplonius.

[106] Y. Dold-Samplonius: Abu’l Wafa, in H. Selin Ed: Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non Western Cultures, Kluwer Academic Publishers. Boston/London, 1997; p. 10.

[107] Carra de Vaux: L'almageste d'Abu-l-Wefa; in Journal Asiatique, vol 19, pp. 408-471, 1892.

[108] F. Woep>

[109] M.A. Kettani: Science and technology in Islam: the underlying value system, in The Touch of Midas; Science, values, and environment in Islam and the West’ edited by Z. Sardar; Manchester University Press (1984); pp. 66-90; at p. 71.

[110] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; vol 1; p. 667.

[111] Abu’l-Wafa al-Buzjani. Knowledge of Geometry Necessary for the Craftsman. Ed. S. A. al-Ali. Baghdad: University of Baghdad Centre for the Revival of the Arabic Scientific Heritage, 1979 (in Arabic).

[112] Y. Dold-Samplonius: Abu’l Wafa, op cit; p. 11.

[113] Ibid.

[114] Ibid.

[115] Ibid.

[116] S.A Saidan: The Arithmetic of Abū al-Wafā˒ al- Būzajānī. Amman: al-Lajnah al-Urdunnīyah lil-Ta˓rīb wa-al-Nasr wa-al-Tarjamah, 1973.

[117] The Wadih Zij and al-Majisti (Almagest).

[118] Y. Dold-Samplonius: Abu’l Wafa; op cit; p. 10.

[119] Ibid.

[120] ibid.

[121] A. Von Braunmuhl: Vorlesungen uber Geschichte der Trigonometrie; vol. 1, 1900; pp. 54-61.

[122] G. Sarton: Introduction; op cit; vol 1; p. 667.

[123] Ibid.

[124] Y. Dold-Samplonius: Abu’l Wafa, op cit; p. 10.

[125] Ibid.

[126] Ibid.

See Kennedy, Edward S. Applied Mathematics in the Tenth Century: Abū’l-Wafā˒ Calculates the Distance Baghdad- Mecca. Historia Mathematica 11 (1984): 192–206.

[127] L. Am. Sedillot Sur les emprunts que nous avons faits a la science arabe, et en particulier a la determination de la troisieme inegalite lunaire ou variation; Boncompagni's Bullettino, vol. 8, 63-78, Rome, 1875.

[128] Baron Carra de Vaux: Astronomy and mathematics, in The Legacy of Islam, T. Arnold and A. Guillaume ed; Oxford; 1931; pp. 376-97; note 1, p. 390.

[129] R. Rashed: Al-Karkhi; Dictionary of the Middle Ages; vol 7; J.R. Strayer Editor in Chief; Charles Scribner’s Sons; New York; 1986; pp. 211-2; at p. 211.

[130] G. Sarton: Introduction; vol 1; op cit; p.718. 

[131] H. Suter: Die Mathematiker und Astronomen der Araber; 1900; p. 84.

[132] Al-Kafi fi’l hisab; ed and tr by A. Hochheim; published in three parts, Halle, 1878- 1880.

[133] R. Rashed: Al-Karkhi; Dictionary of the Middle Ages; p. 211.

[134] Ibid.

[135] Ibid; p. 211-2

[136] Ibid; p. 212.

[137] Ibid.

[138] Ibid.

[139] Ibid.

[140] Ibid.

[141]  J J O'Connor and E F Robertson: Arabic Mathematics, a Forgotten brilliance; at http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Mathematicians/Al-Karaji.html 

[142] F.B. Artz: The Mind; op cit; 146.

[143] In Al-Munquidh min al-dalal, p. 13; referred to by A.N. Diyab:  Al-Ghazali: in Religion, Learning and Science in the Abbasid Period; Ed by M.J.L. Young; J.D. Latham; and R.B. Serjeant; Cambridge University Press; 1990; pp. 424-44.

[144] M. Alonso quoted by A. Diyab: Al-Ghazali; op cit.

[145] Al-Ghazali in A.Tibawi: Islamic Education, Luzac and Company Ltd, London, 1972; p. 40.

[146] Ibid.

[147] From A.S. Tritton:  Materials on Muslim Education in the Middle Ages; Luzac and Company, London, 1957; p. 16.

[148] Al-Ghazali: Ihya ul’Ulum, part I, book 2, section 2.

[149] Ibn-Al-Hajj: Madkhal, in A. Tritton, Materials, op cit, p. 21.

[150] C. Bouamrane-L. Gardet: Panorama de la pensee Islamique; Sindbad; 1-3 Rue Feutrier; Paris 18 (1984), principally chapter 10, by Louis Gardet (Notion et principe de l'education en Islam: pp. 205-226), p. 207.

[151] Ayyuha l’walad: UNESCO, Beyrut 1951 (Arabic text, Fr trsl, p. 36-7.

[152] F.B. Artz: The mind, op cit; p. 146.

[153] Ibid.

[154]  Ibid146-7.

[155] M.Alonso quoted by A. Diyab: Al-Ghazali; op cit.

[156] J.J O'Connor and E F Robertson: Arabic mathematics; op cit.

[157] A. S. Saidan: Al-Baghdadi; in Dictionary of Scientific Biography; vol 15; supplement; pp. 9-10; at p. 9.

[158] Ibid.

[159] Ibid.

[160] J.J. O'Connor and E.F Robertson; Arabic Mathematics; op cit.

[161] Ibid.

[162] Ibid.

[163] A.S. Saidan: Al-Baghdadi; op cit; p. 10.

[164] F.R. Farag: Why Europe responded to the Muslims; in Arabica, vol XXV, pp. 292-308; at p. 300.

[165] Ibid.

[166] C. Elgood: A Medical History of Persia. Cambridge University Press, 1951; p. 141.

[167] F.R. Farag: Why Europe; op cit; p. 301.

[168] In J. Hirschberg; J. Lippert and E. Mittwoch: Die arabischen Augenarzte nach den Quellen bearbeitet; vol 1; Leipzig; 1904.

[169] D. Campbell: Arabian Medicine and its Influence on the Middle Ages; Philo Press; Amsterdam; 1926; p. 82.

[170] E.G. Browne: Arabian Medicine; 1921; pp. 60-1.

[171] E. Egass: Bulletin Historique Antique; University of Paris; vol 573; quoted by J. Friend: History of Physick; two parts; London; 1750; p. 228.

[172] G. Sarton: Introduction; vol 2; p. 204.

[173] B. Rosenfeld and E. Ihsanoglu: Mathematicians, astronomers and other scholars of Islamic civilisation; Research Centre for Islamic History, art and Culture; Istanbul; 2003; p. 174.

[174] Ibid.

[175] T.W. Arnold: Muslim Civilisation during the Abbasid Period; in The Cambridge Medieval History, Cambridge University Press, 1922 (1936 reprint): Vol IV: Edited by J. R. tanner, C. W. Previte; Z.N. Brooke, 1923; pp. 274-298; at p. 279.

[176] J. Glubb: A Short History of the Arab Peoples; Hodder and Stoughton, 1969; p. 207.

[177] Ibid.

[178] M. Uyar and E.J. Erickson: A Military History of the Ottomans from Osman to Ataturk; ABC and Clio, Santa Barbara, California, 2009.

[179] I. Karlsson: The Turk as a Threat and Europe’s Other; in International Issues and Slovak Foreign Policy; issue 1, 2006; pp. 62-72; p. 68.

[180] For the best analysis of Mamluk Golden Horde relations, see A.A. Khowaiter: Baibars the First; The Green Mountain Press; London; 1978; pp. 43 ff.

[181] As in the just cited claims and also in M. Rossabi’s works including:

Modern Mongolia: From Khans to Commissars to Capitalists (2005); Governing China’s Multi-Ethnic Frontiers (2004), editor and contributor; Khubilai Khan: His Life and Times (2005), “The Muslims in the Early Yuan Dynasty,” in J. Langlois, ed., China Under Mongol Rule (1981), and “Muslim Revolts in Late Ming and Early Chi’ing,” in J. Spence and J. Wills, ed., From Ming to Ch’ing (1979).

[182] Baron G. d’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols; 3 vols; La Haye et Amsterdam; 1834.

[183] According to H.H. Howorth: History of the Mongols, London, 1927 in Y. Courbage and Fargues: Chretiens; op cit; p. 29. This figure is confirmed by contemporaries, including Joinville, who was the French King St. Louis’ personal secretary. D’Ohsson: Histoire; op cit; note p. 253.

[184] See chapter on the crusade in volume 2; relevant headings.

Al-Juwaini: Tarikh JihanKushai (or History of the World Conqueror); Persian Ms; Bibliotheque Royale de Paris. See extracts of his praise of the Mongols, and justifications of mass slaughter of Muslims in G. D’Ohsson: Histoire; vol 1; pp. xvii ff.

[185] E.G. Browne: Literary History of Persia; Cambridge University Press; 1929; 3 vols; Vol 2; p. 439.

R.W. Bulliet: The Patricians of Nishapur; A study of Islamic Medieval Social History; Cambridge; mass; 1972; pp. 9-10; I.P. Petrushvskii: The Socio economic Conditions of Iran under the Il-Khans; In Cambridge History of Iran; v; Cambridge; 1968; pp. 483-537; at p. 485.

[186] H.M. J. Loewe: The Mongols; in The Cambridge Medieval History, Cambridge University Press, 1923; iv:  (Tanner et al ed.,) pp. 627-52; at p. 634.

[187] William of Rubrouck, Envoye de Saint Louis, Voyage Dans L'Empire Mongol (1253-1255), Payot, Paris, 1985.

L. Hambis: Saint Louis et les Mongols; in JRAS; 1970; pp. 25-33.

Diplomatic Documents Preserved in the Public Record Office; 1101-1272; ed. Pierre Chaplais (London, 1964).

J. Paviot: England and the Mongols (1260-1330); JRAS; Series 3; 2000; pp. 305-318;

Baron Henrion: Histoire generale des missions Catholiques depuis le XIII siecle jusqu'a nos jours (1846).

Innocent IV: Statuta capitulorum generalium ordinis Cisterciensis, ed. J. Canivez, Vol II, Louvain, 1934, ad. ann.1245, & 28, p. 294

-J. Hayton: La Flor des Estoires de la Terre d’Orient, in Receuil des Historiens des Croisades Armeniens; vol ii; Paris; 1906; pp. 111-253.

Extracts from Histoire Universelle de Vartan; tr. E. Dulaurier; in Journal Asiatique; V. XVI; 1860; pp. 273-322.

-Receuil des Historiens des Croisades; Imprimerie Nationale; Paris; 1841 ff. Historiens Armeniens (RHC Arm); 2 vols; Paris; 1869-1906.

V. Slessarev: Prester Jean: The Letters and the Legend; 1959.

J.M. Fiey: Chretiens Syriaques Sous les Mongols; Louvain; 1975.

-J.M. Fiey: Chretiens Syriaques entre Francs et Mongols, in Orientalia Chris. Analecta, no197, 1974, pp. 334-41.

R. Grousset: Histoire des Croisades et du Royaume Franc de Jerusalem; Paris; 1934-5.

[188] John of Plano Carpini: History of the Mongols; IV; tr. by a nun of Stanbrook Abbey in The Mongol Mission, C. Lawson; New York; Sheed and Ward; 1955.

F. Nau, L’expansion nestorienne en Asie, Musée Guimet, tom. 4o, 1913-14. There are two brief German studies: W. Barthold, Zur Geschichte des Christentums in Mittel-Asien, Tubingen, and E. Sachau, Zur Ausbreitung des Christentums in Asien, Berlin, 1919. See also K.S. Latourette, A History of the Expansion of Christianity, vol. II, London, 1939, ch. V.

C. Brunel: David Ashby, auteur meconnu des ‘faits des tartares' in Romania, LXXIX, 1958, pp. 39-46.

[189] J.M. Fiey: Chretiens Syriaques; op cit. J.J. Saunders: Aspects of the Crusades; University of Canterbury; 1962; J. Richard: La Papaute et les Missions d’Orient au Moyen Age; Ecole Francaise de Rome; Palais Farnese; 1977

[190] B. Spuler: History of the Mongols; London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972; p.2.

[191] B Spuler: Les Mongols dans l'Histoire, Payot, Paris, 1961.

[192] A. Mieli: La Science Arabe et son role; Leiden; 1966; p. 147.

[193] Ibid.

 [194] B. Spuler: Les Mongols dans l'Histoire, in Yves Courbage, Paul Fargues: Chretiens et Juifs dans l'Islam Arabe et Turc, Payot, Paris, 1997. p. 100.

[195] B. Spuler: History of the Mongols; op cit; p.121.

[196] Hayton, Saint Martin Brosset quoted in W. Heyd: Histoire du Commerce du Levant au Moyen Age; A.M. Hakkert Editor; Amsterdam; 1967.Vol II; p. 66.

[197] Jean Richard: La Papaute et les Missions d’Orient au Moyen Age; Ecole Francaise de Rome; Palais Farnese; 1977; p. 104.

[198] G. de Rubruc; pp 292; 301; Abul-Faraj: Hist.dynast; edt Pococke; p. 321,  Ohsson: Hist des Mongols; ii; p. 234 and fl; all in W. Heyd: Histoire; op cit; p. 66.

[199] J. Richard: La Papaute; op cit; p.104.

[200]  Innocent IV: Statuta capitulorum generalium ordinis Cisterciensis, ed. J. canivez, Vol II, Louvain, 1934, ad. ann.1245, & 28, p. 294; in J. Richard: La Papaute et les Missions d'Orient; op cit; p.66.

[201] G. Sarton: Introduction; Vol II; op cit; p.37.

[202] C.R. Conder: The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem; The Committee of the Palestine Exploration Fund; London; 1897; p. 350.

[203] On this crusade, the best account is by J. Joinville: Memoirs of the Crusades by Villehardouin and de Joinville Tr. by Sir Frank Marzials; published by J.M. Dent; London and Toronto; 1908; pp. 175 ff, in particular.

 [204] William of Rubrouck, envoye de Saint Louis, Voyage dans l'empire Mongol (1253-1255), Payot, Paris, 1985.

[205] C.R. Conder: The Latin Kingdom; op cit; p. 372.

[206] C. Cahen: Orient et Occident au temps des Croisades, Aubier Montaigne, 1983; p. 200.

[207] G. Sarton: Introduction, vol II, op cit; p. 37.

[208] P. Pelliot: Mongols and Popes; 13th and 14th centuries; Paris; 1922.

-P. Pelliot: Les Mongols et la Papaute; In Revue d’Orient Chretien; 1923-1924; and 1931-2.

[209] B. Spuler: Les Mongols dans l'Histoire, Payot, Paris, 1961.

[210] J.J.Saunders: Aspects of the Crusades; University of Canterbury publishing; Canterbury; 1962.

[211] Baron G. D’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols, in four volumes; Les Freres Van Cleef; la Haye and Amsterdam; 1834.

[212] J. Richard: La Papaute; op cit; p. 281.

[213] Whether Saunders who has been referred to here, or other historians such as Richard, who dealt with the issue, and even those seemingly favourable to the Muslims, such as Daniel (The Arabs and medieval Europe); all deny that the alliance between the Christians and Mongols to exterminate the Muslims worked on the ground, whilst it did.

[214] C.R. Conder: The Latin Kingdom; op cit; p. 381.

[215] Yves Courbage, Paul Fargues: Chretiens et Juifs dans l'Islam Arabe et Turc, Payot, Paris, 1997; p. 29

[216] Hayton; in W. Heyd: Histoire; Vol II; op cit; p. 68.

[217] R.W. Southern: Western Views of Islam in the Middle Ages, Harvard University Press, 1978. p.44:

[218] Jean Richard, `l'Extreme Orient legendaire au Moyen Age: Roi David et Pretre Jean,' in Annales d'Ethiopie, Vol II (Paris, 1957), pp 225-42.

[219] M. Rodinson: Europe and the Mystique of Islam; tr: R. Veinus; I.B. Tauris and Co Ltd; London; 1988; p. 27.

[220] N. Daniel: The Arabs and medieval Europe; Longman Librarie du Liban; 1975; p. 218.

[221] R.P. Multhauf: The Origins of chemistry; Gordon and Breach Science Publishers; London, 1993; p. 123.

[222] W. Durant: The Age of Faith; op cit; p. 252.

[223] George Sarton: Introduction; vol I, op cit; p. 625.

[224] G. Wiet; P. Wolff; and J. Naudu: History of Mankind: Vol III: The Great Medieval Civilisations; tr. from the French; first published 1975; p. 567.

[225] E.G. Browne: Literary history of Persia, vol 1,1908; p. 286.

[226] R.P. Multhauf: The Origins of chemistry; Gordon and Breach Science Publishers; London, 1993; p. 120.

[227] E. Ashtor: A Social and Economic History of the Near East in the Middle Ages; Collins; London; 1976; p. 280.

[228] Ibid. 251.

[229] Ibid; p. 264.

[230] G. Ferrand: Relations de Voyages et Textes Geographiques Arabes, Persans et Turks Relatifs a l’Extreme Orient du VIIIem au XVIIIem Siecles; E. Leroux, Paris, 1913-4. re-edition by F. Sezgin, Frankfurt, 1986.

[231] Such as Ibn al-Athir: Kitab al-kamil; ed K.J. Tornberg; 12 vols; Leiden; 1851-72.

[232] For the misdeeds of the Spanish Inquisition, see, for instance: H.C. Lea: The Moriscos of Spain; Burt Franklin; New York; 1968 reprint.

[233] F.M. Denny: Introduction to Islam; op cit; p. 155.

[234] The Encyclopedia of Islam, vol. 7. pp. 3.

[235] Ibid.

[236] C. Melchert: Ahmad ibn Hanbal; Makers of the Muslim World, Oneworld, 2006.

[237] J. Glubb: A Short History; op cit; p. 116.

[238] C. Melchert: Ahmad ibn Hanbal; op cit.

[239] Ibid.

[240] Ibn Khaldun, The Muqaddimah, translation F. Rosenthal, ed. N.J. Daword (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1974; p. 286.

[241] J. Glubb: A Short History; op cit; p. 105.

[242] Ibid.

[243] Ibid.

[244] E. Gibbon: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; Vol VI; 1925 Edition; pp. 51-2.

[245] Ibid; pp. 26-7.

[246] E.G. Browne: Arabian medicine; Cambridge University Press, 1962. p.439.

[247] Baron G. D’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols, in four volumes; Les Freres Van Cleef; la Haye and Amsterdam; 1834; vol 3; pp. 207-8.

[248] Ibid; p. 212.

[249] Ibid; p. 213.

[250] Ibid; pp. 225-6.

[251] Ibid.

[252] Ibn Taghri-Birdi: Nudjum; vol 3; in Baron. G. d’Ohsson: Histoire; p. 259.

[253] 800, 000 people according to H.H. Howorth: History of the Mongols, London, 1927 in Y. Courbage and Fargues: Chretiens; op cit; p. 29. This figure is confirmed by contemporaries, including Joinville, who was the French King St. Louis’ personal secretary. D’Ohsson: Histoire; op cit; note p. 253.

[254] Ez-Zehebi: Tarikh al-Islam; Cited by Ibn Taghribirdi: Nudjum; vol 3.

[255] S. Runciman: A History; op cit; p. 303.

[256] Ibid.

[257] Ibid.

[258] G. D’Ohsson:  Histoire; op cit; p. 241. Y. Courbage, P. Fargues: Chretiens et Juifs; op cit; p. 29

[259] Bar Hebraeus: The Chronography of abu’l Farradj… Bar Hebraeus; 2 vols; English tr. E.A. Budge Wallis; Oxford University Press; 1932; pp. 429-31.

 J. Hayton: La Flor des estoires de la terre d’Orient, in Receuil des Historiens des Croisades Armeniens; vol ii; Paris; 1906; pp. 111-253; at pp. 169-70.

[260] Bar Hebraus: The Chronography; op cit; p. 529.

[261] L. De Backer: Itineraire du Fr. Bieul (Fra Ricoldo de Monte Croce); 1309; Fr. Tr. of Jehan le Long; 1351; pp. 272-356; at p. 294.

[262] S. Runciman: A History; op cit; p. 303.

[263] Ibid.

[264] G. D’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols; op cit; p. 246.

[265] Ibid.

[266] Cf, J. Fiey: Chretiens Syriaques entre Francs et Mongols, in Orientalia Chris. Analecta, no197, 1974, pp. 334-41.

[267] Kirakos de Gantzac; in Journal Asiatique; 1858; p. 492; in J.M. Fiey: Chretiens; op cit; p. 23.

[268] Marco Polo in J.M Fiey: Chretiens; op cit; note 31; p. 23.

[269] Grigor of Akanc:  History of the Nation of the Archers; Tr. R.P. Blake; and R.N. Frye; in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies; 12; 1949; pp. 269-399; p. 343.

[270] C.R. Conder: The Latin Kingdom; op cit; p. 383.

[271] J. Richard: La Papaute; op cit; p. 103.

[272] Flos Historiarum terre Orientis, in Receuil des Historiens (Dcts Armeniens) Paris; 1906; p. 301.

[273] P. Thorau: The Lion of Egypt; tr. by P.M. Holt; Longman; London; 1992.

P. Thorau: The Battle of Ayn Jalut: a Re-Examination; in P.W. Edbury: Crusade and Settlement; Cardiff; 1985; pp. 236-41.

[274] See, for instance:

-U. and M.C. Lyons: Ayyubids, Mamluks and Crusaders, selection from the Tarikh al-Duwal wal Muluk of Ibn al-Furat; 2 vols, W. Heffer and Sons Ltd, Cambridge, 1971.

-Ibn al-Furat: Tarikh al-duwal wal Muluk; ed M.F. El-Shayyal; unpublished Ph.d., University of Edinburgh; 1986.

-Baron G. D’Ohsson: Histoire des Mongols, in four volumes; op cit.

[275] Ahmed Ibn Arabshah: Tamerlane or Timur the Great Amir, tr. From The Arabic Life by J.H. Sanders; London, Luzac and Co; London; 1936; pp. 167-9.

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