The 14th-century historiographer and historian Abu Zayd ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Khaldun was a brilliant scholar and thinker now viewed as a founder of modern historiography, sociology and economics. Living in one of human kind's most turbulent centuries, he observed at first hand, or participated in, such decisive events as the birth of new states, the disintegration of the Muslim Andalus and the advance of the Christian reconquest, the Hundred Years' War, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, the decline of Byzantium and the epidemic of the Black Death. Considered by modern critics as the thinker that conceived and created a philosophy of history that was undoubtedly one of the greatests works ever created by a man of intelligence, so groundbreaking were his ideas, and so far ahead of his time, that his writings are taken as a lens through which to view not only his own time but the relations between Europe and the Muslim world in our own time as well.
Ibn Khaldun and the Rise and Fall of Empires
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Figure 1. The Tabula Rogeriana, drawn by al-Idrisi for Roger II of Sicily in 1154, one of the most advanced ancient world maps. Modern consolidation, created from the 70 double-page spreads of the original atlas. (Source)
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