Book

Ibn Khaldun

Allen James Fromherz

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780748639342
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653201 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748639342.001.0001
Ibn Khaldun

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Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406) is one of the most influential and important Muslim thinkers in history. Ibn Khaldun has inspired at least as much interest among modern scholars as his immediate contemporaries. Legions of sociologists, anthropologists and historians have studied his philosophy of history, treating the Muqaddimah as a timeless piece of philosophy. Most studies of Ibn Khaldun ignore the fascinating story of his own life and times. Rejecting portrayals of Ibn Khaldun as a modern mind lost in medieval obscurity, this book demonstrates how Ibn Khaldun's ideas were shaped by his historical context and personal motivations. Relying on original Arabic sources, most importantly Ibn Khaldun's unique autobiography, this is the first complete, scholarly biography of Ibn Khaldun in English. Demonstrating the rich and complex nature of Ibn Khaldun's memoirs, the book not only tells the life story of Ibn Khaldun, but also introduces readers to the fourteenth-century Mediterranean world. Seen in the context of a politically tumultuous and religiously contentious fourteenth-century Mediterranean, Ibn Khaldun's ideas about tribalism, identity, religion and history are even more relevant to pressing, modern concerns.

Keywords: Ibn Khaldun; Muslim thinkers; philosophy of history; Muqaddimah; Arabic; autobiography; memoirs; fourteenth century; Mediterranean world; tribalism

Book.  208 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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