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Arabic Historical Thought in the Classical Period
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  • Page extent: 268 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.57 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 909/.097671/0072
  • Dewey version: 20
  • LC Classification: DS38.16 .K445 1994
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Islamic Empire--Historiography
    • Historiography--Islamic Empire

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521465540 | ISBN-10: 0521465540)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$129.00 (C)

In a work that surveys an entire tradition of historical thought and writing across a span of eight-hundred years, Tarif Khalidi examines how Arabic-Islamic culture of the premodern period viewed the past, how it recorded it, and how it sought to answer the many complex questions associated with the discipline of history.


l. The birth of tradition; 2. History and hadith; 3. History and adab; 4. History and hikma; 5. History and siyasa; Conclusion.

Prize Winner

Honorable Mention Albert Hourani Award


"The extent of Khalidi's reading is daunting, the subtlety and elegance of his exposition enviable. This is a book which is enjoyable as well as informative." Times Literary Supplement

"In a work as deftly written as it is erudite, Khalidi explores the intellectual context of the development of the practice of history in the central lands of Islam between the seventh and 15th centuries. Khalidi includes substantial quotations from Arab historicans in each of these periods to exemplify their epistemological presuppositions. Such extensive quotations and the context provided for them afford the non-Arabist reader a quick introduction to the major historians in this tradition. Every reader will find, as well, solid reflections on such basic historiographical issues as the sources of history, the reliability of sacred and profane reports, and the purposes to which history is put. Few works offer such multiple rewards to students and scholars alike." Choice

"...[an]`uxtensively and carefully researched study..." Islamic Thought

"Tarif Khalidi admirably traces the development of Muslim historiography. ... Khalidi has written an elegant, concise, perceptive, and artistically narrated account of the morphology of a tradition in the making." Middle East Journal

"This is a wide-ranging, excellently written book on a subject of major importance, based on a formidable wealth of knowledge expertly distilled." David Morgan, University of London

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