CEU Medievalia

TitleCEU Medievalia
Publication TypeBook
AuthorsAl-Azmeh, A.
PublisherCEU Press
Place of PublicationBudapest

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A reanalysis of The Muqaddima, Ibn Khaldun's fourteenth-century historical treatise on the Arab & Berber peoples, in 3 Chpts, with a Preface & biographical note by the author. The goal is to reassess Khaldun's historical discourse both in light of cultural categories appropriate to his time & from the structural perspectives of modern historical science; such an approach necessarily avoids the received Oriental tradition usually associated with Arabic/Islamic scholarship. Central concepts at issue are the power & function of the historical state, or daula, in preserving world order; the custodial authority of the state; the dynastic character & natural life span of the state; religious & political principles enforcing the theory of kingship; the function of prophecy; categories of political power & characteristics of social groups; the nature of war; differences between Bedouin & Ur cultures; & the nature of language. Finally, the Muqaddima questions the value of the traditional sciences of philosophy, alchemy, & astrology, & charges these disciplines with distortion of the natural order. Chpt (1) The Primacy of the Historical – discusses the criterion of historical significance & the structure of the historical state. (2) The Problematization of History – presents an anatomy of the Muqaddima, &, within a chapter-by-chapter analysis, considers its claim as a constitution to the new science of civilization. (3) The Historicity of Kitab al-'Ibar – examines the textual aspects of the Books of Exemplaries, in which the Muqaddima appears. 1 Figure, Notes, References, Bibliog.

Department of Medieval Studies