Pub. date: 2012 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781452218458 | Print ISBN: 9781412981767 | Online ISBN: 9781452218458| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Ibn Khaldun: 1250 to 1920: Middle East
Famed philosopher, historian, politician, and polymath Ibn Khaldun was born in Tunis in 1332. He died in Cairo in 1406. Although he worked for a variety of both Berber and Arab rulers, Ibn Khaldun considered himself an elite Arab. Ibn Khaldun claimed descent from an Arab clan that had migrated to Al-Andalus from the Hadramawt Oasis in Yemen. Ibn Khaldun's most important and most frequently translated work is the Muqaddimah . The Muqaddimah is a lengthy and intensely philosophical introduction to his extremely wide-ranging, universal history: the Kitab al Ibar or “Book of Forms.” The aim of the Muqaddimah , according to Ibn Khaldun, was to uncover the “hidden meaning” of history, to explain history as a sociological process, not simply to a series of dates, names, and events. According to Ibn Khaldun, the main explanation for the rise and decline of dynasties and empires was not necessarily their wealth ...