Al‐Mas˓ūdī (Abu˒ ‘l ḥasan ˓Alī Ibn al‐ḥusayn al‐Mas˓ūdī)

  • Mushtaqur Rahman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8962

In the tenth century AD Muslims were arguably the leaders of world sciences, including geography. Many Muslim geographers, including al‐Mas˓ūdī, established the principles of science and research in geography. Al‐Mas˓ūdī's geographic curiosity took him as far as China and Madagascar. His conceptual orientation, which combined geography and history to explain cultural history, made him an outstanding scholar.

Not much is known about al‐Mas˓ūdī's early life and education, except that he was born in Baghdad in AD 893 and died in Old Cairo, Egypt, in AD 956. His two surviving books, Murūj al‐dhahab wa‐Ma˓ādin al‐Jawhar (Meadows of Gold) and Kitāb al‐tanbīh wa˒l Ishraf (Book of Indication and Revision) provide no biographical information. Presumably, his early education was with historians, philosophers, scientists, ḥadīthspecialists (those who study the words of the Prophet Muḥammad), grammarians, and literary critics. He began his travels at the age of 23 to seek geographic knowledge...

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References

  1. Ahmad, M. H. Shoul. Al‐Mas˓ūdī and His World. London: Ithaca Press, 1979. 1–17.Google Scholar
  2. Khalidi, Tarif. Mas˓ūdī's Theory and Practice of History. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Chicago, 1970.Google Scholar
  3. Nasr, Syed Hossein. Science and Civilization in Islam. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1968. 47–8.Google Scholar
  4. Sarton, G. The Times of al‐Mas˓ūdī. Introduction to the History of Science. Vol. I. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1927. 619–20.Google Scholar
  5. Sezgin, Ursula. Pharaonische Wunderwerke bei Ibn Wassif as‐Sabi’ und al‐Mas'udi: Einige Reminiszenzen an Ägyptens vergangene Grösse und an Meisterwerke der alexandrinischen Gelehrten in arabischen Texten des 10. Jahrhunderts n. Chr. Teil II/Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Arabisch‐Islamischen Wissenschaften 11 (1997): 189–249.Google Scholar
  6. Siddiqi, Akhtar Hussain. Al‐Mas˓ūdī's Geographic Concept. International Journal of Islamic and Arabic Studies 7.2 (1990): 43–71.Google Scholar
  7. Sprenger, Aloys, trans. Al‐Mas˓ūdī's Historical Encyclopedia. Meadows of Gold and Mines and Gems. Vol. I. London: W. H. Allen and Company, 1941.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Mushtaqur Rahman

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