Ibn Khaldun

Ibn Khaldun

Ibn Khaldun (Ĭ´bən khäldōōn´), 1332–1406, Arab historian, b. Tunis. He held various offices under the rulers of Tunis and Morocco and served (1363) as ambassador of the Moorish king of Granada to Peter the Cruel of Castile. In 1382 he sailed to Cairo, where he spent most of the rest of his life as a teacher and lecturer. Many times grand Maliki cadi (judge) of Cairo, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1387. In 1400 he accompanied the Egyptians in their campaign against Timur, and he was sent to arrange for the capitulation of Damascus to Timur. Ibn Khaldun is generally considered the greatest of the Arab historical thinkers. In his great work, the Kitab al-Ibar [universal history], he attempts to treat history as a science and outlines a philosophy of history, setting forth principles of sociology and political economy. He wrote an autobiography, completed in 1394, but expanded a few months before he died.

See studies by M. Mahdi (1957), W. J. Fischel (1967), and Y. Lacoste (1984).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Ibn Khaldun: Selected full-text books and articles

Ibn Khaldun: Life and Times By Allen James Fromhere Edinburgh University Press, 2010
Ibn Khaldun: An Essay in Reinterpretation By Aziz Al-Azmeh Central European University Press, 2003
Political Sociology: A Reader By S. N. Eisenstadt Basic Books, 1971
Librarian’s tip: "The Muqaddimah" by Ibn Khaldun begins on p. 27
Social Thought: From Hammurabi to Comte By Rollin Chambliss Dryden Press, 1954
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406)"
Philosophers and Religious Leaders By Christian D. Von Dehsen Oryx Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Khaldun, Ibn: Originator of the Sociological Approach to History 1332-1406" begins on p. 108
Perspectives on Social Change By Robert H. Lauer Allyn and Bacon, 1977 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: "Nomadic and Sedentary Man: Ibn Khaldun" begins on p. 30
Ibn Khaldun: Dynastic Change and Its Economic Consequences By Alrefai, Ahmed; Brun, Michael Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), Vol. 16, No. 2, Spring 1994
A Reader on Classical Islam By F. E. Peters Princeton University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Ibn Khaldun in multiple chapters
The Epistemology of Ibn Khaldun By Zaid Ahmad RoutledgeCurzon, 2003
Political Thought in Medieval Islam: An Introductory Outline By Erwin I. J. Rosenthal Cambridge University Press, 1968
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