Al-Mas’udi on the Byzantines
By Ahmed MH Shboul
Chapter 6 from Al-Mas’udi and his World: A Muslim Humanist and his Interest in Non-Muslims
(London: Ithaca Press, 1979)
Known as the “Herodotus of the Arabs,” Abu Al-husayn ‘ali Ibn Al-husayn Al-mas’udi (d. 957) was a prominent historian and traveler from the tenth century. He was the first Arab to combine history and scientific geography in a large-scale work, Muruj adh-dhahab wa ma’adin al-jawahir (“The Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems”), part world history and part encyclopedia. Professor Shboul has written one of the most important works on al-Mas’udi, and he has given us permission to republish chapter 6 of his work, which deals with the Byzantine empire.