From the Meadows of Gold

Much of his work has vanished, but Mas udi s matchless The Meadows of Gold has almost miraculously survived a compendium of stories and information on what he knew of the worlds of the Middle East, the Far East and Europe It is both a great monument to Islamic scholarship and a time capsule allowing us into the world over a millennium ago.
From the Meadows of Gold Much of his work has vanished but Mas udi s matchless The Meadows of Gold has almost miraculously survived a compendium of stories and information on what he knew of the worlds of the Middle East th

  • Title: From the Meadows of Gold
  • Author: Al-Mas'udi
  • ISBN: 9780141025353
  • Page: 499
  • Format: Paperback
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    1 thought on “From the Meadows of Gold”

    1. The second of twenty short, neat, gorgeously packaged books that I got in a boxset last Christmas (or birthday, I forget which). Masʿūdī wrote thirty-six books, but only two survived to the present day. Still, a pretty incredible achievement for a man born in 890AD. A lot of this condensed version is what I think of as "hard history"; lots of dates and places and fairly dry descriptions of various nations, their characteristics, kings and wars. Reading this book, it really struck me how much [...]

    2. An eclectic collection of short chapters, covering a huge number of countries/locations and a vast array of things! Culture, people, animals, customs, stories, etc. Very like Herodotus or Marco Polo in their travel / cataloguing type books. Helpfully where places or people are named in Arabic, their modern equivalent (by which they are better known) is provided in brackets, which is a helpful thing!Some example chapter titles: (there are 80 of them.The lighthouse of HerculesThe GaliciansThe Lomb [...]

    3. A short, yet marvellous description of the civilisation(s) that have ceased to exist long ago!!!!

    4. Only at 120 pages, this book reveals the important points in history during the life of al-masudi, encompassing his travels from Iraq, to the whole of Middle East, India, and even to the Far East. It's amazing how many places he had been and all the things he had seen, to be able to be a part of history. I've learnt so much history by reading this tiny book, and his adventures were so interesting, I kept reading until 4am.Now I think if I have the chance I'd like to collect all the books in the [...]

    5. This was an enjoyable and sometimes eye-opening window into the past, a Herodotus-style 10th century romp through the world as it was then known, peppered with useful medical advice (the electric catfish "can be used to provide instant relief from the pain of a severe migraine by being applied live to the head of the sufferer") and descriptions of historico-cultural marvels.

    6. So far this book has been my favorite in the series because Al-Masudi was sent on behalf of an entire nation to recount the history of the world whereas the other accounts were personal stories of adventure and unknown travel. Some of the dates and facts are mistaken, but the wealth of information in this short volume is astounding!

    7. Much better than Herodotus. This selection is from a longer book, which I would be willing to read. It is a description of the ancient world around the time of 975, and like many history books of that period there is a mix of heresay and actual events or places seen by the author. While there is not much narrative to this book it is still an engaging read.

    8. i'm currently reading this masterpiece for a seminar, i.e. the original in five volumes, its partial translation into german by gernot rotter and its partial translation into english; and already it seems a pity to me that there's only two of al-mas'udi's works that survived until the modern age.

    9. This was very, very similar to Herodotus. It is refreshing to see a writer of one faith write so impartially of the practices of another faith and reserve judgment.

    10. A very specific part of a relatively arcane history. This is probably one for someone seeking a specific reference on an exact topic, not for general reading necessarily.

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