The catalog was compiled by Abu al-Faraj Muhammad al-Nadim, a man with good connections at the caliph's court.
Superbly educated, al-Nadim wrote well-informed comments on books and authors that his catalog presents a detailed survey of the intellectual world of Baghdad.
The third writings from people connected with the caliph's court include historians, government officials, singers, and jesters.
After dealing with Arabic poetry, Muslim sects, and Islamic law, he goes on to Greek philosophy, science, and medicine in Book 7.
Most of the things we find in a bookstore are in the last three chapters.
Al-Nadim's version is no longer around.
The manuscript that we have today was written five hundred years ago.
The chapter covers the rise of Islam, non-Muslim sects and foreign lands, as well as a few final notes on philosophers not mentioned before.
All together, the thousands of titles and authors commented on by al-Nadim pro, a panorama of what interested book buyers in tenth-century Baghdad and a saddening picture of how profound the loss of knowledge has been since that glorious era.
There was a rivalry between Rome and the Parthians along the frontier.
Behind this facade of continuity, a social and economic transformation took place that set the Mesopotamia.
The Romans were confronted by the new rulers to the west.
The Byzantines subsidized nomadic Arabs to protect their empire from invasion on their Jordanian desert frontier.
Arab pastoralists farther to the south were independent.
There were many attacks on each other across that frontier.
During times of peace, the Silk Road allowed goods to enter the zone of Mediterranean trade.
The political hinterland of the Sasanids was often ruled by the cousins of the shah or by powerful nobles.
The small walled communities of the cities served more as mili tary strong points than centers of population and production.
The noble warriors described in the sagas of ancient kings and heroes sung at their banquets were just like the local aristocracy that lived on rural estates.
Despite the dominance of power ful aristocratic families, long- lasting political fragmentation of the medi eval European variety did not develop.
The conquerors of Baghdad and Abbasid Caliphate were similar to the conquerors of Roman armies in the third century.
Central control of imperial finances and military power was maintained by the Sasanid and Byzantine Empires.
Some of the new products brought to Mesopotamia by the Silk Road became part of the agricultural landscape.
Cotton, sugar cane, rice, citrus trees, and other crops were adopted from India and China.
During the Islamic period, new crops became important consumption and trade items.
The emergence of Christianity and Zoroastrianism as official faiths marked the emergence of religion as an instrument of politics both within and between the empires, setting a precedent for the rise of Islam as the focus of a political empire.
Both Zoroastrianism and Christianity practiced discrimination.
The persecutions of Christians, Jews, and Buddhists were carried out by the Zoroastrian high priest.
Christian and Jewish communities remained large in Mesopotamia.
From the fourth century onward, the council of Christian bishops declared many of the theological beliefs heretical.
The Christians became pawns in the political rivalry between the Byzantines and the Sasanids.
The Byzantine emperor declared the Christians heretics for overemphasizing the humanness of Christ in 431.
Many Christians maintain that Mary was not the mother of God, but the mother of the human Jesus, as the Nestorians believe.
After the bishops' ruling, the Nestorians sought refuge under the Sasanid shah and continued missionary activities along the Central Asian trade routes.
Manichaeism, a new religion in Mesopotamia, was founded by a preacher in the third century.
He preached a dualist faith that was derived from Zoroastrianism.
Mani and many of his followers were killed by the shah in 276.
His religion spread widely.
The missionaries from Central Asia competed against missionaries from Manichaean countries.
The Arabs became involved in the religious conflict.
The border protectors adopted a Monophysite theology which emphasized Christ's divine nature and the allies of the Sasanids.
The Parthi Religion was overthrew by the Sasanids and they continued their rivalry with Rome.
Most subjects of the Byzantine emperors were farmers.
Zoroastrianism was the state religion and the law courts were religious.
Christianity experienced both toleration and looked on priests, monks, rabbis, and the Zoroas.
The Arabs were subsidized to protect their empire from invasion.
The Byzantines did the same with Arabs.
The shahs and emperors rarely paid attention to Arab pastoralists farther to the south.
The religion of Islam took shape in the interior Arabian lands.
More people living on the Arabian peninsula have become farmers than pastoral nomads.
Farming villages supported the population of Yemen, which has a dense population.
Fishing and trading communities were favored by small inlets along the southern coast.
The first Islamic century brought a lot of territory under Muslim rule, but it took a long time to convert to Islam.
The only region where Arabic was spoken before the conquest was the Arabian peninsula.
Many southern regions were isolated from the Arabian interior by the "Empty Quarter" interactive map.
In the seventh century, most people in southern Arabia were aware of Africa, India, and the Persian Gulf.
cam els and guides were supplied by the Arab pastoralists in the desert between Syria and Mesopotamia.
Another key to Arab prosperity was the development of saddles.
The Arabs used it to take control of the caravan trade in their territories and thus became so important as suppliers of animal power, even in agricultural districts, that wheeled vehicles-- mostly ox carts and horse-drawn chariots-- had all but disappeared by the sixth century c.e.
There was a rare link among people.
The income from camels, guides, and safe passage to merchants brought the main product of the south, the aromatic resins frankincense and myrrh, to northern customers.
Products from Mesopotamia and Syria were brought back in caravans.
The birthplace of the Prophet the Sasanid and Byzantine Empires, as well as those who pastured their herds on the impe Muhammad, adopted one form or another of Christianity.
Yemen and Syria are inland from the Red Sea coast.
Mecca achieved a measure of prosperity because it was too far away from other countries to be attacked.
The shrine was associated with stories of Jews and Christians.
They believed that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in order to build the Ka'ba.
The forefather of the Arabs was not the son of Sarah but the son of Hagar, according to the Bible.
He got married (570-632 C.E.
Their son died when he was a child.
Muhammad began meditating at night around Mecca.
It is in the name of your Lord.
A man was created from a clot of blood.
Your Lord is the mosttiful.
He has taught with a pen.
The man was taught that which he did not know.
Muhammad only shared this with his family and friends for three years.
The revelations continued until Muhammad's death.
When Muhammad said that he was inspired by an unseen spirit even if it wasn't true, many people in the Islamic religion believed him.
Their souls would be judged at the end of the day.
The ends that ye strive for are diverse.
We will make it easy for him to get to Bliss.
All people were told to accept Muhammad as the last of his mes as a result of the revelation.
Judaism and Christianity were connected to Muhammad's message by his hearers.
His revelations accused the Jews and Christians of being negligent in preserving God's revealed word.
Muhammad's followers considered his revelation more perfect than the Bible because it had not gone through, even though they identified Abraham/Ibrahim as the builder of the Ka'ba.
According to some scholars, Muhammad appealed to people distressed over wealth replacing kinship as the most important aspect of social relations and over neglect of orphans and other powerless people.
The power and beauty of Muhammad's recitations are more important than a social message for most Muslims.
Mecca's leaders feared that accepting Muhammad as the sole agent of the one true God would threaten their power and prosperity.
They made his kin abandon him and persecution of the weakest of his followers.
In 622, Muhammad and his followers left Mecca to escape persecution.
Prior to the hijra, Medinan representatives had met with Muhammad and agreed to protect him and his followers because they saw him as an inspired leader who could calm their feuding.
Muhammad took active responsibility for his umma during the last decade of his life.
A framework for regulating social and legal affairs was provided by fresh revela determined membership in a tions.
The pilgrimage to the Ka'ba was made unimpeded by his followers.
The city-state of Medina had grown into a bustling city-state.
After being rejected in Mecca, delegations came from all over Arabia and returned home with believers who could teach about Islam and collect money.
It was part of Muhammad's mission to bring God's message to humanity that he allying himself with the state that was coming to dominate the Arabian peninsula.
Muhammad died after a brief illness.
Abu Bakr was called a successor, but he didn't clarify his powers.
Everyone knew the name of that empire.
There is a book composed of umma.
610 and his prayer five times a day, 3 days of fast during the lunar month of Ramadan, and the sacred text making the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during one's lifetime.
The religion of Islam was reestablished by him.
A number of the tenets of collect them in a book are contained in these selections.
Hitherto written on pieces of leather or bone became a single document gathered into chapters and shed light on the con.
They don't see it as the words of ism or Christianity.
The Sasanid Empire and the Rise of Islam is a book written for the person of Jesus Christ, who Christians consider an earthly incarnation of God.
The umma disagreed over the succession to the branch of Islam that is the caliphate.
Ali had been passed over three times before.
He was thought to be the Prophet's natural heir.
Ali was the state religion of Iran.
Two of Muhammad's closest friends and his favorite wife challenged Ali when he accepted the nomination to be caliph.
The fighting raged around the camel on which A'isha was seated in an enclosed hereditary dynasty of Mus woman's saddle.
The Umayyads ruled a way to arbitration after aclusive battle.
The assassins of Uthman thought that he deserved death, but the arbitrators decided that he had been wrong in accepting the caliphate.
Spain was rejected by Ali.
He was killed by one of his own supporters for agreeing to the Caliphate.
Ali's son Hasan was offered a dignified retirement by Mu'awiya and became the caliph in 661.
Husayn revolted to reestablish the right of Ali's leadership.
Shi'ism became a religious sect because of the majority religion.
Several variations in Shi'ite belief developed, but they all agree that Ali was the rightful successor to Muhammad and that God's choice as Imam, leader of the Muslim community, has always been one or another of Ali's descendants.
They think the caliphal office is more secular than religious.
Islam emerged among the nomadic pastoralists and caravan their religious feelings came to focus on outpour traders of the Arabian peninsula.
The Muslims who supported the first three were called the "People of mit to God's will".
The umma was formed by Sunnis in Medina.
As for Ali's followers who were against his acceptance of arbitration, Abu Bakr confirmed the Five were small and rebelled against the Quran.
The Islamic caliphate was built on the conquests of the Arabs after Muhammad's death gave birth to a dynamic and creative religious society.
One piece after another of this huge realm broke away by the late 800s.
Sunni belief in the unity of the umma is a constant reminder of the unrealistic idea of a caliphate.
Sunni Islam did not give anyone the power to define true belief, expel heretics, or discipline clergy.
The caliphs had little basis for reestablishing their authority after they lost power.
The second Caliph, Umar, began Arab conquests outside Arabia.
Syria and Egypt were wrenched away from the Byzantine Empire and defeated by the Arab armies.
Expansion began again after a decade-long lull.
The governing center of Tunisia was organized in 711 after the conquest of Spain by an Arab-led army.
In the same year, invaders from Iraq invaded the southern part of Pakistan.
The Muslim empire was stable for three centuries before it was conquered in the eleventh century.
Sub-Saharan Africa and other regions saw Islam grow peacefully by trade and conversion.
The conquests were guided by men inspired by Muhammad's charisma.
The social structure and hardy nature of Arab society made it possible for military operations to be flexible.
Umar's decision to prohibit Arabs from assuming ownership of conquered territory proved important.
Two military camps in Iraq, one in Egypt, and one in Tunisia were tied to army service with its regular pay and windfalls.
In the East of Iraq, Arabs settled in small garrison towns at strategic locations and in one large garrison at Marv.
The policy kept the armies together and ready for action, which meant that most of the population lived in the countryside.
Only a small percentage of Syrians, Egyptians, Iranians, and Iraqis understood the Arabic language.
The million or so Arabs who participated in the conquests over several generations were a small, self-isolated ruling minority living on the taxes paid by a vastly larger non-Arab, non-Muslim subject population.
There is no evidence of coherent missionary efforts to spread Islam during the conquest period, and the Arabs had little incentive to encourage conversion.
The Umayyad caliphs were not a religious empire.
Their armies were almost entirely made up of Muslim Arabs.
Administrative practices from the ancients continued in force.
The caliphs gradually replaced non- Muslim secretaries and tax officials with Muslims and introduced Arabic as the government's official language.
The new order was symbolized by Muslim silver and gold coins.
There are silver dirhams and gold dinars bearing Arabic religious phrases in monetary exchanges from Morocco to the frontiers of China.
The Umayyad dynasty fell after a decade of unrest.
They were still important because of the small number of Arab warriors.
The converts resented Arab domination.
Pious Muslims looked askance at the secular behavior of the caliphs and non-Syrian Arabs envied the Syrian domination.
The Umayyad family's legitimacy as rulers was attacked by Shi'ites and Kharijites.
Many Shi'ites supported the rebellion because they thought they were fighting for Ali's family.
Some of the Abbasid caliphs who ruled after 750 Muhammad's uncle befriended their relatives in Ali's family, and one even tried to transfer the caliphate to al-Abbas.
The last of the Abbasid family was killed in Baghdad in 1258 when the Umayyad Caliphate was overthrown by the Mongols.
The Abbasid dynasty made a good show of leadership.
From 750 to 1258, theology and religious capital in Baghdad became preoccupations at court and among a growing community of scholars devoted to 762.
The Quran, the sayings of the Prophet, and the biography of the Prophet were all composed around this time to provide a legendary base for the regime.
The Caliphs funded projects to translate great works of Greek, Persian, and Indian thought into Arabic.
Baghdad is the new capital city on the Tigris River.
The ruling elite became more cosmopolitan as more non-Arabs converted to Islam.
Greek, Iranian, Central Asian, and African cultural currents met in the capital and gave rise to an abundance of literary works.
Despite Islam's prohibition of alcohol, Arab poets wrote wine songs and poems in praise of their patrons.
Baghdad culture slowly made its way into the provinces.
In the early Abbasid period, Egypt was mostly Christian and Coptic-speaking.
Iran did not use Arabic as a spoken tongue.
After 740, most of North Africa rebelled and freed itself of direct rule.
The accelerated conversion of the conquered population to Islam happened in the second quarter of the ninth century.
The Arabs themselves lost their strong attachment to kinship and ethnic identity as social discrimination against non-Arab converts faded.
The second half of the ninth century saw Abbasid decline as conversion to Islam accelerated.
It is not possible for a government ruling to hold power easily.
The average distance traveled by caravans was only 32 kilometers, and the average distance traveled by the caliphal post system was 100 kilometers a day.
It took weeks for news of frontier revolts to reach Baghdad.
Military responses could take months.
Revolts against Muslim rule were a concern during the first two centuries.
Despite the long distances, the Muslim umma remained together.
With the growing conversion of the population to Islam, fears that Islamic dominion might be overthrown faded.
The interests of all the people were not always served by the Islamic empire.
By the middle of the ninth century, revolts targeting Arab or Muslim domination gave way to Turkic military slaves formed movements within the Islamic community concentrating on seizure of territory and formation of an important part of the principalities.
The armed forces of the Abbasid Caliphate of the ninth threatened Islam after that time.
Tax revenues to Baghdad were cut in the tenth century.
Local prosperity is increased by Mamluks.
Turks proved to be an effective military force.
The construction of a new capital at Samarra made it easier for the mamluks to seat and oust caliphs when the government couldn't pay them.
The Turks dominated Samarra without being interfered with by the Baghdad populace.
The money and effort that went into the huge city, which was only occupied for a short time, further eroded the caliphs' financial strength.
Abbasid rulers ruled Iraq from 750 to 1258, but real political power waned after 850.
The rival caliphates of the Fatimids and Spanish Umayyads were not very long-lived.
The sun began to set on Baghdad after two centuries of glory.
The Buyid princes were in charge of the Abbasid caliph.
Being Shi'ites, the Buyids had no special reverence for the Sunni caliph.
The Shi'ite teachings held that the twelfth and last Imam would return at the end of time and that they would be a messiah.
They did not have a Shi'ite Imam to help control their Sunni subjects.
The caliphate's gradual loss of temporal power was paralleled by dynamic growth in outlying provinces.
The language the princes preferred was Persian, which was written in Arabic letters.
The eminence of Arabic within the Islamic world was challenged for the first time by a non-Arabic literature.
The first regular trade across the Sahara desert was developed after the rulers of these states' beliefs interfered with their east-west overland trade.
When traders looked to the desert, they found that salt was already being carried from the desert into the Sahel region.
The first known kingdom salt for gold was given to the southern nomads who controlled the salt sources but had little use for gold in West Africa.
The former minting of gold coins that were as far away as Egypt and the modern West African and Syria became wealthy cities.
The kingdom Gold Coast was the first beneficiary of the new exchange system.
Egypt became for the first time a quasi-independent province under the governor of this mosque.
There are fountains in the center of the courtyard.
The mosque had a spiral minaret before it was restored in the 13th century.
It was one of the first places outside the caliphate to experience a gradual and peaceful conversion to Islam.
After conquering Egypt, the Fatimids became the rulers of northwest Africa.
The complex was named Cairo.
Egypt became a major cultural, intellectual, and political center of Islam for the first time.
Fatimid gold coinage from West Africa made the Fatimids an economic power in the Mediterranean.
Historians don't agree on how quickly the Spanish population converted to Islam.
The most rapid surge in Islamization occurred in the middle of the tenth century, if we assume a process similar to that in the eastern regions.
The Islamic presence in al-Andalus, as the Mus lims called their Iberian territories, was symbolized by the governing cities.
Cordoba, Seville, Toledo, and other cities grew much larger than contemporary cities in France.
The descendants of Arab settlers joined with the descendants of Islam and their descendants to create new architectural and literary styles.
In the countryside, where the Berbers preferred to settle, a fusion of agricultural technologies with new crops gave Spain the most diverse and sophisticated agricultural economy in Europe.
The basic layout of a Zoroastrian fire temple is a dome on top of a cube.
Northeast Iran and western Central Asia became independent in the tenth century.