Monday, 22 May 2006
A mere 1500 words today, mostly about Ibn Khaldûn. He lived in the fourteenth century, mostly in North Africa, but also in Arab Spain. Later in life he made the pilgrimage to Mecca, broadening his horizons to include the eastern Mediterranean. While in middle age, the bubonic plague struck Europe, disrupting the trade routes that linked Mediterranean coastal communities with those inland and to the east and west. I don’t remember hearing about whether the plague also struck the North African cities that were ports of call for the same vessels that sailed into Venice, Genoa, and lesser European Mediterranean cities and spread the rats, fleas, and disease.
Social scientists remember Ibn Khaldûn (his “real�? name is about two lines long!) because of the multi-volume work he wrote on the history of his world (Arab and Mediterranean), including theories on how dynasties became established, grew, and declined.