The Rise And Fall Of Empires: Ibn Khaldun’s Theory Of Social Development

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The most remarkable figure in medieval historiography was Abd al-Rahman Ibn Khaldun; his name in Arabic is أبو زيد عبد الرحمن بن محمد بن خلدون الحضرمي‎, but this is mercifully shortened to us simply as Ibn Khaldun.  He was an urbane and well-traveled figure, whose life experiences taught him intimate lessons on both rulers and ruled.  He was born in Tunis, North Africa, in 1332 and received the best education of his day; his absorption of knowledge was made easier, he tells us, by his zealous devotion to travel and study.

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