Table of Contents


Introductory material

Introductory material of Book One, Kitab al 'Ibar

Preliminary Remarks

Chapter I

Human civilization in general

Chapter II

Bedouin civilization, savage nations and tribes and their conditions of life, including several basic and explanatory statements

Chapter III

On dynasties, royal authority, the caliphate, government ranks, and all that goes with these things. The chapter contains basic and supplementary propositions

Chapter IV

Countries and cities, and all other forms of sedentary civilization. The conditions occurring there. Primary and secondary considerations in this connection


Dynasties are prior to towns and cities. Towns and cities are secondary products of royal authority


Royal authority calls for urban settlement


Only a strong royal authority is able to construct large cities and high monuments


Very large monuments are not built by one dynasty alone


Requirements for the planning of towns and the consequences of neglecting those requirements


The mosques and venerated buildings of the world


There are few cities and towns in Ifriqiyah and the Maghrib


The buildings and constructions in Islam are comparatively few considering Islam's power and as compared to the dynasties preced­ing Islam


Buildings erected by Arabs, with very few exceptions, quickly fall into ruins


The beginnings of the ruin of cities


With regard to the amount of prosperity and business activity in them, cities and towns differ in accordance with the different size of their civilization (population)


Prices in towns


Bedouins are unable to settle in a city with a large civilization (population)


Differences with regard to prosperity and poverty are the same in countries as in cities


The accumulation of estates and farms in cities. Their uses and yields


Capitalists among the inhabitants of cities need rank and protection


Sedentary culture in cities comes from the dynasties. It is firmly rooted when the dynasty is continuous and firmly rooted


Sedentary culture is the goal of civilization. It means the end of its life span and brings about its corruption


Cities that are the seats of royal authority fall into ruins when the ruling dynasty falls into ruins and crumbles


Certain cities have crafts that others lack


The existence of group feeling in cities and the superiority of some of the inhabitants over others


The dialects of the urban population

Chapter V

On the various aspects of making a living, such as profit and the crafts. The conditions that occur in this connection. A number of problems are connected with this subject

Chapter VI

The various kinds of sciences. The methods of instruction. The conditions that obtain in these connections. The chapter includes a prefatory discussion and appendices

Concluding Remarks

Selected Bibliography, Walter J. Fischel