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Genealogy and Knowledge in Muslim SocietiesUnderstanding the Past$
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Sarah Bowen Savant and Helena de Felipe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748644971

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748644971.001.0001

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Genealogy and Ethnogenesis in al-Mas’udi's Muruj al-dhahab

Genealogy and Ethnogenesis in al-Mas’udi's Muruj al-dhahab

(p.115) Chapter 8 Genealogy and Ethnogenesis in al-Mas’udi's Muruj al-dhahab
Genealogy and Knowledge in Muslim Societies

Sarah Bowen Savant

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines how the litterateur and historian al-Mas'udi manipulated the genealogical record at a time when Muslims generally believed that all of humanity had descended from Adam. In Muruj al-dhahab, an eclectic account of the origins of the Persians, al-Mas'udi positions his discussion of the Persians' genealogy amidst sections on Iranian history, both ancient and Sasanian (224–651 CE), but makes virtually no effort to reconcile the contradictions in his material. The chapter reviews this section of the Muruj al-dhahab and then considers al-Mas'udi's arrangement of the evidence and his likely sources and motives. It shows that al-Mas'udi presents a remarkable picture of Islamisation in progress, including traces of negotiations over Iranians' sense of history.

Keywords:   al-Mas'udi, Muslims, Muruj al-dhahab, Persians, genealogy, Iran, Iranian history, Islamisation

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