The History of al-Tabari Vol. 38
The Return of the Caliphate to Baghdad: The Caliphates of al-Mu'tadid, al-Muktafi and al-Muqtadir A.D. 892-915/A.H. 279-302
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The concluding pages of al-Tabari's History cover the caliphates of al-Mu'tadid and al-Muktafi and the beginning of the reign of al-Muqtadir--altogether a period of 23 turbulent years in world history. Although al-Tabari has woven skillful narratives and quoted important documents verbatim, much of the information consists of brief notes jotted down by an observant and well-placed contemporary who witnessed the events as they occurred. The reporting is thus both vivid and, within limits, historically reliable. Happenings at court, military activities on the northern and eastern frontiers of the empire, and the difficulties caused by the Qarmatian movement are all brought to life in this volume.