Masudi, Al

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Masudi, Al


(Abu al-Hasan Ali ibn al-Husein al-Masudi). Born at the end of the ninth century, in Baghdad; died 956 or 957, in al-Fustat, Egypt. Arab historian and traveler.

From 915 to 945, al-Masudi visited Iran, India, Ceylon, North Africa, Azerbaijan, and Armenia; he later lived in Syria and Egypt. Only two of his more than 20 works on different branches of knowledge (history, philosophy, Islamic theology and law) are extant. His most important work, Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems (Muruj al-dhahab wa maadin al-jawahir), contains information about the earth, seas, and mountains, descriptions of various peoples (including the Slavs), semilegendary stories about the ancient Greeks and Romans, and the history of the Arabs to the 940’s. Al-Masudi’s work is an important source for the history of the Arabian caliphate and of the peoples of tenth-century Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia.


Maçoudi: Les Prairies d’or, vols. 1-9. Text and translation by C. Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille. Paris, 1861-77.
Macoudi: Les Prairies d’or, vols. 1-2. Revised and corrected by C. Pellat. Paris, 1962-65.
“Kitab attanbih wa’l ischraf auctore al-Masudi.” Bibliotheca Geographorum Arabicorum, part 8. Leiden, 1894.


Krachkovskii, I. Iu. Arabskaia geograficheskaia literatura: Izbr. soch., vol. 4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1957.
Minorskii, V. F. Istoriia Shirvana i Derbenda X-XI vekov, supplement 3. Moscow, 1963.
Al-Masudi Millenary Commemoration Volume. Edited by S. Maqbul Ahmad and A. Rahman. [Aligarh] 1960.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.