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Hudud al-'Alam (Boundaries of the World)

"Hudud al-'Alam," or Boundaries of the World, is a Persian book published around the 10th century and authored by an anonymous writer. It examines the early Islamic world's political and cultural geography and the surrounding areas of Central Asia, India, and China.

There are two sections to the book. A thorough examination of the geographical features of the areas bordering Persia is provided in the first section, along with information on the most likely paths between them. It is both a work of geography and ethnography, as the second half dissects the sociocultural characteristics of the regions. The book clearly describes the region's geographical features, including its cities, mountains, and rivers. The governmental systems that exist and the people who run them, such as monarchs and their dynasties, are also covered in great detail.


The book is essential for research on Central Asia in the tenth century. It details the region's political, cultural, and social environment at that particular historical juncture. By going through the text, one can gain a nuanced understanding of the area's cultural history at that specific period.


Essentially, "Hudud al-'Alam," a book from the annals of the history of the early Islamic world, is a unique document that analyses the geographical and cultural development of the Islamic world and its bordering regions. Additionally, the book is also proof of the importance of geography and cartography in medieval Islam.


You can read the book for free here.

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