Premodern Arabic biography has served as a major source for the history of Islamic civilization. In the first book-length study to explore the origins and development of classical Arabic biography, Michael Cooperson demonstrates how Muslim scholars used the notions of heirship and transmission to document the activities of political, scholarly and religious communities. The author also explains how medieval Arab scholars used biography to reconstruct the life stories of important historical figures. He then examines the careers of four of these figures, analyzing their relationships and their place in later biography.
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