The Meadows of Gold


Meadows of Gold and Mines of Gems (in Arabic: مروج الذهب ومعادن الجوهر‎, translit. Muruj adh-dhahab wa ma'adin al-jawahir) is an historical account in Arabic of the beginning of the world starting with Adam and Eve up to and through the late Abbasid Caliphate by medieval Baghdadi historian Masudi (in Arabic المسعودي). One English version is the abridged The Meadows of Gold: The Abbasids, translated and edited by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone. An 1841 translation of volume I, by Aloys Sprenger, also exists and is available at Princeton's Firestone Library. A first version of the book was allegedly completed in the year 947 AD but the author spent most of his life adding and editing the work as well.The first European version of The Meadows of Gold was published in both French and Arabic between 1861 and 1877 by the Societe Asiatique of Paris by Barbier de Meynard and Pavet de Courteille. For over 100 years this version was the standard version used by Western scholars until Charles Pellat published a French revision between 1966 and 1974. This revision was published by the Universite Libanaise in Beirut and consisted of five volumes.Versions of the source text by Mas'udi have been published in Arabic for hundreds of years, mainly from presses operating in Egypt and Lebanon. One English version was published in 1989 and was translated and edited by Paul Lunde and Caroline Stone. According to this edition's introduction, their English translation is heavily edited and contains only a fragment of the original manuscript due to the editors' own personal research interests and focuses almost exclusively on the Abbasid history of Mas'udi. Their introduction also outlines how the editors relied mainly on the Pellat revision in French and are therefore mainly working from the French translation with the Arabic source text as a background guide.Another English version was published in 1841 by Aloys Sprenger, which includes a full translation of the first volume and extensive footnotes. Historian Hugh N. Kennedy calls the book "Probably the best introduction to the Arabic historical tradition for the non-specialist."
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original title: The Meadows of Gold
genre: non-fiction
main subject: history

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