Ryan Lynch’s monograph offers a study of the ninth-century historian Aḥmad ibn Yaḥyā ibn Jābir al-Balādhurī and one of his most influential works, Kitāb Futūḥ al-buldān (The Book of the Conquests of Countries). Lynch’s study fills a gap in the modern study of early Arabo-Islamic historiography, which has hitherto been sorely lacking in studies of Balādhurī and his works. His monograph thus ought to be seen as a landmark contribution. The importance of Balādhurī and his corpus for any modern attempt to understand the early Islamic past is difficult to overestimate. Simply put, the works of Balādhurī represent the acme of Arabo-Islamic historiographic writings in the ninth century. Balādhurī is an author deeply enmeshed in the world of the Abbasid court, and his works combine the exactitude and resourcefulness of an imperial bureaucrat and the refinement of a cultured man of letters. He has few peers that equal him. The...

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