Ibn Khaldun Contribution to Geography Notes by NETSET CORNER

Ibn Khaldun Contribution to Geography

[7] Ibn Khaldun (1332 AD- 1406 AD)

He was born on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in north-west Africa. Most of time he lived in the cities of Algier, Tunisia, and Spain. At the age of 45, he completed his monumental work known as ‘Muqaddimah’. This book deals with the description and explanation of human society in its various aspects. The work has been divided into six sections:

[1] Civilisation, Geography, and Anthropology,

[2] Discussion on Nomadic Culture and its Comparison with Sedentary Culture,

[3] Dynasties and Kingdoms,

[4] Life in Villages and Cities-How Cities are Organised,

[5] Professions, Means of Livelihood, and

[6] Classification of Sciences.

In his writings it is mentioned that northern hemisphere is more densely populated than the southern. The population along the equator is sparse, but there is an increasing concentration away from it up to 60 degrees. Further away there is little or no population.

He was emphasized the role of fertile land in the origin of settlements. He has argued that the origin of the large cities has always been in the form of small settlements.

Ibn Khaldun was considered as one of the early environmental determinists as he tried to correlate-man-and his environment in a scientific way.

Also credited of establishing political geography in the middle period where he discusses the rise and fall of dynasties and empires.

Essentially, Ibn-Khaldun, the great historian, was an environmental determinist, who tried to explain the impact of environment on the economy and society of the different parts of the world. Central to his argument was the view that states develop through a natural sequence of growth. maturity, decline, and fall, because group solidarity is inevitably eroded by the process of civilisation. The same concept was later developed by Ratzel in the form of Lebansraum (living space)

Key Points on Ibn Khaldun:

[i] His monumental work known as ‘Muqaddimah’

[ii] He was an environmental determinist.

[iii] He also contributed in the field of political geography.


N.B- Notes will be updated time to time

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