The greatest impact of Islam on history has been cultural yet, this aspect of Islamic history has been neglected in comparison to political and judicial history. V.V. Bartold, the Russian historian was one of the first scholars to project Muslim culture. In this world, Bartold gave primacy to clarity and the organization of knowledge. He posits the position of Islam in world history to the position of Christianity as a cultural force in both the Roman and the eastern worlds. Bartold's Russian vantage made him a specialist on Islam in Central Asia; hence Ajam culture, Persian in the first instance, and Turco-Mongol in the second, find their proper place, with the result that the Abbasid and post-Abbasid Muslim cultures find their proper place. The Mongol invasion is not treated merely as destruction and disruption of Muslim culture, but also as a factor which affected late medieval culture. Most of the great exponents of Muslim culture, Ibn Khaldun and Avicenna are covered. Bartold concludes with remarking on the effect on his native Russia of the passing of cultural leadership from the East to the West.; This monograph is remarkable for retaining its relevance and validity after almost a whole century and a host of intervening specialised works in the intervening period. This work was translated four years after the author's death by Shahid Suhrawardy, an eminent scholar in his own right, and the Foreword has been written by Sir Hassan Suhrawady, then Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University.
FOREWORD; TRANSLATOR'S NOTE; INTRODUCTION; Chapter I The Christian East and its significance for Islam; Chapter II The Beginnings of the Caliphate and of Arab Culture; Chapter III Baghdad and the further development of Arab Culture; Chapter IV Persian culture and its influence on other lands; Chapter V The Mongol conquest and its influence on Persian Culture; Chapter VI The Mussulman world after the XVth Century