Ibn Khaldun and the city : a study of the physical formation of medieval Cairo
Author(s)Abu-Hantash, Tawfiq F
Study of the physical formation of medieval Cairo
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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This essay is an application of Ibn Khaldun's theories of culture and civilization to a study of the physical formation of medieval Cairo . The study is based on the premise that the city is an historical process governed by an underlying set of cultural conditions. Those conditions manifest themselves in the physical form of the city. Ibn Khaldun formulated his theories as tools for investigating the nature of social phenomena. He considered such investigation a necessary step towards understanding and recording the historical events. His concept of history, stated in the first part of this study, is based on a cyclical pattern of cultural change which leads to the rise and fall of civilization. The city in his framework becomes an aspect of civilization following the same inevitable evolutionary pattern. The first part of this study examines those theories and focuses on their important aspects. The second part introduces some historical facts about the evolution of medieval Cairo and analyses them using the premises of Ibn Khaldun's theories. The reports of al-Maqrizi - a fifteenth century historian of Cairo - provided the historical information necessary for this investigation. The study raised some issues concerning the use of Ibn Khaldun's theories in pursuing such kind of studies, and the knowledge of the Islamic city which need to be reassessed. Those issues are presented in the last section under Reflections.
Thesis (M.S.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1989.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 78-80).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology