The “golden age of Islam” in the eighth and ninth centuries was as significant to world history as the Roman Empire was in the first and second centuries. The rule of Baghdad’s Abbasid Dynasty stretched from Tunisia to India, and its legacy influenced politics and society for years to come. In this deftly woven narrative, Hugh Kennedy introduces us to the rich history and flourishing culture of the period, and the men and women of the palaces at Baghdad and Samarra-the caliphs, viziers, eunuchs, and women of the harem that produced the glorious days of the Arabian Nights.

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