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As well as being a ruthless soldier and politician Harun was also a great patron of the arts, and highly esteemed by Charlemagne. He turned Baghdad into a brilliant centre of culture and learning, which witnessed unprecedented economic development, its merchants and navigators carrying the caliph's renown to the farthest corners of the known world. Surrounded by his wives, concubines, musicians and learned men in his palace in Baghdad, 'Harun the Good' remains a potent symbol of the fabled Orient. In this remarkable account Andre Clot explores the man behind the legend, revealing his development as a ruler of an empire that was shaken to the core by religious and social revolt.
Andre Clot is a historian and journalist who has spent many years in the Muslim lands of the Near and Middle East. He is the author of Suleiman the Magnificent, also published by Saqi.