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The Topic For this assignment, you are to provide a comparative analysis of the

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The Topic
For this assignment, you are to provide a comparative analysis of the accounts of two Abbasid Caliphs, al-Mansūr (r. 754-775 CE) and al-Ma ͑mūn (r. 813-833 CE) as presented in al-Mas͑ūdī’s The Book of Golden Meadows. For your convenience, a link to the reading can be found here.
In addition to doing a general assessment of the primary source reading, address the following questions in your analysis:
1. The early Abbasid Caliphs were rulers who enjoyed absolute power. Does al-Mas͑ūdī’s accounts portray this?
2. Would you say that al-Mas͑ūdī’s account portrays the Caliphs in a favourable light? What do you think al-Mas͑ūdī is trying to accomplish in these accounts?
3. Do these accounts provide any insight into how these Caliphs viewed their responsibility and role as “Islamic” rulers?
4. In your assessment, how objective would you say are al-Mas͑ūdī’s accounts as a historical source?
This is an “essay-style” written assignment. Although you do not need a thesis or argument, you should write your answer in a clear, organized, and thoughtful way. A rubric has been made available to you to use as a guide. You are only to use the material assigned to you (see the link above). Be mindful of grammar and spelling. Use full sentences and paragraphs; do not use point-form. Your essay should be between 1-2 double-spaced pages. Please cite your work and use either CMS or MLA citation formatting rules. In-text citations are acceptable. Please note that your assignment will be subjected to a plagiarism checker (TurnItIn) when submitted.

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