How did Muslims of the classical Islamic period understand their past? What value did they attach to history? How did they write history? How did historiography fare relative to other kinds of Arabic literature? These and other questions are answered in Chase F. Robinsonís Islamic Historiography, an introduction to the principal genres, issues, and problems of Islamic historical writing in Arabic, and the first such study to stress the social and political functions of historical writing in the Islamic world. Beginning with the origins of the tradition in the eighth and ninth centuries and covering its development until the beginning of the sixteenth century, this is an authoritative and yet accessible guide through a complex and forbidding field, which is intended for readers with little or no background in Islamic history or Arabic.