Islam’s ‘Golden Age’: Rise of the Abbasids

Crusader Kings 3 is free to play on Steam May 11-15, 2023 – use this link to play now…

In the 8th century Middle East, a new dynasty seized control of one of the world’s greatest empires – the Islamic Caliphate. Though little remembered in the west today, the Abbasids reigned for five centuries. They oversaw an era of Islamic military dominance… city-building… brilliant scholarship, and technological innovation. It has come to be remembered as Islam’s ‘golden age’. This is the story of the Abbasid Caliphate.

Thank you to our series historical consultant, Professor Antoine Borrut of the University of Maryland. Find out more about his research and publications here:

Thank you also to YouTube channel Al Muqaddimah for additional help with research. Watch great history videos on Islamic history at:
📚 Some recommended reading provided by Prof. Borrut for those wishing to know about the Abbasids – (as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases):

📖 A recent & comprehensive overview of Abbasid Baghdad and Abbasid culture: Emily Selove, Baghdad at the Centre of a World, 8th-13th Century: An Introductory Textbook

📖 The funniest (and excellent) introduction to the topic (comic book): Emily Selove, Popeye and Curly: 120 Days in Medieval Baghdad

📖 The most accessible narrative on the Abbasid dynasty: Hugh Kennedy, When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World: The Rise and Fall of Islam’s Greatest Dynasty

📖 To move away from the aura of masculinity surrounding the period: Nadia Maria El Cheikh, Women, Islam, and Abbasid Identity

📖 An excellent biography of a major Abbasid caliph: Michael Cooperson, Al-Ma’mun

📖 Many more excellent biographies in the same series, “Makers of the Muslim World”:

📖 A thought-provoking discussion of the making of a discrete Muslim identity in pre-Abbasid times: Fred M. Donner, Muhammad and the Believers: At the Origins of Islam

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Comment (24)

  1. We hope you enjoy the new video, and big thanks to Crusader Kings 3 for supporting our channel! Paradox's richly-detailed simulation of the medieval world is FREE TO PLAY on Steam this weekend: May 11 – 15, 2023. Use this link: We want to know your favourite faction to play, and why? And are you tempted to try out the Abbasids after watching this video?!

    Thanks also to our writer Darian Safiran, illustrator Marwan Musa, our historical consultant Professor Antoine Borrut ( and YouTube channel Al Muqaddimah for additional research help ( – a great place to watch many fascinating videos on Islamic history. Thanks most of all to our Patreon supporters for making this video possible! Join their illustrious ranks here

  2. I'm not islamophobe but…

    I had a neutral stance on the Islam world since school only ever taught me the history of Europe and its domination of the world basically.

    I have a much greater appreciation for Islams achievements! They are definitely on par with Europe's influence in human history! Thanks for the video

  3. Wouldn't it be great if we could all just get along and spend all our time making the world a better place to live and reaching for the stars instead of always fighting each other?

  4. Wow, thank you for making this video. It presents an important period in human history. Thank you for your efforts. This is one of the best videos that talk about the Abbasid Caliphate 👍👍👍👍

  5. The misinterpretation of the Western historians about the vulnerability of sasanid and Eastern roman empire as a cause of the successful Muslim conquest makes the people thinking that the Muslims took over a weaker empires, while the reality is that the Muslims were outnumbered, outclassed and outgunned in all there tens of battles against those superpowers. It's just like a present subsaharan growing power takes over US and China at the same time… so please Don't mention the vulnerability of sasanid and Eastern roman empire as a cause of the Muslim successful conquest … it's meth

  6. Let the PEOPLE OF THE WORLD KNOW how the Islam made PEACE AND UNITY between them (When the Muslims were ruled by the religion your media now call "TERRORISM")!! 💚🕋🕌
    Science, Art, Culture, Doodness, Justice, and above all.. obedience to the Creator 🤍


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