Harun al-Rashid

Caliph of the Abbasid Empire
Born: c.764

Harun al-Rashid became the fifth Caliph of the Abbasid dynasty in 786, and went on to become its most famous and celebrated leader. A number of the stories in The Thousand and One Nights are based on Harun and his magnificent court at Baghdad.

Harun's empire extended from modern Morocco to India. His 23-year reign involved a number of military campaigns, but was generally peaceful, allowing for the expansion of trade and industry. The caliphate's capital was Baghdad, and under Harun's reign it became the most magnificent and advanced city in the Islamic world. A center of the arts and learning, Baghdad was also a city of dazzling wealth and luxury.

Died: 809

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