Arabic Literature of Africa Online

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(910 words)

By far the most important centre of Islamic scholarship in the Middle Niger region during this period was Timbuktu, especially after 1500 when it eclipsed both Walāta and Jenne. There had been in the previous century much coming and going of scholars between these cities and Timbuktu, but in the sixteenth century Timbuktu became the chief pole of attraction. The other great city of the area, Gao, produced no writers, so far as we know, for most scholars preferred to distance themselves from the …

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“Introduction”, in: Arabic Literature of Africa Online, General Editor John O. Hunwick, R.S. O’Fahey. Consulted online on 29 January 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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