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Al-Rashid ruled from 786 to 809, and his time was marked by scientific, cultural, and religious prosperity. Islamic art and Islamic music also flourished significantly during his reign. He established the legendary library Bayt al-Hikma ("House of Wisdom").

Since Harun was intellectually, politically, and militarily resourceful, his life and his court have been the subject of many tales. Some are claimed to be factual, but most are believed to be fictitious. An example of what is factual, is the story of the clock that was among various presents that Harun had sent to Charlemagne. The presents were carried by the returning Frankish mission that came to offer Harun friendship in 799. Charlemagne and his retinue deemed the clock to be a conjuration for the sounds it emanated and the tricks it displayed every time an hour ticked. ...more


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Harun al-Rashid (763 — 809)
5th Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate
Abbasid Caliph in Ar-Raqqah

Reign 14 September 786 – 24 March 809

King of Kings - by Lewis Lavoie