Abu Zayd Abd-Al-Rahman Ibn Khaldûn was born in Tunis in 1332 of a Spanish Arab family. Arguably the greatest of the medieval Arab scholars, his thinking has impacted the fields of cultural history, historiography, sociology, political science, philosophy of history, and education. His magnum opus, the Muqaddamah (Introduction) of 1377, represents the earliest critical study of history. In it, he explains how social cohesiveness binds societies together; and maintains that the rise, change, and fall of societies follow natural laws that can be empirically discovered.