The Biblical prophets in historiography
NOTES On this argument see Khalidi, Arabic Historical Thought, 29-30; Leder, "The Literary Use of the Khabar", 279, 311-312; Donner, Narratives of Islamic Origins, 154-9.
2 A sacred history so conceived already had antecedents and the Arab authors certainly had at their disposition Persian and above all Christian Syriac models; cf. Rosenthal, A History of Muslim Historiography, 75-9; Cahen, "L'historiographie arabe", 141. Cf. also Radtke, Weltgeschichte und Weltbeschreibung, 167-8 and Id., "Das Wirklichkeitsverstandnis islamischer Universalhistoriker", 62, who rightly underlines the model of the universal history which had already been spread widely by the Christians in the Latin, Syriac, Greek and therefore Arabic literatures, from the beginning of the 3rd century. According to Wansbrough, The sectarian Milieu, 40, the concept of salvation as a historical process is clearly of Biblical derivation; this naturally has nothing to do with the birth of historiography, and is more probably linked with the Qur'anic conception of the prophecy and the Biblical prophets.