During our travels we have consorted with several kings, as different in their manners and their opinions as are the different geographical situations of their countries, yet little by little we have found among them the same accord in recognizing that all traces of science have vanished and that its splendour is spent; learning has become too general and has lost its depth; and one no longer sees any but people filled with vanity and ignorance, imperfect scholars who are content with superficial ideas and do not recognise the truth…
Masʿūdī (896-956 AD, historian, traveller, geographer and naturalist: “the Herodotus of the Arabs”).
“From The Meadows Of Gold”, Penguin Great Journeys No. 2 (2007).
Read the 1841 translation here.