Rashid al-Din: The First Universal Historian J.J. Saunders describes how a Persian servant of the Mongol Khans wrote the first truly global history. J.J. Saunders | Published in History Today Volume 21 Issue 7 July 1971 Masjid-i Kabud, Blue Mosque, Tabriz, Iran, photograph by Antoin Sevruguin, fl. 1880s-1930. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institute. To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive. Buy Online Access Buy Print & Archive Subscription If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in. Please email email@example.com if you have any problems.