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Set in the 10th century Middle East, North Africa, Spain, and France, this is a story of two men from worlds apart, one Christian and one Muslim. They who meet and become lasting friends at the oldest university of the world. The Muslim, Hakeem, is a fictional character based on the historical person Ibn Hawqal who draws amazingly recognizable maps of the lands he travels. How does he learn to do that. More importantly, why? The Christian is Gerbert d'Aurillac, a young monk who becomes a brilliant mathematician and astronomer and creates an abacus and a celestial globe. Both are drawn into the political intrigue of the day. The Muslim becomes a spy for the Fatimid Caliphate; the Christian becomes Pope Sylvester II in 999. Why is the pope untroubled by the angst of Y1K?