Arabs and Empires before Islam collates nearly 250 translated extracts from an extensive array of ancient sources which, from a variety of different perspectives, illuminate the history of the Arabs before the emergence of Islam. Drawn from a broad period between the eighth century BC and theMiddle Ages, the sources include texts written in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Persian, and Arabic, inscriptions in a variety of languages and alphabets, and discussions of archaeological sites from across the Near East. More than 20 international experts from the fields of archaeology, classics andancient history, linguistics and philology, epigraphy, and art history, provide detailed commentary and analysis on this diverse selection of material.Richly-illustrated with 16 colour plates, 15 maps, and over 70 in-text images, the volume provides a comprehensive, wide-ranging, and up-to-date examination of what ancient sources had to say about the politics, culture, and religion of the Arabs in the pre-Islamic period. It offers a fullconsideration of the traces which the Arabs have left in the epigraphic, literary, and archaeological records, and sheds light on their relationship with their often more-powerful neighbours: the states and empires of the ancient Near East. Arabs and Empires before Islam gathers together a host ofmaterial never before collected into a single volume - some of which appears in English translation for the very first time - and provides a single point of reference for a vibrant and dynamic area of research.
Rome, Persia, and Arabia traces the enormous impact that the Great Powers of antiquity exerted on Arabia and the Arabs, between the arrival of Roman forces in the Middle East in 63 BC and the death of the Prophet Muhammad in AD 632. Richly illustrated and covering a vast area from the fertile lands of South Arabia to the bleak deserts of Iraq and Syria, this book provides a detailed and captivating narrative of the way that the empires of antiquity affected the politics, culture, and religion of the Arabs. It examines Rome’s first tentative contacts in the Syrian steppe and the controversial mission of Aelius Gallus to Yemen, and takes in the city states, kingdoms, and tribes caught up in the struggle for supremacy between Rome and Persia, including the city state of Hatra, one of the many archaeological sites in the Middle East that have suffered deliberate vandalism at the hands of the ‘Islamic State’. The development of an Arab Christianity spanning the Middle East, the emergence of Arab fiefdoms at the edges of imperial power, and the crucial appearance of strong Arab leadership in the century before Islam provide a clear picture of the importance of pre-Islamic Arabia and the Arabs to understanding world and regional history. Rome, Persia, and Arabia includes discussions of heritage destruction in the Middle East, the emergence of Islam, and modern research into the anthropology of ancient tribal societies and their relationship with the states around them. This comprehensive and wide-ranging book delivers an authoritative chronicle of a crucial but little known era in world history, and is for any reader with an interest in the ancient Middle East, Arabia, and the Roman and Persian empires.
In just over a hundred years--from the death of Muhammad in 632 to the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate in 750--the followers of the Prophet swept across the whole of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Their armies threatened states as far afield as the Franks in Western Europe and the Tang Empire in China. The conquered territory was larger than the Roman Empire at its greatest expansion, and it was claimed for the Arabs in roughly half the time. How this collection of Arabian tribes was able to engulf so many empires, states, and armies in such a short period of time is a question that has perplexed historians for centuries. Most recent popular accounts have been based almost solely on the early Muslim sources, which were composed centuries later for the purpose of demonstrating that God had chosen the Arabs as his vehicle for spreading Islam throughout the world. In this ground-breaking new history, distinguished Middle East expert Robert G. Hoyland assimilates not only the rich biographical and geographical information of the early Muslim sources but also the many non-Arabic sources, contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous with the conquests. The story of the conquests traditionally begins with the revelation of Islam to Muhammad. In God's Path, however, begins with a broad picture of the Late Antique world prior to the Prophet's arrival, a world dominated by the two superpowers of Byzantium and Sasanian Persia, "the two eyes of the world." In between these empires, in western (Saudi) Arabia, emerged a distinct Arab identity, which helped weld its members into a formidable fighting force. The Arabs are the principal actors in this drama yet, as Hoyland shows, the peoples along the edges of Byzantium and Persia--the Khazars, Bulgars, Avars, and Turks--also played important roles in the remaking of the old world order. The new faith propagated by Muhammad and his successors made it possible for many of the conquered peoples to join the Arabs in creating the first Islamic Empire. Well-paced and accessible, In God's Path presents a pioneering new narrative of one the great transformational periods in all of history.
`Whoever lives in our country, speaks our language, is brought up in our culture and takes pride in our glory is one of us.' Thus ran a declaration of modern leaders of Arab states. But what exactly is an Arab, and what has been their place in the course of human history? In this well-established classic, Professor Lewis examines the key issues of Arab development - their identity, the national revival which cemented the creation of the Islamic state, and the social and economic pressures that destroyed the Arab kingdom and created the Islamic empire. He analyses the forces which contributed to that empire's eventual decline, and the effects of growing Western influence. Today, with the Arab world facing profound social and political challenges, it constitutes an essential introduction to the Arabs and their history.
The Rise and Fall of the Arab Empire and the Founding of Western Pre eminence
Two children are found dead in the forest outside the remote village of Gerasimovka, Western Siberia in 1932. Both have been repeatedly stabbed. Who committed these horrific murders has never been proved, but the elder boy, 13-year-old Pavlik Morozov, quickly became the most famous boy in Soviet history, with children across the country exhorted to emulate him. Catriona Kelly, Professor of Russian at the University of Oxford, explores how Stalin's regime turned Pavlik into a boy martyr and national hero designed to produce good Soviet citizens.
In this book, historian Dr. Greg Fisher discusses the relationship between the Roman Empire and its Arab allies in the fourth, fifth, and sixth centuries. He examines the political and military alliances between the two groups and the role of Christianity in creating shared allegiances and loyalty. He also analyses the role of language and culture in building 'identity' for the Arabs before the emergence of Islam. The book also considers the relationship between the Empire of Sasanian Iran and its own Arab allies at al-Hirah in Iraq, and the role played by the kingdoms of Himyar (Yemen), and Axum (Ethiopia), in the wider world of superpower competition in the dying days of Rome's Middle Eastern empire.
An examination of the complex inter-relationships between the Roman and Sasanid Empires, and some of their Arab allies and neighbours, during the last century before the emergence of Islam. Greg Fisher stresses the importance of a Near East dominated by Rome and Iran for the formation of early concepts of Arab identity.
A riveting, comprehensive history of the Arab peoples and tribes that explores the role of language as a cultural touchstone This kaleidoscopic book covers almost 3,000 years of Arab history and shines a light on the footloose Arab peoples and tribes who conquered lands and disseminated their language and culture over vast distances. Tracing this process to the origins of the Arabic language, rather than the advent of Islam, Tim Mackintosh-Smith begins his narrative more than a thousand years before Muhammad and focuses on how Arabic, both spoken and written, has functioned as a vital source of shared cultural identity over the millennia. Mackintosh-Smith reveals how linguistic developments—from pre-Islamic poetry to the growth of script, Muhammad’s use of writing, and the later problems of printing Arabic—have helped and hindered the progress of Arab history, and investigates how, even in today’s politically fractured post–Arab Spring environment, Arabic itself is still a source of unity and disunity.
In this book the author pursues some of the ideas first set forth in his controversial Introduction to the Other History (1984, in Arabic) in a ground-breaking study of the ways in which the relations between Arabs and non-Arabs developed during the first centuries of Islam. Arabs and Others in Early Islam argues that with the rise of the Arab empire in the seventh century, paradigms of Arab or Islamic identity did not yet exist in their classical forms. In the course of arguing this thesis, Bashear also offers important insights on the social and cultural history of early Islam, including changing attitudes toward bedouins, non-Arabs, and non-Muslims, the notion of Arabia as the Arab homeland, and apocalyptic insecurities. -- Publisher description.