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  • Cited by 5
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Nol, Hagit 2015. THE FERTILE DESERT: AGRICULTURE AND COPPER INDUSTRY IN EARLY ISLAMIC ARAVA (ARABAH). Palestine Exploration Quarterly, Vol. 147, Issue. 1, p. 49.

    2014. TEXTS FROM KHIRBET EL-MAFJAR (TASHA VORDERSTRASSE). Palestine Exploration Quarterly, Vol. 146, Issue. 1, p. 74.

    Robinson, Chase F. 2011. The Roman Empire in Context.

    Mikhail, Maged S. A. 2010. An Orientation to the Sources and Study of Early Islamic Egypt (641-868 ce). History Compass, Vol. 8, Issue. 8, p. 929.

    SARRIS, PETER 2009. Introduction: Aristocrats, Peasants and the Transformation of Rural Society,c.400-800. Journal of Agrarian Change, Vol. 9, Issue. 1, p. 3.

  • Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Volume 69, Issue 3
  • October 2006, pp. 395-416

New documentary texts and the early Islamic state

  • DOI:
  • Published online: 19 September 2006

This article is intended as a contribution to the debate on the nature of the early Islamic state (especially 1–70 AH/622–690 AD), as regards both its government and its ideology. It presents and discusses new documentary evidence that sheds light on these subjects and tries to advance a little further the discussion of two questions that have been particularly hotly debated in recent years. These are: whether the Muslims merely continued the administrative practices of the Byzantines and Persians or introduced innovations, and why recognizably Islamic messages do not appear in the material record before the reign of the caliph ‘Abd al-Malik (65–85 AH/685–705 AD). Finally, this article attempts to draw attention to the relative under-use of documents, whether papyri, coins, rock inscriptions or the like, and to illustrate the different ways in which they might be deployed to enhance our knowledge of this very important topic.

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This article began its life as a lecture given in French at the Collège de France (January 2005) at the invitation of Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou. I am immensely grateful to her for the initial impetus to write this article and for her very helpful comments during its progress. The figures are taken from Arabia Revue de Sabéologie 1, 2003, 295–8, 301, by kind permission of Professor Christian Robin and with gratitude to Dr ‘Ali al-Ghabban, gifted epigrapher and special advisor for culture and heritage in Saudi Arabia.
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Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • ISSN: 0041-977X
  • EISSN: 1474-0699
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