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Arabic Administration in Norman Sicily
The Royal Diwan

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Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: June 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521037020

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About the Authors
  • In the late eleventh century, Sicily - originally part of the Islamic world - was captured by Norman, French and Italian adventurers, led by Roger de Hauteville. For the next 150 years, Roger and his descendants ruled the island and its predominantly Arabic-speaking Muslim population. Jeremy Johns' 2002 book represents a comprehensive account of the Arabic administration of Norman Sicily. While it has generally been assumed that the Normans simply inherited their Arabic administration from the Muslim governors of the island, the author uses the unique Sicilian Arabic documents to demonstrate that the Norman kings restructured their administration on the model of the contemporary administration of Fatimid Egypt. Controversially, he also suggests that, in doing so, their intention was not administrative efficiency but the projection of their royal image. This is a compelling and accessible account of the Norman rulers and how they related to their counterparts in the Muslim Mediterranean.

    • A comprehensive study of the Arabic administration of Norman Sicily
    • Set in the broader historical context of contemporary Islamic Mediterranean
    • Accessibly composed and interdisciplinary in approach
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    Awards

    • Winner of the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a compelling and accessible account of the Norman rulers and how they related to their counterparts in the Muslim Mediterranean.' Middle East

    '… a meticulous study … It is a welcome addition to the limited corpus dealing with the Arabo-Islamic heritage in Sicily … the advantage of giving specialists in the divergent realms of Norman and Islamic studies glimpses of their familiar territories from a fresh angle … one of the strengths of this study is that it traverses boundaries of language and religion which more frequently remain uncrossed …' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521037020
    • length: 412 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 29 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    Tables
    Abbreviations
    Genealogical table of the De Hautevilles of Sicily
    Note on measurements
    Introduction
    1. 'In the time of the Saracens …'
    2. 'When first the Normans crossed into Sicily …'
    3. 'Our lady, the Regent Adelaide, and our lord, the Count Roger, her son', 1101–30
    4. The earliest products of the royal dīwān, 1130–43
    5. The jarā'id renewed, 1144–5
    6. The records of the royal dīwān, part I: the jarā'id al-rijāl
    7. The records of the royal dīwān, part II: the dafātir al-hudūd
    8. The duties and organisation of the royal dīwān
    9. 'The people of his state'. The 'palace Saracens' and the royal dīwān
    10. The Norman dīwān and Fātimid Egypt
    11. Royal dīwān and royal image
    Appendices
    List of references
    Index.

  • Author

    Jeremy Johns, University of Oxford

    Awards

    • Winner of the British-Kuwait Friendship Society Prize in Middle Eastern Studies

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