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Empire and Elites after the Muslim Conquest
The Transformation of Northern Mesopotamia


Part of Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization

  • Date Published: November 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521028738

£ 40.99

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About the Authors
  • The study of early Islamic historical tradition has flourished with the emergence of an innovative scholarship no longer dependent on more traditional narratival approaches. Chase Robinson's book, first published in 2000, takes full account of the research available and interweaves history and historiography to interpret the political, social and economic transformations in the Mesopotamian region after the Islamic conquests. Using Arabic and Syriac sources to elaborate his argument, the author focuses on the Muslim and Christian élites, demonstrating that the immediate effects of the conquests were in fact modest ones. Significant social change took place only at the end of the seventh century with the imposition of Marwanid rule. Even then, the author argues, social power was diffused in the hands of local élites. This is a sophisticated study in a burgeoning field in Islamic studies.

    • Combination of history and historiography means that this book will be at the cutting edge of early Islamic studies
    • A neglected geographic area in this period studied through the prism of a range of sources
    • Robinson is a rising star in this area, already recognized as a brilliant scholar
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is an excellent contribution to early Islamic history. By concentrating on a small area, almost a microcosm, which has a particularly rich historiographical tradition, Robinson has made a major contribution to our understanding of the more general processes of the formation of the Islamic state.' History

    'For its intended audience… the book will no doubt be welcomed as an impressive and highly accomplished treatment of its subject. Indeed, it is at the cutting edge of contemporary scholarship on early Islam in many respects. The author's command of sources in exhaustive.' Elton L. Daniel, University of Hawaii

    '… rich in detail … a definitive work …' Bulletin of the School of Oriental & African Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521028738
    • length: 224 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.351kg
    • contains: 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    Note on dates and citations
    Map: the fertile crescent in the early Abbasid period
    1. Conquest history and its uses
    2. The seventh-century Jazira
    3. From garrison to city: the birth of Mosul
    4. A Christian élites in the Mosuli hinterland: the shaharija
    5. Islam in the north: Jaziran Kharijism
    6. Massacre and narrative: the Abbasid Revolution in Mosul I
    7. Massacre and élite politics: the Abbasid Revolution in Mosul II

  • Author

    Chase F. Robinson, University of Oxford
    Chase F. Robinson is Lecturer in Islamic History at the University of Oxford.

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