Arabs and Empires Before Islam

ISBN : 9780198810148

Greg Fisher
608 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2017
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Arabs and Empires before Islam illuminates the history of the Arabs before the emergence of Islam, collating nearly 250 translated extracts from an extensive array of ancient sources. Drawn from a broad period between the eighth century BC and the Middle Ages, the sources include texts originally 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 twenty international experts from the fields of archaeology, classics and ancient history, linguistics and philology, epigraphy, and art history provide detailed commentary on and analysis of this diverse selection of material. Richly illustrated with sixteen colour plates, fifteen maps, and over seventy 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 full consideration 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 of material 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.


List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
List of Contributors
Copyright Notices
Transliteration Conventions
Leaders of Arab Dynasties and the Kingdom of Himyar
Greg Fisher: Editor's Introduction
1 Michael C. A. Macdonald, with contributions from Aldo Corcella, Touraj Daryaee, Greg Fisher, Matt Gibbs, Ariel Lewin, Donata Violante, and Conor Whately: Arabs and Empires before the Sixth Century
2 Christian Julien Robin: Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of South Arabia
3 Christian Julien Robin: Himyar, Aksum, and Arabia Deserta in Late Antiquity: The Epigraphic Evidence
4 Denis Genequand: The Archaeological Evidence for the Jafnids and the Nasrids
5 Peter Edwell, with contributions from Greg Fisher, Geoffrey Greatrex, Conor Whately, and Philip Wood: Arabs in the Conflict between Rome and Persia, AD 491-630
6 Greg Fisher and Philip Wood, with contributions from George Bevan, Geoffrey Greatrex, Basema Hamarneh, Peter Schadler, and Walter Ward: Arabs and Christianity
7 Zbigniew T. Fiema, Ahmad Al-Jallad, Michael C. A. Macdonald, and Laila Nehme: Provincia Arabia: Nabataea, the Emergence of Arabic as a Written Language, and Graeco-Arabica
8 Harry Munt, with contributions from Touraj Daryaee, Omar Edaibat, Robert Hoyland, and Isabel Toral-Niehoff: Arabic and Persian Sources for Pre-Islamic Arabia
Epigraphic and Papyrological Sigla
Index of Sources
General Index

About the author: 

Greg Fisher is a graduate of the University of Oxford and a Fulbright scholar. An historian of antiquity, he is the author and editor of numerous works examining the ancient Middle East. He lives in Montreal.

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