White Banners: Contention in 'Abbasid Syria, 750-880

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SUNY Press, Mar 22, 2001 - History - 228 pages
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Using Arabic, non-Arabic and newly available local Syrian sources, this richly detailed study examines the central events of medieval Islamic history: the fall of the Syrian Umayyad caliphate and the rise of the ‘Abbasid state. As the ‘Abbasids forged their new state from Iraq, Syrians raised their white banners of opposition and violently contested the changes that occurred under the ‘Abbasid rule. As a result, the Syrian population quickly gained a reputation as uniquely contentious. White Banners traces the divergent fates of Syria’s populace in their shift from center to periphery, rooting the many sources of Syrian contention in the nature of early Islamic provincial government. The book also provides answers to key questions concerning the history of medieval Syria: what strategies did the ‘Abbasid government use to rule their new province? What was the fate of the Umayyads in Syria who survived the revolution? How did Syria’s tribal-military elite cope under new masters? What pushed the common folk to violence?
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Contentious Syrians
5
Who Will Act Equitably Between the People? The Dynamic of Provincial Power in Syria
11
The Dynamic of Provincial Power
14
A Good Reputation and Supporting Hands Provincial Governors and Provincial Rebellion
21
Early Abbasid Strategies
22
The Revolt of Abd Allah b Ali
23
The Rise of the Banu Salih
27
The Joint Revolt of Habib b Murra and Ibn Suraqa
76
The Crisis of the Ashraf
78
The Revolt of Abu alHaydham alMurri
82
The Revolt Erupts
83
Denouement
86
Other Early Outbreaks of Factionalism
91
The Ashraf of Syria and the Fourth Civil War
92
Syria under the Ashraf
93

The Khurasaniyya and Abbasid Clients
31
Continuities and Changes after the Fourth Civil War
34
Syria and Samarra
36
The Strange Success of Isa b alShaykh
37
The Last Governors of Early Abbasid Syria
41
Conclusion
42
The Swords of Our Forefathers Umayyads and the Alternatives to Abbasid Rule
43
Abbasid Revolution and Umayyad Rebellion
44
Abu alWard and Abu Muhammad alSufyani
46
Other Umayyad Counterrevolts
48
Umayyad Legitimacy in the Abbasid Age
51
The Revolt of Abu alUmaytir
55
Context and Outbreak
56
The Qaysiyya Respond
60
The Aftermath of the Revolt
62
Conclusion
64
As One Face Your Faces Are Marred Asabiyya and the Ashraf of Syria
67
A Short History of Factionalism in Syria
68
The Umayyad Background
69
The Third Civil War
71
The Reign of Marwan II
72
Initial Reactions to the Abbasid Revolution in Syria
75
Central Authority Restored
95
The End of the Ashraf
98
Conclusion
101
Worst Elements The Impolitics of Unnotables in Abbasid Syria
103
Urban Violence and the Lower Strata
104
The Constraints upon Rural Contention
106
The Revolt of Bundar Theodore
112
Abu Harb alMubarqa
116
Banditry and the Zawaqil
118
Conclusion
122
Conclusion Standards of Revolt
125
The View from Syria
128
Contextualizing Syria
131
Questions
133
Governors of the jund of Dimashq based on Safadi Umara esp 2026 with minor modifications
137
Governors of the jund of Qinnasnn based on ZH I 4974
141
A Chronology of Contention in Syria
145
Notes
147
Works Cited
197
General Index
213
Prosopographical Index
223
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Paul M. Cobb is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

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