Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs

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Harvard CMES, 2004 - History - 271 pages
2 Reviews

This book studies the Arabic-Islamic view of Byzantium, tracing the Byzantine image as it evolved through centuries of warfare, contact, and exchanges. Including previously inaccessible material on the Arabic textual tradition on Byzantium, this investigation shows the significance of Byzantium to the Arab Muslim establishment and their appreciation of various facets of Byzantine culture and civilization. The Arabic-Islamic representation of the Byzantine Empire stretching from the reference to Byzantium in the Qur'an until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 is considered in terms of a few salient themes. The image of Byzantium reveals itself to be complex, non-monolithic, and self-referential. Formulating an alternative appreciation to the politics of confrontation and hostility that so often underlies scholarly discourse on Muslim-Byzantine relations, this book presents the schemes developed by medieval authors to reinterpret aspects of their own history, their own self-definition, and their own view of the world.

  

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User Review  - krasiviye.slova - LibraryThing

I quite enjoyed reading this book. El Cheikh's style leans toward the narrative, thus it flows well. She also has a taste for recording little details that bring the history to life. These pleasant ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
A History of Alterity
13
The Encounter with Byzantium
21
A Window to Greatness
54
Confronting Byzantium
83
Shuubiyya and the Discovery of PreIslamic Byzantium
111
Criticism of Character and Practice
120
The Battle of Manzikert and the Fall of Jerusalem
178
Revisiting Byzantium
189
Conclusion
223
Bibliography
231
Index
255
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