Slaves on Horses: The Evolution of the Islamic Polity

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 30, 2003 - History - 302 pages
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Slave soldiers are a distinctively Muslim phenomenon. Though virtually unknown in the non-Muslim world, they have been a constant and pervasive feature of the Muslim Middle East from the ninth century AD into modern times. Why did Muslim rulers choose to place military and political power in the hands of imported slaves? It is this question which Dr Crone seeks to answer. Concentrating on the period from the rise of the Umayyads to the dissolution of the 'Abbasid empire (roughly AD 650-850), she documents the consequences of the fusion between religion and politics in Islam, which she sees as an essential forging characteristic of the Muslim social structure and state. Primarily addressed to specialists and advanced students of Arabic and Islamic history, the book will also appeal to comparative historians and social anthropologists.
 

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Contents

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3
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About the author (2003)

Patricia Crone was born on March 28, 1945 in Kyndelose, Denmark. She received undergraduate and doctoral degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. She taught at Oxford University and Cambridge University before joining the Institute for Advanced Study, an independent research center, where she was a professor from 1997 until retiring in 2014. She explored archaeological records and contemporary Greek and Aramaic sources to challenge views on the roots and evolution of Islam. She wrote numerous books during her lifetime including Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World written with Michael Cook, God's Rule: Government and Islam: Six Centuries of Medieval Islamic Political Thought, and The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran. She died from cancer on July 11, 2015 at the age of 70.

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