Empire and Elites after the Muslim Conquest: The Transformation of Northern Mesopotamia
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.
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Abbasid Abd al-Malik Abd Allah Abﬁ according administrative Ahmad al-ard al-Azdi al-Baladhuri al-Jazı¯ra al-Kamil al-Mawsil al-Raqqa al-T·abarı al-Tabari al-Yaqu¯bı Ansab appears appointed Arabic authority Baghdad Beirut bishop Byzantine Cairo caliph Cambridge Christian Chronicle of 1234 Chronique church city’s conquest history Crone Dailam Damascus Dionysius early Abbasid early Islamic east Edessa eighth century élite evidence example Fiey ﬁrst Futu¯h governor historians Ibn al-Athir imperial Iraq Islamic Islamic period Iya¯d Jazira Kharijites killed Kitab Kufa Kufan land Late Antiquity Leiden Marwa¯nid Marwan Marwan II massacre Mesopotamia Michael the Syrian Morony mosque Mossoul Mosul Muhammad narrative Nestorian Nineveh Nisibis northern Mesopotamia political province Rabban rebel rebellion Reis rikh rı¯kh rule Sa‘id Salih Sasanian Sayf settlement seventh century Shabib shaha¯rija Shurayh sources Sufya¯nid Ta rikh Ta’rikh Tarı¯kh taxation Thomas of Marga Tigris tradition trans treaty tribesmen Ubayd Umar Umayyad Yahya Yu¯suf Zuqnin Chronicle