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The Great Caliphs : The Golden Age of the 'Abbasid Empire - Amira K. Bennison

The Great Caliphs

The Golden Age of the 'Abbasid Empire

Paperback

Published: 31st August 2010
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In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the 'Abbasid Empire (750-1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions. At its zenith the 'Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennison's examination of the politics, society, and culture of the 'Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the "civilized" values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennison's argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.

"...concise and comprehensive."--Choice Choice

List of Illustrationsp. vii
Acknowledgementsp. ix
Note on Transliteration and Arabic Conventionsp. x
Introductionp. 1
A Stormy Sea: The Politics of the 'Abbasid Caliphatep. 10
The making of an empire
The Umayyads: Islam's first caliphal dynasty
The rise of the 'Abbasids
The early 'Abbasid caliphate
The Samarran interlude
The Shi'i century
The Saljuq sultanate and the 'Sunni revival'
The Crusades and the twilight of the caliphate
From Baghdad to Cordoba: The Cities of Classical Islamp. 54
Arab urbanism at the dawn of Islam
The first Muslim towns
Umayyad urbanism
'Abbasid imperial cities and their imitators
Provincial cities in the 'Abbasid age
Princes and Beggars: Life and Society in the 'Abbasid Agep. 94
Peasants and country folk
The people of the city
Women and children
The religious minorities
Beggars and tricksters
The Lifeblood of Empire: Trade and Traders in the 'Abbasid Agep. 137
Routes and commodities
Merchants and pilgrims
Trade facilities
Baghdad's 'Golden Age': Islam's Scientific Renaissancep. 158
The foundations of Islamic learning
The flowering of knowledge under the 'Abbasids
The 'Abbasid translation movement
Translations, translators and scientists
Knowledge and science after the translation movement
The 'Abbasid Legacyp. 203
Notesp. 216
Bibliographyp. 225
Indexp. 235
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780300167986
ISBN-10: 0300167989
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 31st August 2010
Publisher: Yale University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 1.7
Weight (kg): 0.36