Abstract: In just over a hundred years -- from the death of Muhammad in to the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate in -- the followers of the Prophet swept across the whole of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain.
The conquered territory was larger than the Roman Empire at its greatest expansion, and it was claimed for the Arabs in roughly half the time. How this collection of Arabian tribes was able to engulf so many empires, states, and armies in such a short period has perplexed historians for centuries. Most accounts of the Arab invasions have been based almost solely on the early Muslim sources, which were composed centuries later to illustrate the divinely chosen status of the Arabs.
Robert Hoyland's groundbreaking new history assimilates not only the rich biographical information of the early Muslim sources but also the many non-Arabic sources, contemporaneous or near-contemporaneous with the conquests. In God's Path begins with a broad picture of the Late Antique world prior to the Prophet's arrival, a world dominated by two superpowers: Byzantium and Sasanian Persia.
In between these empires, emerged a distinct Arabian identity, which helped forge the inhabitants of western Arabia into a formidable fighting force. The Arabs are the principal actors in this drama yet, as Hoyland shows, the peoples along the edges of Byzantium and Persia -- the Khazars, Bulgars, Avars, and Turks -- all played critical roles in the remaking of the old world order.
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The Blood Gospel. It is also never polemic and always careful not to offend the academic consensus. Donna Tartt. A solid four-star work. The Arab identity of the conquests is thus stressed in order to flesh out a wider network in which are enmeshed all the structures and discourses of late antiquity. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. In this respect Hoyland parts company with a large host of historians who take the Islamic identity of these conquests for granted.
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View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Review : [A] splendid new history of the Arab conquests Buy New Learn more about this copy.
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