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"Arabs and Empires before Islam", Edited by Greg Fisher (September 2015)

"Arabs and Empires before Islam", Edited by Greg Fisher (September (…)

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Greg Fisher is Associate Professor in the College of the Humanities and the Department of History at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.


  1. George Bevan, Queen’s University, Kingston
  2. Aldo Corcella, Università della Basilicata
  3. Touraj Daryaee, University of California, Irvine
  4. Omar Edaibat, McGill University
  5. Peter Edwell, Macquarie University
  6. Zbigniew T. Fiema, University of Helsinki
  7. Greg Fisher, Carleton University
  8. Denis Genequand, University of Geneva
  9. Matt Gibbs, University of Winnpeg
  10. Geoffrey Greatrex, University of Ottawa
  11. Basema Hamarneh, Bergamo University
  12. Robert G. Hoyland, University of Oxford and New York University
  13. Ahmad Al-Jallad, Leiden University
  14. Ariel S. Lewin, Università della Basilicata
  15. Michael C. A. Macdonald, University of Oxford
  16. Harry Munt, University of York
  17. Laïla Nehmé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  18. Christian Julien Robin, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  19. Peter Schadler, University of North Florida
  20. Isabel Toral-Niehoff, Georg-August-Universität-Göttingen
  21. Donata Violante, Università della Basilicata
  22. Walter Ward, University of Alabama
  23. Conor Whately, University of Winnipeg
  24. Philip Wood, Aga Khan University


Arabs and Empires before Islam collates nearly 250 translated extracts from an extensive array of ancient sources which, from a variety of different perspectives, illuminate the history of the Arabs before the emergence of Islam. Drawn from a broad period between the eighth century BC and the Middle Ages, the sources include texts written in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Persian, and Arabic, inscriptions in a variety of languages and alphabets, and discussions of archaeological sites from across the Near East. More than 20 international experts from the fields of archaeology, classics and ancient history, linguistics and philology, epigraphy, and art history, provide detailed commentary and analysis on this diverse selection of material.
Richly-illustrated with 16 colour plates, 15 maps, and over 70 in-text images, the volume provides a comprehensive, wide-ranging, and up-to-date examination of what ancient sources had to say about the politics, culture, and religion of the Arabs in the pre-Islamic period. It offers a full consideration of the traces which the Arabs have left in the epigraphic, literary, and archaeological records, and sheds light on their relationship with their often more-powerful neighbours: the states and empires of the ancient Near East. Arabs and Empires before Islam gathers together a host of material never before collected into a single volume — some of which appears in English translation for the very first time — and provides a single point of reference for a vibrant and dynamic area of research.

Table of contents

List of Abbreviations
List of Illustrations
Copyright Notices
Transliteration Tables
Leaders of Arab Dynasties and the Kingdom of Himyar
Editor’s Introduction

1: Aldo Corcella, Touraj Daryaee, Greg Fisher, Matt Gibbs, Ariel S. Lewin, Michael C. A. Macdonald, Donatella Violante, and Conor Whately: Arabs and Empires before the Sixth Century

2: Christian Julien Robin: Before Himyar: Epigraphic Evidence for the Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia

3: Christian Julien Robin: Himyar, Aksum, and Arabia Deserta in Late Antiquity: The Epigraphic Evidence

4: Denis Genequand: The Archaeological Evidence for the Jafnids and the Nasrids

5: Peter Edwell, with contributions from George Bevan, Greg Fisher, Geoffrey Greatrex, Conor Whateley, and Philip Wood: Arabs in the Conflict between Rome and Persia, 491-630

6: Greg Fisher and Philip Wood, with contributions from George Bevan, Geoffrey Greatrex, Basema Hamarneh, Peter Schadler, and Walter Ward: Arabs and Christianity

7: Zbigniew T. Fiema, Ahmad Al-Jallad, Michael C. A. Macdonald, and Laïla Nehmé: Provincia Arabia: Nabataea, the Emergence of Arabic as a Written Language, and Graeco-Arabica

8: Harry Munt, with contributions from Touraj Daryaee, Omar Edaibat, Robert G. Hoyland, and Isabel Toral-Niehoff: Arabic and Persian Sources for Pre-Islamic Arabia

Index of Sources
Epigraphic and Papyrological Sigla

View online : Oxford University Press (OUP)