From Arabian Tribes to Islamic Empire: Army, State and Society in the Near East c.600-850, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

From Arabian Tribes to Islamic Empire

Army, State and Society in the Near East c.600-850, 1st Edition

By Patricia Crone


320 pages

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Hardback: 9780754659259
pub: 2008-04-28

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This second collection of articles by Patricia Crone brings together studies on the development of early Muslim society, above all the army with which it was originally synonymous, from shortly after the Prophet's death until the mid-Abbasid period. The focus is on the changes that the Arab tribesmen underwent thanks to settlement outside Arabia, their strained relations with converts from the conquered population, and their gradual eclipse by them.


’This volume, given the author’s importance to the field of early Islamic history, is destined to be one of the most useful in the Variorum series.’ Journal of Islamic Studies '[These articles] serve as a reminder, if one is needed, of the range and incisiveness of Crone’s work on early Islamic history. They also sit together well, presenting a coherent set of perspectives on the problem implied in the book’s title - that of the political consequences of the Arabian origins of Islam.' Journal of Semitic Studies

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The Arabian Background: The tribe and the state; Tribes and states in the Middle East; The 1st-century concept of higra. The Later Evolution: Were the Qays and Yemen of the Umayyad period political parties?; A note on Muqatil b. Hayyan and Muqatil b. Sulayman; The significance of wooden weapons in al-Mukhtar's revolt and the `Abbasid revolution; On the meaning of the `Abbasid call to al-Rida; The `Abbasid Abna' and Sasanid cavalrymen; The early Islamic world; The pay of client soldiers in the Umayyad period; Mawali and the Prophet's family: an early Shi`ite view; Imperial trauma: the case of the Arabs; Index.

About the Author

Patricia Crone (1945 - 2015) was Professor Emerita in the School of Historical Studies at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General