The Arabs, Byzantium and Iran: Studies in Early Islamic History and Culture, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Arabs, Byzantium and Iran

Studies in Early Islamic History and Culture, 1st Edition

By C.E. Bosworth


336 pages

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Hardback: 9780860785835
pub: 1996-06-20

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This collection of articles by Professor Bosworth contains a series of studies on the Arab-Persian heartland of the medieval Islamic world, from the Levant to Afghanistan and the borderlands with India. The emphasis is on historical, religious, cultural and literary aspects of the region's history, from pre-Islamic times to the medieval period. A number of the studies focus on the Arab caliphate and the successor dynasties that arose from it in the Iranian world, others focus on Muslim perceptions of other faiths in the Middle East and on the relations of the ruling Muslim institution with its non-Muslim minorities. One particular group is also concerned with the prolonged contacts and interaction between Islam and the Byzantine Empire.


'C. E. Bosworth is a noted authority in Middle East History.' 'Bosworth demonstrates a superb command of Arabic and Persian sources combined with an expert knowledge of relevant secondary sources…For those specialists concerned with Muslim and non-Muslim interaction in the pre-modern Near East, this collection of his articles will be very welcomed.' MESA Bulletin 'It is of course a pleasure to have these articles in one place, particularly since three or four might otherwise remain inaccessible to those without access to good libraries. But the real pleasure is in experiencing Bosworth’s breadth of knowledge and wide expertise on a variety of Persian and Arabic literary genres, covering topics as diverse as irrigation, Christian-Muslim relations, historiography, frontier history, and early Islam in Iran and Afghanistan.' Religious Studies Review, Vol. 24, Number 3 'With its engaging entries, authentic documentation, and lively analysis, Bosworth’s anthology is an asset to, and a valuable reference for, the Middle East specialist.' Arab Studies Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 3

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Madyan Shu’ayb in pre-Islamic and early Islamic lore and history; A note on ta’arrub in early Islam; Some remarks on the terminology of irrigation practices and hydraulic constructions in the eastern Arab and Iranian worlds in the third-fifth centuries A.H.; Abu Hafs ’Umar al-Kirmani and the rise of the Barmakids; Notes on the lives of some ’Abbasid princes and descendants; The concept of dhimma in early Islam; The ’Protected Peoples’(Christians and Jews) in medieval Egypt and Syria; Ghars al-Ni’ma [b.] Hilal al-Sabic’s Kitab al-Hafawat an-nadira and Buyid history; Some historical gleanings from the section on symbolic actions in Qalqasndi’s Subh al-a ’sa; Al-Khwarazmi on the secular and religious titles of the Byzantines and Christians; The Byzantine defence system in Asia Minor and the first Arab incursions; Byzantium and the Syrian frontier in the early Abbasid period; Byzantium and the Arabs: war and peace between two world civilisations; The city of Tarsus and the Arab-Byzantine frontier in early and middle ’Abbasid times; Abu ’Amr ’Uthman al Tarsusi’s Siyar al-thughur and the last years of Arab rule in Tarsus (4th/10th century); The coming of Islam to Afghanistan; An ’Ayyar coin from Sistan; Al-Khwarazmi on various faiths and sects, chiefly Iranian; Rulers of Makran and Qusdar in the early Islamic period; The rulers of Chaghaniyan in early Islamic times; The poetical citations in Baihaqi’s Ta’rikh-i Mas’udi; Farrukhi’s elegy on Mahmud of Ghazna; An early Persian Sufi, Shaykh Abu Sa’id of Mayhanah; Index.

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