The book deals with the history of North Africa in the Middle Ages. It examines the formation of a society increasingly influenced by Arabic, as well as Islamic, culture after the Arab conquests of the 7th and early 8th centuries which gradually brought the Roman Christian civilisation of the region to an end. The subject and the theme derive to a large extent from the work of Ibn Khaldun at the end of the 14th century, whose indentification of the native Berbers as a subject of historical enquiry defined the place, the period, and the population to be studied. The collection is divided into two halves, the first dealing with the formation of an Islamic state system, the second with that of an Islamic society in which Arabism played an increasing part. Both look forward to the religious and political developments of the early modern period.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Part One: Islam and State: The Islamisation of Morocco from the Arabs to the Almoravids; Ifriqiya as a market for Saharan trade from the 10th to the 12th century AD; The Mim, the ’Ayn, and the making of Isma’ilism; The realm of the Imam: the Fatimids in the 10th century; Islam and trade in the Bilad al - Sudan, 10th-11th centuries AD; The lamp of the Almohads: illumination as a political idea in 12th-century Morocco; Morocco and the Ottomans: the 16th century in North Africa; Part Two: the Banu Hilal: Fatimid historiography: a case study - the quarrel with the Zirids, 1048-58; The Flood of the Dam and the Sons of the New Moon; The way of the nomad; Arabs, Berbers and holy men in Southern Ifriqiya 650-750 AH /1250-1350 AD; Part Three: Cities: The armies of Ifriqiya, 1052-1160; Muslim justice under infidel rule: the Normans in Ifriqiya 517-555 AH/1123-60 AD; The city-state in medieval Ifriqiya: the case of Tripoli; Ibn Khaldun and the dynastic approach to local history: the case of Biskra; Index.
'All the articles are well-printed and the annotation is excellent...Maghribi specialists are likely to refer frequently to these articles.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 63, No. 1 'This useful and welcome book...will likely become a standard reference.' Religious Studies Review, Vol. 26, No. 1 'We have every reason to be grateful for collections such as this...to track them all down in a library might well be a time-consuming task.' Journal of Islamic Studies 'The author is not only a remarkable Arabist and attentive scrutineer of the texts, but also a researcher on the look-out for all the evidence, direct or indirect, symbolic or actual, open or hidden, which can provide information...' Journal of African History '... Dr Brett has been a standard-bearer for mediaeval Maghribi historical studies in Britain (...) and this Collected Studies volume attests his work over the last thirty odd years and the breadth and depth of his knowledge here.... imaginative and stimulating.' The Journal of Libyan Studies