Routes and Realms: The Power of Place in the Early Islamic World

Paperback | January 15, 2015

byZayde Antrim

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Routes and Realms explores the ways in which Muslims expressed attachment to land from the ninth through the eleventh centuries, the earliest period of intensive written production in Arabic. In this groundbreaking first book, Zayde Antrim develops a "discourse of place," a framework forapproaching formal texts devoted to the representation of territory across genres. The discourse of place included such varied works as topographical histories, literary anthologies, religious treatises, world geographies, poetry, travel literature, and maps. By closely reading and analyzing these works, Antrim argues that their authors imagined plots of land primarily as homes, cities, and regions and associated them with a range of claims to religious and political authority. She contends that these are evidence of the powerful ways in which thegeographical imagination was tapped to declare loyalty and invoke belonging in the early Islamic world, reinforcing the importance of the earliest regional mapping tradition in the Islamic world. Routes and Realms challenges a widespread tendency to underestimate the importance of territory and to over-emphasize the importance of religion and family to notions of community and belonging among Muslims and Arabs, both in the past and today.

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Routes and Realms explores the ways in which Muslims expressed attachment to land from the ninth through the eleventh centuries, the earliest period of intensive written production in Arabic. In this groundbreaking first book, Zayde Antrim develops a "discourse of place," a framework forapproaching formal texts devoted to the represent...

Zayde Antrim is Charles A. Dana Associate Professor of History and International Studies at Trinity College.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:234 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 0.59 inPublished:January 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019022715X

ISBN - 13:9780190227159

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsNote on Translations, Transliterations, and DatesGlossaryIntroduction: The Discourse of PlacePart I: Home1. Home as HomelandPart II: City2. Cities and Sacred History3. The Image of the CityPart III: Region4. Dividing the World5. Routes and RealmsConclusion: Looking ForwardNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Zayde Antrim's most significant contribution is that she challenges the dominant view that explains the rise of nationalism in the Middle East as a byproduct of the nineteenth century encounter with Europe. By critiquing this widely disseminated position, Antrim allows scholars of medievaland modern Middle East to realize that the concept of homeland represents at the same time continuity and change with the classical period, and therefore nationalism has invoked in the mind of medieval and modern Middle Easterners a complex web of legacies. She reminds us that good scholarshipshould be meticulous research and not speculation." --Suleiman A. Mourad, Smith College