The Great Caliphs: The Golden Age of the 'Abbasid Empire

Paperback | August 31, 2010

byAmira K. Bennison

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In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the ‘Abbasid Empire (750–1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions.

At its zenith the ‘Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennison’s examination of the politics, society, and culture of the ‘Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the “civilized” values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennison’s argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.

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In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civiliza...

Amira K. Bennison is senior lecturer in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of Cambridge.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 5.88 × 0.68 inPublished:August 31, 2010Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300167989

ISBN - 13:9780300167986

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“. . .concise and comprehensive.”--Choice