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Seeing Islam as Others Saw It

A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam


This seminal work continues to shape the thought of specialists studying the Late Antique crossroads at which Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Islamic histories met, by offering the field a new approach to the vexing question of how to write the early history of Islam. The new edition of the study produces the original text with the addition of a substantial forward in which Hoyland discusses how the field has developed over the two decades that proceeded the book’s first publication. Hoyland also shares some personal reflections on how his thinking has since developed and the potential impact of this on the findings of the original study. The book also includes new appendices that detail the later publications of the author.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-3926-8
  • *
Publication Status: In Print
Publication Date: Mar 25,2019
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 752
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-3926-8
$114.95
This seminal work continues to shape the thought of specialists studying the Late Antique crossroads at which Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Islamic histories met, by offering the field a new approach to the vexing question of how to write the early history of Islam. The new edition of the study produces the original text with the addition of a substantial forward in which Hoyland discusses how the field has developed over the two decades that proceeded the book’s first publication. Hoyland also shares some personal reflections on how his thinking has since developed and the potential impact of this on the findings of the original study. The book also includes new appendices that detail the later publications of the author.   The first part of the book discusses the nature of the Muslim and non-Muslim source material for the seventh and eighth century Middle East, arguing that by lessening the divide between these two traditions, which has largely been erected by modern scholarship, we can come to a better appreciation of this crucial period. The second part provides a detailed survey of sources and an analysis of some 120 non-Muslim texts, all of which provide information about the first century and a half of Islam (roughly A.D. 620-780). The third part furnishes examples, according to the approach suggested in the first part and with the material presented in the second part, of how one might write the history of this time. The fourth part takes the form of excurses on various topics, such as the process of Islamization, the phenomenon of conversion to Islam, the development of techniques for determining the direction of prayer, and the conquest of Egypt. Because this work views Islamic history with the aid of non-Muslim texts and assesses the latter in the light of Muslim writings, it will be essential reading for historians of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Zoroastrianism - indeed, for all those with an interest in cultures of the eastern Mediterranean in its traditional phase from Late Antiquity to medieval times.
This seminal work continues to shape the thought of specialists studying the Late Antique crossroads at which Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Islamic histories met, by offering the field a new approach to the vexing question of how to write the early history of Islam. The new edition of the study produces the original text with the addition of a substantial forward in which Hoyland discusses how the field has developed over the two decades that proceeded the book’s first publication. Hoyland also shares some personal reflections on how his thinking has since developed and the potential impact of this on the findings of the original study. The book also includes new appendices that detail the later publications of the author.   The first part of the book discusses the nature of the Muslim and non-Muslim source material for the seventh and eighth century Middle East, arguing that by lessening the divide between these two traditions, which has largely been erected by modern scholarship, we can come to a better appreciation of this crucial period. The second part provides a detailed survey of sources and an analysis of some 120 non-Muslim texts, all of which provide information about the first century and a half of Islam (roughly A.D. 620-780). The third part furnishes examples, according to the approach suggested in the first part and with the material presented in the second part, of how one might write the history of this time. The fourth part takes the form of excurses on various topics, such as the process of Islamization, the phenomenon of conversion to Islam, the development of techniques for determining the direction of prayer, and the conquest of Egypt. Because this work views Islamic history with the aid of non-Muslim texts and assesses the latter in the light of Muslim writings, it will be essential reading for historians of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or Zoroastrianism - indeed, for all those with an interest in cultures of the eastern Mediterranean in its traditional phase from Late Antiquity to medieval times.
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ContributorBiography

Robert Hoyland

Robert G. Hoyland is a scholar and historian, specializing in the medieval history of the Middle East. He is a former student of historian Patricia Crone and was a Leverhulme Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford. He is currently Professor of Late Antique and Early Islamic Middle Eastern History at New York University's Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, having previously been Professor of Islamic history at the Oriental Institute of the University of Oxford and a Professor of history at the University of St. Andrews and UCLA.

Table of Contents (v)
Abbreviations (xi)
Preface to the 2019 edition (xiii)
Acknowledgements (xxvii)
Introduction (1)
Note on Conventions (5)

Part I. The Historical and Literary Background (7) 
Chapter 1. The Historical Background (9)
Chapter 2. The Nature of the Sources (27)

Part IIA. Incidental References to Islam (41) 
Chapter 3. Greek Sources (43)
Chapter 4. West Syrian, Coptic and Armenian Sources (93)
Chapter 5. East Syrian Sources (139)
Chapter 6. Latin Sources (171)
Chapter 7. Jewish, Persian and Chinese Sources (187)

Part IIB. Deliberate References to Islam (201) 
Chapter 8. Apocalypses and Visions (203)
Chapter 9. Martyrologies (263)
Chapter 10. Chronicles and Histories (303)
Chapter 11. Apologies and Disputations (355)

Part III. Writing the History of Early Islam (405)
Chapter 12. Non-Muslim Conceptions of Islam (407)
Chapter 13. Using Non-Muslim Sources: An Empirical Approach (425)
Chapter 14. Using Non-Muslim Sources: An Argumentative Approach (461)

Part IV. Excurses (467)
Excursus A: The Canons and Resolutions of Jacob of Edessa (469)
Excursus B: The Byzantine-Arab Chronicle of 741 and its Eastern Source (477)
Excursus C: An Outline of the Syriac Common Source (495) 
Excursus D: The Passion of David of Dwin (531)
Excursus E: Georgian Historical Writing (535) 
Excursus F: Dated Muslim Writings, AH 1–135/622–752 (543)

Maps (555)
Bibliography (559)
General Index (663)

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