Aims and Scope
To integrate the regions of the early Islamic Empire from Central Asia to North Africa, transregional and regional elites of various backgrounds were essential. This volume is an important contribution to the conceptualization of the largest empire of Late Antiquity.
After a theoretical introduction to the concept of ‘elites’ in an early Islamic context, the papers focus on elite structures and networks within selected regions of the Empire (Transoxiana, Khurāsān, Armenia, Fārs, Iraq, al-Jazīra, Syria, Egypt, and Ifrīqiya). They analyze elite groups across social, religious, geographical, and professional boundaries. Some papers take up contemporary terminology and its application within the sources.
While previous studies used Iraq as the paradigm for the entire empire, this volume looks at diverse regions instead. While each region seems to be different based on its heterogeneous surviving sources, its physical geography, and its indigenous population and elites, the comparative approach highlights certain common patterns of governance and interaction across the Empire in its first three centuries.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Transregional and Regional Elites – Connecting the Early Islamic Empire
Hannah-Lena Hagemann, Katharina Mewes & Peter Verkinderen
Studying Elites in Early Islamic History: Concepts and Terminology
Arabia and Iraq
Insult the Caliph, Marry al-Ḥasan, and Redeem Your Kingdom: Freiheitsgrade of Kindī Elites During the 7th to 9th Century
Landowners in Lower Iraq during the 8th Century: Types and Interplays
The Rise and Fall of the Early ʿAbbāsid Political and Military Elite
Who Were the Mulūk Fārs?
An Empire of Elites: Mobility in the Early Islamic Empire
Preliminary Notes on the Term and Institution of al-Shākiriyya in Early Islam (ca. 14–218 H/635–36–833 CE) Mainly According to the Arabic
The Eastern Mediterranean and the North
Khurāsānī and Transoxanian Ostikans of Early ʿAbbāsid Armenia
Simon Gundelfinger & Peter Verkinderen
The Governors of al-Shām and Fārs in the Early Islamic Empire – A Comparative Regional Perspective
Muslim Elites in the Early Islamic Jazīra: The Qāḍīs of Ḥarrān, al-Raqqa, and al-Mawṣil
Christian Elite Networks in the Jazīra, c.730–850
Establishing Local Elite Authority in Egypt Through Arbitration and Mediation
The Civilian Ruling Elite of the Ṭūlūnid-Ikhshīdid Period
Connecting the Ibāḍī Network in North Africa with the Empire (2nd–3rd/8th–9th Centuries)