[Parution] Hannah-Lena Hagemann/ Stefan Heidemann (éd.) Transregional and Regional Elites – Connecting the Early Islamic Empire, De Gruyter, 2020

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

Stefan Heidemann

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

Georg Leube

Insult the Caliph, Marry al-Ḥasan, and Redeem Your Kingdom: Freiheitsgrade of Kindī Elites During the 7th to 9th Century

Noëmie Lucas

Landowners in Lower Iraq during the 8th Century: Types and Interplays

Hugh Kennedy

The Rise and Fall of the Early ʿAbbāsid Political and Military Elite


The East

Jürgen Paul

Who Were the Mulūk Fārs?

Ahmad Khan

An Empire of Elites: Mobility in the Early Islamic Empire


Amikam Elad

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

Alison Vacca

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

Hannah-Lena Hagemann

Muslim Elites in the Early Islamic Jazīra: The Qāḍīs of Ḥarrān, al-Raqqa, and al-Mawṣil

Philip Wood

Christian Elite Networks in the Jazīra, c.730–850


The West

Petra Sijpesteijn

Establishing Local Elite Authority in Egypt Through Arbitration and Mediation

Yaacov Lev

The Civilian Ruling Elite of the Ṭūlūnid-Ikhshīdid Period

Cyrille Aillet

Connecting the Ibāḍī Network in North Africa with the Empire (2nd–3rd/8th–9th Centuries)

Enki Baptiste

Doctorant en Histoire médiévale (Université Lumière Lyon 2 - CIHAM UMR 5648 / CEFAS USR 3141)

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