Crucible of Islam

Innbundet / 2017 / Engelsk

Produktdetaljer

ISBN13
9780674057760
Publisert
2017
Utgiver
Vendor
Harvard University Press
Aldersnivå
01, G
Språk
Product language
Engelsk
Format
Product format
Innbundet
Sider
192
Høyde
18 mm
Bredde
11 mm
Se alle
Forfatter

Crucible of Islam

Innbundet / 2017 / Engelsk
Little is known about Arabia in the sixth century CE. Yet from this distant time and place emerged a faith and an empire that stretched from the Iberian peninsula to India. Today, Muslims account for nearly a quarter of the global population. G. W. Bowersock seeks to illuminate this most obscure and yet most dynamic period in the history of Islam--from the mid-sixth to mid-seventh century--exploring why arid Arabia proved to be such fertile ground for Muhammad's prophetic message, and why that message spread so quickly to the wider world.In Muhammad's time Arabia stood at the crossroads of great empires, a place where Christianity, Judaism, and local polytheistic traditions vied for adherents. Mecca, Muhammad's birthplace, belonged to the part of Arabia recently conquered by the Ethiopian Christian king Abraha. But Ethiopia lost western Arabia to Persia following Abraha's death, while the death of the Byzantine emperor in 602 further destabilized the region. Within this chaotic environment, where lands and populations were traded frequently among competing powers and belief systems, Muhammad began winning converts to his revelations. In a troubled age, his followers coalesced into a powerful force, conquering Palestine, Syria, and Egypt and laying the groundwork of the Umayyad Caliphate.The crucible of Islam remains an elusive vessel. Although we may never grasp it firmly, Bowersock offers the most detailed description of its contours and the most compelling explanation of how one of the world's great religions took shape.
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Little is known about sixth-century Arabia. Yet from this distant time and place emerged a faith and an empire that stretched from Iberia to India. G. W. Bowersock illuminates this obscure yet most dynamic period in Islam, exploring why arid Arabia proved to be fertile ground for Muhammad's message and why it spread so quickly to the wider world.
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To write about the Arabian background of the Prophet Muhammad, about the origin of Islam in Mecca and Medina, and about the first conquests that led to the formation of the Arab empire (roughly between 560 and 690 AD) is to attempt to describe the first moments of a supernova--the flash of a stupendous detonation that marks the death of a massive star and the release of enormous amounts of energy. G.W. Bowersock has met this challenge in a little book of explosive originality and penetrating judgment...With The Crucible of Islam we reach the very center of this roiling world. We look into the depths of the crucible itself, to seize, in a true historical perspective, the 'molten ingredients' that came to form Islam. His book is an exercise in the art of historical truth. Bowersock is a classical scholar. He derives his skills from a tradition that reaches back to the Renaissance, to Erasmus and to Lorenzo Valla, whose demolition of the legendary Donation of Constantine he has himself translated with gusto. His book derives its strength from the method advocated by the great classical scholar Richard Bentley (1662-1742): ratio et res ipsa--reason confronting the thing itself...Part of the joy of reading this account of the background and emergence of early Islam is the knowledge that Bowersock has built it from solid stones, the weight of every one of which he has tested with his own critical mind. Secure that we are in the hands of a master, let us think about the implications of the substantial gains to scholarship that Bowersock has brought us in this compressed masterpiece...We must be grateful to Bowersock for giving us, at this time, a masterpiece of the historian's craft.-- (05/11/2017)The Crucible of Islam is a remarkable work of scholarship.--Christopher Carroll"Wall Street Journal" (10/04/2017)
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G. W. Bowersock is Professor Emeritus of Ancient History at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.
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Produktdetaljer

ISBN13
9780674057760
Publisert
2017
Utgiver
Vendor
Harvard University Press
Aldersnivå
01, G
Språk
Product language
Engelsk
Format
Product format
Innbundet
Sider
192
Høyde
18 mm
Bredde
11 mm
Se alle
Forfatter

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