Reinterpreting Islamic Historiography: Harun al-Rashid and the Narrative of the Abbasid Caliphate

Reinterpreting Islamic Historiography: Harun al-Rashid and the Narrative of the Abbasid Caliphate

by Tayeb El-Hibri
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521033047

ISBN-13: 9780521033046

Pub. Date: 12/28/2006

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

The history of the early 'Abbasid caliphate in the eighth and ninth centuries has long been studied as a factual or interpretive synthesis of various accounts preserved in the medieval chronicles. Tayeb El-Hibri's book breaks with the traditional approach, applying a literary-critical reading to examine the lives of the caliphs. By focusing on the reigns of Harun…  See more details below

Overview

The history of the early 'Abbasid caliphate in the eighth and ninth centuries has long been studied as a factual or interpretive synthesis of various accounts preserved in the medieval chronicles. Tayeb El-Hibri's book breaks with the traditional approach, applying a literary-critical reading to examine the lives of the caliphs. By focusing on the reigns of Harun al-Rashid and his successors, al-Amin and al-Ma'mun, as well as on the early Samarran period, the study demonstrates how the various historical accounts were not in fact intended as faithful portraits of the past, but as allusive devices used to shed light on controversial religious, political, and social issues of the period, as well as on more abstract themes such as behavior, morality, and human destiny.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521033046
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
12/28/2006
Series:
Cambridge Studies in Islamic Civilization Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
248
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of abbreviations and note on the dates
Genealogical table: the line of the early 'Abbasid caliphs
1Historical background and introduction1
2Harun al-Rashid: where it all started or ended17
3Al-Amin: the challenge of regicide in Islamic memory59
4Al-Ma'mun: the heretic Caliph95
5The structure of civil war narratives143
6Al-Mutawakkil: an encore of the family tragedy178
Conclusion216
Select bibliography221
Index230

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