White Banners: Contention in 'Abbasid Syria, 750-880

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"Using Arabic, non-Arabic and newly available local Syrian sources, this detailed study examines the central events of medieval Islamic history: the fall of the Syrian Umayyad caliphate and the rise of the 'Abbasid state. The book also provides answers to key questions concerning the history of medieval Syria: what strategies did the 'Abbasid government use to rule their new province? What was the fate of the Umayyads in Syria who survived the revolution? How did Syria's tribal-military elite cope under new masters? What pushed the common folk to ...
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Overview

"Using Arabic, non-Arabic and newly available local Syrian sources, this detailed study examines the central events of medieval Islamic history: the fall of the Syrian Umayyad caliphate and the rise of the 'Abbasid state. The book also provides answers to key questions concerning the history of medieval Syria: what strategies did the 'Abbasid government use to rule their new province? What was the fate of the Umayyads in Syria who survived the revolution? How did Syria's tribal-military elite cope under new masters? What pushed the common folk to violence?"--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Using Arabic, non-Arabic and newly available local Syrian sources, this study examines the central events of medieval Islamic history<-- >the fall of the Syrian Umayyad caliphate and the rise of the 'Abbasid state. It traces the divergent fates of Syria's populace in their shift from center to periphery, rooting the many sources of controversy in the nature of early Islamic provincial government. The book also considers the strategies of 'Abbasid rule, the fate of Umayyads after the revolution, the role of the tribal-military elite, and the motivations toward popular violence. Cobb teaches history at the University of Notre Dame. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
“Cobb does an excellent job of situating a series of sophisticated case studies, as well as providing his analysis of the politics of contention within the larger context of the historiography (Syrian and Iraqi; medieval and modern) on late Umayyad and early ‘Abbasid history.”— James E. Lindsay, Colorado State University
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Paul M. Cobb is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
A Note on Transliteration, Place Names, and Dates
Abbreviations
Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Early Islamic Syria: An Overview Contentious Syrians 5
Ch. 2 Who Will Act Equitably Between the People?: The Dynamic of Provincial Power in Syria 11
Administrative Geography in "the Syria" 11
The Dynamic of Provincial Power 14
Ch. 3 A Good Reputation and Supporting Hands: Provincial Governors and Provincial Rebellion 21
The Limits of Central Control, I: Early 'Abbasid Strategies 22
The Limits of Central Control, II: Continuities and Changes after the Fourth Civil War 34
Ch. 4 The Swords of Our Forefathers: Umayyads and the Alternatives to 'Abbasid Rule 43
'Abbasid "Revolution" and Umayyad "Rebellion" 44
Umayyad Legitimacy in the 'Abbasid Age 51
Apocalyptic in Action: the Revolt of Abu al-'Umaytir 55
Ch. 5 As One Face, Your Faces Are Marred: 'Asabiyya and the Ashraf of Syria 67
A Short History of Factionalism in Syria 68
Initial Reactions to the 'Abbasid Revolution in Syria 75
The Crisis of the Ashraf 78
The Revolt of Abu al-Haydham al-Murri 82
The Ashraf of Syria and the Fourth Civil War 92
Ch. 6 Worst Elements: The Impolitics of Unnotables in 'Abbasid Syria 103
Urban Violence and the Lower Strata 104
The Constraints upon rural Contention 106
Banditry and the Zawaqil 118
Ch. 7 Conclusion: Standards of Revolt 125
The View from Syria 128
Contextualizing Syria 131
App. A Governors of the jund of Dimashq 137
App. B Governors of the jund of Qinnasrin 141
App. C A Chronology of Contention in Syria 145
Notes 147
Works Cited 197
General Index 213
Prosopographical Index 223
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