Governing the Empire: Provincial Administration in the Almohad Caliphate (1224-1269)

Critical Edition, Translation, and Study of Manuscript 4752 of the Ḥasaniyya Library in Rabat Containing 77 Taqādīm (“Appointments”)


In this book, Pascal Buresi and Hicham El Aallaoui edit, translate, and study an Arabic manuscript of the Royal Library of Rabat, containing 77 appointments of provincial officials. The Almohad Caliphs were the first Berbers to unite the whole Maghrib and the Iberian Peninsula under an imperial ideology elaborated at the end of the 12th C.E. by the most famous scholars, such as Averroes.
This peripheral Islamic dynasty produced a pragmatic documentation that provides exceptional information about the administrative, political, ideological, and religious organisation of the largest medieval European-African Empire. Buresi and El Aallaoui convincingly stress the importance of the literature of the Chancellery in renewing the history of power and authority in medieval Islamic lands.

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Pascal Buresi, Ph.D. (2000), University of Lyon 2, is Director of research at the CNRS (French National Center for the Research). He has published monographs and articles on Islam, including Géo-histoire de l’islam (Belin, 2005).

Hicham El Aallaoui, Ph.D. (2007), University of Lyon 2, is a post-doctoral researcher at the CNRS, within ERC Starting Grant n°263361, entitled Imperial Government and Authority in Medieval Western Islam directed by Pascal Buresi.
'Inventive in its conception and faultless in its methodology, this is a subtle research by two cautious, succinct and profound thinkers on a challenging theme calling for a prismatic perceptive power and bearing fascinating reflections. I can’t recommend this book strongly enough to historians, ethnologists, philosophers of religion, linguists, students of medieval Arab culture, or adherents of the view that human culture and civilisation is a collective product – Hellenic, European, Arab, Jewish.'

Stavros Nikolaidis, in Journal of Oriental and African Studies, Volume 22, 2013
All those working on medieval Islam, medieval political authority, the pre-modern Mediterranean and similar themes.