Late Antique Responses to the Arab Conquests


Late Antique Responses to the Arab Conquests is a showcase of new discoveries in an exciting and rapidly developing field: the study of the transition from Late Antiquity to Early Islam. The contributors to this volume engage with previously neglected sources, such as Arabic rock inscriptions, papyri and Byzantine archaeological remains. They also apply new interpretative methods to the literary tradition, reading the Qur’an as a late antique text, using Arabic poetry as a source to study the gestation of an Arab identity, and extracting settlement patterns of the Arabian colonizers in order to explain regional processes of Arabicization and Islamization. This volume shows how the Arab conquests changed both the Arabian conquerors and the conquered.

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Josephine van den Bent is lecturer and postdoctoral researcher in the history department of Radboud University Nijmegen. Her research interests include ethnic stereotyping, urban organization, and in general the social and cultural history of the premodern Middle East.

Floris van den Eijnde is director of Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies and lecturer and researcher of Ancient History at the department of History and Art History of Utrecht University.

Johan Weststeijn studies the parallels between Greek myth and Arabic accounts of the Basus War. From 1992 to 2019 he was a student and guest researcher at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies of the University of Amsterdam.

Contributors are Ahmad Al-Jallad, Josephine van den Bent, Kevin van Bladel, Constanza Cordoni, Floris van den Eijnde, Harald Motzki, Petra M. Sijpesteijn, Joanita Vroom, Peter Webb, Johan Weststeijn, Clare Wilde.
"This is a cohesive, well-written volume that should appeal to anyone interested in the transition from Late Antiquity to Early Islam. The papers are scholarly, but have generally been written in such a way as to make them accessible to a readership that does not specialize in Islamic studies, but wants to learn more about the early Islamic period. It has also been produced to a very high standard." David Woods in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2022.09.18

List of Figures and Tables

Notes on Contributors

1 Late Antique Responses to the Arab Conquests: An Introduction
  Josephine van den Bent, Floris van den Eijnde and Johan Weststeijn

2 The Qurʾanic Rūm: A Late Antique Perspective
  Clare Wilde

3 Wine and Impurity in the Sura of the Bees: A Structuralist Interpretation of Qurʾan 16:67
  Johan Weststeijn

4 Historical-Critical Research of the Sīra of the Prophet Muhammad: What Do We Stand to Gain?
  Harald Motzki †

5 Arabicization, Islamization, and the Colonies of the Conquerors
  Kevin van Bladel

6 Continuity and Change: Elite Responses to the Founding of the Caliphate
  Peter Webb

7 Muḥammad’s World in Egypt
  Petra M. Sijpesteijn

8 “May God be Mindful of Yazīd the King”: Further Reflections on the Yazīd Inscription and the Development of Arabic Scripts
  Ahmad Al-Jallad

9 Of Siblings, Kingdoms, and the Days of the Messiah: Jewish Literary Responses to the New Order in the Land of Israel in the First Muslim Period
  Constanza Cordoni

10 New Light on the Dark Ages: A Byzantine Perspective on the Arab Expansion
  Joanita Vroom


Scholars, students, research institutes and libraries with a specialty in the fields of (Late) Antiquity, the Middle Ages, Arabic History, Islam, Qur’anic Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, Mediterranean Studies.
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