The Rise of the Fatimids

The World of the Mediterranean and the Middle East in the Fourth Century of the Hijra, Tenth Century CE


The book traces the rise of the Fatimid dynasty in the 4th century AH/10th century CE, from its origins in Islamic messianism to power in North Africa and Egypt, and a central position of influence throughout the Muslim world.
The first part deals with the problem of Fatimid origins, the second with the establishment of the dynasty and its religious and political programme in North Africa, the third with the success of that programme in Egypt.
Using the history of the Fatimids and their doctrine to survey the world of the Mediterranean and the Middle East in the 4th/10th century, the book offers a new interpretation of the role of the dynasty in the history of Islam down to the period of the Crusades.

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Michael Brett, Ph.D. (1970) in History, University of London, is Reader in the History of North Africa, School of Oriental and African Studies, London. His most recent publication is Ibn Khaldun and the Medieval Maghrib (Ashgate, 1999).
'...a major contribution to Fatimid studies...'
Farhad Daftary, Royal Asiatic Society, 2002.

1. Introduction: The Fatimids in History 1
2. The Problem of Fatimid Origins 29
3. Revolt in the East 49
4. Revolution in the West 73
5. The Appearance of the Mahdi 100
6. The City of the Mahdi 135
7. The Doctrine of the Imam 176
8. The Horizons of Empire 219
9. The Conquest of Egypt 269
10. The Pattern of the State 317
11. The Circles of the World 364
12. Conclusion: Melchizedek 416

Bibliography 435
Maps 453

Index of Persons, Personages 465
Index of Dynasties, Peoples, Sects 481
Index of Places 485
Index of Subjects 492
All those interested in the history of Islam, mediaeval history, the history of Africa and the history of religion.
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