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Urban Autonomy in Medieval Islam

Damascus, Aleppo, Cordoba, Toledo, Valencia and Tunis


Fukuzo Amabe

In Urban Autonomy in Medieval Islam Fukuzo Amabe offers the first in-depth study on autonomous cities in medieval Islam stretching from Aleppo and Damascus to Cordoba, Toledo and Valencia through Tunis during the late tenth to early twelfth centuries. Each city is treated separately to cull facts to prove its autonomy at least for a certain period. The Middle East was the first region to develop cities and then empires in ancient times. Furthermore, the Islamic world was the first to transform ancient political or farmer cities to economic and industrial ones consisting of notables and plebeians, followed by China, then parts of Western Europe.

The Arabic Literature of Africa Volume 5 (2 vols.)

The Writings of Mauritania and the Western Sahara

Charles C. Stewart and Sidi Ahmed Ould Ahmed Salim

Winner of the 2016 Conover-Porter Award. The prize is awarded by the African Studies Association (ASA) to Outstanding Africa-related reference works, bibliographies or bibliographic essays published in any country, separately or as part of a larger work.

The Writings of Mauritania and the Western Sahara compiles 300 years of literary production, in excess of 10,000 titles by over 1800 authors,who document a vibrant Islamic culture and educational system in a Bedouin society lacking any overarching state. This contradicts our received wisdom about the nature of high Islamic scholarship, and it offers insights into complicated relationships between the authority of the Word and quotidian life in nomadic society. Biographical profiles of the writers and analyses of significant works tell a story of the organic growth of a Saharan scholarly tradition, linked but largely independent of the heartlands, original in its Hassaniyya verse and extensive legal literature, deeply rooted in its Islamic culture.