As in many areas of pre-modern history, the study of medieval Islamic history has been critically hindered by the lack of available evidence. Unlike many parallel fields, however, the shortage of contemporary documentary evidence for medieval Islam has less to do with the survival of documents and archives as with their accessibility.
A rich documentary legacy survives, but because of its inaccessibility and unfamiliarity to all but the most specialised scholars in the field, it has remained sadly underutilised. This volume contributes to the redressing of that problem. It collects papers given at the conference "Documents and the History of the Early Islamic Mediterranean World," including editions of unpublished documents and historical studies, which make use of documentary evidence from al-Andalus, Sicily, Egypt, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria and Khurasan.
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Petra M. Sijpesteijn, who holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern studies from Princeton University (2004), is currently a Junior Research Fellow in Oriental Studies at Christ Church, Oxford. Her forthcoming book is entitled
The Formation of a Muslim State: The World of an Early Muslim Egyptian Administrator.
Lennart Sundelin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. He is currently teaching in the Department of History at Miami University.
Sofía Torallas Tovar gained her Ph.D. in classical philology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She is currently a permanent research fellow at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in Madrid and is also the curator of the papyrus collection of the Abbey of Montserrat.
Amalia Zomeño is a research fellow at the Escuela de Estudios Árabes in Granada. She holds a Ph.D. in Arabic philology from Barcelona University and was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University (1998-2000). The main topic of her research is Islamic law.
All those interested in Egypt, al-Andalus, Mediterranean medieval history, papyrology, epigraphy, archaeology, Late Antiquity, Byzantine history, early Islamic history, Islamic law, Greek, Coptic, the early development of Arabic language and literature and contact linguistics.