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Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam

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Long before Muhammed preached the religion of Islam, the inhabitants of his native Arabia had played an important role in world history as both merchants and warriors Arabia and the Arabs provides the only up-to-date, one-volume survey of the region and its peoples, from prehistory to the coming of Islam Using a wide range of sources - inscriptions, poetry, histories, and ar Long before Muhammed preached the religion of Islam, the inhabitants of his native Arabia had played an important role in world history as both merchants and warriors Arabia and the Arabs provides the only up-to-date, one-volume survey of the region and its peoples, from prehistory to the coming of Islam Using a wide range of sources - inscriptions, poetry, histories, and archaeological evidence - Robert Hoyland explores the main cultural areas of Arabia, from ancient Sheba in the south, to the deserts and oases of the north. He then examines the major themes of *the economy *society *religion *art, architecture and artefacts *language and literature *Arabhood and Arabisation The volume is illustrated with more than 50 photographs, drawings and maps.


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Long before Muhammed preached the religion of Islam, the inhabitants of his native Arabia had played an important role in world history as both merchants and warriors Arabia and the Arabs provides the only up-to-date, one-volume survey of the region and its peoples, from prehistory to the coming of Islam Using a wide range of sources - inscriptions, poetry, histories, and ar Long before Muhammed preached the religion of Islam, the inhabitants of his native Arabia had played an important role in world history as both merchants and warriors Arabia and the Arabs provides the only up-to-date, one-volume survey of the region and its peoples, from prehistory to the coming of Islam Using a wide range of sources - inscriptions, poetry, histories, and archaeological evidence - Robert Hoyland explores the main cultural areas of Arabia, from ancient Sheba in the south, to the deserts and oases of the north. He then examines the major themes of *the economy *society *religion *art, architecture and artefacts *language and literature *Arabhood and Arabisation The volume is illustrated with more than 50 photographs, drawings and maps.

56 review for Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam

  1. 4 out of 5

    محمّد فؤاد

    اول مردد بودم که بخونمش یا نه، چون راجع به عربستان قبل از اسلامه که برای من اهمیت ثانوی داره. اما درست به همین دلیل تصمیم گرفتم بخونمش چون دیگه بعیده به این زودی به این موضوع برگردم. گفتم یک بار برای همیشه تکلیفم رو با این موضوع یک سره کنم. معمولاً کتاب‌هایی که در مورد اسلام بحث می‌کنن فصل اولشون رو به معرفی اجمالی عربستان قبل از اسلام اختصاص میدن، اما این کتاب کاملاً به این موضوع پرداخته. سه فصل اول سه منطقهٔ مختلف عربستان رو جدا جدا بررسی کرده، شرق عربستان، جنوب عربستان و عربستان مرکزی و شمالی، اول مردد بودم که بخونمش یا نه، چون راجع به عربستان قبل از اسلامه که برای من اهمیت ثانوی داره. اما درست به همین دلیل تصمیم گرفتم بخونمش چون دیگه بعیده به این زودی به این موضوع برگردم. گفتم یک بار برای همیشه تکلیفم رو با این موضوع یک سره کنم. معمولاً کتاب‌هایی که در مورد اسلام بحث می‌کنن فصل اولشون رو به معرفی اجمالی عربستان قبل از اسلام اختصاص میدن، اما این کتاب کاملاً به این موضوع پرداخته. سه فصل اول سه منطقهٔ مختلف عربستان رو جدا جدا بررسی کرده، شرق عربستان، جنوب عربستان و عربستان مرکزی و شمالی، که کمابیش سه تمدن جدا از هم با زبان و تاریخ مجزا بودن. فصل‌های بعدی جنبه‌های مختلف اقتصادی، اجتماعی، دینی و فرهنگی عربستان رو بررسی کرده. همون طور که سبک رابرت هویلنده، کتاب سرشار از تعداد زیادی نقل قول و کتیبه و شعر و اسناد دیگه از عربستان قبل از اسلامه، و از این جهت غنیه. هرچند این کتاب رو تا حدّی گیج کننده و فاقد یه روایت منسجم کرده، که به گفتهٔ هویلند مشکل اصلی تاریخ عربستان قبل از اسلامه: عرب‌ها از تاریخ خودشون یه روایت منسجم به جا نذاشتن، و مورّخ چاره‌ای نداره جز این که تکه‌های اسناد و کتیبه‌ها و آثار باستانی مختلف رو کنار هم بچینه تا چیزی شبیه به یه روایت بسازه.

  2. 4 out of 5

    عبد الله القصير

    مختصر تاريخ عرب ما قبل الاسلام، مؤلف الكتاب كان طالب عند المستشرقة باتريشيا كرون صاحبة كتاب التجارة المكية. مع أن كرون لها آراء غريبة عن بدايات الإسلام، كإنكارها لأهمية التجارة المكية وتشكيكها بموقع مكة القديم ( ترى أنها في شمال الجزيرة العربية) وعدم الاعتماد على المصادر الإسلامية! إلا أن هويلاندلم يلتزم بخط استاذته، فهو يرجع لهذه المصادر ولا يشكك بها ككل. هذا الكتاب ينقسم الى قسمين، التاريخ السياسي للعرب إلى ما قبل الإسلام والقسم الثاني يحتوي على التاريخ الثقافي ( التاريخ الديني والاقتصادي والم مختصر تاريخ عرب ما قبل الاسلام، مؤلف الكتاب كان طالب عند المستشرقة باتريشيا كرون صاحبة كتاب التجارة المكية. مع أن كرون لها آراء غريبة عن بدايات الإسلام، كإنكارها لأهمية التجارة المكية وتشكيكها بموقع مكة القديم ( ترى أنها في شمال الجزيرة العربية) وعدم الاعتماد على المصادر الإسلامية! إلا أن هويلاندلم يلتزم بخط استاذته، فهو يرجع لهذه المصادر ولا يشكك بها ككل. هذا الكتاب ينقسم الى قسمين، التاريخ السياسي للعرب إلى ما قبل الإسلام والقسم الثاني يحتوي على التاريخ الثقافي ( التاريخ الديني والاقتصادي والمعماري والعلمي) الكتاب ممتع ويحتوي على معلومات رائعة ويستحق القراءة.

  3. 4 out of 5

    teohjitkhiam

    It cannot be stressed enough on the paucity of generally accessible books dealing with the pre-Islamic history of Arabia & the Arabs, especially for many non-Muslims whom have been routinely exposed to a decidedly Islamic perspective of an era that has been dubbed by Muslims as "Jahiliyyah". That being said, Hoyland acknowledges each & every hypothesis are contested or contestable. Nevertheless, this book is highly recommended for its brief history that covers geographical, economic, religious, It cannot be stressed enough on the paucity of generally accessible books dealing with the pre-Islamic history of Arabia & the Arabs, especially for many non-Muslims whom have been routinely exposed to a decidedly Islamic perspective of an era that has been dubbed by Muslims as "Jahiliyyah". That being said, Hoyland acknowledges each & every hypothesis are contested or contestable. Nevertheless, this book is highly recommended for its brief history that covers geographical, economic, religious, cultural, & philological aspects of pre-Islamic history of Arabia. It should be pointed that the book contains excellent photographs & drawing of pre-Islamic objects & buildings. A discerning reader may note the seepage of some "Jahilliyah" practices that somehow manage to make a seamless transition into the present-day juridical practices of some parts of the Muslim polity. Two points stand out in particular. The first, the Arabic tribal stricture, originally aimed at a member that committed grievous transgression against the tribe, could have his or her blood declared as licit i.e. "halal". The other that stands out is the punishment of stoning of an offender, which originally was an edict employed as punishment for stealing from temples. In the final chapter, Hoyland concludes that the link between Islam & Arab, from a Muslim perspective, was forged in the 8th century CE when the Muslim world expanded & quickly overran much of the Byzantine Roman & Sassanid Persian empires, both which had far established cultural legacies & well-articulated identities. In other words, Islam as a religion & Arab as an ethnic identity, and by the same token Arabia itself, intertwined in order for the newly minted conquerors to distinguish themselves as apart from the natives of the former superpowers that once swayed or dominated them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Angela Benedetti

    Finding sources on pre-Islamic Arabia is incredibly difficult, and finding sources in English is doubly so. This is an excellent overview of the subject, well written and well organized. The author gives the broader picture, tying the various peoples of Arabia in to the larger world in each time period, showing ties of diplomacy, war and trade, as well as focusing on what the different groups were doing individually and among themselves. The book is organized in a very standard and useful fashion Finding sources on pre-Islamic Arabia is incredibly difficult, and finding sources in English is doubly so. This is an excellent overview of the subject, well written and well organized. The author gives the broader picture, tying the various peoples of Arabia in to the larger world in each time period, showing ties of diplomacy, war and trade, as well as focusing on what the different groups were doing individually and among themselves. The book is organized in a very standard and useful fashion, giving chapters on each region (internally organized by time period) before moving on to topic-focused chapters. This is a book which rewards a cover-to-cover reading, and is understandable to a novice on the subject; now that I've been through it once, I'll probably read it again at least once in its entirety, as well as using it as a look-up reference for individual bits of information. The notes are interesting and worth reading, without this being a case of all the good stuff being in the footnotes. The only complaint I have is that I'd have liked for each place mentioned more than in passing in the text to have been marked somewhere on one of the maps. More maps and some more detail would have been nice. This isn't an insurmountable problem, however, for anyone who has a good historical atlas, or access to the internet. For someone who's writing a journal article or a dissertation, this is probably too elementary a source. For a person with some historical background who's familiar with the ancient world in general, but lacking foundation knowledge of ancient Arabia, this is an excellent first source and provides many jumping-off points for further research. This is a keeper for me, and I'm sure it'll get a lot of use.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Augustine Kobayashi

    Not much is known about the Arabs before Islam for lack of historical or archaeological records. Hoyland's attempt to fill the gaps is an excellent summary of the latest scholarship on the subject. For those who are in a hurry might skip the middle section of this book, which is thematically structured in order to present our knowledge of Arab economy, religion, literature, etc. The Arabs were hardly isolated people, as they were actively involved in long distance trade. As great powers of the M Not much is known about the Arabs before Islam for lack of historical or archaeological records. Hoyland's attempt to fill the gaps is an excellent summary of the latest scholarship on the subject. For those who are in a hurry might skip the middle section of this book, which is thematically structured in order to present our knowledge of Arab economy, religion, literature, etc. The Arabs were hardly isolated people, as they were actively involved in long distance trade. As great powers of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia rose and fell, the Arabs were gradually sucked into superpower politics, which transformed Arab politics. This, in turn, changed history for the great powers of the day, Rome and Persia, in the form of Islam. The last chapter is perhaps most valuable in this volume. Heavily footnoted, with plates and photographs. The main text ends on pp.247.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vijay

    A decent book, chock-full of interesting information. The primary sources are fascinating -- there are some real weird quotations. I recall one from Dilmun which goes something like "the eye-disease said 'there is no eye-disease'". (Don't have the book on hand, so the quote's definitely wrong.) It's the only contemporary survey on pre-Islamic Arabia as of the time of this review. That's for a reason -- the field is new and there's very little written information on the area. As a result, the book A decent book, chock-full of interesting information. The primary sources are fascinating -- there are some real weird quotations. I recall one from Dilmun which goes something like "the eye-disease said 'there is no eye-disease'". (Don't have the book on hand, so the quote's definitely wrong.) It's the only contemporary survey on pre-Islamic Arabia as of the time of this review. That's for a reason -- the field is new and there's very little written information on the area. As a result, the book lacks a strong narrative. I found it hard to push through the book and gave up half way through. Nevertheless, I'd recommend this for anyone interested in the area. Even if you get bored or give up, you'll learn interesting stuff about an area that's not well represented in the historical literature.

  7. 4 out of 5

    AskHistorians

    This book gives a very good overview of the history of the Arabian Peninsula prior to Muhammad and the rise of Islam, a time period and geographical area too often neglected. Recommended along with much of Hoyland's work on Early Islamic history. This book gives a very good overview of the history of the Arabian Peninsula prior to Muhammad and the rise of Islam, a time period and geographical area too often neglected. Recommended along with much of Hoyland's work on Early Islamic history.

  8. 4 out of 5

    حسن الهلالي

    الكتاب صغير و بترجمة متواضعة چداً تفتقر للأسلوب الأدبي لنوعية و كم المعلومات التي تحتويها برغم من أن الترجمة و المحتوي بسيط إلا أن الكتاب يركز على جمع بعض الآثار الأركيولوجية في مصر و الشام و العراق و اليمين عن تواجد و تفاعل العرب به قبل هيمنة العنصر العربي قبل الإسلام فالكتاب مفيد في بعض الأقتباسات و أن كان فقيراً في أسلوب عرضه لها من أرد الأقتباس لمقال أو شئ بسيط يكتبه عن التواجد العربي في المنطقة قبل الإسلام فهو أختيار جيد و لكن ما دون ذلك فلا يُعول عليه كثيراً لأن ما فيه ليس بالكثير .

  9. 5 out of 5

    Esha Nas

    Definitely a must-read. While I would had liked a much more thorough look into the politics, arms, and reigns of greats, this is still overall required reading to anyone interested in Pre-Islamic Arabia.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Steve Cran

    Arabia and the Arabs THe period before the Arabian Peninsula adopted Islam is called jahaliya or the age of ignorance. Not much was known before modern archaeologist were able to unearth remnants of those earlier civilizations . THe revealed truths i9s that these civilizations were quite advanced. The societies were not all Arab either. THere were several kingdoms, each with it's own language and culture. It was not until right before that the denizens of Arabia were called Arabs. You see on the Arabia and the Arabs THe period before the Arabian Peninsula adopted Islam is called jahaliya or the age of ignorance. Not much was known before modern archaeologist were able to unearth remnants of those earlier civilizations . THe revealed truths i9s that these civilizations were quite advanced. The societies were not all Arab either. THere were several kingdoms, each with it's own language and culture. It was not until right before that the denizens of Arabia were called Arabs. You see on the South West side of Arabia you had the Sabeans and the Himyarites , just to name a few. On the North Eastern side you had Dimun and a few others. The Arabs were thought to be nomads who roamed the desert with their livestock. Many of these small kingdoms often times allied themselves with larger empires Botha for political benefit and for material benefit. Empire that the kingdoms allied with were Egyptioans, Mesopotamians, Persians etc. Of times the kingdoms would fight against the nomad Arabs. Their main trade was frankincense which the trade routes connecting to all the empires. THeir religion was simple. They had a plethora of gods and an altar, they would slaughter an animal and shed its blood on the altar. Usually they were asking for something. THeir poems extolled virtues like hospitality and bravery. The weapon they used were spear, arrows and bows. Later they would have leather shields. The book covers every aspect of ARabian life. It is believed that the breaking of the Maarib damn caused the ARabians to migrate further north. THey would later become the Lakhmids and the Ghassanids. They would adopt lifestyles of the major empires both with intent of integrating but also conquest for their fellow brethren . For any ones interested in ARabian history this book is a must read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Fahad

    Decent book for quick research and getting references on the subject.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Zizi

    There are very few explorations of this era from a historical perspective, and almost none in the English language. The few you'll find are junk pop history or religious books. Without fail, nearly every single one starts with the premise that 9th-10th century accounts of pre-Islamic Arabia are true and not exaggerated. Thus it is a land in which women are worth less than camels, children are thrown down wells, diversity is not tolerated, warfare never stops, no one has a brain, and the society There are very few explorations of this era from a historical perspective, and almost none in the English language. The few you'll find are junk pop history or religious books. Without fail, nearly every single one starts with the premise that 9th-10th century accounts of pre-Islamic Arabia are true and not exaggerated. Thus it is a land in which women are worth less than camels, children are thrown down wells, diversity is not tolerated, warfare never stops, no one has a brain, and the society in general is worthless (except maybe the poetry, some concede). This is a bit like trying to understand pre-Christian Europe solely through the works of medieval Christian polemics against paganism. Hoyland's book is different. Actual historical and archaeological finds take center stage here, and the era is given the standard historical treatment, divided into religious practices, groups and alliances, international relations, geography, cultural traditions, and so on. I know, you're probably thinking "that sounds basic". And yet, somehow, this is virtually the only English-language book on pre-Islamic Arabia that grants this era that "basic" dignity. So the bar is admittedly low here, but for sheer novelty, usefulness, and readability, this is worth the five stars.

  13. 5 out of 5

    A.J. Deus

    Arabia and the Arabs is a read for experts. The Foreign names and places make it difficult for Western readers to capture the depth of Hoyland's research. The mixture of primary evidence with archaeological findings is invaluable and the outcome is original. Here is a scholar that goes to the bottom of the questions rather than swimming with the consensus. It is a must read for students of Islam, the Middle East and the Arab Peninsula. It is beyond the grasp of the author, however, how his findi Arabia and the Arabs is a read for experts. The Foreign names and places make it difficult for Western readers to capture the depth of Hoyland's research. The mixture of primary evidence with archaeological findings is invaluable and the outcome is original. Here is a scholar that goes to the bottom of the questions rather than swimming with the consensus. It is a must read for students of Islam, the Middle East and the Arab Peninsula. It is beyond the grasp of the author, however, how his findings fit into the big picture. This is a fundamental flaw in the science of history, not Hoyland's. Lacking the context, the findings can mean anything. Yet, without his findings, the context would have revealed little for my own writings. Students will need to take Hoyland and read nothing more into the evidence than exactly what it says (leaving out everything that derives from traditions). Only then can it be placed into its proper context. This approach will open an entirely new world in the Arab Peninsula. A.J. Deus, author of The Great Leap-Fraud - Social Economics of Religious Terrorism.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    A scholarly look at the current evidence and conclusions about pre-Islamic Arabia. It's many peoples, most not Arabs, and their relationships with the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Roman, Byzantine, and other civilizations are explored. I wanted to read this book because my Muslim friends run down the pre-Islamic Arabians (just the way Christians run down their pagan forbearers), making the new religion a big improvement that marks an end of ethical abuses, etc. I was surprised at the diversity of cul A scholarly look at the current evidence and conclusions about pre-Islamic Arabia. It's many peoples, most not Arabs, and their relationships with the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Roman, Byzantine, and other civilizations are explored. I wanted to read this book because my Muslim friends run down the pre-Islamic Arabians (just the way Christians run down their pagan forbearers), making the new religion a big improvement that marks an end of ethical abuses, etc. I was surprised at the diversity of cultures and ethnic groups, was confirmed in my view both of the substantial influence of Christianity and Judaism among pre-Islamic Arabs and of the continuity of Islamic civilization with the past, and got a better understanding of why Islamic Arabs could so easily conquer the Mideast in the 600s and early 700s.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Natacha Pavlov

    This book gives an overview of the limited information available on pre-Islamic Arabia. It starts off by tackling East, South and North/central Arabia during different time periods, before focusing on other aspects such as economy, society, religion, etc. It’s packed full of information and while not a quick read, it's written clearly using many references. While it does feel like it’s a brief read, I did learn a lot and appreciate the extensive bibliography that’s likely to be of use for any in This book gives an overview of the limited information available on pre-Islamic Arabia. It starts off by tackling East, South and North/central Arabia during different time periods, before focusing on other aspects such as economy, society, religion, etc. It’s packed full of information and while not a quick read, it's written clearly using many references. While it does feel like it’s a brief read, I did learn a lot and appreciate the extensive bibliography that’s likely to be of use for any inclined to further research. A must-read for any reader interested in Middle East history and/or archaeology.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    Not the easiest book to read, especially with the combination of providing information by geographical area and then thematically, but fascinating. I was not aware how much was known about pre-Islamic Arabia.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Piers Haslam

    Does what it needs to: a brief overview of Arabia in the years before Muhammad. States, society, language, trade, etc. An area I find quite fascinating, and this was one of the few books I could easily get a hold of about it. Recommended as an ideal starting point for further study.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Not an easy read, but a necessary block of chapters in the study of the Middle East.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nrtashi

    Dry, but very informative.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amer Bader

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mohammed Elsagher

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alex Lang

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ted

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ted Milne

  25. 5 out of 5

    Iset

  26. 5 out of 5

    Isma'Eel Al-Behbehani

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sajjeev Antony

  28. 4 out of 5

    محمد عطبوش

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Hellion

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hammer

  31. 5 out of 5

    Ali

  32. 4 out of 5

    Aljowhara

  33. 4 out of 5

    Nikhil P. Freeman

  34. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

  35. 5 out of 5

    Vincent

  36. 4 out of 5

    英三 岡本

  37. 4 out of 5

    Anonimo

  38. 5 out of 5

    Tarek

  39. 4 out of 5

    Hanny

  40. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  41. 4 out of 5

    Blanca

  42. 4 out of 5

    David Kush

  43. 4 out of 5

    Wismerhill

  44. 5 out of 5

    Phil Mills

  45. 5 out of 5

    Orla

  46. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

  47. 5 out of 5

    Sanji

  48. 5 out of 5

    Joanne G.

  49. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  50. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  51. 5 out of 5

    Matt Brissette

  52. 5 out of 5

    Brian

  53. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  54. 5 out of 5

    Armin Navabi

  55. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  56. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

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