- Series: Peoples of the Ancient World
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (October 14, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0415195357
- ISBN-13: 978-0415195355
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Arabia and the Arabs: From the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam (Peoples of the Ancient World) 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Arabia and the Arabs have been the subject of numerous historical studies by Western scholars. Some focus on Islam, others consider more secular and modern dimensions, but few examine the pre-Islamic period. In this highly original book, Hoyland (Seeing Islam as Others Saw It), a research fellow at St. John's College, Oxford, and the author of several books on the history of the Middle East, gives us a rare glimpse into the society and culture of Arabia before the advent of Islam in the seventh century. Hoyland challenges the myth of pre-Islamic Arabia as culturally barren and demonstrates the social vitality of everyday life in the area. This one-volume survey is based on the author's fieldwork as well as an impressive array of primary and secondary sources. The narrative is enhanced by numerous maps, figures, and plates. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries. Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"In this highly original book, Hoyland gives us a rare glimpse into the society and culture of Arabia before the advent of Islam in the seventh century. Hoyland challenges the myth of pre-Islamic Arabia as culturally barren and demonstrates the social vitality of everyday life in the area. The narrative is enhanced by numerous maps, figures and plates. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries." - Library Journal
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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.
The reader must keep in mind, that the author is of the Revisionist school of historians, who are critical of the Islamic chronicling of Pre-Islamic Arabian history.