The Armies of the Caliphs: Military and Society in the Early Islamic State

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Routledge, 2001 - History - 229 pages
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During the Medieval period, the Middle East was a battleground in which the Umayyad and the Abbasids Caliphs fought for dominance of an empire that stretched from Spain to the borders of India. The Armies of the Caliphs is the first major study of the relationship between army and society in the early Islamic period, and reveals the pivotal role of the military in politics. -- Over the key period of 600-945, the Muslims developed a salaried, semi-professional army, dependent on the state for its livelihood. In this extraordinary survey, Kennedy shows how the army began to influence and eventually dominate the political system, and reflects on how the involvement of the military in Middle Eastern politics today has its origins in this period. Through an examination of recruitment, payment, weaponry and fortifications in the armies, The Armies of the Caliphs offers the most comprehensive view to date of how the early Muslim Empire grew to control so many people. Using Arabic chronicles, surviving documents, and archaeological evidence, this book analyzes the military and the face of battle, and offers a timely reassesment of the early Islamic State.

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User Review  - AndreasJ - LibraryThing

Covering the period from the earliest conquests in Syria and Iraq to the reduction of the caliphate to a purely symbolic rôle (ie. the 630s to the 930s), Kennedy tries to follow the organizational ... Read full review

References to this book

The Rise of Islam
Matthew Gordon
Limited preview - 2005
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About the author (2001)

Hugh Kennedy is Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of St Andrews.

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