The Arabs in Antiquity: Their History from the Assyrians to the Umayyads

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Routledge, Jul 4, 2013 - History - 704 pages
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The history of the Arabs in antiquity from their earliest appearance around 853 BC until the first century of Islam, is described in this book. It traces the mention of people called Arabs in all relevant ancient sources and suggests a new interpretation of their history. It is suggested that the ancient Arabs were more a religious community than an ethnic group, which would explain why the designation 'Arab' could be easily adopted by the early Muslim tribes. The Arabs of antiquity thus resemble the early Islamic Arabs more than is usually assumed, both being united by common bonds of religious ideology and law.
 

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Contents

Method of investigation
9
Arabs in early Islam
16
alGahiz
4
The language ofthe Yarab
The Arabs as a section of society
The neglected cousins
Arabs in the eyes of outsiders
The problem of the earliest Arabs
Ammians description of Arabia and Arabs and its background
Arabs versus Saraceni and tayyayé
Arabs in Talmudic sources
Arabs in South Arabia
Arabs in South Arabia from the fourth to the sixth century
The picture of Arabs in proIslamic sources
The linguistic issue
The Arabs and their religion

Arabs in cuneiform sources
Tiglath Pileser III
the people of Attarshamayin
The late judaean kingdom and Arabia
The disappearing Arabs
the Arabs from the Assyrians to the Umayyads
General index
Index locorum
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Jan Retso was born in Norway but has been living in Sweden for more than 40 years. He got his Ph.D form Goteborg University in 1983 and was appointed full Professor of Arabic there in 1986. His main field of work is Arabic and Semitic linguistics, especially comparative and diachronic studies where he has published two monographs and a series of articles. He has also published several articles on the history of Pre-Islamic Arabia and the ancient east.

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