Sunday, 30 June 2013

Book Review: Rome and the Arabs Before the Rise of Islam

This is a kindle book I picked up on Amazon recently. Admittedly its not a very long book (138 pages) but it does give you a good overview of whats known about Arab relations with Rome from the 3rd Century through to the Islamic Conquest of the Roman East. It was interesting to read about how the administrative structures the Arabs developed because of this relationship may have aided the Islamic take over of these previously Roman or Roman influenced areas.
It was also interesting to read of the development of written Arabic and how that might of occurred (though, according to the book, there is no definitive proof for any theory) - poetry or the recording needed for administrating an area were suggested as quite plausible reasons for the development of a written form of Arabic.
For those interested in this period this is a book worth reading.
Full Title: Rome and the Arabs Before the Rise of Islam: A Brief Introduction
Author: Greg Fisher
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (3 Feb 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1482311453
ISBN-13: 978-1482311457
Price: £3.34(Kindle ebook) or £7.38 ("real" book)
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  1. Good review. Was it illustrated and if so what were they like on the Kindle? I read the first two volumes of John Julius Norwich's books on Byzantium, which cover the same period - it's a fascinating era.



    1. Apart rom a few maps there wasn't any illustrations, which is a shame really as the early examples of Arabic written using non-Arabic letters would of been interesting to see. I've not found the Kindle to be that good with pictures, the app on my iPad is better but the pictures still display better when in a pdf book.

      To be honest although I own quite a few books on the Byzantines I haven't really read that much about them which is something I intend to correct.



  2. I can recommend the three volume set on Byzantium by JJN - at least the first two, haven't got around to reading the last one yet. Found them very readable, although I found the speed with which emperors came and went, usually in murder or some dreadful illness, to be a bit too soul destroying. Hourani's History of the Arab Peoples is good too but covers everything up to recent times so early history is covered quickly.

    Shame no piccies - as you say Kindle is a bit iffy on photos, though it's nice to see piccies of archaological sites relevant to the subject.