Greg Fisher

in Between Empires

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599271
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724992 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs


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This chapter examines the background to the study: current and previous scholarship on the Arabs; the difficulties inherent in dealing with terms like ‘tribe’, ‘state’, and ‘Arab’; the sources and methodology to be used; the application of historical theory; and the relevance of the ongoing competition between Rome and the Sasanians. In particular, it highlights so‐called ‘borderlands’ theory, an application derived from US Colonial history, which is used in the work. It also highlights the importance of literature on western barbarians, such as the Goths, and deals extensively with the works of Irfan Shahid, the most prolific writer about the Rome/Arab relationship in modern scholarship.

Keywords: Arab; tribe; state; Irfan Shahid; historical theory; borderlands; barbarians; methodology; sources

Chapter.  14198 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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