Narrative and Early Islamic History

Nancy Khalek

in Damascus after the Muslim Conquest

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199736515
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918614 | DOI:
Narrative and Early Islamic History

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This chapter introduces some of the traditional methodological and historiographical challenges to the social and cultural history of Late Antique and early Islamic Syria. It proposes a new approach to literary and source criticism that focuses on narrative as a lens for the interpretation of culture in the Classical Islamic world. It also situates Damascus in its late antique and early Byzantine milieu, providing an interdisciplinary perspective on the transition to Islam in the medieval Mediterranean. The chapter introduces the case studies that form the remainder of the book, and explains the rationale for the approach taken to pair a theoretical approach with individual case studies of the literature, cult practice, and sacred geography of Damascus.

Keywords: literature; narrative; Damascus; Syria; source criticism; late antique; early Islam

Chapter.  17311 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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