The First Islamic Empire

Chase F. Robinson

in The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780195188318
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 The First Islamic Empire

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  • Classical Studies
  • Middle Eastern Languages
  • Religion in the Ancient World


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This chapter examines the history of the establishment of the first Islamic Empire. It explains that the Arab Muslims took control of a culturally and religiously heterogeneous and geographically diverse area of Eurasia, from Iberia and North Africa in the west to Transoxiana and Sind in the east. The chapter highlights the role of religion in the formation of the Islamic state given that most Muslims believed that the conquests which preceded it were part of God's providential direction of human affairs. It discusses the achievements of the Islamic Empire and its successful experiment with pre-modern Mediterranean and Near Eastern imperialism.

Keywords: Islamic empire; Arab Muslims; Eurasia; Iberia; North Africa; religion; God's providential direction; pre-modern imperialism

Article.  9728 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Middle Eastern Languages ; Religion in the Ancient World

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