Knowledge of pre-Islam Arabia is essential for anyone seeking to understand how Islam arose and the shape it took. Further, knowledge of the cultures, commerce, and conflicts of the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to Muhammed is fatally incomplete without the inclusion of the Arabs and the vital role they played. Arabia and the Arabs provides the only up-to-date, one volume survey of the region and its peoples during this period.
Using a wide range of sources--inscriptions, poetry, histories, and archaeological evidence--Robert Hoyland explores the main cultural areas of Arabia, from ancient Sheba in the south, to the desert oases of the north. He meticulously traces the major themes in the:
*art and architecture
*language and literature
*Arabhood and Arabisation.
The text is supplemented by over 50 photographs, drawings, and maps.
Arabia and the Arabs have been the subject of numerous historical studies by Western scholars. Some focus on Islam, others consider more secular and modern dimensions, but few examine the pre-Islamic period. In this highly original book, Hoyland (Seeing Islam as Others Saw It), a research fellow at St. John's College, Oxford, and the author of several books on the history of the Middle East, gives us a rare glimpse into the society and culture of Arabia before the advent of Islam in the seventh century. Hoyland challenges the myth of pre-Islamic Arabia as culturally barren and demonstrates the social vitality of everyday life in the area. This one-volume survey is based on the author's fieldwork as well as an impressive array of primary and secondary sources. The narrative is enhanced by numerous maps, figures, and plates. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries. Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, AL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.