When Baghdad Ruled The Muslim World: The Rise And Fall Of Islam'S Greatest Dynasty

When
  • Category: Hardcover
  • Author: Kennedy, Hugh
  • ISBN 10: 0306814358 ISBN 13: 9780306814358Publisher: Da Capo Press, 2005
  • Hardcover

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Synopsis About this title The golden age of Islam” in the eighth and ninth centuries was as significant to world history as the Roman Empire was in the first and second centuries. Islamic culture and enterprise stretched from Tunisia to India; its legacy influenced politics and society for years to come. From the founding of the city of Baghdad in A.D. 762 to the end of the ninth century, the rule of the Abbasid dynasty was the zenith of Islamic conquest and influence. The caliphs of Baghdad formed the model for succeeding Muslim regimes, from military conquests to court-sponsored poetry and literature, from building palaces to establishing court bureaucracies. Yet the true story of this fascinating empire has rarely been told outside the academic world.In this deftly woven narrative, Hugh Kennedy introduces us to the rich history and flourishing culture of the period and to the men and women of the palaces at Baghdad and Samarra the caliphs, viziers, eunuchs, and women of the harem who fashioned the glorious days of the Arabian Nights . It is an epic story in every sense, with larger-than-life rulers, exotic slave girls, inventive tortures, and enough court intrigue to frighten a Borgia. "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title. About the Author: Hugh Kennedy has taught in the Department of Mediaeval History at the University of St. Andrews since 1972. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000. Professor Kennedy lives in St. Andrews, Scotland. From Publishers Weekly: Starred Review. These days Baghdad is associated with violence and insurgency. But more than a thousand years ago, during the Abbasid caliphate, Baghdad was a center of the arts and sciences, a city of dreams and limitless opportunities. This eminently entertaining book by respected British historian Kennedy focuses on these glory days of Baghdad in the eighth and ninth centuries, and the city's eventual downfall. Firmly grounded in the original Arabic literary sources of the era, Kennedy (Mongols, Huns and Vikings) emphasizes the amazing personalities of the period, such as Caliph Harun al-Rashid (mythologized in TheArabian Nights) and his powerful queen Zubayda. Kennedy's account is not a dry political chronicle but rather full of stories of love, sex, power, corruption, sibling rivalry and political intrigue—for which he makes no apology. Kennedy does a superb job resurrecting the human dimension of the period, as in apt descriptions of life in Harun al-Rashid's harem or the various caliphs' decisions whether or not to wage war. He also provides a sophisticated account of the general cultural and political climate based on recent scholarship. Combining academic rigor and accessibility, this is compelling reading for anyone concerned with the perils of power, the medieval Islamic legacy and the images that Baghdad continues to conjure in the modern imagination. 24 pages of illus., 3 maps. (June) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. "About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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