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Arietta Papaconstantinou. Confrontation, Interaction, and the Formation of the early Islamic Oikoumene. Revue des études byzantines, tome 63, 2005. pp. 167-181.

Arietta Papaconstantinou. Confrontation, Interaction, and the Formation of the early Islamic Oikoumene. Revue des études byzantines, tome 63, 2005. pp. 167-181.

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Arietta Papaconstantinou

Confrontation, Interaction, and the Formation of the early Islamic Oikoumene
In: Revue des études byzantines, tome 63, 2005. pp. 167-181.
Arietta Papaconstantinou

Confrontation, Interaction, and the Formation of the early Islamic Oikoumene
In: Revue des études byzantines, tome 63, 2005. pp. 167-181.

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Confrontation, Interaction, and the Formation of the early IslamicOikoumene
In: Revue des études byzantines, tome 63, 2005. pp. 167-181.
AbstractThis article discusses three recent collections on the early Islamic period. The first two are part of Ashgate' s Formation of theClassical Islamic World series, containing the reprints of some of the most significant scholarly contributions to the subjects of Muslim relations with Byzantium and with the other confessions within their own empire; the third is the result of a conferenceaiming to bring out the importance of documentary evidence for the study of this period. The thirty-nine articles and threeintroductions cover a number of important issues in the history of the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East of the earlyIslamic period, both showing on which themes research has tended to focus and highlighting new or recently re-evaluatedquestions.RésuméREB 63, 2005, p. 167-181.Arietta Papaconstantinou, Confrontation, interaction, and the formation of the early Islamic oikoumene. Review article - Cet articletraite de trois récents recueils sur la période proto-islamique. Les deux premiers font partie de la série The Formation of theClassical Islamic World chez Ashgate, et contiennent des réimpressions de contributions parmi les plus significatives dans ledomaine des relations qu'entretenaient les musulmans avec Byzance et avec les non-musulmans de leur propre empire ; letroisième est le résultat d'un colloque dont l'objectif était de faire ressortir l'importance des sources documentaires pour l'étude decette période. Les trente-neuf articles et trois introductions couvrent bon nombre de questions importantes concernant laMéditerranée orientale et le Proche-Orient aux débuts de l'Islam ; ils montrent sur quels thèmes la recherche a eu tendance à sefocaliser, et mettent en lumière des problématiques nouvelles ou récemment réévaluées.Citer ce document / Cite this document :Papaconstantinou Arietta. Confrontation, Interaction, and the Formation of the early Islamic Oikoumene. In: Revue des étudesbyzantines, tome 63, 2005. pp. 167-181.
 
CONFRONTATION,INTERACTION,
ANDTHE
FORMATION
OF
THE
EARLY
ISLAMIC OIKOUMENE
Review
article1
Arietta
PAPACONSTANTINOU
Michael
Bonnhr
(ed.).
Arab-Byzantine Relations
in
Early
Islamic
Times,
The
Formation
of
the
Classical
Islamic
World
8,
Aldershot,
Ashgate
2005.
Robert
Hem
and
(ed.).
Muslims
and
Others
in
Early
Islamic
Society,
The
Formation
of
the
Classical
Islamic
World
18.
Aldershot,
Ashgate
2004.
Petra
M.
Sijpksteijn
&
Lennart
Sundelin (eds.),
Papyrology
and
the
History
of
Early
Islamic-
Egypt,
Islamic
History
and
Civilization
55,
Leiden,
Brill
2004.
Without
Contraries
is
no
progression
William
Blake2
'How
late
can
late
antiquity
go?'
is
a question
that
has probably
crossed
the
minds
of
many
a
scholar
in
the
field.
For some,
Islam
marks
the
beginning
of
a
new
era.
at
least
in
the
MiddleEast;
for
others,
Islam
was
the
locus
where
late
antiquity
lived
on,
while
the
Roman
empire
that
had
conceived
it
turned
'mediev
al'.3
owever
undecided
the
periodisation
debate,
it
is
undeniable
that
the
study
of
the
early
Islamic
period
has burgeoned,
not
only
among Islamicists,
but
also
among
specialists
of
the
Christian
cultures which
lived
within
andaround
the
new
1
.
This
text
hasgreatly benefitted
from
informal
discussions
with
Muriel
Debié
and
Sophie
Métivier:
many
thanks are
also
due
to Julia
Bray
and
Chase
Robinson
for
their
suggestions
and
to
Garth
Fowden
for
avant-première
disclosure
of
his
work.
2.
The
Marriage
of
Heaven and
Hell,
plate
3.3.
In
the
mainstream view,
early
Islam
is
unambiguously
set
in
the
medieval
period,
and
the
seventh
century
marks
the
end
of
antiquity,late
or
not.
See
for
example
the
periodisation
of
A.
Camkron.
The
Mediterranean
world
in
late
antiquity,
395-600,
London 1993;
this
is
also
implied
in
titles
such
as
"Studies
in
Late
Antiquity
and
Early
Islam",
despite
the fact
that
the
Darwin
Press
series seeks
among
otherthings
to
highlight
the
continuity
between
the
two.
The
alternative
view
is
voiced
most
vigorously
by
Garth
Fowden
in
his
forthcoming
article
"Late
antiquity:
period
or
idea?",
in
Comparative
perspect
ives
n
the
Roman
Empire,
ed.
J.
Arnason.
See
also
his
Qusayr
'Amra:
art
and
the
Umaxyad
elite
in
late
antique
Syria.
Berkeley
2004.
or
T.
Sizgorich.
Narrative and
community
in
Islamic
lateantiquity.
Past
and
Present
185.
2004.
p.
9-42,
whose
titles
could
hardly
be
more
explicit;
or
F.
M.
Ci ovhr
and
R.
S.
Humphreys.
Toward
a
definition of
late
antiquity,
in
Tradition
and
innovation
in
late
antiquity, ed.
F.
M.
Clover
and
R.
S.
Humphreys.
Madison
1989,
p.
3-19
(ca 400-700).
The
question
is
discussed
and
contextualised
by
C.
F.
Robinson.
Reconstructing
early
Islam:
truth
and
consequenses.
in
Method
and
theory
in
the
study
oj
Islamic
origins,
ed.
H.
Berg. Islamic
History
and
Civilization
49.
Leiden
2003.
p.
101-134.Revue
des
Études Byzantines 63.
2005.
p.
167-181.
 
168
ARIETTA
PAPACONSTANTINOU
empire
-
and
that
much
of
the
impetus
for
this
comes
from
students
oflate
anti
quity.
As
a
result,
scholarshave
become
increasingly
conscious
of
the
role
played
by
the
contemporary
cultural environment
in
'the formation
of
the
classical
Islamic
world',
and
the
series
set
up
by
Lawrence
Conrad
under
that
title
amply
takes
this
development
into
account. Thus,
next
to
three
volumes
on pre-Islamic
Arabia
and
the
Sasanian
and
Byzantine
NearEast
before
Islam,
the
seriesincludes
two
symm
etrical
volumes
on
Arab-Byzantine
relations
in
early
Islamic
times
(ABR)
andon
Muslims
and
others
in
early
Islamic
society
(MO),
put
together
respectively
by
Michael
Bonner
and
Robert
Hoyland.
The
series
aims
to bring
together
some
of
the
most
significant
scholarly
contri
butions
to
each
subject.
To
the
extent
that
volumes
of
thissort
are
supposed
to
give
a
general
view
of
the
most
representative
research
in
a
given
field,
the
choice
of
the
articles is extremely
important
and
has
much
to
say
on
the
interests
and
orienta
tions
f
the
editors,
andbeyond
them,
on
the
historiographical
trends
that
underlie
them.
In
the
case
of
ABR
and
MO,
two
seemingly
similar
subjects,
the
difference of
approach
to the
broader
question
of
cultural
encounters
is
striking,
if
understan
dable
o
a
point.
ABR
reflects
ahistoriographical
tradition
that
tends
to
insist
on
political
and
military
history,
and
to
see
culturalinteraction
as
an
exchange
of
elements
between
worlds
that
remain
essentially
separate;
MO
gives a
more
inte
grated
vision
of
social
interaction
and
cultural
borrowing, which
are
shown
to
happen
at
various
levels
in
often
very
subtle
ways.
The
subjects
are of
course
diffe
rent,
and
partly
account
for
the
difference
in
viewpoint.
ABR
concerns
the
inhe
rently
conflict-driven
relations
between
two
antagonistic
political
entities,
while
MO
has
to
do
with
those, more prone
to
compromise,between
ruled
and
rulers
within
the
same
state.
Both
editors,
however,
could
have
oriented
their
volumes
the
other
way
round.
There
is
enoughbibliography
to
choose
from
for
one
to
present
a
negative
pictureof
Muslim/non-Muslim
interaction
-
but
evidently
Hoyland
does
not
understand relations between
'Muslims
and
others'
the
same
way
as,
say,
Bat
Ye'or.4
The
same,
though
perhaps
to
alesser
extent,
is
true
of
Arab
relations
with
Byzantium.
Although wars and
otherforms
of
conflict
have
indeed
long dominatedresearch,
there
is
much
work,
both
recent
and
less
so,
that
bears
with
it
a
more
positive
view
of
their
interaction
than
Bonner's
choices
allow
for.
Indeed, Bonner
maintains
a
strong
tilt
towards
conflict
and
military matters,
evidently
a
conscious
choice:
'This volume
on
Arab-Byzantine
relations
begins
and
ends
with
war'
is
the
book's
first
sentence.
More
than
just
begin
and
end,
though,
war
is
the
dominant
theme
in
the
collection.
The
thematic
areas chosen
are:
war
and
diplomacy;
frontiers
and
military
organisation;
polemics
and
images
of
the
'other';
exchange,
influence
and
convergence;
martyrdom,
jihäd
and
holy
war.
This
admittedly
reflects,
at
least
in
part, the
realityof
those relations
-
or
at
least
the
way
the
protagonists
themselves
seem
to
have
seen
them.
War
is
an
ever-
recurring
theme
in
sources
both
Arab and
Byzantine, and
their
confrontation
was
4.
Bat
Ye'or,
The
dhimmi:
Jews
and
Christians
under
Islam, London
1
985;
or
ead.,
Les
chrétientés
d'Orient
entre
jihâd
et
dhimmitude:
vif
XXe
siècle,
Paris
1991.
A
useful survey of Western
views
of
the
dhimmi
in
M.
J.
Saleh,
Government relations
with the
Coptic
community
in
Egypt
during
the
Fätimid
period
(358-567
A.H.
I
969-1171
C.E.),
Diss.
Universityof
Chicago
1995,
p.
9-52.

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