"Do Prophets Come with a Sword?

" Conquest, Empire, and Historical Narrative in the Early
Islamic World
Author(s): Thomas Sizgorich
Source: The American Historical Review, Vol. 112, No. 4 (Oct., 2007), pp. 993-1015
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical Association
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A Roman legionary subdues a barbarian in a panel from the Arch of Constantine in Rome. Although the image
itself is of Trajanic origin, enduring tenets of Roman imperial ethnology and ideology made this image as ideally
suited to adorn the monument of a fourth-century emperor as it had been to illustrate the virtues of his
second-century predecessor. The stubborn resistance of Roman imperial ethnology to change would eventually
emerge as an important topos within early Islamic historiography.

This content downloaded from on Thu, 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC
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Travawc et Memoires 11 a former Jew recalls that when he asked an elderly and learned Jew about the proph among the Saracens. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" Conquest. in the seventh-century Do Baptizati. Vincent Deroche. and Historical Narrative in the Early Islamic World THOMAS SIZGORICH In the ninth century of the Common Era. a Christian apologist livin under Muslim rule in Iraq repeated a very old critique of Islam. Kitab al-burhan.174.2 In tandem with its theological implications. The Early Islamic Conquests (Princeton. Thomas Sizgorich." in Averil Cameron and Lawrence I. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. Robinson. 2000). 164-165. 1 Ammar al-Basri. an though "Amrnar al-Basrl was a Christian intellectual. ed.jstor. 'A wrote that Islam. This critique appears. "Narrative and Community in Islamic Late An- tiquity. Jay Rubinstein.J. the old man replied. "The Conquest of Arwad: A Source Critical Study in the Historiography of the Early Medieval Near East. N.J.1 However much we may doubt the late ancient and early medieval Christians scrupulously abstained from sword in spreading their religion. Chase F. David Torr anonymous readers whose wonderfully rigorous comments guided my final revisio This article is dedicated to the memory of Timothy David Moy. For do prophets and a war chariot?" 2 See Sidney Griffith. 1992). eds. "He is a false [prophet]. like the religion of the Banu Israeli (roughly "the had been spread by the sword.." Past & Present 185 (2004): 9-42." Le Museon 96 (1983): 145-181. this Christian auth Islam's use of the sword also seems to have taken aim at the early Mus or umma's organizing historical narratives about the origins of the I nity itself. Graham Michael Maas. Nadia Maria El Cheikh. 1998).J. see Fred M. Timothy C. For Muslims of the era. Conrad. 1977). Empire and Elites after the Muslim Conquest: The Transformation of Northern Mesopotamia (Cambridge.' esp.11. N... 5. Donner. Donner. Narratives of Islamic Origins: The Beginnings of Islamic Historical Writing (Princeton. Jonathan Sciarcon. Lawrence I. Conrad. revelation. "Ammar al-Basn: Apologi (Beirut.. and French trans. Greg Fisher.57 on Thu. Nancy McLoughlin.. ed.org/terms . Empire.254. whereas Christianity forbade the use a means of promulgating the faith. the Christian apologist clearly me that Islam's history of faith-driven conquest had made moot any claim may have advanced concerning the status of their religion as the one of God upon the Earth. 317-401.16. N. "'Ammar al-Basri 's Kitab al-Burhan: Christian Kalam in the First Abbasid Century. 3 For the futuh in early Islamic thought. in Michel Hayek. for example. I should gratitude to Hal Drake. 32-33. 1981). 993 This content downloaded from 132. The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East: Problems in the Literary Source Material (Princeton. the events of the conquest perio as a series of monumental episodes that located contemporary Isl herents within an overarching narrative of prophecy. 174-182. he was intimat For their kind and patient efforts in reading previous drafts of this article.

Conrad. Chase F. 2000]. Mustafa Muslim Muhammad. M. 255/868-869) referred in his tract Al-Radd "aid al-Nasdn (Against the Christians) (in al-Jahiz. Al-Jahiz says that the Christian mutakallimun have favorite Qur'anic verses (e.D. Qur'an 5. esp. Sa'id SharlfT. (Leiden. "Arabic..5 For the apologist's Muslim contemporaries. 5 Ammar al-Basn. "Surat al-Rum: A Study of Exegetical Literature. for example. 1990). 4 vols. 3 vols. trans.. esp.H 14-15 (Albany. Sulayman." Byzantinische Forschungen 15 (1988): 1-44. Tankh al-rasul wa. The Early Arabic His- torical Tradition (Princeton." 146. ed. 15 vols. 11: The Challenge to the Empires (Albany. Robinson. 1:2294-2295. 32-34. 30 vols. See especially Friedmann's note at 89 n. "The Study of Islamic Historiography: A Progress Report." ARAM Periodical 3 (1991): 211-233. 1:2098.J. Tafsir kitab Allah al-aziz. 'Ammar seems to have been the kind of Christian religious scholar (mutakallim) to whom al-Jahiz (d.. Balhajj b. 214-217.Y. 223-233. 89-90." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 7 One rich pool of sources ot information concerning the role of the great empires or late antiquity in the imaginary of early Muslims is the corpus of very early exegetical texts. ed. 3:235. Yohanan Friedmann. Rasd'il al-Jahiz. See also. Vox futuh as a theme. ibid. using the tories.174. (Cairo. Sulaymdn. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132.57 on Thu. 1887-1901). 1954). 635-637/A. he wrote that Muslims of his age boaste munity "with the sword" during the futuh (lit lands taken by early Muslim armies." Studia Islamica 89 (1999): 5-21. ed.jstor. See also al-Tabari. and religious environment that was realigned and remade by Muhammad's revelation. 21:18-19. Janr al-Taban. Conrad. for example. the great imperial powers of late antiquity represented crucial landmarks within the cultural.Quran. Series 3. 7. "Theophanes and the Arabic Tradition: Some Indications of Intercultural Transmission. 2b:257.. El Cheikh. 9:220. 'Abd al-Razzaq b. 96-97. Narratives of Islamic Origins. (Beirut. A. JdmV al-baydn "an tawil al-Qurdn. 31-33. al-Tabarl's explication of the term al-nds as it appears in Surat al-anfdl. Lawrence I. Muhakkam al-Hawwari. N. This 4 See Griffith. 109-171. 305. N. For the familiarity of Christian authors with Muslim historical narratives and the distinctive topoi of these narratives. Syriac and Greek Historiography in the First Abbasid Century: An Inquiry into Inter-Cultural Traffic. al- Tabarl. Hud b. ed. 3:5-6. ed. Tdrikh. the primary symbol of the conquests of the la Persian empires was in many ways to miss the The significance of the futuh as depicted in th sources was the profound reordering of the pr This global reordering was in turn occasioned b and minds of Muhammad's followers and comp mission. the grand- scale changes wrought through conquest were but traces left upon the landscape of the present world by the far more profound transformation that had taken place in the hearts of those who had embraced Muhammad's message and mission. 174-182.he was on are believed to have often met and studied wit he clearly understood the place of the conques the Iraqi Christian author seems to have allu terpretation of the conquests when. however. "Muhammad and Heraclius: A Study in Legitimacy. (Riyad. Khalid Yahya Blankinship. Jarlr al-Tabar^Jdmi'al-baydn'an tawil al-Qurdn. Tafsir al. Ahmad Farld." Journal of the American Oriental Society 118 (1998): 356-364. The History of al-Taban. see Robert Hoyland. [Beirut. vol. 12: The Battle of al-Qddisiyyah and the Conquest of Syria and Palestine. which is derived from the same root (fd'-td'-hd") from which the term futuh is derived. Abu Ja'far Muhammad b. ed. Albrecht Noth and Lawrence I. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. 2:83.l-muluk.6 For these Muslims. Cf. 1992).254. Hayek. Swat al-md*ida:82) that they memorize and deploy in argumentation.. (Beirut.org/terms . Hammam al-Sananl (al-Himyari). vol. see Donner. Muqatil b. 4 vols. no. 4 vols. political. Abu Ja far Muhammad b. Ammar uses the verb fataha. The History of al-Taban. Muhammad Basil 'Uyun al-Saud. Tafsir Muqdtil b. trans. 2 (1997): 199- 227. Kitab al-burhan. 1993). 1989). 1994).7 Perhaps paradoxically. de Goeje et al.g. 3:243). 2003). 6 See. See Nadia Maria El Cheikh. 994 Thomas Sizgorich with the holy texts of the Muslims . J. "Ammar al-Basn's Kitab al-Burhan.

" Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 67 (2004): 14-39. Syriac and Greek Historiography". Moreover.9 Proceeding in this way." 29-38.57 on Thu. Donner. Robert Hoyland. Tdrikh. The Early Arabic Historical Tradition." History Compass 5 (2007): 581-602. only when we read later Roman and early Muslim sources in tandem. it becomes clear that many accounts preserved in later Roman histories concerning imperial relations with nomadic tribesmen in general and the Arabs in particular specify a fixed array of diplomatic tactics and strategies to be used in dealing with fractious frontier warriors.8 In so refusing. 2001). 12:63-81. Robinson. See as an example the long series of such scenes collected in al-Tabari. Muslim authors framed the landmark battles of the period by setting poor and pious Muslim Arab warriors in dialogue with agents of Roman and Persian imperial power. Robinson. poor and pious Muslim warriors confronted and bested the armies of the great powers of late antiquity. according to the contem narratives of Islam's birth and early growth. "Umar b. Muslim authors had for a century and more crafted histories of the conquest period in which the purified souls of Muslim Arab mujahidun (practitioners of jihad) were manifested in their interactions with Roman and Persian imperial agents. Conrad. "Narrative and Community. allies. on the horizon of Syria or Mesopotamia.org/terms . and enemies. a strategy that has not yet gained wide currency among scholars of late antiquity and early Islam. quiet meetings between Muslim and Roman warriors just before their respective armies clashed on the field. and reinvented the place of the Arabs within the late ancient political world. When we in turn survey the extant early Islamic Arabic accounts of relations between Arab tribesmen and Ro- man imperial officials during the first days of the conquests. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about.. In these texts. By the time 'Ammar al-Basrl produced his Kitab al-burhan (The Book of Proof). Intriguingly. however. disrupted.jstor. 1995-2001). 80 vols. Ibn Asakir and Early Islamic History (Princeton. Gharama al-'AmrawT and "All ShTrl. ed. Friedmann. manifested in the charac haviors of the men who carried Islam into the territories of the Romans and Persians. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 995 otherwise invisible revolution of the spirit was. See also Ibn "Asakir. these early Muslim heroes were understood by later Muslims to have subverted. The History of al-Tabari. and friendship from the Ro- mans and Persians they met. trans. and to have done so by means of a revolution fought and won in the hearts of Muhammad's followers long before they appeared. the text in which he claimed that true religion forbids that the sword be taken up in its service. Kaegi. In a topos common to most early Muslim accounts of the con- quests. swords in hand. see Noth and Conrad. Tdrikh madinat Dimashq.254. Sizgorich. the meaning that these battles carried within the larger narrative of the conquest period (and so within the evolving metanarrative of Islam's formative past) was signaled in small. "The Conquest of Khuzistan: A Historiographical Reassess- ment. gifts. On the use of topoi in early Islamic historiography. Empire and Elites'. 1:2268-2285. Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests (Cambridge. these specific tactics and strategies emerge as crucial elements within the dominant early Muslim narrative of 8 See Sizgorich. "Writing the Biography of the Prophet Muhammad: Problems and Solutions. Lindsey. Narratives of Islamic Origins. "Theophanes and the Arabic Tradition". "Arabic. Hoyland. ed. 9 See Walter E. "Narrative and Community. the narratives in which these claims were advanced seem to have taken the form that they did in part as a result of the centuries-long relationships between Rome and her Arab clients." American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132..J. (Beirut. 266-271. N. This becomes apparent. 2:81-82.174. On Ibn 'Asakir as a source for early Islamic history. The point of these meetings was always to allow the Muslim heroes to hear and reject offers of imperial beneficence. however. see James E. 1992). Chase F.

"The Study of Islamic Historiography. but also for tracing with greater nu developments within the medieval Muslim co Fred Donner on the formation of early Islamic explores the evolution of these narratives from battle accounts into highly elaborated written articulating these histories that the monoth collected around Muhammad's personality and lim umma" known to history. Andrew Rippin. if not absolutely intr A change is under way. See also Fred Confessional Self-Identity in the Early Islamic Commun indebted to Professor Donner for providing me with a c American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. Nevo. while others. J Ricoeur.174.57 on Thu.11 While Donner's work has proved invaluable of narrative as a component of early Islamic history such scholars as Margaret Somers. Slaves on Horses: The 1980). Islamic History: A Framew 3. the less dependably "factual" infor 1970s and 1980s. Approaches to 163." 11 Donner. Patricia Crone. the greater the scrutin subjected. This approach to the early Islamic past rep established scholarly tradition whose adherent frustrated in their aims. One particularly ferti appreciating the development and character of ratives is crucial not only for understanding t identities. the prima termine how closely individual manifestation with demonstrable historical fact. Judith Koren and Yehuda D. Formerly. 1977). although rather more optim the challenges they faced in producing empiric tory were indeed grave. it most ofte returns for historians. R.jstor. some researchers had begun isfying portrait of the first centuries after the c. ed.). In so doing.org/terms . as examples.254. G.. 1999). Stephen Humphreys. Martin. R. Patricia Crone and Michael Cook. For concise overviews. "Literary Analysis of Qur'a Wansbrough. Robinson. Narratives of Islamic Origins.e. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. Hawting." in Richard C. however. The Idea of Idolatry and the Emerg bridge. mary task to determine the value of various lit the formulation of a narrative of early Islamic though this pursuit may have been. (Cambridge. and Hayden White have articulated a h positions regarding the role of narrative in th man subjects negotiate such problems as indivi 10 See.996 Thomas Sizgorich the conquests. "Methodologic 68 (1991): 87-107. see Donner's "I igins. the advent of Islam as a commu of an Islamic empire. Increasing a of the work of theorists in other fields has begun research on early Islam.

jstor.254. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. 1984). On Narr 1981).that individuals tend to locate themselves within sp political. "What Are We Read Read Autobiography?" Narrative 12 (2004): 121-132. Jerome Bruner.16 That is. plinary Inquiry: A Reply to George Butte. "The Abuses of Memor on the Memory Boom in Anthropology. ed. Contested Pasts: The Politics of Memory (London. Autobiography. Edw vention. or some combinati Although they differ in their objects of study. and cultural patterning. it is by understanding one's co 12 See Margaret R.174." Representations 69 Hue-Tarn Ho Tai. which in turn lends cohe to the characters and events from which that story is constructed. Wis. " 'It Was Like a Fever ." Ratio 17 (2004): 428-452. "Who's Here? Thoughts on Narrative Identity an perialism. Kathleen McLaughlin and David Pellauer. 1999)." American Historical Review 102. Thomas Mitchell." Narrative 13 (2005): 307-311." Theory and Society 23." Critical Inquiry 26 (2000): 175-192. and concl examples of this literature necessarily attend to the problem of narrat ration. Natalie Zemon Dav Stern. " 'Not Easily Were Stones Joined by the Strongest Bonds Pulled As Violence and Imperial Order in the Later Roman World. David Berliner. "Contending Stories: Na Movements. Hayden Wh of Narrativity in the Representation of Reality. this connection between memory and be explained by one simple but compelling argument: these scholars the capacity of any human subject to imagine any past (or present or fut upon the arrangement of that past into either discrete but comprehens or a theme-driven story arranged into a plot. political. "The Narrat of Reality. 46-47. eds." A torical Review 106. methodologies.org/terms . The Construction of Memory in Interwar France (Chicago. 1-23. Paul Ricoeur. and commemoration in the articulation of communal ident these are national. episode debate. no.. Galen Str Narrativity.concei ever-evolving and socially constructed constellation of recollected ep acters. "History and Narrative Identity: Religious Dissent of Memory in Eighteenth-Century England. 13 The literature on the role of memory in the humanities and social sciences is va prodigiously. themes. 5 (1994): 605-660. and plots. "Provisional Stabilities: The Politics of Identities in Post-Soviet Eurasi Security 24." Qualitative Sociology 21 (1998): 419-446. 15 For the "narrative vs. James Phelan. See also Ronald Grigo structing Primordialism: Old Histories for New Nations." Journal of British Studies 44 (2005): 46 Abercrombie. J. no.14 For many narratologists. truth claims. "Selfhood. and Identity in Social Protest. Somers.15 Many of these studies suggest that it is through memory . Francesca Polleta. 76-79. 61-63. "Remembered Realms: Pierre Nora and French National Memory. Paul John Eakin. Memory and Place. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132." Critical Inquiry 18 (1991): 1-21. 14 See." Narrative 14 (2006): 180-187." The Journal of Modern Hi 862-896. 5 (December 1997): 1372-13 Klein. Polleta. John Seed.12 In turn. Katheri Susannah Radstone. 2003). "I Know That I Kno Reflections on Paul John Eakin's 'What Are We Reading When We Read Autobiograp 13 (2005): 299-306. "The Narrative Constitution of Identity: A Relationshi Approach.57 on Thu. 3 (2000): 139-178. all inflected with meaning via the power of narrative . ethnic. Pathways of Memory and Power: Ethnography and History among the And ison. Sherman. this body of resea incides very usefully with current examinations of the roles of remembr production. (Chicago. Susan A. "Anthropological Quarterly 78 (2005): 197-211 J. esp. See. Suny. as concise overviews of the growth of the field. for example. Time trans. Crane.. "History and Narrative Identity. 1998). "On the Emergence of Memory in Historical Discourse. Paul John Eakin. "Introduction. 12-15." in W. For the intersection of narrative and memory among the communities of lat Thomas Sizgorich. "Narrative Identity and Narrat A Response to Galen Strawson and James Phelan.. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 997 decision-making. 97-101. confessional. no. George Butte. 3 (June 2001): 906-922. 3 vols." see Paul John Eakin." Representations 26 (1989): 1-6." Journal of Early Christian S 75-101. and cultural matrices." Narrative 13 (2005): 205-210." Social Problems 45 (1998): 137-159. 16 See Seed. "Writing the Ind Collective Memory . no.

18 In composite. From Rom know that they and generations of their prede had seen this many times before. John R. 3 vols. Arthur Goldhammer. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. see F. for example. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132.174. and social cir thought and wrote. Once we can more readily possible to more effectively address many of t motivated empirically minded Islam scholars o would likely have surprised those scholars. Gold and Margaret M." History & M wachs's work on "collective memory. and political bo world. Coser (Chicago. Lewis A." New German Critique 65 (1995): work.. See also Jan Assm and Cultural Identity. N.jstor. Historical Representation (S berg.J.' " 95-101.998 Thomas Sizgorich communal self as actors in a procession of past with specific and often even metaphysical mea the contemporary social and political order innate not only the legal. as a process of alternately recalling and fo be understood as a process by which possible iterations of concerns of the contemporary social. "Between Memory and H 26 (1989): 7-24. and why its mem empire as they did. Kritzman. 1992). The Construction of M Joined. In better understanding the sible to better understand how and why the ear itself in the ways that it did. S trans. cultural. Michael Feige. and political a much larger universe of possible signs and symbols. R. how certain pre-Islamic Roman sources can tell u Muslim community recalled its past. 1997).17 For historians of early Islam.254." most treatments of ways in which the cultural and political circumstances in to determine the ways in which particular pasts are env Accordingly. Sherman. "Between Auschwitz and Algeria: Multidirectional M ical Inquiry 33 (2006): 158-184. the application and new possibilities to very old and much-wor to the question of early Islamic communal memo and the resources with which it was articula elucidate the cultural. Gold. 18 For an admirable analytical survey of non-Muslim Hoyland. but also the normative relations betwee dated by those boundaries. trans. Pierre Nora. "Introduction: Rethinking Isr (2002): v-xiv. Our Roman sources for the events of the c be desired. social. (Ne Realms".org/terms . the French Past. political. Ankersmit. Pierre Nora and Lawrence D.57 on Thu. For the Ro 17 See. they often allow us soon after the final Roman defeat of the Pe officials looked out across the great expanses o approach of mounted Arab warriors. " The Interpretation and Narratives of Culloden. Seeing Islam As Others Saw It: A Survey and Ev Writings on Early Islam (Princeton.

F. For the Ghassanids. W. 141-144. as I will suggest below. L. 425-600 (Cambridge. see James Howard-Johnston.D. 1: Political and Military History (Washington. Die Ghassanischen Fursten aus dem Hause Gafna's (Berlin. Through the fifth and sixth centuries. see Elizabeth M. The Barbarian Plain: Saint Sergius and Iran (Berkeley. Parthian and Sasanian Periods (Cambridge. "Iran and the Arabs before Islam. See the comments of Elizabeth Key Fowden. 16-17. 1968). Mass.57 on Thu. "Nemara and Faw. 651. Mayerson. 1995).C.org/terms .jstor. Wars. Bowersock. "The Two Great Powers in Late Antiquity: A C Averil Cameron. "Arabs in Syriac Literature before the Rise of Islam.. Die Dynastie der Lahmidenin in al-Hira: Ein Versuch zur arabisc schichte zur Zeit der Sasaniden (1899.. powerful confederations had become each empire's first line of defense against n and large-scale invasions. 52-65." in Ehsan Yarshater. August 3-8. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. 1986 (New Roch 305-323.." Ancient Society 13/14 (1982): 5-31. These authors interpret the Arabs they descr prism of Roman ethnographic traditions concerning nomads in general and Arab nom It is also clear. 157-226." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research esp. The Cambridge Ancient Histo Antiquity: Empire and Successors. 633-634 of the American Philological Association 95 (1964): 155-199. Bryan Ward-Perkins. The Cambridge His 3(1): The Seleucid. Chrysos. 678-700." in John H." Bulle of Oriental and African Studies 42 (1979): 1-6. Beeston. ed. Theodor Noldeke. Dewing (1914. For the Arabs. chap. 21 See. esp.174. F see Gustav Rothstein. for example. Procopius. Image of the Arabs in Byzantine Literature. "The A Cameron. for example. Procopius s comments concerning Persia s Lakhmid allies. Byzantium and the A Century. Humphrey. R. Cambridge. ed. Shaw. Hildesheim. D. see Irfan Shahid. Drinkers of Milk: The Ancient Mediterranean Pastoral Nomad. In what follows. "A New Reading for the Nemarah Inscription. 3: States. vol. "Philological Observations on the Nam lournal of Semitic Studies 24 (1979): 429-436.254. Volume 2 (Portsmouth. All references are to this edition and translation.21 It was through such exchanges that they built ties of obligat 19 Irfan Shahid has insisted upon the sedentary nature of the Ghassanid allies of R no desire to take issue with him on this point.20 As they watched the Arab bands ride toward them. "Eaters of Flesh. 10. Calif. History Books I and II [hereafter Wars].47. 43-47. J. Whether they faced small bu bands of Arab raiders or found themselves in need of the support o confederations. Segal. Tribal Dynasty. B. Dav Saracens and the Defense of the Arabian Frontier. 20 See. ed." Bulletin of the American Schools of 229 (1978): 1-26. 1999). 1. as they are described by such Roman authors as Pro Protector. eds. Washington. esp. See also Lawrence I.C. and trans. vol. Byzantine Near East: Some Recent Archaeological Research." Journ ican Oriental Society 105 (1985): 31-51. Evangelos K. 593-612. Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests. repr. 2000). these Roman officials would have had at their disposal an old and well-tested diplom for handling troublesome Arab tribesmen. D. the Romans' diplomatic strategies with regard to th regularly predicated upon strategic exchanges of capital in the forms of and titles. "The Title Basileus in E American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 1887). 68 worth. A.17. see Irfan Shahid.. H. A. and Shahid's review of The Barbarian Plain Historical Review 86 (2000): 650-652. esp.J. For the enticements with which the have incited Arab cooperation. Conrad. N.D. G." lerusalem S and Islam 4 (1984): 89-123. Roman Arabia (C 1983). Resou (Princeton.that is. the Arab clients of the two empires had served as dreaded li whose raids across those empires' frontiers represented a crucial compo army's tactical array. B. and Michael Whitby. "The First Muslim Attacks on Southern Palestine (A. ed. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 999 sponsible for the maintenance of order on the eastern deserts.. Mark Whit the Jafnids: Writing the History of a 6th-C. For the pastoralist in the Roman ethnogra see Brent D. 1995). James A. 1. I will refer to appear in our sources ." in The 17th International Byzantine Congr Dumbarton Oaks I Georgetown University. band warriors had come to represent both a persistent dilemma and a vital re centuries. and Theophylact Simocatta. For an overview of Rom lations. pt. that the diplomatic strategies described by th imagined on the model of those that were deployed with regard to other "nomadic" the Huns. 1983). "The Saracens and the Limes.. Kaegi. however. Bellamy.. The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East.

poor fighters. 2. Procopius.. the Arabs could ally with their prowess back on their former masters. for example. which involved stressing a common "Roman" past shared by the occupants of those lands and the invading army. that strategies of gift exchange were Rome's imperial agenda on the eastern frontier. and American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. "Procopius and Thucydides on the Labors of War: Belisarius and Brasidas in the Field.57 on Thu. we are told. 2.27 Relations. 1917-1933). nor would those Arabs who dwelled pires have had much occasion to interact with shared culture." Phoenix 3 (1949): 60-69. 325-326. 43-49. changes in Roman policy toward the Arabs under the em- peror Maurice seriously diminished the power of Ghassan.jstor.22 Accordingly. ed. 2000).26 Despite th out the fifth and sixth centuries. and created an array of smaller tribal groups with which the Romans could negotiate. or p the sort that linked settled and urbanized Roman ernment. Woolf. ed. 44. it was because nomadic Arabs were.4. D. see Strabo. and whose to romanitas (roughly "Roman-ness") and the humanitas. ed. Becoming Roman.. See also Procopius. and trans. For nomads motivated by the poverty of native lands. see Charles Pazdernik. Peters. 17. C. Hildesheim. 16. 1000 Thomas Sizgorich nomadic allies. 1:335-336. 41-42. Geographica. For nomads as weak. the Arabs wer of the Romans' eastern domains.). The Arabs and Arabia on the Eve of Islam (Aldershot. Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty in the Roman Empire (Berkeley.20-24. 20. xxii-xxiii. "Subsidies in Roman Imperia Defense.2 tribesmen could be bound to the Roman (or P not be achieved via Rome's other. de Boor. See Theophanes Confessor. Becoming Roman The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul (Cambridge. See also ibid. or bought off troublesome war b tlements or caravan routes. chap." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 32 (1978): 50-51. 1999). 2 vols. 1963). Wars. (1883.. 27 Ibid. 206-215.47. See F. 1998). in Cyril Mango." Transactions of the American Philological Association 130 (2000): 149-187.23. All references are to this edition and translation. Early Islamic Conquests. Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty. E. encounters with officialdom. Chronographia. C. Gordon.1. or simpl the settled peoples dared not follow. 16..3. would also have found little to recommend them in relations with nomadic or settled Arabs. the handled Arab tribesmen reflected quite closely th other nomadic peoples. AM 6123 (631-632 C. Calif. and declaring that the invasion represented a restoration of "freedom" to Romans "enslaved" by Gothic and Vandal barbarians. see Greg Woolf. Wars with nomads w ficult.1. see ibid. 26 See Donner.254.11-21. in The Geography ofStrabo. Rome's long-time ally. barbarians who could not be civilized.3. 22 See Clifford Ando. esp.10.23 Indeed. Nikephoros. 24 For humanitas in Roman imperial and ethnographic thought. 3. Horace Leonard Jones. (London. "Introduction. ed. Heraclius suspended payments to some Arab tribesmen in service of the empire. repr." in Peters.3.25 Meanwhile. were u bounds of Roman imperium.12-15 and 2. 23 See. 25 Ando. Breviarium.10. preferred met pliance. 73-80. direct coercion of the Ar that stretched between the two empires was part cause if pressured. 17. 54-76.E..org/terms . In the early seventh century. as every Roman knew. Wars. most notably the Huns. 8 vols. The strategies examined by Pazdernik. 101-108. 131-138.174. and nomads. esp. 2. The Arabs of the desert seemed to hav for example. In the late sixth century.23-24.15. For some strategies undertaken by Justinian as means for inciting compliance among local populations during his sixth-century reconquest of formerly "Roman" terri- tories in Italy and North Africa.

however. 30 The late-sixth-/early-seventh-century Roman historian Theophylact Simocatta wrote that the "Saracen tribe is known to be most unreliable and fickle.32 trans. 69 (English).67-69.8-16. Medes. Moreover. Nikephoros. 100 (Greek). The History of Theophylact Simocatta (Oxford. 578) ended the practice. Fragment 9." se American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. Proc was the allegiance of the nomads against the enemies of the empire. 1. and trans. particularly Arabs.29-95. we are told. The exchange began when a particularly formidable group gave the emperor a grove of palm trees. 28 Procopius. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1001 The strategies favored by the Romans in their dealings with the A emerge from our sources in scattered anecdotes. Justinian and his predecessors seem to have given frequentl erally in their exchanges with nomads.17.C. Geographica. Elsewhere.7. 98. Michael Whitby and Mary Whitby. 99-100. The History of Menander the Guardsman (Liverpool. Wars.' think.28 Elsewhere we learn that Justinian made a practice of bestowing gifts e the Arab allies of Persia during a period of peace between the two empire so. 1986).17. see Strabo.19. The Romans took strenuous objection to this.19.. As Procopius points out.. D. 1. When his nephew and succe II (d. Fragment 9. 68 (Greek). we exchange of gifts that took place between Justinian (ca.47- 48. What Justinian had really received. and competition for them could be deadly. For the use of titles such as "King of the Arabs. the capital accrued from relations with the imperial powers was used by powerful tribal entities including the Ghassanids and Lakhmids as a means of consolidating and widening their influence within Arab tribal politics. See also n. 1985). In the Roman author sixth-century history of the emperor Justinian's wars. 1. in Blockley. See also Procopius. Procopius.1. trans. The History of Menander the Guardsman.1. History. to which the emperor responded w of his own. and wonders whether his lack of success in the field after becoming a Roman ally resulted from his "having turned traitor as quickly as possible. History. 101 (English).174. "When I say 'Saracens. 32 See Donner. their mind is not steadfast and their judgment is not firmly grounded in prudence". and these seem to have become an important aspect of the prestige economy of pre-Islamic Arabs." as he discussed a dispute involving the Arab tribes allied with the Persians. 101.31 In addition to material items. ins the relationship had been an exchange between the emperor and the A on altruistic benevolence on Justinian's part. where Procopius expresses doubt about the loyalty of the Roman Ghassanid ally Harith. 102 (Greek). Justinian's gifts had been a sort of payoff to buy their forbearanc raiding of Roman lands. 16.." 31 For the early origins of such arrangements. 3.29 In any case. Titles including "King of the Arabs" and such honors as the chance to take one's place among the great men of the Romans were bits of capital distributed to the Arab allies of both empires.jstor.1. the palm grove given to Ju the "mere form of a gift": it was inaccessible to anyone but the nomads t because of its desert location. C. 1990). upon the uncouthness and unreliability of that people. Patriarch of Constantinople: Short History (Washington. 40 below. Early Islamic Conquests. in R. Wars. 99. 100.254.28. because he felt sorry for the "leaderless" desert nom entered into an exchange of gifts with them. Wars. 43-49. the Romans and the Persians bestowed honors upon their Arab allies. 29 See Menander Protector. History. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. the sixth-century Roman historian Menander Protector reports that one Roman envoy to the Persian court urged his listeners.org/terms . 482-565) and Syrian nomads. Blockley.57 on Thu. for example.32-35. the Arabs protested that from th of view. ed. the Romans a tended to agree that one could not expect much from nomads in the way o Nevertheless. however. 103 (English).

17. C. Roman Arabia." American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. and began collecting taxes himself. routed the Romans' Ara collectors. 406 (Greek Irfan Shahid. 2:104-107. for example. al- (1868. 1970). 1. and invisible periods of years. found most disturbin paid to a barbarian was unheard of. in R. Nemarah Inscription". exchanged gifts with the emperor.jstor.33 This may have been a bitter elites of the Eastern Roman capital of Constantin empire that it was the emperor's duty to defend with formidable Arab chieftains were the one se the compliance of restive and potentially dang And so as our seventh-century Roman imper of those Arab raiders. in time. Bowersock. Chrysos. and w people to bear. an Arab warrior some Roman territories. they likely had in mind crafted in accordance with a centuries-old mode regard to nomadic Arabs. 1983). Beirut. In the end. with the the world would go on as it had for the better p Our Muslim sources for the conquest period ar ways more problematic than our Roman sources.34 Those narratives after the death of the Prophet. won Procopius. See also Shahid.57 on Thu. Wars. Then. and that had. see Abu 1-Faraj Allb. and w men of the Romans. T the Later Roman Empire (Liverpool. Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Centu 34 See Donner. "Philological O Beeston. 33 Malchus. they speak to us through t stracted. they woul they would bind them to the service of the Rom treasure and honor.174." approached the Roman arm mounted on horses and camels and dressed for r wore their hair plaited "like the horns of a goat. "The Title Basileus in Earl lethal competition over these titles. It was this last honor that o Malchus of Philadelphia. ed. and set down in wr events they describe. stylized narratives. and trans.org/terms . 404. repr. Humphrey Study of Islamic Historiography. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. some of them carried only rudimentary weapons bristled with weapons and sported coats of ch community that had cohered around the revelati endured persecution.1002 Thomas Sizgorich Negotiations for such tokens of imperially gra tacks by the Arabs against the territories or inte the fifth century. the A capital. Th to negotiate with the Romans.254. a band of Arab m the path of God. If necessary.. Narratives of Islamic Origins'. Fragment 1. "Nemara and Faw". presumably. and below. Blockley.47.. he said.

and ibid.Azdl al-Basrl. It is reckoned using lunar years. Abd Allah al. the descendants of the ragged and ultimately vict lim army that rode onto the field opposite the mighty Roman army woul two modes of remembrance as they narrated the story of the conquests. 840. 1. English trans. For jihad as "the monasticism of the Muslims" in prophetic ahadith.jstor. cited by and trans. The Seventh Century in West Syrian Chronicles. 1899-1910). Ibn Asakir. trans.35 As recalled by their descendants more than a century later. 130-131. or hijra. "Uyun al-akhbar. CSCO 109: 192-193 (Latin). See also Muhammad b. 4 vols. the Muslim authors of the second/eighth and third/ turies often drew upon a lexicon of signs and symbols common to many communities in order to craft portraits of their imagined forebears and th The figure of the Christian monk.e. no. 29-38. and trans. 11:126-127. Tdrikh madlnat Dimashq. 12:181-182. Futuh. Tdnkh futuh al-Shdm." 29-42.197. 1:2395. 2:95-96. 201.. ed. and Robert Hoyland. 363. no. 4:417 (Syriac)." Cf. 151-153. ed. 1:2271. and Hoyland.254. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. al-Tabari. Narratives of Islamic Origins. The Seventh Century in West Syrian Chronicles (Liverpool. Friedmann. 1916. a to the Arab Muslim umma. see al-Tabari. ed. 1973). "Narrative and Community. For conquest-era mujahidun compared to monks. the following Christian Syrian sources for the meager appearance of the Muslim soldiers: The Chronicle of AD 1234. however. 36 Sizgorich. Chronicle. Tdrikh. al-Mubarak. these men fined by their intransigence. Kitab al-jihad. 1978). 4 vols. their ascetic virtue. 37 See Donner. "Christian Monks in Islamic Literature: A Preliminary Report on Some Arabic Apophthegmata Patnim. Friedmann. Tdnkh.. al-'AmrawI and Shlri.57 on Thu. trans. 70-71. and their piety. (CSCO 81-82.. Sebastian Brock. 1993). Mourad. The History of al-Tabari. 354) (Paris. naked and hungry. in Andrew Palmer. Abd al-Mun'im Abd Allah "Amir (Cairo. Here and elsewhere I have referred to the dates in question with the formula Hijri (Muslim) date/Common Era date. see as examples al-Azdi. 109. ed. Blankinship. Suleiman A. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1003 come to call the peoples of the areas outside of Arabia to embrace th of their prophet. 2:297. 177-182. Brock. Hablb al-Rahman al-Azaml (Beirut. Mesopotamia. Nazih Hammad (Beirut. al-Mubarak. where Heraclius describes the Muslims as "barefoot.. from Mecca to the city of Yathrib (later "Medina"). repr. Abd Allah b. 39 Ibid. ed. English trans. 1920. 152 n. the narrative of 35 For the appearance and character of early mujahidun. 230-239. 'Amir. the story of the founding of God's final empir function of those stories to explain how the creation of that empire manifestation of God's will and proof of the truth of Muhammad's revelat the space of centuries. 211. Kitab al-zuhd wa-7l-raqaHq.org/terms ." The Islamic era is dated from 622 c. for the array of weapons that Mughlra b. The History of al-Taban. 1974). See Ibn A'tham. "Narrative and Community.6. They w models for the fashioning of specifically Muslim selves by those descend the agents of God in the "opening" of the lands of Syria. see Abd Allah b. in Palmer. On the one hand. (1925. Anonymi Auctoris Chronicon ad annum Christi 1234 pertinens. (Paris. ed. 845. and Latin trans. 28. Ahmad ZakT AdawT. 11. Jean-Baptiste Chabot. 12:66-67. Narratives of Islamic Origins. Jean-Baptiste Chabot. Tdnkh. cxii. Michael the Syrian. ed. the one true community of God upon the Ea lands they would conquer would become the imperial patrimony of th dants. 1:2125-2126. al-Walld. 38 Sizgorich. and Louvain. For the role of the hijra in Islamic chronology and narrative. and the stories told about them would become the basis for a Islamic imperial narrative.174. 2351. 15-17. 1970). The History of al-Taban. 2274-2275. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 3 vols. Shu'ba al-Thaqafl carried with him to meet the Persian shah. CSCO 81:246-247 (Syriac). 1937. recurs frequently in very texts as a model upon which the image of conquest-era mujahidun is fash as the institution of Christian monasticism was evoked as one means of communi- cating the essential character of jihad?9 In concert with this "late antique" semiotic system." Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies 6 (2004): 90. trans. Chronique de Michel le Syrien patriarche Jacobite d'Antioche (1166- 1199). for example. See also Ibn Qutayba. the year in which Muhammad and his embattled community made a migration. Futuh al-Sham. ed. 1970). for the appearance of Khalid b. al-Tabari. 2:422 (French). Cairo. see Donner.

ed. Tdrikh. it was here that the consequences of his revelation were manifested in the formation of new.Jewish seventh-century text. For Christian beliefs about Jews as possessors of secret or arcane knowledge.174. In the early Mu Romans and Persians underscored the wretch jahiliyya or "time of ignorance. 43 Doctrina Jacobi Nuper Baptizati. For the dangerous attraction of "Jewish" knowledge for late antique Christians..41 In another sense. Narratives of Islamic Origins.14-16. Muslim. 1004 Thomas Sizgorich Islam's advent and victory in the lands of Syria.43 Indeed. Patrologia Cursus Completus: Series Graeca. It seems clear from what non-Muslim sources we possess for the seventh-century conquests that at first the Romans had little idea what to make of the Muslims. The Formation of Islamic Art (New Haven. For example. Futuh al-Sham. the empire built by t the geographical home of the post-jahiliyya Islam erful imaginative space in the lives of early Musl domain in the lands outside Arabia was the true fruit of Muhammad's revelation and mission. and in Muslim control of ancient cities and populations that long bore the splendid markings of their former imperial masters. 42 For the role of futuh narratives in negotiating the problem of Muslim rulership over subject pop- ulations. The History of al-Taban. For the formation of specifically Muslim cities. upon the "memory" of relations between pre-Isla powers of the late ancient world. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. Drijvers and Jan Willem Drijvers. Remains of the Jews: The Holy Land and Christian Empire in Late Antiquity (Stanford. 41 See. "the Jews" provided seventh-century Christian communities with a familiar paradigm of alterity as they attempted to make sense of the Muslims. and Mesopotamia. the Doctrina Jacobi. al-Taban. See also al-Tabarl. Jacobs.AdversusJudaeos orationes. 1:199. al-Azdl. The Finding of the True Cross: The ludas Kyriakos Legend in Syriac (Louvain. draws upon the borrowed gaze of "the Jews. 16. ed. for example. and French trans. 1986). Seeing Islam. See also Ibn A'tham. 1:2283-2284. Egypt.44 Eventually. 211. trans. as Robert Hoyland has suggested. 44 Hoyland. numinous knowledge. W. 137-138. 1973). 2352-2353. Calif. Friedmann. 17. Al-Kufa: Naissance de la ville islamique (Paris. 78-87. 9:220. Armenian.57 on Thu. to interpret the new prophet who had appeared among the Arabs in accordance with certain Christian apocalyptic expectations concerning the Jews. for example. ed. Conn. in J. 1857-1866). 12:78-79. Jami al-bayan *an tdwil al-Quran. Deroche. 1997). I-VIII. piety.jstor. for example. see Hichem Djai't.org/terms . specifically Muslim communities. Futuh..254. see. however. see Donner. 204-205. Syrian. and order to the Arab communities of the lands of Syria. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 209. an anti."40 The evolvin triumph of a distinctively Arab Islam in the secon cast the dire conditions of life in Arabia during t enlightened and civilized condition of life within contrast were the effects of Muhammad's revelat unity.42 The figures of the great imperial powers of late antiquity would be crucial resources as Muslim authors sought to trace the trajectory of these changes. 213. 48:843-942. See also Andrew S. Minge. see John C\vrysostom. Han J. see Oleg Grabar. (Paris.21-22. 180-181.. For the self-conscious presence of Islam in ancient metropolises such as Jerusalem. cAmir. 161 vols. for one Muslim warrior's explication before the Persian shah of exactly how bad things were in Arabia before the appearance of Muhammad as a prophet. 2004). and Greek authors would all come to dif- 40 See." long believed to possess arcane.

The Sev in West Syrian Chronicles. 26. and early ninth the weight of long centuries of diplomatic and ethnographic tradition rega tribesmen produced a kind of hermeneutic inertia that carried through t nings of the conquest period. in which Muslims summon non-Muslims to Islam as 45 Ibid. instead they are occurrences of a com employed to frame subsequent scenes of military gallantry. 73-74.47 The earliest Muslim accounts we possess of the conquest period also suggest that as Roman imperial agents encountered the first Muslim e they interpreted the encounters through the prism of imperial memory. 74 (Greek). incorporating a version officml-mujahid meeting-offer-rejection trope we encounter so often in Muslim futuh text surprising given Eutychios's reliance on Muslim historical traditions. English trans. 4 (1 (1948). Patrologia Orientalis 5. 213-214. for example. and trans. esp. For the archaizing tendency in Roman ethnographic thoug Imperial Ideology and Provincial Loyalty. Michael the Syrian." Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam 9 (1987): 51-75. ed. CSCO 81:228 (Syriac). Such scenes as we find them in the works eighth. no. xciv. CSCO 81:242 CSCO 109:190-191 (Latin). 363. 130-131. cii.6. 4:417 (Syriac) = English trans. no.. 2:422 (French). American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. ed. and Chabot. Chabot. cviii.3:471. in which the Roman emperor is depicted as killing every Persian man.and third/ninth-century Muslim authors are not examples of "fa portage in any strict sense. and Seventh Century in West Syrian Chronicles. the Romans would h no reason to understand the Muslim bands they encountered as anything yet more Arab raiders. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near E (Cambridge. 473-474]. wom he encounters. and ibid. 57-61. Brock." see. CSCO 109:178-17 also ibid. CSCO 81:237 (Syriac). Brock. the army of God sent to punish the proud and arrogant imperial powers of t At the time of the conquests themselves. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. no.18-19. Brock. how Eutychios's irenic rendering of the futuh comes immediately after his rendering of Heracli the Persians. as he described attempts to co-opt "Amr with gifts and b would seem that for the Romans of the seventh. Cheikho (CSCO 50. 329. even the Byzantine historian Nikephoros. 152 n. writin two centuries after the events he describes. Indeed. eighth. where the emperor Heracliu Roman forces and citizens of the eastern provinces to stop fighting the Arabs. 524-531. however. Alexandre Vasiliev. CSCO 109:185 (Latin). 8. the Roman officials pictured in these accounts consistently to initiate gift exchanges with the Arabs as a means of winning their comp the Roman imperial order. Chronicle. What is intriguing. T of AD 1234. Wars. 1906). because resist the will of God. 51) (Beirut. CSCO Melkite Christian author Eutychios provides a remarkably flattering portrait of the first M Abu Bakr. Kit 2.174. P. 75 (English).48. and such conquest-era Muslim heroes as ?Amr b. See S. Fo century use of the term "phylarch. See also 47 See Jonathan P. 2003).. Palmer. Brevianum. still referred to the Muslim le b. 1 (1974) [PO 8.17. 3 (1971). L. claiming to perform the words of the prophet David in Psalms. in Palmer. Palmer.254. Mango. tested fashion. 1. Berkey. 148-149. al.57 on Thu. "North Mesopotamia in the Seventh Century: Book Bar Penkaye's RTs Melle. and Hoyland. The great historian of Muslim historiography Albrecht Noth ident scenes as a rather insignificant component of what he termed the "Summ lam" or "dawa" topos.'As. Procopius. and ripping open the bellies of pregnant Persian women and smashing th rocks.. ed." the title traditionally applied to tribal leaders ta Roman service.org/terms . and Latin trans. ed. 46 Nikephoros.211. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1005 fering versions of the same explanation for the advent of the Muslims. however.jstor. 11. 11. and French trans. ed. In his Annales. Agapios (Mahbub) of Manbij. al-'As as a "phylarch. in Palmer. or at best a new Arab tribal confederation to be co- imperial service.

50 Moreover took in the texts of early Muslim authors seem t authorial decisions made by those writers.52 In these passages. 146-167. 49 Noth. 37-38. accordingly. In both cases. Dozy. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about.57 on Thu. the Roman imper Muslim counterparts into cooperation with the R offers of gifts and honors. see R.48 Noth further argued that the summo gaging them in battle was likely of little importa paigns outside Arabia. sub "qabba. ed. 2004). 120-121. Mass.. Jabal meet with Roman imperial officials on conquest of Syria. Futuh." esp. Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs (Cambridge. 2 vols. Conrad. 223-233. Rather than accept anything in return fo gives it to Bahan." 217-218. ed. scenes featuri For our purposes. "Narrative and Community. 1:241. A subsidiary que craft iterations of this topos in the specific way t structured around this topos look as they do and The recurrence of such topoi is significant becau hermeneutic guideposts that the conquest period as a time of military conquest. Hoyland.. Nadia Maria El Cheikh. Futuh al-Sham." Journal of the American Oriental Society 120 (2000): 577-593. "On Early Islamic Historiography: Abu Isma'Il al-Azdland his Futuh al-Sham. however. (Leiden. 50 See Sizgorich. "Arabic. bu what is presented in the text as a profoundly attr 48 Noth. The Early Arabic Historical Tradition.174. 3 vols. Ibn A tham. Amir.51 Typical of this topos are two passages from M al-Basri's second/eighth-century Tdfikh futuh al Syria)." but rather why Muslim sch in their renditions of the futuh. In his meeting with K eral "Bahan" professes great admiration for a red Khalid before their meeting. Supplement aux dictionnaires arabes. and offers to trade for it. 20 52 Al-Azdi's Futuh al-Sham is believed to be one of the oldest Muslim historical sources we have for the conquest period. Lawrence I. the operative quest empirically "factual. see Sulayman Mourad. "Al-AzdT's History of the Arab Conquests in Bilad al-Sham: Some Historiographical Ob- servations. 1006 Thomas Sizgorich to battle. Narratives of Islamic Origins. see Donner. 1987)." in Muhammad Adnan Bakhit. the conquest-era he b." American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 2:297. (Amman. The Early Arabic Historical Tradition. esp Historiography. Although the details of these sc a common theme.org/terms . 1927).254. Cf.jstor. 51 For one important theory concerning the ways in which Islamic texts. Syriac and Greek Historiography. For qubba as a grand red leather tent set up for important men." 29-38. 160-167. but more importa changes wrought in the souls of Muhammad's fol transformation of the present world. On this text. Proceedings of the Second Symposium on the History of Bilad al-Sham during the Early Islamic Period up to 40 AH 1 640 AD. explaining that he wants nothi In the story of Mu'adh's meeting with the Rom of material gifts in return for his cooperation. 53 Al-Azdi. but ra by certain late Roman diplomatic strategies up contributed the raw material from which early M stituted. 201. 1:28-62.

See also Philip Mayerson." Semeia 58 (1992): 81-92. see Patricia Crone. 12:84. One remarkable feature of Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam's iteration of this topos follows 'Amr's initial refusal. their carpets and cushions. Either could well serve as the basis of the remarks attributed to Muqawqis.he is to be allowed to attend a gathering of promi mans. and ibid. For race as a signifler in early Muslim discussions about ranking in Islamic society on the basis of personal. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1007 mans. Futuh al-Sham. In Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam's history of the Muslim conquest o for example. "Ascetic Behavior and Color-ful Language: Stories about Ethi- opian Moses. Vincent L.57 on Thu. trans. however. Friedmann. Upon arriving in the Roman camp.55 The central point of the conquest nar- ratives we have encountered thus far seems dramatically underscored here: the con- sequences of Muhammad's revelation have upended the arrangements of power taken for granted by Roman imperial officials. Mu'adh also refuses to have anything to do with the effete finery of nobles. This. When 'Ubada appears before him. and does so very much in the st AzdT's Khalid b. 65-66. al-'As. are to be found in many early Muslim of the futuh. and the Monastic Self. Predictably. 1:184. Blankinship. Ibn A'tham (d al-Tabari (d. Futuh. 1:2271. See David Brakke. and is accordingly the most fitting representative of their community. al-Samit. however. ed..254. how Romans explain that the Arab may not sit with his interlocutors. holding the reins of his horse. al-Tabarl. 11:103-104. repr. 55 See Ibn Abd al-Hakam. 923).56 54 Al-Azdl. to speak with Muqawqis once more." Journal of the History of Sexuality 10 (2001): 501-535. 2002). trans. " 'Even an Ethiopian Slave': The Transformation of a Sunni Tradition. Kitab futuh Misr wa-akhbarha. Friedmann. Tdrikh. Ibn A'tham. The History of al-Tabari. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. There is a catch. trans. Cf. or whether it simply reflects certain attitudes toward black-skinned persons common among Abbasid-era Arabs. including those of Ibn'Abd al-Hakam (d. he mus the presence of the great men of the Romans. Tdrikh. the black-skinned "Ubada b. After turning down an offer of negotiated settlement from the Alexandrian bishop Muqawqis. Cf.J. N." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 57 (1994): 59-67. Mu'adh refuse explaining that the prophet of his community has forbidden his follower in honor of any creature. and seems to underscore its significance." as he calls it). 89. fAmr sends one of his men. esp. The History of al-Tabari." also refuses Roman overtures a negotiated.54 Repetitions of these topoi.. ?Amr b. and so he takes his seat on the gro carpet. Wimbush. 'Amir. where a Muslim visitor to a Persian camp slashes pillows and destroys the carpets of his hosts. he is assured. situated in tales of various conquest-era battl both the Romans and the Persians. he sits in the presence of the Rom tably.jstor. See also al-Tabarl. For popular Arab views of black- American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 56 It is difficult to discern whether Muqawqis's reaction to Ubada's black skin reflects some early Muslim knowledge about late Roman and/or Christian attitudes to skin color. WalTd and Mu adh b. where Muslim visitors to a Roman camp during the conquest of Syria refuse to enter the Romans' silken tents. The History of al-Tabari. Muqawqis screeches.. Piscataway. Mu adh is informed that he has corded a great honor . will be ennobling for him. 1:2103. "Save me from this black! Send someone other than him to negotiate with me!" 'Ubada's companions promptly explain to the official that 'Ubada is the most accomplished Muslim among them. the Black-Skinned Other.org/terms . 12:66-67. Charles Torrey (1922. "Ethiopian Demons: Male Sexuality. 1:2288. whether these manifested themselves in economies of power and wealth or in hierarchies of human taxonomy or physi- ognomy." Harvard Theological Review 71 (1978): 304-311. 115-117. whom we encountered above described by th historian Nikephoros as an Arab "phylarch. Jabal. "Anti-Black Sentiment in the Vitae Patrum. who is acting as the representative of Ro- man power on the scene. exchange-based settlement.174. 871). ed. Islamic merit alone. Accordingly.

1:195-203. 1:2349. See also Donner. "Al-MughTra ended Yazdgird landed on the left side of it. Jabal turned down when he declined the "honor" of joining the council of the Romans. a b. Friedmann. see Ibn A'tham.60 How- ever.59 As Lawrence Conrad has illustrated in the case of al-Azdl.174. 4 vols. 1:196-198. as we have seen. or. 2084. 1:239-271. Ibn'Asakir. even the last Sasanid shah. Conrad. Annales. in Rasa ?il al-Jahiz. 1965). 58 For Bahan. Reinink and Bernard H. And Yazdgi slapstick the tone of this episode. The descriptions of these battles as they appear in early Muslim futuh accounts are showcases for martial heroics of the sort we often find celebrated in pre-Islamic ayyam al. 1:2271-2287. see Ibn A'tham. 211-212. Tdrikh madmat Dimashq. 203-208. 1977). al-Tabarl. is the refusal of the Muslim mujahid in question to enter into any kind of agreement with the imperial officials. Tdnkh. For AbiTUbayda. ed/Abd al-Salam Muhammad Harun. Akram Diva' al-'Umarl (Beirut. however. Yazdgird III. as at Ibn A'tham. trans. Khayyat. Narratives of Islamic Origins.57 Other early Muslim texts repeat a number of stories that are best understood as variants of those we have examined above. See also Donner. Arabic Historical Thought in the Classical Period (Cambridge. 196. The Reign of Heraclius (610-641): Crisis and Confrontation (Leuven. and their fellow mujahidun refuse such honors invariably go on to describe monumental conquest-era battles such as those that took place at al-Yarmuk and al-Qadisiyya. For Rustam. moreover. 1990)." Ibn A'tham wrote. 2091. 57 Ibn Atham. Friedmann. 2088-2089. Blankinship. 59 See Tanf Khalidi. as do Abu 'Ubayda and other prominent conquest-era Muslims. ed. such accounts could also contain elements gleaned from jealously cultivated tribal histories. 12:135. ed. Tdrikh. CSCO 51:14. The His- tory of al-Tabari. Race and Slavery in the Middle East: An Historical Enquiry (Oxford. Shu'ba punctuates his refusal to accept gifts a Yazdgird III by dropping heavily into the King o a huge man and he tipped the throne until Yazdg throne.jstor. the disparagements against which al-Jahiz defends blacks in his Kitab fakhr al-sudanala al-bidan. 1994). for example. and in particular his refusal to accept their gifts. the Persian general Rustam. 180. whether these are offered in material form or as bits of the kind of social and political capital that Mu'adh b.57 on Thu. esp. 2:104. but the imperial official in question can also be an anonymous Roman soldier or diplomat. see. 12:66-83. Tdrikh. See also Bernard Lewis. 1008 Thomas Sizgorich There were other ways of making much the compilation of early Muslim conquest accounts. 2002). For Yazdgird III. eds." Bahan is described as a Persian who converted to Christianity and took up with the Romans in Khalifa b. Futuh. esp.. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 11:76-78. 1:184-189. Futuh. these episodes of Bedouin gallantry become comprehensible as episodes within skinned persons. The Roman Bahan is a frequently recurring character as well. 130. Khalid turns up frequently in them. "Heraclius in Early Islamic Kerygma. Narratives of Islamic Origins. The History of al-Tabari. 60 See Lawrence I.. 85-88. al-Mughlra. 80-81. Futuh. 1:173-226. and what serves as the defining act of such episodes. At ibid." in Gerrit J. its point is a f has overturned the old economy of imperial p Persian shah. see al-Tabarl. 63-67. (Cairo. Futuh. and Eutychios. 104-107. 165-166. The texts in which Mu'adh. The History of al-Tabari. 2146. 178-180. Tdrikh. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. Cheikho.58 What is constant. trans.254."Arab or "battle days" poetry. 113-156. 160-161. 2:72. 1:2081-2082. see al-Tabarl. trans. Stolte.org/terms . 92-98. these stories vary in their cast. As they appear in the texts of early Muslim authors. the terrors and enticements of that of Muhammad's followers. this figure appears as "Mahan.

3. As we have noted. Islamic History. like Procopius. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. where Muadh b.57 on Thu. seem understood very well the point of such exchanges. Al-Azdl. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about.174. for example. stand intransigent^ before representatives ancient imperial powers and refuse to accept the enticements of this wor to them by Roman and Persian imperial agents. the Rom of this text seems to offer testimony to the significance of the capital that ings represented through the vehemence with which he condemns the decision to allow a barbarian such an honor. Consider also the story cited above of the Arab chieftain who was calle stantinople and allowed to sit among the great men of the Romans as of seducing him into the service of the empire. The precise provenance of this knowledge is difficu as with most questions about the "memories" of the pre-Islamic world on ters in early Muslim texts. al-Azdi. for example. The palm grove was pre valueless to Justinian as the tent would have been to Bahan. tactics that did their work at the level of the imperial subjec ambitions. This rejection was in turn to be understood as the result of submission to Islam and the disdain for the present world that this subm spired. it would seem 61 See.org/terms . and care nothing for the present world or what is in it.62 Nevertheless. there is no way of tracing satisfactorily the ori body of knowledge. it corresponds remarkably well with reads in Roman texts produced over the space of centuries describing rela tween the empire and its Arab clients. and his offer to trade anything the Arab might w and then of the Roman author Procopius's story of the inaccessible palm cepted by Justinian from the Arabs of Syria. Jabal's meeting with the council of Roman nobles and what that meeting was assumed to represent to such a man as Mu'adh. humility more than prominence.61 In composing such histories. Indeed. See also Ibn Abd al-Hakam.254. When we read this text in tandem with al-Azdl's story of Mu'adh b. 116.jstor. Think. of the second/eighth-centu author al-Azdl's story of the Roman general Bahan's professed desire for al-Walld's leather tent. ed. Futuh al-Sham. where Roman envoys report back to the bishop of Alexandria and acting governor of Egypt that the Muslim invaders they have visited desire death more than life. and fears. early Muslim authors consistently allude t mon pool of knowledge concerning the diplomatic tactics of late ancie officials. Jabal explains explicitly that God. Kitab futuh Misr. except that b would have initiated a process of gift exchange through which frontier A have been bound to a Roman imperial patron. rat should be understood as repudiations of the system through which the em late antiquity had long bound Arab tribesmen to themselves and to their agendas. through Muhammad. Torrey. 65. These are not simply refu gifts and honors offered by the Roman and Persian imperial officials. chap. induced a loathing of the present world and forbidden covetousness of those things that are in it. 62 See Humphreys. and to have taken this Roman imperial practice in service of his own narrative. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1009 a specifically Muslim narrative of the futuh era only when they are read with scenes like those sampled above. it is difficult to avoid the sense that later Roman imperial offici have readily recognized their own diplomatic tactics in the portraits that o authors crafted of them. in which poor and pious Muslim war such as Mu'adh and Khalid. ed/Amir.

76-81. Futuh al-Shdm.57 on Thu. and at each turn this campaign hinges upon offers of gifts and friendship. al-Azdl.W. al-Walld as it appears in al-Azdl's history. ed. Torrey. for example. 1:2275- 2277. Amir. ed. "did you not think a third of them or half of [the Arabs] would take up with you in your religion and they would fight with you?"67 63 It would seem that personal meetings with highly placed imperial officials were understood by Roman writers as a source of valued capital for nomad allies other than the Arabs as well. Ibn A tham. Zachariah. 65 Al-Azdi. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about.174. He recalls. 2352-2353. 137-138. W. that the Romans long had Arab "neighbors" whom they allowed to settle in Roman territory and with whom they scrupulously maintained their treaty obligations and kept faith in all things. The History of al-Taban.3. 7. he explains.64 In the Roman general Bahan's conference with Khalid b. 1:244. writing in the eighth century but p sources. 1:195-199. He then expresses dismay that any Arab would attack the Roman Empire .. however. Brooks.254. he observes that this was all done to benefit the Roman Empire and to further its worldly aims. 1919-1924). Futuh. 2:81-82. the imperial officials are often made to refer in concise and rather accurate ways to the history of relations between the Romans and the Arab peoples. In the version of Bahan and Khalid's dialogue that he includes in his own history of the conquests." he asks. "For. In al-Azdl's text. Futuh. Chronicle. and within the history of Rome's relationship with the Arabs as it was recalled within the evolving Islamic metanarrative in accordance with which al-Azdi shaped his history. trans. Amir. Kitab futuh Misr. 12:71-73.jstor."Amrawl and Shlrl. in E. al-Tabarl. Brooks. that the empire's kindness to its Arab neighbors would incite the admiration and loyalty even of "those Arabs who are not our neighbors. ed. Friedmann. See. 67 Al-Azdl. for example. which was to be- come the Roman Empire's counter to the Persian Arab ally the Lakhmid confed- eration. Ibn'Asakir. ed. ed. Bahan makes reference to the long history of what he styles as traditional Roman generosity to the Arabs."65 The Romans did indeed enjoy long and valuable relations with Arab tribes and tribal confederations. 242- 243. and while acknowledging the past benefactions of the Romans with regard to their Arab neighbors. Ibn A'tham identifies the Arabs to whom Bahan refers here as the tribal confederation of Ghassan. The Syriac Chronicle (London. Khalid is not fooled. it is necessary to understand that reference within the context of Bahan's meeting with Khalid. 1899). Historia Ecclesiastica Zachariae Rhetori vulgo adscripta (Paris. Hamilton and E. 2280-2285. 66. Bahan's narrative of the history of Roman-Arab relations is situated within a larger and multifaceted cam- paign undertaken by Bahan to draw Khalid into cooperation with the Romans. understood quite well the role that su lomatic practice with troublesome Arabs. Ibn Abd al-Hakam. for example. for example. F. trans. Tdnkh madinat Dimashq. Futuh al-Sham. 204.org/terms . ed. Amir. 202-205. however.63 Nor does it seem a mere coincidence that in the context of Muslim accounts of meetings between Roman and Persian officials and Muslim warriors. 1010 Thomas Sizgorich that al-Azdi. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. 64 See. 66 Ibn A'tham. al. J. Tdnkh.66 To understand the true significance of Bahan's reference to these rela- tionships.he would have thought. for example. Futuh al-Sham. 202. 151-152.

we get a vivid illustration of the way in which lims would likely have understood the sort of imperial clientage to which invited in al-AzdT's text. 1969). whose wor upon much earlier sources. "On the one hand is Caesar." he said. and took up residence in Syria as "neighbors with Sall beautiful area. Historiae. 71 Ibid. and to live in peace and quiet in the lands of Caesar. al-Jijdn fi muluk Himyar. the skulls of those slain by Ghassan were said to litter the ground like so many ostrich eggs. ed. the old warrior struck the Roman official on the head with this sword. identifies the tax collector as a man of Sallh who was empowered by the Romans to perform this duty. 242-244. Ibn-Wddhih qui Dicitur al-Ja'qubl. see. So let your bodies be with Caesar. For Sallh."68 Soon. more profound prices to be paid for the 68 'Abd al-Malikb. ed. Krenkow (1928. al-Ya'qubl refers to the man whom the old Ghassanid struck as "a man from the companions of the king of the Romans [rajul min ashdb malik al-RumY rather than specifically identifying him as a man of Sallh. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. drawing blood. When the man's fellow tribesmen explained to him what the Roman had said. ed. In the ensuing battle. demanding one dinar from each of them. was that it pitted two kindred Arab peoples against one another. See al-Ya'qubl. Th. 282-289.71 This.jstor. 834). Houtsma. 301-306. 1:235. 69 Irfan Shahid. Arab unwillingly fought Arab on Rome's behalf. Kitdb al-muhabbar. Shahid. Finally he came to one elderly man who explained that he did not have the required tax. "We are betraying our brothers and they have sought asylum with us. Kitdbal-tij an fi muluk Himydr. Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Century. with due caution. 285 n. 370-371. Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Century. the relationship between the mighty Arab tr called Ghassan and Rome began with Ghassan's desire to escape hard conflict. The central tragedy of this conflict. 1942).. Ordered into the field against Ghassan by their Roman imperial masters. See Muhammad b. and on the other is Ghassan. The tax collector re- sponded to this offer by suggesting that the old man perform with his sword what would have been an uncomfortable and unhygienic act.69 He is described as making his way among the proud Ghassanid warriors. Ghassan learned that residence in Roman lands meant paying Roman taxes. repr. 220. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1011 From the third/ninth-century Muslim author Ibn Hisham's collect Islamic Arabian tribal lore. 507-509." A comment attributed to one of the men of Sallh captures the dilemma that he and his tribesmen faced. 294-295. 2 vols. but offered his sword as a hostage until he could come up with the money. in the opinion of our early Muslim sources.174. 70 Ibn Hisham. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. see his Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Century.org/terms . Krenkow. This revelation came during the visit of an imperial tax collector to their new home area." a strutting and abrasive man whose manner was peremptory and whose methods were crude. however. To thi convinced the Roman client tribe of Sallh to vouch for them with the emp were accepted. in M. Sa9na\ 1979).. 264. and we see only good in them. but let your hearts be with Ghassan. Hisham. 297-300. Leiden." Accordingly. But there were also other. (1883. HabTbl. ed. He is recalled as a man who was "hard on [Ghassan] and hard to bear. following Ibn Hablbi (d. Shahid also suggests that the third/ninth-century Arab author al-Ya'qubl supports the notion that this man was a Sallhid tax collector authorized by the Romans.254.70 War with the Romans ensued. "You are be- tween two paths. al-Tdrikh.57 on Thu. repr.. the people of Sallh lamented. For Shahid's interpretation of the falling-out between Sallh and Ghassan. According to Ibn Hisham (d. however. F. 282-288.. In my reading. as it is de- scribed in Ibn Hisham's text. 294. Use Lichtenstadter (Hyderabad. was one cost of accepting Ro- man beneficence. 245/860).

who ruled from 579 to 590) to find a n in which he enlisted the aid of 'Adi b.74 'Adi now acted as a broker of both political power and cultural taste.73 When the head of the Lakhmid tribal confederat 580. C. Tdrikh. This was done. Procopius says. Making the Great Book of Songs: Compilation and the Author's Craft in Abu l-Faraj al-IsbahanJ's Kitab al-aghani (London. and it was h Romans would have disagreed. see Hilary Kilpatrick. ed. was recalled by the Romans to have be stowal of the title "King of the Arabs" by Justini chieftain. Zay native to the Arab cultural center of al-HIra. "Who remains of the family of al-Mund with any good in him?" 'Adi replied that there we and that there was good in all of them. 'Adi then to meet with the shah. He met with the candidates for power one by one. This. trans. 2:105. at least. The Roman example. On Abu 1-Faraj and his work. al-Tdrikh.jstor. Houtsma. and the Yemen (Albany. Kitab al-aghani. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132.. Zayd. and to eat modestly in his presence. 5: The Sdsanids. 1999). by the seventh century.72 From the point of view of early Musl entered into such exchanges made themselves subje powers of late antiquity. 1:241-242. to no immediate effect. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about.75 72 Procopius. the Lakhmids. 73 Abu 1-Faraj. t asked him.Y. E. 75 Abu 1-Faraj.47-48. He advised them to wear their most splendid garments when they met with the king. so that he might choos domain. the diplo Roman Empire with regard to the nomadic people the Arabs. or Persians had been to submit to the terrestrial o were universally legible emblems. 1012 Thomas Sizgorich acceptance of Roman and Persian imperial largess. 1:1016-1019. 2003). 2:104-107. he left behind a number of sons. all except their own brothers. all of whom rulership among the Arabs of Kisra's realm.254. N. al-Ya qubl. they should say yes. a Lakhmid ally of the Persians. long depen as a means of domesticating threatening nomadic imperial agenda of the Roman state. Bosworth. When to find a suitable successor to al-Mundhir failed. the Byzantines. and instructed them in the proper mode of comportment for their meeting with the shah. The History of al-Tabari. vol. often to their great peri An incident described in Abu 1-Faraj al-Isfahanl' aghani (Book of Songs) provides an intriguing il know to have been involved in pre-Islamic politica the imperial powers of late antiquity is "Adi b. as a means of countering the strength and successes of al-Mundhir.17. 1. See par- ticularly Bosworth's copious and very helpful notes. 338-345. A version of this story that lacks the element of Adrs advice to the competing candidates on their self-presentation with regard to their dress and table man- ners is included in al-Tabarl. Kitab al-aghani.57 on Thu. Indeed. Abu an account of the effort of the Persian shah Kisra Khusraw I. w texts of many early Muslim authors. Wars.org/terms .174. 2:105. Kitab al-aghani. 74 Abu 1-Faraj. When asked if they could control the Arabs on the king's behalf. had.

American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. "And [wh your brothers?" say.org/terms . "Yes. Ahmad al-Zayn.57 on Thu. ed. especially Rothstein's bleak conclusion regarding the downfall of al-Nu'man for the fortunes of the Lakhmids: "Der Sturz Nu'man's bedeute den Sturz der Dynastie. Indeed. Zayd's loyalty and support . whose erstwhile client al-Nu'man would also eventually fall victim to Arab-on-Arab rivalry and imperial caprice. Think. al- Nu'man had been required to demean himself by playing the barbarous Arab before the Persian king. Muhammad b. and chew and swallow rapidly. however. 1:1024-1029." 79 Ahmad b. "If I am weak with them. Tarikh. and often involved great sacrifice. 'Adi met with a man named al-Nu'man and told h dentially that he would support no other than him for sovereignty over Then 'Adi gave al-Nu'man very different advice from that which he had Nu'man's kinsmen about their meeting with Kisra: Wear riding clothes. Finally. Wars. 109-114. 1." 77 Abu 1-Faraj. The Arab was appealing to Justinian. Bosworth. and then take more food and act h that. 114-119. The His- tory of al-Tabari.79 76 Ibid. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1013 Finally. And when he asks y you protect me from the Arabs?" say. Similarly. trans.174. giving him a crown of gold bedecked with pearls. like Ghassan and Salih. we are told that al-Nu'man was obliged to listen as Kisra described the Arabs as filthy. 5:333-352. Cf.19. Bosworth. . where Procopius describes another sixth-century series of gift exchanges between the emperor Justinian and a group of frontier Arabs that resulted in an alliance between Rome and a band of Bedouin warriors. Procopius. of the sadness with which the dilemma of Salih was recalled when its members were forced to fight against their Ghassanid brothers on Rome's behalf.jstor. because "to the barbarians he ruled and to the enemy [he] seemed a man to be feared. 78 See Abu 1-Faraj.254. For copious eating as a special quality of the Arabs pleases Kisra. and gird yourself with your sword. those Arabs who accepted the gifts and friendship of the Romans or the Persians would very likely find themselves. Ahmad Amin. however. and Kisra made him king. trans. See also Rothstein. "Adi was imprisoned and killed when the patron of one of those whom he had deceived with his advice arranged a falling- out between the poet and the new king. 5:351-359. or crushed in the machinery of imperial politics like Adi b. Procopius says. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. then surely I will be weak with o them. those whose souls coveted the power and prestige that the Romans or Persians held forth as enticements would find them- selves pitted brother against brother like the sons of al-Mundhir. 2:118-121. performing for Kisra in accordance with the shah's ethnographic expectations concerning "the Arab. significantly. ." Nor again did this sort of humiliation end with al-Niunan's ascendancy. and he bel there is no good in an Arab who does not eat ravenously . See Rothstein. 2:119-125. and barbarous. Kitab al-agham. When you sit down to ea mouthfuls large."76 Al-Nu'man followed 'Adi's advice. Die Dynasty der Lahmidenin in al-Hira. al-Nu'man - who owed his position to AdT b. set Arab against Arab in service of one or the other of the late ancient empires. Abd al-Rabbih. Zayd. al-Tabari. al-Tabari. and in the end to leave the skulls of many of their sons strewn gleaming and vulnerable in the dirt. 1:1012-1024.77 To be sure. Later." And when he says to you. Kitab al-iqd al-fand. the vengeful patron incited the new king.8-16.to put his benefactor to death. Even after he became king. Die Dynastie der Lahmidenin in al-Hira. interventions in imperial politics were always potentially perilous for the Arabs. for example. Kitab al-agham. by initiating a gift exchange with the king by which he eventually gained ascendance among the nobles of the realm.78 Nor should we forget that in order to gain ascendancy over his brothers. The patron did so. Tdrlkh. The History of al-Tabari. despicable.

Not only had Muhammad's revelatio it had also undone the imperial arrangements t of Roman and Persian power from one horizon to ically. and weakness that fore the power of the Roman and Persian empire changes of capital with imperial agents were.254. rejection of Roman offers of friendship or Persia in the texts of al-Azdl. "I see nothing good amo or the present world. Ibn A'tham. From the point of authors. incapable of hospitality. Arab. al-Tabarl. Cairo. and Related Economies.iqd al-fand.174. an the humiliation. Kitab al. the Chal calls "the Jew"). eaters of c prey found loathsome . repr. setting in place what through which actors with no means of physical c their agenda. whether in the form of sociated with honors derived from imperial cer valued form of capital among the Arabs them important role in Arab social and political hier and Ibrahim al-Abyan.1014 Thomas Sizgorich Kisra made this pronouncement before a gathe sadors. The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu has suggested ticular utility when they are undertaken by indi agenda but lack the means to force the acceptanc cooperation it requires. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. dependency. ed. 2:4 understood as a product of the Shuubiyya controversies of th Byzantium Viewed by the Arabs. 4:311-312 (Syriac). 7 vols.57 on Thu. It was these structu to overturn. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132..82 In the case of the pre-Islamic Ara powers of late antiquity." Cited by Fowden. see Anthony of the Byzantine. The B 81 Pierre Bourdieu. he continued. 1968). 192-193. as a means of making the bishop understa with the Chalcedonian "heretics. where the non-Cha tain al-Harith has camel meat set before Ephrem. from practices that supported the late antique structur jugated and abased the Arabs. Outline of a Theory of Practice (1977. function of gift exchanges in a slightly later era. see Michael the Syr 2:246-248 (French). 80 Ibn Abd al-Rabbih. the empires had exuded a deadly gravitatio inations of those who resided on their peripheries the medium of gift exchange. Outline of a Theory of Practice. insignificant.and given to killing thei All of this allows us a detailed sense of what. 111. Amin et a of camel meat to "civilized" peoples.81 In such cases.jstor. after praising the qualities of the nations of Kings told his visitors." The Arabs. it was gift exchange that drew the Arab trol) of the imperial powers. (1940.org/terms . the exchan between giver and accepter." Dumbar 82 Bourdieu.

It was through the bonds represented and preserved by the process of gift exchange that pre-Islamic Arabs had been bound to the history of the late ancient world. and Dominion in Islamic Late Antiquity. The imperial arrogance that blinded the Romans to the true character of the Muslim Arabs became the shroud in which the old order was wrapped and then buried. In text after text. American Historical Review October 2007 This content downloaded from 132. and not his sword. Militant Pieties in Late Antiquity: Monks. In this sense. Now. "Do Prophets Come with a Sword?" 1015 The effect of this exchange. His first book. This did no work to the advantage of the imperial powers. and that t of these relations was that the Arabs should serve the agenda of their im ters.254.jstor.174. however from our Roman and Arab sources that these gift exchanges were the fou element for Roman-Arab relations over the space of centuries. of the A men who looked upon the gifts they took from the emperor Justinian as while the Romans insisted that they had been part of an exchange betwee peror and the "leaderless" nomads of the desert. think. the role of the Arabs in this world changed profoundly. however.57 on Thu. the Arab Muslims in many ways mimicked and then supplanted the monotheistic Romans as the one community of God upon the Earth. the imperial p on a crucial role in Arab economies of prestige and power. and Mujahidun. that signaled for early Muslim authors and readers the significance and implications of Islam's emergence. Despite this. al- though they were still taken for Bedouin raiders by the agents of the imperial powers.org/terms . tentatively titled Where the Dark Wine Flows: Memory. Mu'adh no longer saw anything to be desired from an audience with the great men of the Romans. and the Arabs were accordingly bound to the imperial agendas of those entities through imperative of personal ambition and patron-client obligations. it did its work in the double register of worldly ambition and dependent clientage. the hold the imperial entities enjoyed over their Arab clients was one that resided finally in the hearts of those Arab tribesmen. The token of this change in early Muslim narratives of the futuh was the refusal of Arab warriors to extend their hands and accept from the Romans or the Persians the hollow honors and lying trinkets upon which the old economy of power had depended. for example. always framing battlefield victories with such performed sig- nals of the changes wrought by Muhammad and his revelation in the invisible terrain of his followers' hearts. Thomas Sizgorich is Assistant Professor of History at the University of New Mexico. it was the poor and pious Muslim warrior's refusal. He is currently working on a second book. 15 Jun 2017 22:00:09 UTC All use subject to http://about. is under contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press. early Muslim authors narrated such refusals. Martyrs. So narrated. With the advent of Islam. Desire. Khalid could now give away his tent to the Roman general Bahan. but would take nothing in return. was that those who accepted these those who gave them were bound through ties of obligation. however.