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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Pre-Islamic History of Arabia

Arabia and the ArabsArabia and the Arabs by Robert G. Hoyland
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Arabia and the Arabs

THe period before the Arabian Peninsula adopted Islam is called jahaliya or the age of ignorance. Not much was known before modern archaeologist were able to unearth remnants of those earlier civilizations . THe revealed truths i9s that these civilizations were quite advanced. The societies were not all Arab either. THere were several kingdoms, each with it's own language and culture. It was not until right before that the denizens of Arabia were called Arabs. You see on the South West side of Arabia you had the Sabeans and the Himyarites , just to name a few. On the North Eastern side you had Dimun and a few others. The Arabs were thought to be nomads who roamed the desert with their livestock.

Many of these small kingdoms often times allied themselves with larger empires Botha for political benefit and for material benefit. Empire that the kingdoms allied with were Egyptioans, Mesopotamians, Persians etc. Of times the kingdoms would fight against the nomad Arabs. Their main trade was frankincense which the trade routes connecting to all the empires. THeir religion was simple. They had a plethora of gods and an altar, they would slaughter an animal and shed its blood on the altar. Usually they were asking for something. THeir poems extolled virtues like hospitality and bravery. The weapon they used were spear, arrows and bows. Later they would have leather shields. The book covers every aspect of ARabian life.

It is believed that the breaking of the Maarib damn caused the ARabians to migrate further north. THey would later become the Lakhmids and the Ghassanids. They would adopt lifestyles of the major empires both with intent of integrating but also conquest for their fellow brethren . For any ones interested in ARabian history this book is a must read.

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1 comment:

Sharon Bell Buchbinder said...

Love your reviews! Thanks for sharing!

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Baba-Sali
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One blond hair blue eyed Calfornian who totally digs the Middle East.
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