THE LAST CIVILIZED PLACE SIJILMASA AND ITS SAHARAN DESTINY

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The Last Civilized Place

Author : Ronald A. Messier
ISBN : 9780292766655
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 87.6 MB
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Set along the Sahara's edge, Sijilmasa was an African El Dorado, a legendary city of gold. But unlike El Dorado, Sijilmasa was a real city, the pivot in the gold trade between ancient Ghana and the Mediterranean world. Following its emergence as an independent city-state controlling a monopoly on gold during its first 250 years, Sijilmasa was incorporated into empire—Almoravid, Almohad, and onward—leading to the "last civilized place" becoming the cradle of today's Moroccan dynasty, the Alaouites. Sijilmasa's millennium of greatness ebbed with periods of war, renewal, and abandonment. Today, its ruins lie adjacent to and under the modern town of Rissani, bypassed by time. The Moroccan-American Project at Sijilmasa draws on archaeology, historical texts, field reconnaissance, oral tradition, and legend to weave the story of how this fabled city mastered its fate. The authors' deep local knowledge and interpretation of the written and ecological record allow them to describe how people and place molded four distinct periods in the city's history. Messier and Miller compare models of Islamic cities to what they found on the ground to understand how Sijilmasa functioned as a city. Continuities and discontinuities between Sijilmasa and the contemporary landscape sharpen questions regarding the nature of human life on the rim of the desert. What, they ask, allows places like Sijilmasa to rise to greatness? What causes them to fall away and disappear into the desert sands?
Category: Social Science

Counting Islam

Author : Tarek Masoud
ISBN : 9781139991865
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 34.30 MB
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Why does Islam seem to dominate Egyptian politics, especially when the country's endemic poverty and deep economic inequality would seem to render it promising terrain for a politics of radical redistribution rather than one of religious conservativism? This book argues that the answer lies not in the political unsophistication of voters, the subordination of economic interests to spiritual ones, or the ineptitude of secular and leftist politicians, but in organizational and social factors that shape the opportunities of parties in authoritarian and democratizing systems to reach potential voters. Tracing the performance of Islamists and their rivals in Egyptian elections over the course of almost forty years, this book not only explains why Islamists win elections, but illuminates the possibilities for the emergence in Egypt of the kind of political pluralism that is at the heart of what we expect from democracy.
Category: Political Science

Near West

Author : Allen James Fromherz
ISBN : 9781474410076
Genre : History
File Size : 32.8 MB
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This book tells stories of interaction, conflict and common exchange between Berbers, Arabs, Latins, Muslims, Christians and Jews in North Africa and Latin Europe. Medieval Western European and North African history were part of a common Western Mediterranean culture. Examining shared commerce, slavery, mercenary activity, art and intellectual and religious debates, this book argues that North Africa was an integral part of western Medieval History. The book tells the history of North Africa and Europe through the eyes of Christian kings and Muslim merchants, Emirs and Popes, Sufis, Friars and Rabbis. It argues North Africa and Europe together experienced the Twelfth Century Renaissance and the Commercial Revolution. When Europe was highly divided during twelfth century, North Africa was enjoying the peak of its power, united under the Berber, Almohad Empire. In the midst of a common commercial growth throughout the medieval period, North Africa and Europe also shared in a burst of spirituality and mysticism. This growth of spirituality occurred even as representatives of Judaism, Christianity and Islam debated and defended their faiths, dreaming of conversion even as they shared the same rational methods. The growth of spirituality instigated a Second Axial Age in the history of religion. Challenging the idea of a Mediterranean split between between Islam and Christianity, the book shows how the Maghrib (North Africa) was not a Muslim, Arab monolith or as an extension of the exotic Orient. North Africa, not the Holy Land to the far East, was the first place where Latin Europeans encountered the Muslim other and vice versa. Medieval North Africa was as diverse and complex as Latin Europe. North Africa should not be dismissed as a side show of European history. North Africa was, in fact, an integral part of the story.
Category: History

Empires Of Medieval West Africa

Author : David C. Conrad
ISBN : 9781438103198
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 52.89 MB
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Drawing on a rich oral tradition, numerous trips to the region, and the latest scholarship available on this important but little-studied era, scholar and author David Conrad explores the people, places, and ideas that made up this trio of empires. Connections to life today include the continuing impact of Islam and tribal groups in Africa, and the influence of the medieval traditions on modern music and cuisine.
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

The Great Caliphs

Author : Amira K. Bennison
ISBN : 9780300154894
Genre : History
File Size : 44.93 MB
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In this accessibly written history, Amira K. Bennison contradicts the common assumption that Islam somehow interrupted the smooth flow of Western civilization from its Graeco-Roman origins to its more recent European and American manifestations. Instead, she places Islamic civilization in the longer trajectory of Mediterranean civilizations and sees the 'Abbasid Empire (750-1258 CE) as the inheritor and interpreter of Graeco-Roman traditions. At its zenith the 'Abbasid caliphate stretched over the entire Middle East and part of North Africa, and influenced Islamic regimes as far west as Spain. Bennison's examination of the politics, society, and culture of the 'Abbasid period presents a picture of a society that nurtured many of the civilized values that Western civilization claims to represent, albeit in different premodern forms: from urban planning and international trade networks to religious pluralism and academic research. Bennison's argument counters the common Western view of Muslim culture as alien and offers a new perspective on the relationship between Western and Islamic cultures.
Category: History

The Berber Identity Movement And The Challenge To North African States

Author : Bruce Maddy-Weitzman
ISBN : 9780292745056
Genre : History
File Size : 26.71 MB
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Like many indigenous groups that have endured centuries of subordination, the Berber/Amazigh peoples of North Africa are demanding linguistic and cultural recognition and the redressing of injustices. Indeed, the movement seeks nothing less than a refashioning of the identity of North African states, a rewriting of their history, and a fundamental change in the basis of collective life. In so doing, it poses a challenge to the existing political and sociocultural orders in Morocco and Algeria, while serving as an important counterpoint to the oppositionist Islamist current. This is the first book-length study to analyze the rise of the modern ethnocultural Berber/Amazigh movement in North Africa and the Berber diaspora. Bruce Maddy-Weitzman begins by tracing North African history from the perspective of its indigenous Berber inhabitants and their interactions with more powerful societies, from Hellenic and Roman times, through a millennium of Islam, to the era of Western colonialism. He then concentrates on the marginalization and eventual reemergence of the Berber question in independent Algeria and Morocco, against a background of the growing crisis of regime legitimacy in each country. His investigation illuminates many issues, including the fashioning of official national narratives and policies aimed at subordinating Berbers in an Arab nationalist and Islamic-centered universe; the emergence of a counter-movement promoting an expansive Berber "imagining" that emphasizes the rights of minority groups and indigenous peoples; and the international aspects of modern Berberism.
Category: History

The Almoravids And The Meanings Of Jihad

Author : Ronald A. Messier
ISBN : 9780313385902
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 65.42 MB
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This book offers a scholarly, highly readable account of the 11th-12th century rulers of Morocco and Muslim Spain who offered a full range of meanings of jihad and challenged Ibn Khaldun's paradigm for the rise and fall of regimes. • Contains sketches of three principle characters (Ibn Yasin, Zaynab, and El Cid) as well as the Koranic inscription and the plan of the Sijilmasa mosque • Includes maps showing various places in North Africa and Southern Spain discussed in the text • Photographs of structures, archaeological sites, and coins that are mentioned in the narrative • A two-section bibliography contains both medieval Arabic sources and modern sources • The glossary defines place names, tribes, tribal confederations, titles, and technical Islamic terms
Category: Political Science

1492

Author : Felipe Fernández-Armesto
ISBN : 9781408809501
Genre : Civilization, Medieval
File Size : 47.35 MB
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A vivid new book from an established and bestselling historian.
Category: Civilization, Medieval