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Ancient Islam

written by Leonardo Capezzone

White Star | ISBN 9788854403727

Hardback – 208 pages


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With its mosques and palaces, vast deserts and exotic bazaars, Islam calls to mind romantic images straight out of "The Thousand and One Nights". This fascinating volume chronicles the history of Islam, tracing its roots to Bedouin society, which was the cradle of Islam and which left a legacy of tribal social structure still valid today.Subsequent chapters explore major milestones in the history of ancient Islam, such as the defeat by the Arabs in the 7th century of the two great political and military powers of the time, the Byzantine Empire in the Near East and the Sassanid Empire in Persia and Mesopotamia.The authoritative text describes how, in these conquered lands, the Arabs founded the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, the latter of which coincided with the golden age of Islam, a period in which Islamic culture - philosophical, scientific and literary - flourished. In 1258, the arrival of the Mongols in the imperial capital of Baghdad marked the decline of these enlightened rulers, whose authority had already been undermined by the rise of independent caliphates and sultanates that had fragmented the authority and power of the empire. The final chapter describes the main aspects of classical Islamic culture, knowledge of which is fundamental for an understanding of present-day Islam. Throughout the book, superb photographs help present a well-rounded view of medieval Islam.

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