The World of a Mid-Eighth-Century Egyptian Official
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Looking at a corpus of previously unknown Arabic papyrus letters, dating from between AD 730 and 750, which were written to a Muslim administrator and merchant in the Fayyum oasis in Egypt, Sijpesteijn examines the reasons for the success of the early Arab conquests and the transition from the pre-Islamic Byzantine system and its Egyptian executors to an Arab/Muslim state.
Shaping a Muslim State: The World of a Mid-Eight-Century Egyptian Official appeared as part of the series Oxford Studies in Byzantium.
Times Literary Supplement review
A review of the book by Hugh Kennedy, entitled "To and from the taxman," has been published by The Times Literary Supplement on 26 November 2014. Fulltext available via UB catalogue.
About the author
Petra Sijpesteijn holds the chair of Arabic language and culture at Leiden University. After obtaining her PhD in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University in 2004, she was a junior research fellow at Christ Church Oxford (2003-2007) and ‘chargée de recherche’ at the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des textes at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris (2007-present). She has widely published in the field of early Islamic history and Arabic papyrology.