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New Medieval Books: Egypt and the Mediterranean World

Egypt and the Mediterranean World: From Constantinople to Baghdad, 500-1000 CE

Edited by Jelle Bruning, Janneke H. M. de Jong and Petra M. Sijpesteijn

Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 978-1-009-17001-7

A collection of fifteen essays that look at Egypt’s history between the years 500 to 1000, as it transitions from being under Byzantine rule to Islamic rule. The articles cover a wide number of topics within the general areas of political, economic and religious connections between Egyptians and the wider region.


This volume explores Egypt’s integration into interregional political structures, commercial networks, and cultural constellations between 500 and 1000 CE, roughly from the beginning of the Byzantine emperor Justinian’s reign in 527 until the end of the Fatimid conquest of Egypt in 969.  This volume’s contributors study Egypt’s role in interactions that crossed the Mediterranean and tied the Nile Valley and Delta to the Near East and beyond in the late antique and early Islamic periods. It also explores how Egypt functioned in the empires of Byzantine and Islamic rulers based in Constantinople, Medina, Damascus, and Baghdad, taking into account continuities and changes in administrative organization, economic activities, social arrangement, and cultural composition, both within the province and vis-avis these imperial centres.


Who is this book for?

This book is geared toward historians and specialists who concentrate on medieval Egyptian history, but the individual essays will be of interest to different communities. Some of the articles I found particularly interesting include, “Islamic Historiography on Early Muslim Relations with Nubia,” by Sylvie Denoix; “Ibn Ṭūlūn’s Pacification Campaign: Sedition, Authority, and Empire in Abbasid Egypt,” by Matthew S. Gordon; and “Egypt in the Age of Justinian: Connector or Disconnector?,” by Peter Sarris.

The editors:

Jelle Bruning is a University Lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies at Leiden University – click here to view his page.


Janneke H. M. de Jong is an Independent Scholar specializing in Classical History –click here to view her page.

Petra Marieke Sijpesteijn is Professor of Arabic at Leiden University – click here to view her Wikipedia page.

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