This book examines the relationship between the Roman Empire, the Empire of Sasanian Iran, and their Arab clients, the Jafnids, Nasrids, and Hujrids, at the end of antiquity. Building on recent work in the field, it offers new conclusions about the role played by these two empires in the development of Arab political and cultural identity before Islam, and places the Jafnids, Nasrids, and Hujrids within the framework of current debates on the history and culture of Late Antiquity. Exploring three distinct areas - religious and cultural life (particularly Christianity), political activity, and the role of Old Arabic, the work traces the increasing political and cultural visibility of Arab elites at the edges of the Roman and Sasanian empires, and explains these changes from the perspective of the effects and influences of imperial alliance. In its exploration of how some aspects important for the later development of Muslim Arab identity were embedded in the context provided by the two empires of Rome and Sasanian Iran, the study emphasises the importance of the world of Late Antiquity for the our understanding of Arab history and identity.

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Keywords Arabs, Christianity, Jafnids, Late Antiquity, Nasrids, Old Arabic, Roman Empire, Sasanians, State formation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599271.001.0001
Citation
Fisher, G. (2011). Between Empires: Arabs, Romans, and Sasanians in Late Antiquity. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599271.001.0001