Modern scholarship on Arabs in the pre-Islamic period has focused on Rome's Arab allies - the so-called "Jafnids" or "Ghassānids," with much less attention paid to Persia's Arab allies, the so-called "Narid" or "Lakhmid" dynasty of Arab leaders at al-īrah in Iraq. This article examines select pre-Islamic sources for the Persian Arabs, showing that even with the meager evidence available to us, and the lack of archaeological material, it is possible to draw a relatively complex portrait of the Persian Arabs. This article situates the Persian Arabs as important figures in some key themes and phenomena of late antiquity, such as the growth of Christian communities, the conflict between Rome and Persia, and the struggle for influence in the Arabian peninsula.

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Keywords Arabian peninsula, Arabs, Christianity, Islam, Persia, Roman-Persian War, Sasanians
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/00210862.2015.1129763
Journal Iranian Studies
Citation
Fisher, G, & Wood, P. (Philip). (2016). Writing the History of the "Persian Arabs": The Pre-Islamic Perspective on the "narids" of al-īrah. Iranian Studies, 49(2), 247–290. doi:10.1080/00210862.2015.1129763