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Muslims on the Volga in the Viking Age: Diplomacy and Islam in the World of Ibn Fadlan
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Muslims on the Volga in the Viking Age: Diplomacy and Islam in the World of Ibn Fadlan (Hardback)

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In the year 922 a remarkable encounter took place on the wide banks of the Middle Volga. The eyewitness account of Ibn Fadlan, an emissary to the leader of the Bulgars from the far-distant caliphate in Baghdad, vividly describes his meeting with the forest steppe peoples of the region, whom the 'Abbasid envoy famously called 'the Great Unwashed'. He recounts a ship burial involving Viking funerary rites. This innovative interdisciplinary volume explores the wider cultural and political contexts behind the unique testimony of Ibn Fadlan. We have no other detailed written evidence for the Bulgars and Viking Rus, and prominent contributors here demonstrate why the report of this intrepid Arab traveller is quite unparalleled and singularly valuable in assessing novel cross-cultural contact during the period. The book reveals the full extent to which different peoples (Arabs, Byzantines, Turks, Bulgars and Vikings) were now intersecting, and how new structures of power and trade were emerging. It reflects too on how this Islamic diplomatic and religious mission might have foreshadowed the later 'clash of civilizations'.

Essays & WritingLiterary CriticismLiterary studies: generalHistory & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450-1500Medieval historyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPopular beliefs & controversial knowledgeFolklore, myths & legendsReligion & BeliefsIslamReligion & BeliefsReligion: generalHistory of religion Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC Publication Date: 14/01/2021 ISBN-13: 9781784539337  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Luke Treadwell is Samir Shamma Associate Professor at the Khalili Research Centre for the Art and Material Culture of the Middle East in the University of Oxford. He is the author of Craftsmen and Coins: Signed Dies in the Iranian World (2011). Both editors are project leaders on the 'Dirhams for Slaves' project in the University of Oxford, funded by the UK Art and Humanities Research Council. Jonathan Shepard is Emeritus Lecturer in Russian History in the University of Cambridge. His several previous books include Byzantine Diplomacy (1992), The Expansion of Orthodox Europe: Byzantium, the Balkans and Russia (2007), The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire, c 500-1492 (2008) and Byzantium and the Viking World (2016, edited with Fedir Androschuk and Monica C White).

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