Thursday, June 26, 2008

In Our Time, The Arab Conquests   posted by Razib @ 6/26/2008 11:59:00 AM

On this week's In Our Time they're talking about the Islamic conquests. The author of When Baghdad Ruled and The Great Arab Conquests is one of the guests, so if you meant to read the books but never got around to it for whatever reason, might be worth a listen. As I told a friend the first few centuries of the emergence of what we know as the Islamic World (650-850) are interesting, but after that point you hit a somewhat stationary state (most of the sects and schools of Islamic law emerged during this period, even if their identity only full crystallized between 850 and 1150). Details such as how Iran was transformed into a Shia state by the Safavids in the 16th century are not trivial, but they pale in contrast to the implications for world history of a new ideology & empire which stretched from the Atlantic to the Indus.