Of the available sources for Islamic history published before the 9th century of the Christian Era, few are of greater importance than Kitab Futuh al-Buldan (The Book of the Conquest of Lands), by al-Baladhuri, a ninth-century administrator at the Abbasid court. The text has been heavily relied upon by scholars for centuries as they have compiled the history of the early Islamic empires.
In Arab Conquests and Early Islamic Historiography: The Futuh al-Buldan of al-Baladhuri (I. B. Tauris, 2021), Ryan J. Lynch, Associate Professor of History at Columbus State University in Georgia, takes a deeper look at the text, its author, sources, genre, and reception. Al-Baladhuri wasn't a historian, and he wrote Futuh al-Buldan for a specific purpose -- what was he trying to achieve, and why?
This fascinating volume not only brings new depths to al-Baladhuri's text, but offers insight into how historians of the Late Antique and Early Medieval Mediterranean can engage with sources in a more critical manner while still recognizing their historical value. Published in 2020, Arab Conquests and Early Islamic Historiography is out in paperback from I. B. Tauris, which makes it easily accessible to students, specialists, and generalists alike.
Christopher S Rose is a social historian of medicine focusing on Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th century. He currently teaches History at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas.
Christopher S. Rose is a social historian of medicine focusing on Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th century. He currently teaches History at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas and Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.