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By Michael Chamberlain

Michael Chamberlain makes a speciality of medieval Damascus to enhance a brand new method of the connection among the society and tradition of the center East. the writer argues that historians have lengthy imposed ecu strictures onto societies to which they have been alien. Western ideas of valid order have been beside the point to medieval Muslim society the place social development was once based upon the construction of information and non secular patronage, and it used to be the loved ones, instead of the country business enterprise or company, that held political and social strength. A parallel is drawn among the realized elite and the soldiers of Damascus who, via comparable innovations, bought prestige and gear and handed them on of their families. through interpreting fabric from the Latin West, Sung China and the Sinicized empires of internal Asia, the writer addresses the character of political energy within the interval.

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Additional info for Knowledge and Social Practice in Medieval Damascus, 1190-1350

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It was a shrine center itself and benefited from the traffic in pilgrims to other holy places such as the Hijaz and Jerusalem. Yet, while Damascus supported landowners, merchants, holy men, bureaucrats, soldiers, and scholars, one of the striking continuities of the high medieval period is that elites of such varied types transmitted their status over generations by their control over property only with difficulty. Although it is clear that some households controlled property better than others, secure control of property over time never provided the stabilitas loci that it did in Europe.

War, Technology, and Society in the Middle East (London, 1975), 97-112; see also J. Beeler, Warfare in Feudal Europe, 730-1200 (Ithaca, 1971), 9-10; P. Contamine, La Guerre au moyen age (Paris, 1980), trans, by M. Jones as War in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1984), 28, 58, 67. R. Hill, "The Role of the Camel and the Horse in the Early Arab Conquests," in Parry and Yapp, War, Technology and Society, 32-43; Contamine, War in the Middle Ages, 28ff. J. Smith, Taxing Heaven's Storehouse: Horses, Bureaucrats, and the Destruction of the Sichuan Tea Industry, 1074-1224 (Cambridge, MA, 1991), 14; H.

In the transliteration of texts, nouns are largely unvoweled except when necessary to avoid solecisms such as the placement of three consonants in a row, to convey the correct reading, or in the case of poetry, where I have given a transliteration of sound rather than script in order to permit easier verification of my readings. Well-known persons and places are referred to by their standard English name, when there is no possibility of confusion: Saladin for Salah al-Din Ayyubi, Mecca for al-Makka, but al-Traq rather than Iraq to call attention to differences between medieval and modern usage.

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