Arabs and Empires before Islam illuminates the history of the Arabs before the emergence of Islam, collating nearly 250 translated extracts from an extensive array of ancient sources. Drawn from a broad period between the eighth century BC and the Middle Ages, the sources include texts originally written in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Persian, and Arabic, inscriptions in a variety of languages and alphabets, and discussions of archaeological sites from across the Near East. More than twenty international experts from the fields of archaeology, classics and ancient history, linguistics and philology, epigraphy, and art history provide detailed commentary on and analysis of this diverse selection of material. Richly illustrated with sixteen colour plates, fifteen maps, and over seventy in-text images, the volume provides a comprehensive, wide-ranging, and up-to-date examination of what ancient sources had to say about the politics, culture, and religion of the Arabs in the pre-Islamic period.
It offers a full consideration of the traces which the Arabs have left in the epigraphic, literary, and archaeological records, and sheds light on their relationship with their often more-powerful neighbours: the states and empires of the ancient Near East. Arabs and Empires before Islam gathers together a host of material never before collected into a single volume - some of which appears in English translation for the very first time - and provides a single point of reference for a vibrant and dynamic area of research.