By Moshe Gil
This was once the 1st finished heritage of Palestine from the Muslim conquest in 634 to that of the Crusaders in 1099. it's a 1992 translation and revised model of quantity I of Palestine in the course of the First Muslim interval which used to be released in Hebrew in 1983 and provides an authoritative survey of the early mediaeval Islamic and Jewish worlds. in line with a powerful array of resources together with files from the Cairo Geniza assortment, the writer examines the lives of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups of Palestine opposed to a heritage of the political and armed forces occasions of the interval. particular consciousness is paid to the historical past of Palestinian Jews lower than Muslim rule. a vital source for college kids and experts of mediaeval Islamic and Jewish historical past, non secular reports and for someone attracted to the historical past of the Holy Land.
Professor Gil starts off by way of reviewing the political and armed forces occasions in Palestine prior to and after the Arab invasion. Later chapters discover the Abbasid, Tiiliinid, Ikhshidid and Fatimid classes, in which time Palestine was once a virtually perpetual battlefield for states, armies and factions. in contrast backdrop of clash and administrative adjustments, the writer portrays the standard lifetime of Palestine and its population. He seems on the monetary heritage of Palestine- its agriculture, shipping amenities, exports and structures of taxation- in addition to the non secular prestige ofJerusalem, the character of Islam's tolerance in the direction of Jews and Christians and the prestige, management and customs of the Christian population. particular cognizance is paid to the heritage of Palestinian Jews less than Muslim rule. Professor Gil information their topography, monetary actions and spiritual existence; he explores the Karaite and Samaritan groups and discusses the position of the main popular Jewish establishment, the yeshiva.
"A heritage of Palestine, 634-1099" is predicated on a powerful array of assets. Professor Gil has conscientiously learn the greater than 1,000 files of the Cairo Geniza assortment and those are paralleled through Arabic, Syriac, Latin and Greek fabric. This huge examine could be learn by way of scholars and experts of mediaeval Islamic and Jewish heritage and non secular reviews and by means of an individual attracted to the background of the Holy Land.
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Additional resources for A History of Palestine, 634-1099
But this approach bears some bending of the historical truth. In fact, such episodes reflect the attitude of the towns and villages in Palestine quite accurately; the attitude of a sedentary population, of farmers and craftsmen, toward nomads whose source of income is the camel and who frequently attack the towns, pillage and slaughter the inhabitants and endanger the lives of the wayfarer. These sources completely contradict the argument mentioned earlier on, to the effect that the villagers and townsmen in Palestine accepted the invasion of those tribes bearing the banner oflslam with open arms because of their so-called racial affinity.
The same approach can be found today among some scholars dealing with the history of this period and its sources. Thus Stratos, who sees the Jews as responsible for whatever occurred in Jerusalem during the Persian conquest, produces an undiscerning mixture of sources together with present-day literature. For we have seen that those sources which are nearest in time and place to the events, do not mention the Jews at all. In the same manner, Hage repeats the 'information' that the Jews used to buy Christian captives in order to hand them over to be killed by the Persians.
The ancient kingdoms were generally concerned with the welfare and security of the inhabitants living close to their border and in the deserts. They built fortifications along the borders for this purpose, and kept a sharp and constant watch in order to prevent nomads from penetrating and attacking the country. The reservations expressed by the local inhabitants, and one may even venture to say the fear of the Bedouin, are amply reflected in the sources, both in the Talmudic writings and in those of the Church Fathers.