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Title: Die Renaissance der Stadte in Nordsyrien und Nordmesopotamien: Stadtische Entwicklung und wirtschaftliche Bedingungen in ar-Raqqa und Harran
Author: Heidemann, Stefan
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2002
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789004122741
Volumes: 1; Pages: xvi, 532
List Price in Cloth: $283.00 Our price: $241.99
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The period between 950 and 1150 A.D. is regarded as "turning point in the history of the Islamic Culture" from the Early Islamic to the Late Medieval civilization. What led to the urban decline in between and the later recovery? Harran and al-Raqqa serve as paradigma for the development in Northern Syria and Northern Mesopotamia.The collapse of the Abbasid state left the region cornered between Buyids, Fatimids and Byzantines to the nomadic tribes not acquainted with urban culture. After 1086 A.D., measures undertaken by the Seljuqs in order to safeguard their hegemony led to a renaissance of cities inspite of permanent power struggles and the crusades. They based their rule on fortified places. The financing of the army led to the distribution of land as fiefs (iqtac) and subsequently to a dislodgement of nomads and a recultivation of former agricultural land. Cash money for the treasury was generated by skimming long distance trade; this in turn required public security on the roads. An analysis of the monetary circulation according to archaeological and literal evidence serves as measure for the economic recovery. A corpus of the coin production in al-Raqqa, harran and al-Ruha'/Edessa supplements the textual sources.Readership: For all those interested in medieval Islamic history, in particular the Fatimids, Seljuqs and the Crusades, as well as in the economic and juridical development of Islamic cities and the historical relation between nomadic and sedentary people, archaeologists and numismatists too.Stefan Heidemann, Ph.D. (1993), Free University Berlin, Habilitation (2001) in Islamic Sciences, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena. He publishes on Islamic history, Das Aleppiner Kalifat (Leiden 1994), and numismatics, Islamische Numismatik in Deutschland (Wiesbaden 2000), and took part in several excavations in Syria.