Authority and Control in the Countryside: From Antiquity to Islam in the Mediterranean and Near East (6th–10th Century)

Publication Year



Edited by Petra Sijpesteijn, Ph.D. 2004.

Authority and Control in the Countryside looks at the economic, religious, political and cultural instruments that local and regional powers in the late antique to early medieval Mediterranean and Near East used to manage their rural hinterlands. Measures of direct control – land ownership, judicial systems, garrisons and fortifications, religious and administrative appointments, taxes and regulation – and indirect control – monuments and landmarks, cultural styles and artistic models, intellectual and religious influence, and economic and bureaucratic standard-setting – are examined to reconstruct the various means by which authority was asserted over the countryside. Unified by its thematic and spatial focus, this book offers an array of interdisciplinary approaches, allowing for important comparisons across a wide but connected geographical area in the transition from the Sasanian and Roman to the Islamic period.



Figures and Tables

Notes on Contributors

Notes on Transliteration, Names and Dates

Introduction   Petra M. Sijpesteijn, Marie Legendre and Alain Delattre

Part 1 A Question of Sources
1 New Governors Identified in Arabic Papyri   Khaled Younes
2 “I’ll Not Accept Aid from a mushrikRural Space, Persuasive Authority, and Religious Difference in Three Prophetic ḥadīthsLuke Yarbrough

Part 2 Territoriality
3 The Rural Hinterland of the Visigothic Capitals of Toledo and Reccopolis, between the Years 400–800 CE   Javier Martínez Jiménez
4 Authority and Control in the Interior of Asia Minor, Seventh–Ninth Centuries   James Howard-Johnston
5 Church Building in the Ṭur ʿAbdin in the First Centuries of the Islamic Rule   Elif Keser-Kayaalp
6 Les aménagements agricoles dans les Marges arides de Syrie du Nord (5e–10e siècles) Des témoins des modalités d’ appropriation et d’ exploitation des campagnesMarion Rivoal and Marie-Odile Rousset
7 The Ghāzī Movement Performative Religious Identity on the Byzantine-Islamic FrontierJessica L. Ehinger
8 The Coming of Islam to Balkh   Arezou Azad and Hugh Kennedy

Part 3 Land Use and Resources
9 Contrôle et exploitation des campagnes en Sicile Le rôle du grand domaine et son évolution du VIe siècle au XIe siècleAnnliese Nef and Vivien Prigent
10 Murtabaʿ al-jund et manzil al-qabāʾil Pénétration militaire et installation tribale dans la campagne égyptienne au premier siècle de l’ IslamSobhi Bouderbala
11 Landowners, Caliphs and State Policy over Landholdings in the Egyptian Countryside Theory and PracticeMarie Legendre
12 Monastic Control over Agriculture and Farming New Evidence from the Egyptian Monastery of Apa Apollo at Bawit Concerning the Payment of APARCHEGesa Schenke
13 Caliphal Estates and Properties around Medina in the Umayyad Period   Harry Munt
14 Land Tenure, Land Tax and Social Conflictuality in Iraq from the Late Sasanian to the Early Islamic Period (Fifth to Ninth Centuries CE)   Michele Campopiano
15 Land Reclamation and Irrigation Programs in Early Islamic Southern Mesopotamia Self-Enrichment vs. State ControlPeter Verkinderen

Part 4 Local Rule and Networks
16 Checkpoints, sauf-conduits et contrôle de la population en Égypte au début du VIIIe siècle   Alain Delattre
17 Policing, Punishing and Prisons in the Early Islamic Egyptian Countryside (640–850 CE)   Petra M. Sijpesteijn


Series Title
Leiden Studies in Islam and Society