The Early Arabic Historical Tradition: A Source-critical Study

TitleThe Early Arabic Historical Tradition: A Source-critical Study
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1994
AuthorsNoth A, Conrad LI, Bonner M
Series TitleStudies in late antiquity and early Islam
Series Volume3
PublisherDarwin Press
CityPrinceton, NJ
ISBN Number0878500820

In collaboration with Lawrence I. Conrad, Ph.D. 1981; translated from the German by Michael Bonner, Ph.D. 1987


I. The Salient Themes of Early Historical Tradition. Primary Themes. Ridda. Futuh. Fitna. Administration. Sirat al-khulafa. Ansab. Iran. Secondary Themes. Gharat. Dating According to the Hijra. Annalistic Style. Arrangement According to Caliphates. Law and Administration. Cities. Court and Central Government. Casual Links

II. Literary Forms. Documents. Letters. Speechees. Lists. Awa'il

III. Topoi. Topoi Connected with Personal Names. Order of Battle (wa-'ala). Persons Who Kill or Capture Well-Known Enemies. Messages of Victory Sent to the Caliph. Arranging the Succession of Command. Appointing Deputies. Reinforcements. Topoi Emphasizing Feats of Arms. The Significant or Decisive Battle. War Elephants. Crossing Over. Chains. Topoi Which Serve to Glorify Former Times. "To begin with..." The Caliphs and Their Advisors. Mountains at the Backs of the Muslim Armies. The Takbar as the Signal to Attack. The Seeking of Martyrdom. The Summons to Islam.

Topoi with no Recognizable Coherent Tendency. Conquest of Cities. Single Combat. The Thousandman. Women Clad as Warriors. Analogous Narrative Motifs

IV. Schemata. Trasitional Formulae. Pseudo-Causes. Etiologies. Systemization. Undifferentiated Reports.