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Dr Andrew Marsham

Islamic History; Late Antiquity; Political Culture in Early Islam; Empire and State Formation; Arabic Historiography; Comparative and Transregional History
Dr Andrew Marsham

Reader in Classical Arabic Studies

Office Phone: 01223 335144


Andrew Marsham studied History at Oxford, where he became interested in the formative period of Islam and its wider context in world history. He went on to postgraduate study at Oxford in Arabic and Islamic History, and Arabic study in Egypt and Syria, before teaching and researching in Sheffield, Cambridge, Manchester and Edinburgh. His Rituals of Islamic Monarchy (Edinburgh, 2009), is the first full length study of the pledges of allegiance given to the rulers of the early Muslim Empire. He has also written on the execution of rebels, on history writing in Arabic, and on the early Muslim Empire and its Late Antique context. He recently co-edited Power, Patronage and Memory in Early Islam (Oxford, 2018) with Alain George (Oxford). He is currently working on The Umayyad Empire (644–750 CE) for Edinburgh University Press, to be published in 2019, and an edited volume, The Umayyad World, to be published by Routledge.

Subject groups/Research projects

Arabic & Persian Studies:

Research Interests

  • Ritual in late antique and early Islamic political culture
  • Documents and scribes in early Islamic political culture
  • Empire and state formation in Late Antiquity and early Islam
  • Medieval chronicles and universal histories in Arabic
  • Comparative and transregional histories of North Africa and West Eurasia

Key Publications


Andrew Marsham. Rituals of Islamic Monarchy: Accession and Succession in the First Muslim Empire. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2009.

Edited volume

Alain George and Andrew Marsham, eds. Power, Patronage and Memory in Early Islam: perspectives from Umayyad History, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Book chapters and journal articles

Andrew Marsham. "'God’s Caliph' Revisited: Umayyad Political Thought in its Late Antique Context." In Power, Patronage and Memory in Early Islam: Perspectives from Umayyad History, edited by Alain George and Andrew Marsham, 3-37. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Tobias Andersson and Andrew Marsham. "The First Islamic Chronicle: the Chronicle of Khalīfa b. Khayyāṭ (d. AD 854)." In Universal Chronicles in the High Middle Ages, edited by Michele Campopiano and Henry Bainton, York: York Medieval Press, 2017. 

Andrew Marsham. "Attitudes to the Use of Fire in Executions in Late Antiquity and Early Islam: the burning of heretics and rebels in late Umayyad Iraq." In Violence in Islamic Thought: From the Qurʾān to the Mongols, edited by Robert Gleave and István Kristó-Nagy, 106-127. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2015.

Andrew Marsham. "The Architecture of Allegiance in Early Islamic Late Antiquity: the accession of Mu‘awiya in Jerusalem, c. 661 CE." In Court Ceremonies and Rituals of Power in Byzantium and the Medieval Mediterranean: Comparative Perspectives, edited by Alexander Beihammer et al., 87–112. Brill: Leiden, 2014.

Andrew Marsham. "The Pact (Amana) between Mu‘awiya ibn Abi Sufyan and ‘Amr ibn al-‘As (656 or 658 CE): ‘Documents’ and the Islamic Historical Tradition." Journal of Semitic Studies 57.1 (2012): 69–96.

Andrew Marsham. "Universal Histories in Christendom and the Islamic World, c.700–c.1400." In The Oxford History of Historical Writing. Volume Two: 600–1400, edited by Sarah Foot and Chase F. Robinson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012 [2nd paperback edition, 2015].

Andrew Marsham. "Public Execution in the Umayyad Period: Early Islamic Punitive Practice and Its Late Antique Context." Journal of Arabic and Islamic Studies 11.4 (2011): 101–136.

Andrew Marsham. "The Early Caliphate and the Inheritance of Late Antiquity, c. 610–750." In The Blackwell Companion to Late Antiquity, edited by Philip Rousseau, 479-492. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2009.

Andrew Marsham and Chase F. Robinson. "The Safe-Conduct for the Abbasid ‘Abd Allāh b. ‘Ali (d. 764)." Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 70.2 (2007): 247-281.

Other Publications

Book chapters and journal articles

Andrew Marsham. "The Past in the Early and Medieval Islamic Middle East (c. 750–c. 1250)." In Historiography in the Ancient World, edited by Kurt Raaflaub, 314-339. Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford, 2014.

Short chapters and articles

Alain George and Andrew Marsham. "Introduction: Umayyad Elites and the Foundation of the Islamic Empire." In Power, Patronage and Memory in Early Islam: Perspectives from Umayyad History, edited by Alain George and Andrew Marsham, xiii-xx. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Andrew Marsham. "Constructing the Umayyads: From Mecca to Madīnat al-Zahrāʾ." Al-Masāq: Journal of the Medieval Mediterranean ("Special Issue: Constructing the Umayyads: from Mecca to Madīnat al-Zahrāʾ", edited by Ann Christys) 28.1 (2016): 1–5.

Andrew Marsham. "The Crescent and the Sword." In The Story of the Holy Land: Three Thousand Years of Faith, War and Conquest ("BBC History Magazine"), 2015: 50–55.

Andrew Marsham. "'Those who make war on God and His Messenger': some implications of recent scholarship on rebellion, banditry and state formation in early Islam." Al-‘Usur al-Wusta 17.2 (2005): 29-31.

Reference entries and reference works

Andrew Marsham (Area Editor, Area Advisor and Contributor). In The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity, edited by Oliver Nicholson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018. DOI: 10.1093/acref/9780198662778.001.0001

Andrew Marsham. "Historiography." In Oxford Bibliographies: Islamic Studies, edited by Andrew Rippin and John O. Voll. Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2009. DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0033. <>.