skip to content

Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (2024)

The Umayyad Empire (644–750 CE) was the first Islamic empire and one of the largest empires of ancient and medieval times, extending over 5,000 miles between the Atlantic Ocean in the West and the Indian Ocean in the East. This book traces the empire’s origins to the Arabian Peninsula and the Syrian Steppe in the centuries before Islam. It explores the dynamics that shaped this formative era for the history of the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. The century of Umayyad rule witnessed war with the Eastern Roman Empire, against whom the Umayyads defined their claims to rule as God’s deputies on Earth. This was the period in which the Qur’an was compiled, monuments such as the Dome of the Rock were built, and new Islamic and Arab identities developed.

Read the book

Cover Image - Umayyad Empire - Marsham