The ninth and tenth centuries CE are famous for the series of Ismāʿīlī revolts that broke out across rural areas in Iraq, Syria, North Africa, and elsewhere. Seldom acknowledged is that these revolts occurred around the same time as a host of other rural insurgencies in different regions led by different groups, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. The purpose of this lecture is to examine the Ismāʿīlī revolts against this wider backdrop and to assess what these movements reveal about the spread of Islam in remote, rural environments and the capacity of these environments to produce new political and religious powers.
Image: Cover of al-Qāḍī Nuʿmān, Iftitāḥ al-daʿwa, IIS MS 1242, Zahid Ali Collection, second half of 19th c.
Date: 28 October 2021
Time: 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (UK)
Location: Online (Zoom)
Q&A: At any time during the lecture, attendees can submit questions to the speaker through the Q&A option at the bottom of the control panel. As time allows, the speaker will address as many questions as they can during the Q&A session at the end of the presentation.
Dr Christian Sahner is associate professor in Islamic History at the University of Oxford and a fellow of St Cross College. He is the author or editor of several books, including Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present (Oxford, 2014), Christian Martyrs under Islam (Princeton, 2018), and Conversion to Islam in the Premodern Age (California, 2020). He is currently writing a book about the Islamisation of mountain communities across the medieval Islamic world, focusing on episodes of conversion, revolt, and state formation.