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The Armies of the Caliphs
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During the Medieval period, the Middle East was a battleground in which the Umayyad and the Abbasids Caliphs fought for dominance of an empire that stretched from Spain to the borders of India. "The Armies of the Caliphs" is the first major study of the relationship between army and society in the early Islamic period, and reveals the pivotal role of the military in politics.
Over the key period of 600-945, the Muslims developed a salaried, semi-professional army, dependent on the state for its livelihood. In this extraordinary survey, Kennedy shows how the army began to influence and eventually dominate the political system, and reflects on how the involvement of the military in Middle Eastern politics today has its origins in this period.
Through an examination of recruitment, payment, weaponry and fortifications in the armies, "The Armies of the Caliphs" offers the most comprehensive view to date of how the early Muslim Empire grew to control so many people. Using Arabic chronicles, surviving documents, and archaeological evidence, this book analyzes the military and the face of battle, and offers a timely reassesment of the early Islamic State.
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'This book should long be the standard work on the subject for students, specialists and general readers.' - Gerald Hawting, Times Literary Supplement '... a lucid exploration of the role of the military in early Islamic society... This is a very important book based on a careful and original reading of the sources. It constitutes a major addition to our understanding of early Islamic society.' - John France, History, July 2003

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