From the 10th century to the end of the 12th century, the Fatimid Empire played a central, yet controversial, role in the history of Islam. This definitive account combines the histories of Isma'ilism, North Africa and Egypt with that of the dynasty. By relating it to the wider history of Islam, the Crusades and its theocratic counterparts in Byzantium and Western Europe, Brett shows the full historical significance of the empire. Topics covered include: the work of Ibn Khaldūn; the relationship of tribal to civilian economy and society; the formation and evolution of the dynastic state; the relationship of the dynastic state to economy and society and questions of cultural change, specifically in relation to Arabisation and Islamisatio. ; From its foundation at the beginning of the tenth to its final disappearance towards the end of the twelfth century, the Fatimid Empire played a central but controversial role in the history of Islam. This book combines the separate histories of Isma'ilism, North Africa and Egypt with that of the dynasty into a coherent account. ; List of Box Texts; List of Illustrations; Introduction: The Question of Empire; 1. The Coming of the Mahdī; 2. The City of the Mahdī; 3. The Conquest of Egypt; 4. The Constitution of the State; 5. The Formation of the Empire; 6. A Failure of Direction: The Reign of al-Óākim bi Amr Allāh; 7. The Regime of the Pen; 8. The Crisis of the Empire; 9. The Fatimid Renascence; 10. The Reorientation of the Dynasty; 11. The Final Failure; Conclusion: The Fatamids in Retrospect; Genealogy of Shiʾite Imāms; Genealogy of Fatimids; Bibliography; Index. ; List of Box TextsList of IllustrationsList of MapsIntroduction: The Question of EmpireChapter 1: The Coming of the MahdīChapter 2: The City of the MahdīChapter 3: The Conquest of EgyptChapter 4: The Constitution of the StateChapter 5: The Formation of the EmpireChapter 6: A Failure of Direction: The Reign of al-Óākim bi Amr AllāhChapter 7: The Regime of the PenChapter 8: The Crisis of the EmpireChapter 9: The Fatimid RenascenceChapter 10: The Reorientation of the DynastyChapter 11: The Final FailureConclusion: The Fatamids in RetrospectGenealogy of Shiʾite ImāmsGenealogy of FatimidsBibliographyIndex
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Michael Brett is Emeritus Reader in the History of North Africa at SOAS. His publications include The Moors: Islam in the West, 1980; (with L. Fentress) The Berbers (1996, with E. Fentress); Ibn Khaldun and the Medieval Maghrib, 1999; The Rise of the Fatimids, 2001; and Approaching African History, 2013, with contributions to the Cambridge History of Africa, the New Cambridge Medieval History, and The New Cambridge History of Islam.