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Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 12:26:03 -0600
Sender: H-NET List on Islamic Lands of the Medieval Period <H-MIDEAST-MEDIEVAL@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
From: editor, h-mideast medieval <langkh@uwec.edu>
Subject: maghrib

Resources for a course on the Maghrib

A dialog on the H-Mideast-Medieval list, March 1999

here are responses to john’s query about material on the maghrib. . .

You might check out the detailed bibliographies given for the various chapters on the Maghrib in Jean-Claude Garcin et al., *Etats, societes, et cultures du monde musulman medieval Xe-XVe siecle*. Most of it in French, of course, but lots of it is not.

Best Wishes,

Paul M. Cobb
Dept. of History
Wake Forest University


There are a number of studies on the early period. Elizabeth Savage’s A GATEWAY TO HELL, A GATEWAY TO PARADISE. Princeton, NJ: Darwin Press, Inc., 1997, is an excellent study of the Maghrib after the conquest. It’s focus is the Rustamids. You should also see Michael Brett’s pieceo on the Islamic conquest of North Africa in the Cambridge History of Africa. Other studies include M. Talbi’s L’EMIRATE AGHLABIDE, 800-909: HISTOIRE POLITIQUE (Paris, 1966); H. Halm, THE EMPIRE OF THE MAHDI: THE RISE OF THE FATIMIDS. (LEIDEN: E.J. BRILL, 1996); F. Dachraoui, LE CALIFAT FATIMIDE AU MAGHREB (Tunis, 1981). For Spain, you should certainly use H. Kennedy’s, MUSLIM SPAIN AND PORTUGAL: A POLITICAL HISTORY OF AL-ANDALUS (New York: Longman, 1997).

Hope this helps,


Since you can’t do the Maghrib without the Fatimids, check out Heinz Halm’s The Empire of the Mahdi (trans. Michael Bonner; Brill; I forget the date—1996?). Also I’ve just had a flyer for a reprint of the classic history of Egypt since the Islamic conquest—but don’t have it here and can’t remember both the authors, one of whom was M. W. Daly—but (sigh) perhaps not affordable for students.

So while I’m at it, why not say: yes, there are plenty of good books out there; and no, students can’t afford them (even those that are in print). SO, what can we do about this?

Julie Meisami


just wanted to add that my freshmen and sophomores love *the house of si abd allah: the oral history of a moroccan family* by henry munson jr. (yale, 1984). the actual oral history (minus the intro. which has big anthropology words) is only 200 pages. it makes them interested in the maghrib.

kate lang

Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1999 12:26:05 -0600
Sender: H-NET List on Islamic Lands of the Medieval Period
From: editor, h-mideast medieval <langkh@uwec.edu>
Subject: course on the maghrib


Has anyone mentioned to you The History of the Maghrib by the Moroccan historian Abdullah Laroui? There’s also History of North Africa from the Arab Conquest to 1830 by Charles-Andre Julien. It’s a little outdated now, but still has some good material. Moorish Spain by Richard Fletcher (University of California Press) is a good introduction to Islamic Spain. For primary sources, Ibn Battuta, Leo Africanus, and Ibn Khaldun have all been translated into English. If you want texts that are geared to more specific periods, I could dig up some more titles for you. Hope that’s helpful.

Stephen Cory
University of California Santa Barbara