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dc.contributor.authorGrasso, Valentina
dc.description.abstractMy doctoral thesis delves into the political and cultural developments of pre-Islamic late antique Arabia, focusing on the religious attitudes of the inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula and its northern extension into the Syrian desert. Between the third and the seventh century, Arabia was on the edge of three great empires (Sasanian, Roman and Aksūmite) and at the center of a lucrative network of trade routes. The project pulls together the various strands of the composite cultural and political milieu of the region, situating its history in relation to the broader late antique environment. My discussion offers an interpretative framework which contextualizes the choice of Arabian elites to become Jewish sympathisers and/or convert to Christianity and Islam by pursuing a line of inquiry probing the mobilization of faith in the shaping of Arabian identities. I argue that the Arabian rulers’ cautious conversion follows a broad late antique trend which aimed to ease the transition for their subjects and/or to assume a neutral position towards the developments of the surrounding empires. This dissertation aims to be the first monograph on pre-Islamic Arabia which grants autonomy to the Arabians from marginalizing (mostly Western produced) narratives framing them as ‘barbarians’ inhabiting the fringes of Rome and Iran and/or deterministic analyses in which they are depicted retrospectively as exemplified by the Muslims’ definition of the period as Jāhilīyah, ‘ignorance’.
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserved
dc.subjectlate antiquity
dc.titleSocieties, Politics, Cults and Identities in pre-Islamic Arabia
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.contributor.orcidGrasso, Valentina [0000-0002-4497-0063]
dc.publisher.collegeSt Edmunds
dc.type.qualificationtitlePhD Religious Studies
pubs.funder-project-idAHRC (1928603)
cam.supervisorFowden, Garth

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