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The Language of Love gWhen Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World claims to introduce us to the history and flourishing culture of theolden age of Islam Overall there aren t too many books on the market to compare to but the scope of the work is interesting and relatively unexplored by most scholars Unfortunately the book doesn t live up to all of the expectations I had for itHugh Kennedy admirably tries to tell the history of the Abbasids in as a story but fails to achieve the level of storytelling success that one might find in a book like Destiny Disrupted A History of the World through Islamic Eyes by Tamim Ansary His biggest problem with his story format is that 1 it s inconsistent and 2 it switches without notice between storytelling and history lecture in an abrupt manner that doesn t flow well I have a bit of "a love hate relationship with his writing style "love hate relationship with his writing style seems to desperately want to share this history as a story but fails to do so in a consistently cohesive and logical way It seems like he often presents the most dramaticentertainingshocking story first as if that IS what happened but then all of the sudden cuts it off and tells you that s just one possibility and another source says x y z I would have really preferred if he could have told the story that facts confirm and then add in the miscellaneous possibilities as to what else may have occurred It was kind of like reading this is what happened or is it over and over againI loved the stories he did tell I hated hearing once again that it was only one of several againI loved the stories he did tell I hated hearing once again that it was only one of several I think the stories he did tell were perhaps how he d like to imagine history having occurred and that by telling that story he puts his opinion first in your mind while marginally acknowledging the other possibilities so he doesn t lose credibility This way you re likely to remember the interesting story as opposed to the other possibilities which are presented as dry facts or secondary considerations Aside from that I really enjoyed most of the content and I loved reading about Harun Al RashidThe Harem and Abbassid court culture Unfortunately this particular look at court culture contains essentially no information about dancers as part of the court or eneral culture There are some no information about dancers as part of the court or eneral culture There are some in the middle of the book including one from Samarra depicting two dancing irls pouring wine It is part of a small fragment of the murals which decorated the palace Clearly dance was present in court culture but despite even including an image there is no real information about dance in any form It does talk uite a bit about poets and makes some mentions of Musicians though We can make some uesses about the possible place of dance in court culture based on the information about musicians and possibly slaves but the author made no attempt to mention anything about danceAlthough the beginning has a lot of problems with the switching between storyteller and historian writing style the later chapters don t do this as much Instead the majority switches to dry history The information is interesting but harder to follow and keep interested in However there are occasional small instances like this throughout the booksAnother issue I had with the book is that although the author of the book is supposed to be neutral to religion but several comments and assertions of the authors opinions seemed to be rather biased against Islam This Apro dnatoire gives me reservations about how he perceives the historic events Considering he presents certain versions of possible history as being his story arc is it because these are products of his bias or is it historically the most viable I don t knowMy other issue with the book is the way that it s divided into chapters Some books like Women Men and Eunuchs Gender in Byzantium can take a separate approach to a historical time period and work this is because the scope of each chapter is very specific in what it covers there is little to no overlap in other chapters and there isenerally not much repeated Kennedey s work however attempts to separate while weaving together in a story and it doesn t work well It s a bit like reading a novel out of order randomly selecting which chapter you will read It s a disjointed experience and you have to jump from one person to another and one topic to another constantly to re situate yourself in the context of what s happening I wonder if he wouldn t have been better of. يتناول هذا الكتاب تاريخ الدولة العباسية منذ بداية الدعوة العباسية فى خرسان على يد دعاتها المخلصين. When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World The Rise And Fall of Islam's Greatest DynastyA nice departure from the traditional textbook style history book A ood way to read up on an important period in Muslim and world history you remember it because it s told like a story Also very factually on top of its ame Ancient Baghdad has been lost to the modern world Cairo and Istanbul moved on while Bukhara and Isfahan stood still but the walls of the Round City were erased from earth and memory by Hulagu Khan and the Mongols in 1258 If you wish to travel to the world of the Abbasid caliphate you "Will Need To Do "need to do in your imagination Sadly there are few recent books in English to help transport you thereHugh Kennedy is Professor of Arabic at SOAS University of London He completed his PhD in 1978 on the early Abbasid Caliphate and is ualified to provide the necessary time machine Writing many standard textbooks on the Islamic conuests Kennedy has turned to popular history In this book the narrative doesn t develop momentum and his style wavers between encyclopedia entry and medieval tabloidThe majority of the material for the period is drawn from al Tabari an Abbasid court compiler of Islamic history This is largely unavoidable as he is often the earliest or only available source Kennedy presents the chronicles in modern prose and adds his analysis of events It is not a bad premise for a popular history Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life given the lack of accessible material but it lacks adeuate interpretationInterspersed with the narrative account are topical chapters on poetryeography architecture and court life These essays seem a bit disjointed from the main body of the work and sometimes the earlier storyline returns unexpectedly While it is possible to learn a lot from this book it could be better organized and insightful On the positive side the writing is readable and the period is important A number of people have commented that they found this a difficult read as the narrative jumps around rather than taking a smooth chronological flow and that read as the narrative jumps around rather than taking a smooth chronological flow and that information seems to be repeated I found myself agreeing at first until I ot used to the style in which the historical narrative is alternated with chapters looking at aspects of Abbasid court life in which events are referenced but not necessarily explained in context until the following chapter Once I worked this out I went with the flow and really enjoyed the book as I fully expected to being a big fan of Hugh Kennedy s other worksIt has all the ingredients of a cracking read perhaps in a slightly idiosyncratic order but it does what it says on the tin The book provides a detailed narrative of the olden age of Abbasid rule from the overthrow of the Umayyads until the point in the late 9th Century at which the caliphs were reduced to figureheads by their Turkish soldiery It is a colourful account filled with incident and anecdote and extensive uotes from the contemporary sources which Maths Made Easy Times Tables Ages 5-7 Key Stage 1 give aood flavour of the personalities of some of the caliphs courtiers and hangers on of the period Above all it brings home the obscene luxury and callous brutality of the caliphal court and the shear precariousness of existence Whether a prince a bureaucrat or a poet on the make the Abbasid court offered the opportunity for a meteoric rise to wealth and power and an eually meteoric plummet to torture disgrace and death when the wheel of fortune turned All of which is hugely entertaining stuff Suffers from certain organizational problems the chapters don t seem to exist on the same level of specificity and often repeat or reiterate information without acknowledging that it was already iven There is also little in the way of an overarching introduction so many #caliphs appear without context and before we ve been told who they are #appear without context and before we ve been told who they are short it seems like a series of very loosely connected essays intended for someone without at least some familiarity with the subject Not particularly compelling for me as a lay This is a very informative but dense book I m not a slouch at keeping track of names but I was constantly consulting the family tree to figure out where in time we were It is much a political history than a social history although I was lad for the chapters that did touch on what life was like Interesting stories of court life during the Abbasid Caliphate The book is poorly organized jumping around chronologically and spitting events up between chapters I enjoyed it but can t recommend رن الأول الهجرى إلى خلافة الخليفة المكتفى وظهور منصب إمارة الأمراء بزعامة ابن رائق فى العام 936م 324ه. ,

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F using a bit of a chronological progression throughout the book in which he could have incorporated each of the elements he tried to separate It might have made it easier for the reader to compare military architectural and cultural differences between all the different caliphs while also moving forward in a logical and story like progressionI would still recommend this for people looking to learn about the Abbasid Caliphs which is mostly what the book ends up talking about but most other uestions about court culture or how people lived their daily lives Fetish Affaire go largely unanswered Be aware that parts areoing to uickly switch from a story to history in a split second and that jolting experience as a reader can be a problem with moving forward in the book I do "Think There Is A Lot Of Good "there is a lot of Lives of Notorious Cooks good and it is relatively accessible to the average reader assuming you like reading history and are used to reading in thatenre It does help to examine the history and successions of the Abbasid Caliphs and tells some of the stories that make them seem like human beings as opposed to just some distant historical figures Somewhat interesting if a little dry at times Admittedly I picked this up because 1 it was on sale and 2 my knowledge of this time period and eography was based exclusively on Disney s Aladdin In a period of about 200 years from around the mid 700 ADs to the mid 900s the Muslim community ranging from Egypt in the west to the Himalayas in the east united under the Abbasid caliphate in an attempt to directly carry on the mission of the Prophet Muhammad The eastern territories comprised of modern day Afghanistan Kazakhstan etc were marked by mysterious and somewhat isolated civilizations living on a bleak and war torn landscape which of course is in reat contrast to today where the area contains mysterious and isolated civilizations living on a bleak and war torn landscape It began with Manon, Ballerina good intentions and at the caliphate s peak Baghdad was a thriving cultural economic and scientific capital In fact there plenty of magnificent palaces and shadowy thin bearded figures named Jafar Ever the philosophers one caliph ordered a validation of the Greek observation that the earth was alobe measuring 24000 miles in circumference A team of palace scientists measured the location of the pole star then walked in a straight line with a rope until the pole star had descended one degree For those of you unfamiliar with فرهنگ معاصر پویا/ انگلیسی-فارسی-دو جلد در یک جلد globaleometry this is a distance of 66 and 23 miles To be sure they replicated the experiment in the other direction walking until they ran out of rope used the first time They stopped there and measured again the pole star had ascended one degree The Greeks were right and the western world wouldn t catch up for another 600 yearsEventually though spending would et out of control and a Turkish #Military Coup Combined With The Destruction Of #coup combined with the destruction of Mesopotamian farmland would spell the end of dynasties based in that area oing back to 3000 BCRecommend to serious history nerds Don t expect to be entertained Although the book contained rich information I found it poorly organised repetitive incoherent at times and lacked proper historical analysis I understand the writer wants to reach out to laypersons by narrating The Abbasid era in a storytelling format but only manages to make it dull and dry I felt the writer spent too much time on personal tales corruption betrayal and scandalsthough some are shocking and interesting at the same timeI expected on eo politics and social analysisIt falls a shot by miles in my opinion and I didn t enjoy much except for some personal tales and ruesome politics This may a ood starting book for learning The Abbasid Era If you are gruesome politics This may a ood starting book for learning The Abbasid Era If you are or vaguely familiar with this period of history I recommend you skip this book Admirable scope and detail recounting the history of the Abbasid Caliphate from its founding in the mid 700s to the Anarchy at Samarra in the late 800s and exploring not just politics but culture too in the form of court poetry and the lives of women The structure was somewhat disjointed moving back and forth in the chronology which felt strange for a supposedly narrative history and often the book summarized events rather than analyzed their larger significance Still like all of Hugh Kennedy s pop histories this one provides a ood overview of a lesser known era. أمثال بكير بن ماهان وأبى سلمة الخلال وأبى مسلم الخراسانى فى بداية القرن الثامن الميلادى نهاية الق. ,