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The main aim of this book is to answer the following question: how does one account for the speed with which the Arab empire was built? The period covered extends from the rise of Islam down to the middle of the eighth century.
Timing counts for so much in publishing and that is never clearer than when a major anniversary approaches. With the centenary of the First World War not yet actually upon us, there has already been a rush of publications. Meanwhile, just as many of the grandest television and radio programmes promised by the BBC have already been aired. Do we know anything we did not know a year or two ago?
Coller’s study explores the Arab presence in France in the early 19th century. Through detailed attention to an eclectic source base, Coller reconstructs the movements, cultural expressions, and political possibilities of diverse communities of Egyptians who migrated to France after Napoleon’s attempted conquest of Egypt.
Whom would one choose as a companion to Byzantium? Many might ask for Michael Psellos, the 11th-century polymath who appears in nine of this volume's 27 chapters. A measure of the distance Byzantine studies has travelled in recent decades, but also of how far it has still to go, is the publication of editions and translations of Psellos' many surviving works.