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Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (SLAEI) # 3


The Early Arabic Historical Tradition


A Source-Critical Study


by Albrecht Noth

Second Edition, in Collaboration with Lawrence I. Conrad

Translated from the German by Michael Bonner



About the Book:

    This book is oriented toward the practical goal of providing criteria for the historiographical assessment of early Islamic traditions, the particular frame of reference here being the first decades after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. A central argument is that these traditions are relevant not only to historians of early Islam but also to students of later periods, since traditions of this kind were of great importance in the subsequent history and historiography of Islam. The objective is to present a thorough critique of the sources before an attempt is made to reconstruct what actually happened.


About the Author:

Albrecht Noth was Professor of Islamic Studies at the Institute for the Culture and History of the Near East, University of Hamburg.



This revised and expanded English version of a study first published in 1973 will make [Noth's] work more widely accessible and possibly more influential. Noth is concerned here with identifying the criteria with which to evaluate the character and content of the early Islamic historical tradition. . . . This book remains one of the most significant contributions to early Islamic historiography.

MESA Bulletin


This work should serve as the basis for a balanced construction of this most significant period of Islamic history. The detailed index is impressive, the bibliography of relevant works useful.



Essential prerequisite reading for anyone studying the early Muslim conquests and the development of Arabic historiography. . . . at a price that most scholars really can afford.

Journal of Semitic Studies


Publication date: 1994; second printing, 1997

Bibliography; index

Size: 6 1/8 x 9 1/2 (15.6 x 24.1 cm); xi, 248 pages

CIP L.C. 94-6798

ISBN 978-0-87850-082-6  $39.95  Buy it at Amazon.com!