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Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam (SLAEI) # 11


The Earliest Biographies of the Prophet and Their Authors


by Josef Horovitz


edited by Lawrence I. Conrad



About the Book:

    This volume comprises a new edition of The Earliest Biographies of the Prophet and Their Authors, a pioneering study on early Arab-Islamic historiography by the German Orientalist Josef Horovitz (1874-1931). The first comprehensive work of modern European scholarship on the early accounts of Muhammad's life to make full use of the available sources, this study traces the emergence and growth of the sira tradition from the generation of Muslims following the Prophet's death down to the great biographical dictionary of Ibn Sa'd in the ninth century, and thus covers many of the most important developments in the formative stage of Arab-Islamic historical writing. Horovitz' work has played a key role in the study of its subject since its first publication in 1927-28, and today it continues to serve as a valuable survey.

     The original printed version of this book was a revision of the author's 1904 Berlin Habilitationsschrift, prepared under the supervision of Eduard Sachau and never published in the original German. For this edition the English translation has been checked and many typographical and translation errors corrected. The notes have been expanded and updated, and the work includes an introduction by the editor on the study of early Islam in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and Horovitz's role in sira studies as well as a full bibliography. The book will be of interest to all scholars and students of Islamic history, religious, studies, and pre-modern historiography.


About the Author:

    Josef Horovitz was Professor of Semitic Studies at the University of Frankfurt, and the first director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He was a scholar whose research on early Islamic historiography contributed much to the foundations for the field as we know it today.


About the Editor:

    Lawrence I. Conrad is University Professor and Professor for the History and Culture of the Near East at the Asia-Africa Institute, University of Hamburg.


Publication date: 2002

Bibliography and Abbreviations, Index

Size: 6 x 9 in. (15.9 x 24.1 cm); xxxviii, 158 pages;

ISBN 978-0-87850-118-2 (hardbound)  $39.95  Buy it at Amazon.com!