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Between EmpiresArabs, Romans, and Sasanians in Late Antiquity$
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Greg Fisher

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199599271

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599271.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Between Empires

Greg Fisher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the background to the study: current and previous scholarship on the Arabs; the difficulties inherent in dealing with terms like ‘tribe’, ‘state’, and ‘Arab’; the sources and methodology to be used; the application of historical theory; and the relevance of the ongoing competition between Rome and the Sasanians. In particular, it highlights so‐called ‘borderlands’ theory, an application derived from US Colonial history, which is used in the work. It also highlights the importance of literature on western barbarians, such as the Goths, and deals extensively with the works of Irfan Shahid, the most prolific writer about the Rome/Arab relationship in modern scholarship.

Keywords:   Arab, tribe, state, Irfan Shahid, historical theory, borderlands, barbarians, methodology, sources

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