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.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.