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Routes and RealmsThe Power of Place in the Early Islamic World$
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Zayde Antrim

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199913879

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199913879.001.0001

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Routes and Realms

Routes and Realms

(p.108) 5 Routes and Realms
Routes and Realms

Zayde Antrim

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by considering three tenth-century geographies of the Mamlakat al-Islām, or “Realm of Islam,” by al-Iṣṭakhrī, Ibn Ḥawqal, and al-Muqaddasī. These works may be distinguished from others in the discourse of place by their systematic and consistent division of the “Realm of Islam” into regions and their representation of each region in both map and writing. Through a comparative analysis of their maps and commentaries, this chapter argues that they portray the regions of the Islamic world as widely recognizable and meaningful territorial entities that were understood as both bounded and connective. It moves on to consider a small group of works devoted to the representation of a single region, most prominently Egypt. These works suggest that some regions were particularly useful in this period for declaring political or religious loyalty and claiming belonging in an expansive, even expansionist, but not exclusive, manner.

Keywords:   Realm of Islam, Mamlakat al-Islām, al-Iṣṭakhrī, Ibn Ḥawqal, al-Muqaddasī, region, maps, Egypt, bounded, geographies

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