In the 850s, ‘Arib of Samarra had a problem, and her name was Shariya. Shariya likewise had a problem, and her name was ‘Arib.
A team of geneticists and archaeologists has sequenced the DNA from a 1,600-year-old sheep mummy from Iran. This remarkable specimen has revealed sheep husbandry practices of the medieval Near East, as well as underlining how natural mummification can affect DNA degradation.
If you want to learn to be a Rogue, then you can find no better teacher than Abū Zayd al-Sarūjī.
A look at the long-lasting conflict between the Byzantine and Abbasid empires.
Can you keep a secret? I wrote a book of cartoons about Medieval Baghdad! And according to the 9th-century essaying al-Jahiz, the fastest way to spread news is to claim that it’s a secret!
World Monuments Fund leads efforts to restore the cultural heritage of Yemeni city devestated by civil war.
Two mystery novels set in 10th century Baghdad, by Laury Silvers
Throughout the medieval world there was a strong belief in supernatural beings. If you lived in the Middle East, they would be called djinn, demons or devils. If you dare want to know more about these monsters, read on!
Khalid is widely regarded as the military leader responsible for the world-changing expansion of Islam beyond its initial home in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century. His story is fascinating.
Chromium steel – similar to what we know today as tool steel – was first made in Persia, nearly a millennium earlier than experts previously thought.
Baybars’ story is exemplary of the careers of many slave soldiers of the medieval and early modern Muslim world. He rose from being a refugee and slave to become a soldier, officer, and then a ruler.
Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf al-Thaqafi was the Umayyad caliphate’s most famous and most able governor. He administered the eastern “super province” of the caliphate which included Iraq, Khurasan, and Sijistan from 694 to 714.
In 750 the Umayyad caliphal dynasty was overthrown by a popular revolution that had its origins in the eastern regions of the Muslim world, primarily in Khurasan.
The Jewels of Speech and the Pearls of Wisdom has over two thousand pieces of wisdom. Here are our twenty favourites.
The emir Ahmad ibn Ismail was assassinated in the year 914. This is the story of why he was killed and the power struggle that took place in the aftermath of his death.
The widely held view that horse armour was not used in the early Islamic Middle East is incorrect.
A 10th century tale of a group of treasure hunters seeking out a castle. Here are the strange things they found.
What were the deeper reasons that drew the super-power of the time, Byzantium, into a protracted and ‘all-out’ conflict with the Arabs of Aleppo in the middle of the 10th century?
The story of the Buyids in Iran and Iraq is an extraordinary tale of the rise from obscurity of three ambitious brothers to dominate the core regions of the Muslim world.
In the fourth part of this series that looks at northern Iran in the Middle Ages, the decline of the Alid dynasty opens the door for Daylami mercenary leaders to seize power.
In part three of this series that looks at medieval northern Iran the focus turns to the emergence of the Alid dynasty and their struggle to gain and hold power in the ninth and tenth centuries.
The Daylamis provided a strong immovable wall of skilled and disciplined infantrymen that formed the main battle line of the army.
This is the first of a series of articles on the history of Northern Iran and its people during the 10th and 11th centuries.
From the years 1250 to 1517 Egypt and parts of the Middle East were ruled by the Mamluks.
During her life and career Khayzuran rose from the status of slave to becoming the caliph, al-Mahdi’s (r. 775-785), favorite concubine, and then his legal wife and a queen in her own right who wielded an immense amount of political power and whose wealth was second only to that of her husband’s in the entire caliphate.