Islamic Empires: Fifteen Cities that Define a Civilization PB
Islamic civilization was once the envy of the world. From a succession of glittering, cosmopolitan capitals, Islamic empires lorded it over the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and swathes of the Indian subcontinent.
For centuries the caliphate was both ascendant on the battlefield and triumphant in the battle of ideas, its cities unrivalled powerhouses of artistic grandeur, commercial power, spiritual sanctity and forward-looking thinking. Islamic Empires is a history of this rich and diverse civilization told through its greatest cities over fifteen centuries, from the beginnings of Islam in Mecca in the seventh century to the astonishing rise of Doha in the twenty-first. It dwells on the most remarkable dynasties ever to lead the Muslim world - the Abbasids of Baghdad, the Umayyads of Damascus and Cordoba, the Merinids of Fez, the Ottomans of Istanbul, the Mughals of India and the Safavids of Isfahan - and some of the most charismatic leaders in Muslim history, from Saladin in Cairo and mighty Tamerlane of Samarkand to the poet-prince Babur in his mountain kingdom of Kabul and the irrepressible Maktoum dynasty of Dubai.
It focuses on these fifteen cities at some of the defining moments in Islamic history: from the Prophet Mohammed receiving his divine revelations in Mecca and the First Crusade of 1099 to the conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and the phenomenal creation of the merchant republic of Beirut in the nineteenth century.
1. 7th Century: Mecca - Mother of All Cities
2. 8th Century: Damascus - The Perfumed Paradise
3. 9th Century: Baghdad - City of Peace, City of Blood
4. 10th Century: Cordoba - Ornament of the World
5. 11th Century: Jerusalem - The Contested City
6. 12th Century: Cairo - The City Victorious
7. 13th Century: Fez - The Athens of Africa
8. 14th Century: Samarkand - Garden of the Soul
9. 15th Century: Constantinople - City of the World’s Desire
10. 16th Century: Kabul - A Garden in the Mountains
11. 17th Century: Isfahan - Half the World
12. 18th Century: Tripoli - Pirates’ Lair
13. 19th Century: Beirut - Playground of the Levant
14. 20th Century: Dubai - Build It and They Will Come
15. 21st Century: Doha - City of Pearls