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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The city-state in mediaeval Ifriqiya: the case of Tripoli
Author:Brett, M.ISNI
Year:1986
Periodical:Les cahiers de Tunisie: revue de sciences humaines
Volume:34
Issue:137-138
Pages:69-94
Language:English
Geographic term:Libya
Subjects:history
traditional polities
1000-1999
Abstract:Over the past thirty years, the conventional picture of the traditional Islamic city has been extensively modified. This picture was largely established by comparison with that of the cities of mediaeval western Europe. These were described as distinct from the society of the surrounding countryside, governed by their own laws which their citizens made and applied, whereas the mediaeval Muslim cities were not so distinct, they did not have their own laws made by their own citizens, who were not self-governing. This paper deals with the history of Tripoli (Libya) from about 1000 to about 1400 AD. It argues that the origin of urban autonomy in mediaeval Islam lay in the development of an urban society and a commercial economy out of the Arab conquests and the Arab empire. Tripoli appears from the 11th century onwards without trace of pre-Islamic institutions. The history of Tripoli suggests that the Islamic city, left to itself, would typically conform to the standard of Islamic monarchy, and not to that of the European republic. Notes, ref.
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