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1 Postal Systems in the Pre-Modern Islamic World

Adam J. Silverstein

Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2007, 0521858682 / 9780521858687, First Edition, Hardcover, New, New, 
Adam Silverstein's book offers a fascinating account of the official methods of communication employed in the Near East from pre-Islamic times through the Mamluk period. Postal systems were set up by rulers in order to maintain control over vast tracts of land. These systems, invented centuries before steam-engines or cars, enabled the swift circulation of different commodities - from letters, people and horses to exotic fruits and ice. As the correspondence transported often included confidential reports from a ruler's provinces, such postal systems doubled as espionage-networks through which news reached the central authorities quickly enough to allow a timely reaction to events. The book sheds light not only on the role of communications technology in Islamic history, but also on how nomadic culture contributed to empire-building in the Near East. This is a long-awaited contribution to the history of pre-modern communications systems in the Near Eastern world. ?The first book in the English language to analyse the official methods of communication employed in Near Eastern history, from pre-Islamic times through the Mamluk period ?Will appeal to scholars in Islamic history, and to those interested in the history of pre-modern technology in general and communications-technology in particular ?Includes detailed maps of postal routes Contents Part I. The Pre-Islamic Background: 1. Pre-Islamic Postal Systems; Part II. Conquest and Centralisation - The Arabs: 2. al-Barid: the early Islamic postal system; 3. Diwan al-Barid: the middle Abbasid period; Part III. Conquest and Centralisation - The Mongols: 4. The Mongol Yam and its legacy; 5. The Mamluk Barid; Conclusions; Appendix: Distances and speeds of the Barid; Bibliography. Printed Pages: 226. 019636

Price: 110.00 USD
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