About the conference

This conference brings together world-leading scholars with an expertise in late Antique and early Islamic social and economic history. Its purpose is to explore the life and status of Arabian, Jewish, Maghrebi, Sogdian and Caucasian trading communities from the period of the consolidation of Arab rule in the late eighth century until the fragmentation of the Abbasid Caliphate in the late tenth century. Various regions of the early Islamic Caliphate will be investigated and evidence from North Africa, the Middle East and Caucasus will be compared and contrasted. This is a largely under-explored field of study and this conference will therefore bring new insights into the evolution of the modus operandi of merchants and financial circuits during this seminal period in world history.

The conference forms part of a wider programme of events directed by SOAS (University of London) under the auspices of the Leverhulme-funded Network project, Economic integration and social change in the Islamic world system, 800-1000. Set-up by Professor Hugh Kennedy (SOAS, University of London) and Dr Fanny Bessard (University of St Andrews) the Network project seeks to explore the Muslim world between 800 and 1000 when it enjoyed an economic “Golden Age”. The wider project investigates the economic structures of the Muslim world from the end of the eighth century to the beginning of the eleventh century. It aims to bring a new understanding of the construction and development of the Islamic economy as a world system, stretching from Central Asia to the Atlantic. More specific details about the wider project can be found at: https://www.soas.ac.uk/nme/research/islamic-world-system-800-1000ce/


This conference is generously funded by:

The Leverhulme Trust
Registered charity number: 288371

Leverhulme Trust Logo

The Honeyman Foundation
Registered charity number: SC009431

St Andrews Institute of Mediaeval Studies (SAIMS)
University of St Andrews
Registered charity number: SC013532

Administrative and organisational support provided by:

University of St Andrews

SOAS, University of London