The Coptic Papacy in Islamic Egypt, 641–1517: The Popes of Egypt Author: Mark Swanson
A standard source for the medieval Coptic popes (641–1517 CE) who were regularly portrayed as standing in continuity with their saintly predecessors; however, at the same time, they were active in creating something new, the Coptic Orthodox Church, a community that struggled to preserve a distinctive life and witness within the new Islamic world order. Building on recent advances in the study of sources for Coptic church history, this book aims to show how portrayals of the medieval popes provide a window into the religious and social life of their community. Recommended Read!
The Coptic Orthodox Church and The Ecumenical Movement Author: Maged Attia
A short book summarizing the attempts in reconciliation between the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches in the 20th Century.
The First Dynasty of Islam. The Umayyad Caliphate. Author: G. R Hawting
The standard introductory survey of this complex period in Arab and Islamic history. The political, social and economic climate of the 7th century is vividly depicted, and the personalities, inter-tribal rivalries and competing claims to the succession are concisely told. This is an outstanding history written by a seasoned historian.
Slaves on Horses Author: Patricia Crone
Slave soldiers are a distinctively Muslim phenomenon. Though virtually unknown in the non-Muslim world, they have been a constant and pervasive feature of the Muslim Middle East from the ninth century AD into modern times. Why did Muslim rulers choose to place military and political power in the hands of imported slaves? It is this question which Dr Crone seeks to answer. Concentrating on the period from the rise of the Umayyads to the dissolution of the 'Abbasid empire (roughly AD 650-850), she documents the consequences of the fusion between religion and politics in Islam.
The Fatimid Empire Author: Michael Brett
A complete history of the Fatimids, showing the significance of the empire to Islam and the wider world. The Fatimid empire in North Africa, Egypt and Syria was at the centre of the political and religious history of the Islamic world in the Middle Ages, from the breakdown of the 'Abbasid empire in the tenth century, to the invasions of the Seljuqs in the eleventh and the Crusaders in the twelfth, leading up to its extinction by Saladin. As Imam and Caliph, the Fatimid sovereign claimed to inherit the religious and political authority of the Prophet, a claim which inspired the conquest of North Africa and Egypt.
The Fatimid vizierate, 969-1172 Author: Leila S. al-Imad
A short, but excellent book looking at the viziers of the Fatimid Caliphs. Often, the real power behind the throne.
The Crusades: The Authoritative History of the War for the Holy Land Author: Thomas Asbridge
This book covers the years 1095 to 1291 in this big, ambitious, readable account of one of the most fascinating periods in history. From Richard the Lionheart to the mighty Saladin, from the emperors of Byzantium to the Knights Templar, Asbridge’s book is a magnificent epic of Holy War between the Christian and Islamic worlds, full of adventure, intrigue, and sweeping grandeur. Recommended Read!
Coptic Identity and Ayyubid Politics in Egypt, 1218-1250 Author: Kurt J. Werthmuller
Using the life and writings of Cyril III Ibn Laqlaq, 75th patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, along with a variety of Christian and Muslim chroniclers, this book explores the identity and context of the Christian community of Egypt and its relations with the leadership of the Ayyubid dynasty in the early thirteenth century. Recommended Read!
The Coptic Christian Heritage: History, Faith, and Culture Author: Lois M. Farag
This book offers a comprehensive introduction to the heritage of Coptic Christians. The contributors combine academic expertise with intimate and practical knowledge of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Coptic heritage. The chapters explore historical, cultural, literary and material aspects of Coptic culture. Recommended Read!