“The Arabs in Late Antiquity, IVth to the VII Century: Their Role, Achievement and Legacy”

This lecture was given by Prof. Irfan Shahid on November 8, 2007 as part of the Distinguished Lecturer Series. 

Prof. Irfan Shahîd is the Oman Professor of Arabic and Islamic Literature at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. He received his B.A. in Classics, Greek and Roman History at Oxford University in 1951, and his Ph.D. at Princeton in 1954 in Arabic and Islamic Studies, which included Persian and Turkish. He has taught at UCLA and Indiana University (Bloomington); since 1963 he has been Professor at Georgetown. His researches are tripartite: Qur’anic Studies, Arabic Poetry (Classical and Modern) and Arab-Byzantine Relations. He has published numerous articles on Qur’anic Studies and Arabic Poetry in international journals and a book in Arabic on Ahmad Shawqi, the foremost Neo-Classical poet, in 1986. Many of his publications so far have been on Arab-Byzantine relations: six volumes on the pre-Islamic period of Late Antiquity, published by Dumbarton Oaks, the Byzantine Institute of Harvard University in Washington, D.C. These volumes are also prolegomena for the climax of his work in this area, namely, The Rise of Islam and the Arab Conquests. Recently in 2006-2007 the administration of Byzantion in Louvain, Belgium, has issued his collected articles in three volumes. He is currently engaged in composing the results of his researches, conducted in the course of many years, in the areas of Qur’anic Studies, Byzantium and Islam in the Seventh Century, and Arab-American Literature in the first half of the twentieth century.

Download lecture