Hugh N. Kennedy
|Born||22 October 1947|
Hythe, Kent, England
|Alma mater||Pembroke College, Cambridge|
|Awards|| FRSE (2000) |
|Institutions|| University of St Andrews |
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
|Thesis||Politics and the political élite in the early Abbasid Caliphate (1978)|
Hugh Nigel Kennedy(born 22 October 1947) is a British medieval historian and academic. He specialises in the history of the early Islamic Middle East, Muslim Iberia and the Crusades. From 1997 to 2007, he was Professor of Middle Eastern History at the University of St Andrews. Since 2007, he has been Professor of Arabic at SOAS, University of London.
Kennedy was born on 22 October 1947 in Hythe, Kent, England.He spent a year 1965-6 studying at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies at Shemlan in Lebanon; he had received a scholarship from the British Foreign Office. From 1966 to 1969, he studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He studied Arabic and Persian for Part 1 of the Tripos (achieving a 2:1), and history for Part II (achieving a first). He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in 1969. From 1969 to 1972, he was a postgraduate student within the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in 1978 with a doctoral thesis titled Politics and the political élite in the early Abbasid Caliphate.
In 1972, Kennedy joined the University of St Andrews as a Lecturer in Mediaeval History. He was promoted to Reader in 1990.He was appointed Professor of Middle Eastern History in 1997. He held a number of academic administration appointments at St Andrews: he was Deputy Head of the School of History from 1992 to 1998, and was Dean of the Faculty of Arts from 1995 to 1998.
In 2007, he left the University of St Andrews to join the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.He was appointed Professor of Arabic at SOAS. From January 2015 to January 2018, he is leading a project at SOAS titled Economic integration and social change in the Islamic world system, 800-1000CE; it is being funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
Among his research topics is the History of the Islamic Middle East, Islamic Archaeology and Muslim Iberia.
In 1970, Kennedy married Hilary Wybar. Together they have had four children; one son and three daughters. One of their daughters has pre-deceased her parents.
In 2000, Kennedy was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE).In July 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy (FBA). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society (FRAS).
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty. The third caliph of Rashidun Caliphate, Uthman ibn Affan, was also a member of the Umayyad clan. The family established dynastic, hereditary rule with Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, long-time governor of al-Sham, who became the sixth caliph after the end of the First Muslim Civil War in 661. After Mu'awiyah's death in 680, conflicts over the succession resulted in a Second Civil War and power eventually fell into the hands of Marwan I from another branch of the clan. The region of Syria remained the Umayyads' main power base thereafter, and Damascus was their capital.
The Abbasid Caliphate was the third caliphate to succeed the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It was founded by a dynasty descended from Muhammad's uncle, Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib, from whom the dynasty takes its name. They ruled as caliphs for most of the caliphate from their capital in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, after having overthrown the Umayyad Caliphate in the Abbasid Revolution of 750 CE (132 AH). The Abbasid Caliphate first centered its government in Kufa, modern-day Iraq, but in 762 the caliph Al-Mansur founded the city of Baghdad, near the ancient Sasanian capital city of Ctesiphon. The Abbasid period was marked by reliance on Persian bureaucrats for governing the territories as well as an increasing inclusion of non-Arab Muslims in the ummah. Persian customs were broadly adopted by the ruling elite, and they began patronage of artists and scholars. Baghdad became a center of science, culture, philosophy and invention in what became known as the Golden Age of Islam.
Abu al-‘Abbās ‘Abdu'llāh ibn Muhammad al-Saffāḥ, or Abul ‘Abbas as-Saffaḥ was the first caliph of the Abbasid caliphate, one of the longest and most important caliphates in Islamic history.
Abū Isḥāq Muḥammad ibn Hārūn al-Rashīd, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtaṣim biʾllāh, was the eighth Abbasid caliph, ruling from 833 until his death in 842. A younger son of Caliph Harun al-Rashid, he rose to prominence through his formation of a private army composed predominantly of Turkish slave-soldiers (ghilmān). This proved useful to his half-brother, Caliph al-Ma'mun, who employed al-Mu'tasim and his Turkish guard to counterbalance other powerful interest groups in the state, as well as employing them in campaigns against rebels and the Byzantine Empire. When al-Ma'mun died unexpectedly on campaign in August 833, al-Mu'tasim was thus well placed to succeed him, overriding the claims of al-Ma'mun's son al-Abbas.
The Tahirid dynasty was a dynasty, of Persian dehqan origin, that effectively ruled the Khorasan from 821 to 873 while other members of the dynasty served as military and security commanders for the city of Baghdad from 820 until 891. The dynasty was founded by Tahir ibn Husayn, a leading general in the service of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun. Their capital in Khorasan was initially located at Merv but was later moved to Nishapur. The Tahirids have been described as the first independent Iranian dynasty after the fall of the Sassanian Empire. However, according Hugh Kennedy: "The Tahirids are sometimes considered as the first independent Iranian dynasty, but such a view is misleading. The arrangement was effectively a partnership between the Abbasids and the Tahirids." Instead, the Tahirids were loyal to the Abbasid caliphs and enjoyed considerable autonomy rather than being independent from the central authority. The tax revenue from Khorasan that was sent to the caliphal treasury was perhaps larger than those collected previously.
Abū ʿAbd Allāh Muḥammad ibn Jaʿfar, better known by his regnal title al-Muʿtazz bi-ʾllāh was the Abbasid caliph from 866 to 869, during a period of extreme internal instability within the Abbasid Caliphate, known as the "Anarchy at Samarra".
Abu’l-ʿAbbās Aḥmad ibn Jaʿfar, better known by his regnal name al-Muʿtamid ʿalā ’llāh, was the Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 870 to 892. His reign marks the end of the "Anarchy at Samarra" and the start of the Abbasid restoration, but he was a largely a ruler in name only. Power was held by his brother al-Muwaffaq, who held the loyalty of the military. Al-Mu'tamid's authority was circumscribed further after a failed attempt to flee to the domains controlled by Ahmad ibn Tulun in late 882, and he was placed under house arrest by his brother. In 891, when al-Muwaffaq died, loyalists attempted to restore power to the Caliph, but were quickly overcome by al-Muwaffaq's son al-Mu'tadid, who assumed his father's powers. When al-Mu'tamid died in 892, al-Mu'tadid succeeded him as caliph.
Abu’l-Faḍl Jaʿfar ibn Ahmad al-Muʿtaḍid, better known by his regnal name al-Muqtadir bi-llāh, was the eighteenth Caliph of the Abbasid Caliphate from 908 to 932 CE, with the exception of a brief deposition in favour of al-Qahir in 928.
Abu Ja'far Ashinas was a general of the Abbasid Caliph Al-Mu'tasim. One of the earliest and most prominent members of al-Mu'tasim's Turkic guard, he rose to become one of the leading figures of the empire under al-Mu'tasim, serving as a commander in the Amorium campaign, and playing a leading role in the purge of the old Abbasid elites that followed. He was also governor of Egypt from 834, as well as of the Levant and Upper Mesopotamia from 838 on, although in practice he appointed deputies to govern in his stead. Under al-Mu'tasim's successor al-Wathiq, his powers were extended further into a virtual viceroyalty over all western provinces of the caliphate.
Reuben Levy was Professor of Persian at the University of Cambridge, who wrote on Persian literature and Islamic history.
The Sack of Thessalonica refers to the capture, and subsequent sack, of the city of Thessalonica by the Abbasid Caliphate in the year 904, led by Leo of Tripoli, a privateer and Muslim convert.
Amira K. Bennison is a historian of the Middle East, currently Professor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in the University of Cambridge and fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
The Abbasid Revolution, also called the Movement of the Men of the Black Raiment, was the overthrow of the Umayyad Caliphate, the second of the four major Caliphates in early Islamic history, by the third, the Abbasid Caliphate. Coming to power three decades after the death of the Muslim prophet Muhammad and immediately after the Rashidun Caliphate, the Umayyads were a feudal Arab empire ruling over a population which was overwhelmingly non-Arab as well as primarily non-Muslim. Non-Arabs were treated as second-class citizens regardless of whether or not they converted to Islam, and this discontent cutting across faiths and ethnicities ultimately led to the Umayyads' overthrow. The Abbasid family claimed to have descended from al-Abbas, an uncle of the Prophet.
The term "Anarchy at Samarra" refers to the period 861–870 in the history of the Abbasid Caliphate, which was marked by extreme internal instability and the violent succession of four caliphs, who became puppets in the hands of powerful rival military groups.
The Alid revolt of 762–763 or Revolt of Muhammad the Pure Soul was an uprising by the Hasanid branch of the Alids against the newly established Abbasid Caliphate. The Hasanids, led by the brothers Muhammad and Ibrahim, rejected the legitimacy of the Abbasid family's claim to power. Reacting to mounting persecution by the Abbasid regime, in 762 they launched a rebellion, with Muhammad rising in revolt at Medina in September and Ibrahim following in Basra in November.
ʿAlī ibn ʿĪsā ibn Dā'ūd ibn al-Jarrāḥ, was a Persian official of the Abbasid Caliphate.
Ali ibn Isa ibn Mahan was a prominent Iranian military leader of the Abbasid Caliphate in the late 8th and early 9th centuries.
Abbasa bint al-Mahdi ibn al-Mansur ibn Muhammad was an Abbasid princess.
Ishaq ibn Muslim ibn Rabi'a ibn Asim al-Uqayli was a general and governor for the Umayyad Caliphate in the region of Arminiya (Transcaucasia), and a close supporter of the last Umayyad caliph, Marwan II. Following the defeat of Marwan by the Abbasid Revolution, he initially resisted but finally came to terms with the Abbasids.
Abdallah ibn Ali was a member of the Banu Abbas, who played a leading role in its rise to power during the Abbasid Revolution. As governor of Syria, he consolidated Abbasid control over the province, eliminating the remnants of the Umayyad dynasty and suppressing pro-Umayyad uprisings. After the death of his nephew and first Abbasid Caliph, al-Saffah, in 754, he launched a bid for the caliphal title against al-Saffah's brother, al-Mansur, but was defeated and imprisoned. He was killed in 764.