The history of the Arabs in antiquity from their earliest appearance around 853 BC until the first century of Islam, is described in this book. It traces the mention of people called Arabs in all relevant ancient sources and suggests a new interpretation of their history. It is suggested that the ancient Arabs were more a religious community than an ethnic group, which would explain why the designation 'Arab' could be easily adopted by the early Muslim tribes. The Arabs of antiquity thus resemble the early Islamic Arabs more than is usually assumed, both being united by common bonds of religious ideology and law.

chapter |10 pages


part 1|92 pages

The Remembered Origins

chapter 1|11 pages

Arabs in Early Islam

chapter 2|39 pages

The Arabs as a People

chapter 3|19 pages

The Arabs as a Section of Society

chapter 4|14 pages

The Neglected Cousins

chapter 5|7 pages

Arabs in the Eyes of Outsiders

part 2|472 pages

The Forgotten Origins

chapter 6|14 pages

The Problem of the Earliest Arabs

chapter 7|93 pages

Arabs in Cuneiform Sources

chapter 8|23 pages

The Old Testament and Arabia

chapter 9|28 pages

The Age of the Achaemenids

chapter 10|19 pages

Alexander the Great and the Arabs

chapter 11|47 pages

The Heirs of Alexander

chapter 12|35 pages

Between the Greeks and the Romans

chapter 13|28 pages

The Nabataean Problem

chapter 14|40 pages

Arabs and Romans Until the Time of Trajan

chapter 15|22 pages

Arabs in the Age of the Good Emperors

chapter 16|51 pages

From the Severians to Constantine the Great

chapter 17|21 pages

The Disappearing Arabs

chapter 18|10 pages

Arabs in Talmudic Sources

chapter 19|39 pages

Arabs in South Arabia

part 3|48 pages

The Solution of an Enigma?

chapter 20|14 pages

The Picture of Arabs in Pre-Islamic Sources

chapter 21|9 pages

The Linguistic Issue

chapter 22|23 pages

The Arabs and their Religion