State And Society In Preislamic Arabia Essay

State And Society In Pre-islamic Arabia Essay, Research Paper

Arabia Variata Most Arabians sedentary ? way of life far from

uniform, depending mainly on climate ? Happy Felix in Yemen dry-farming ?

collection of water from irrigation, sophisticated collection structures. Agricultural prosperity provided foundation for

independent South Arabian civilisation + mercantile prosperity means to

elaborate that civilisation to a high level of sophistication.? Many simple farmers and herders,

unlikely much export, complex enough to release artisans and commerce.

Same people who founded various kingdoms. Although many kingdoms inscriptions show similar

dialects and religion (Astral deities) ? political institutions show

similar development from theocracy of priest-kings ? to kingships

etc.? Similar social structure ?

nobles lord it over tribes. Arabia Felix ? only region whose productivity large

enough to permit development of an indigenous civilisation that radiated

outwards from its South Arabian centre over peninsula. Lack of water led to areas of intensive cultivation

near to supply ? Oases ? some of which big enough to support artisans,

merchants, religious leaders – not part of agric labour force.? Many in western and north western

Arabia? – Hijaz region ? Yathrib

(medina) etc – plenty in East Water not only reasons ? cultic or trading reasons

(Daydan Hizaz), or Mecca (cultic) ? into metropolis etc. Northern and central Arabian small and sparsely

populated settlements ? no one had time to perform cultural activities

necessary for development of independent cultural civilisation.?? Only signs of civilisation are more

than likely borrowed from other nearby civilisation. Nomadic people; goats, sheep, camels ? occupation

of land was rhythmic, periodic and extensive.? Nomadic people far outnumbered by sedentary peoples. Within nomadic people ? different type ? seminomads

and nomadic pastoralism ? dependent on living conditions. Little room of specialisation is essentially

subsistence-based life ? no class of merchants, artisans.? Developed culturally, and pride in

marital virtue as well as in raiding parties etc. Semi-nomadism more prevalent ? settled plains of Mesopotamia

and ten in winter to get winter grasses of desert. Many semi-nomads?

– once full nomads, camel herders, but shifted out by powerful

nomad tribes Behaviour and characteristics of group changed with

climate, land use, density of population, taxes, and political shifts. Semi nomads in continual flux between more nomadic

and more sedentary life.? Marginal

existence means very little specialisation.? Cultural life ? restricted to portable forms ? poetry ad



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