Dear colleagues,

I am currently preparing a script for the final episode for our five part pilot. I am really excited to speak with Ian Morris about his Mecca and Macoraba article in which he challenges the long held assumption that name Macoraba in Ptolemy’s Geography refers to historical Mecca.

The article has generated a lot of responses on his blog, so I am going to do something for this episode that I haven’t done for the rest. I am going to invite questions from the forthcoming listeners of AHP. Send any questions in the replies below or email admin@abbasidhistorypodcast.com.

It has been a steep learning curve. I have had to acquaint myself with new technology. I am fortunate my house mate, Adam, is trained in sound engineering so his assistance and enthusiasm has been really welcomed. Ian will be our first online recording and we have spent a lot of time exploring best ways to do that. I am also becoming accustomed to using Audacity for editing and LibSyn for uploading the content.

The other four episodes:
1. Prof. Hugh Kennedy on a lifetime studying early Islam
2. Dr. Anees Lodhi on the theme of hijrah
3. Dr. Alex Strick van Linschoten on learning the Arabic language
4. Aziz Foundation scholar Yusuf Chaudhary on the Islamization of the Ilkhanate.

It doesn't help the new cats keep interrupting my work
It doesn’t help the new cats keep interrupting my work

My aim is to produce listening that can supplement a reading list. Episodes I have planned for the future are discussions with a senior peer of standard set texts for typical Early Islam history topics. This is a bonus for the diligent student as well as a crux for the less diligent student fitting in the podcast on his morning commute to lectures. I hope this extra level of pre-class analysis will make actual class discussions more informed and insightful, rather than the usual disappointing rehash or translations I have experienced during my own graduate education.

Please do send in through your feedback. This is after all your resource. I am grateful to those who have sent proposals for future episodes. Kindly be patient with me as I streamline procedures for this new venture. The Frontier heralds us.



4 Replies to “Updates”

  1. 1. You write that the MKRB hypothesis “may no longer be tenable” because “it is quite another thing to put a Jewish MKRB in the same place, where no Jewish communities are attested.” Are you arguing that it is unlikely that historical religious communities have existed that are not attested by extant written sources?
    2. You conclude with the line, “Mecca’s place in Arabian sacred geography was neither ancient nor immutable.” How does this conclusion follow from a lack of written sources? Are you making an argument from silence?

  2. I wrote those two questions in haste; please feel free to reword them in a less combative way. Hope I got my point across ok

  3. Just listened to the podcast. My questions were answered quite satisfactorily to me, and this helped me understand the overall structure of his thesis as well. Thanks so much!

    Also I want to add that I am deeply sympathetic to Dr. Chaudhary for his Arabic slip up because I made a similarly embarrassing mistake in my own most recent publication. Here’s to correcting our mistakes and moving forward.

  4. Thank you for your support. Perhaps by “Dr. Chaudhary”, you mean “Ian D. Morris” as he was the one to mention the Arabic slip up in the interview. We looked into your observation about sound level. We will have another look at the editing process for season 1.

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