In Between Empires Greg Fisher tackles the problem of pre-Islamic Arab identity by examining the relationship between the Roman Empire and the Empire of Sasanian Iran, and a selection of their Arab allies and neighbours, the Jafnids, Nasrids, and Hujrids. Fisher focuses on the last century before the emergence of Islam and stresses the importance of a Near East dominated by Rome and Iran for the formation of early concepts of Arab identity. In particular, he examines cultural and religious integration, political activities, and the role played by Arabic as factors in this process. He concludes that interface with the Roman Empire, in particular, played a key role in helping to lay the foundation for later concepts of Arab identity, and that the world of Late Antiquity is, as a result, of enduring interest in our understanding of what we now call the Middle East.
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