Beyond Late Antiquity
This chapter examines the role that late antique scholarship has occasionally assigned to Islam, with particular emphasis on the work of Alois Riegl, Josef Strzygowski, Henri Pirenne, and Peter Brown. It begins with an overview of the roots of late antique studies on Islam, citing the impetus given by theological and philosophical concerns to interest in late Antiquity up to and including the nineteenth century. It also considers the catalytic role of art, architectural history, and archaeology in the “slow transformations” of the late antique world. It shows that questions about Islam were already present at the very birth of modern late antique studies.
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