¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Below is a note on the article ‘Crone and the End of Orientalism,’ taken from B. Sadeghi, et al., eds, Festschrift for P. Crone (Leiden, forthcoming). Download a PDF of the article here.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 Festschrifts are often tricky things: as easy as it is to agree to honor a colleague with a contribution, the actual work of researching and writing a piece that does him or her that honor, especially to a (typically short) deadline, usually proves hard. At least in my experience, Clio does not work to order; she speaks when she wills. And we all know what can result: celebratory volumes that do insufficient justice to long and fruitful careers of learning. On this occasion, the piece virtually wrote itself, however. For not only did I have things to say, but, as like all historians of early Islam working in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, I had a debt that I was keen to repay to a truly great scholar.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 As I say early on in the piece, the argument is schematic, in part because the modern historiography of early Islam is not well researched, particularly compared with that of the modern and even early modern Middle East, where attention to perspective verges on the compulsive. In addition to those readers who regard it as under-argued, others will discount my views as biased, adducing my own, well-documented commitment to a broadly revisionist approach to early Islamic history. (I have already put it to one reviewer that we shall have to agree to disagree.) What I hope we can all accept is that Patricia Crone has made our field far more stimulating and demanding than the one she entered some 40 years ago.