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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter 2020

An Empire of Elites: Mobility in the Early Islamic Empire

Ahmad Khan


This study uses prosopographies pertaining to political elites from Khurāsān in order to examine patterns of social mobility, professional circulation, and structures of imperial rule in the ʿAbbāsid Empire during the 8th-9th centuries. It suggests that the early ʿAbbāsid Empire was dominated by informal patterns of rule that depended disproportionately on personal retainers and elite gubernatorial and military families to maintain structures of an otherwise bureaucratic centralized empire.

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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