Urban Autonomy in Medieval Islam
Fukuzo Amabe, Tokyo Keizai University (the University of Economic Studies in Tokyo)
In Urban Autonomy in Medieval Islam Fukuzo Amabe offers the first in-depth study on autonomous cities in medieval Islam stretching from Aleppo and Damascus to Cordoba, Toledo and Valencia through Tunis during the late tenth to early twelfth centuries. Each city is treated separately to cull facts to prove its autonomy at least for a certain period. The Middle East was the first region to develop cities and then empires in ancient times. Furthermore, the Islamic world was the first to transform ancient political or farmer cities to economic and industrial ones consisting of notables and plebeians, followed by China, then parts of Western Europe.