SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Professor Hugh N Kennedy

PhD (Cantab)
  • Overview
  • Teaching
  • Publications


Hugh N Kennedy
Near and Middle East Section, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

Professor of Arabic

Centre for Iranian Studies


London Middle East Institute (LMEI)


Economic integration and social change in the Islamic world system, 800-1000CE

Project Lead

Professor Hugh N Kennedy
Email address:
+44(0)20 7898 4251
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Academic Support Hours:
Mondays 4-5pm, Tuesdays 1-2pm


Programmes Convened
Modules Taught
PhD Students supervised
  • Aleksander Engeskaug, Religion and Economy: Zoroastrian Priests and Fire Temples in the Economy of Sasanian Iran
  • Elizabeth Munro, Seeking Saracens: Exploring the representation of Muslims and Islamic religious practice in the English Charlemagne Romance Cycle and the Petronius Redivivus.
  • Hasan Al-Khoee, The Evolution of Arabic Public Oratory in the Early Muslim Period [1st-3rd/7th-9th centuries]
  • John Latham, Political Authority among the Alans of the North Caucasus, 800-1300
  • Mohamad El Merheb, Islamic Political Thought: Competing Conceptions of the Rule of Law in the Middle Period
  • Onees Lodhi, Migration (Hijra) and Travel in Early Islam
  • Paula Manstetten, Knowledge and Power in Medieval Syria (mid-4th/10th – mid-6th/12th century): The transmission of learning in a period of institutionalisation
  • Taylan Gungor, The mercantile experience of Ottoman Pera in the century after 1453
  • Ummugulsum Kurukol, Riḥla: Interpreting the Islamic city through Muslim Travellers by revisiting the meaning of travel from the medieval period to early modern times.

Inaugural Lecture

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History, memory and legend in the Great Arab Conquests


Authored Books

Kennedy, Hugh (2016) The Caliphate: A Pelican Introduction. London: Penguin.

Kennedy, Hugh (2007) The Great Arab Conquests. How the Spread of Islam Changed the World We Live In. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

Kennedy, Hugh (2005) The Court of the Caliphs: When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World. London: Phoenix.

Kennedy, Hugh (2001) The Armies of the Caliphs. Military and Society in the Early Islamic State.. Abingdon: Routledge.


Kennedy, Hugh (2011) 'The Feeding of the five Hundred Thousand: Cities and Agriculture in Early Islamic Mesopotamia'. IRAQ, (73), pp 177-199.

Kennedy, Hugh (2002) 'Military Pay and the Economy of the Early Islamic State'. Historical Research, (75) 188, pp 155-169.

Edited Books or Journals

Kennedy, Hugh, (ed.), (2013) Warfare and poetry in the Middle East. London: I.B. Tauris.

Kennedy, Hugh, (ed.), (2005) Muslim military architecture in greater Syria: from the coming of Islam to the Ottoman Period. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

Book Chapters

Kennedy, Hugh (2018) 'Muʾnis al-Muẓaffar: An exceptional eunuch'. In: Höfert, Almut and Mesley, Matthew M. and Tolino, Serena, (eds.), Celibate and Childless Men in Power Ruling Eunuchs and Bishops in the Pre-Modern World. Abingdon; New York: Routledge, pp 79-91.

Kennedy, Hugh (2017) 'The Origins of the Aghlabids'. In: Anderson, Glaire D. and Fenwick, Corisande and Rosser-Owen, Mariam, (eds.), The aghlabids and their Neighbors. Leiden: Brill, pp 33-48.

Kennedy, Hugh (2017) 'Baghdad as a Center of Learning and Book Production'. In: Blair, Sheila and Bloom, Jonathan, (eds.), By the Pen and What They Write: Writing in Islamic Art and Culture. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, pp 91-103.

Kennedy, Hugh (2016) 'Landed Property and Government Finance in the Early Abbasid Caliphate'. In: Hudson, John and Crumplin, Sally, (eds.), "The Making of Europe" Essays in Honour of Robert Bartlett. Leiden: Brill, pp 264-276.

Kennedy, Hugh (2012) 'Journey to Mecca: A History'. In: Porter, V., (ed.), Hajj: journey to the heart of Islam. London: British Museum Press, pp 68-132.

Kennedy, Hugh (2011) 'Shayzar: overview of its history'. In: Tonghini, C., (ed.), Shayzar I: The Fortification of the Citadel. Leiden: Brill, pp 2-25.

Kennedy, Hugh (2011) 'The Ribat in the Early Islamic World'. In: Day, H. and Fentress, E., (eds.), Western Monasticism Ante Litteram. Tournhout: Brepols, pp 161-175.

Kennedy, Hugh (2011) 'Great estates and elite lifestyles in the Fertile Crescent from Byzantium and Sasanian Iran to Islam'. In: Fuess, A and Hartung, J-P, (eds.), Court Cultures of the Muslim World. London: Routledge, pp 54-79.

Kennedy, Hugh (2010) 'The Coming of Islam to Bukhara'. In: Suleiman, Y., (ed.), Living Islamic History: Studies in Honour of Professor Carole Hillenbrand. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp 77-91.

Kennedy, Hugh (2010) 'Syrian Elites from Byzantium to Islam: Survival or Extinction?'. In: Haldon, J., (ed.), Money, Power and Politics in early Islamic Syria. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp 181-198.

Kennedy, Hugh (2010) 'How to found an Islamic city'. In: Goodson, C. and Lester, A. E. and Symes, C., (eds.), Cities, Texts and Social Networks 400-1500. Aldershot: Ashgate, pp 45-63.

Kennedy, Hugh (2009) 'Survival of Iranianness'. In: Curtis, V. S. and Stewart, S., (eds.), The Rise of Islam. London: I.B. Tauris, pp 13-29.

Kennedy, Hugh (2008) 'Inherited Cities'. In: Jayyusi, S. K., (ed.), The City in the Islamic World. Leiden: Brill, pp 93-114.

Kennedy, Hugh (2007) 'Justinianic Plague in Syria and the Archaeological Evidence'. In: Little, L., (ed.), Plague and the End of Antiquity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp 87-95.


Kennedy, Hugh (2010) 'The City and the Nomad'.

Kennedy, Hugh (2010) 'The late Abbasid Pattern'.

Kennedy, Hugh (2008) 'The Mediterranean Frontier: Christianity face to face with Islam, 600–1050'.


This list was last generated on Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 03:23 Europe/London.