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“Barefoot And Naked”: What Did The Bedouin Of The Arab Conquests Look Like?

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Chapter Summary

A Muslim text dating from the later eighth century insists that the invaders were ?barefoot and naked, without equipment, strength, weapons, or provisions.? In all three texts the word ?naked? seems to be used in the sense of poorly equipped and lacking body armor rather than devoid of clothes. Having benefited from Oleg?s lively company and warm heart for over ten years, however, this chapter makes amends, if only with a trifling offering: how should we tell a filmmaker who wanted to screen the story of the Arab conquests to depict the conquerors? More precisely, how should we tell him to depict the desert Arabs who participated in the conquests, for the bedouin will not have been dressed in the same way as the settled Arabs, and the author likes to keep things simple.

Keywords: Arab conquests; barefoot; bedouin; filmmaker; invaders; later eighth century; Muslim text; naked; Oleg Grabar



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