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2. Islamic Palermo and the dār al-islām: Politics, Society and the Economy (from the mid-9th to the mid-11th Century)

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Chapter Summary

Palermo was conquered in 831 by Ifriqiyan troops summoned to the island by the rebel Euphemios, a Sicilian tourmach who, when threatened with punishment, usurped the imperial function and, in 827, solicited the backing of the Aghlabids. Between the middle of the 9th century, to persist with a very approximate dating, and the middle of the 11th century, Palermo in Arabic Balarm, Bulurm, Bānarm, and other variants of Panormos, but also al-Madīna or Ṣiqilliyya was also the seat of the island's government. This chapter focuses on this period and seeks to show how the city was gradually integrated into the dār al-islām, an integration which proceeded at different rates in different spheres. Considering the sources as a whole, Palermo appears to be one of the important cities of the dār al-islām, as much politically and economically as culturally, participating on its own scale in the latter's polycentrism.

Keywords: Ṣiqilliyya; Aghlabids; al-Madīna; dār al-islām; Palermo; polycentrism



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