Prof. Dr. Stefan Leder


Kurt Franz, M.A.


Other Phases of Research:


Project Group B: Prey and Statehood, Project B1

The Bedouinization of Syria in the
10th Century


Regarding the Bedouin migrations, rebellions und usurpations of tenth century Syria, the nomadic mode of culture is studied in its expansionist dimension. That period saw the emergence of nomadic rule characterized by territorialization and political institutionalization beyond tribal bonds, so that the former city dwelling regional powers were ousted in large parts.

The historical focus is on the Bedouin unrest instigated by the Ismâ'îlîs/Qarmatians at the turn of the century, the polities founded by the Bedouin including the rule of the Banû'l-Jarrâh in Palestine, the counter-measures taken particularly by the Hamdânid prince of Aleppo, Sayf al-Dawla, the development of the Mirdâsid rule in northern Syria, and the razzia economics of the Banû'l-Khafâja in Iraq. For this, source material is collected that registers expressions of military, political and economic interaction, whether marked out by conflict or the balancing of interests. The analysis covers in particular historiographical and geographical literature in Arabic language.

The study aims at the identification, description and evaluation of the changing power relations between the sedentary and Bedouin groups. Four questions of systematic relevance shall be dicussed:

  • How did the two major types of Bedouin expansion develop? This refers on the one hand to mobile military tribal action which is preoccupied with immediate accumulation, and on the other hand to territorial rule which favours stability in the political and economic domain.
  • Do the Ismâ'îlî/Qarmatian movements comply with the type of supra-tribal rule which is initiated by an alien charismatic leader?
  • What sort of influence of Ismâ'îlî/Qarmatian teachings on Bedouin self-definition and their legitmitation of rebellion is there to be detected?
  • Finally: What is the character of the Beduinization of Syria, so far only partially known, in the overall consideration?


Prof. Dr. Stefan Leder

Nomaden und nomadische Lebensformen in arabischer Begrifflichkeit – Eine Annäherung. In: Materialien des SFB "Differenz und Integration" 1 (2002), 11–40.

Wathâ'iq as-samâ'ât li-Mu'jam as-samâ'ât ad-dimašqîya al-muntakhaba min sanati 550 ilâ 750. Receuil de documents fac-similée des certificats d’audition à Damas, 550–750 h./1155 à 1349. Damaskus 2000.

(ed.) Story-telling in the framework of non-fictional classical Arabic literature. 2. Johann-Wilhelm-Fück Kolloquium Halle 1997. Wiesbaden 1998.

Mu'jam as-samâ'ât ad-dimašqîya al-muntakhaba min sanati 550 ilâ 750. Les certificats d’audition à Damas, 550–750 h./1155 à 1349. Damaskus 1996.

Das Korpus al-Haitham ibn 'Adî (st. 207/822). Herkunft, Überlieferung, Gestalt früher akhbâr-Texte. (Habilitationsschrift Frankfurt 1988.) Frankfurt 1991.

Die arabische Ecloga. Das vierte Buch der Kanones der Könige nach Makarios. Frankfurt 1985 (Forschungen zur Byzantinischen Rechtsgeschichte 12).

Ibn al-Gauzî und seine Kompilation wider die Leidenschaft. Der Traditionalist in gelehrter Überlieferung und originärer Lehre. Wiesbaden 1984 (Beiruter Texte und Studien 32).

Kurt Franz, M.A.

Mobilization by Charisma? Ismâ'îlî Missionaries and the Bedouin of the Syrian Steppe about 900 A.D. In: Mitteilungen des SFB "Differenz und Integration" 4/1 (2003), 211–251.

Das Recht der Dichtung vor der Geschichte. Zur Bewahrung von Versen des Renegaten 'Alî b. Muhammad. In: L. Behzadi (ed.): Gelehrte Dichter, dichtende Gelehrte. Göttinger Symposium über arabische Dichtung zu Ehren von Peter Bachmann. Hildesheim 2003, 70–88.

Plünderungen und Logistik. Ein Subtext in at-Tabarîs Bericht vom Aufstand der Zanj. In: Akten des 27. Deutschen Orientalistentages. Würzburg 2001, 413–424.

Kompilation in arabischen Chroniken. Die Überlieferung vom Aufstand der Zanj zwischen Geschichtlichkeit und Intertextualität (9. bis 15. Jahrhundert). In preparation.