Robert Hoyland


Professor of Islamic History

Faculty / College Address:

Oriental Institute / St Cross College


Research Interests:

His research interests include: relations between Muslims, Jews and Christians in the pre-modern Midde East; the links between identity, religion and ethnicity (in particular, the forging of an Arab identity) in the pre-Islamic and early Islamic period; the transmission of knowledge from the Ancient world to the Islamic world and the reforging of that knowledge by Muslim scholars; the change in material culture from the Ancient world to the Islamic world and the emergence of an Islamic style of art and architecture; and the use of Arabic inscriptions for understanding Islamic history and culture.

Current Projects:

  • Writing a book about the socio-economic history of the Middle East ca. 400-800
  • Excavations of Andarin, a late Roman – early Islamic town in Central Syria
  • A survey of late Roman Golan, modern southwestern Syria.

Courses Taught:

  • Islamic history (1st year, 3rd year and M. Phil)

Recent Publications:

  • "New Documentary Texts and the Early Islamic State"; Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 69 (2006).
  • “The Byzantine and Early Islamic Settlement of Khirbat Shuwayka”, http: www. 11 (2006) – co-author with Marwan Abu Khalaf, Ibrahim Abu A‘mar and S. al-Houdaliyeh.
  • Epigraphy and the Linguistic Background to the Qur’an” in G.S. Reynolds ed., Towards a New Interpretation of the Qur’an 1 (London, Routledge, 2007).
  • “Writing the Biography of the Prophet: Problems and Solutions”, History Compass 5 (2007).
  •  “Arab kings, Arab tribes and the beginnings of Arab historical memory in Late Roman Epigraphy” in H. Cotton, R. Hoyland, J. Price and D. Wasserstein eds, From Hellenism to Islam: Cultural and Linguistic Change in the Roman Near East (Cambridge, 2009).
  • “Late Roman Provincia Arabia, Monophysite Monks and Arab tribes: a problem of centre and periphery”, Semitica et Classica 2 (2009).

Full Publications