Seeing Islam as Others Saw It

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Seeing Islam as Others Saw It
Seeing Islam as Others Saw It.jpg
Book cover
AuthorRobert G. Hoyland
CountryUnited States
SeriesStudies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam
  • Islamic Empire—History—622–661—Historiography
  • Islamic Empire—History—661–750—Historiography
  • Middle East—Civilization—To 622—Historiography
PublisherDarwin Press
Publication date
Media typeHardcover
939.4 21
LC ClassDS38.1 .H69 1997

Seeing Islam As Others Saw It: A Survey and Evaluation of Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian Writings on Early Islam from the Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam series is a book by scholar of the Middle East Robert G. Hoyland.

The book contains an extensive collection of Greek, Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Latin, Jewish, Persian, and Chinese primary sources written between 620 and 780 AD in the Middle East, which provides a survey of eyewitness accounts of historical events during the formative period of Islam.

The book presents the evidentiary text of over 120 seventh-century sources, one of which (Thomas the Presbyter) contains what Hoyland believes is the "first explicit reference to Muhammad in a non-Muslim source:"[1]

In the year 945, indiction 7, on Friday 7 February (634) at the ninth hour, there was a battle between the Romans and the Arabs of Muhammad (tayyaye d-Mhmt) in Palestine twelve miles [19 km] east of Gaza. The Romans fled, leaving behind the patrician Bryrdn,[2] whom the Arabs killed. Some 4000 poor villagers of Palestine were killed there, Christians, Jews and Samaritans. The Arabs ravaged the whole region.

According to Michael G. Morony, Hoyland emphasizes the parallels between Muslim and non-Muslim accounts of history emphasizing that non-Muslim texts often explain the same history as the Muslim ones even though they were recorded earlier. He concludes "Hoyland's treatment of the materials is judicious, honest, complex, and extremely useful."[3]


Greek sources[edit]

West Syrian, Coptic and Armenian sources[edit]

East Syrian sources[edit]

Latin sources[edit]

Chinese sources[edit]

Apocalypses and visions[edit]

Syriac texts[edit]

Greek texts[edit]

Hebrew texts[edit]

Persian texts[edit]

Muslim Arabic texts[edit]


Greek texts[edit]

Armenian texts[edit]

Syriac texts[edit]

Chronicles and histories[edit]

Syriac texts[edit]

Latin texts[edit]

Greek texts[edit]


Apologies and disputations[edit]

Syriac texts[edit]

Christian Arabic texts[edit]

Jewish texts[edit]

Latin texts[edit]


See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Hoyland, Seeing Islam As Others Saw It, p. 120
  2. ^ The name "Bryrdn" is unclear; see, e.g., "Biblical and Near Eastern essays: studies in honour of Kevin J. Cathcart", ISBN 0-8264-6690-7, p. 283
  3. ^ Michael G. Morony. International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 31, No. 3. (Aug., 1999), pp. 452–453