Giovanni R. Ruffini, Medieval Nubia A Social and Economic History
Medieval Nubia will be the first book to make available this remarkable material, much of which is still unpublished. The evidence discovered reveals a more complicated picture of this community than originally thought. Previously, scholars had thought medieval Nubia had existed in relative isolation from the rest of the world and had a primitive economy. Legal documents, accounts, and letters, however, reveal a complex, monetized economy with exchange rates connected to those of the wider world. eFurthermore, they reveal public festive practices, in which lavish feasting and food gifts reinforced the social prestige of the participants. These documents show medieval Nubia to have been a society combining legal elements inherited from the Greco-Roman world with indigenous African social practices. In reconstructing the social and economic life of medieval Nubia based on the Old Nubian sources from the site, as well as other previously examined materials, Giovanni R. Ruffini will correct previous assumptions and produce a new picture of Nubia, one that connects it to the wider Mediterranean economy and society of its time.
• Uses native (Old Nubian) language evidence never before published
• Challenges previous interpretations claiming that Nubia had no private property and no monetized economy
"Medieval Nubia: A Social and Economic History is that rare thing: a truly pioneering study. Drawing on Old Nubian documents from Qasr Ibrim, Professor Ruffini persuasively argues that Medieval Nubia was a Mediterranean society in Africa. It is a major contribution to the history of Medieval Africa and Islamic Egypt."--Stanley Burstein, California State University, Los Angeles
"This book is an outstanding work of scholarship. The author takes an important but neglected body of primary sources and exhaustively analyzes them for what they can tell us about the economy and society of their times. The resulting study revolutionizes our understanding of medieval Nubia."--T. R. Wilfong, University of Michigan
320 pages; 8 illus., 1 map; 6-1/8 x 9-1/4;
About the Author(s)
Giovanni R. Ruffini is Associate Professor of History and Classical Studies at Fairfield University.