The Venture of Islam, Volume 1 The Classical Age of Islam
by Marshall G. S. Hodgson
University of Chicago Press, 1974
Cloth: 978-0-226-34678-6 | Paper: 978-0-226-34683-0 | Electronic: 978-0-226-34686-1
DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226346861.001.0001


The Venture of Islam has been honored as a magisterial work of the mind since its publication in early 1975. In this three-volume study, illustrated with charts and maps, Hodgson traces and interprets the historical development of Islamic civilization from before the birth of Muhammad to the middle of the twentieth century. This work grew out of the famous course on Islamic civilization that Hodgson created and taught for many years at the University of Chicago.

"This is a nonpareil work, not only because of its command of its subject but also because it demonstrates how, ideally, history should be written."—The New Yorker

Volume 1, The Classical Age of Islam, analyzes the world before Islam, Muhammad's challenge, and the early Muslim state between 625 and 692. Hodgson then discusses the classical civilization of the High Caliphate. The volume also contains a general introduction to the complete work and a foreword by Reuben Smith, who, as Hodgson's colleague and friend, finished the Venture of Islam after the author's death and saw it through to publication.


List of Charts

List of Maps

Marshall Hodgson and The Venture of Islam, by Reuben W. Smith

Publisher's Note

Introduction to the Study of Islamic Civilization

General Prologue: The Islamic Vision in Religion and in Civilization

Book One: The Islamic Infusion: Genesis of a New Social Order

I. The World before Islam

II. Muhammad's Challenge, 570-624

III. The Early Muslim State, 625-692

Book Two: The Classical Civilization of the High Caliphate

Prologue to Book Two

I. The Islamic Opposition, 692-750

II. The Absolutism in Flower, 750-813

III. The Shar'i Islamic Vision, c. 750-945

IV. Muslim Personal Piety: Confrontations with History and with Selfhood, c. 750-945

V. Specualtion: Falsafah and Kalam, c. 750-945

VI. Adab: The Bloom of Arabic Literary Culture, c. 813-945

VII. The Dissipation of the Absolutist Tradition, 813-945

A Selective Bibliography for Further Reading

Glossary of Selected Terms and Names

Index to Volume I