The Berbers
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The Berbers

By (author) Michael Brett , By (author) Elizabeth Fentress

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The Berbers is the first attempt by English scholars to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of the Berber-speaking peoples. From the first appearance of humans in the Maghreb, through the rise of the formidable Berber kingdoms of Numidia and Mauretania, the book traces the origins of the distinct characteristics of these disparate peoples, regarded as the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa. In examining, too, the responses to external overlords, whether Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, or, most recently, European imperial powers, the authors indicate the importance for the various Berber communities of such factors as language, tradition, social organization and geographical location. The book also covers the role of religion and trade as forces of social change in North Africa. The authors draw on a wide range of sources, from archaeology and history, to anthropology and literature. In showing the Berber-speaking peoples in their immediate social environments, the book explains how they retained a range of traditional systems of organization alongside those of the dominant cultures. The Berbers will thus help the reader to appreciate the Berber past and to understand their present.

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  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 20.32mm | 521.63g
  • 15 Dec 1997
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Oxford
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0631207678
  • 9780631207672
  • 667,934

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Author Information

Michael Brett is Lecturer in African History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University. Elizabeth Fentress was formerly a Consultant Archaeologist for UNESCO and has excavated extensively in North Africa. She is currently Mellon Professor of the American Academy in Rome.

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Review quote

"Brett and Fentress have produced a remarkable study of the Berber-speaking peoples of North Africa that is both scholarly and highly readable." American Journal of Archaeology. "Fentress and Brett combine their efforts to produce a well-rounded history of the Berbers ... a solid introduction for English-speaking students at all levels." CHOICE. 'Here at long last is a decent and thoroughly worthwhile general book on Berbers.' Journal of North African Studies

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Back cover copy

"The Berbers" is the first attempt by English scholars to provide a comprehensive overview of the history of the Berber-speaking peoples. From the first appearance of humans in the Maghreb, through the rise of the formidable Berber kingdoms of Numidia and Mauretania, the book traces the origins of the distinct characteristics of these disparate peoples, regarded as the indigenous inhabitants of North Africa. In examining, too, the responses to external overlords, whether Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Turks, or, most recently, European imperial powers, the authors indicate the importance for the various Berber communities of such factors as language, tradition, social organization and geographical location. The book also covers the role of religion and trade as forces of social change in North Africa. The authors draw on a wide range of sources, from archaeology and history, to anthropology and literature. In showing the Berber-speaking peoples in their immediate social environments, the book explains how they retained a range of traditional systems of organization alongside those of the dominant cultures. "The Berbers" will thus help the reader to appreciate the Berber past and to understand their present.

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