“This book studies how the Berbers participated in the process of the state’s formation in the medieval Maghreb, while at the same time resisting uniformity and conformity to cultural norms and institutions, through which acculturation was enforced.”
—Excerpt from From Berber State to Moroccan Empire, by Maya Shatzmiller
A trio of powerful Berber dynasties arose in medieval Morocco, beginning with the Almoravids (1040 to 1147 CE) and then the Almohads (1145 to 1248). The formidable third of these, and the focus of this study, the Marinids (1250 to 1465), established Fez as their capital and initiated a flourishing for the city under the Marinid Sultanate. Shatzmiller, a professor of history at the University of Western Ontario, divides the work into three parts: the Berbers' search for their role in Islamic history; the establishment of an Islamic state; and the implementation of Islamic institutions such as madrasahs. Updated from a 2000 edition, the book adds a new introduction as well as a concluding chapter on trade in the Mediterranean world. With much of the scholarly writing on the medieval Maghrib in Arabic or French, this volume will be of particular interest to English-speaking students of North African history.