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VINE VOICEon 31 December 2010
I must say I enjoyed reading this book. It is a lot less burdensome than Burckhards Fez city of Islam in that there is less flowery language and this book is more designed for the ordinary reader.

The book begins with the history of Fez itself. The author points out that the city itself is in the perfect position. Surrounded by fields for crop, forests for timber, rivers for fresh water the only question is why did nobody think of establishing a city there before? Well the author answers that by pointing out it was not on one of the Roman trade routes and so was pretty much off the beaten track. The next chapters go on to describe how the city was populated and how when the Marinades came they established the "New Fez" as the administrative capital of their empire.

The book continues with how the Marinides contributed to the construction of Mosques, charitable instiutions and to the spread of the official Maliki Muslim school of law in North Africa. The book continues with the social, religious and political life of the city under the Marinides.

This is an excellent book especially if you are about to visit Fez itself. Its a great pity its not been reprinted because its probably the best introduction to the city I have read.
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