Geoffrey Khan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 1–14


  • English

Print Length

14 pages

1. Introduction

Chapter of: Arabic Documents from Medieval Nubia(pp. 1–14)
The introduction presents a description of the geographical region of Nubia followed by an overview of its history from late antiquity until the Mamluk period. Christianity was introduced into Nubia in the sixth century AD under the auspices of the church organisation of Byzantine Egypt, and subsequently the churches of the region came under the jurisdiction of the Coptic patriarchate of Alexandria. At that period Nubia consisted of three kingdoms: Nobadia, Makuria and Alodia. These kingdoms were subsequently united in a single kingdom with its capital at Dongola. In the early Islamic period the Muslims invaded Nubia, but failed to conquer the region. A peace treaty was drawn up between the Muslims and the Nubians known as the baqṭ. Nubia remained an independent Christian kingdom until the thirteenth century AD , when finally the Muslim Mamluks took control of the Nubian capital of Dongola.


Geoffrey Khan

Regius Professor of Hebrew at University of Cambridge

Geoffrey Khan (PhD, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, 1984) is Regius Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge. His research publications focus on three main fields: Biblical Hebrew language (especially medieval traditions), Neo-Aramaic dialectology, and medieval Arabic documents. He is the general editor of The Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (Brill, 2013) and is the senior editor of Journal of Semitic Studies. His recent publications include The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew, Cambridge: University of Cambridge & Open Book Publishers, 2020, Performance of Sacred Semitic Texts (editor, with co-editor Hindy Najman), Dead Sea Discoveries 29, Brill. 2022, and Language Contact in Sanandaj (co-authored with Masoud Mohammadirad), Berlin, de Gruyter, 2024.