Michael Lecker, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

[Editor’s Note: The Jerusalem Prosopography Project (JPP) was created by Michael Lecker, Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This online resource will be a valuable tool for all scholars working on the formation of Islam and the early Islamic community.]

The Prosopography of Early Islamic Administration (PEIA) aims at recording judiciously all the biographical evidence available in Arabic primary sources about those who played a role in the state apparatus during the early Islamic period (ca. 622-800).

It is part of the Jerusalem Prosopography Project (JPP) that aims at recording the biographical evidence available in the Arabic primary sources about several well-defined groups of people who flourished during the first two centuries of Islam.

Future projects within the JPP include the CPM or The Companions of the Prophet Muḥammad, the JEA of The Jews of Early Islam, the MSP or The Muslim Settlers in Palestine and the TOH or The Transmitters of Ḥadīth.

Although the PEIA is still far from completion, it was felt that colleagues around the world might find it useful even at its present form. It is being updated on a daily basis.

Certain categories of persons were not included for the time being, in order to make the PEIA more manageable. They include many of the governors appointed by Muḥammad, as well as the qāḍīs, generals, navy commanders and many of the tax collectors that were left out unless they also officiated as governors.

In the Persons category you will find all those included in the PEIA, i.e. the persons that have been recognized as belonging to the state apparatus.

In the other categories, i.e. Tribes, Places, Keywords, Authors and Sources much of the framework of the PEIA and of the other projects is put at your disposal.

However, the reports linked to the persons of the PEIA are only partly available. It was felt that for the time being granting access to several thousands reports, rather than tens of thousands, was a reasonable compromise between blocking access until all the reports are checked against the primary sources and verified, and the wish to share as much of the database as possible with colleagues around the world.

The option adopted here is the linking of five reports per person. This rule could not be strictly applied and several persons have many more reports linked to them. It is hoped that the whole of the PEIA will be made available on this Website before too long.

The pace of verification will be determined by the amount of help received from colleagues worldwide, and of course the funding made available for the project.

To try a demo of the resource, click here. This project has been financed by an individual research grant from the Israel Science Foundation (2003-2006).