Wright Lecture Series
Prof. François de Blois
The calendar and the system of timekeeping in Central Arabia at the beginning of Islamic history are discussed extensively in Arabic religious and scientific literature. My paper is an attempt, on the one hand, to confront these data with contemporaneous epigraphic and historic material and, on the other, to assess the arithmetical and astronomical plausibility of the data. This in turn sheds light on the problem of the chronology of early Islam and the reliability or otherwise of the sīra and maghāzī literature.