Patricia Crone

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Patricia Crone (born March 28, 1945 in Kyndeløse Sydmark (Denmark), † July 11, 2015 in Princeton , New Jersey ) was a Danish scholar of Islam .

Crones' lasting contribution to Islamic studies is the fundamental questioning of the historicity of Islamic traditions about the beginnings of Islam. As a main representative of the " revisionist school ", she contributed significantly to a paradigm shift in Islamic studies.


After studying at the University of London , Patricia Crone received her Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies . She then became a Senior Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London. In 1977 she became a University Lecturer in Islamic History and a Fellow of Jesus College at Oxford University . In 1990, she was Assistant University Lecturer in Islamic Studies and Fellow at Gonville and Caius College of Cambridge University , where she served as 1992-1994 University Lecturer of Islamic Studies and from 1994 as Reader worked in Islamic history. Since 1997 she has been Professor of Islamic History at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. In 2001 she was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society . In 2013 she became a corresponding member of the British Academy .

She died of cancer on July 11, 2015 at the age of 70.


The central topic of Patricia Crones research was the fundamental questioning of the historicity of the Islamic sources about the beginnings of Islam. The two most famous works by Crone revolve around this theme: Hagarism and Meccan Trade . Three decades after Hagarism was published , Fred Donner called Patricia Crone's work a "milestone" in the field of Islamic studies.

In Hagarism: The Making of the Islamic World (1977), Crone and her co-author Michael Cook presented a fundamentally new examination of early Islamic history. In it, they fundamentally questioned the historicity of Islamic traditions about the beginnings of Islam. So they tried to get an idea of ​​the beginnings of Islam from non-Arab sources alone. By studying the only surviving contemporary sources on the beginnings of Islam, written in Armenian, Greek, Aramaic, and Syriac, they reconstructed a story from the beginnings of Islam that looked significantly different from the history as it was from the Islamic ones Sources is known. Crone and Cook thought they could explain exactly how Islam arose from the fusion of various Middle Eastern cultures under Arab leadership. Crone later distanced himself from this attempt at a detailed reconstruction of the true beginnings of Islam. However, she stuck to the basic results of her work:

  • The historicity of the Islamic sources about the beginnings of Islam must be fundamentally questioned.
  • Islam is deeply rooted in Judaism and Arabs and Jews were initially allies.
  • Not Mecca, but another place in northwest Arabia was the cradle of Islam.

In Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam (1987), Crone shows that the importance of pre-Islamic trade in Mecca has been greatly exaggerated. She found that Mecca was not on any of the great ancient trade routes. From clues in the Koran such as For example, the presence of olive trees, Crone concluded that the events referred to in the Quran must have taken place closer to the Mediterranean, and not in Mecca.

While Patricia Crone had started her academic career with the early history of the military and economic situation in the Middle East, she later concentrated primarily on the Koran and cultural and religious traditions in Iraq, Iran and the formerly Iranian part of Central Asia.

The observations on geography, such as For example, old mosques that do not point to Mecca, or that Mecca was not on any of the major trade routes, were taken up in 2011 by Dan Gibson in his work Qur'ānic Geography to propose the city of Petra as the place where Mohammed lived .


As the sole author

  • Slaves on Horses. The Evolution of the Islamic Polity. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1980, ISBN 0-521-22961-8 .
  • God's Caliph. Religious Authority in the First Centuries of Islam (= Oriental Publications. 37). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1986, ISBN 0-521-32185-9 .
  • Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. Blackwell, Oxford et al. 1987, ISBN 0-631-15596-1 .
  • Pre-Industrial Societies. Blackwell, Oxford et al. 1989, ISBN 0-631-15661-5 , German under the title: The pre-industrial society: a structural analysis. Translated from the English by Marianne Menzel, Deutscher Taschenbuch-Verlag, Munich 1992, ISBN 978-3-423-04574-2 .
  • God's Rule. Government and Islam. Columbia University Press, New York, NY 2004, ISBN 0-231-13290-5 .
  • Medieval Islamic Political Thought. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2004, ISBN 0-7486-1871-6 .

As a co-author

Web links

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Member History: Patricia Crone. American Philosophical Society, accessed July 2, 2018 .
  2. ^ Deceased Fellows. British Academy, accessed May 18, 2020 .
  3. [1]; accessed August 09, 2016.
  4. [2] Middle East Studies Association Bulletin, Vol. 40, No. 2 (December 2006), pp. 197-199
  5. Patricia Crone: Hagarism , 1977; Pp. 106, 120 ff., U. a.
  6. ^ [3] Toby Lester: What is the Koran , in: The Atlantic, issue January 1999
  7. Patricia Crone: Hagarism , 1977; P. 24
  8. ^ [4] "Patricia Crone", Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton