Hugh Kennedy took his M.A. and Ph.D. (1977) at the University of Cambridge. In 1972 he was appointed lecturer in Medieval History at the University of St. Andrews Scotland, becoming Professor of Middle Eastern History. In 2007 he took up the Chair of Arabic at SOAS, University of London. He is the author of a number of books on Islamic History including: The Early Abbasid Caliphate: a political history (1980), The Prophet and the Sage of the Caliphates (1986 2nd ed. 2004), The Armies of the Caliphs (2001), The Court of the Caliphs (published in the U.S. as When Baghdad Ruled the Muslim World) and The Great Arab Conquests (2007). He is currently directing a Leverhulme Network project on the early Islamic economy, 750-1050 CE.