Marie Legendre

Senior Lecturer in Islamic History


Dr Legendre earned her PhD from the University of Leiden (2013) and Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris 4) (2014). 

Before coming to Edinburgh in September 2018, she worked as Departmental Lecturer in Early Islamic History at the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the University of Oxford (2012-2014) and Lecturer in the History of the Pre-Modern Middle East at SOAS University of London (2016-2018). She was also a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire d’Excellence sur les Études Méditerranéennes (LabexMed), Aix-Marseille Université (2014-2016).

Undergraduate teaching

Islamic History A: The Formation of the Islamic World 

Islamic History B: From the Crusades to the ‘Gunpowder Empires’

The First Muslim Empire: Islam before Sunnism and Shi‘ism 

The Seventh Century: The Transformation of East Rome and the Rise of Islam (with Dr Yannis Stouraitis)

Guest lecturer:

- Islamic and Middle Eastern Cultures


Postgraduate teaching

The Umayyad Empire: The Islamic World in its Late Antique Context

The Seventh Century: The Transformation of East Rome and the Rise of Islam (with Dr Yannis Stouraitis)

Msc in Late Antique, Byzantine and Islamic Studies: 

Guest lecturer:

- Critical Reading in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

- Approaches to the Long Late Antiquity

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Dr Legendre also supervises dissertations for the Msc in Late Antique, Byzantine and Islamic Studies. 

Current PhD students supervised

Nasser Alfalasi, 'The development of administrative and fiscal literature in the early Abbasid period’

Kieran Hagan, 'Empire in the Islamic North: The textual construction of the Islamic Empire and Imperialism in Islamic and Armenian texts'

Abdulla Haidar, ‘Marwān b. al-Ḥakam in Early Arabic Sources’

Dalia Hussein, 'Land Taxes and Land Tenure in Abbasid Egypt' 

Stefano Nicastro, ‘Genoa in the Islamic Mediterranean: Transmission of knowledge between terra christianorum and the Dār al-Islām and Islamic perceptions of a Latin state in the later Middle Ages’

Sam Nwokoro, ‘Social and Religious Resources in the Making of Melkite Christianity under Umayyad Rule: A Study of Legislation, Administration, Martyrology and Theology’ 

Georgi Obatnin, 'The Monetization of Taxation in Abbasid Egypt'

Leone Pecorini Goodall, ‘Heirs to the Caliphate: Continuity, territoriality and gender in the accession of the late Umayyads and early Abbasids’

Sarah Slingluff, ‘Occlusion and remembering al-Andalus in the cultural sites of Castilla-La Mancha’

Past PhD students supervised

Matteo Randazzo, ‘Sicily and Crete between Byzantium and Islam’

Research summary

Dr Legendre's research interests include Late Antique and early Islamic history, especially administrative and economic history (500–1200), the early Islamic conquest, administrative and fiscal history of the Umayyad and Abbasid empires, women and gender, Arabic and Coptic papyrology and multilingualism.   


‎Ithaca Bound: Umayyad Caliphate's Administration in the Mediterranean w. Dr Marie Legendre on Apple Podcasts


Dr Legendre is co-director of the research Centre for Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies Research Group 

Centre for Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies | The University of Edinburgh

She is also co-editor of the Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies (Edinburgh University Press): 

Journal of Late Antique, Islamic and Byzantine Studies : ( 


Starting in September 2021, Dr Legendre will direct the research project Caliphal Finances: The Finances of the Caliphate: Abbasid Fiscal Practice in Islamic Late Antiquity (2021-2026), a five-year, European Research Council-funded project to provide for the first time a view ‘from below’ on Abbasid fiscal history through a study of papyrus documents in Greek, Coptic and Arabic written in Egypt.

For more information, see: Caliphal Finances | The University of Edinburgh 

Current research interests

• Late antique and early Islamic administration and fiscal practices • Early Islamic Egypt • Umayyad and Abbasid history • Women in early Islam • Arabic papyrology • Coptic papyrology • Multilingualism