Noemie Lucas

Research Fellow in Abbasid Fiscal History and Historiography

  • ERC Project CALIPHAL FINANCES - The Finance of the Caliphate: Abbasid Fiscal practice in Islamic Late Antiquity (2021-2026)
  • Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies
  • School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

Contact details



Room 1/24
19 George Square

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After a Master degree in History of the Islamic World (Pantheon-Sorbonne University, 2013) and a BA in Arabic (INALCO, 2017), Dr. Lucas received her PhD in History from Pantheon-Sorbonne University in December 2020.

Her PhD Dissertation (“The power of the land: An Attempt at a Social History of Lower-Iraq during the 8th century”) dealt with the history of the formation of Islamic State from the vantage point of Iraq. It demonstrates that studying the early Islamic elite’s approach to “land” allows writing another type of the political history of the Early Islamic Empire that emphasizes how the Islamic State was the product of negotiations.

Before coming to Edinburgh and joining the ERC project Caliphal Finances: The Finances of the Caliphate: Abbasid Practice in Islamic Late Antiquity in September 2021, she was a postdoctoral researcher in digital philology of texts in Arabic scripts at the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) in Paris (2020-2021).

Research summary

Dr Lucas’s research interests comprise early Islamic history, especially administrative, political and fiscal history, early Islamic historiography and the broader question of the writing of history, history of the Umayyad and Abbasid States, fiscal literature. Her interests also include Digital humanities, especially Digital philology of Arabic texts (HTR/OCR, Digital edition, etc..)

Places: Iraq, Lower-Iraq, Egypt, Near East

Themes: Historiography, Transmission and Composition, Umayyad and early Abbasid history, Fiscal history and historiography, Landownership, Administration, Digital Humanities, Arabic manuscripts, HTR/OCR

Period: Late Antiquity, Medieval period

Current research interests

In the framework of the ERC funded project Caliphal Finances led by Dr Marie Legendre, that aims at providing 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, I am in charge of Work Package 4 “Making the link: fiscal practice and the literary corpus”. My research focuses on the literary corpus in an attempt to assess what narratives sources can tell us about fiscal practices. In that context, I am following two specific lines of research: the vexing question of the transfer of the surplus of the tax revenues outside of Egypt and the revolts in relation to taxes or with a tax component occurring in Egypt, especially in the Delta, during the ninth century.