Islamic civilization represents one of the richest and most prolific phases in the cultural history of humanity. Yet it did not generate serious and widespread interest in the West until the beginning of the twentieth century, when art historians and archaeologists began to analyze and evaluate it from their own point of view and according to their own esthetics. This book attempts to appraise the early periods of Islamic art within its own cultural framework and according to Islamic esthetics. It places the development of Islamic art during the early periods within its historical context and social and political environment. It emphasizes the role the Arabs played in the way they molded their culture with that of the conquered peoples and brought about Islamic civilization.