The Villages of the Fayyum is a unique and unparalleled thirteenth-century Arabic tax register of the province of the Fayyum in Middle Egypt. Based on this tax-register, this book utilises quantitative research methods and spatial GIS analysis to provide a rich account of the rural economy of the medieval Fayyum, the tribal organization of the village communities, and their rights and duties in relation to the military landholders. It also draws on the rich documentary evidence of the Fayyum, which stretches back to the Greco-Roman and early Islamic periods, to trace the transformation of the Fayyum into a Muslim-majority and Arab province. This volume thus offers a radically new perspective on the social and economic history of the medieval Islamic countryside. It makes a major contribution to the history of Islamic Egypt, its rural economy, and to our understanding of taxation and administration under the Ayyubids. Most importantly, its argument for the metamorphosis of the Coptic peasantry into Muslim and tribal Arab society has profound implications for Middle Eastern history in general, and challenges our modern concept of Arab identity.