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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2011

12 - Syria

from PART III - REGIONALISM
Summary
The lands stretching from the Euphrates east and to the upper Tigris are both an extension of Syria and a separate entity. Roman rule was now only a dim memory, recalled in the ruins of its monuments and in the resurgence of Byzantine military power along Syria's northern borderlands. Syrians might soon come to feel that a relatively stable and tolerant Arab-Muslim government was no worse than the disruption and turmoil of the last decades of Byzantine rule. The symbolic impact of Muslim rule may have been even greater, for the new regime was no longer a Christian commonwealth, a providential vehicle of salvation. The first governor was Abd Allah ibn Ali, the powerful uncle of al-Saffah and al-Mansur who had led the victorious Abbasid armies into Syria. In the late third/ninth century Syria suddenly entered on an era of sustained turbulence, in common with many parts of the Islamic world.
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