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Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests

Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests


  • Date Published: March 1995
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521484558

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About the Authors
  • This is a study of how and why the Byzantine Empire lost many of its most valuable provinces to Islamic (Arab) conquerors in the seventh century, provinces which included Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and Armenia. It investigates conditions on the eve of those conquests, mistakes in Byzantine policy toward the Arabs, the course of the military campaigns, and the problem of local official and civilian collaboration with the Muslims. It also seeks to explain how, after terrible losses, the Byzantine government achieved some intellectual rationalisation of its disasters and began the complex process of transforming and adapting its fiscal and military institutions and political controls in order to prevent further disintegration.

    • Comprehensive study of the 'difficult' chapter in Byzantine history by a well-established and highly-respected figure in the writing of Byzantine military history
    • Kaegi's treatment is unique: he alone among scholars of the period has read the Arabic sources in depth, and the book will now become the definitive work on the subject
    • In dealing with military activities in a much-discussed part of the world, there are links with both the Runciman-type of middle eastern/Byzantine history and with contemporary issues of domination and empire
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An important contribution to the debate on the Arab Islamic conquests of the eastern Roman provinces in the seventh century.' John Haldon, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 1995
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521484558
    • length: 328 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 153 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 5 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The problem of Byzantium and the early Islamic conquests
    2. The Byzantine Empire in an era of accelerating change
    3. Difficulties in devising defences for Syria
    4. The first Muslim penetrations of Byzantine territory
    5. Early tests in southern Palestine
    6. Problems of cohesion: the battle of Jabiya-Yarmuk reconsidered
    7. The brief struggle to save northern Syria and Byzantine Mesopotamia
    8. Byzantium, Armenia, Armenians, and early Islamic conquests
    9. Controversy and confidence in the seventh-century crisis
    10. Elements of failure and endurance

  • Author

    Walter E. Kaegi, University of Chicago

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