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HIST 2905 April 4, 2014.docx

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HIST 2904
Greg Fisher

Study of the Arabs complicated by ideological and source problems… Graeco-Roman sources, hostile Muslim sources… historical tradition Archaeological sources… scarce  The lands they are in do not have much exploration  Hard to write a history of them in the historical century One of the problems of Roman sources is that we have lost the standard edition that is lost in translation New interest in pre-IsLAMIC Arabia = as a ‘Roman/Persian Arabia’ Relationship between Abrahamic religions? Islam a product of Roman/Persian near east? Arabian history – a part of Roman/Persian history Death of Trajan creates a huge problem Romans understood ‘three Arabias’ Arabia Petraea = Nabataea, Modern Jordan -> land they annexed to create the Roman province of Arabia Arabia Deserta = deserts of Saudi Arabia Arabia Felix = Yemen (Saba/Humyar), west coast 323 BC: Death of Alexander (and expedition) 23 BC: Expedition to Arabia Felix 106AD: Roman annexation of Arabia Petraea Long term interest in Arabia? Red Sea Trade Spice Routes nd Starting in 2 century – started a Romman Diplmatic charm defensive Inscriptions from 161-9: Marcus Aurelius, relations with tribal groups (Ruwafa) Offering of soldiers should they need it, beautiful testimony from local people to serve in its interest in some form or another -* 4 c., Imru al-Qays – ‘King of all the Arabs’? Ruwafa – the missing stone St. John Philby (1885-1960) Son: Kim Philby, one of the famous ‘Cambridge Spies’ – double agents for Soviets; Kim Philby fled to Moscow and died a traitor to British Crown 4 -7 centuries Romans/Persian conflict dominates: Mesopotamia Rush for allies 224 (sasanians) and 311/12 AD (Constantine): Anyone who lives in the middle of the empire is caught up in the war Because Roman and sustaining empire are different religions, stakes are raised, if they are not Christians, they are the enemies of Rome Unification of political choice Roman emperors are not shy of using missionaries Make them allies of the Roman state  Raised stakes for peoples nearby – in or out?  Unifies monotheistic religious political Potential source of allies? Arabian Peninsula (next) and Syria/Iraqui desert (First) Extended Rome/Persia conflict south Alliances with Arab tribes in Syria, Arabia (religion)  Carried with all this is the extension of monotheistic political ideas  Romans make allies with Arabs and tries to Christian-ize them th o Note that in the 6 century, an important group of Arab tribes come under control of a particular individual o Close choice of these people and the political alignment that they make o Can see where this is going Roman/Persian alliances in Syria/Iraq Tied with Christianity (rome) Lasted c. 504-582/602 F
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