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b Oct 23 - The Rise of the Third Power Block

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Alicia Mc Kenzie

The Rise of the Third Power Block: Byzantium and Islam Long-term northward push byArab Tribes th (7 century) Trying to break into Mediterranean world Up until Justinian had been strong Now Persians had been attacking Mohammed (d. 570) – religious reformer We do not have many sources (good) Mecca Religious + economic centre Diplomatic (neutral) Various arab tribes would appear there and ppl of Mecca would help resolve conflicts Medina Mohammed fled to Medina, blocked their trade routes Then Meccians(?) Surrendered IslamAttractive Clear ethical framework Optimistic afterlife Coherent theology for intellectuals and laity THIS IS WHY ISLAM SO SUCCESSFUL The Heraclian Dynasty and the Rise of the Islamic Empitre Heraclius Themata System New administrative units typically in east (anatolyia in east) Managed by Strategos (general), who is extremely powerful Troops can declare them emperor; problem for system a few times Ctesiphon (628) Empire had melted down religious items; very poor Persians tried to impose Zoroastrianism Whole arab tribes converting to Judaism Population of Egypt + Syria in dissent with Trinitarian Christianity Also Battle of Varmuk (636) Empire faces huge defeat, Heraclius evacuates all troops, went home to Constantinople He fearful of the Sea; Empire kicked out of the Holy Land TheArab Conquests cont Al-Qadisyah (637) Alexandria (642) Constantinople: 675 blockade All enemies get destroyed when they attack Constantinople Constantinople had Greek fire and huge walls (717) Second siege of Constantinople Why wereArabs so successful? Empire weak at the time Byzantine east (Palestine + Syria) had weak frontiers, because they had been focused on Persians Rules of Islamic Warfare If you were Zoroastrian, you lost everything If you cannot win, then you surrender, and you can just pay a toll If you fight, you lose everything Byzantine Reactions: Iconoclasm {venerate is appreciate, give thanks; NOT worship} Huge drop off in sources (Byzantine dark age) Leo III the Isaurian (d. 741) Very Competen
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