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Chapter 2

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HIST 2200

HIST 2200 PART ONE THREE CULTURES FROM ONE CHAPTER TWO The Emergence of Sibling Cultures (c.600-c.750) - Rise of Islam in the Arabic world and triumph over territories in the 7 and 8 c. that before had been dominated by Rome or Persia - Persistence of the Roman Empire politically in the “Byzantium Empire” and culturally in the Islamic world and Europe - 750- three civilizations – byzantine, European and Islamic crystalized in and around the old Roman Empire Saving Byzantium - Eastern Roman Empire was transformed and called the “Byzantine Empire” – Greek name for Constantinople: Byzantium o Major transforming agent was the war with the Sasanid Persians then with the Arabs - 700- Byzantium lost all rich territories in Africa and Spanish outpost - Basically became a medium sized state in the same location but only 2/3 the size of turkey today Sources of Resiliency - Byzantium was protected by high thick far flung walls embracing farmland and pasture as well as cities - Emperor and officials collected traditional Roman land taxes for provinces to pay for soldiers, sailors and court officials - Greek fire- crude oil and resin, heated and projected via tube over water where it burned and engulfed ships - Themes: armies of the empire set up as regional units within the empire o Led by strategoi – generals given authority over military and regional civil matters - Each soldier given land – well equipped and trained The Invaders and Their Consequences - Sasanid Empire of Persia – capital at Ctesiphon o Ruler styled “king of kings” o Ambitious like Roman Empire - King Chosroes II (r. 591-628) – inspired by ancient empire of Xerxes and Darius o Marched in Byzantine territory (607) and in 613 took Damascus – 614 Jerusalem - Whole of Egypt fell to Persians 619 - All byzantine territories taken were restored by 630 under Emperor Heraclius - Slavs – farmers and stockbreeders in the main – were pushing into the Balkans o Sometimes accompanied by Avars and their Sasanid allies - Bulgars (Turkic speaking nomadic group)moved into Bulgaria in 670s and defeated Byzantine army in 681 - Attacks by Arab Muslims in century after 630 ended in conquest of Sasanid Persia and shrank Byzantium even more Decline of Urban centers - City based Greco-Roman culture which the Byzantine Empire was originally constructed had long been giving way hastened by raids and invasions - Urban centers disappeared - Public activities yielded to pious pursuits of churchgoers - Ephesus: commercial and industrial center destroyed by an earthquake in 3 c and rebuilt during 4 and 5 c. – suggest integration of Christian and old roan institutions st - The plague of Justinian (541-750) – 1 pandemic in historical record – most of old roman empire to Persia to Ireland - Persians invasions, Arab attacks etc., changed this center - Lost its centrality- southern flank became industrial zone - The fate of Ephesus was echoed in many cities circling the eastern Mediterranean in Syria, Palestine and Egypt - Constantinople: population shrank, inhabited areas within the walls were abandoned or turned into farms o Had a thriving imperial and ecclesiastical upper class o Retained some trade and industry – taverns, brothels, merchants, etc. o Fine silk textile factories Ruralisation - Decline of cities and rise of countryside - Agriculture was the backbone of Byzantine Empire - Anatolia: plateau that extend from Mediterranean to black sea – peasants abandoned farms due to Arab raids - Elsewhere, peasants worked small plots, herded animals, cultivated grains and tended orchards - Farmers law: reflect rural conditions in parts of the empire during 8 c paints picture of insular village communities composed of small homes where land transactions needed only a couple witnesses to be valid - Curiales: traditional town councillors - Controlled by imperial governor and local notables (bishop and big landowners) - Education important Iconoclasm - Armies attributed Arab victories to the biblical injunction against graven images - Caliph Yazid II (r. 720-724) – prohibited depiction of all things that breathed and byzantine soldiers listened o Feared that Christian icons revived pagan idolatry - Iconoclastic: anti-icon – icon breaking - Icons undermined the emperors exclusive place in the divine and temporal order - Emperor Leo III the Isaurian had officers ear down the great golden icon of Christ at the Chalke the imperial palace gateway and replaced it with a cross o Ordered all icons be destroyed o Ban lasted until 787 - Artworks destroyed – artists used animals as saints instead of faces - Revulsion against sullying the divine occurred - Synod of 754 – meeting of 300 bishops and emperor Constantine V – argued Christ wanted to represented by bread and wine nothing else - Iconoclasm had many intimate consequences o Monasteries raided and properties confiscated o Destroyed communities that might have served as centers of resistance to imperial power o Made the Byzantines, in the eyes of the movements defenders the “people of God” The Rise of the Best Community: Islam - Muslims considered themselves Gods people - Qur’an – the recitation of Gods words - Communities common purpose is submission to God The Shaping of Islam - “One community”- revolutionary notion for peoples of Arabia (today Saudi Arabia) th o Converted to Islam in early 7 c o Pre-Islamic Arabia lay b/w Persia and Byzantium - Lands supported Bedouins: nomads and semi nomads - Majority of population was sedentary - Nomads and settled pop. were organised as tribes- communities whose members considered themselves related through a common ancestor - Nomads and semi nomads lived in small groups - Manliness was the chief Bedouin virtue – meant not sexual prowess but bravery, generosity, and a keen sense of honour - Islam began as a religion of the settled but found support and military strength among nomads - Movement began at Mecca- commercial center to sell Bedouin products – went to urbanised areas at Syrian border o Mecca was a holy place - Muhammad-prophet of Islam – born in this center around 570- orphan – uncle was a leader of Quraysh tribe which dominated mecca o He became a trader, married and had children o Heard voices and wrote it down about Allah and these messages became the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam – covers gamut of human experience – sum total of history, prophesy, and legal + moral code which men and women should live o Banned infanticide - Nuclear families were occurring as it was at the same time in Byzantium - In Islam there are thee essential social facts: the individual, God and the community of the faithful (ummah) - Not all welcomed new religion and dismissing paganism - 622- went from mecca to medina – greeted as not only religious but also secular leader- joining of political and religious spheres - Asserted hegemony over Jews, Meccans and nomads - Warfare was integrated into the new religion as a part of the duty of Muslims to strive in the ways of god - Zakat- tax used for charity - Ramadan: month of fasting to mark battle of Badr - Ha
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