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Chapter 9

HIS Chapter 9.docx

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Mairi Cowan

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Chapter 9: • City of Mecca, a haven for travelers in an unforgiving wasteland • Mecca provided food, water, rest and sanctuary for anyone passing through its gate PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA: Camels and Commerce: • It has no rivers at all, so internal transportation was difficult and fresh water almost completely unavailable • SW receives ample rainfall • Consists of imposing mountains and arid, scorching deserts, culminating in the Empty Quarter of the SE traversed only Bedouin people, nomads who moved from one oasis to another camels • Aptly nicknamed “ships of the desert”, camels were indispensable to Arabian commerce • Able to carry 500 pounds loads for distances up to 25miles per day, camels can work for as mish as three weeks without drinking, taking advantage of their huge stomachs and their ability to retain water until needed • Camels made trade possible across the forbidding interior of Arabia • Camel transport sustained the economic life of both nomads of the north and the more settled peoples of the fertile, rain-fed SW • Trading: raisins, hides, leather goods, perfumes for spices, textiles, olive oil and weapons Collapse of Southern Arabia and the Rise of Mecca: • Arabia’s prosperity collapsed • Ptolemaic Empire of Egypt – one of the successor states of the vast empire of Alexander the Great • Own commercial route linking Egypt to India by way of the Red Sea • Ethiopian Kingdom of Axum on the western bank of the Red Sea – owned territory on the Arabian Peninsula – threatened the commerce of the declining Arabian city-states o Northern Arabians took this opportunity to interfere with overland trade routes – eroding southern control over the peninsula’s interior o By 300 BCE – Southern Arabia lost power • The capital of the Roman Empire was transferred from Rome to Constantinople, while Sasanians, energized by Zoroastrianism were rivaling Persia 6 centuries after the Greco- Macedonian conquest • Monotheistic belief entered
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