Author: Walter E. Kaegi
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Pages: 313 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
This book presents an inquiry into a fundamental historical problems in early Byzantine history: why the Byzantine empire failed to contain emergent Islam in the new religionís initial years, and in particular how and why the Byzantine first lost Syria, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and America before a partial recovery. Whilst examining the military dimensions of the Islamic Conquests, the author also explores the importance of the religious, socioeconomic, and cultural factors.
Using Greek and Arabic as well as other primary sources (including coinage) in the light of recent advances in late Roman, early Islamic, and Byzantine studies, author assesses imperial conditions on the eve of the appearance of Islam. He includes ethnic stereotypes, military, and religious miscalculation, dangerous strains and inertia in obsolescent fiscal, military and political institutions and attitudes, as well as some principle military campaigns and battles. He places local officials and civiliansí collaboration with the Muslims in a longer late Roman context, and shows that it was neither unique to the seventh century nor was it primarily the result of Christian doctrinal dispute.