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Witnesses to a World CrisisHistorians and Histories of the Middle East in the Seventh Century$
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James Howard-Johnston

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208593

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208593.001.0001

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The Middle East in the Seventh Century

The Middle East in the Seventh Century

A New World Order

(p.488) 16 The Middle East in the Seventh Century
Witnesses to a World Crisis

James Howard‐Johnston

Oxford University Press

This final chapter continues the story of Arab‐Byzantine warfare. Mu‘awiya's second major offensive (669–74) is traced from the opening act (the assassination of Constans II) to the naval defeat which brought it to a halt and opened the way for a Byzantine‐sponsored rebellion in Syria and Palestine. After a summary account of the second Arab civil war (682–92) and the humiliating treaty (686) which the Emperor Justinian II imposed on ‘Abd al‐Malik (685–705), a new phase of Arab expansion is described, in the course of which Byzantium lost north Africa (698) and the pressure on Asia Minor steadily intensified from 709 to a climax in the 717–18 siege of Constantinople. Key structural features of the new Muslim state are identified. The chapter ends with a cast‐forward to the successful guerrilla war of defence fought by Byzantium in the eighth and ninth centuries.

Keywords:   Mu‘awiya, Constans, Justinian, ‘Abd al‐Malik, Africa, Asia Minor, Constantinople, guerrilla, Byzantium

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