This introductory chapter begins with a brief discussion of the period covered by this book — starting with Constantine in the early 4th century and ending with Abd al-Malik in the late 7th century. The first acknowledges new types of conflict which Constantine's conversion put in motion; the second marked the entry of Islam into the conflictual conversation in which triumphant religions engaged with biblical territories. It then discusses the sources relating to Palestine in late antiquity and the conflicts resulting from the diverse sources which the historian must use.
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