History essay question

Account for the success of the seventh-century and early eighth-century Arab conquests in former territories of the Roman Empire; how did Westerners view Islam and the Arabs?

Any recommended websites/books?

6 thoughts on “History essay question”

  1. I took a Middle East History course in my final year in UCD. It was only from 1925 onwards but the core course text was ME Yapp’s book The Near East since the First World War: A History to 1995 (it has been updated since). The same publishers also have a book called The Prophet and the Age of The Caliphates: the Islamic Near East from the sixth to the eleventh century by Hugh Kennedy.
    Might be worth a look?

  2. Thanks Tony, Sinead I have looked at other books by Hugh Kennedy in relation the Islam in Spain – with thanks to Juan Cole for directing me ‘Muslim Spain and Portugal’ by Kennedy – but I will look for the one you mention. I might even post my essay once it’s done! hehe

  3. In 395, the Roman Empire was divided into East and West, each with a separate Emperor. The West collapsed in 476 (but this was 160 years before Islam). The Eastern Roman Empire lost Syria, Egypt, Palestine, and North Africa to the Arabs by 697. Reasons include:

    A: The Eastern Romans (Byzantines) had just come out of a long war with Persia and were too exhausted to effectively resist.

    B: Religious persecution of Christian heresies e.g. Monophysitism, encouraged many in these areas not to help resist the invaders, as the Muslims had promised them toleration under Muslim rule.

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