Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Century

Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fifth Century

By: Irfan Shahîd

Publication date: January 2018
ISBN: 9780884024316

Gleaning from multiple sources, Shahîd describes the political, military, ecclesiastical, and cultural history of the Arab federates in the fifth century and demonstrates how they lived in harmony with Byzantium.

Title information

Just as the Tanūkhids rose and fell as the principal Arab foederati of Byzantium in the fourth century, so too in the fifth did the Salīhids. The century, practically terra incognita in the history of Arab-Byzantine relations, is explored by Irfan Shahîd, who recovers from the sources the political, military, ecclesiastical, and cultural history of the Arab foederati in Oriens and the Arabian Peninsula during this period. Unlike their predecessors or successors, the foederati of the fifth century lived in perfect harmony with Byzantium. Federate-imperial relations were smooth: the Arab horse reached as far as Pentapolis in the West and possibly took part in Leo’s expedition against the Vandals. They were staunchly orthodox and participated in two ecumenical councils, Ephesus and Chalcedon, where their voice was audible. But their more enduring contributions were cultural, and may be associated with Dāwūd (David), the Salīhid king; Petrus, the bishop of the Parembole; and possibly also Elias, patriarch of Jerusalem, a Roman Arab. The federate culture gave impetus to the rise of the Arabic script, Arabic poetry, and a simple form of an Arabic liturgy—the foundation for cultural achievements in subsequent centuries.

Pages: 624
Language: English
Publisher: Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University
Edition: 1st Paper
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Irfan Shahîd

Associate Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks and Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, Irfan Shahîd was Emeritus Professor of Arabic Studies at Georgetown University, where from 1982 to 2008 he was Oman Professor of Arabic and Islamic Literature.

Home Town: Washington, D.C.

This set includes all seven volumes of Irfan Shahîd’s groundbreaking work on the political, military, religious, social, and cultural history of the Arabs and their relationship with the Eastern Roman Empire from 64 BC to the advent of Islam.