Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fourth Century

Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fourth Century

By: Irfan Shahîd

Publication date: January 2018
ISBN: 9780884024323

Shahîd recounts the foundation of a new relationship in the fourth century between the Roman Empire and the Arabs in Oriens, who remained allies of Byzantium until the Arab conquests.

Title information

The fourth century, the century of Constantine, witnessed the foundation and rise of a new relationship between the Roman Empire and the Arabs. The warrior Arab groups in Oriens became foederati, allies of Byzantium, the Christian Roman empire, and so they remained until the Arab conquests. In Byzantium and the Arabs in the Fourth Century, Irfan Shahîd elucidates the birth of the new federation and the rise of its institutional forms and examines the various constituents of federate cultural life: the phylarchate, the episcopate, the beginnings of an Arab Church, an Arabic liturgy, and the earliest attested composition of Arabic poetry. He discusses the participation of the Arab foederati in Byzantium’s wars with her neighbors—the Persians and the Goths—during which those Arab allies, most notably the Tanūkhids, contributed to the welfare of the imperium and the ecclesia. In the reign of Valens, the foederati appeared as the defenders of Nicene Orthodoxy: their soldiers fought for it; their stern and uncompromising saint, Moses, championed it; and their heroic and romantic queen, Mavia, negotiated for it.

Pages: 658
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.