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Muslim Expansion and Byzantine Collapse in North Africa - Walter Emil Kaegi

Muslim Expansion and Byzantine Collapse in North Africa

Hardcover

Published: 29th November 2010
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Who 'lost' Christian North Africa? Who won it and how? Walter Kaegi takes a fresh look at these perennial questions, with maps and on-site observations, in this exciting new book. Persisting clouds of suspicion and blame overshadowed many Byzantine attempts to defend North Africa, as Byzantines failed to meet the multiple challenges from different directions which ultimately overwhelmed them. While the Muslims forcefully and permanently turned Byzantine internal dynastic and religious problems and military unrest to their advantage, they brought their own strengths to a dynamic process that would take a long time to complete - the transformation of North Africa. An impartial comparative framework helps to sort through identity politics, 'Orientalism' charges and counter-charges, and institutional controversies; this book also includes a new study of the decisive battle of Sbeitla in 647, helping readers to understand what befell Byzantium, and indeed empires from Rome to the present.

'... Kaegi has produced an interesting and learned book. He clearly knows the range of surviving literary, numismatic, epigraphic and archeological sources extremely well ...' Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"...Kaegi's account is closely argued, thoughtful, nuanced, careful, and judicious." -Michael G. Morony, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"...this is a clearly written, generously illustrated, and well-produced volume. It is to be warmly recommended." -A. H. Merrills, Journal of the American Oriental Society

List of mapsp. x
List of figuresp. xii
Acknowledgmentsp. xiv
List of abbreviationsp. xviii
Challenges of the subject and the sourcesp. 1
Objectives and methodologyp. 2
The historical and geographical scopep. 3
Disciplinary perspectivesp. 6
Table 1 Muslim expeditions and Byzantine actions: an overviewp. 11
Historiographical hurdlesp. 16
Comparisons and cautionary observationsp. 16
Colonialist frames of referencep. 20
Deficiencies within anti-colonial critiquesp. 24
A word about Muslim, Byzantine, and Latin sourcesp. 29
Fragmented geographical and logistical realitiesp. 41
Diversity of regions: an overview of micro-regionsp. 48
Demographic and economic conditionsp. 64
Ethnic and cultural affinity and conflictp. 66
Christian contexts in seventh-century North Africap. 69
Pious hopes and anxietiesp. 69
Monotheletism, Monophysitism, and orthodoxyp. 71
Trauma, hopes, and anxieties amid crisisp. 78
Impediments from religious scapegoatingp. 83
The military heritage of Heraclius on the eve of Muslim military operationsp. 92
Heraclius' familial ties with North Africap. 94
Changing strategic culturep. 97
Rotation of military officers between North Africa and the eastp. 100
Byzantine raids, fortifications, and resistancep. 105
Status of Byzantine defenses in southern Tunisia 641-7p. 107
Apprehensionsp. 113
The shock of Sbeitlap. 116
The setting and strategic structures 642-7p. 116
The battle: first raids and contested memory at Sufetula (Sbeitla)p. 123
Autochthonous participation: the Maurip. 126
Enduring geographic and strategic significance of Sbeitlap. 128
Rout and destruction: what we don't knowp. 131
Insights from the Stmtegikonp. 135
Hypotheses about the location of the battlep. 140
Consequences: humiliating terms and shattering of the Byzantine mythp. 143
Options for offensives and resistancep. 145
Lapse and restoration of Byzantine authority in North Africa 647-65p. 146
Puzzle of the PAX coinagep. 151
Needed and wanted: help from Byzantiump. 152
Byzantine interestsp. 155
Unrest among local and autochthonous North Africansp. 158
Strategic options 641-65p. 160
The riddle of Constans IIp. 166
Constans II in historiographyp. 167
Imitation of his grandfather Heracliusp. 171
Economic, military, and religious impedimentsp. 174
Challenges for gathering intelligencep. 176
Newwave of shocks: Gigthis, Jirbap. 179
Possible motives for assassination of Constans IIp. 182
Interrelationship of eventsp. 185
Reevaluation of Constans IIp. 186
Constans II and controversies about Byzantine military institutional reformsp. 195
Muslim interests, calculations, and leadershipp. 200
Significance of Egypt and its failure to provide a modelp. 201
Formation of Early Islam and emerging persectives on the struggle with Byzantiump. 202
Islamic strategic culture and strategic optionsp. 206
Mu'awiya's aggressive strategyp. 207
Identifying the turning point: historiographical debatep. 210
Assessing Muslim military leadership in North Africa: the campaigns of 'Uqba b. Nafi' and Abu'l Muhajirp. 215
The shift to tribal resistance 669-95p. 220
Collapse of Byzantine authority: imperial responsibilityp. 221
Campaigns of Abu'l Muhajirp. 226
'Uqba b. Nail's replacement of Abu'l Muhajir and his expedition of 682/3p. 229
Significance of resistance to 'Uqba b. Nafi'p. 237
Contested memories of tribal leader Kasilap. 242
The fall of Carthage and its aftermath 695-711p. 247
'Abd al-Malik b. Marwan, Hassan ibn al-Nu'man, and the capture of Carthagep. 247
The emergence of Kahinap. 249
Musa b. Nusayr pushes westwardp. 253
The Balearic Islands, Spainp. 257
Termination of Byzantine resistancep. 261
The failures of two cities of Constantinep. 266
Comparative analysis of conditions in North Africa and in the eastp. 266
North Africans' memoriesp. 274
Fragmented resistancep. 278
Failure to establish convincing identity of interests with North Africansp. 281
Enduring constantsp. 287
Interrupted development?p. 295
Select bibliographyp. 301
Indexp. 335
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521196772
ISBN-10: 0521196779
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 366
Published: 29th November 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.7 x 15.9  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.72