Monday, August 5, 2013

Expansion of the Caliphate (634-732)

The advance of Muslim armies from the southern Levantian city of Medina completely surprised the two Olympian superpowers of the time: the Roman and Persian empires. In December 634 Muslim armies captured the Roman city of Damascus, in 636 they defeated the Persians and took control of Mesopotamia, and by 637 they had taken control of the eastern Mediterranean coast from the Romans and so controlled all of the geocultural province of Levantia.

By 641 they had captured Alexandria and controlled Egypt.

In 661 the Umayyad dynasty took control of the Caliphate and moved its capital from Medina in southern Levantia to Damascus in coastal Levantia.

It took three separate waves of invasion before the Caliphate destroyed Carthage (698) and took control of Carthaginia in 709.

The Caliphate constantly contested control of Anatolia and Hellenia with the Roman emperor in Constantinople. The Caliphate actually besieged Constantinople itself for the first time from 674-678 but failed to take it. It tried again from 717-718 but again failed to capture it.

In 711 armies of the Caliphate invaded an Iberian peninsula largely ruled by a Visigothic state. By 718 that state had been completely replaced by the Caliphate.

After 718 the Caliphate continued its expansion into Gallia. In 732, however, its advance was halted and reversed at the Battle of Tours by an army led by Charles, called “Martel” or “the Hammer,” ruler of the Franks. The defeat at that battle marked the end of the expansion of the Caliphate into Latin Christendom.

So in the 100 years between the death of Muhammad (632) and defeat in the Battle of Tours (732), the Caliphate established its control in over the Olympian geocultural provinces of Levantia (637), Egypt (641), Carthaginia (709), and Iberia (718).

Copyright © 2013 by Steven Farsaci. All rights reserved.