Early Umayyad Syria : a study of its origins and early development
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This is a study dealing with the origins and early development of Early Umayyad Syria to the early 660s, including a description of Syria at the end of the preceding period. Late Roman Syria's continuing material prosperity, despite the ravages of plague and Persian invasion, is emphasized. Importance is also placed upon the deep-seated religious divisions among Christians, particularly those within the majority Chalcedonian community. The study examines the probable extent of social change in Syria brought about by the Islamic Conquest and Muslim Arab settlement, arguing that the administration of post-Conquest Syria owed relatively little to its predecessor. It goes on to discuss distinguishing characteristics of the Early Umayyad State, particularly its fiscal policy and military activities. It argues that the average tax rate imposed upon the non-Muslim population of Syria was soon raised substantially over Late Roman levels, proposing, in addition, that the wars fought by the Early Umayyad State to the early 660s, both external and internal, had significantly wider dimensions than are generally estimated. The religious divisions among Syrian Christians, previously considered, are examined more closely with regard to the Early Umayyad period; the study attempts to demonstrate that the Monothelete crisis and Islamic State policy combined to produce a formal division among Chalcedonians in Syria between Dyotheletes and Monotheletes during the 650s. Finally, it examines the significance of apocalyptic literature produced by eastern Christians during this period, particularly, it is argued, the Melkite community in Syria.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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