Muslim Expansion and Byzantine Collapse in North Africa
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.
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Chapter 1 Challenges of the subject and the sources
Chapter 2 Historiographical hurdles
Chapter 3 Fragmented geographical and logistical realities
Chapter 4 Christian contexts in seventhcentury North Africa
Chapter 5 The military heritage of Heraclius on the eve of Muslim military operations
Chapter 6 The shock of Sbeitla
Chapter 7 Options for offensives and resistance
Chapter 8 The riddle of Constans II
Abū’l Muhājir Al-Mālikī al-Nuwayrī al-Ṭabarī Algeria Anatolia Arabic Aures autochthonous autochthonous tribes battle Benabbčs Byzacena Byzantine Africa Byzantine authority Byzantine control Byzantine defenses Byzantine Empire Byzantine military Byzantine North Africa Byzantium Caliph campaign Carthage Christian coast coastal conquest of North Constans Constans II’s Constantine Constantine IV Constantinople Cyrenaica decisive east ecclesiastical Egypt empire’s Exarch exists expedition forces Gregory Gregory’s historians Ibn Khaldūn Ibn ʿAbd al-Ḥakam inhabitants interior Italy Jirba Justinian Kaegi Kāhina Kasīla Khalīfa Khayyāṭ kilometers Late Antique Late Roman Latin leaders Maghribi magister militum Mauretania Maximus the Confessor Mediterranean Modéran modern Monotheletism Mountains Mūsā Muslim conquest Muslim raids Muʿāwiya narrative naval Nihāya XXiV numbers Numidia perspectives policies political population probably Proconsularis provinces Qayrawān rainfall region reign remained resistance Riyāḍ Romano-African Sardinia Saʿd Sbeitla seventh century seventh-century North Sicily sources strategic Strategikon Syria Taʾrīkh Tebessa territory tion traditions trans Tunisia Vandals Zeugitana ʿAbd Allāh ʿUqba