MAPS: 0500AD – 0750AD Middle East

Middle East 500AD – 750AD


The past two and a half centuries[1] have seen the map of the Middle East change radically. In the 7th century Arab[2] tribes, united under the banner of a new religion, Islam, swept outwards in a surge of conquests: Iraq[3] and Iran,[4] Syria and Palestine,[5] Egypt[6] and North Africa,[7] Spain[8] – all have fallen to them. Arab armies have penetrated as far as central Asia, western India[9] and, briefly, into France.[10]

The Persian empire vanished under the onslaught, and the Byzantine empire[11] lost its most valuable provinces. In their place, the Arabs established a vast empire, called the “Caliphate” (“caliph” means “successor”, in this case to the Prophet Muhammed). Up until now it has been ruled from Damascus, in Syria; with a change of dynasty, its capital will very soon become Baghdad, in Iraq.


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