The past two and a half centurieshttp://www.timemaps.com/history/middle-east-500ad have seen the map of the Middle East change radically. In the 7th century Arabhttp://www.timemaps.com/history/arabia-750ad tribes, united under the banner of a new religion, Islam, swept outwards in a surge of conquests: Iraqhttp://www.timemaps.com/history/iraq-750ad and Iran,http://www.timemaps.com/history/iran-750ad Syria and Palestine,http://www.timemaps.com/history/syria-750ad Egypthttp://www.timemaps.com/history/egypt-750ad and North Africa,http://www.timemaps.com/history/north-africa-750ad Spainhttp://www.timemaps.com/history/spain-750ad – all have fallen to them. Arab armies have penetrated as far as central Asia, western Indiahttp://www.timemaps.com/history/south-asia-750ad and, briefly, into France.http://www.timemaps.com/history/france-750ad
The Persian empire vanished under the onslaught, and the Byzantine empirehttp://www.timemaps.com/history/turkey-750ad 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.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: timemaps.com