MAPS: 0750AD – 0979AD Middle East

Middle East 750AD – 979AD


Very soon after 750[1] Baghdad replaced Damascus as the capital of the Caliphate shifting the centre of gravity of the Muslim world eastward. Shortly after this the empire began to break up, with Spain,[2] North Africa,[3] Egypt,[4] Syria,[5] western India[6] and much of Iran[7] falling away from Baghdad’s control. By this date, indeed, the Caliphs have ceased to exercise much political power, even in Iraq.[8] They have increasingly taken on a more symbolic role as the focus of Muslim loyalties.

The Muslim world is home to a flourishing cultural life. Technological and scientific developments have come in from China (paper) and India (decimal system), which Arab scholars add to Greek thought (medicine and philosophy, amongst much else) plus their own contributions (for example, optics and algebra) to create a massive body of knowledge which will in due course be passed onto Europeans. There it will form the basis for further advance.


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