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Are there any books solely about the Umayyad Invasion of Gaul?

Are there any books solely about the Umayyad Invasion of Gaul?


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I am very fascinated by the Umayyad Invasion of Gaul (the Arabic wiki-page on this subject is very interesting, though it starts with a lengthy description of the condition of Franks) and I am looking for a book SOLELY from start to end dedicated to this subject. I tried to find it on the Internet but to no avail, maybe there is not a single book on the Umayyad Invasion of Gaul due to the ephemerality of the invasion: I don't know for sure; but if indeed there is, please give reference/URL address.

EDIT: The book is preferable, but any research paper on the subject will do also!

Thanks in advance!


Consider this doctoral dissertation: The hammer and the crescent: Contacts between Andalusi Muslims, Franks, and their successors in three waves of Muslim expansion into Francia, available at https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9112639/

It is based on an analysis of the original source material. You can preview the introductory chapter for free.


Umayyad Mosque

The Umayyad Mosque (Arabic: الْجَامِع الْأُمَوِي ‎, romanized: al-Jāmiʿ al-ʾUmawī), located in the old city of Damascus, is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. The mosque is also important in Islam because of its historical and eschatological reports and events associated with the mosque. The mosque is the fourth holiest site of Islam. [1] [2] [3]

After the Muslim conquest of Damascus in 634, the mosque was built on the site of an Islamic prophet Yahya (John the Baptist). A legend dating to the sixth century holds that the building contains the head of Yahya. [4] Two shrines commemorating Husayn ibn Ali (Arabic: مقام الحسين ‎), whose martyrdom is frequently compared to that of John the Baptist [5] and Jesus Christ, [6] exist within the building premises. [7] The mosque is also believed by Muslims to be the place where Jesus will return before End of Days. The mausoleum containing the tomb of Saladin stands in a small garden adjoining the north wall of the mosque.


Contents

After the third caliph Uthman's assassination by rebels in 656, the rebels and the townspeople of Medina declared Ali, a cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, caliph. Most of the Quraysh (the grouping of Meccan clans to which Muhammad and all the three caliphs belonged), led by Muhammad's prominent companions Talha ibn Ubayd Allah and Zubayr ibn al-Awam, and Muhammad's widow A'isha, refused to recognize Ali. They called for revenge against Uthman's killers and the election of a new caliph through shura (consultation). These events precipitated the First Fitna. Ali emerged victorious against these early opponents at the Battle of the Camel near Basra in November 656, thereupon moving his capital to the Iraqi garrison town of Kufa. [4] Mu'awiya, the governor of Syria, and a member of the Umayyad clan to which Uthman belonged, also denounced Ali's legitimacy as caliph and the two confronted each other at the Battle of Siffin. The battle ended in a stalemate in July 657 when Ali's forces refused to fight in response to Mu'awiya's calls for arbitration. Ali reluctantly agreed to talks, but a faction of his forces, later called the Kharijites, broke away in protest, condemning his acceptance of arbitration as blasphemous. [5] Arbitration could not settle the dispute between Mu'awiya and Ali. The latter was assassinated by a Kharijite in January 661, after Ali's forces had killed most of the Kharijites at the Battle of Nahrawan. [6] Ali's eldest son Hasan became caliph, but Mu'awiya challenged his authority and invaded Iraq. In August, Hasan abdicated the caliphate to Mu'awiya in a peace treaty, thus ending the First Fitna. The capital was transferred to Damascus. [7]

Yazid's succession Edit

The treaty brought a temporary peace, but no framework of succession was established. [8] [9] As it had in the past, the issue of succession could potentially lead to problems in the future. [10] The orientalist Bernard Lewis writes: "The only precedents available to Mu'āwiya from Islamic history were election and civil war. The former was unworkable the latter had obvious drawbacks." [9] Mu'awiya wanted to settle the issue in his lifetime by designating his son Yazid as his successor. [10] In 676, he announced his nomination of Yazid. [11] With no precedence in Islamic history, hereditary succession aroused opposition from different quarters and the nomination was considered the corruption of the caliphate into a monarchy. [12] Mu'awiya summoned a shura in Damascus and persuaded representatives from various provinces by diplomacy and bribes. [9] The sons of a few of Muhammad's prominent companions including Husayn ibn Ali, Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, Abd Allah ibn Umar and Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, all of whom, by virtue of their descent, could also lay claim to the caliphal office, [13] [14] opposed the nomination. Mu'awiya's threats and the general recognition of Yazid throughout the caliphate forced them into silence. [15]

Historian Fred Donner writes that contentions over the leadership of the Muslim community had not been settled in the First Fitna and resurfaced with the death of Mu'awiya in April 680. [8] Before his death, Mu'awiya cautioned Yazid that Husayn and Ibn al-Zubayr might challenge his rule and instructed him to defeat them if they did. Ibn al-Zubayr, in particular, was considered dangerous and was to be treated harshly, unless he came to terms. [16] Upon his succession, Yazid charged the governor of Medina, his cousin Walid ibn Utba ibn Abi Sufyan, to secure allegiance from Husayn, Ibn al-Zubayr and Ibn Umar, with force if necessary. Walid sought the advice of his kinsman Marwan ibn al-Hakam. He counseled that Ibn al-Zubayr and Husayn should be forced to give allegiance as they were dangerous, while Ibn Umar should be left alone since he posed no threat. [17] [18] Walid summoned the two, but Ibn al-Zubayr escaped to Mecca. Husayn answered the summons but declined to give allegiance in the secretive environment of the meeting, suggesting it should be done in public. Marwan threatened to imprison him, but due to Husayn's kinship with Muhammad, Walid was unwilling to take any action against him. A few days later, Husayn left for Mecca without giving allegiance. [19] In the view of the Islamicist G. R. Hawting, ". tensions and pressures which had been suppressed by Mu'awiya came to the surface during Yazid's caliphate and erupted after his death, when Umayyad authority was temporarily eclipsed." [14]

Revolt of Husayn ibn Ali Edit

Husayn had considerable support in Kufa. The inhabitants of the town had fought the Umayyads and their Syrian allies during the First Fitna. [20] They were dissatisfied with Hasan's abdication [21] and strongly resented Umayyad rule. [22] After the death of Hasan in 669, they had attempted unsuccessfully to interest Husayn in revolting against Mu'awiya. [23] After the latter died, the pro-Alids of Kufa once again invited Husayn to lead them in revolt against Yazid. To assess the situation, the Mecca-based Husayn sent his cousin Muslim ibn Aqil, who gained widespread support in Kufa and suggested Husayn join his sympathizers there. Yazid removed Nu'man ibn Bashir al-Ansari as governor due to his inaction over Ibn Aqil's activities and replaced him with Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad, then governor of Basra. On Yazid's instructions, Ibn Ziyad suppressed the rebellion and executed Ibn Aqil. [2] Encouraged by his cousin's letter, and unaware of his execution, Husayn left for Kufa. To track him down, Ibn Ziyad stationed troops along the routes leading to the city. He was intercepted at Karbala, a desert plain north of Kufa. Some 4,000 troops arrived later to force his submission to Yazid. After a few days of negotiations and his refusal to submit, Husayn was killed along with some 70 of his male companions in the Battle of Karbala on 10 October 680. [2]

Opposition in Mecca and Medina Edit

Following Husayn's death, Yazid faced increased opposition to his rule from Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, a son of Muhammad's companion Zubayr ibn al-Awam and a grandson of the first caliph Abu Bakr ( r . 632–634 ). Ibn al-Zubayr secretly began taking allegiance in Mecca, [24] though publicly he only called for a shura to elect a new caliph. [3] At first, Yazid tried placating him by sending gifts and delegations in an attempt to reach a settlement. [24] After Ibn al-Zubayr's refusal to recognize him, Yazid sent a force led by Ibn al-Zubayr's estranged brother Amr to arrest him. The force was defeated and Amr was executed. [25] In addition to the growing influence of Ibn al-Zubayr in Medina, the city's inhabitants were disillusioned with Umayyad rule and Mu'awiya's agricultural projects, [3] which included confiscation of their lands to increase government revenue. [12] Yazid invited the notables of Medina to Damascus and tried to win them over with gifts. They were unpersuaded, however, and on their return to Medina narrated tales of Yazid's lavish lifestyle and practices considered by many to be impious, including drinking wine, hunting with hounds and his love for music. The Medinese, under the leadership of Abd Allah ibn Hanzala, renounced their allegiance to Yazid and expelled the governor, Yazid's cousin Uthman ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Sufyan, and the Umayyads residing in the city. Yazid dispatched a 12,000-strong army under the command of Muslim ibn Uqba to reconquer the Hejaz (western Arabia). After failed negotiations, the Medinese were defeated in the Battle of al-Harra, and the city was plundered for three days. Having forced the rebels to renew their allegiance, Yazid's army headed for Mecca to subdue Ibn al-Zubayr. [26] [27]

Ibn Uqba died on the way and command passed to Husayn ibn Numayr, who besieged Mecca in September 683. The siege lasted for several weeks, during which the Ka'aba caught fire. Yazid's sudden death in November ended the campaign. After trying unsuccessfully to persuade Ibn al-Zubayr to accompany him to Syria and be declared caliph there, Ibn Numayr left with his troops. [28]

With the demise of Yazid and the withdrawal of Syrian troops, Ibn al-Zubayr was now de facto ruler of the Hejaz and the rest of Arabia, [note 3] and he openly declared himself caliph. Soon afterwards, he was recognized in Egypt, as well as in Iraq where the Umayyad governor Ibn Ziyad had been expelled by the tribal nobility (ashraf). [30] Coins bearing Ibn al-Zubayr's name were minted in parts of southern Persia (Fars and Kirman). [28] [31]

Struggle for control of Syria Edit

After Yazid's death, his son and nominated successor Mu'awiya II became caliph, but his authority was limited to certain parts of Syria. [32] Mu'awiya II died after a few months with no suitable Sufyanid (Umayyads of the line of Mu'awiya descendants of Abu Sufyan) candidate to succeed him. The northern Syrian Qays tribes supported Ibn al-Zubayr, [33] as did the governors of the Syrian districts of Hims, Qinnasrin and Palestine, while the Damascus governor Dahhak ibn Qays was also leaning toward Ibn al-Zubayr. Moreover, many Umayyads, including Marwan ibn al-Hakam, the most senior among them at the time, were willing to recognize him. Pro-Umayyad tribes, particularly the Banu Kalb, dominated the district of Jordan and had support in Damascus. They were determined to install an Umayyad. [34] The Kalbite chief Ibn Bahdal was related in marriage to the Sufyanid caliphs, and his tribe had held a privileged position under them. [note 4] He wanted to see Yazid's younger son Khalid on the throne. [36] Ibn Ziyad convinced Marwan to put forward his own candidacy as Khalid was considered too young for the post by the non-Kalbites in the pro-Umayyad coalition. [37] Marwan was acknowledged as caliph in a shura of pro-Umayyad tribes summoned to the Kalbite stronghold of Jabiya in June 684. [33] Pro-Zubayrid tribes refused to recognize Marwan and the two sides clashed at the Battle of Marj Rahit in August. The pro-Zubayrid Qays under Dahhak's leadership were slaughtered and many of their senior leaders were slain. [36]

Marwan's accession was a turning point as Syria was reunited under the Umayyads and the Umayyads' focus was turned to regaining lost territories. [38] Marwan and his son Abd al-Aziz expelled the Zubayrid governor of Egypt with the help of local tribes. [38] The Zubayrid attack on Palestine led by Mus'ab was repulsed, [39] but an Umayyad campaign to retake the Hejaz was defeated near Medina. [40] Marwan dispatched Ibn Ziyad to restore Umayyad control in Iraq. [39] After Marwan died in April 685, he was succeeded by his son Abd al-Malik. [38]

Eastern provinces Edit

About the time of caliph Yazid's death, the Umayyad governor of Sijistan (present-day eastern Iran), Yazid ibn Ziyad, faced a rebellion of the Zunbil in the eastern dependency of Zabulistan, who captured Ibn Ziyad's brother Abu Ubayda. Yazid ibn Ziyad attacked the Zunbil but was defeated and killed. His brother Salm, the Umayyad governor of Khurasan, which comprised present-day northern Iran as well as parts of Central Asia and present-day Afghanistan, sent Talha ibn Abd Allah al-Khuza'i as the new governor of Sijistan. Talha ransomed Abu Ubayda but died shortly afterwards. [41] [42]

The weakening of central authority resulted in the outbreak of tribal factionalism and rivalries that the Arab emigrants of the Muslim armies had brought with them in the conquered lands. Talha's successor, who was from Rabi'a tribe, was soon driven out by the Rabi'a's tribal opponents from the Mudar. Tribal feuds consequently ensued, which continued at least until the arrival of the Zubayrid governor Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd Allah ibn Amir at the end of 685. He put an end to the inter-tribal fighting and defeated the Zunbil rebellion. [41] [42] In Khurasan, Salm kept the news of caliph Yazid's death secret for some time. When it became known, he obtained from his troops temporary allegiance to himself, but was soon after expelled by them. On his departure in the summer of 684, he appointed Abd Allah ibn Khazim al-Sulami, a Mudarite, as governor of Khurasan. Ibn Khazim recognized Ibn al-Zubayr but was overwhelmed by the Rabi'a–Mudar feuds. The Rabi'a opposed Zubayrid rule due to their hatred of the Mudarite Ibn Khazim, who ultimately suppressed them, but soon after faced rebellion from his erstwhile allies from the Banu Tamim. [43] [44] The inter-tribal warfare over control of Khurasan continued for several years and Ibn Khazim was killed in 691. [45] Ibn al-Zubayr's authority in these areas had been nominal, particularly in Khurasan where Ibn Khazim ruled with virtual independence. [46]

Dissensions Edit

During his revolt, Ibn al-Zubayr had allied with the Kharijites, who opposed the Umayyads and the Alids. After claiming the caliphate, he denounced their religious views and refused to accept their form of governance, which led to the breakup of their alliance. [47] A group of Kharijites went to Basra, the rest to central Arabia, and began destabilizing his rule. [48] [49] [note 5] Until then he had been supported by the pro-Alid Kufan nobleman Mukhtar al-Thaqafi in his opposition to Yazid. Ibn al-Zubayr denied him a prominent official position, which they had agreed upon earlier. In April 684, Mukhtar deserted him and went on to incite pro-Alid sentiment in Kufa. [53]

Tawwabin uprising Edit

A few prominent Alid supporters in Kufa seeking to atone for their failure to assist Husayn, which they considered a sin, launched a movement under Sulayman ibn Surad, a companion of Muhammad and an ally of Ali, to fight the Umayyads. Calling themselves the "Tawwabin" (Penitents), they remained underground while the Umayyads controlled Iraq. After caliph Yazid's death and the subsequent ouster of Ibn Ziyad, the Tawwabin openly called for avenging Husayn's slaying. [54] Although they attracted large-scale support in Kufa, [55] they lacked a political program, their chief objective being to punish the Umayyads or sacrifice themselves in the process. [56] When Mukhtar returned to Kufa, he attempted to dissuade the Tawwabin from their endeavor in favor of an organized movement to gain control of the city. Ibn Surad's stature prevented his followers from accepting Mukhtar's proposal. [57] Out of the 16,000 men who enlisted, 4,000 mobilized for the fight. In November 684, the Tawwabin left to confront the Umayyads, after mourning for a day at Husayn's grave in Karbala. The two armies met in January 685 at the Battle of Ayn al-Warda in the Jazira (Upper Mesopotamia). The battle lasted for three days during which most of the Tawwabin, including Ibn Surad, were killed, while a few escaped to Kufa. [58]

Revolt of Mukhtar al-Thaqafi Edit

Since his return to Kufa, Mukhtar had been calling for revenge against Husayn's killers and the establishment of an Alid caliphate in the name of Ali's son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya, while declaring himself his representative. [59] The defeat of the Tawwabin left him as the leader of the Kufan pro-Alids. In October 685, Mukhtar and his supporters, a significant number of whom consisted of local, non-Arab converts (mawali), overthrew Ibn al-Zubayr's governor and seized control of Kufa. His control extended to most of Iraq and parts of north-western Iran. [60] His preferential treatment of the mawali, [note 6] whom he awarded equal status with the Arabs, resulted in rebellion of the Arab tribal nobility. After crushing the rebellion, Mukhtar executed Kufans involved in the killing of Husayn, including Umar ibn Sa'ad, the commander of the army that had killed Husayn. As a result of these measures, thousands of Kufan ashraf fled to Basra. [62] He then sent his general Ibrahim ibn al-Ashtar to confront an approaching Umayyad army, led by Ibn Ziyad, which had been sent to reconquer the province. The Umayyad army was routed at the Battle of Khazir in August 686 and Ibn Ziyad was killed. [63] In Basra, Muhammad ibn al-Ash'ath, Shabath ibn Rib'i and other Kufan refugees, who were anxious to return to their city and regain their lost privileges, persuaded its governor Mus'ab ibn al-Zubayr, the younger brother of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, to attack Kufa. [64] Mukhtar sent his army to confront Mus'ab, but it was defeated in the first battle at Madhar located on the Tigris between Basra and Kufa. Mukhtar's army retreated to Harura, a village near Kufa but was annihilated by Mus'ab's forces in the second battle there. Mukhtar and his remaining supporters took refuge in Kufa's palace, where they were besieged by Mus'ab. Four months later in April 687, Mukhtar was killed while attempting a sortie. Some 6,000 of his supporters surrendered, whom Mus'ab executed under pressure from Ibn al-Ash'ath's son Abd al-Rahman and other ashraf. [65] Mukhtar's fall left the Umayyads and the Zubayrids as the remaining belligerents in the war. [66]

Following Marwan's accession in June 684, Ibn Ziyad had been sent to reconquer Iraq. It was then he defeated the Tawwabin at Ayn al-Warda. After their disastrous defeat at Marj Rahit, the Qays had regrouped in the Jazira and had hampered Ibn Ziyad's efforts to reconquer the province for a year. They continued supporting the Zubayrids. [39] Unable to defeat them in their fortified positions, Ibn Ziyad moved on to capture Mosul from Mukhtar's governor. Mukhtar sent a small army of 3,000 cavalrymen to retake the city. Despite its victory in the battle (July 686), the force retreated due to the Syrians' numerical superiority. [67] A month later, Ibn Ziyad was killed by Mukhtar's reinforced army at the Battle of Khazir. [68] With Ibn Ziyad dead, Abd al-Malik abandoned his plans to reconquer Iraq for several years and focused on consolidating Syria, [69] where his rule was threatened by internal disturbances and renewed hostilities with the Byzantines. [70] Nonetheless, he led two abortive campaigns in Iraq (689 and 690), [71] and instigated a failed anti-Zubayrid revolt in Basra through his agents. Abd al-Malik's Basran supporters were severely repressed by Mus'ab in retaliation. [72]

After entering a truce with the Byzantines and overcoming internal dissent, Abd al-Malik returned his attention to Iraq. [70] In 691, he besieged the Qaysite stronghold of Qarqisiya in the Jazira. After failing to overpower them, he won over the Qays with concessions and promises of amnesty. [52] [73] Reinforcing his troops with these formerly Zubayrid allies, he moved to defeat Mus'ab, [70] whose position in Iraq had been weakened by a number of factors. The Kharijites had resumed their raids in Arabia, Iraq and Persia following the collapse of central authority as a result of the civil war. In eastern Iraq and Persia, a Kharijite faction, the Azariqa, had captured Fars and Kirman from the Zubayrids in 685, [29] and continued raiding his domains. [52] The people of Kufa and Basra had also turned against him because of his massacres and repression of Mukhtar and Abd al-Malik's sympathizers. [74] As a result, Abd al-Malik was able to secure the defections of many Zubayrid loyalists. With a significant number of his forces and his most experienced commander Muhallab ibn Abi Sufra away to guard Basra from the Kharijites, Mus'ab was unable to effectively counter Abd al-Malik. He was defeated and killed at the Battle of Maskin in October 691. [70] [74]

Having secured Iraq, and consequently most of its dependencies, [note 7] Abd al-Malik sent his general Hajjaj ibn Yusuf against Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, who had been cornered in the Hejaz by another Kharijite faction led by Najda. [52] Najda had established an independent state in Najd and Yamamah in 685, [29] captured Yemen and Hadhramawt in 688 and occupied Ta'if in 689. [49] Instead of heading directly to Mecca, Hajjaj established himself in Ta'if and bested the Zubayrids in several skirmishes. In the meantime, Syrian forces captured Medina from its Zubayrid governor, later marching to aid Hajjaj, who besieged Mecca in March 692. The siege lasted for six to seven months the bulk of Ibn al-Zubayr's forces surrendered and he was killed fighting alongside his remaining partisans in October/November. [76] [77] With his death, the Hejaz came under Umayyad control, marking the end of the civil war. [78] Soon afterwards, the Najda Kharijites were defeated by Hajjaj. The Azariqa and other Kharijite factions remained active in Iraq until their suppression in 696–699. [79]

With the victory of Abd al-Malik, Umayyad authority was restored and hereditary rule in the caliphate was solidified. Abd al-Malik and his descendants, in two cases his nephews, ruled for another fifty-eight years, before being overthrown by the Abbasid Revolution in 750. [80]

Administrative changes Edit

After winning the war, Abd al-Malik enacted significant administrative changes in the caliphate. Mu'awiya had ruled through personal connections with individuals loyal to him and did not rely on his relatives. [81] Although he had developed a highly trained army of Syrians, it was only deployed in raids against the Byzantines. Domestically he relied upon his diplomatic skills to enforce his will. [82] The ashraf, rather than government officials, were the intermediaries between the provincial governors and the public. [83] The military units in the provinces were derived from local tribes whose command also fell to the ashraf. [83] Provinces retained much of the tax revenue and forwarded a small portion to the caliph. [82] [84] The former administrative system of the conquered lands was left intact. Officials who had served under the Sasanian Persians or the Byzantines retained their positions. The native languages of the provinces continued to be used officially, and Byzantine and Sasanian coinage was used in the formerly Byzantine and Sasanian territories. [85]

The defection of the ashraf, like Dahhak and Ibn Khazim and various Iraqi nobles, to Ibn al-Zubayr during the civil war convinced Abd al-Malik that Mu'awiya's decentralized system was difficult to maintain. He thus set out to centralize his power. [80] A professional army was developed in Syria and was used to impose government authority in the provinces. [86] Moreover, key government positions were awarded to close relatives of the caliph. Abd al-Malik required the governors to forward the provincial surplus to the capital. [87] In addition, Arabic was made the official language of the bureaucracy and a single Islamic currency replaced Byzantine and Sasanian coinage, [88] giving the Umayyad administration an increasingly Muslim character. [79] He terminated the permanent pensions of the participants in the early conquests and established a fixed salary for active servicemen. [89] Abd al-Malik's model was adopted by many Muslim governments that followed. [80]

Tribal rifts Edit

It was during this period that the longstanding Qays–Kalb split between the Arab tribes of Syria and the Jazira developed following the Battle of Marj Rahit. It was paralleled in the division and rivalry between the Mudar, led by the Banu Tamim, and the Azd–Rabi'a alliance in Iraq and the eastern provinces. Together, these rivalries caused a realignment of tribal loyalties into two tribal confederations or "super-groups" across the caliphate: the "North Arab" or Qays/Mudar bloc, opposed by the "South Arabs" or Yemenis. These terms were political rather than strictly geographical, since the properly "northern" Rabi'a adhered to the "southern" Yemenis. [90] [91] The Umayyad caliphs tried to maintain a balance between the two groups, but their implacable rivalry became a fixture of the Arab world over the following decades. Even originally unaligned tribes were drawn to affiliate themselves with one of the two super-groups. Their constant struggle for power and influence dominated the politics of the Umayyad caliphate, creating instability in the provinces, helping to foment the Third Fitna and contributing to the Umayyads' final fall at the hands of the Abbasids. [92] The division persisted long after the Umayyads' fall the historian Hugh Kennedy writes: "As late as the nineteenth century, battles were still being fought in Palestine between groups calling themselves Qays and Yaman". [93]

Sectarian and eschatological developments Edit

The death of Husayn produced widespread outcry and helped crystallize opposition to Yazid into an anti-Umayyad movement based on Alid aspirations. [94] The Battle of Karbala contributed to the definitive break between what later became the Shi'a and Sunni denominations of Islam. [95] [96] This event catalyzed the transformation of Shi'ism, which hitherto had been a political stance, [3] into a religious phenomenon. [95] To this day it is commemorated each year by Shi'a Muslims on the Day of Ashura. [97] This period also saw the end of purely Arab Shi'ism in the revolt of Mukhtar al-Thaqafi, [98] who mobilized the marginalized and socioeconomically exploited mawali by redressing their grievances. Before then, non-Arab Muslims had not played any significant political role. [99] [100] [101] Despite its immediate political failure, Mukhtar's movement was survived by the Kaysanites, a radical Shi'a sect, who introduced novel theological and eschatological concepts that influenced the later development of Shi'ism. [102] The Abbasids exploited the underground network of Kaysanite propagandists during their revolution [103] and the most numerous among their supporters were Shi'a and non-Arabs. [104]

The Second Fitna also gave rise to the idea of the Islamic Messiah, the Mahdi. [105] Mukhtar applied the title of Mahdi to Ali's son Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyya. [105] Although the title had previously been applied to Muhammad, Ali, Husayn, and others as an honorific, Mukhtar employed the term in a messianic sense: a divinely guided ruler, who would redeem Islam. [106] [107] Ibn al-Zubayr's rebellion was seen by many as an attempt to return to the pristine values of the early Islamic community. His revolt was welcomed by a number of parties that were unhappy with Umayyad rule. [47] [108] To them, the defeat of Ibn al-Zubayr meant that all hope of restoring the old ideals of Islamic governance was lost. [108] In this atmosphere, Ibn al-Zubayr's role as the anti-caliph shaped the later development of the concept of the Mahdi. Some aspects of his career were already formulated into hadiths ascribed to Muhammad during Ibn al-Zubayr's lifetime—quarrels over the caliphate after the death of a caliph (Mu'awiya I), escape of the Mahdi from Medina to Mecca, taking refuge in the Ka'aba, defeat of an army sent against him by a person whose maternal tribe is Banu Kalb (Yazid I), Mahdi's recognition by the righteous people of Syria and Iraq [109] —which then became characteristics of the Mahdi who was to appear in the future to restore the old glory of the Islamic community. [106] [110] [111] [112] This idea subsequently developed into an established doctrine in Islam. [113]

  1. ^ The word fitna (Arabic: فتنة ‎, meaning trial or temptation) occurs in the Qur'an in the sense of test of faith of the believers, especially as a Divine punishment for sinful behavior. Historically, it came to mean civil war or rebellion which causes rifts in the unified community and endangers believers' faith. [1]
  2. ^ Political supporters of Ali and his descendants (Alids). The religious sect Shi'a emerged from this party of Alid supporters. [2][3]
  3. ^Oman was independently ruled by the Banu Juland, while the situation in Hadhramaut is unclear. [29]
  4. ^ The Qaysites supported Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr out of opposition to Kalbite hegemony in Syria under the Sufyanid caliphs. [35]
  5. ^ After deserting Caliph Ali ( r . 656–661 ) on the basis that judgement belongs to God alone, the Kharijites went on to reject any form of centralized government. [50] According to the historian Montgomery Watt, they wanted a return to the pre-Islamic tribal society. [51] The Umayyad governors kept them in check, but after the death of Caliph Yazid in 683, the resulting power vacuum caused the resumption of the Kharijites' anti-government activities, which consisted of constant raids against settled areas. Internal disputes and fragmentation weakened them considerably before their defeat by the Umayyad governor Hajjaj ibn Yusuf after the caliphate had been reunited under Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ( r . 685–705 ). [50][52]
  6. ^ Despite being awarded equality by Islam, most local converts were often treated as second-class citizens. They paid higher taxes than Arabs, were paid lower military salaries and were deprived of war booty. [61]
  7. ^ The dependencies of Iraq constituted all of the northern and eastern provinces, including Arminiya, Adharbayjan, Jibal, Khuzistan, Khurasan, Sijistan, Fars, and Kirman. The latter two remained under Kharijite control for some time. [75]

Citations Edit

  1. ^Gardet 1965, p. 930.
  2. ^ abcDonner 2010, p. 178.
  3. ^ abcdKennedy 2016, p. 77.
  4. ^Donner 2010, pp. 157–159.
  5. ^Donner 2010, pp. 161–162.
  6. ^Donner 2010, p. 166.
  7. ^Donner 2010, p. 167.
  8. ^ abDonner 2010, p. 177.
  9. ^ abcLewis 2002, p. 67.
  10. ^ abWellhausen 1927, p. 140.
  11. ^Madelung 1997, p. 322.
  12. ^ abKennedy 2016, p. 76.
  13. ^Wellhausen 1927, p. 145.
  14. ^ abHawting 2000, p. 46.
  15. ^Wellhausen 1927, pp. 141–145.
  16. ^Lammens 1921, pp. 5–6.
  17. ^Wellhausen 1927, pp. 145–146.
  18. ^Howard 1990, pp. 2–3.
  19. ^Howard 1990, pp. 5–7.
  20. ^Daftary 1990, p. 47.
  21. ^Wellhausen 1901, p. 61.
  22. ^Daftary 1990, p. 48.
  23. ^Daftary 1990, p. 49.
  24. ^ abWellhausen 1927, pp. 148–150.
  25. ^Donner 2010, p. 180.
  26. ^Wellhausen 1927, pp. 152–156.
  27. ^Donner 2010, pp. 180–181.
  28. ^ abHawting 2000, p. 48.
  29. ^ abcRotter 1982, p. 84.
  30. ^Donner 2010, pp. 181–182.
  31. ^Rotter 1982, p. 85.
  32. ^Wellhausen 1927, pp. 168–169.
  33. ^ abWellhausen 1927, p. 182.
  34. ^Hawting 1989, pp. 49–51.
  35. ^Wellhausen 1927, p. 170.
  36. ^ abKennedy 2016, pp. 78–79.
  37. ^Kennedy 2016, p. 78.
  38. ^ abcKennedy 2016, p. 80.
  39. ^ abcWellhausen 1927, pp. 185–186.
  40. ^Hawting 1989, pp. 162–163.
  41. ^ abDixon 1971, pp. 104–105.
  42. ^ abRotter 1982, pp. 87–88.
  43. ^Dixon 1971, pp. 105–108.
  44. ^Rotter 1982, pp. 89–92.
  45. ^Dixon 1971, p. 110.
  46. ^Kennedy 2007, pp. 239, 241.
  47. ^ abHawting 2000, p. 49.
  48. ^Hawting 1989, pp. 98–102.
  49. ^ abGibb 1960a, p. 55.
  50. ^ abLewis 2002, p. 76.
  51. ^Watt 1973, p. 20.
  52. ^ abcdKennedy 2016, p. 84.
  53. ^Dixon 1971, pp. 34–35.
  54. ^Wellhausen 1901, pp. 71–72.
  55. ^Wellhausen 1901, p. 72.
  56. ^Sharon 1983, pp. 104–105.
  57. ^Dixon 1971, p. 37.
  58. ^Wellhausen 1901, p. 73.
  59. ^Daftary 1990, p. 52.
  60. ^Dixon 1971, p. 45.
  61. ^Daftary 1990, pp. 55–56.
  62. ^Donner 2010, p. 185.
  63. ^Hawting 2000, p. 53.
  64. ^Wellhausen 1901, p. 85.
  65. ^Dixon 1971, pp. 73–75.
  66. ^Hawting 2000, pp. 47–49.
  67. ^Dixon 1971, pp. 59–60.
  68. ^Wellhausen 1927, p. 186.
  69. ^Kennedy 2016, p. 81.
  70. ^ abcdGibb 1960b, p. 76.
  71. ^Dixon 1971, pp. 126–127.
  72. ^Dixon 1971, pp. 127–129.
  73. ^Dixon 1971, pp. 92–93.
  74. ^ abLammens & Pellat 1993, pp. 649–650.
  75. ^Rotter 1982, pp. 84–85.
  76. ^Wellhausen 1927, pp. 188–189.
  77. ^Gibb 1960a, p. 54.
  78. ^Donner 2010, p. 188.
  79. ^ abGibb 1960b, p. 77.
  80. ^ abcKennedy 2016, p. 85.
  81. ^Wellhausen 1927, p. 137.
  82. ^ abKennedy 2016, p. 72.
  83. ^ abCrone 1980, p. 31.
  84. ^Crone 1980, pp. 32–33.
  85. ^Kennedy 2016, pp. 75–76.
  86. ^Hawting 2000, p. 62.
  87. ^Kennedy 2016, pp. 85–86.
  88. ^Lewis 2002, p. 78.
  89. ^Kennedy 2016, p. 89.
  90. ^Hawting 2000, pp. 54–55.
  91. ^Kennedy 2001, p. 105.
  92. ^Kennedy 2001, pp. 99–115.
  93. ^Kennedy 2001, p. 92.
  94. ^Lewis 2002, p. 68.
  95. ^ abHalm 1997, p. 16.
  96. ^Daftary 1990, p. 50.
  97. ^Hawting 2000, p. 50.
  98. ^Daftary 1990, pp. 51–52.
  99. ^Wellhausen 1901, pp. 79–80.
  100. ^Hawting 2000, pp. 51–52.
  101. ^Kennedy 2016, p. 83.
  102. ^Daftary 1990, pp. 59–60.
  103. ^Daftary 1990, p. 62.
  104. ^Wellhausen 1927, pp. 504–506.
  105. ^ abArjomand 2016, p. 34.
  106. ^ abMadelung 1986, p. 1231.
  107. ^Sachedina 1981, p. 9.
  108. ^ abMadelung 1971, p. 1164.
  109. ^Abu Dawood 2008, pp. 509–510.
  110. ^Madelung 1981.
  111. ^Arjomand 2007, pp. 134–136.
  112. ^Campbell 2009.
  113. ^Hawting 2000, p. 52.

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Marius' Mules I: The Invasion of Gaul

The edition I purchased (1st ed), based solely on the Amazon reviews, was a jumble of historical inaccuracy and extremely poor proofreading. I think I must has been sent a pre-edited copy, if there is such a thing. Or perhaps Mr.Turney writes in another language and has a terrible translator. There were so many misspellings and grammatical errors that it became extremely frustrating to read.
The story itself was not about Marius Mules, the name given to the legions who served under Marius and built the first roads of Liguria and beat back the Gallic hordes.It was about a sanitized Julius Caesar, the all-wise and all-knowing. Bosh.

However, I came to like the main characters, in a Saturday matinee sort of way. Historically, the author could have used more research on the 10th legion. Heaven knows there is plenty of it out there. Bottom line. it's not about Marius, it jumbles up Caesar's whereabouts during this period of time, and the publisher, YouWriteOn.com , owes Mr Turney a refund of some sort for the lack of editing oversight.

Note. I was just contacted by the author who explains that the next edition has been re-edited. This was obviously a labor of love by an author with a goodly amount of class.. Again, the characters were very well drawn. The re-edit will help tremendously. I'll try the next in the series.

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From the United States

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Review of Kindle edition
Publication date: November 18, 2010
Publisher: Victrix Books
Language: English
ASIN: B004EYT3N8

From the title, many may assume that this is a novel concerning the Roman general and reformer Gaius Marius. That is not the case. The title refers only to a common nickname for Roman legionaires applied after Marius' reforms. The commanding general in this novel is Julius Caesar. Much of the story is taken from Caesar's GALLIC WARS with added fictional characters and events to enliven the story. It seemed obvious to me that I was reading a sort of sugar coated history of Caesar's Gallic wars. In the afterward the author explains this and more. Based upon his explanations, he was successful in his aims and goals for this novel. History as entertainment for those who do not find history itself entertaining enough. I like history but I will have to admit that this novel is considerably more entertaining and easier to read than Caesar's COMMENTARIES ON THE GALLIC WAR.

The writing is a better than a workman like job. It held my interest throughout. Not Bernard Cornwell, John Drake or James Nelson, but what is? I noticed only a couple of repeated errors and as the author is British, perhaps what I noticed is differences between British and American English rather than errors. Anyway, here they are. Mr. Turney repeatedly refers to the ground as the floor. A minor irritation but there it is. More importantly to me, he has trouble wuth the usage of I and me, frequently using I when he should have used me. At least in American English.

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The edition I purchased (1st ed), based solely on the Amazon reviews, was a jumble of historical inaccuracy and extremely poor proofreading. I think I must has been sent a pre-edited copy, if there is such a thing. Or perhaps Mr.Turney writes in another language and has a terrible translator. There were so many misspellings and grammatical errors that it became extremely frustrating to read.
The story itself was not about Marius Mules, the name given to the legions who served under Marius and built the first roads of Liguria and beat back the Gallic hordes.It was about a sanitized Julius Caesar, the all-wise and all-knowing. Bosh.

However, I came to like the main characters, in a Saturday matinee sort of way. Historically, the author could have used more research on the 10th legion. Heaven knows there is plenty of it out there. Bottom line. it's not about Marius, it jumbles up Caesar's whereabouts during this period of time, and the publisher, YouWriteOn.com , owes Mr Turney a refund of some sort for the lack of editing oversight.

Note. I was just contacted by the author who explains that the next edition has been re-edited. This was obviously a labor of love by an author with a goodly amount of class.. Again, the characters were very well drawn. The re-edit will help tremendously. I'll try the next in the series.

There was a problem loading comments right now. Please try again later.

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MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
At this point I have read 4 out of 5 books in the Marius Mules series. These books are an excellent historical fiction. What I really liked is that fictional narrative follows closely to Caesar's own diary known as Gallic Wars. Essentially, author fills in the blanks (or rather providing a imagined personal side) to the "official" account of the real story. That what gives the story credibility and "grip". There is also a lot of historical details about Roman life and army organization during last years of the Roman Republic. The details are well researched and weaved into the story nicely.

Without demeaning the author in any way I must say that books about Julius Caesar kind of write themselves. What I mean is Caesar is such a dynamic character that there is always something happening. What Caesar accomplished in a few years is worth 10 life times. Thus the author can dispense with pulling action out of his arse and just follow historical events.

All 5 books are an organic whole which allows for nice, slow character development. A whole series of historic personages comes into focus over the course of

2000 pages total. For example while reading book 1 I wondered why Fronto is the main personage while historically important personages around Caesar, such as Sabinus and Labienus, are barely mentioned. However, all of them get into focus and kind of take their place as the story unfolds. There is plenty of personal drama, crime suspense and such thrown into the story to spice things up. Caesar comes out as a ruthless, calculating politician, a kind of super villain even. Partially redeemed by his personal courage and significant military gift. This is not an unreasonable portrait of the man.

Fronto is a typical character of fiction who is strong but sensitive, brutal but loves his friends, drunk and womanizer but blushes as a teenager. Great strategist but soft as a girl. Kills without a second thought but abhors violence. You get the picture. Basically hi is perfect even when he is imperfect. Also he possesses great cultural sensitivities and even chastises himself when he is not sensitive enough.

Some CONS. All of them are fairly minor to my taste:

* There is an awful lot of British slang. The Author might want to look at its reader makeup. Since, I am sure, bulk of sales goes to Kindle it is reasonable to assume that most readers are in US and Canada. They can do without Brit slang for sure. It becomes ironic as Caesar invades Celtic Brittania bringing up a question whether Romans brought British slang to Brittain. har-har. Just hire an American editor.

* While staying along historical events the author did let his personal agendas show through. For example, Fronto, a Roman patrician and senior military commander uses no slaves or servants. I understand the author despises slavery but ancient Rome ran on slavery. Who is cooking for Fronto and doing his laundry? He is a busy man running a fast-moving military campaign and he is drunk most of the time when he is not killing barbarians. The notion of him not using slaves on principal is just ridiculous!

* Another amusing thing is how Gallic chieftains speak to Caesar. All the speeches follow the same basic scenario. First chieftains tell Caesar that his imperialistic conquests are bad. Then they acknowledge that Rome is the future as if they already read Caesar's diary. And finally they conclude in Obama-esque "change & hope" style.

Overall whenever author sticks to actual history the book wins. Whenever he veers off to promote his own bias it drops to the level of poor quality fiction.


The Invasion of Gaul

From the title, many may assume that this is a novel concerning the Roman general and reformer Gaius Marius. That is not the case. The title refers only to a common nickname for Roman legionaires applied after Marius&apos reforms. The commanding general Charles van Buren

4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and informative
July 15, 2019
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Review of Kindle edition
Publication date: November 18, 2010
Publisher: Victrix Books
Language: English
ASIN: B004EYT3N8

From the title, many may assume that this is a novel concerning the Roman general and reformer Gaius Marius. That is not the case. The title refers only to a common nickname for Roman legionaires applied after Marius' reforms. The commanding general in this novel is Julius Caesar. Much of the story is taken from Caesar's GALLIC WARS with added fictional characters and events to enliven the story. As I read, it seemed obvious to me that I was reading a sort of sugar coated history of Caesar's Gallic wars. In the afterward the author explains this and more. Based upon his explanations, he was successful in his aims and goals for this novel. History as entertainment for those who do not find history itself entertaining enough. I like history but I will have to admit that this novel is considerably more entertaining and easier to read than Caesar's COMMENTARIES ON THE GALLIC WAR.

The writing is a better than a workman like job. It held my interest throughout. Not Bernard Cornwell, but what is? I noticed only a couple of repeated errors and as the author is British, perhaps what I noticed are differences between British and American English rather than errors. Anyway, here they are. Mr. Turney repeatedly refers to the ground as the floor. A minor irritation but there it is. More importantly to me, he has trouble with the usage of I and me, frequently using I when he should have used me. At least in American English.

This first volume in the series is good enough that I intend reading the next volume. . more

Pg 275 & we&aposre outta here, will write more on the why&aposs at some stage.

Originally this was heading towards potentially a three as its quite a promising start with all the prominent characters coming to the fore in the defence & battle around Geneva in the opening chapters, good fast start, ok dialogue & the makings of a fine Roman based series to follow, one with a little more depth to it than the adventures of Macro & Cato of Scarrow fame is what I was hoping for. what a jolly wheeze wot h Pg 275 & we're outta here, will write more on the why's at some stage.

Originally this was heading towards potentially a three as its quite a promising start with all the prominent characters coming to the fore in the defence & battle around Geneva in the opening chapters, good fast start, ok dialogue & the makings of a fine Roman based series to follow, one with a little more depth to it than the adventures of Macro & Cato of Scarrow fame is what I was hoping for. what a jolly wheeze wot ho Topper!

So why we quite at pg 275, normally I’d tough it out having got through the first century? Well I jus couldn’t take the puerile banter between the Legates & their centurions anymore I found it unrealistic to the extreme & relentless, with the same scenarios being played out over & over.

The formulae goes – Romans battle against overwhelming odds & despite poor tactics (alleged by Fronto) by Caesar come out victorious – Legate Fronto (of the Xth Legion) attends staff debrief & tells Caesar “how it is” in private – Legates (legion commanders) go down the rub-a-dub-dub & get lashed – Fronto comes up with another strategy before a battle. oh no what madcap lunatic scheme have you got planned chorus the Centurions – Romans battle. repeat over & over. Cor what a caper!

The story just never gets going (actually there is none), the characters don’t get past the initial introduction, the dialogue just grinds (for me) & comes across as puerile more befitting of a classic Ealing comedy form the 1950’s for teenage lads. The battle scenes bar the opening defence of Geneva are actually quite difficult to picture, the grand stratagems with Caesar are ok tbh for Roman militarists out there but I wanted more overall to carry on reading. Despite the opening lines of each paragraph detailing a few Roman/Latin words/nuances of the time, I didn’t feel immersed in the period, the historical fiction detail was lacking for me & paragraphs were wasted with aimless chit-chat (& me I love dialogue!).

I could go on BUT. lets jus say I really couldn’t get to grips with the style & most importantly the dialogue. It has echoes of being a family friendly version of Scarrow’s Macro & Cato if anybody is looking for a comparison. Know what I mean nudge nudge wink wink!

NOTE to self : For future read up on the life experience of untried authors to see how compatible they may be to my ways of thinking & attitude & humour!
. more

Highly recommended for one reading, but mediocre [2**] upon rereading. I only read partway through the second time then finally donated the volumes I had in the series to the library. Someone else will enjoy them I&aposm sure. The whole series may be more to others&apos tastes.

My original review: I had put off reading this one because of Caesar as a character I can&apost stand the man: unashamed self-promotion in his writings [I had to suffer through his [book:Caesaris Commentarii de Bello Gallico|20053 Highly recommended for one reading, but mediocre [2**] upon rereading. I only read partway through the second time then finally donated the volumes I had in the series to the library. Someone else will enjoy them I'm sure. The whole series may be more to others' tastes.

My original review: I had put off reading this one because of Caesar as a character I can't stand the man: unashamed self-promotion in his writings [I had to suffer through his [book:Caesaris Commentarii de Bello Gallico|20053972] in high school Latin] his undenied ambition deviousness and cruelty. I'm glad a large part of the novel is the main characters' questioning among themselves some of his actions or non-actions, motives, and arrogance. They never forget Caesar is still their general these men are professionals and no one is insubordinate. They come together in friendship--no cabal there. None of these soldiers is a Cassius or a Brutus. I'm glad I read the novel.

It's basically the author's concept of the Battles of Bebracte and Vesontio: Romans defeating the Helvetii, then Germans. I felt the story followed a certain pattern: first, briefing or tactics staff meeting then skirmish, battle, or diplomatic mission followed by down-time for Fronto and his friends, other high-ranking Roman officers. A lot of wine is quaffed during down-time and staff meetings, well-watered, I'd hope. Then the cycle would begin again.

Fronto, the atypical legate, and his friends were all engaging. I liked the humor in the novel these men were human, not all super-serious. I skimmed the first part of the novel again, but I saw no physical description of Fronto, which I would have liked, to visualize him better. No age was given, but later in the series he was described as 40, which sounds logical for his attaining rank of legate. Also, any personal details consisted of scattered sentences here and there in the novel. I was very pleased the author did not think of shoehorning love interest for Fronto here it would have been out of place. Battles and skirmishes were vividly described. They did become a bit redundant for me, however. I do not mind gruesomeness, but one conflict practically on the heels of the other. I liked that the swearing was mild or confined to brief general descriptive phrases. I liked also women and brothels were barely mentioned. The phrase "wine, women, and song" did give me a bit of a start. There were other anachronistic terms among them one 'OK' I can remember. "Belay" I believe is a nautical term. I definitely will read the others in the series, but I'd like some time to get 'de-battled'. Also, I'll just try to ignore Caesar as much as possible.

This title has been published under the auspices of the phenomenally successful YouWriteOn POD publishing programme in the UK. Ostensibly it is allowing new and untried writers to break into the market place in an otherwise notoriously difficult industry into which an author must battle his way.

I read this book with interest as I have been a failed student of ancient civilisations. This re-kindled my interest and I found that Turney had meticulously researched his background. I was also wary of This title has been published under the auspices of the phenomenally successful YouWriteOn POD publishing programme in the UK. Ostensibly it is allowing new and untried writers to break into the market place in an otherwise notoriously difficult industry into which an author must battle his way.

I read this book with interest as I have been a failed student of ancient civilisations. This re-kindled my interest and I found that Turney had meticulously researched his background. I was also wary of a book with a solely male character list, but these men are spectacular . . . in their bravery, their intellectual and problem solving acumen, their humour and their sheer doggedness. It was easy to form attachments from the start.
The dialogue is easy to understand, wonderfully undersold and unpretentious and the narrative itself smooth and with enough pace to allow one to absorb the Roman detail. The battle scenes are highly visual, shattering and panoramic without being overdone.
I do recommend this to anyone with a bent towards hist.fict and in particular anyone who enjoys stories of the Roman era. . more

Marius&apos Mules is simply a cracking read.

The main characters are warm and instantly likeable and the camaraderie between Rome&aposs finest is spot on. Even the not-so-good guys are well woven: take Caesar, who comes across as intriguing and devious - just what is he up to? This one of many compelling reasons to keep turning the pages.
The battle and fight scenes show a rich imagination and you can feel the action going on around you through vivid and gory description, some of which still make me shud Marius' Mules is simply a cracking read.

The main characters are warm and instantly likeable and the camaraderie between Rome's finest is spot on. Even the not-so-good guys are well woven: take Caesar, who comes across as intriguing and devious - just what is he up to? This one of many compelling reasons to keep turning the pages.
The battle and fight scenes show a rich imagination and you can feel the action going on around you through vivid and gory description, some of which still make me shudder.

At the start of each chapter, the author issues bite-sized chunks of learning in the shape of a mini-encyclopaedia of the one or two new Latin words he uses in that chapter. I found this very helpful and unobtrusive.

All in this is a non-stop rollicking read. Indeed, after reading the last page, I felt like a veteran legionary! . more

Julius Caesar is a man whose ambition knows no bounds and Marcus Falerius Fronto, commander of the 10th Legion, career soldier and companion of the general for ten years, knows it all too well.

Caesar has assembled an army in northern Italy, his target Gaul, a country Rome has been at peace with for years. But Caesar’s desire for greatness and revenge drives him to engineer a war with the Celtic tribes that inhabit the region, no matter what it costs his men.

The Marius series has been on my rada Julius Caesar is a man whose ambition knows no bounds and Marcus Falerius Fronto, commander of the 10th Legion, career soldier and companion of the general for ten years, knows it all too well.

Caesar has assembled an army in northern Italy, his target Gaul, a country Rome has been at peace with for years. But Caesar’s desire for greatness and revenge drives him to engineer a war with the Celtic tribes that inhabit the region, no matter what it costs his men.

The Marius series has been on my radar for a while and, on the strength of this novel, so will the rest of the collection be.

Before going on I have a confession – I like novels set in the Roman period and I write them too, so it takes quite a lot to impress me. So what sets this novel apart? After all, there have been masses of books written about Caesar.

Well first is Caesar, whilst being central, he isn’t. Yes, he’s the hub around which the main characters (e.g. Fronto) revolve. He is an incredibly well known historical figure at the end of the day, but Turney doesn’t allow him to dominate. In fact it is the other figures that really drive the action along. Caesar provides the events, Fronto and his colleagues provide the detail, the activity, the personal touch.

Another aspect I appreciated was that often it was Caesar’s generals that made quite significant tactical decisions (and mistakes) that determined whether a battle was a success or a failure. In other words the great man wasn’t the omnipotent being portrayed in other stories.

Third, and critically, Turney has spent a significant amount of time on research. The battle scenes are very, very well drawn – they are compelling, believable and feel accurate. Caesar himself is portrayed as self-serving and brutal. Fronto, although admiring the man, does not trust him. So there are other human elements at play here beyond the simple aspect of ‘go and kill the enemy’. For example at the beginning of each chapter are two or three Latin words or phrases with an explanation as to what they mean, usually related to subsequent events. It adds colour to the narrative without long, drawn out and distracting explanations.

In summary this is an intelligent, well researched historical fiction novel that stands head and shoulders above the run of the mill tales of this type. Anyone with an enjoyment of this period should look at Marius’ Mules.

Originally reviewed for Books & Pals blog. May have received free review copy. . more


Moorish Conquest of Hispania

In 711 A.D. a wave of Berber Moors crossed the straight of Gibralter and swept into Hispania. The Visigoth kingdom, which had held sway on the Iberian Peninsula for almost 300 years, was divided by a recent civil war, and had neither the leadership, nor unity to resist the invasion. Stories of treachery by disgruntled Jews and exiled enemies of Roderic, the Visigoth king, abounded. It was even said that Count Julian, a fierce rival of the Visigoth king, had invited the Moors to help overthrow the hated Roderic, and that several important towns, including Toledo, had turned in favor of the conquerors. In any case, the Visigoth resistance was utterly inadequate, and after making a desperate stand at the Guadalete River, the national government collapsed. Several towns resisted the invaders and were besieged, but there was no further organized resistance from the Visigoths, and within a few years the Moors had swept over most of the Iberian Peninsula.

T ARIK LAYING HIS CONQUESTS AT THE FEET OF M USA
There were a few notable Visigoth heroes however. Theodomir was a Visigoth knight who heroically fended off an army of Moors, but ultimately surrendered his town on favorable terms. Pelistes was a valiant noble who tried in vain to hold the town of Cordova, but was ultimately captured. More significant was Pelayo, who led a band of Visigoths and native Iberians north where they held out for several years in mountain fastnesses. This band of Christian refugess grew over the years, and about 10 years after the Moorish invasion successfully defended themselves from Moorish incursions at the Battle of Covadonga. This small Christian stronghold in the northern mountains eventually grew into the kingdoms of Asturias, Leon, and Castile, and Pelayo is credited with laying the seed of the Christian Reconquest of Spain .

Although the Moors met with no significant Visigoth resistance, when they ventured into territory north of the Pyrenees they encountered the more formidable Franks. Their first defeat at the hands of the Franks was delivered by Odo, the Duke of Aquitaine, who rescued the city of Toulouse from a desperate seige in 721. The Moors were so severely defeated in this action that they did not make another attempt to invade Gaul for ten years. When a new Moorish governor came to power in 730 however, he raised another army and prepared for a new invasion of Gaul, with the obvious ambition of conquering all of civilized Europe for the Mohammedans. The Moslem army invaded Gaul in 732, took the city of Bordeaux by storm, and obliterated Odo's army of Franks at the battle of Garonne River. Odo escaped and sought the help of Charles Martel, the hero of the battle of Tours. This battle, which is considered on of the most significant in western history, was very hard fought and was reputed to have lasted for several days, but ended in a complete victory for the Christians and the death of the Moorish commander.

The Battle of Tours effectively ended the Moslem incursions into Gaul. The following decade saw the fall of the Umayyad dynasty altogether, and the establishment of a Moorish dynasty in Cordova independent of the Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad. During the following fifty years, the tables turned, when a large army of Franks under Charlemagne crossed the Pyrenees into Hispania and attacked Moslem kingdoms in the region. The depredations of the Franks against the Moors ended only in 778 when a rebellion in Saxony caused Charlemagne to recall his army, but by that time, the impulse of the Moors in Spain to carry their conquests into the Frankish dominions of Gauls was permanently checked.


Aftermath

By 709, all of North Africa was under the control of the Arab caliphate. The only possible exception was Ceuta at the African Pillar of Hercules. Gibbon declares: "In that age, as well as in the present, the kings of Spain were possessed of the fortress of Ceuta [. ] Musa, in the pride of victory, was repulsed from the walls of Ceuta, by the vigilance and courage of Count Julian, the general of the Goths."

Other sources, however, maintain that Ceuta represented the last Byzantine outpost in Africa and that Julian, whom the Arabs called Ilyan, was an exarch or Byzantine governor. Valdeavellano offers another possibility, that "as appears more likely, he may have been a Berber who was the lord and master of the Catholic tribe of Gomera." In any case, being an able diplomat who was adept in Visigothic, Berber, and Arab politics, Julian might well have surrendered to Musa on terms that allowed him to retain his title and command.

At this time the population of Ceuta included many refugees from a ruinous Visigothic civil war that had broken out in Hispania (modern Portugal and Spain). These included family and confederates of the late King Wittiza, Arian Christians fleeing forced conversions at the hands of the Visigothic Catholic church, and Jews.

As Gibbon puts it, Musa received an unexpected message from Julian, "who offered his place, his person, and his sword" to the Muslim leader in exchange for help in the civil war. Though Julian's "estates were ample, his followers bold and numerous", he "had little to hope and much to fear from the new reign." And he was too feeble to challenge Roderic directly. So he sought Musa's aid.

For Musa, Julian, "by his Andalusian and Mauritanian commands, . held in his hands the keys of the Spanish monarchy." And so Musa ordered some initial raids on the southern coast of the Iberian Peninsula in 710. In the spring of that same year, Tariq ibn Ziyad—a Berber, a freed slave, and a Muslim general—took Tangier. Musa thereupon made him governor there, backed by an army of 6,700.

The next year, 711, Musa directed Tariq to invade Hispania. Disembarking from Ceuta aboard ships provided by Julian, Tariq plunged into the Iberian Peninsula, defeated Roderic, and went on to besiege the Visigothic capital of Toledo. He and his allies also took Córdoba, Ecija, Granada, Málaga, Seville, and other cities. Due to this, the Umayyad conquest of Hispania completed the Arab conquest of North Africa.

Fearing that the Byzantine Empire might reconquer it, they decided to destroy Roman Carthage in a scorched earth policy and establish their headquarters somewhere else. Its walls were torn down, its water supply cut off, the agricultural land was ravaged and its harbors made unusable. [7]

The destruction of the Exarchate of Africa marked a permanent end to the Byzantine Empire's influence in the region.

It is visible from archaeological evidence, that the town of Carthage continued to be occupied. [13] Constantine the African was born in Carthage. [14] The fortress of Carthage was used by the Muslims until Hafsid era and was captured by the Crusaders during the Eighth Crusade. [15] Remnants of former Roman Carthage was used as a source to provide building materials for Kairouan and Tunis in 8th century. [16]


5 Hundred Years&rsquo War

Lasting from 1337 to 1453, the Hundred Years&rsquo War featured some of the most famous victories in English history. At Crecy, Poitiers, and Agincourt, the English longbowman was proven to be the most effective soldier of late Medieval Europe. However, the war was also a decisive victory for the French, resulting in the permanent end of four centuries of English territorial influence on the continent (with the exception of Calais).

The victories at Crecy and Poitiers may actually have hindered the English overall, encouraging successive kings to pour money and resources into a war with an enemy who considerably outmatched them in population and resources. While Agincourt was considered one of the greatest victories in English history, it followed a period of 30 years in which the English had been defeated in every battle they had fought against France. [6]

The war was ultimately brought to an end by the Battle of Castillon. The French army feigned retreat, and the English, under the command of the impetuous and venerable general Lord Talbot, chased them enthusiastically. The English fell into a French ambush, where the French artillery (which was some of the most advanced in Europe) opened fire from fortified positions in the French camp, which the English thought was abandoned.

The English army was finished off by a large cavalry charge. When the dust settled, the English had lost thousands of men, while the French had lost around 100. The internal struggles, now known as the Wars of the Roses, put an end to any English hope of launching another invasion.


Roman conquest of Hispania vs Gaul

Thanks. Outstanding and smashing bibliography. Heavy artillery! Adolf Schulten is a fellow I haven't seen referenced in a while, a bit outdated, but his works were a landmark, some years ago I recall that I didn’t believe in myself when in Seville I got my hands in his “Hispania”.

José María Blazquez and Menendez Pidal are still references today, but I think that “Cambridge Ancient History viii” is from the 30’s and the part about the Iberian Peninsula was written by Schulten, so some parts may be outdated.

I read them all ages ago. In the middle of the 20th century there was the doubt about the Celtiberians, if they were Celts with Iberian influences, or Iberians with Celtic influences. Today the consensus seems to point that they were Celts. I had to revive Schulten position on the theme, but in “Hispania” he states that they were Iberians (p.186).

José María Blazquez in his “Historia de España Antigua, Tomo I”, already includes the Celtiberians among the Celts, as well as the Lusitanians (in my opinion this last isn’t consensual), but don’t recall any comparison with the Celtic Gauls. My idea (meaning from memory) is that there were strong similarities, but I am better informed about the Peninsula than about Gaul.

Alexfritz

one main diff. is that in the iberian conflicts there is an absence (except vs sertorius) of pitched battles mostly sieges and ambuscades on a sidenote what the romans were after was mostly(xLas Medules) secured already after the punic war (section: MInerals) or in layman's terms the subsequent expansions were not of a strategic nature

Caesar's "conquest of gallia" did not involve eight years it involved four years: the Germanic and Helvetii menace in gallia 58BC/BCE, the conquest of the Belgae 57BC/BCE, the crossing of the rhine and channel 55BC/BCE and the suppression of the 52BC/BCE revolt for his war with the Belgae Caesar levied several legions, the 12th, 13th and 14th, in the Cisalpine (15th vs Vercingetorix) along with granting that province citizenship proved a springboard (Rubicon) and fundament for his Civil-war

Tulius

I would disagree here in some points: we can say that we don't know of pitched battles but we can't talk about its absense, I think we can infer it often from the sources, but I agree with you that there were mostly sieges and ambuscades

About the "strategic nature", and talking about Caesar (but we could talk about other such as Decimus Junius Brutus Callaicus), his attacks to the local tribes were of strategic nature, compelling the tribes to leave the fortified places (Castros) and trying to secure the areas of the rich mines producing gold (and also cooper and silver) in the NorthWest of today's Portugal (as Tresminas and Jales), and in Galicia (Barbantes. ) that were explored since the Age of Cooper or Bronze and later intensely explored by the Romans.

Irishcrusader95

It is true that the Alps are far more imposing than any of the mountain range in Iberia, but anyone can see from a simple topographic map of the region (like this one) that Iberia is far more mountainous than Gaul. Once you're past the Alps (with the exception of some of the south region) it's pretty much all flat plains and gently rolling hills, easy ground for armies to move across and fight large battles. By contrast, the geography of Iberia is bound to make conquest of the region a difficult affair, it practically encourages hit-and-run tactics. What little I do know on the Iberian campaigns tells me it wasn't a region that any Roman (be he soldier or general) liked to be sent. The geography was a nightmare, the tribes were very decentralized and so couldn't be wiped out in one blow, both factors which also meant there would have been less trade going on outside the coastal areas (a prerequisite for most successful conquests as it meant good roads to travel on and good intel from traders to act on).

I think one factor that has to be considered when talking about why it took so long for the Republic to subdue Iberia compared to Gaul is the political willpower to do so. When Caesar began his governorship of the Galic provinces, he knew he had to make great conquests. He had debts to pay and needed military glory if he was to remain in the limelight, he also had far more recourses to call on than any General before him in Iberia. A sort of 'will to fight' that those Generals sent to Iberia seemed to lack.

DiocletianIsBetterThanYou

As noted before, differences in terrain are important, and Rome's generals also appear to have become quite dispirited by the hard fighting that they faced in Spain over the course of the second century from the Numantines, Lusitanians, etc. Many of Spain's warriors were pretty tough. After all, their cavalry, light swordsmen, heavy swordsmen and skirmishers all constituted among the best troops in Hannibal's army. But really, as already noted, it's a combination of terrain, resistance, decentralization and (non-)profit. Rome had already secured the formerly Barcid silver mines of Baetica during the Second Punic War, whereas less was too be gained from the highlands, valleys and plateaus of central Spain, where Carthaginian and Roman armies faced tough resistance and were susceptible to guerilla warfare and ambush from a multitude of politically disparate warlike peoples. The mountains of the north-west ensured that Gallaecia and other such areas seemed distant, different, and, for many, not sufficiently appealing, although I acknowledge that there were indeed ports and gold to be acquired.

As for Gaul, Rome had controlled Narbonese Gaul since the late second century and Cisalpine Gaul since the late third century. By the time Caesar began his wars in Transalpine Gaul, many of them were very familiar with the Romans. Some of them asked Caesar for help against the Helvetii and Suebi, but this allowed Caesar to effectively annex south-eastern Transalpine Gaul, and the ambitious general that he was, facing few natural barriers, he soon forced the Belgic confederation of the north-east into the fold. With that, the Gauls of the west, who were already well acquainted with Rome, pretty much accepted Rome's domination over the lands of Gaul, making alliances with Caesar that subordinated them to Rome's will. There was some resistance, most notably from the Veneti, but until Vercingetorix's revolt a few years later, the western Gauls didn't really even need to be conquered. They were conquered through diplomacy. And when many of these tribes finally did rebel against Rome under the leadership of Vercingetorix, their very unity meant that the revolt was mostly crushed with the fall of that one man (with some exceptions).

In other words, most of the Gauls appear to have been more politically united when it really counted, they were less protected by terrain once the Romans had territory beyond the Alps, they were more ready to submit through diplomacy, they fought conventional battles (to their detriment), and many were probably more familiar with the Romans than, say, the Gallaecians. And they were being hounded and dominated by a general who craved military glory even more than your standard Roman general, someone who had the military and political skills to pull off the necessary wins and consolidate his control, and who had some major debts to repay!

Tomar

As already mentionned by some geography is important , as well as economy

Geography: Hispania was further from Rome/Italy. And there was some difficult terrain (the fact that Portugal managed to become a separate nation later on is a testimony to that I guess)

Economy: romans tended to conquer territories that would provide a net positivie inflow into their coffers (they never conquered Scotland or even Germany because such territories at the time did not make economic sense).. So apparently first they seized the more profitable parts of Spain. The rest they left for later. I would guess that as population and economy increased, other parts became (potentially) more profitable over time and the romans got down to subduing them.

Darth Trajan

Question: how much difference in roman relations with local leaders changed conquest?
For example Caesar was protector of "Cisalpine Gaul" communities and and his legionaires were more +/- romanized gauls than central Italy romans. Caesar killed and enslaved a lot of gauls, but he also kept friendly contacts with their leaders and gauls were pretty early romanized. I'm not expert of romans in Iberia, but wasn't Iberia mostly place to win trumphs for roman comanders and roman's leaders never tried to make strong contact with tribal leaders?

Another reason: last regions conquered in Iberia were the ones with pastoral communities without urban centers. In other word - it's hard to pacify. Gauls were more agriculture.

DiocletianIsBetterThanYou

Frank81

Many excellent pointes has been made, I'll just give my opinion, which is more an explanation of the difficults Romans faced in Hispania, from most to less importance:

*Roman strategy and politics:

-This is by far the most important of all the factors. The huge advantage Caesar had in Gaul was the mandate on his legions through a long period of time. This was denied to commanders in Hispania, which were restricted to their 2 years mandate. Consuls and praetors came and went from Hispania, usually staying just 1 year.

-From this another pernicious factor came: instead of an integrated strategy of conquest or incorporation to the Roman state, commanders came to Iberia to plunder as much wealth as they could, so that they left the Peninsula with honour and money to fuel their political careers. Every year Roman men in charge started a campaign, whatever, to get the usual booty. This terrible situation led to the desintegration of stablished alliances and to get new enemies to the Roman cause, so nobody really wanted to be integrated into the Roman "paradise" during its first stages. The integration of Hispanian elites, however, took place in the long run.

-In the Republican era, the Roman administration was based on Publicanii. These men got the right to administrate public rents, infrastructures and means of production, they should pay a stablished rent fo the Roman state and then they could exploit the country as much as they could. The rapacious nature of the Publicanii system led to continous rebellions through newly conquered territories. Caesar did his best to establish alliances with the Gallic elites, and Augustus replaced the publicani system for a more integrated system where native elites of the Empire were integrated into the Roman system, a process that derivates from the well known troubles the previous system caused in Hispania and Asia.

-Roman military had some advantages in Gaul in comparison to Hispania: Caesar soldiers were professional, and they fought at will instead of forced as happened with the Roman soldiers in the Iberian Peninsula. To avoid recruitment and fighting in Hispania, Roman conscripts mutilated themselves. Also the Roman legions that fought in Hispania were just adopting new weaponry which they had taken from. Iberian and Celtiberian warriors, who fought in a very similar manner to the Romans. Also the Roman legions that fought in Gaul had developed the cohort system which is more robust and flexible than the manipular one employed in Hispania.


-Nature of native socities:

-You have been discused this extensivelly. The most important one was the political atomization of Hispania, which lacked a centralized authority even at tribal level. The six Celtiberian groups, for example, had all their own authorities. This situation is difficult to explain and there's as many as explanations as groups existed in Hispania. In Gaul, the Romans had intervened the country when the Arverni, first led by Luernius then by Bituitus, tried to unify the country. This was unaceptable for Rome, and they invaded Gaul in 121 BC, capturing the Arverni king Battle of the Isère River - Wikipedia and putting down their hegemony. However, it is clear centralist tendences kept existing and made true again with Vercingetorix. Once the Gauls were united, they could be conquered united.

-Development of societies: they were similar, but of different magnitude. The Iberians from the Mediterranean coast were probably more advanced than anything seen in Gaul, so that they were easily integrated by Rome not so the Celtiberians, and no way the the Lusitanians and the Cantabrians. These people were heavily pastorialist, they practiced semi-nomadism and they had just small fortified settlements. In comparison, very large settlements, much larger than anything seen in Hispania, existed through most of Gaul. This helped much the Roman effort in Gaul: the existence of large cities as well as a high agricultural productivity made easier both, ruling these societies and feeding very large Roman armies. In Hispania, as during the Peninsular War in 1807-1814, armies were too large to be fed, and to small to win. Large areas in central Iberia are lesser productive and can sustain much lesser population, natives here play with advantage: their cattle and the little product of their fields can be guarded in their fortress, leaving behind nothing for the invader, which made siege warfare essential to win the war = slow and costly campaigns of little product.

-Military: Gaulish armies employed phalanx/shield and wall formations of poor spearmen, with a very powerful noble cavalry and little use of guerrilla style fighting. The peoples from Hispania employed both, heavy and light cavalry, heavy and light infantry, in a fashion very alike to Romans and Carthaginians, whom they had fought for or against to for many years. Romans didn't enjoy a clear tactical and weapon advantage in Hispania, and so they suffered heavy defeats in open battles as much as ambushes. Also fortifications in Hispania were most of them made of thick stone walls, while Gaulish fortress used to be made of earth and palisades, which made easier the Roman earthworks and destruction by fire during siege warfare in Gaul.

-This is very less important one by itself, as the territory without people means nothing. But it is heavily linked to the previous one.

A. Water. Gaul-France has an excellent river system, the Rhone river is the axis which link with the Loire, Seine and the Rhin easily the Garonne area is really the most outsider of Gaul's region. All these rivers can sustain river traffic and so, supporting an army far away or moving it through long distances is possible. In Iberia, there's no easy linkage between rivers, they can't support river traffic for the most part and have a very irregular flow, which means they're useless, to this very day in 2020, as means of transport.

B. Land. The mountain system of Iberia is highly fractioned, which creates very different semi-isolated regions. Goods must be carried by land, and the land is rough and difficult. Most of Gaul is plain, the country homogenous for the greatest part. This makes easy both: the creation of a powerful based kingdom-state, but also the invasion of foreign enemies.

Gaul is more rainy, their soil of greater quality and productivity. The country can sustain large populations all through its territory and makes possible the operations of large armies.

Hispania is drier, the soil of poorer quality and lesser productivity. The country can't sustain large populations outside of well irrigated fields or the rainy areas on the northwest. Large swaps of terrain are steppe like and can sustain just only small armies.


Arabs in Europe Today

Arabs, following World War II, began to trickle into Europe. Former French colonies were a particular source of immigrants. Thus, countries such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, and Syria provided large numbers. Civil uprisings across the Arab World, such as in Palestine, Lebanon, Libya, and Syria have triggered immigration to other European countries, including Germany, Netherlands, Spain, among others. The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ created large numbers of disaffected youth, who thought there might have been a chance for democracy in their countries, but with their dreams shattered, many fled to Europe. Such immigration from the Arab World to Europe has created significant social and political dislocations on both ends of that process.

Arabs in Europe by Country *

France 6,000,000
Spain 1,600,000-1,800,000
Italy 680,000-1,400,000
Germany 1,000,000+
UK 500,000
Netherlands 480,000-613,800
Belgium 500,000
Sweden 424,981

John Mason, an anthropologist specializing in Arab culture and society, is the author of recently-published LEFT-HANDED IN AN ISLAMIC WORLD : An Anthropologist’s Journey into the Middle East, 2017, New Academia Publishing. Part of this entry was adapted from his book.


Watch the video: Battle of Tours 732 Islamic invasion of Gaul (May 2022).