Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Arab Siege of Egyptian Babylon: A Case Study in Islamic Expansion of the 7th Century

Paul M. Love, Western Kentucky University

Document Type Thesis

Abstract

The fall of the Byzantine Fortress of Babylon in 641CE allowed invading Arab armies to move beyond the Lower Nile region of Egypt and ultimately conquer the whole of the province from the Byzantines, effectively ending centuries of almost totally uninterrupted Roman rule. The paper examines this pivotal moment in Islamic history in order to identify four salient features of early Islamic expansion: the struggle of the early caliphate for power and authority; the role of religion; the development of an organized and effective military; the nature of early Islamic approaches to warfare and foreign policy.