Unit 6 Discussion: Western Europe, Byzantium, and Islam

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After the 300s CE, the Roman Empire (and then the Byzantine Empire which followed it) was Christian. As a result of this Christianization, Roman Law came to discriminate against non-Christians, particularly against Jews. You’ve read the relevant selections from Roman Law on the treatment of Jews. ( posted below)

You’ll remember that after the 600s, Arab Muslims conquered the Middle East and North Africa, subjecting Jews and Christians to legal discrimination. You’ve read the Pact of Umar ( posted below) which outlines some of this discrimination.


Look at the way that these Empires treat members of the non-dominant religions based on those texts. If you lived in the ninth century (i.e., the 800s CE), would you rather be a Jew in the Byzantine Empire or a Christian in the Abbasid Caliphate? Why? Explain your answer in at least two paragraphs.

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94 The Collapse ofRoman Unity and the Emergence of Three Successor Civilizations 5. What was the purpose of this pact? 6. How would you characterize the dhimma and the status of the dhimmis? 7. Large numbers of Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, and in the regions conquered by Islam ultimately converted to Islam. Does :this pact provide any evidence of reason for some of the conversions? If so, what? In the name of God, the Merciful, rhe Compassionate! from the Christians This is a writing to of such and such a city. When you 1 marched against us/ we asked of you protection for ourselves, our posterity, our possessions, and our coreligionists; and we made this stipulation with you, that we will not erect in our city or the suburbs any monastery,* church, cell or hermitage;3 that we will not repair any of such buildings that may fall into ruins; or renew those that may be situated in the Muslim quarters of the town; that we will not refuse the Muslims entry into our churches eirher by night or by day; that we will open the gates wide to passengers and travelers; that we will receive any Muslim traveler into our houses and give him food and lodgipg for three nights; that we will not harbor any spy in our churches or houses, or conceal any enemy of the Muslims. 4 That we will not teach our children the Qur'an; that we will not make a show of the Christi
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Explanation & Answer



Byzantine Empire Vs. Abbasid Caliphate



If you lived in the ninth century (i.e., the 800s CE), would you rather be a Jew in the
Byzantine Empire or a Christian in the Abbasid Caliphate? Why? Explain
Based on my analysis of how these Empires treated members of the non-dominant
religions on the texts provided, I would rather be a Christian in the Abbasid Caliphate rather than
a Jew in the Byzantine Empire. I believ...

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