Abbasid Caliphate

Report
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
A. The Islamic Conquests, 634-711
1. Arab Conquests
• By the time Abu Bakr died, the Muslim state
controlled all of Arabia
• Under the next 2 caliphs they took:
– Syria (636)
– Egypt (639-642)
– Parts of Persia (632-651)
• By 750 they controlled from the Atlantic Ocean
to the Indus River
(2x the width of the USA!!)
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
Warm Up:
• What was the extent of the Islamic Empire as
of 750 C.E.?
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
2. Why were Arab armies
so successful?
• Their enemies were
weak
- The Persian and
Byzantine Empires had
fought a series of wars
against each other
- Weakening both
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
• Nomadic Heritage
- Many of the Arab fighters were nomads
- they were used to fighting battles in the
desert and travelling a long way from home.
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
• Motivation
- Muslim fighters who died fighting a Jihad or
holy war believed they would go to heaven
when they died
- Religion served as a unifying factor for the
Arab armies
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
3. Conquered Territory
• The caliph Umar prohibited Arabs from assuming
ownership of conquered lands
• In order to serve in the army, and receive pay, soldiers
needed to live in military camps
• Kept the armies together, ready for action
• Preserved life in the countryside
• A small number of Arabs ruled of a vastly larger nonArab population
• No evidence of forced conversions or missionary
activity
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
B. The Umayyad and Early Abbasid Caliphate
661-850
1. Umayyad Rule
• Capital in Damascus
• Adopted administrative structure of
Byzantines and Sasanid predecessors
• Majority population was non-Muslim
• Army almost entirely Muslim Arabs
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
2. Fall of the Umayyad Caliphate
• Converts to Islam resented not achieving equal
status to Arabs
• Some Muslims looked down on the wealth and
bad behavior of the caliphs
• Shi’ites launched rebellions, attacking the
legitimacy of Umayyad caliphs.
• Rebellions overthrew the Umayyads in 750;
• one branch of the family, however, remained in
power in Spain.
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
3. The Abbasid Caliphate 750-1258
• Shi’ites helped overthrow the Umayyad
caliphs
• Revolt was coordinated by the family of
Abbas, one of Muhammad’s uncles
• Established the Abbasid Caliphate
• Capital in Baghdad
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
4. Literature and learning
• “golden age”
• the translation of Greek texts and secular Arab
poetry, thrived under the Abbasids.
• Baghdad was a center of Abbasid culture
• the rate of conversion of non-Muslim subjects
to Islam in the ninth century increased.
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
C. Political Fragmentation 661-850
1. Decline
• caliphs found it impossible to maintain
control over their vast territory.
- difficulty of transportation and
communications
• Resentment of rule of Baghdad by local
leaders
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
2. Mamluks
• the caliphs had come to rely on Turkish slave
troops known as Mamluks
• In the late ninth century, when they were not
paid properly, the Mamluks took control of
the caliphate
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
3. Fragmentation
• in 945, the caliphate fell under the control of
the Iranian Shi’ite Buyids.
• As the Abbasid Caliphate declined, various
provincial regimes rose to power.
- the Samanids in Central Asia and the Fatimids
in Egypt.
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
4. al-Andalus
• Islamic, Roman, German, and Jewish cultures
combined to form a unique Islamic civilization in Spain.
Muslim Spain:
• urbanization,
• the introduction of citrus crops,
• a diverse irrigated agricultural sector,
• and a growth of Muslim and Jewish intellectual activity.
• Religious tolerance
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
D. Assault from Within and Without, 1050-1258
1. Seljuk Turks
• took advantage of the decline of the Abbasids
• established the Suljuk Sultanate.
• The Seljuks ruled a territory stretching from
Afghanistan to Baghdad
• took Anatolia from the Byzantines in 1071.
- Battle of Manzikert
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
2. Turkish Rule
• Pastoral Turks had little interest in urban life
• Cities shrank
• Irrigation systems were not maintained
• Tax revenue fell
• Baghdad fell to ruins
• Mesopotamia would never again regain its
geographic importance
II. The Rise and Fall of the Caliphate
632-1258
3. Invasions
• Crusades began in 1099
- Defeated by Kurdish leader, Saladin who unified Egypt
and Syria
• Mamluk’s overthrow decedents of Saladin in 1250
• Mongol invasions
- Destroyed the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad in 1258
- Mamluk’s from Egypt defeated the Mongols in 1260
• Mamluk Sultans ruled Egypt until 1517

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