The end of “antiquity” is marked by the rises and expansion of Islam. Around 630 AD the Arab Muslim armies began their assault on the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines) and the Persian Sassanian Empire. Both of the great powers of late antiquity had already been weakened by a long war against one another. In such a state, the Eastern Romans lost to the Arabs the Land of Israel (Palestine) and Syria in 636, Egypt in 642 and all of North Africa in 698 AD.
For more than 2,000 years, the Fertile Crescent had been a regional and global center of civilization and culture. The world’s mightiest and most advanced kingdoms had been established there, or sought to make their mark there. It was in the Fertile Crescent that innovation flourished, new architectures rose and religious were born. The area extends from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria in the west over the southern edge of Turkey in the north, the northeast of Iraq to the southwest of Iran in the east and encloses the semi-arid regions of the Arabian Peninsula in the south. And...
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