Episode 59 – Why did the Arabs win? Part 4: The Conquest Society

Now that the Arabs have conquered Syria and Mesopotamia how did they organise themselves? And how did this contribute to their continuing military victories?

Coin of Yazdegerd III during the last years of his reign (from Wikipedia)

Coin of Yazdegerd III during the last years of his reign (from Wikipedia)

Period: 602-695

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Categories: Podcast | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Episode 59 – Why did the Arabs win? Part 4: The Conquest Society

  1. Steve

    Hey Robin, great work on the podcast so far, I’m so happy that someone picked up the story of Byzantium. I did have one request in relation to the history of Rome podcast.

    So far there’s been sort of an info-dump on the Islamic community where the narrative has paused. That makes sense, the rise of Islam was a colossal change in a short time span compared to the slow empowering of the Germanic tribes for instance. I do hope that once this overview is done that we get back to a narrative-based story like we were used to in the history of Rome however.

  2. Priyankar Kandarpa

    Did the arabs have the kinds of laws that are being practiced in saudi arabia or iran or any other conservative state?
    And happy new year

    • To directly answer the question I would have to say I don’t know enough about the specific law codes of Iran and Saudi Arabia today. Certainly pre-700AD they would not have adhered to anything so specific and I suspect the formations of what we would recognise as Sharia law did not develop until later still. Happy new year to you too 🙂

  3. Adrian Moore

    Robin, first, I absolutely love the end of century episodes and how in each batch you add so much useful insights and stories to the narrative story. Great stuff.

    This episode really pleased me. 35 years ago I did my Master’s thesis on The Origins and Development of Some Institutions by the Muslims in the Early Islamic Period. Basically I explored what we knew then about how the Arabs blended their institutions with the existing Greco-Roman ones in the territories they conquered from the Romans. In my work I was delighted when I found things the Romans had retained from the Hellenistic period. You hit on a number of things I dug into all those years ago, plus discussed some I did not. So it was an especially delightful episode for me. I was always struck how savvy the Arabs were to use their own institutions, mostly, for political and military matters, but adopt and adapt existing infrastructure, tax, financial, and commercial institutions, mostly. The law was especially interesting as the emerging rules of Islam, traditional Arab law, and Greco-Roman law existing simultaneously for some time and slowly merging,

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