Download Life and Society in Byzantine Cappadocia by J. Eric Cooper, Michael J. Decker (auth.) PDF

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By J. Eric Cooper, Michael J. Decker (auth.)

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Extra resources for Life and Society in Byzantine Cappadocia

Sample text

It may be that the region possessed a much-reduced population following the initial seventh-century onslaught of Muslim attacks, or it could have been generally too remote for Muslim armies, which mostly entered from Cilicia and less often Melitene. But Sebasteia was not immune to the bitter conflict raging throughout the land, for Muhammad ibn Marwan sacked the city in 692 after defeating the forces of Justinian II. With the exception of the short stint of Nyssa that lasted perhaps less than a decade, it is noteworthy that the capitals of the themes of Kappadokia and later Charsianon (Koron and Charsianon, respectively) were not at the major urban centres of the respective territories as was done in other themes.

The strategic importance of the city’s position to the heartlands of the empire was highlighted in 831, when it was not only sacked but fully invested by Muslim forces. Tyana became a substantial Arab fortification that garrisoned an army – a knife pressed against a major artery of Byzantium. Fortune, however, intervened when the newly risen caliph al-Mu‘tasim needed to consolidate his power; the fort was destroyed and the army recalled. Although this event afforded the Cappadocian hinterlands a sigh of relief, the prevailing notion is that Tyana irretrievably declined.

The strategic importance of the city’s position to the heartlands of the empire was highlighted in 831, when it was not only sacked but fully invested by Muslim forces. Tyana became a substantial Arab fortification that garrisoned an army – a knife pressed against a major artery of Byzantium. Fortune, however, intervened when the newly risen caliph al-Mu‘tasim needed to consolidate his power; the fort was destroyed and the army recalled. Although this event afforded the Cappadocian hinterlands a sigh of relief, the prevailing notion is that Tyana irretrievably declined.

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