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Muslim Expansion and Byzantine Collapse in North Africa by Walter Emil Kaegi

Muslim Expansion and Byzantine Collapse in North Africa


Muslim Expansion and Byzantine Collapse in North Africa by Walter Emil Kaegi

Who 'lost' Christian North Africa? Who won it and how? Walter Kaegi examines these perennial questions, with maps and on-site observations, in this exciting book. Persisting clouds of suspicion and blame overshadowed many Byzantine attempts to defend North Africa, as Byzantines failed to meet the multiple challenges from different directions which ultimately overwhelmed them. While the Muslims forcefully and permanently turned Byzantine internal dynastic and religious problems and military unrest to their advantage, they brought their own strengths to a dynamic process that would take a long time to complete - the transformation of North Africa. An impartial comparative framework helps to sort through identity politics, 'Orientalism' charges and counter-charges, and institutional controversies; this book also includes a study of the decisive battle of Sbeitla in 647, helping readers to understand what befell Byzantium, and indeed empires from Rome to the present.


'... Kaegi has produced an interesting and learned book. He clearly knows the range of surviving literary, numismatic, epigraphic and archeological sources extremely well ...'
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

About the Author

Walter E. Kaegi is Professor of History at the University of Chicago where he has been teaching Byzantine, late antique, early Islamic and military history since 1965. He is the co-founder of the Byzantine Studies Conference and the president of the US National Committee for Byzantine Studies. Previous books include Army, Society and Religion in Byzantium (1982), Some Thoughts on Byzantine Military Strategy (1983), Byzantium and the Early Islamic Conquests (Cambridge, 1992) and Heraclius, Emperor of Byzantium (Cambridge, 2003).

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Book Info

Publication date

11th June 2015


Walter Emil Kaegi

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Cambridge University Press


366 pages


European history
Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500



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