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By Peter Mansfield

The definitive background of the center East, completely revised and up to date via 2012

some of the most an important, unstable, and complicated areas of the fashionable international, the center East has lengthy confounded the goals of conquerors and peacemakers alike. This now-classic booklet, absolutely up to date to 2012 and nonetheless the fundamental paintings at the topic, follows the ancient struggles of the center East from Napoleon’s crusade in Egypt and Syria, in the course of the sluggish decline and fall of the Ottoman Empire, to the Israeli-Palestinian clash and the background of Islam and its contemporary resurgence.

For this fourth variation, Economist correspondent Nicolas Pelham contributes an in depth new part analyzing fresh advancements through the center East, together with the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, the location in Iran, the region’s kinfolk with the USA less than President Obama, the Arab Spring, and more.

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Extra resources for A History of the Middle East

Example text

Both empires encouraged immigration from Greece, but the Greeks remained a minority. In their armies the Greeks formed the core or phalanx bearing pikes, but the archers and slingers were Arabs, Kurds and Persians. Little more than a century after Alexander’s death saw the beginning of the rise to power of the Roman Republic. After the final defeat of Carthage in 211 BC, Rome gained mastery over the western Mediterranean. It then turned its attention to the east and invaded Greece. There followed more than 150 years of chaos and war in the eastern Mediterranean region.

In that it saved the heartlands of the Muslim world from being overwhelmed, this was one of the decisive battles in the history of the world. The Mongol threat was far greater than that of the Christian crusaders, but it was also short-lived.

The Romans cleared the Red Sea of pirates and revived the trade through it to India. Egypt was a Roman colony in the fullest sense, living under iron military government and paying exorbitant taxes. The Greek ruling class co-operated with the colonial power and retained its privileged position. Egypt, with its population densely concentrated in the Nile Valley and Delta, lends itself to authoritarian centralized government. Roman rule in Syria was rather more relaxed. In the eastern or ‘Semitic’ half of the region, the Romans allowed the local rulers to retain their autonomy – provided they did not become over-ambitious and threaten the settled populations to the west.

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