The turbulence in ancient Mesopotamia lasted for four millennia: it generated massive cultural advances and all the misery and destitution (less frequently noted) that are inevitably associated with the ravages of military conquest. This dramatic historical phase may be regarded as drawing to a close with the reverses suffered by Rome and Persia. Soon a new power would burst forth, fuelled by fresh beliefs able to supplant, but not wholly to extirpate, the prevailing religions of the region — pagan creeds, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and Christianity. Soon a nomadic nation would be exploding from Arabia to challenge Persia in the east and to extend as far as Spanish Cordoba in the west.
KeywordsEurope Syria Turkey Naphtha Egypt
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