Few, if any, centuries in world history have had such a profound and long-lasting impact as the first hundred years of Islamic history. In this book, David Nicolle, a former member of the BBC's Arabic service, examines the extensive Islamic conquests between 632 and 750 AD. These years saw the religion and culture of Islam, as well as the Arabic language, erupt from the Arabian Peninsula to spread across an area far larger than that of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent. It also saw the abrupt collapse of the Persian Empire, as well as the permanent withdrawal of the Romano-Byzantine Empire and its associated cultures, along with Christianity as a ruling faith, from the Middle East and North Africa.
Virtually all the lands "opened" by their armies remain Islamic - and in many cases Arabic-speaking - to this day, in contrast to the often ephemeral achievements of better-known conquerors, such as Alexander the Great and several Roman Caesars, and the effects of this rapid expansion was to shape European affairs for centuries to come.
About the Author
DR. DAVID NICOLLE was born in 1944 and lives in England. He worked for BBC Television News and the BBC Arabic Services and, after returning to university to obtain a Doctorate, he taught in a Jordanian university. Since returning from the Middle East Dr. Nicolle has written numerous books, both academic and for the general reader, on various aspects of Islamic and medieval history. He has also contributed articles to many academic journals and specialist encyclopedias, and has presented papers at various scientific or historical conferences. Meanwhile Dr. Nicolle continues his research into medieval Islamic military technology, a field in which he is respected as a leading expert.