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The Perception And Presentation Of The Arab Conquest In Syriac Historiography: How Did The Changing Social Position Of The Syrian Orthodox Community Influence The Account Of Their Historiographers?

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Chapter Summary

Although much has been written about Syriac authors’ views of early Islam, the focus in this chapter is on how the authors may have used their presentation of the events of the seventh century to assert, shape and explicate their own community’s identity at the time of writing. It is concerned with matters of perception and presentation, how the Arab conquest is being seen with regard to the position of the (proto-) Syrian-Orthodox community in society, both at the time of the conquest and at the time of the authors rather than with trying to reconstruct ‘the historical events’. Few of these early Syrian Orthodox histories are not preserved independently at all, but only as fragments. Only those fragments are used in the chapter which shows a clear difference in approach to the works in which they have been preserved, or those which are preserved independently in other works.

Keywords: Arab conquest; Islam; perception; presentation; Syrian Orthodox histories; Syrian-Orthodox community



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