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The Political Landscape In Samarra, The Caucasus And Central Asia In The 8th And First Half Of The 9th Century

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Chapter Summary

If Sallam indeed travelled to Central Asia in search for Gog and Magogs barrier, as we believe he did, an endeavour should be made to place his journey in the historical and geographical context of the day, focussing on the situation in the caliphal capital, in the Caucasus, in the steppes north of the Tianshan Mountains and in the Tarim Basin. Syrian Christians are known to have spread the Christian faith in Central Asia and West China as early as the 6th century, probably even earlier. And so a popular story known perhaps to Sallam already in Samarra through Mesopotamian Christians, was again met with by him in Central Asia in Christian and perhaps early Muslim circles while on his outward journey.

Keywords: Caucasus; Central Asia; Gog and Magogs barrier; Sallam; Samarra; Syrian Christians; Tarim Basin; Tianshan Mountains



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