The Pre-Islamic Middle East

Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000 - 231 Seiten

Sicker explores the political history of the Middle East from antiquity to the Arab conquest from a geopolitical perspective. He argues that there are a number of relatively constant environmental factors that have helped condition-not determine-the course of Middle Eastern political history from ancient times to the present. These factors, primarily, but not exclusively geography and topography, contributed heavily to establishing the patterns of state development and interstate relations in the Middle East that have remained remarkably consistent throughout the troubled history of the region.

In addition to geography and topography, the implications of which are explored in depth, religion has also played a major political role in conditioning the pattern of Middle Eastern history. The Greeks first introduced the politicization of religious belief into the region in the form of pan-Hellenism, which essentially sought to impose Greek forms of popular religion and culture on the indigenous peoples of the region as a means of solidifying Greek political control. This ultimately led to religious persecution as a state policy. Subsequently, the Persian Sassanid Empire adopted Zoroastrianism as the state religion for the same purpose and with the same result. Later, when Armenia adopted Christianity as the state religion, followed soon after by the Roman Empire, religion and the intolerance it tended to breed became fundamental ingredients, in regional politics and have remained such ever since. Sicker shows that the political history of the pre-Islamic Middle East provides ample evidence that the geopolitical and religious factors conditioning political decision-making tended to promote military solutions to political problems, making conflict resolution through war the norm, with the peaceful settlement of disputes quite rare. A sweeping synthesis that will be of considerable interest to scholars, students, and others concerned with Middle East history and politics as well as international relations and ancient history.

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Ausgewählte Seiten


The Middle East in Early Antiquity
Egypt and Asia
The Rise and Decline of Assyria
The Rise and Fall of Media
The Empire or the Achaemenids
The PersianGreek Wars
The Macedonian Conquest
The RomanParthian Conflict
The Struggle over the Euphrates Frontier
The RomanPersian Stalemate
The Era or Snapur II
The Struggle for Persias Frontiers
End or the Sassanid Empire

The Dissolution or Alexanders Empire
Reconfiguration or the Middle East
Rome Enters the Middle East

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Beliebte Passagen

Seite 57 - Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me ? Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him.
Seite 55 - And the king of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea ; for he had sent messengers to So king of Egypt, and brought no present to the king of Assyria, as he had done year by year ; therefore the king of Assyria shut him up, and bound him in prison.
Seite 50 - And Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his host together : and there were thirty and two kings with him, and horses, and •chariots : and he went up and besieged Samaria, and warred against it.
Seite 25 - So when they had gotten those that governed us under their power, they afterwards burnt down our cities, and demolished the temples of the gods, and used all the inhabitants after a most barbarous manner ; nay, some they slew, and led their children and their wives into slavery.
Seite 68 - And flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations: both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be in the thresholds: for he shall uncover the cedar work.
Seite 41 - They desolated its people, and its land was like that which has never come into being. They were coming forward toward Egypt, while the flame was prepared before them. Their confederation was the Philistines, Tjekker, Shekelesh, Denye(n), and Weshesh, lands united.
Seite 25 - Under him it came to pass, I know not how, that God was averse to us, and there came after a surprising manner...
Seite 41 - The foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands. All at once the lands were removed and scattered in the fray. No land could stand before their arms, from Hatti, Kode, Carchemish, Arzawa, and Alashiya on, being cut off at one time. A camp was set up in one place in Amor.
Seite 47 - There fell into my hands altogether between the commencement of my reign and my fifth year 42 countries, with their kings, from beyond the river Zab, plain, forest, and mountain, to beyond the river Euphrates, the country of the Khatte " and the upper ocean of the setting sun.
Seite 105 - My friends and allies, so long as Persia is supreme at sea I cannot see how we can march in safety to Egypt. Nor, again, is it safe to pursue Dareius, leaving in our rear the city of Tyre, of doubtful allegiance, and Egypt and Cyprus still in Persia's hands, especially in view of the state of Greek affairs. There is a fear lest the Persians, again seizing the coast places, when we have gone in full force toward Babylon and Dareius, should with a larger army transfer the war into Greece, where the...

Über den Autor (2000)

MARTIN SICKER is an independent consultant who has served as a senior executive in the United States government and has taught political science at American University and George Washington University. He has written widely in the fields of political science and international affairs and is the author of numerous books on Middle East history and politics. His latest publications are Reshaping Palestine: From Muhammad Ali to the British Mandate, 1831-1922 (Praeger, 1999) and Pangs of the Messiah: The Troubled Birth of the Jewish State (Praeger, forthcoming 2000).

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