The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Was the conquest of Palestine an Arab-Jewish alliance?


  • Doctrina Jacobi nuper baptizati, the first (albeit second-hand) source from the region (Caesarea, prior to its fall 640 CE), records the Jews overjoyed at the uprising of the new Arab Prophet.
  • Christians increased their anti-"Jewish" polemics (like Anastasius of Sinai). No-one was converting to Judaism, but there was a risk of conversion to something closer to Judaism than to Christianity. Closer than it is now.
  • Maximus Confessor in 640 CE called the Saracens a "Judaic people".
  • Contemporary chroniclers recorded attempts to rebuild the Temple and not yet al-Aqsa (Pseudo-Sebeos).
  • Later chroniclers recorded that when 'Umar built the first mosques in Jerusalem he asked the Jews for religious advice. Which they gave. (Theophilos of Edessa, according to Hoyland pp. 640-1).
  • By tradition (well, according to Muir) it was a Jew who betrayed Caesarea to Mu'awiya and 'Umar in 640 AD.
  • The "Constitution of Medina" - really a collection of treaties - counts the Jewish tribes alongside the Arab tribes.


  • Thomas the Presbyter, writing 640 CE, notes massacres of Jews in Palestine (634 CE).
  • John of Nikiu, writing 690 CE, records the Jews of Manûf fleeing the invasion in Egypt (630s-40s; note that the chapter is lost but its summary remains in the table of contents).


  • The alliance was over as of 634 CE;
  • The Arabs committing the massacres were pagan Arabs not yet with the program;
  • Thomas the Presbyter was wrong, and John of Nikiu's text is too corrupt;
  • Allah did it so I should quit asking;
  • Aliens did it and the MIB are coming over tonight to erase this blog.

I actually have no idea how to solve this problem.

posted by Zimri on 20:23 | link | 0 comments

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