Muslim conquest of Egypt

Muslim Conquest Of Egypt

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Muslim conquest of Egypt

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At the commencement of the Muslims conquest of Egypt, Egypt was part of the Byzantine Empire with its capital in Constantinople. However, it had been occupied just a decade before by the Persian Empire under Khosrau II (616 to 629 AD). Emperor Heraclius re-captured Egypt after a series of brilliant campaigns against the Sassanid Persians, only to once again lose it to the Rashidun army ten years later. Before the Muslim invasion of Egypt began, the Byzantine Empire had already lost the Levant and its Arab ally, the Ghassanid Kingdom, to the Muslims. This all left the Byzantine Empire dangerously exposed and vulnerable to the invaders.

Byzantine Egypt

At the dawn of the seventh century A.D, Egypt was held in fee for the Byzantine Empire. The country was governed by the Byzantine civil service and military, both of which were filled by the (Greek-speaking) ruling class to the general exclusion of the native (Coptic-speaking) Egyptians. Egypt was ruled from the capital of Alexandria, and from the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis, with its great bulwark the fortress of Babylon, on the eastern bank of the Nile. A chain of fortress towns ran across the country. From these towns, soldiers and tax-gatherers patrolled the country, keeping order and collecting money, while Roman merchants and Jewish traders settled freely under protection of the garrisons, keenly...
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