Aspects of Arab Christianisation in Late Antiquity<sup>1</sup>

Greg Fisher

in Between Empires

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599271
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724992 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Aspects of Arab Christianisation in Late Antiquity1

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The central focus of this chapter is the Christianisation of Arabs in antiquity. It examines the broad political and cultural consequences of becoming Christian, including subordination to the state, using examples from colonial America for comparison. It then addresses the involvement of the Jafnid Arab elite in Christianity within the Roman Empire, particularly their position as ‘supporters’ of the miaphysite anti‐Chalcedonian position. It looks at the function of the city of Resafa, in Syria, and the connection the Jafnids enjoyed to Saint Sergius. Finally, it studies the position of the Nasrids, in the Sasanian Empire, and concludes that both Jafnids and Nasrids adopted a ‘middle ground’ position which allowed them to avoid the majority of the political problems which arrived with the ‘conversion’ of barbarians in antiquity.

Keywords: Christianity; miaphysitism; Chalcedonian; Resafa; Saint Sergius; middle ground; conversion

Chapter.  15344 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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