Chapter

Empires, Clients, and Politics

Greg Fisher

in Between Empires

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599271
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724992 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199599271.003.0003

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Empires, Clients, and Politics

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This chapter examines in detail the political relationship between the Romans and the Arabs, tracing the evident developments in political confidence exhibited by 6th century Arab elites as far back as the second century. Using the inscriptions of Ruwwafa and Nemara as its starting point, and making use of comparative material addressing the status of barbarians in the western Roman Empire, as well as material from other historical periods, it traces the increasing complexity of relations between Romans and Arabs which culminated in Justinian's elevation of the Jafnid al‐Harith in 527. It explores the importance of North Arabia to Rome and Iran, and the involvement of the kingdom of Himyar with the Hujrid dynasty. Finally, it uses the Treaty of 562 between Rome and the Sasanians to underscore the changes in status accorded to the Jafnids by the time that the Romans decided to eliminate their leader al‐Mundhir in 582.

Keywords: Ruwwafa; Nemara; al‐Harith; al‐Mundhir; Himyar; Hujrids; North Arabia; Treaty of 562; western Roman Empire; barbarians; Sasanian Iran

Chapter.  22956 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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