New Rule over Old Structures: Egypt after the Muslim Conquest

Petra M. Sijpesteijn

in Regime Change in the Ancient Near East and Egypt

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263907
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734687 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

New Rule over Old Structures: Egypt after the Muslim Conquest

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This chapter examines the administrative changes in Egypt after the Muslim conquest. It explains that the conquest of Egypt by the Arab armies in 642 CE brought a new religious, linguistic, and administrative rule to this rich and important Byzantine province. However, this transformation was gradual and the arrival of the Arabs had little impact on the daily lives of the Egyptians. The Arab conquest did not result in mass confiscations of land in Egypt and there was no programme of land rewards for the conquering elite. This chapter suggests that both administrative continuity and change were part of the Muslim plan for Egypt after the conquest but it was not a formal plan but rather a pragmatic response to the challenges the conquerors encountered.

Keywords: Egypt; Muslim conquest; administrative changes; Byzantine province; land rewards; administrative continuity

Chapter.  8689 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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