Constans II (son of Constantine III)
Constans II was the eldest son of the Western Roman Emperor Constantine III and was appointed co-emperor by him from 409 to 411. He was killed during the fighting that ended his father's reign. Elder son of Claudius Constantine and brother of Julian, in his youth Constans was a monk. In the summer of 408, his father, who had proclaimed himself Emperor the previous year in Britain and crossed over into Gaul, proclaimed him Caesar, sent him with the general Gerontius and the prefect Apollinaris into Hispania, to rule the province and fight members of the House of Theodosius who had not recognised Constantine and had stayed loyal to the Emperor. After some initial defeats, Constans captured two of his enemies, while the other two fled to Constantinople, he left his wife and household at Zaragoza under the care of Gerontius to return to report to Arles, where the two prisoners were put to death. In Autumn 409, barbarian invaders plundered Gaul, reached the Pyrenees, swept away Roman defences and entered into Hispania.
Constantine, without the approval of the Emperor Honorius, elevated Constans to the rank of Augustus. With the support of the barbarians, Gerontius took over Constantine's territory. Whether Constans II was a usurper is open to debate: he was crowned after Constantine III had been recognised as co-emperor by Honorius. However, this recognition would not have included the right to extend the imperial power to Constantine's family. British legend, aided by Geoffrey of Monmouth, states that Constans was elected by the Britons as king after Constantine's death; this contradicts the known history of Constans. The legend claims Constans, older brother to Aurelius Ambrosius and Uther Pendragon, spent his early life studying at a monastery. During the succession crisis following Constantine's murder, leader of the Gewissei tribe, convinced Constans to leave the religious life and become king; the weak and unpopular former monk became a puppet, putting all but the title of his office into the hands of Vortigern.
Vortigern disposed of him by tricking some Picts, liaisons in his employ, into murdering him in his sleep. The treacherous Vortigern took the throne for himself. Zosimus, Historia Nova, Book 6 Historia Nova Orosius, Historiae adversum Paganos, 7.40 Birley, The Roman Government in Britain, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-925237-4 Jones, Arnold Hugh Martin, John Robert Martindale, John Morris, The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, volume 2, Cambridge University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-521-20159-4 3 Elton, Hugh, "Constans III", D. I. R. Bury, J. B. A History of the Later Roman Empire from Arcadius to Irene, Vol. I Gibbon, Edward and Fall of the Roman Empire
Constantine IV, sometimes incorrectly called Pogonatos, "the Bearded", out of confusion with his father, was Byzantine Emperor from 668 to 685. His reign saw the first serious check to nearly 50 years of uninterrupted Islamic expansion, while his calling of the Sixth Ecumenical Council saw the end of the monothelitism controversy in the Byzantine Empire; the eldest son of Constans II, Constantine IV had been named a co-emperor with his father in 654. He had been given the responsibility of managing the affairs at Constantinople during his father’s extended absence in Italy and became senior Emperor when Constans was assassinated in 668, his mother was daughter of patrician Valentinus. The first task before the new Emperor was the suppression of the military revolt in Sicily under Mezezius which had led to his father's death. Within seven months of his accession, Constantine IV had dealt with the insurgency with the support of Pope Vitalian, but this success was overshadowed by troubles in the east.
As early as 668 the Caliph Muawiyah I received an invitation from Saborios, the commander of the troops in Armenia, to help overthrow the Emperor at Constantinople. He sent an army under his son Yazid against the Byzantine Empire. Yazid took the important Byzantine center Amorion. While the city was recovered, the Arabs next attacked Carthage and Sicily in 669. In 670 the Arabs captured Cyzicus and set up a base from which to launch further attacks into the heart of the Empire, their fleet captured Smyrna and other coastal cities in 672. In 672, the Arabs sent a large fleet to attack Constantinople by sea. While Constantine was distracted by this, the Slavs laid siege to Thessalonica. Commencing in 674, the Arabs launched the long-awaited siege of Constantinople; the great fleet, assembled set sail under the command of Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr before the end of the year. Additional squadrons reinforced the forces of Abd ar-Rahman before they proceeded to the Hellespont, into which they sailed in about April 674.
From April to September 674 the fleet lay moored from the promontory of Hebdomon, on the Propontis, as far as the promontory of Kyklobion, near the Golden Gate, throughout those months continued to engage with the Byzantine fleet which defended the harbour from morning to evening. Knowing that it was only a matter of time before Constantinople was under siege, Constantine had ensured that the city was well provisioned, he constructed a large number of fireships and fast-sailing boats provided with tubes or siphons for squirting fire. This is the first known use of Greek fire in combat, one of the key advantages that the Byzantines possessed. In September the Arabs, having failed in their attempts to take the city, sailed to Cyzicus, which they made their winter quarters. Over the following five years, the Arabs would return each spring to continue the siege of Constantinople, but with the same results; the city survived, in 678 the Arabs were forced to raise the siege. The Arabs withdrew and were simultaneously defeated on land in Lycia in Anatolia.
This unexpected reverse forced Muawiyah I to seek a truce with Constantine. The terms of the concluded truce required the Arabs to evacuate the islands they had seized in the Aegean, to pay an annual tribute to the Emperor consisting of fifty slaves, fifty horses, 3,000 pounds of gold; the raising of the siege allowed Constantine to go to the relief of Thessalonica, still under siege from the Slavs. With the temporary passing of the Arab threat, Constantine turned his attention to the Church, torn between Monothelitism and Orthodoxy. In November 680 Constantine convened the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Constantine presided in person during the formal aspects of the proceedings, surrounded by his court officials, but he took no active role in the theological discussions; the Council reaffirmed the Orthodox doctrines of the Council of Chalcedon in 451. This solved the controversy over monothelitism; the council closed in September 681. Due to the ongoing conflicts with the Arabs during the 670s, Constantine had been forced to conclude treaties in the west with the Lombards, who had captured Brindisi and Taranto.
In 680, the Bulgars under Khan Asparukh crossed the Danube into nominally Imperial territory and began to subjugate the local communities and Slavyanic tribes. In 680, Constantine IV led a combined land and sea operation against the invaders and besieged their fortified camp in Dobruja. Suffering from bad health, the Emperor had to leave the army, which panicked and was defeated by the Bulgars. In 681, Constantine was forced to acknowledge the Bulgar state in Moesia and to pay tribute/protection money to avoid further inroads into Byzantine Thrace. Constantine created the Theme of Thrace, his brothers Heraclius and Tiberius had been crowned with him as Augusti during the reign of their father, this was confirmed by the demand of the populace, but in 681 Constantine had them mutilated so they would be ineligible to rule. At the same time he associated on the throne his own young son Justinian II. Constantine died of dysentery in September 685. By his wife Anastasia, Constantine IV had at least two sons: Justinian II, who succeeded him as emperor Heraclius, known only from an episode in which his father sent locks of his and his brother's hair to Pope Benedict II.
The Byzantine Empire referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire was the most powerful economic and military force in Europe. Both the terms "Byzantine Empire" and "Eastern Roman Empire" are historiographical terms created after the end of the realm. Several signal events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire's Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital, legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I, Christianity became the Empire's official state religion and other religious practices were proscribed.
Under the reign of Heraclius, the Empire's military and administration were restructured and adopted Greek for official use in place of Latin. Thus, although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from ancient Rome insofar as it was centred on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity; the borders of the empire evolved over its existence, as it went through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I, the empire reached its greatest extent after reconquering much of the Roman western Mediterranean coast, including North Africa and Rome itself, which it held for two more centuries; the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire's resources and contributed to major territorial losses during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, when it lost its richest provinces and Syria, to the Arab caliphate. During the Macedonian dynasty, the empire expanded again and experienced the two-century long Macedonian Renaissance, which came to an end with the loss of much of Asia Minor to the Seljuk Turks after the Battle of Manzikert in 1071.
This battle opened the way for the Turks to settle in Anatolia. The empire recovered during the Komnenian restoration, by the 12th century Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest European city. However, it was delivered a mortal blow during the Fourth Crusade, when Constantinople was sacked in 1204 and the territories that the empire governed were divided into competing Byzantine Greek and Latin realms. Despite the eventual recovery of Constantinople in 1261, the Byzantine Empire remained only one of several small rival states in the area for the final two centuries of its existence, its remaining territories were progressively annexed by the Ottomans over the 15th century. The Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453 ended the Byzantine Empire; the last of the imperial Byzantine successor states, the Empire of Trebizond, would be conquered by the Ottomans eight years in the 1461 Siege of Trebizond. The first use of the term "Byzantine" to label the years of the Roman Empire was in 1557, when the German historian Hieronymus Wolf published his work Corpus Historiæ Byzantinæ, a collection of historical sources.
The term comes from "Byzantium", the name of the city of Constantinople before it became Constantine's capital. This older name of the city would be used from this point onward except in historical or poetic contexts; the publication in 1648 of the Byzantine du Louvre, in 1680 of Du Cange's Historia Byzantina further popularised the use of "Byzantine" among French authors, such as Montesquieu. However, it was not until the mid-19th century that the term came into general use in the Western world; the Byzantine Empire was known to its inhabitants as the "Roman Empire", the "Empire of the Romans", "Romania", the "Roman Republic", as "Rhōmais". The inhabitants called themselves Romaioi and as late as the 19th century Greeks referred to Modern Greek as Romaiika "Romaic." After 1204 when the Byzantine Empire was confined to its purely Greek provinces the term'Hellenes' was used instead. While the Byzantine Empire had a multi-ethnic character during most of its history and preserved Romano-Hellenistic traditions, it became identified by its western and northern contemporaries with its predominant Greek element.
The occasional use of the term "Empire of the Greeks" in the West to refer to the Eastern Roman Empire and of the Byzantine Emperor as Imperator Graecorum were used to separate it from the prestige of the Roman Empire within the new kingdoms of the West. No such distinction existed in the Islamic and Slavic worlds, where the Empire was more straightforwardly seen as the continuation of the Roman Empire. In the Islamic world, the Roman Empire was known as Rûm; the name millet-i Rûm, or "Roman nation," was used by the Ottomans through the 20th century to refer to the former subjects of the Byzantine Empire
The Aegean Sea is an elongated embayment of the Mediterranean Sea located between the Greek and Anatolian peninsulas i.e. between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey. In the north, the Aegean is connected to the Marmara Sea and Black Sea by the Dardanelles and Bosphorus; the Aegean Islands are within the sea and some bound it on its southern periphery, including Crete and Rhodes. The sea was traditionally known as the Archipelago, but in English the meaning of Archipelago has changed to refer to the Aegean Islands and to any island group. In ancient times, there were various explanations for the name Aegean, it was said to have been named after the Greek town of Aegae. A possible etymology is a derivation from the Greek word αἶγες – aiges = "waves", hence "wavy sea", cf. αἰγιαλός, hence meaning "sea-shore". The Venetians, who ruled many Greek islands in the High and Late Middle Ages, popularized the name Archipelago, a name that held on in many European countries until the early modern period.
In some South Slavic languages the Aegean is called White Sea. The Aegean Sea covers about 214,000 square kilometres in area, measures about 610 kilometres longitudinally and 300 kilometres latitudinally; the sea's maximum depth is 3,543 metres, east of Crete. The Aegean Islands are found within its waters, with the following islands delimiting the sea on the south: Kythera, Crete, Kasos and Rhodes; the Aegean Islands, which all belong to Greece, can be divided into seven groups: Northeastern Aegean Islands East Aegean Islands Northern Sporades Cyclades Saronic Islands Dodecanese CreteThe word archipelago was applied to the Aegean Sea and its islands. Many of the Aegean Islands, or chains of islands, are extensions of the mountains on the mainland. One chain extends across the sea to Chios, another extends across Euboea to Samos, a third extends across the Peloponnese and Crete to Rhodes, dividing the Aegean from the Mediterranean; the bays and gulfs of the Aegean beginning at the South and moving clockwise include on Crete, the Mirabello, Almyros and Chania bays or gulfs, on the mainland the Myrtoan Sea to the west with the Argolic Gulf, the Saronic Gulf northwestward, the Petalies Gulf which connects with the South Euboic Sea, the Pagasetic Gulf which connects with the North Euboic Sea, the Thermian Gulf northwestward, the Chalkidiki Peninsula including the Cassandra and the Singitic Gulfs, northward the Strymonian Gulf and the Gulf of Kavala and the rest are in Turkey.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Aegean Sea as follows: On the South. A line running from Cape Aspro in Asia Minor, to Cum Burnù the Northeast extreme of the Island of Rhodes, through the island to Cape Prasonisi, the Southwest point thereof, on to Vrontos Point in Skarpanto, through this island to Castello Point, the South extreme thereof, across to Cape Plaka, through Crete to Agria Grabusa, the Northwest extreme thereof, thence to Cape Apolitares in Antikithera Island, through the island to Psira Rock and across to Cape Trakhili in Kithera Island, through Kithera to the Northwest point and thence to Cape Santa Maria in the Morea. In the Dardanelles. A line joining Kum Kale and Cape Helles. Aegean surface water circulates in a counterclockwise gyre, with hypersaline Mediterranean water moving northward along the west coast of Turkey, before being displaced by less dense Black Sea outflow; the dense Mediterranean water sinks below the Black Sea inflow to a depth of 23–30 metres flows through the Dardanelles Strait and into the Sea of Marmara at velocities of 5–15 cm/s.
The Black Sea outflow moves westward along the northern Aegean Sea flows southwards along the east coast of Greece. The physical oceanography of the Aegean Sea is controlled by the regional climate, the fresh water discharge from major rivers draining southeastern Europe, the seasonal variations in the Black Sea surface water outflow through the Dardanelles Strait. Analysis of the Aegean during 1991 and 1992 revealed three distinct water masses: Aegean Sea Surface Water – 40–50 metres thick veneer, with summer temperatures of 21–26 °C and winter temperatures ranging from 10 °C in the north to 16 °C in the south. Aegean Sea Intermediate Water – Aegean Sea Intermediate Water extends from 40–50 m to 200–300 metres with temperatures ranging from 11–18 °C. Aegean Sea Bottom Water – occurring at depths below 500–1000 m with a uniform temperature and salinity; the current coastline dates back to about 4000 BC. Before that time, at the peak of the last ice age sea levels everywhere were 130 metres lower, there were large well-watered
Justinian II, surnamed the Rhinotmetos or Rhinotmetus, was the last Byzantine Emperor of the Heraclian Dynasty, reigning from 685 to 695 and again from 705 to 711. Justinian II was an ambitious and passionate ruler, keen to restore the Roman Empire to its former glories, but he responded poorly to any opposition to his will and lacked the finesse of his father, Constantine IV, he generated enormous opposition to his reign, resulting in his deposition in 695 in a popular uprising, he only returned to the throne in 705 with the help of a Bulgar and Slav army. His second reign was more despotic than the first, it too saw his eventual overthrow in 711, abandoned by his army who turned on him before killing him. Justinian II was the eldest son of Anastasia, his father raised him to the throne as joint emperor in 681 on the fall of his uncles Heraclius and Tiberius. In 685, at the age of sixteen, Justinian II succeeded his father as sole emperor. Due to Constantine IV's victories, the situation in the Eastern provinces of the Empire was stable when Justinian ascended the throne.
After a preliminary strike against the Arabs in Armenia, Justinian managed to augment the sum paid by the Umayyad Caliphs as an annual tribute, to regain control of part of Cyprus. The incomes of the provinces of Armenia and Iberia were divided among the two empires. In 687, as part of his agreements with the Caliphate, Justinian removed from their native Lebanon 12,000 Christian Maronites, who continually resisted the Arabs. Additional resettlement efforts, aimed at the Mardaites and inhabitants of Cyprus allowed Justinian to reinforce naval forces depleted by earlier conflicts. In 688, Justinian signed a treaty with the Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan which rendered Cyprus neutral ground, with its tax revenue split. Justinian took advantage of the peace in the East to regain possession of the Balkans, which were before almost under the heel of Slavic tribes. In 687 Justinian transferred cavalry troops from Anatolia to Thrace. With a great military campaign in 688–689, Justinian defeated the Bulgars of Macedonia and was able to enter Thessalonica, the second most important Byzantine city in Europe.
The subdued Slavs were resettled in Anatolia, where they were to provide a military force of 30,000 men. Emboldened by the increase of his forces in Anatolia, Justinian now renewed the war against the Arabs. With the help of his new troops, Justinian won a battle against the enemy in Armenia in 693, but they were soon bribed to revolt by the Arabs; the result was that Justinian was comprehensively defeated at the Battle of Sebastopolis, caused by the defection of most of his Slavic troops, while he himself was forced to flee to the Propontis. There, according to Theophanes, he took out his frustration by slaughtering as many of the Slavs in and around Opsikion as he could lay his hands on. In the meantime, a Patrician by the name of Symbatius proceeded to rebel in Armenia, opened up the province to the Arabs, who proceeded to conquer it in 694–695. Meanwhile, the Emperor's bloody persecution of the Manichaeans and suppression of popular traditions of non-Orthodox origin caused dissension within the Church.
In 692 Justinian convened the so-called Quinisext Council at Constantinople to put his religious policies into effect. The Council expanded and clarified the rulings of the Fifth and Sixth ecumenical councils, but by highlighting differences between the Eastern and Western observances the council compromised Byzantine relations with the Roman Church; the emperor ordered Pope Sergius I arrested, but the militias of Rome and Ravenna rebelled and took the Pope's side. Justinian contributed to the development of the thematic organization of the Empire, creating a new theme of Hellas in southern Greece and numbering the heads of the five major themes- Thrace in Europe, the Anatolikon, Armeniakon themes in Asia Minor, the maritime corps of the Karabisianoi- among the senior administrators of the Empire, he sought to protect the rights of peasant freeholders, who served as the main recruitment pool for the armed forces of the Empire, against attempts by the aristocracy to acquire their land. This put him in direct conflict with some of the largest landholders in the Empire.
While his land policies threatened the aristocracy, his tax policy was unpopular with the common people. Through his agents Stephen and Theodotos, the emperor raised the funds to gratify his sumptuous tastes and his mania for erecting costly buildings. This, ongoing religious discontent, conflicts with the aristocracy, displeasure over his resettlement policy drove his subjects into rebellion. In 695 the population rose under Leontios, the strategos of Hellas, proclaimed him Emperor. Justinian was deposed and his nose was cut off to prevent his again seeking the throne: such mutilation was common in Byzantine culture, he was exiled to Cherson in the Crimea. Leontius, after a reign of three years, was in turn dethroned and imprisoned by Tiberius Apsimarus, who next assumed the throne. While in exile, Justinian began to gather supporters for an attempt to retake the throne. Justinian became a liability to Cherson and the authorities decided to return him to Constantinople in 702 or 703, he escaped from Cherson and received help from Busir, the khagan of the Khazars, who received him enthusiastically and gave him his sister as a bride.
Justinian renamed her Theodora, after the wife of Justinian I. They were given a home in the town
Alexandria is the second-largest city in Egypt and a major economic centre, extending about 32 km along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country. Its low elevation on the Nile delta makes it vulnerable to rising sea levels. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural oil pipelines from Suez. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination. Alexandria was founded around a small, ancient Egyptian town c. 332 BC by Alexander the Great, king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. Alexandria became an important center of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat. Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Alexandria was at one time the second most powerful city of the ancient Mediterranean region, after Rome.
Ongoing maritime archaeology in the harbor of Alexandria, which began in 1994, is revealing details of Alexandria both before the arrival of Alexander, when a city named Rhacotis existed there, during the Ptolemaic dynasty. From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major center of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centers in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton. Alexandria is believed to have been founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια. Alexander's chief architect for the project was Dinocrates. Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. Although it has long been believed only a small village there, recent radiocarbon dating of seashell fragments and lead contamination show significant human activity at the location for two millennia preceding Alexandria's founding.
Alexandria was the cultural center of the ancient world for some time. The city and its museum attracted many of the greatest scholars, including Greeks and Syrians; the city was plundered and lost its significance. In the early Christian Church, the city was the center of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, one of the major centers of early Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage. Just east of Alexandria, there was in ancient times marshland and several islands; as early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Heracleion. The latter was rediscovered under water. An Egyptian city, Rhakotis existed on the shore and gave its name to Alexandria in the Egyptian language, it continued to exist as the Egyptian quarter of the city. A few months after the foundation, Alexander never returned to his city. After Alexander's departure, his viceroy, continued the expansion.
Following a struggle with the other successors of Alexander, his general Ptolemy Lagides succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to Alexandria, though it was lost after being separated from its burial site there. Although Cleomenes was in charge of overseeing Alexandria's continuous development, the Heptastadion and the mainland quarters seem to have been Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and, for some centuries more, was second only to Rome, it became Egypt's main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism, but was home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world; the Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic center of learning, but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek and Egyptian.
By the time of Augustus, the city walls encompassed an area of 5.34 km2, the total population in Roman times was around 500-600,000. According to Philo of Alexandria, in the year 38 of the Common era, disturbances erupted between Jews and Greek citizens of Alexandria during a visit paid by the Jewish king Agrippa I to Alexandria, principally over the respect paid by the Jewish nation to the Roman emperor, which escalated to open affronts and violence between the two ethnic groups and the desecration of Alexandrian synagogues; the violence was quelled after Caligula intervened and had the Roman governor, removed from the city. In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July
A caliphate is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph, a person considered a religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad and a leader of the entire ummah. The caliphates were polities based in Islam which developed into multi-ethnic trans-national empires. During the medieval period, three major caliphates succeeded each other: the Rashidun Caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate and the Abbasid Caliphate. In the fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, the rulers of the Ottoman Empire claimed caliphal authority from 1517. During the history of Islam, a few other Muslim states all hereditary monarchies, have claimed to be caliphates. Prior to the rise of Muhammad and the unification of the tribes of Arabia under Islam, Arabs followed a pre-Islamic Arab polytheism, lived as self-governing sedentary and nomadic communities, raided their neighbouring tribes. Following the early Muslim conquests of the Arabian Peninsula, the region became unified and most of the tribes adopted Islam.
The first caliphate, the Rashidun Caliphate, was established after Muhammad's death in 632. The four Rashidun caliphs, who directly succeeded Muhammad as leaders of the Muslim community, were chosen through shura, a process of community consultation that some consider to be an early form of Islamic democracy; the fourth caliph, who, unlike the prior three, was from the same clan as Muhammad, is considered by Shia Muslims to be the first rightful caliph and Imam after Muhammad. Ali reigned during the First Fitna, a civil war between supporters of Ali and supporters of the assassinated previous caliph, from Banu Umayya, as well as rebels in Egypt; the second caliphate, the Umayyad Caliphate, was ruled by Banu Umayya, a Meccan clan descended from Umayya ibn Abd Shams. The caliphate continued the Arab conquests, incorporating the Caucasus, Sindh, the Maghreb and the Iberian Peninsula into the Muslim world; the caliphate had considerable acceptance of the Christians within its territory, necessitated by their large numbers in the region of Syria.
Following the Abbasid Revolution from 746–750, which arose from non-Arab Muslim disenfranchisement, the Abbasid Caliphate was established in 750. The third caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate was ruled by the Abbasids, a dynasty of Meccan origin which descended from Hashim, a great-grandfather of Muhammad, making them part of Banu Hashim, via Abbas, an uncle of Muhammad, hence the name. Caliph al-Mansur founded its second capital of Baghdad in 762 which became a major scientific and art centre, as did the territory as a whole during a period known as the Islamic Golden Age. From the 10th century, Abbasid rule became confined to an area around Baghdad. From 945 to 1157, the Abbasid Caliphate came under Buyid and Seljuq military control. In 1250, a non-Arab army created by the Abbasids called. In 1258, the Mongol Empire sacked Baghdad, ending the Abbasid Caliphate, in 1261 the Mamluks in Egypt re-established the Abbasid Caliphate in Cairo. Though lacking in political power, the Abbasid dynasty continued to claim authority in religious matters until the Ottoman conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517.
The fourth major caliphate, the Ottoman Caliphate, was established after their conquest of Mamluk Egypt in 1517. The conquest gave the Ottomans control over the holy cities of Mecca and Medina controlled by the Mamluks; the Ottomans came to be viewed as the de facto leaders and representatives of the Muslim world. In the Indian subcontinent, dominant powers such as the Delhi Sultanate's Alauddin Khilji, Mughal Empire's sixth ruler Aurangzeb, Mysore's kings Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan have been heralded as few of the Indian caliphs existed, due to their establishments of Islamic laws throughout South Asia. Following their defeat in World War I, their empire was partitioned by the United Kingdom and French Third Republic, on 3 March 1924, the first President of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, as part of his reforms, constitutionally abolished the institution of the caliphate. A few other states that existed through history have called themselves caliphates, including the Isma'ili Fatimid Caliphate in Northeast Africa, the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in Iberia, the Berber Almohad Caliphate in Morocco and the Fula Sokoto Caliphate in present-day northern Nigeria.
The Sunni branch of Islam stipulates that, as a head of state, a caliph may come to power in one of four ways: either through an election, through nomination, through a selection by a committee, or by force. Followers of Shia Islam, believe a caliph should be an Imam chosen by God from the Ahl al-Bayt. In the early 21st century, following the failure of the Arab Spring and defeat of the self-proclaimed "Islamic State", there has seen "a broad mainstream embrace of a collective Muslim identity" by young Muslims and the appeal of a caliphate as a "idealized future Muslim state" has grown stronger. Before the advent of Islam, Arabian monarchs traditionally used the title malik, or another from the same root; the term caliph, derives from the Arabic word khalīfah, which means "successor", "steward", or "deputy" and has traditionally been considered a shortening of Khalīfat Rasūl Allāh. However, studies of pre-Islamic texts suggest that the original meaning of the phr