History of Armenia
Armenia lies in the highlands surrounding the Biblical mountains of Ararat. The original Armenian name for the country was Hayk Hayastan, translated as the land of Haik, consisting of the name of the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya and the Persian suffix'-stan'; the historical enemy of Hayk, was Bel, or in other words Baal. The name Armenia was given to the country by the surrounding states, it is traditionally derived from Armenak or Aram. In the Bronze Age, several states flourished in the area of Greater Armenia, including the Hittite Empire and Hayasa-Azzi. Soon after the Hayasa-Azzi were the Nairi and the Kingdom of Urartu, who successively established their sovereignty over the Armenian Highland; each of the aforementioned nations and tribes participated in the ethnogenesis of the Armenian people. Yerevan, the modern capital of Armenia, dates back to the 8th century BC, with the founding of the fortress of Erebuni in 782 BC by King Argishti I at the western extreme of the Ararat plain. Erebuni has been described as "designed as a great administrative and religious centre, a royal capital."The Iron Age kingdom of Urartu was replaced by the Orontid dynasty.
Following Persian and subsequent Macedonian rule, the Artaxiad dynasty from 190 BC gave rise to the Kingdom of Armenia which rose to the peak of its influence under Tigranes II before falling under Roman rule. In 301, Arsacid Armenia was the first sovereign nation to accept Christianity as a state religion; the Armenians fell under Byzantine, Sassanid Persian, Islamic hegemony, but reinstated their independence with the Bagratid Dynasty kingdom of Armenia. After the fall of the kingdom in 1045, the subsequent Seljuk conquest of Armenia in 1064, the Armenians established a kingdom in Cilicia, where they prolonged their sovereignty to 1375. Starting in the early 16th century, Greater Armenia came under Safavid Persian rule, however over the centuries Eastern Armenia remained under Persian rule while Western Armenia fell under Ottoman rule. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia was conquered by Russia and Greater Armenia was divided between the Ottoman and Russian Empires. In the early 20th century Armenians suffered in the genocide inflicted on them by the Ottoman government of Turkey, in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed and many more dispersed throughout the world via Syria and Lebanon.
Armenia, from on corresponding to much of Eastern Armenia, regained independence in 1918, with the establishment of the First Republic of Armenia, in 1991, the Republic of Armenia. Stone tools from 325,000 years ago have been found in Armenia which indicate the presence of early humans at this time. In the 1960s excavations in the Yerevan 1 Cave uncovered evidence of ancient human habitation, including the remains of a 48,000-year-old heart, a human cranial fragment and tooth of a similar age; the Armenian Highland shows traces of settlement from the Neolithic era. Archaeological surveys in 2010 and 2011 have resulted in the discovery of the world's earliest known leather shoe, straw skirt, wine-making facility at the Areni-1 cave complex; the Shulaveri-Shomu culture of the central Transcaucasus region is one of the earliest known prehistoric cultures in the area, carbon-dated to 6000–4000 BC. An early Bronze-Age culture in the area is the Kura-Araxes culture, assigned to the period between c. 4000 and 2200 BC.
The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain. Early 20th-century scholars suggested that the name Armenian may have been recorded for the first time on an inscription which mentions Armanî together with Ibla, from territories conquered by Naram-Sin identified with an Akkadian colony in the current region of Diyarbekir. Today, the Modern Assyrians refer to the Armenians by the name Armani; the word is speculated to be related to the Mannaeans, which may be identical to the biblical Minni. The earliest forms of the word Hayastan, an ethonym the Armenians use to designate their country, might come from Hittite sources of the Late Bronze Age, such as the kingdom of Hayasa-Azzi. Another record mentioned by pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt in the 33rd year of his reign as the people of Ermenen, says in their land "heaven rests upon its four pillars". However, what all these attestations refer to cannot be determined with certainty, the earliest certain attestation of the name Armenia comes from the Behistun Inscription.
Between 1500 and 1200 BC, the Hayasa-Azzi existed in the western half of the Armenian Highland clashing with the Hittite Empire. Between 1200 and 800 BC, much of Armenia was united under a confederation of kingdoms, which Assyrian sources called Nairi; the Kingdom of Urartu flourished between 585 BC in the Armenian Highland. The founder of the Urartian Kingdom, Aramé, united all the principalities of the Armenian Highland and gave himself the title "King of Kings", the traditional title of Urartian Kings; the Urartians established their sovereignty over all of Vaspurakan. The main rival of Urartu was the Neo-As
Roman–Parthian War of 58–63
The Roman–Parthian War of 58–63 or the War of the Armenian Succession was fought between the Roman Empire and the Parthian Empire over control of Armenia, a vital buffer state between the two realms. Armenia had been a Roman client state since the days of Emperor Augustus, but in 52/53, the Parthians succeeded in installing their own candidate, Tiridates, on the Armenian throne; these events coincided with the accession of Nero to the imperial throne in Rome, the young emperor decided to react vigorously. The war, the only major foreign campaign of his reign, began with rapid success for the Roman forces, led by the able general Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, they overcame the forces loyal to Tiridates, installed their own candidate, Tigranes VI, on the Armenian throne, left the country. The Romans were aided by the fact that the Parthian king Vologases was embroiled in the suppression of a series of revolts in his own country; as soon as these had been dealt with, the Parthians turned their attention to Armenia, after a couple of years of inconclusive campaigning, inflicted a heavy defeat on the Romans in the Battle of Rhandeia.
The conflict ended soon after, in an effective stalemate and a formal compromise: a Parthian prince of the Arsacid line would henceforth sit on the Armenian throne, but his nomination had to be approved by the Roman emperor. This conflict was the first direct confrontation between Parthia and the Romans since Crassus' disastrous expedition and Mark Antony's campaigns a century earlier, would be the first of a long series of wars between Rome and Iranian powers over Armenia. Since the expanding Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire had come into contact in the mid-1st century BC, there had been friction between the two great powers of the Near East over the control of the various states lying between them; the largest and most important of these was the Kingdom of Armenia. In 20 BC, Augustus succeeded in establishing a Roman protectorate over the country, when Tigranes III was enthroned as king of Armenia. Roman influence was secured through a series of Roman-sponsored kings until 37 AD, when a Parthian-supported candidate, assumed the throne.
The Roman-supported king, recovered his throne with the support of Emperor Claudius in 42 AD, but was deposed in 51 AD by his nephew Rhadamistus of Iberia. His rule became unpopular and this gave the newly crowned king Vologases I of Parthia the opportunity to intervene, his forces seized the two capitals of Armenia and Tigranocerta, put his younger brother Tiridates on the throne. The onset of a bitter winter and the outbreak of an epidemic forced the Parthian forces to withdraw, allowing Rhadamistus to retake control of the country, his behavior towards his subjects, was worse than before, they rose in rebellion against him. Thus in 54 AD Rhadamistus fled to his father's court in Iberia, Tiridates re-established himself in Armenia. In the same year, in Rome, Emperor Claudius was succeeded by his stepson Nero; the Parthian encroachment in an area regarded as lying within the Roman sphere of influence worried the Roman leadership, was seen as a major test of the new emperor's ability. Nero reacted vigorously, appointing Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, a general who had distinguished himself in Germania and now served as governor of Asia, to supreme command in the East.
Corbulo was given control over two provinces and Galatia, with propraetorial and proconsular authority or imperium. Although Galatia was considered a good recruiting-ground and Cappadocia had a few units of auxiliaries, the bulk of his army came from Syria, where half the garrison of four legions and several units of auxiliaries was transferred to his command; the Romans hoped to resolve the situation by diplomatic means: Corbulo and Ummidius Quadratus, the governor of Syria, both sent embassies to Vologases, proposing that he give up hostages, as was customary during negotiations, to ensure good faith. Vologases, himself preoccupied by the revolt of his son Vardanes which forced him to withdraw his troops from Armenia complied. A period of inactivity ensued. Corbulo used this lull to restore his troops' discipline and combat readiness, which had diminished in the peaceful garrisons of the East. According to Tacitus, Corbulo discharged all who were old or in ill health, kept the entire army under canvas in the harsh winters of the Anatolian plateau to acclimatize them to the snows of Armenia, enforced a strict discipline, punishing deserters by death.
At the same time, however, he took care to be present amongst his men, sharing their hardships. In the meantime, backed by his brother, refused to go to Rome, engaged in operations against those Armenians whom he deemed were loyal to Rome. Tension mounted and in the early spring of 58, war broke out. Corbulo had placed a large number of his auxiliaries in a line of forts near the Armenian frontier under a former primus pilus, Paccius Orfitus. Disobeying Corbulo's orders, he used some newly arrived auxiliary cavalry alae to stage a raid against the Armenians, who appeared to be unprepared. In the event, his raid failed, the retreating troops spread their panic amongst the garrisons of the other forts, it was an inauspicious start for a campaign, Corbulo punished the survivors and their commanders. Having drilled his army for two years, despite this misadventure, was ready, he had three legions at his disposal, to which were added a large number of auxiliaries and allied contingents from Eastern client kings like Aristobulus of
The sestertius, or sesterce, was an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a silver coin issued only on rare occasions. During the Roman Empire it was a large brass coin; the name sestertius means "two and one half", referring to its nominal value of two and a half asses, a value, useful for commerce because it was one quarter of a denarius, a coin worth ten asses. The name is derived from semis, "half" and "tertius", "third", in which "third" refers to the third as: the sestertius was worth two full asses and half of a third. English-language sources use the original Latin form sestertius, plural sestertii. A modern shorthand for values in sestertii is IIS, in which the Roman numeral II is followed by S for semis, the whole struck through; the sestertius was introduced c. 211 BC as a small silver coin valued at one-quarter of a denarius. A silver denarius was supposed to weigh about 4.5 grams, valued at ten grams, with the silver sestertius valued at two and one-half grams. In practice, the coins were underweight.
When the denarius was retariffed to sixteen asses, the sestertius was accordingly revalued to four asses, still equal to one quarter of a denarius. It was produced sporadically, far less than the denarius, through 44 BC. In or about 23 BC, with the coinage reform of Augustus, the sestertius was reintroduced as a large brass denomination. While the as, now made of copper, was worth 1/4 of a sestertius. Augustus tariffed the value of the sestertius as 1/100 gold aureus; the sestertius was produced as the largest brass denomination until the late 3rd century AD. Most were struck in the mint of Rome but from AD 64 during the reign of Nero and Vespasian, the mint of Lyon, supplemented production. Lyon sestertii can be recognised by legend stop, beneath the bust; the brass sestertius weighs in the region of 25 to 28 grammes, is around 32–34 mm in diameter and about 4 mm thick. The distinction between bronze and brass was important to the Romans, their name for brass was orichalcum spelled aurichalcum, meaning'gold-copper', because of its shiny, gold-like appearance when the coins were newly struck.
Orichalcum was considered, by weight. This is why the half-sestertius, the dupondius, was around the same size and weight as the bronze was, but was worth two asses. Sestertii continued to be struck until the late 3rd century, although there was a marked deterioration in the quality of the metal used and the striking though portraiture remained strong. Emperors relied on melting down older sestertii, a process which led to the zinc component being lost as it burned off in the high temperatures needed to melt copper; the shortfall was made up with bronze and lead. Sestertii tend to be darker in appearance as a result and are made from more crudely prepared blanks; the gradual impact of inflation caused by debasement of the silver currency meant that the purchasing power of the sestertius and smaller denominations like the dupondius and as was reduced. In the 1st century AD, everyday small change was dominated by the dupondius and as, but in the 2nd century, as inflation bit, the sestertius became the dominant small change.
In the 3rd century silver coinage contained less and less silver, more and more copper or bronze. By the 260s and 270s the main unit was the double-denarius, the Antoninianus, but by these small coins were all bronze. Although these coins were theoretically worth eight sestertii, the average sestertius was worth far more in plain terms of the metal it contained; some of the last sestertii were struck by Aurelian. During the end of its issue, when sestertii were reduced in size and quality, the double sestertius was issued first by Trajan Decius and in large quantity by the ruler of a breakaway regime in the West, named Postumus, who used worn old sestertii to overstrike his image and legends on; the double sestertius was distinguished from the sestertius by the radiate crown worn by the emperor, a device used to distinguish the dupondius from the as and the Antoninianus from the denarius. The inevitable happened. Many sestertii were withdrawn by the state and by forgers, to melt down to make the debased Antoninianus, which made inflation worse.
In the coinage reforms of the 4th century, the sestertius passed into history. The sestertius was used as a standard unit of account and was represented on inscriptions with the monogram HS. Large values were recorded in terms of sestertium milia, thousands of sestertii, with the milia omitted and implied; the wealthy general and politician of the late Roman Republic, who fought in the war to defeat Spartacus, was said by Pliny the Elder to have had "estates worth 200 million sesterces". A loaf of bread cost half a sestertius, a sextarius of wine anywhere from less than half to more than one sestertius. One modius of wheat in 79 AD Pompeii cost se
Trajan's Dacian Wars
The Dacian Wars were two military campaigns fought between the Roman Empire and Dacia during Emperor Trajan's rule. The conflicts were triggered by the constant Dacian threat on the Danubian province of Moesia and by the increasing need for resources of the economy of the Empire. Trajan turned his attention to Dacia, an area north of Macedon and Greece and east of the Danube, on the Roman agenda since before the days of Caesar when the Dacians defeated a Roman army at the Battle of Histria. In AD 85, the Dacians swarmed over the Danube and pillaged Moesia and defeated the army that Emperor Domitian sent against them; the Romans were defeated in the Battle of Tapae in 88 and a truce was established. Emperor Trajan recommenced hostilities against Dacia and, following an uncertain number of battles, defeated the Dacian king Decebalus in the Second Battle of Tapae in 101. With Trajan's troops pressing towards the Dacian capital Sarmizegetusa Regia, Decebalus once more sought terms. Decebalus rebuilt his power over the following years and attacked Roman garrisons again in 105.
In response Trajan again marched into Dacia, besieging the Dacian capital in the Siege of Sarmizegetusa, razing it. With Dacia quelled, Trajan subsequently invaded the Parthian empire to the east, his conquests expanding the Roman Empire to its greatest extent. Rome's borders in the east were indirectly governed through a system of client states for some time, leading to less direct campaigning than in the west in this period. Since the reign of Burebista considered to be the greatest Dacian king—who ruled between 82 BC and 44 BC—the Dacians had represented a threat for the Roman Empire. Caesar himself had drawn up a plan to launch a campaign against Dacia; the threat was reduced when dynastic struggles in Dacia led to a division into four separately governed tribal states after Burebista's death in 44 BC. Augustus came into conflict with Dacia after it sent envoys offering its support against Mark Antony in exchange for "requests", the nature of which has not been recorded. Augustus rejected Dacia gave its support to Antony.
In 29 BC, Augustus sent several punitive expeditions into Dacia led by Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives, the consul of the prior year, that inflicted heavy casualties and killed three of their five kings. Although Dacian raids into Pannonia and Moesia continued for several years despite the defeat, the threat of Dacia had ended. After 116 years of relative peace along the Roman frontier, in the winter of 85 AD to 86 AD the army of King Duras led by general Diurpaneus attacked the Roman province of Moesia, killing its governor, Oppius Sabinus, a former consul; the emperor Domitian led legions into the ravaged province and reorganized the possession into Moesia Inferior and Moesia Superior, planning an attack into Dacia for the next campaign season. The next year, with the arrival of fresh legions in 87 AD, Domitian began what became the First Dacian War. General Diurpaneus sent an envoy to Domitian offering peace, he was rejected and the praetorian prefect Cornelius Fuscus crossed the Danube into Dacia with 5 or 6 legions on a bridge built on boats.
The Roman army was ambushed and defeated at the First Battle of Tapae by Diurpaneus, subsequently renamed Decebalus, who, as a consequence, was chosen to be the new king. Fuscus was killed and the legions lost their banners, adding to the humiliation. In 88, the Roman offensive continued, the Roman army, this time under the command of Tettius Julianus, defeated the Dacians at their outlying fortress of Sarmizegetusa at Tapae, near the current village of Bucova. After this battle Decebalus, now the king of the four reunited arms of the Dacians, asked for peace, again refused. Domitian accepted the offer because his legions were needed along the Rhine to put down the revolt of Lucius Antonius Saturninus, the Roman governor of Germania Superior who had allied with the Marcomanni and Sarmatian Yazgulyams against Domitian. Throughout the 1st century, Roman policy dictated that threats from neighbouring nations and provinces were to be contained promptly; the peace treaty following the First Battle of Tapae, followed by an indecisive and costly Roman victory on the same ground a year was unfavorable for the Empire.
Following the peace of 89 AD, Decebalus became a client of Rome, with acceptance of Decebalus as king. He received a lump sum of money, annual financial stipends, craftsmen in trades devoted to both peace and war, war machines to defend the empire's borders; the craftsmen were used by the Dacians to upgrade their own defences. Some historians believe this was an unfavorable peace and that it might have led to Domitian's assassination in September 96. Despite some co-operation on the diplomatic front with Domitian, Decebalus continued to oppose Rome. At the time, Rome was suffering from economic difficulties brought on by military campaigns throughout Europe and in part due to a low gold content in Roman money as directed by Emperor Nero. Confirmed rumors of Dacian gold and other valuable trade resources inflamed the conflict, as did the Dacians' defiant behavior, as they were "unbowed and unbroken". However, other pressing reasons motivated them to action. Researchers estimate that only ten percent of barbarians such as Spanish and Gallic warriors had access to swords the nobility.
By contrast Dacia were prolific metal workers. A large percentage of Dacians owned swords reducing Rome's military advantage. Dacia sported 250,000 potential combatants, it was allied to several of its neighbors and on friendly terms with ot
Philip the Arab
Marcus Julius Philippus known by his nickname Philip the Arab, was Roman Emperor from February 244 to September 249. He was born in the Roman province of Arabia, in a city situated in modern-day Syria, he went on to become a major figure in the Roman Empire. After the death of Gordian III in February 244, Praetorian prefect, achieved power, he negotiated peace with the Persian Sassanid Empire. During his reign, the city of Rome celebrated its millennium. Among early Christian writers, Philip had the reputation of being sympathetic to the Christian faith. For this reason, it was claimed by some that he had converted to Christianity, which would have made him the first Christian emperor, he tried to celebrate Easter with Christians in Antioch, but the bishop Saint Babylas made him stand with the penitents. Philip and his wife received letters from Origen. Philip was betrayed and killed at the Battle of Verona in September 249 following a rebellion led by his successor, Gaius Messius Quintus Decius.
Little is known about political career. He was born in what is today Shahba, about 90 kilometres southeast of Damascus, in the Trachonitis district. At the time this was in the Roman province of Arabia, Glen Bowersock believes that Philip was indeed of Arab origin, he was the son of a local citizen, Julius Marinus of some importance. Allegations from Roman sources that Philip had a humble origin or that his father was a leader of brigands are not accepted by modern historians. While the name of Philip's mother is unknown, he did have a brother, Gaius Julius Priscus, an equestrian and a member of the Praetorian Guard under Gordian III. In 234, Philip married daughter of a Roman Governor, they had three children, a son named Marcus Julius Philippus Severus, born in 238, a daughter called Julia Severa or Severina, known from numismatic evidence but is never mentioned by the ancient Roman sources and a son named Quintus Philippus Severus, born in 247. Philip's rise to prominence began through the intervention of his brother Priscus, an important official under the emperor Gordian III.
His big break came in 243, during Gordian III's campaign against Shapur I of Persia, when the Praetorian prefect Timesitheus died under unclear circumstances. At the suggestion of his brother Priscus, Philip became the new Praetorian prefect, with the intention that the two brothers would control the young Emperor and rule the Roman world as unofficial regents. Following a military defeat, Gordian III died in February 244 under circumstances that are still debated. While some claim that Philip conspired in his murder, other accounts state that Gordian died in battle. Whatever the case, Philip assumed the purple robe following Gordian's death. According to Edward Gibbon: His rise from so obscure a station to the first dignities of the empire seems to prove that he was a bold and able leader, but his boldness prompted him to aspire to the throne, his abilities were employed to supplant, not to serve, his indulgent master. Philip was not willing to repeat the mistakes of previous claimants, was aware that he had to return to Rome in order to secure his position with the senate.
However, his first priority was to conclude a peace treaty with Shapur I of Persia, withdraw the army from a disastrous situation. Although Philip was accused of abandoning territory, the actual terms of the peace were not as humiliating as they could have been. Philip retained Timesitheus’ reconquest of Osroene and Mesopotamia, but he had to agree that Armenia lay within Persia’s sphere of influence, he had to pay an enormous indemnity to the Persians of 500,000 gold denarii. Philip issued coins proclaiming that he had made peace with the Persians. Leading his army back up the Euphrates, south of Circesium Philip erected a cenotaph in honor of Gordian III, but his ashes were sent ahead to Rome, where he arranged for Gordian III’s deification. Whilst in Antioch, he left his brother Priscus as extraordinary ruler of the Eastern provinces, with the title of rector Orientis. Moving westward, he gave his brother-in-law Severianus control of the provinces of Moesia and Macedonia, he arrived in Rome in the late summer of 244, where he was confirmed Augustus.
Before the end of the year, he nominated his young son Caesar and heir, his wife, Otacilia Severa, was named Augusta, he deified his father Marinus though the latter had never been emperor. While in Rome, Philip claimed an official victory over the Persians with the titles of Parthicus Adiabenicus, Persicus Maximus and Parthicus Maximus. In an attempt to shore up his regime, Philip put a great deal of effort in maintaining good relations with the Senate, from the beginning of his reign, he reaffirmed the old Roman virtues and traditions, he ordered an enormous building program in his home town, renaming it Philippopolis, raising it to civic status, while he populated it with statues of himself and his family. This creation of a new city, piled on top of the massive tribute owed to the Persians, as well as the necessary donative to the army to secure its acceptance of his accession, meant Philip was short of money. To pay for it, he ruthlessly increased levels of taxation, while at the same time he ceased paying subsidies to the tribes north of the Danube that were vital for keeping the peace on the frontiers.
Muslim conquest of Egypt
Before the Muslim conquest of Egypt. Egypt had been conquered just a decade before by the Persian Sassanid Empire under Khosrau II; the Rashidun Caliphate took advantage of the exhaustion of the Byzantine army and captured Egypt ten years after its reconquest by Heraclius. Before the Muslim conquest of Egypt had begun, Byzantium had lost the Levant and its Ghassanid allies in Arabia to the Caliphate; the loss of the prosperous province of Egypt and the defeat of the Byzantine armies weakened the empire, allowing for further territorial losses in the centuries to come. In December 639, ` Amr ibn al - `. Most of the soldiers belonged to the Arab tribe of'Ak, although Al-Kindi mentions that one-third of the soldiers belonged to the Arab tribe of Ghafik; the Arab soldiers were joined by some Roman and Persian converts to Islam. However,'Umar, the Muslim caliph, reconsidered his orders to Amr, thinking it foolhardy to expect to conquer such a large country as Egypt with a mere 4,000 soldiers. Accordingly, he wrote.
The messenger,'Uqbah ibn'Amr, caught up with Amr at Rafah, a little short of the Egyptian frontier. Guessing what might be in the letter,'Amr ordered the army to quicken its pace. Turning to'Uqbah,'Amr said that he would receive the caliph's letter from him when the army had halted after the day's journey.'Uqbah, being unaware of the contents of the letter and marched along with the army. The army halted for the night at Shajratein, a little valley near the city of El Arish, which'Amr knew to be beyond the Egyptian border.'Amr received and read'Umar's letter and went on to consult his companions as to the course of action to be adopted. The unanimous view was that as they had received the letter on Egyptian soil, they had permission to proceed. When'Umar received the reply, he decided to watch further developments and started concentrating fresh forces at Madinah that could be dispatched to Egypt as reinforcements. On Eid al-Adha, the Muslim army marched from Shajratein to El Arish, a small town lacking a garrison.
The town put up no resistance, the citizens offered allegiance on the usual terms. The Muslim soldiers celebrated the Eid festival there. In the part of December 639 or in early January 640, the Muslim army reached Pelusium, an Eastern Roman garrison city, considered Egypt's eastern gate at the time; the Muslim siege of the town dragged on for two months. In February 640, an assault group led by a prominent field commander Huzaifah ibn Wala assaulted and captured the fort and city. Armanousa, the daughter of Cyrus who fiercely resisted the Muslims in Pelusium and fell hostage in their hands, was sent to her father in the Babylon Fortress; the losses incurred by the Arab Muslim army were ameliorated by the number of Sinai Bedouins who, taking the initiative, had joined them in conquering Egypt. These Bedouins belonged to the tribes of Lakhm; the ease with which Pelusium fell to the Muslim Arabs, the lack of Byzantine reinforcements to aid the city during the month-long siege, is attributed to the treachery of the Egyptian governor, the Monothelite/Monophysite Patriarch of Alexandria.
After the fall of Pelusium, the Muslims marched to Belbeis, 65 kilometres from Memphis via desert roads and besieged it. Belbeis was the first place in Egypt where the Byzantines showed some measure of resistance towards the Arab conquerors. Two Christian monks accompanied by Cyrus of Alexandria and the famous Roman general Aretion came out to negotiate with'Amr ibn al-'As. Aretion was the Byzantine governor of Jerusalem, had fled to Egypt when the city fell to the Muslims.'Amr gave them three options: to either convert to Islam, to pay Jizya, or to fight the Muslims. They requested three days to reflect --. At the end of the five days, the two monks and the general decided to reject Islam and Jizya and fight the Muslims, they thus disobeyed Cyrus of Alexandria, who wanted to surrender and pay Jizya. Cyrus subsequently left for the Babylon Fortress, while the two monks and Aretion decided to fight the Arabs; the fight resulted in the victory of the latter and the death of Aretion.'Amr ibn al-'As subsequently attempted to convince the native Egyptians to aid the Arabs and surrender the city, based on the kinship between Egyptians and Arabs via Hagar.
When the Egyptians refused, the siege of Belbeis was continued. Towards the end of March 640, the city surrendered to the Muslims. With the fall of Belbeis, the Arabs were only one day away from the head of the Delta. Amr had visualized; this expectation turned out to be wrong. At the outposts of Pelusium and Belbeis, the Muslims had met stiff resistance; the siege of Pelusium had lasted for that of Belbeis for one month. Both battles were preludes to the siege of Babylon, a larger and more important city. Here, resistance on a larger scale was expected. After the fall of Belbeis, the Muslims advanced near modern Cairo; the Muslims arrived at Babylon some time in May 640 AD. Babylon was a fortified city, the Romans had prepared it for a siege. Outside the city, a ditch had been dug, a large force was positioned in the area between the ditch and the city walls; the Muslims besieged the fort of Babylon some time in May 640. The fort was a massive structure 18 metres high with walls more than 2 metres thick and studded with numerous tower
Gallienus known as Gallien, was Roman Emperor with his father Valerian from 22 October 253 to spring 260 and alone from spring 260 to September 268. He ruled during the Crisis of the Third Century. While he won a number of military victories, he was unable to prevent the secession of important provinces, his 15-year reign was the longest since the 19-year rule of Caracalla. Born into a wealthy and traditional senatorial family, Gallienus was the son of Valerian and Mariniana. Valerian became Emperor on 22 October 253 and had the Roman senate elevate Gallienus to the ranks of Caesar and Augustus. Valerian divided the empire between him and his son, with Valerian ruling the east and his son the west. Gallienus defeated the usurper Ingenuus in 258 and destroyed an Alemanni army at Mediolanum in 259; the defeat and capture of Valerian at Edessa in 260 by the Sasanian Empire threw the Roman Empire into the chaos of civil war. Control of the whole empire passed to Gallienus, he defeated the eastern usurpers Macrianus Major Mussius Aemilianus in 261–262 but failed to stop the formation of the breakaway Gallic Empire under general Postumus.
Aureolus, another usurper, proclaimed himself emperor in Mediolanum in 268 but was defeated outside the city by Gallienus and besieged inside. While the siege was ongoing, Gallienus was stabbed to death by the officer Cecropius as part of a conspiracy; the exact birth date of Gallienus is unknown. The 6th-century Greek chronicler John Malalas and the Epitome de Caesaribus report that he was about 50 years old at the time of his death, meaning he was born around 218, he was the son of emperor Valerian and Mariniana, who may have been of senatorial rank the daughter of Egnatius Victor Marinianus, his brother was Valerianus Minor. Inscriptions on coins connect him with Falerii in Etruria. Gallienus married Cornelia Salonina about ten years before his accession to the throne, she was the mother of three princes: Valerian II, who died in 258. When Valerian was proclaimed Emperor on 22 October 253, he asked the Senate to ratify the elevation of Gallienus to Caesar and Augustus, he was designated Consul Ordinarius for 254.
As Marcus Aurelius and his adopted brother Lucius Verus had done a century earlier and his father divided the Empire. Valerian left for the East to stem the Persian threat, Gallienus remained in Italy to repel the Germanic tribes on the Rhine and Danube. Division of the empire had become necessary due to its sheer size and the numerous threats it faced, it facilitated negotiations with enemies who demanded to communicate directly with the emperor. Gallienus spent most of his time in the provinces of the Rhine area, though he certainly visited the Danube area and Illyricum in the years from 253 to 258. According to Eutropius and Aurelius Victor, he was energetic and successful in preventing invaders from attacking the German provinces and Gaul, despite the weakness caused by Valerian's march on Italy against Aemilianus in 253. According to numismatic evidence, he seems to have won many victories there, a victory in Roman Dacia might be dated to that period; the hostile Latin tradition attributes success to him at this time.
In 255 or 257, Gallienus was made Consul again, suggesting that he visited Rome on those occasions, although no record survives. During his Danube sojourn, he proclaimed his elder son Valerian II Caesar and thus official heir to himself and Valerian I. Sometime between 258 and 260, while Valerian was distracted with the ongoing invasion of Shapur I in the East, Gallienus was preoccupied with his problems in the West, governor of at least one of the Pannonian provinces, took advantage and declared himself emperor. Valerian II had died on the Danube, most in 258. Ingenuus may have been responsible for that calamity. Alternatively, the defeat and capture of Valerian at the battle of Edessa may have been the trigger for the subsequent revolts of Ingenuus and Postumus. In any case, Gallienus reacted with great speed, he left his son Saloninus as Caesar at Cologne, under the supervision of Albanus and the military leadership of Postumus. He hastily crossed the Balkans, taking with him the new cavalry corps under the command of Aureolus and defeated Ingenuus at Mursa or Sirmium.
The victory must be attributed to the cavalry and its brilliant commander. Ingenuus was killed by his own guards or committed suicide by drowning himself after the fall of his capital, Sirmium. A major invasion by the Alemanni and other Germanic tribes occurred between 258 and 260 due to the vacuum left by the withdrawal of troops supporting Gallienus in the campaign against Ingenuus. Franks broke through the lower Rhine, invading Gaul, some reaching as far as southern Spain, sacking Tarraco; the Alemanni invaded through Agri Decumates followed by the Juthungi. After devastating Germania Superior and Raetia (parts