The Visigoths were the western branches of the nomadic tribes of Germanic peoples referred to collectively as the Goths. These tribes flourished and spread throughout the late Roman Empire in Late Antiquity, or what is known as the Migration Period; the Visigoths emerged from earlier Gothic groups who had invaded the Roman Empire beginning in 376 and had defeated the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. Relations between the Romans and the Visigoths were variable, alternately warring with one another and making treaties when convenient; the Visigoths invaded Italy under Alaric I and sacked Rome in 410. After the Visigoths sacked Rome, they began settling down, first in southern Gaul and in Hispania, where they founded the Visigothic Kingdom and maintained a presence from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD; the Visigoths first settled in southern Gaul as foederati to the Romans – a relationship established in 418. However, they soon fell out with their Roman hosts and established their own kingdom with its capital at Toulouse.
They next extended their authority into Hispania at the expense of the Vandals. In 507, their rule in Gaul was ended by the Franks under Clovis I, who defeated them in the Battle of Vouillé. After that, the Visigoth kingdom was limited to Hispania, they never again held territory north of the Pyrenees other than Septimania. A small, elite group of Visigoths came to dominate the governance of that region at the expense of those who had ruled there in the Byzantine province of Spania and the Kingdom of the Suebi. In or around 589, the Visigoths under Reccared I converted from Arianism to Nicene Christianity adopting the culture of their Hispano-Roman subjects, their legal code, the Visigothic Code abolished the longstanding practice of applying different laws for Romans and Visigoths. Once legal distinctions were no longer being made between Romani and Gothi, they became known collectively as Hispani. In the century that followed, the region was dominated by the Councils of the episcopacy. In 711 or 712, an invading force of Arabs and Berbers defeated the Visigoths in the Battle of Guadalete.
Their king and many members of their governing elite were killed, their kingdom collapsed. During their governance of Hispania, the Visigoths built several churches, they left many artifacts, which have been discovered in increasing numbers by archaeologists in recent times. The Treasure of Guarrazar of votive crowns and crosses is the most spectacular, they founded the only new cities in western Europe from the fall of the Western half of the Roman Empire until the rise of the Carolingian dynasty. Many Visigothic names are still in use in modern Portuguese, their most notable legacy, was the Visigothic Code, which served, among other things, as the basis for court procedure in most of Christian Iberia until the Late Middle Ages, centuries after the demise of the kingdom. Contemporaneous references to the Gothic tribes use the terms "Vesi", "Ostrogothi", "Thervingi", "Greuthungi". Most scholars have concluded that the terms "Vesi" and "Tervingi" were both used to refer to one particular tribe, while the terms "Ostrogothi" and "Greuthungi" were used to refer to another.
Herwig Wolfram points out that while primary sources list all four names, whenever they mention two different tribes, they always refer either to "the Vesi and the Ostrogothi" or to "the Tervingi and the Greuthungi", they never pair them up in any other combination. This conclusion is supported by Jordanes, who identified the Visigoth kings from Alaric I to Alaric II as the heirs of the 4th century Tervingian king Athanaric, the Ostrogoth kings from Theoderic the Great to Theodahad as the heirs of the Greuthungi king Ermanaric. In addition, the Notitia Dignitatum equates the Vesi with the Tervingi in a reference to the years 388–391; the earliest sources for each of the four names are contemporaneous. The first recorded reference to "the Tervingi" is in a eulogy of the emperor Maximian, delivered in or shortly after 291 and traditionally ascribed to Claudius Mamertinus, it says that the "Tervingi, another division of the Goths", joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae. The first recorded reference to "the Greuthungi" is by Ammianus Marcellinus, writing no earlier than 392 and later than 395, recounting the words of a Tervingian chieftain, attested as early as 376.
The first known use of the term "Ostrogoths" is in a document dated September 392 from Milan. Wolfram notes that "Vesi" and "Ostrogothi" were terms each tribe used to boastfully describe itself and argues that "Tervingi" and "Greuthungi" were geographical identifiers each tribe used to describe the other; this would explain why the latter terms dropped out of use shortly after 400, when the Goths were displaced by the Hunnic invasions. As an example of this geographical naming practice, Wolfram cites an account by Zosimus of a group of people living north of the Danube who called themselves "the Scythians" but were called "the Greutungi" by members of a different tribe living
Early Muslim conquests
The early Muslim conquests referred to as the Arab conquests and early Islamic conquests began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion; the resulting empire stretched from the borders of China and the Indian subcontinent, across Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, parts of Europe. Edward Gibbon writes in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Under the last of the Umayyads, the Arabian empire extended two hundred days journey from east to west, from the confines of Tartary and India to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean... We should vainly seek the indissoluble union and easy obedience that pervaded the government of Augustus and the Antonines; the language and laws of the Quran were studied with equal devotion at Samarcand and Seville: the Moor and the Indian embraced as countrymen and brothers in the pilgrimage of Mecca.
The Muslim conquests brought about the collapse of the Sassanid Empire and a great territorial loss for the Byzantine Empire. The reasons for the Muslim success are hard to reconstruct in hindsight because only fragmentary sources from the period have survived. Fred McGraw Donner suggests that formation of a state in the Arabian peninsula and ideological coherence and mobilization was a primary reason why the Muslim armies in the space of a hundred years were able to establish the largest pre-modern empire until that time; the estimates for the size of the Islamic Caliphate suggest it was more than thirteen million square kilometers. Most historians agree as well that the Sassanid Persian and Byzantine Roman empires were militarily and economically exhausted from decades of fighting one another, it has been suggested that some Jews and Christians in the Sassanid Empire and Jews and Monophysites in Syria were dissatisfied and welcomed the Muslim forces because of religious conflict in both empires.
It has been suggested that Syriac Christians reinterpreted the events of the conquest to serve a political or religious interest. At other times, such as in the Battle of Firaz, Arab Christians allied themselves with the Persians and Byzantines against the invaders. In the case of Byzantine Egypt and Syria, these lands had been reclaimed from the Persians only a few years before. Arabia was a region that hosted a number of different cultures, some urban and others nomadic Bedouin. Arabian society was divided along tribal and clan lines with the most important divisions being between the "southern" and "northern" tribal associations. Both the Roman and Persian empires competed for influence in Arabia by sponsoring clients, in turn Arabian tribes sought the patronage of the two rival empires to bolster their own ambitions; the Lakhmid kingdom which covered parts of what is now southern Iraq and northern Saudi Arabia was a client of Persia, in 602 the Persians deposed the Lakhmids to take over the defense of the southern frontier themselves.
This left the Persians exposed and over-extended, helping to set the stage for the collapse of Persia that century. Southern Arabia what is now Yemen, had for thousands of years been a wealthy region, a center of the spice trade. Yemen had been at the center of an international trading network linking Eurasia to Africa and Yemen had been visited by merchants from East Africa, the Middle East and from as far away as China. In turn, the Yemeni were great sailors, travelling up the Red Sea to Egypt and across the Indian Ocean to India and down the east African coast. Inland, the valleys of Yemen had been cultivated by a system of irrigation, set back when the Marib Dam was destroyed by an earthquake in about 450 AD. Frankincense and myrrh had been valued in the Mediterranean region, being used in religious ceremonies. However, the conversion of the Mediterranean world to Christianity had reduced the demand for these commodities, causing a major economic slump in southern Arabia which helped to create the impression that Arabia was a backward region.
Little is known of the pre-Islamic religions of Arabia, but it is known that the Arabs worshiped a number of gods such as al-Lat, Manat, al-Uzza and Hubal, with the most important being Allah. There were Jewish and Christian communities in Arabia and aspects of Arab religion reflected their influence. Pilgrimage was a major part of Arabian paganism, one of the most important pilgrimage sites was Mecca, which housed the Kaaba, considered an holy place to visit. Mohammad, a merchant of Mecca, started to have visions in which he claimed that the Archangel Gabriel had told him that he was the last of the prophets continuing the work of Jesus Christ and the prophets of Tanakh. After coming into conflict with the elite of Mecca, Mohammad fled to the city of Yathrib, renamed Medina. At Yathrib, Mohammad by 630 conquered Mecca; the prolonged and escalating Byzantine–Sassanid wars of the 6th and 7th centuries and the recurring outbreaks of bubonic plague left both empires exhausted and weakened in the face of the sudden emergence and expansion of the Arabs.
The last of these wars ended with victory for the Byzantines: Emperor Heraclius regained all lost territories, restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in 629. The war agai
Francia called the Kingdom of the Franks, or Frankish Empire was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during the Early Middle Ages, it is the predecessor of the modern states of Germany. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843; the core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms inter-acted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I, crowned King of the Franks in 496, his dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short and Louis the Pious—father, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, by this point dubbed as the Carolingian Empire.
During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted; the eastern kingdom was called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, expanding eastwards into central Europe. It evolved into the Holy Roman Empire; the western kingdom Neustria was founded in Northern Roman Gaul, as the original kingdom of the Merovingians it came over time to be referred to as Francia, now France, although in other contexts western Europe could still be described as "Frankish". In Germany there are prominent other places named after the Franks such as the region of Franconia, the city of Frankfurt, Frankenstein Castle; the Franks emerged in the 3rd century as a term covering Germanic tribes living on the northern Rhine frontier of the Roman Empire, including the Bructeri, Chamavi and Salians.
While all of them had a tradition of participating in the Roman military, the Salians were allowed to settle within the Roman Empire. In 357, having been living in the civitis of Batavia for some time, Emperor Julian, who forced the Chamavi back out of the empire at the same time, allowed the Salians to settle further away from the border, in Toxandria; some of the early Frankish leaders, such as Flavius Bauto and Arbogast, were committed to the cause of the Romans, but other Frankish rulers, such as Mallobaudes, were active on Roman soil for other reasons. After the fall of Arbogastes, his son Arigius succeeded in establishing a hereditary countship at Trier and after the fall of the usurper Constantine III some Franks supported the usurper Jovinus. Jovinus was dead by 413, but the Romans found it difficult to manage the Franks within their borders; the Frankish king Theudemer was executed by the sword, in c. 422. Around 428, the king Chlodio, whose kingdom may have been in the civitas Tungrorum, launched an attack on Roman territory and extended his realm as far as Camaracum and the Somme.
Though Sidonius Apollinaris relates that Flavius Aetius defeated a wedding party of his people, this period marks the beginning of a situation that would endure for many centuries: the Germanic Franks ruled over an increasing number of Gallo-Roman subjects. The Merovingians, reputed to be relatives of Chlodio, arose from within the Gallo-Roman military, with Childeric and his son Clovis being called "King of the Franks" in the Gallo-Roman military before having any Frankish territorial kingdom. Once Clovis defeated his Roman competitor for power in northern Gaul, Syagrius, he turned to the kings of the Franks to the north and east, as well as other post-Roman kingdoms existing in Gaul: Visigoths and Alemanni; the original core territory of the Frankish kingdom came to be known as Austrasia, while the large Romanised Frankish kingdom in northern Gaul came to be known as Neustria. Chlodio's successors are obscure figures, but what can be certain is that Childeric I his grandson, ruled a Salian kingdom from Tournai as a foederatus of the Romans.
Childeric is chiefly important to history for bequeathing the Franks to his son Clovis, who began an effort to extend his authority over the other Frankish tribes and to expand their territorium south and west into Gaul. Clovis converted to Christianity and put himself on good terms with the powerful Church and with his Gallo-Roman subjects. In a thirty-year reign Clovis defeated the Roman general Syagrius and conquered the Kingdom of Soissons, defeated the Alemanni and established Frankish hegemony over them. Clovis defeated the Visigoths and conquered all of their territory north of the Pyrenees save Septimania, conquered the Bretons and made them vassals of Francia, he conquered most or all of the neighbouring Frankish tribes along the Rhine and incorporated them into his kingdom. He incorporated the various Roman military settlements scattered over Gaul: the Saxons of Bessin, the Britons and the Alans of Armorica and Loire valley or the Taifals of Poitou to name a few prominent ones. By the end of his life, Clovis ruled all of Gaul save the Gothic province of Septimania and the Burgundian kingdom in the southeast.
The Merovingians were a hereditary monarchy. The Frankish kings adhered to th
Al-Andalus known as Muslim Spain, Muslim Iberia, or Islamic Iberia, was a medieval Muslim territory and cultural domain that in its early period occupied most of Iberia, today's Portugal and Spain. At its greatest geographical extent, it occupied the northwest of the Iberian peninsula and a part of present day southern France Septimania and for nearly a century extended its control from Fraxinet over the Alpine passes which connect Italy with the remainder of Western Europe; the name more describes the parts of the peninsula governed by Muslims at various times between 711 and 1492, though the boundaries changed as the Christian Reconquista progressed shrinking to the south around modern-day Andalusia and to the Emirate of Granada. Following the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, al-Andalus at its greatest extent, was divided into five administrative units, corresponding to modern Andalusia and Galicia, Castile and León, Aragon, the County of Barcelona, Septimania; as a political domain, it successively constituted a province of the Umayyad Caliphate, initiated by the Caliph Al-Walid I.
Rule under these kingdoms led to a rise in cultural exchange and cooperation between Muslims and Christians. Christians and Jews were subject to a special tax called Jizya, to the state, which in return provided internal autonomy in practicing their religion and offered the same level of protections by the Muslim rulers. Under the Caliphate of Córdoba, al-Andalus was a beacon of learning, the city of Córdoba, the largest in Europe, became one of the leading cultural and economic centres throughout the Mediterranean Basin and the Islamic world. Achievements that advanced Islamic and Western science came from al-Andalus, including major advances in trigonometry, surgery, pharmacology and other fields. Al-Andalus became a major educational center for Europe and the lands around the Mediterranean Sea as well as a conduit for cultural and scientific exchange between the Islamic and Christian worlds. For much of its history, al-Andalus existed in conflict with Christian kingdoms to the north. After the fall of the Umayyad caliphate, al-Andalus was fragmented into minor states and principalities.
Attacks from the Christians intensified, led by the Castilians under Alfonso VI. The Almoravid empire intervened and repelled the Christian attacks on the region, deposing the weak Andalusi Muslim princes and included al-Andalus under direct Berber rule. In the next century and a half, al-Andalus became a province of the Berber Muslim empires of the Almoravids and Almohads, both based in Marrakesh; the Christian kingdoms in the north of the Iberian Peninsula overpowered the Muslim states to the south. In 1085, Alfonso VI captured Toledo. With the fall of Córdoba in 1236, most of the south fell under Christian rule and the Emirate of Granada became a tributary state of the Kingdom of Castile two years later. In 1249, the Portuguese Reconquista culminated with the conquest of the Algarve by Afonso III, leaving Granada as the last Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula. On January 2, 1492, Emir Muhammad XII surrendered the Emirate of Granada to Queen Isabella I of Castile, completing the Christian Reconquista of the peninsula.
Although al-Andalus ended as a political entity, the nearly eight centuries of Islamic rule which preceded and accompanied the early formation of the Spanish nation-state and identity has left a profound effect on the country's culture and language in Andalusia. The toponym al-Andalus is first attested by inscriptions on coins minted in 716 by the new Muslim government of Iberia; these coins, called dinars, were inscribed in both Arabic. The etymology of the name "al-Andalus" has traditionally been derived from the name of the Vandals. In 1986, Joaquín Vallvé proposed that "al-Andalus" was a corruption of the name Atlantis, Halm in 1989 derived the name from a Gothic term, *landahlauts, in 2002, Georg Bossong suggested its derivation from a pre-Roman substrate. During the caliphate of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I, the commander Tariq ibn-Ziyad led a small force that landed at Gibraltar on April 30, 711, ostensibly to intervene in a Visigothic civil war. After a decisive victory over King Roderic at the Battle of Guadalete on July 19, 711, Tariq ibn-Ziyad, joined by Arab governor Musa ibn Nusayr of Ifriqiya, brought most of the Visigothic Kingdom under Muslim occupation in a seven-year campaign.
They occupied Visigothic Septimania in southern France. Most of the Iberian peninsula became part of the expanding Umayyad Empire, under the name of al-Andalus, it was organized as a province subordinate to Ifriqiya, so, for the first few decades, the governors of al-Andalus were appointed by the emir of Kairouan, rather than the Caliph in Damascus. The regional capital was set at Córdoba, the first influx of Muslim settlers was distributed; the small army Tariq led in the initial conquest consisted of Berbers, while Musa's Arab force of over 12,000 soldiers was accompanied by a group of mawālī, that is, non-Arab Muslims, who were clients of the
Muslim conquest of the Levant
The Muslim conquest of the Levant known as the Arab conquest of the Levant occurred in the first half of the 7th century, refers to the conquest of the region known as the Levant or Shaam to become the Islamic Province of Bilad al-Sham, as part of the Islamic conquests. Arab Muslim forces had appeared on the southern borders before the death of prophet Muhammad in 632, resulting in the Battle of Mu'tah in 629, but the real invasion began in 634 under his successors, the Rashidun Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Khattab, with Khalid ibn al-Walid as their most important military leader. Syria had been under Roman rule for seven centuries prior to the Arab Muslim conquest and had been invaded by the Sassanid Persians on a number of occasions during the 3rd, 6th and 7th centuries. During the Roman period, beginning after the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70, the entire region was renamed Palaestina, subdivided into Diocese I and II; the Romans renamed an area of land including the Negev and the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula as Palaestina Salutaris, sometimes called Palaestina III or Palaestina Tertia.
Part of the area was ruled by the Arab vassal state of the Ghassanids' symmachos. During the last of the Roman-Persian Wars, beginning in 603, the Persians under Khosrau II had succeeded in occupying Syria and Egypt for over a decade before being forced by the victories of Heraclius to conclude the peace of 628. Thus, on the eve of the Muslim conquests the Romans were still in the process of rebuilding their authority in these territories, which in some areas had been lost to them for twenty years. Politically, the Syrian region consisted of two provinces: Syria proper stretched from Antioch and Aleppo in the north to the top of the Dead Sea. To the west and south of the Dead Sea lay the province of Palestine. Syria was a Syriac and Hellenized land with some Jewish presence and with a Arab population in its eastern and southern parts; the Syriac Christians and Arabs had been there since pre-Roman times, some had embraced Christianity since Constantine I legalized it in the fourth century and moved the capital from Italy to Byzantium, from which the name Byzantine is derived.
The Arabs of Syria were people of no consequence until the migration of the powerful Ghassan tribe from Yemen to Syria, who thereafter ruled a semi-autonomous state with their own king under the Romans. The Ghassan Dynasty became one of the honoured princely dynasties of the Empire, with the Ghassan king ruling over the Arabs in Jordan and Southern Syria from his capital at Bosra; the last of the Ghassan kings, who ruled at the time of the Muslim invasion, was Jabla bin Al Aiham. The Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, after re-capturing Syria from the Sassanians, set up new defense lines from Gaza to the south end of the Dead Sea; these lines were only designed to protect communications from bandits, the bulk of the Byzantine defenses were concentrated in Northern Syria facing the traditional foes, the Sassanid Persians. The drawback of this defense line was that it enabled the Muslims, advancing from the desert in the south, to reach as far north as Gaza before meeting regular Byzantine troops; the 7th century was a time of rapid military change in the Byzantine Empire.
The empire was not in a state of collapse when it faced the new challenge from Arabia after being exhausted by recent Roman–Persian Wars, but utterly failed to tackle the challenge effectively. Muhammad died in June 632, Abu Bakr was appointed Caliph and political successor at Medina. Soon after Abu Bakr's succession, several Arab tribes revolted against him in the Ridda wars; the Campaign of the Apostasy was completed during the eleventh year of the Hijri. The year 12 Hijri dawned, on 18 March 633, with Arabia united under the central authority of the Caliph at Medina. Whether Abu Bakr intended a full-out imperial conquest or not is hard to say. After successful campaigns against the Sassanids and the ensuing conquest of Iraq, Khalid established his stronghold in Iraq. While engaged with Sassanid forces, he confronted the Ghassanids, Arab clients of the Byzantines. Medina soon recruited tribal contingents from all over the Arabian peninsula. Only those who had rebelled during the Ridda wars were excluded from the summons and remained excluded from Rashidun armies until 636, when Caliph Umar fell short of manpower for the Battle of Yarmouk and the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah.
The tradition of raising armies from tribal contingents remained in use until 636, when Caliph Umar organised the army as a state department. Abu Bakr organised the army into each with its own commander and objective. Amr ibn al-A'as: Objective Palestine. Move on Elat route across Valley of Arabah. Yazid ibn Abu Sufyan: Objective Damascus. Move on Tabuk route. Shurahbil ibn Hasana: Objective Jordan. Move on Tabuk route after Yazid. Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah: Objective Emesa. Move on Tabuk route after Shurahbil. Not knowing the precise position of the Byzantine army, Abu Bakr ordered that all corps should remain in touch with each other so that they could render assist
Emirate of Crete
The Emirate of Crete was a Muslim state that existed on the Mediterranean island of Crete from the late 820s to the Byzantine reconquest of the island in 961. Although the emirate recognized the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliphate and maintained close ties with Tulunid Egypt, it was de facto independent. A group of Berbers Andalusians exiles led by Abu Hafs Umar al-Iqritishi conquered Crete sometime c. 824 or in the year 827/828, established an independent Islamic state. The Byzantines launched a campaign that took most of the island back in 842 and 843 under Theoktistos, but the reconquest was not completed and was soon reversed. Attempts by the Byzantine Empire to recover the island failed, for the 135 years of its existence, the emirate was one of the major foes of Byzantium. Crete commanded the sea lanes of the Eastern Mediterranean and functioned as a forward base and haven for Muslim corsair fleets that ravaged the Byzantine-controlled shores of the Aegean Sea; the emirate's internal history is less well-known, but all accounts point to considerable prosperity deriving not only from piracy but from extensive trade and agriculture.
The emirate was brought to an end by Nikephoros Phokas, who launched a huge campaign against it in 960–961. Crete had been raided by Muslim forces since the first wave of the Muslim conquests in the mid-7th century, it first experienced a raid in 654 and another in 674/675, parts of the island were temporarily occupied during the reign of the Umayyad Caliph al-Walid I. However, the island at that time was not conquered and despite occasional raids in the 8th century, it remained securely in Byzantine hands. At some point in the second half of the reign of Byzantine Emperor Michael II, a group of Andalusian exiles landed on Crete and began its conquest; these exiles had a long nomadic history. Traditionally they have been described as the survivors of a failed revolt against the emir al-Hakam I of Córdoba in 818. In the aftermath of its suppression, the citizens of the Córdoban suburb of al-Rabad were exiled en masse; some settled in Fez in Morocco, but others, numbering over 10,000, took to piracy joined by other Andalusians, landed in Alexandria and took control of the city until 827, when they were besieged and expelled by the Abbasid general Abdullah ibn Tahir al-Khurasani.
As W. Kubiak points out, the supposed origin from Córdoba is contradicted by other sources, which record the presence of Andalusian corsairs in Alexandria as early as 798/9, their takeover is dated to 814; the exact chronology of the Andalusians' landing in Crete is uncertain. Following the Muslim sources, it is dated to 827 or 828, after the Andalusians' expulsion from Alexandria. Byzantine sources however seem to contradict this, placing their landing soon after the suppression of the large revolt of Thomas the Slav. Further considerations regarding the number and chronology of the Byzantine campaigns launched against the invaders and prosopographical questions of the Byzantine generals that headed them have led other scholars like Vassilios Christides and Christos Makrypoulias to propose an earlier date, c. 824. Under the terms of their agreement with Ibn Tahir, the Andalusians and their families left Alexandria in 40 ships. Historian Warren Treadgold estimates them at some 12,000 people, of whom about 3,000 would be fighting men.
According to Byzantine historians, the Andalusians were familiar with Crete, having raided it in the past. They claim that the Muslim landing was intended as a raid, was transformed into a bid for conquest when Abu Hafs himself set fire to their ships. However, as the Andalusian exiles had brought their families along, this is later invention; the Andalusians' landing-place is unknown. As soon as Emperor Michael II learned of the Arab landing, before the Andalusians had secured their control over the entire island, he reacted and sent successive expeditions to recover the island. Losses suffered during the revolt of Thomas the Slav hampered Byzantium's ability to respond, if the landing occurred in 827/828, the diversion of ships and men to counter the gradual conquest of Sicily by the Tunisian Aghlabids interfered; the first expedition, under Photeinos, strategos of the Anatolic Theme, Damian, Count of the Stable, was defeated in open battle, where Damian was killed. The next expedition was sent a year and comprised 70 ships under the strategos of the Cibyrrhaeots Krateros.
It was victorious, but the overconfident Byzantines were routed in a night attack. Krateros managed to flee to Kos. Makrypoulias suggests that these campaigns must have taken place before the Andalusians completed their construction of Chandax, where they transferred the capital from the inland site of Gortyn. Abu Hafs repulsed the early Byzantine attacks and consolidated control of the entire island, he recognized the suzerainty of the Abbasid Caliphate, but he ruled as a de facto independent prince. The conquest of the island was of major i
Liutprand, King of the Lombards
Liutprand was the King of the Lombards from 712 to 744 and is chiefly remembered for his Donation of Sutri, in 728, his long reign, which brought him into a series of conflicts successful, with most of Italy. He is regarded as the most successful Lombard monarch, notable for the Donation of Sutri, the first accolade of sovereign territory to the Papacy. Liutprand's life began inauspiciously, his father was driven to exile among the Bavarians, his older brother Sigipert was blinded by Aripert II, king of the Lombards and his mother Theodarada and sister Aurona were mutilated. Liutprand was spared, he was allowed to join his father. The reign of Liutprand, son of Ansprand, duke of Asti and king of the Lombards, began the day before his father's death when magnates called to Ansprand's deathbed consented to make Liutprand his colleague. Liutprand's reign endured for thirty-one years. Within the Lombard kingdom he was considered a lawgiver of irreproachable Catholicity. At the opening of his reign, Liutprand's chief ally among neighboring rulers was the Agilolfing Theodo I, the Frankish duke of Bavaria.
Theodo I's intervention on Ansprand's behalf helped him gain the throne. Theodo had taken him in, when he and his father were temporarily expelled by Aripert II in 702, the hospitality was cemented with a marriage connection: Liutprand took to wife the Agilolfing Guntrud; the core of Theodo's policy was resistance to the Merovingian mayors of the palaces in their encroachments north of the Alps, concerns that did not much occupy Liutprand, maintaining strategic control of the eastern Alpine passes in what is now the Italian Alps, which did. In the spring of 712, Theodo’s son Theodebert, with Ansprand and Liutprand, attacked Lombard strongholds, with the drowning of their fleeing rival Aripert, Ansprand's faction were back in power at Pavia. Theodo died in 717 or 718; until distracted by Byzantine politics in 726, Liutprand's chief warmaking energies were concentrated on taking Bavarian castles on the River Adige. In his early reign, Liutprand did not attack the Exarchate of the Papacy, but in 726, the Emperor Leo III made his first of many edicts outlawing icons.
The pope, Gregory II, ordered the people to resist and the Byzantine duke of Naples, was killed by a mob while trying to carry out the imperial command to destroy all the icons. Liutprand chose this time of division to strike the Byzantine possessions in Emilia. In 727, he crossed the Po and took Bologna, Osimo and Ancona, along with the other cities of Emilia and the Pentapolis, he could not take Ravenna itself from the exarch Paul. Paul was soon killed in a riot, however. Ravenna would capitulate to Liutprand with a fight; the first Moorish raids on Corsica began around 713–719 from the Balearic Islands to the west. Acting as the protector of the Catholic Church and its faithful, Liutprand subjected the island to Lombard government, though it was nominally under Byzantine authority. Corsica remained with the Lombard kingdom after the Frankish conquest, by which time Lombard landholders and churches had established a significant presence on the island; when the Saracens invaded Sardinia, Liutprand redeemed the body of Augustine about the year 720.
He brought it with great ceremony to Pavia, enshrined it in the Church of Saint Peter, the cathedral of Pavia. He rescued the relics stationed on the island with great haste as well as with great expense, according to Paul the Deacon. Having just overwhelmed the Byzantine forces, though it was left to his heirs to make the final vestige of the Exarchate of Ravenna Lombard at last, Liutprand advanced towards Rome along the Via Cassia. There the two reached an agreement, by which Sutri and some hill towns in Latium were given to the Papacy, "as a gift to the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul" according to the Liber Pontificalis, they were the first extension of Papal territory beyond the confines of the Duchy of Rome. This was the beginning of the Papal States. In the meantime, Leo sent Eutychius, as Exarch of Ravenna; when Eutychius arrived at Naples, he made an agreement whereby Liutprand would attack the Pope if the Greeks aided him in subjugating the contumacious and independent southern Lombard duchies, the Duchy of Spoleto and the Duchy of Benevento.
The dukes, Thrasimund II and Godescalc, surrendered — though control of the duchies from Pavia was not to endure for long — and the new exarch marched on Rome. At Rome, Liutprand camped on the far bank of the Tiber in the "Field of Nero" and arbitrated, returning to the exarch the city of Ravenna alone among the Byzantine territories and prevailing on the pope to restore his allegiance to the emperor. Following the death of Theodo, Liutprand turned from his former Agilolfing allies to bind himself to Charles Martel, duke of the Franks, whose son, Pepin the Short, he adopted and girded with arms at his coming of manhood. In 733 Liutprand promulgated the Notitia de actoribus regis, a series of six laws, presaging the Frankish capitulary in structure, they sought to curb the usurpation by local administrators of public lands. In 735–736, a serious illness encouraged Liutprand to raise his nephew Hildeprand to co-kingship. In 736–737, Liutprand crossed the Alps with an army to help Charles expel the Moors from Aix-en-Provence and Arles.
In 738, a long peace was broken