Arabia 979 CE

Arabia is home to Islamic sects seen as dangerous by the orthodox Muslims.

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What is happening in Arabia in 979CE

From 870, Yemen became virtually independent under a line of hereditary governors. These gave way to a succession of independent dynasties ruling in that area, often more than one at the same time and representing different sects. These only loosely acknowledged the overlordship of the caliph, if at all.

Mecca and Medina have also come under the control of local dynasts, the Alid family – whose dominance will last for a thousand years. At times they will be forced to accept the overlordship of one distant power or another, but the local affairs of these cities will be in their hands.

As for the Bedouin tribes in the interior, they have effectively resumed their age-old independence, fighting one another for control of water holes, oases and trade routes. Many have become adherence of a radical Islamic sect called the Qarmatians. These believe that all Muslims – whether nomads, merchants, farmers or officials – should live as equals, an ideology that fits well with the nomadic lifestyle. In 930 they attack Mecca itself.

Next map: Arabia 1215

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