Constantinople AD 717–18

The Crucible of History

Constantinople AD 717–18 cover

Constantinople AD 717–18

The Crucible of History

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Description

The siege of Constantinople in AD 717--18 was a key clash between the expanding Umayyad Caliphate and the Byzantine Empire, and one which influenced the fate of Western civilization. In this specially illustrated study, Si Sheppard examines the course of this pivotal campaign.

The siege of Constantinople in AD 717--18 was the supreme crisis of Western civilization. The Byzantine Empire had been reeling under the onslaught of Arabic imperialism since the death of the Prophet, whilst Jihadist armies had detached Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Carthage from imperial control and were in the process of imposing their ascendancy at sea. The Empire had been reduced to its Anatolian and Balkan heartland, and Arab incursions threatened even this--Arab naval forces had appeared under the walls of Constantinople every year from 674 to 678. But all this was only a prelude to the massive combined-arms invasion force that advanced on the capital in 717.

This title offers a comprehensive study of the ensuing clash between the ascendant Caliphate and the Empire at bay. It details the forces available to each side, with their respective advantages and vulnerabilities, evaluating the leadership qualities of the rival commanders and assessing their strategic and tactical initiatives. It also accounts for the trajectory and outcome of the campaign and emphasizes the fundamental significance of the struggle. By holding the line, the Byzantines gave Europe enough time to develop at its own pace and emerge strong enough to face down its Islamic counterpart on equal terms. If Constantinople had fallen in 717, could Europe have endured as an independent entity? Could Christianity have survived as major religion? What would the future course of world history have been?

Table of Contents

Origins of the campaign
Chronology
Opposing Commanders
Opposing Forces and Plans
The Siege of Constantinople, 717-18
Aftermath
Bibliography
Index

Product details

Published Mar 24 2020
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472836922
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Campaign
Short code CAM 347
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors

Author

Si Sheppard

London-born Si Sheppard completed his Bachelors an…

Illustrator

Graham Turner

Graham Turner is a leading historical artist, spec…

Resources

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