Which empire competed with the Persian Empire

New Defense Strategy in the East 9.3 753 “Goths” were notorious for their excessive drinking - can no longer be determined from the retrospective; at least the chronicler admits that some soldiers also behaved moderately and inconspicuously. However, when anonymous pamphlets circulated against the magister offi ciorum and his armed forces in Edessa, Keler took the first opportunity to withdraw the army from the city and thus prevent further unrest. His way led him to the newly built border fortress Dara, where the troops could move into quarters without endangering life and limb. The above-mentioned tax exemptions for Amida and Edessa were his farewell present to the afflicted population - and they actually forgave him quickly: Keler's later return to Edessa was in any case celebrated with great exuberance.25 The Sāsānids again seduced, as the events of the years show 502 to 506, with barbarian associations that are difficult to domesticate, just as pragmatic as the Romans. Just as the latter liked to use their combat force (and inexpensive recruitment) to strengthen their own armed forces, around 500 Hephthalite units also appear in the Sāsānid army, such as the 800 mounted soldiers who were killed by Hypatios and Patrikios in 503 were (see above). The fact that the Persian king was involved in heavy battles with the 'Huns' - probably also the Hephthalites - on the north-eastern border of his empire is by no means a contradiction in terms, but merely indicates that the Hephthalites, like the European Huns, did not form a solid unit. In the 5th century, the Romans were also able to use Hunnic contingents to fight against Hunnic attacks. Ethnic criteria were of secondary importance. 9.3 New defense strategy in the east 9.3.1 Bulgarians, Persians and Arabs: the encirclement of the Eastern Roman Empire around 500 9.3New defense strategy in the east It was noted time and again with astonishment how easily the Persians overrun the Roman defensive systems in the east in 502 were able and how unprepared the attack hit the Roman population. A military that was ready for action hardly seems to have existed, but had to be laboriously mobilized (probably also due to troop relocations in the 5th century as part of the battles against Isaurians and Bulgarians in the 490s); where it was present, in the form of the border troops (limitanei), it proved cumbersome and ineffective; some cities, such as Amida, were completely unprotected from the enemy. City walls had fallen into disrepair in the east during the long period of peace - this was one of the reasons why Kabades was able to take control of his first goals, Th eodosiopolis and Martyropolis, almost playfully. The forts built under Diocletian (284–305) and his successors were dilapidated, parts of the strata Diocletiana had become the object of combat for various Arab groups, and advanced Roman outposts had long ceased to exist.26 The Romans, who were in the East just had to recover from a severe hunger crisis, but still did not hit. The armaments and marches required for this could hardly have escaped the imperial informants, and it had been known for a long time how much pressure the Great King was under; and that the rustic way of dealing with the Sāsānid money demands at some point had to produce noticeable defiant reactions, the undoubtedly well-rested decision-makers at the imperial court in Constantinople will have been expecting anyway. It can therefore be assumed with good reason that the Romans were less surprised by the fact of the Persian attack than by its time - especially since Kabades first directed his troops to Pers-Armenia and thus successfully misled the Roman side. Significant evidence indicates that the imperial court has been working on a fundamental reorganization of the defensive structures in the east for some time. It was evidently part of a larger package of measures that also included other flanks of the Eastern Roman Empire (Th rakien, Danube border) and was intended to ensure the survival of the remaining half of the empire after the fall of the empire in the west. Its fundamental signature consisted of a massive expansion of fortresses and ramparts; thus it fits smoothly into a strategic orientation that gradually took shape in the years around 500: the focus on preserving the eastern Roman provinces, while all ambitions for possible reconquests in the west were postponed for the time being. The Eastern Roman Empire shackled itself.27 This project seems to have accelerated significantly as a result of the Persian attack. After the experience in the battle for Amida, the emperor not only immediately had all strategically important cities and places equipped with garrisons, but also immediately invested considerable funds in the restoration and expansion of effective fortifications on the New Defense Strategy in the east 9.3 755 eastern border. In Edessa, Batnai, Amida, Th eodosiopolis, Kitharizon, near Europos and in various other places, walls and defenses were renewed, with local forces, often under the active guidance of the bishops, actively participating in their own interests - a monumental building program was rolled out , drawn far into the time of Justin I and Justinian (518–527 and 527–565) and, due to the one-sided orientation of our most important literary testimony - Prokop's praises of Justinian's building activity - often wrongly primarily referred to these two emperors. The showpiece among the forts that were built in those years was the Dara-Anastasiopolis military base, an almost impregnable bulwark in northern Mesopotamia near the Persian border, the construction of which, probably from the end of 505, brought the Romans not only significant strategic advantages, but also at the same time finally closed the festering wound left by the loss of the fortress of Nisibis, only 27 kilometers away, in 363. Kabades, himself bound in the fight against the Hephthalites, had to be content with sharp protest notes against the new bastion, the structure of which violated the provisions of the Treaty of 441 and henceforth required his permanent attention. The military architectural marvel was already completed in 507/08 - in the following decades it was to repeatedly prove its inestimable value for the Romans. It was not until 573 that the fortress was conquered by the Persians, a catastrophe that caused the then Emperor Justin II (565-578) to have such severe psychopathological symptoms that he finally decided to abdicate. 28 Probably in the first decade of the 6th century , possibly directly to the time of the Roman-Persian War, another prominent fortification, partly still visible today, which may symbolize the encapsulation tactics of the years around 500: the so-called Long Walls (τὰ μακρὰ τείχη) - a defensive wall that extends about 65 kilometers west of Constantinople in a north-south direction over a distance of 56 kilometers, starting at the Black Sea (near Karacaköy) to the Marmara Sea (near Selymbria / Silivri). Numerous defensive towers reinforced the walls and ditches at short intervals, and an accompanying chain of fortifications offered the occupation troops quarters. The bulwark - according to the chronicler Malalas, the protective wall of Constantinople - proved itself several times as an effective shield for the inhabitants of the Bosporus metropolis, especially against the invading Slavs and Avars in the second half of the 6th and early 7th centuries; Only in the years 540 and 558/59 was it overrun by Kutrigurs ('Huns') or Bulgarians, but at least in the latter case this was also the result of severe earthquake destruction and an understaffing of the garrison Century. When Emperor Herakleios again had to withdraw numerous troop contingents for his Persian campaign in 626, the Avars seized the opportunity and overcame the walls - the result was the dramatic siege of Constantinople in 626.29 The 'Long Walls', the largest defensive installation on European soil, are a reminder of them for a reason ‹Great Wall of Gorgān›, which was built by the Sāsānids to ward off rider-nomadic attacks. The Eastern Roman Empire also came again increasingly into the focus of corresponding attacks towards the end of the 5th century, and the Bulgarians gradually emerged as a new opponent from the steppe. In the 490s, their attacks seem to have caused considerable damage to the Balkans, which had been mistreated for decades. A law that probably refers to this complains about the reduced tax revenue due to the devastation and seeks to maintain the army’s continued supply through increased coemptiones - forced purchases of food at state-fixed prices. However, it soon seems that there was not much left of the troops stationed in the Thracian diocese. To the chronicler Mar- Card 29 The ‹Long Walls› in front of Constantinople 0 200 100 km Bizye Perinthos Tzurulon Salmydessos Constantinople Selymbria Anastasius Wall (preserved) Anastasius Wall (not preserved) Aqueduct Kirkçesme water conduit Halkali water conduit Çatalıkıyca Boyalikavutˇmarayerköy Katalıköy Çatalıkökisi Çatalıkökisi Çatalıköy Vice Çurlu Istanbul Melantias Halkali Rhegion Fenerköy Pinarcar Silivri Büyük Çekmece Karacaköy Çiftlikköy Kalfaköy Evcik Kemerburgaz Athyras Akalan Gümüspinar¸ Kurfallı Darvis Kapi According to M armarameer S chwarzes M eer not closer to the east Cominus 9.3 more than 4,000 men in a battle against Bulgarians, including several high-ranking officers, "the bloom of virtue of the Illyrian soldiers" (Illyriciana virtus militum). Further Bulgarian attacks are documented in 493 and 501/02 - at that time they were already considered an everyday problem (consueta gens Bulgarorum). The desolate situation in the Balkans may also have been in the background of a generous imperial gift of money (donative) to the apparently demoralized units stationed there.30 Like the Huns, Hephthalites or later Avars, the early Bulgarians can also be assigned to the equestrian nomadic context of the steppe . For the first time, 'Bulgarians' 480/81 emerge as allies of Zeno in the conflict with the (Eastern) Goths in the Balkans. Who exactly was hiding behind this ethnonym, which has been in use since the early 6th century and which may be traced back to the Turkish-Mongolian bulgan / bulgamak (‹mixing›) and which would then mean ‹mixed people ›, is completely unclear. Because 'Bulgarians' could also be referred to as 'Huns', 'Kutrigurs', 'Utigurs', 'Onogurs' or simply in classicist terms as 'Skyths' or 'Getes' - refl exes on the confusing and fluid ethnic conditions in the Danube region, the make clear borders appear fruitless anyway; Even among the Lombards in Italy there are supposed to have been Bulgarians, and for Roman observers there were traditionally little differences between the various groups that emerged from the equestrian nomadic context. “The fact that at the beginning of […] Bulgarian ethnogenesis there were several peoples and names corresponds to the rule of early medieval tribal formations” .31 In the course of the 6th century, more uniform structures gradually appear to have developed among those associations which, among other things, as 'Bulgarians'. If the research emphasizes the Turkish-Ogur element in these groups with reference to the frequency of the ending "-guren" and speaks of "Ogur peoples", this must not be misunderstood in the sense of ethnic homogenization. Rather, it can be assumed that - similar to the Huns - also the Bulgarians, in which there are remnants of the former Attila Huns (possibly the Ernak Association) with so-called Pontic Huns, Ogurs, Onogurs, Saragurs, Kutrigurs, Utigurs and other groups met, initially hardly developed any overarching coherence structures, and as with other warrior groups, military successes in particular are likely to have initiated increasing tendencies towards consolidation. As indicated, these began evidently in the last decade of the 5th century and are likely to have been reinforced in the following decades by laborious identitary demarcations from the Slavic groups that gradually became visible in the 5th century . An independent Bulgarian empire was not formed until the 680s after a phase of dependence on the Avars; at that time the Bulgarians gave up their original (Turk) language in favor of a Slavic idiom. The demarcation of the “pre-Slavic” so-called proto-Bulgarians from the “Slavic” Bulgarians derived from this transition is, however, not without problems because it neglects the continuities of a longer process characterized by different ethnogenesis in favor of a caesura initiated by the language change, but in the overall context rather arbitrary. 32 The Eastern Roman government countered the growing danger from Bulgaria around 500 with various measures. The instrument of contractual involvement was established, which also took place in this case, but apparently did not last long, because the new allies were used against the Ostrogoths and defeated by them 504. Nevertheless, things remained remarkably quiet in the Thracian diocese in the first decade of the 6th century - a success that is due not least to the construction of the 'Long Walls' and the increased troop presence associated with it e. We only hear from Bulgarians again in 513, this time in connection with Vitalian's revolt, who evidently also included Bulgarian contingents in his armed forces. It would take a long time until the next collision in 530.33 As ambitious as the 'Long Walls' project may appear, it was only part of a larger strategy to secure the north-western flank of the Eastern Roman Empire. The area of ​​the lower Danube and the north-western Black Sea coast in particular benefited from further construction work. From several cities and forts in these regions, whose expansion Prokop attributed to Justinian (who actually continued the work of Anastasius with great ambition), we now know, based on the archaeological findings, that corresponding initiatives must have started around 500 years ago. In Histria, for example, south of the Danube Delta, in the area of ​​the fortifications there were brick stamps with the clear inscription + IMP (erator) ANASTASIUS, and the archaeological findings of other cities and fortresses such as Dinogetia (Garvăn, near Tulcea in Romania), Noviodunum (Isaccea in Romania), Sacidava or Ratiaria confirm corresponding activities; for other places like Durostorum (Silistra in northeastern Bulgaria) or Tomis (Constanţa, Romania) they are at least likely. All of this points to a systematic defensive belt that has been drawn anew around the Roman Empire and has now been tightened. The times of unrestrained expansion, the motor of political and social developments for centuries, were finally a thing of the past.34 New Defense Strategy in the East 9.3 759 The fact that, despite these extensive defensive measures, one did not want to rely solely on walls and ramparts, is revealed by the way in which Eastern Rome was dealt with the Heruli, which we have already discussed in a different context: The Heruli, initially allied with the Amaler Th eoderic under their ruler Rodulf, were defeated by the Lombards in 508 and then turned to the Eastern Roman leadership, who gave them settlement areas in the area around Singidunum ( Belgrade) - obviously in order to win a pouf against further Ostrogothic expansionism.35 The same was done in the south-east of the empire with the Arabs.Around 500, several treaties were concluded that fundamentally reshaped the relationship between Constantinople and the Arab communities and were intended to profoundly influence further developments on the Arabian peninsula. They served to protect the eastern provinces against Sāsānid attacks, but also especially to defend against those Arab associations that were allied with the Persians. As early as the 4th century, Ostrom had repeatedly suffered from the raids of these groups, as shown by inscriptions from the border areas of the Roman Empire. In the 5th century in particular, the burdens, which were often countered by local initiatives, seem to have increased markedly.36 Thus, shortly after Th eodosios II came to power (408), there was a devastating Arab invasion, the great one Parts of the diocese of Oriens (the inter-provincial administrative area in the east) as far as Egypt is said to have covered and is perhaps to be associated with a horrific massacre of Christian ascetics, which, according to the monk Johannes Cassianus, was carried out in Tekoa near Jerusalem. Possibly the intruders were Laḫmids who operated on behalf of the Persians. In any case, the participation of Laḫmid associations under the Naṣriden al-Munḏir I (approx. 418– 462), a “noble and warlike man” (ἀνὴρ γενναῖος καὶ πολεμικός), in the Roman-Persian War 421/22; At that time, however, the Arabs suffered heavy losses against the Romans, who presumably also resorted to Arab allies (the Salīḫ?). The result of the dispute was, among other things, a contract clause according to which both great powers undertook not to accept any Arab associations that were already in alliance with the other side. Arab attacks, however, also took place in the context of the Persian War 440/41 and the great attack by the Huns s 447. For later years we also hear again and again of conflicts with Arab groups in the Roman East, for example in 453 in the region around Damascos ( At that time the magister militum per Orientem Ardabur, son of Aspar, took part personally in the fighting and subsequent negotiations) and at the same time in the region around the Dead Sea, where the 760 Chapter IX The East of the Roman Empire comes et dux Palestinae Dorotheos had to deal with resistant Arabs. Emperor Zenon was also rudely confronted with the problem, for example in 474, when an Arab plundering procession struck Mesopotamia, or in 485, when a presumably Laḫmid association on behalf of the Persian great king was apparently supposed to provide relief in the face of a severe drought and discontinued Roman financial services . Of course, the unstable phase after Anastasius's ascent of the thron was also exploited for attacks: In 491/92, Arab warriors devastated the province of Phenicia Libanensis and advanced as far as Emesa (Homs). Divided into three attack groups, the Laḫmids under the Naṣriden al-Nu‘mān II., Kinda and probably also the Ġassāniden 498 attacked the Roman east; chasing them away was a great deal of effort. Finally, in 501, under the king's son Badicharimos, Kinda overcame Phenicia, Syria and Palestine. All this, one should always consider, are only those particularly spectacular encroachments that have found their way into the narrative testimonies and overcome the jagged gaps in tradition; Much more should remain in the dark forever.37 Not only for the last-mentioned attack is explicit evidence that Arab associations acted either with benevolent tolerance or even on the direct orders of the Sāsānids, who in this way made the Roman border provinces unstable and in constant fear could hold without being formally guilty of a breach of contract. Persian-Arab cooperation of this type had long been established in the 5th century, so it is not surprising that the Roman side, for its part, increasingly sought Arab allies, especially since their warriors were able to counter the Persian allies with equal combat tactics and armament. Presumably the Romans used these allies as well as the Persians as raiding groups against the territories of their neighbors. Unlike the Persians, however, they usually combined the recruitment of Arab allies with the requirement to convert to Christianity. This had several advantages: Not only did the new Grisons, through intensive contacts and in particular the work of ascetics and Holy Men already familiarize themselves with the principles of the Christian way of life, in this way found an even easier connection to the Roman way of life, that inhibition thresholds between Romans and newcomers in the border regions - contemporary sources carefully differentiate between (Roman) “Arabs” and (non-Roman) “Saracens” - and that tendencies towards settling down were encouraged; Above all, this made it possible to integrate the Arab elites more quickly and to tie them to the Roman Empire. In addition, the sending of the now necessary bishops to the Arab community enabled a more intensive control of this new defense strategy in the East 9.3 761, in many cases still (partially) mobile, independent and therefore still suspect groups. With this Ostrom succeeded in opening up a recruiting potential that was by no means only of marginal importance. We have already met some of those notorious Arabs like Amorkesus, Aspebetus or Zokomos, each of whom entered the Roman orbit in very different ways. Men like her were able to carry stately associations with them, and mass conversions as a result of such conversions quickly comprised several thousand people.38 In addition to the obvious military requirements and religious-missionary zeal, Roman policy towards the Arabs was also guided by solid economic interests. Important east-west connections ran through the Arabian Peninsula, which, as an extension of the so-called Silk Road, were important for trade with China and contacts to Central Asia and India. The entry into the Indian Ocean with its lucrative ship passages to the east could also be controlled via the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. For this reason, Ostrom not only conquered the strategically important islet of Iotabe held by the unpredictable Arab leader Amorkesos (Imru 'al-Qays) in a flash in 498, but also intensified his efforts in Himyar in constant competition with the Sāsānids in the 5th century (Southwest Arabia, in the area of ​​today's Yemen) to gain a foothold - besides Oman, the only region in Arabia in which (due to the monsoons) agriculture was possible on a larger scale and which accordingly played a special role in the Mediterranean trade in India. Missionary efforts there, which had already started under Constantius II (337–361), evidently did not initially develop an all-too-lasting charisma. In any case, the local rulers confessed to Judaism, leaned politically to the Sāsānids and tried to expand into the central Arab region with their tolerance, where they achieved a considerable concentration of power, which has been taking shape in the mirror of newly discovered inscriptions for a few years and as a prerequisite further investigation awaits for the later formation of Islamic power. It was not until the 5th century that Christianity gained ground again under the Himyarites, and the Roman side used the opening window to expand their own influence. Silvanos, the uncle of the Miaphysite church historian Johannes Diakrinomenos, was sent to the Himyarites under Anastasios in order to accompany the establishment of an institutionally solidified church organization; The activities of the Roman clergy, promoted by the Christian Himyarite kings, evidently led to some successes (episcopal ordinations) before serious setbacks occurred in the 520s. In order to contain the further spread of the 762 Chapter IX The East of the Imperium Romanum in the 5th century Christianity, the Himyarite ruler Dimion / Dimnos / Damianos is said to have massacred Roman traders, which led to the Aksumites, whose empire is in the area of ​​today's states Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan lay, seized the opportunity to access Himyar for their part and to anchor Christianity there even more deeply. They were, however, driven out by Dhū Nuwās (Yūsuf 'As'ar Yaṯ'ar), who, himself a Jew, usurped control of Himyar and initiated a bloody wave of persecution against Aksumites, Christians and Romans, culminating in the massacre of Naǧrān, the broad Left traces in Christian martyr literature. After his death, however, the Himyarite empire lost its political dynamism until the Persians seized it at the beginning of the 570s and appointed a Sāsānid governor.39 From the Roman perspective, the initially preferred cooperation with the Tanūḫ and Salī scheint seems to have not proven to be successful, at least the corresponding one Alliances no longer renewed towards the end of the 5th century, and these confederations soon also disappear from tradition - any causal connections, however, remain in the dark. Instead, new partners were sought in the Ḥuğrids, the ruling family of the central Arab Kinda, as well as in the Ǧafnids, who exercised control over the confederation of the assānids (centered in Hawrān, southwest Syria). In 502, significantly with the outbreak of the Persian War, the Eastern Roman government signed an alliance treaty with the Kinda - and presumably also with the Ġassānids. The tradition of these events is thin and complicated, especially since both contractual partners of the Romans - and the agreements on the Arab side always referred to individuals - were called al-Ḥāriṯ (Arethas). A few years earlier, the sons of Ḥuğriden al-Ḥāriṯ, the New Defense Strategy in the East 9.3 763 leader of the Kinda, had been involved in raids on Roman territory, but after the alliance he remained loyal to Constantinople until his death in 528. The agreement with the assānids under the Ǧafnid al-Ḥāriṯ was also preceded by conflicts - presumably a dispute over taxes - in which the Salīḫ were evidently no longer able to meet the expectations placed on them, whereupon they were brought about by the rising power of the assānids were replaced under the leadership of ǧafnid rulers. This was the beginning of the rise of al-Ḥāriṯ ibn Ǧabala († approx. 569) to one of the most reliable allies of Constantinople; his main task was the Persian-friendly Naṣriden al-Munḏir III. († 554) to stand up to the forehead.40 Unfortunately, we know far too little about the form and content of the contracts that were concluded with Arab leaders. In the tradition they appear as foedera, similar to those agreements that were entered into with groups approaching the Rhine and Danube, but entire Arab associations were never settled as quasi-autonomous units on Reichsboden, as happened regularly in the north, west and in the Balkans; even the magister militum dignity never went to an Arab leader. Rather, the latter seem to have consciously preserved the greatest possible independence as part of the Roman sphere, but still acting outside of it. And yet dealing with the mobile associations from the desert was structurally similar to the politics in other regions of the empire: through the award of high honors, culminating in the patricius title, through financial support and the admission to be able to keep stolen goods during raids the Romans assumed the position of local and regional leaders within those communities, enabled them to gather more clans and tribes, and cemented their ties to the Roman Empire. For this purpose - as in North Africa - traditionally the award of honorary titles had been used; Since the end of the 4th century, the dignity of the phýlarchos has crystallized for Arab tribal leaders - probably not a clearly defined office, but rather evidence of the recognition of a prominent position, which was given a further foundation by this act of allocation. The Roman emperors were not squeamish when it came to wrapping their Arab allies with sonorous honors. The Ǧafnide al-Ḥāriṯ ibn Ǧabala, for example, was awarded the axíôma basiléôs (ἀξίωμα βασιλέως), i.e. the «royal dignity», by Emperor Justinian in 528/29 - an act that has caused historians a lot of headaches because it is 'under state law' difficult to classify. Ultimately, however, it was probably only about the official recognition of an inner-Arab royal title (mlk), which al-Ḥāriṯ, which later also received the patricius dignity, may have already used before. That leaders of Arab 764 Chapter IX The East of the Roman Empire in the 5th century tribes or confederations liked to adorn themselves with the title of king can be traced back to numerous examples from imperial times and late antiquity, and so it is not surprising that Emperor Tiberios II (578– 582) even awarded the Ǧafniden al-Munḏir ibn al-Ḥāriṯ a diadem.41 As in the West, the Romans relied on the elites against the Arabs, selected individual leaders and made them their contacts and allies. And as in the West, these encroachments on inward barbaric social structures led to accelerated social dynamics, to processes of stratification (the emergence of new elites) and to the formation of new identities, which in turn are in the background of the rise of Muhammad at the beginning of the 7th century Structural precursors can be found in the up-and-coming Arab leaders of the 5th and 6th centuries, whose significance for later Arab history is only just beginning to shed light on research, referring to a steadily growing number of inscriptions.42 Changes in inner-Arab social and cultural structures also brought about with the penetration of Christianity into the Arabian Peninsula, which the Ǧafnids accepted in the Miaphysite variant (see below), which put them into the role of mediators between the mostly Chalcedonian-Dyophysite-oriented imperial government in Constantinople and the majority of the population resident in their catchment area of ​​the Miaphysite faith. With the conversion to Christianity, the newly won Arab partners tended to be local and directly involved in processes of relevance to church politics. Bishops of Arabic origin attended councils, communicated with the outside world in Greek, and sometimes took on Greek names themselves (e.g. Aspebetos-Petros), which enabled them to act as serious contacts. The Ǧafnid leader al-Ḥāriṯ witnessed the solemn installation of Severus, one of the most prominent champions of Miaphysite Christianity in the early 6th century, as bishop of Antiochia (512) and was invited to the consecration of the Sergios Bakchos Church in Bostra (south-western Syria) - The latter was a skilful move by the Eastern Roman government, as holy Bakchos enjoyed particular popularity among the Ġassānids. In order to take advantage of this and to weave the Arabs even closer into the Roman-Christian context, the pilgrimage center ar-Ruṣāfa / Resafa (south of the Euphrates in today's Syria) was built up as Sergiopolis, fortified and fortified as a military base since the early 6th century raised to the Metropolis. The place housed relics of the Roman soldier Sergios, who is said to have suffered martyrdom together with Bakchos during the Diocletian persecution of Christians at the beginning of the 4th century. Christian Arabs, who preferred to group themselves around identifi cation figures with a military background, received a cult-based starting point for further contacts and connections with the Romans. A Greek inscription, which was found in a building in front of the city, acclaims the Ǧafniden al-Munḏir ibn al-Ḥāriṯ, in the years 570 to 581 phýlarchos of the assānids and Roman patricius, and thus particularly vividly documents the information conveyed about the Sergios cult close connection between Arabs and Romans («Victory for the happiness of Alamundaros!» [+ νικᾷ ἡ [τ] ύχη Αλαμυνδά [ρ] ου]). In the year 514 Severos preached on the occasion of the Sergios feast on 1.October about the martyrdom of the two Christian soldiers in nearby Chalkis, another important point of contact for Arab groups from the surrounding area; At the same time, several Sergios Bakchos churches were built in the region, Justinian even honored the saints by building a church in Constantinople (today Küçük Ayasofya Camii). Military, economic and religious interests of the empire and its partners converged in an exemplary manner, and the contacts and acculturation processes, which were already close in the Roman-Arab-Sāsānid border zone, received powerful impulses, especially in Sergiopolis. It was places like this from which influences radiated across the entire Arabian Peninsula and triggered or accelerated processes of world-historical importance. It is hardly by chance that the pre-Islamic inscriptions that reveal the origin of classical Arabic in writing and language were found in the Roman-Arabic border zone, of all places; two of the three earliest examples from the 6th century come from decidedly Christian contexts (founding of martyria) and were communicated with Greek texts et. However, as we have seen, Greek Christian inscriptions can also be related to the gesehenafnids. In Nitl, southeast of Madaba (Jordan), there is a church complex dedicated to Sergios, which was furnished with inscribed mosaics, including an acclamation for "Erethas, son of al-Arethas" (Ὠ Ερεθα υἱὸς Ἀλ Ἀρεθυ) - the latter presumably to be identified with al-Ḥāriṯ ibn Ǧabala. The find symbolizes the slow emergence of a very specific milieu characterized on the one hand by centuries-old local, tribal traditions, and on the other by stronger Christian and ancient influences, which a good century later contributed to the foundation of the rise of the prophet 43 For the time being, however, Constantinople used the newly won Arab partners to strengthen the security of the East. Supporting the garrisons as a complementary element to the vigorously developed fortresses and military posts, their main task consisted in raiding raids on Sāsānid territory. who had not succeeded in winning over to the Roman cause in the short term. It was - mind you - not about completely replacing the regular Roman military; rather, it not only continued to be present in the east (especially after the experience of the war against the Persians), but at the beginning of the 6th century even experienced special imperial care and a very specific description of tasks (which went right up to the implementation of economic and financial measures as shown by inscriptions found in Arabia, Palestine and Cyrenaica, as well as informative legislation.44 9.3.2 In the search for one's own identity, contracts and agreements, demonstrative honors and financial achievements could of course not prevent the Arab partners from Eastern Europe and the Persians clung to their individual freedoms and continued to maintain a healthy level of unpredictability; after the two great powers had temporarily settled their vigorous dispute (504/05), individual Arab associations continued their lucrative plundering campaigns independently and had to be rigorously called to reason. Both the Persians and the Romans decided to demonstratively execute some of their leaders in order to counteract an impending loss of control and to clearly define the spheres of power and action on both sides. That too was part of the Roman Empire's new encapsulation strategy. The gradual disintegration of the western empire had made it possible to study with sufficient plasticity what consequences the gradual fraying of the territorial periphery could have. In addition, the decision-makers in Constantinople obviously felt the need to rearrange the conditions inside, through the clear contouring of the external borders, where ambitious warlords competed for the highest price with death-defying commitment. The fact that with Zenon a man from their midst, a former magister militum, was actually able to achieve sole rule for the first time must have been branded as a threatening beacon to many of those who lived there. After all, such a thing hadn't even been possible in the West. So the signs were pointing to a storm; for, as we have already seen, the death throes of the Empire at Ravenna by no means left the Eastern Roman Empire unaffected. Against this background, the forced isolation from the outside unleashed forces that were necessary to consolidate the