GrCrEmr

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Phase I Variables (polity-based)

General variables

♠ RA ♣♥

♠ Original name ♣The Emirate of Crete♥

♠ Alternative names ♣Arabic Crete, Saracen Crete♥

♠ Peak Date ♣824-961 CE ♥


Temporal bounds

♠ Duration ♣824-961♥

♠ Degree of centralization ♣unitary state♥

♠ Supra-polity relations ♣none♥

Supra-cultural relations

♠ preceding (quasi)polity ♣ Middle Byzantine Empire ♥
♠ relationship to preceding (quasi)polity ♣hostile♥ The Andalusian Arabs conquered Crete in 824. Their relation with the Byzantine Empire was very hostile. Byzantines attemped to reconquest Crete many times and for the approximately 135 years of its existence, the Emirate of Crete was one of the major enemies of the Byzantine Empire. [1]
♠ succeeding (quasi)polity ♣ Middle Byzantine Empire ♥
♠ Supracultural entity ♣ Christianity and Islam♥ Christianity (Byzantine) for the local population of Crete and Islam for the Arabs conquerors.
♠ scale of supra-cultural interaction ♣ [15,000,000-20,000,000] ♥ km squared. To the East, Christianity and Islam extended not only into the Middle East, but also as far as Central Asia, India and China. In Africa present as far south as Ethiopia.

♠ Capital ♣Khandax♥ The capital of the Emirate was Khandax, the modern city of Heraklion.

♠ Language ♣Greek and Arab♥ Creek for local population and andalusian arabic for the Arabs.

General Description

Between 824 and 962, Crete was ruled by Andalusian Arabs. The latter had taken the island from the Byzantines (who subsequently lost the control of the maritime trade routes in the Aegean specifically and the eastern Mediterranean generally), and made it into an emirate, with Khandax, i.e. modern-day Heraklion, as its capital. The surviving evidence for the organization of the emirate and the Cretan society of the period is, unfortunately, scanty, with almost no archaeology and few, contradictory written sources. The original Byzantine sources are biased against the Arabs, and quite a few modern scholars have taken these sources at face value, presenting the Arabs as uncivilized barbarians, overly concerned with piracy. In fact, based on what is known about Arabic civilization in the rest of the Mediterranean at this time, it is likely that the Emirate of Crete was similarly sophisticated in its culture and social organization, though to its prolonged animosity with the Byzantines, it almost certainly retained a strong militaristic character as well. In 962, the Byzantines regained control of the island.[2][3]

Population and political organization

A rough estimate of the island's population at this time is of 250,000 inhabitants.[4] In terms of its political organization, Crete was divided into forty districts and was ruled by an emir who only nominally recognized the Caliph of Baghdad.[5]


Social Complexity variables

♠ RA ♣ ♥ The following were coded through pers. comm. with Kostis Christakis

Social Scale

♠ Polity territory ♣ 8,336♥ Km2. In terms of its political organization, Crete was divided into forty districts and was ruled by an emir who only nominally recognized the Caliph of Baghdad.[6] The area of the whole island of Crete is 8,336 square kilometres.

♠ Polity Population ♣ 250,000 ♥ People. This is a rough estimate. [7]

♠ Population of the largest settlement ♣ 12,000 ♥ Inhabitants. The largest settlement of the island is Khandax (Candia, the modern Iraklion). It population is speculated to 12,000 souls. [8]

Hierarchical Complexity

♠ Settlement hierarchy ♣ 3 ♥ levels. 1-3 Written sources (excavated testimonies are very meager) suggest the existence of 29 towns the largest of which were Khandax (the modern Heraklion), Gortys (south central Crete) and Kydonia (west Crete) the population of which is speculated to 12,000 inhabitants. [9] Small villages and hamlets were scattered in the hinterland. Almost nothing is known about the situation of the towns of Crete and about the urban and country population.

♠ Administrative levels ♣5♥ level. Crete was divided into forty districts and it was ruled by an emir who only nominally recognized the Caliph of Baghdad.[10] These emirs were Abu Hafs descendants and issued their own coins. [11] The Arabs emirs of Crete were: Abu Hafs Umar I al-Iqritishi (827/828 - ca. 855CE); Shu'ayb I ibn Umar (ca. 855-880CE); Umar II ibn Shu'ayb Babdel (ca. 880-895CE); Muhammad ibn Shu'ayb al-Zarkun (ca. 895-910CE); Yusuf ibn Umar (ca. 910-915 CE) ;Ali ibn Yusuf (ca. 915-925CE); Ahmad ibn Umar (ca. 925-940 CE); Shu'ayb II ibn Ahmad (940-943 CE); Ali ibn Ahmad (943-949CE); and And al-Aziz ibn Shu'ayb (949-961 CE).

♠ Religious levels ♣ 4 ♥ levels. 4-1 For the Christian population: The Patriarch of Constantinople (4); the archbishop of Crete (3); 22 regional bishops (2); priests (1). [12] The Arab population was muslims sunnis and recognized the supreme religious authority of Amir al-Mu'minin of Bagdad. [13]

♠ Military levels ♣ 3 ♥ levels. 3-1[14]

Professions

♠ Professional military officers ♣present♥ Full-time specialists

♠ Professional soldiers ♣present♥ Full-time specialists

♠ Professional priesthood ♣present ♥ Full-time specialists

Bureaucracy characteristics

♠ Full-time bureaucrats ♣present♥ Full-time specialists

♠ Examination system ♣ ♥

♠ Merit promotion ♣ suspected unknown ♥

♠ Specialized government buildings ♣ suspected unknown ♥

Law

♠ Formal legal code ♣present♥ Reference to arabic sources shows that the Islamic law was practice among the Muslims. On the other hand, although there is no direct evidence, we can assume that the Christians followed their own low in their private life according to the typical Muslim intolerance. [15]

♠ Judges ♣present♥ Himyari, an Arab author, mentions that Fath bn al-Ala was the chief judge of Crete while another author and jurist, Ibn al-Faradi, mention a famous jurist from Crete, Marwan bn. [16]

♠ Courts ♣present♥

♠ Professional Lawyers ♣ ♥

Specialized Buildings: polity owned

♠ irrigation systems ♣inferred present♥ There are no archaeological data. Irrigation systems thought existed both in Byzantine and Islamic world.
♠ drinking water supply systems ♣ inferred present♥ There are no archaeological data. Drinking water supply systems existed both in Byzantine and Islamic world.
♠ markets ♣inferred present♥ There are no archaeological data. Markets thought existed both in Byzantine and Islamic world.
♠ food storage sites ♣inferred present♥ There are no archaeological data.There are no archaeological data. For storage complexes thought existed both in Byzantine and Islamic world.

Transport infrastructure

♠ Roads ♣present♥
♠ Bridges ♣present♥
♠ Canals ♣absent♥
♠ Ports ♣present♥ The most important port was that of Khandax (Heraklion). [17]

Special purpose sites

♠ Mines or quarries ♣present♥

Information

Writing System

♠ Mnemonic devices ♣ ♥
♠ Nonwritten records ♣ ♥
♠ Written records ♣present♥
♠ Script ♣present♥
♠ Phonetic alphabetic writing ♣present♥

Kinds of Written Documents

♠ Lists, tables, and classifications ♣present♥ E.g the so-called kataster, the central tax list covering all the cultivatable land.[18]
♠ Calendar ♣present♥ The local population followed the Byzantine calendar which is based on the Julian calendar, except that the year started on 1 September and the year number used an Anno Mundi epoch derived from the Septuagint version of the Bible. [19] The Arab inviders followed the Islamic calendar the first year of which begins in 622 CE during which the emigration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina occurred.
♠ Sacred Texts ♣present♥ E.g the Bible and the Koran.
♠ Religious literature ♣present♥ Extensive Byzantine (e.g. John Damascenes) and Arabic religious literature. [20]
♠ Practical literature ♣present♥ E.g. agricultural and military manuals [21]
♠ History ♣present♥
♠ Philosophy ♣present♥
♠ Scientific literature ♣present♥
♠ Fiction ♣present♥


Money

♠ Articles ♣ present♥
♠ Tokens ♣ present♥
♠ Precious metals ♣present♥
♠ Foreign coins ♣ present♥ Coins issued by the Byzantine Empire. [22]
♠ Indigenous coins ♣ present♥ [23]
♠ Paper currency ♣absent♥

Postal System

♠ Couriers ♣absent♥
♠ Postal stations ♣absent♥
♠ General postal service ♣absent♥

Warfare variables

♠ RA ♣♥ The following were coded through pers. comm. with Kostis Christakis

Military Technologies

Projectiles

♠ Javelins ♣ present♥ [24]
♠ Atlatl ♣absent♥
♠ Slings ♣present♥ [25]
♠ Self bow ♣present♥ [26]
♠ Composite bow ♣present♥ [27]
♠ Crossbow ♣present♥ [28]
♠ Tension siege engines ♣present♥ [29]
♠ Sling siege engines ♣present♥ [30]
♠ Gunpowder siege artillery ♣absent♥
♠ Handheld firearms ♣absent♥

Handheld weapons

♠ War clubs ♣present♥ [31]
♠ Battle axes ♣present♥ [32]
♠ Daggers ♣present♥ [33]
♠ Swords ♣present♥ [34]
♠ Spears ♣present♥ [35]
♠ Polearms ♣present♥ [36]

Animals used in warfare

♠ Dogs ♣absent♥
♠ Donkeys ♣ ♥
♠ Horses ♣present♥ [37]
♠ Camels ♣absent♥
♠ Elephants ♣ absent♥

Armor

♠ Wood, bark, etc ♣ ♥
♠ Leather, cloth ♣present♥ [38]
♠ Bronze ♣absent♥
♠ Iron ♣present♥ [39]
♠ Steel ♣absent♥
♠ Shields ♣present♥ [40]
♠ Helmets ♣present♥ [41]
♠ Breastplates ♣ present♥ [42]
♠ Limb protection ♣present♥ [43]
♠ Chainmail ♣ present♥ [44]
♠ Scaled armor ♣ present♥ [45]
♠ Laminar armor ♣ present♥ [46]
♠ Plate armor ♣ absent♥

Naval technology

♠ Small vessels (canoes, etc) ♣ present♥
♠ Merchant ships pressed into service ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Specialized military vessels ♣present♥

Fortifications

♠ Settlements in a defensive position ♣ ♥
♠ Wooden palisades ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Earth ramparts ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Ditch ♣present♥
♠ Moat ♣present♥
♠ Stone walls (non-mortared) ♣ suspected unknown ♥
♠ Stone walls (mortared) ♣present♥
♠ Fortified camps ♣ ♥
♠ Complex fortifications ♣present♥
♠ Long walls ♣ absent♥ km.
♠ Modern fortifications ♣ ♥


References

  1. Christides, B. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam, Athens.
  2. (Christides 2011, 17) Vassilios Christides. 2011. 'The cycle of the Arab-Byzantine struggle in Crete (ca. 824/6-961 AD) in the illuminate manuscript of Skylitzes (Codex Martinensis Graecus Vitr. 26-2)'. Craeco-Arabica 9: 17.
  3. (Christides 1984) Vassilios Christides. 1984. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam. Athens: Akademia Athenon.
  4. (Papadopoulos 1948, 37) Ioannes B. Papadopoulos. 1948. Η Κρήτη υπό τους Σαρακηνούς (824-961). Athens: Byzantinisch-Neugriechischen Jahrbücher.
  5. (Christides 1984) Vassilios Christides. 1984. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam. Athens: Akademia Athenon.
  6. (Christides 1984) Vassilios Christides. 1984. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam. Athens: Akademia Athenon.
  7. Παπαδόπουλος, Ι.Β. 1948. Η Κρήτη υπό τους Σαρακηνούς (824-961), Athens, 37.
  8. Παπαδόπουλος, Ι.Β. 1948. Η Κρήτη υπό τους Σαρακηνούς (824-961), Athens, 37.
  9. Παπαδόπουλος, Ι.Β. 1948. Η Κρήτη υπό τους Σαρακηνούς (824-961), Athens, 37; Christides, B. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam, Athens, 97-8; 106-08.
  10. Christides, B. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam, Athens, 114-15.
  11. Miller, G. C. 1970. The Coinage of the Arab Amirs of Crete, New York.
  12. Τωμαδάκης, Ν. Β. 1961-1962. "Η Εκκλησία της Κρήτης κατά την Αραβοκρατία (ιστορία-επίσκοποι-άγιοι), Κρητικά Χρονικά ΙΕ-ΙΣΤ, 193-212.
  13. Christides, B. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam, Athens, 105.
  14. Christides, B. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam, Athens, ...
  15. Christides, B. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam, Athens, 115.
  16. Christides, B. The Conquest of Crete by Arabs (ca. 824). A Turning Point in the Struggle Between Byzantium and Islam, Athens, 115.
  17. Tsombanaki, X. 1997. Θαλασσινή Τριλογία. Το Λιμάνι, τα Νεώρια, το Φρούριο, Heraklion.
  18. Haussig, H. W. 1971. History of Byzantine Civilization, London, 174.
  19. Bryer, A. 2008. "Chronology and Dating," in Jeffreys,E. Haldon,J., Cormack, R. (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies, Oxford, 31-37.
  20. Haussig, H. W. 1971. History of Byzantine Civilization, London, 210-11. For Cretan religious text and writers of the period see Tsougarakis, D. 1987. "Βυζαντινή Κρήτη" in Panagiotakis, N. (ed.), Κρήτη: Ιστορία και Πολιτισμός, Heraklion, 395-404.
  21. For the Byzantines see Haussig, H. W. 1971. History of Byzantine Civilization, London, 176; Sullivan, D.F. 2010. "Byzantine military manuals. Perceptions, practice and pedagogy" in Stephenson, P. (ed.), The Byzantine World, London, 149-61.
  22. Morrisson, C. 2002. "Byzantine money: its production and circulation" in Laiou, A. E. (ed.), The Economic History of Byzantium: From the Seven Thought the Fifteen Century, Washington, 909-966; Grierson, P. 1999. Byzantine Coinage, Washington.
  23. Miller, G. C. 1970. The Coinage of the Arab Amirs of Crete, New York.
  24. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  25. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  26. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  27. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  28. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  29. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  30. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  31. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  32. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  33. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  34. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  35. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  36. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  37. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  38. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  39. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  40. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  41. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  42. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  43. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  44. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  45. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.
  46. Κόλλιας, Τ., Τεχνολογία και Πόλεμος στο Βυζάντιο, 2005; Babuin, A., Τα επιθετικά όπλα των Βυζαντινών κατά την ύστερη περίοδο: 1204 - 1453, Ioannina, 2009; Mc Geer, E., Sowing the Dragons Teeth: Byzantine Warfare in the Tenth Century, Washington D.C., 1995.