When the Crescent met the Cross: Muslim-Christian Relations during the First Abbasid Period




Barnett, Carlton Carter III

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The Abbasid Empire supplanted the Umayyad Empire in 749 AD and within two-hundred years it had initiated a Golden Age of science, culture, and religious thought. This Golden Age was made possible by both the Muslim and Christian subjects of the empire. My thesis explores the dynamic relationship between Muslims and Christians since the beginning of the Arab conquests in the Levant to the end of the First Abbasid Period in 950 AD. The first chapter examines the defining encounters between Muslims and Christians prior to the Abbasid Empire. The second chapter describes how Christians and Muslims collaborated to initiate a translation movement in the Abbasid empire. The translation movement brought thought from the Greek and Persian empires to the Abbasid capital in Baghdad. The final chapter reviews the historical development of the First Abbasid period so that we might learn from past relations. Overall, this thesis describes the first encounters between Muslims and Christians in order to learn from the past.



Muslim-Christian, Late Antiquity, Abbasid Empire, Ummayyad Empire, Translation Movement, Islamic Golden Age, Dome of the Rock, Pact of Umar, Arab Conquest, Apocalyptic Literature, Arabic Language