Conversion in the Levant: a long twitter thread with, nevertheless, some interesting questions

25 Jan

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard People always talk about the gradual Arabization of the Levant after the Islamic conquest – and it’s true. But few people ever talk about our “Byzantinization” of the Arabs.4:48 AM · Jan 24, 2020·

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard· Replying to @ByzBastardRoman Syria / Roman Damascus, was the Arabs first contact with a sophisticated, wealthy, high Civilization, Roman city. It was through us that they would have Civilization, and through that Civilization they would be propelled into to their Islamic Golden age

Rami39@Rami397· Replying to @ByzBastardI heard Amine Gemayel on a tv show saying that his people originally came from Arabia.

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard· Yes, many of us have. There was always migration of tribes from Arabia predating Islam. Most notably the Ghassanids who many Christians are descended from, also the Ma’in. BUT many these groups were Romanized/Byzantinized by the time of the Islamic conquest

Bob Esfanji@Amphiarause· Replying to @ByzBastard I’d rather call it hellenization * also no one talks about it Bc ….. you’re gonna think I’m reading but it’s bc of islamophobia

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard· Hellenization is the wrong term. The Arabs were not Greekifed, they did not pick up the language. They were politically and culturally influenced by the civilization that was here which was Roman, politically, but has Greek and Aramaic elements….

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard·… Not Islamophobia, in the same way it’s not “byzantophopia” or “chrostanophbia” to say we were Arabized (I’m happy to call myself an Arab). Please keep western sensitivities in the West and stop applying them for our culture, where they just don’t make sense

Bob Esfanji@Amphiarause· I’m talking about people who don’t bat an eye about the plunders of the Roman Empire in levant but keep lamenting over how the levant was Arabized

J@tripoli187· Yeah and how bad they Eastern Romans taxed their fellow Christians in the Levant. People always talk about “jizyah” but forget how high the taxes were under the eastern romans. Hence why In a lot of areas the eastern romans fell easy, some of the people didn’t like them.

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard· I mean I don’t know if it would go that far. If tax was an issue it would have been a lower priority. The 2 biggest issue for the people living in the region was more than ~30 years of war with the Sassanians, which ruined the cities and exhausted the population…

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard· The Levant was basically under Persian occupation for 30 years before the Byz got it back. The 2nd major issue was the schism between Chalcedonian and Non-Chalcedonian versions of Christians, where the NC were deemed as heretical by the Empire & some small scale civil strife…

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard· was occurring. As a result the NC may have been less resistant to the Islamic conquest because under Islam they were viewed as just Christians instead of heretics. And the rest of the population was just tired of war.

J@tripoli187· Yes I also read that, that many of the Christian sects of Levant were viewed as heretics by the Byzantine/roman Greek Orthodox

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard· Yes, this was the biggest cause for division. It stems from the Council of Chalcedon in 451. You can still see the division today, where the Greek Orthodox (Roum) are Chalcedonians and Non-Chalcedonians the Syriac Orthodox and Coptic Orthodox in Egypt.

Nicholas Bakos@jaddeyekabir · 39mAnd this last question I’ve always wondered about: did those “Semites” who remained Orthodox/Chalcedonian/Melkites use RUM as an enodnym for themselves and was it an exonym applied to them by others? Is the term still in use? Did its use survive into modernity as with Greeks?

Nicholas Bakos@jaddeyekabir·2m So just to make sure, a Greek Orthodox Syrian or Palestinian still uses term “Rum” for himself and is called that by his non-Orthodox neighbors? I mean today? still?

The Levantine Byzantine@ByzBastard Yes. It is still in use.

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