In 637 AD, the Muslim Rashidun army of approximately 15,000 men, under Saʿd ibn Abi Waqqas, besieged the Persian capital of Ctesiphon. After roughly two months, the Persian/Sasanian King Yazdegerd III managed to flee with the imperial treasure eastward into Media.
After capturing Ctesiphon, the cities Tikrit and Mosul were also captured, completing the conquest of Mesopotamia. The region west of the Zagros Mountains was annexed by the Rashidun Caliphate.
Meanwhile, another Rashidun army of approximately 20,000 men, led by ‘Amr ibn al-‘As, conquered Jerusalem after a six-month siege. And later in the year, Muslim Arabs made inroads on the Byzantine Empire by taking their stronghold of Aleppo and defeating them at the Iron Bridge, at the Orontes River, which then marked the complete annexation of Syria by the Rashidun Caliphate.
During the conquest of Mesopotamia (later to become Iraq,) the Muslims replaced the old Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism with Islam. While they did not force their conquered subjects to embrace the Islamic faith, they did require acceptance of the Quran as the doctrine of divine teaching, and that their new subjects learned Arabic.
In 638 AD, Emperor Heraclius created a no man’s land “buffer zone” in the heartland of Asia Minor to be used for warfare against the Muslims.
In the mountainous terrain of Anatolia, the Byzantine forces developed a system of defensive guerrilla warfare. The strategy is known as ‘shadowing warfare,’ as it avoids battle with major forces, and instead attacks raiding parties on their return when they are laden with booty, captured livestock or prisoners.
In the new Arabian Empire, it was said that the “Plague of Amwas” broke out. If you understand that healing from trauma, malnutrition, and poisoning by consuming spoiled food as a desperate measure during starvation can all trigger this detoxification process, this came as no surprise after years of war and conquest. We’ve covered this many times, as every single recorded “plague” in history has followed the exact same pattern. It has absolutely nothing to do with the pseudo-science of contagion or viruses, something that does not exist in nature.
Also, the Islamic Calendar was introduced. And interestingly, King Popa Sawrahan of Burma recalibrated the ancient Burmese Calendar, naming a new era Kawza Thekkarit with a Year Zero starting date of March 22 (3/22 = 322,) in 638 AD. While this was close to the spring equinox and that of real calendars beginning a New Year as spring and new life breaks out, it also shows the importance of the number 322, adopted by the Freemasonic order of Skull and Bones, also known as Order 322.
In 639 AD, in Europe, King Dagobert I of the Franks died after a 10-year reign, in which his realm had prospered. He was succeeded by Sigebert III (age 9,) independent ruler of Austrasia, and his half-brother Clovis II (age 2,) who became king of Neustria and Burgundy. Under the supervision of Pepin of Landen, Mayor of the Palace, the royal treasury was distributed between the two brothers and widowed queen Nanthild (regent on Clovis’ behalf.)
In Africa, the Muslim Arabs intensified their war against the Byzantine (Roman) Empire by invading Egypt and conquering the strategic town of Pelusium at the Nile Delta.
Meanwhile, the Persian aristocrat and governor of Khuzestan, Hormuzan, revolted against the Muslims and raided Mesopotamia. As a response, Arab forces under Abu Musa al-Asha’ari destroyed the ancient city of Susa in the lower Zagros Mountains.
Again, as people were struggling and recovering from the invasion, another plague called the “Plague of Emmaus” was said to have broken out in Emmaus in Palestine.
In 640 AD, during late February, Pepin the Elder, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia, died and was succeeded by his son Grimoald. As the Frankish Kings were yet not of age, he became the head of the Frankish household and the most powerful man in the Frankish Kingdom.
At the request of the newly baptized Porga, one of the first dukes/princes of Dalmatian Croatia, the Byzantine emperor Heraclius sent Christian (Catholic) missionaries to the Croatian Provinces – again slowly strengthening the Catholic influence (and power) all over Europe.
In Britannia, King Eadbald of Kent died after a 24-year reign. He was succeeded by his sons, Eorcenberht and Eormenred, who jointly ruled the Kingdom of Kent (present-day South East England.)
In Africa, during May, the Rashidun army laid siege to the Babylon Fortress in the Nile Delta near Cairo. During that siege, another force of roughly 15,000 men defeated the Byzantine forces near Heliopolis. And by December, after a seven-month siege, the Babylon Fortress was captured.
On orders of the Muslim leader Amar, the Serapeum of Alexandria, containing works that had survived the destruction of the Library of Alexandria, was said to have been burned down, along with its collection of 500,000 manuscripts. That story might however had been a smokescreen as the collection had probably already been moved to the Vatican.
In 641 AD, on February 11, Emperor Heraclius died at the age of 65 at Constantinople after a 31-year reign. He reorganized the imperial administration, but lost Armenia, parts of Egypt, Palestine, Syria and much of Mesopotamia to the Muslim Arabs. Heraclius was succeeded by his sons Constantine III and Heraklonas.
However, in May, Constantine III, age 29, allegedly died of tuberculosis after a four-month reign, leaving his half-brother Heraklonas sole emperor. Rumors spread that Constantine had been poisoned by Heraclius’s second wife (and niece) Martina.
By September, the Byzantine/Roman Senate turned against Martina and her son Heraklonas, who were both mutilated and exiled to Rhodes. Supported by general Valentinus, Constantine’s son Constans II, age 10, succeeded to the throne.
In the months after succeeding the throne, Constans II, supervised by general Valentinus, established a new civil-military defensive organization based upon geographical military districts. Byzantine forces maintained the frontier, along the line of the Taurus Mountains (Southern Turkey.)
In Europe, during the reign of King Clovis II, Aega, the Mayor of the Palace and regent alongside of queen mother Nanthild of Neustria and Burgundy, also died. He was replaced by Erchinoald, a relative of Dagobert I’s mother.
In Italy, the Lombards under King Rothari conquered Genoa (Liguria,) and all remaining Byzantine territories in the lower Po Valley.
And in Africa, Muslim Arabs captured Alexandria after a six-month siege.
In 642 AD, the 79-year old Gothic warlord Chindasuinth commenced a rebellion and deposed King Tulga in Toledo, Spain. Chindasuinth was proclaimed king by the Visigothic nobility and anointed by the bishops. Tulga was tonsured (shaved head) and sent out to live his remaining days in a monastery.
In Britannia, King Penda of Mercia defeated and killed King Oswald of Northumbria at Oswestry (West Midlands.) The Mercians became dominant in the English Midlands.
In Persia, the Muslim Rashidun army won an important battle against King Yazdegerd III and his Sasanian Persian armies during the Battle of Nahavand, which marked the near dissolution of the Sasanian Imperial army. The Persians consequently lost the surrounding cities including Spahan (Isfahan.)
King Yazdegerd escaped to the Merv area, but was unable to raise another substantial army.
In Africa, the Muslim forces advanced through southern Egypt but was temporarily stopped by Nubian forces with their hit and run tactic.
In 643 AD, the Byzantine general Maurikios named himself “dux of Rome,” and revolted against exarch Isaac (Exarchate/lordship of Ravenna.) He declared Rome’s independence from the Exarchate and from the Byzantine Empire.
In Britannia, King Cynegils of Wessex died after a 32-year reign, and was succeeded by his son Cenwalh, who was still pagan. He married the sister of King Penda of Mercia.
In Persia, Peroz III, the son of king Yazdegerd III, the last Sassanid king of Persia, fled to territory under the control of the Tang dynasty in China.
In 644 AD, Valentinus, a Byzantine general, attempted to usurp the throne of his son-in-law Constans II. He appeared at the gates of Constantinople with a contingent of Byzantine troops and demanded to be crowned emperor. His claim was rejected and Valentinus was lynched by the populace.
In 645 AD, the city of Alexandria revolted against the Islamic Arab rule as a fleet of 300 Byzantine ships appeared on the horizon. With the help of the Alexandrian people, the Byzantine forces recaptured the city.
Abdullah ibn Sa’ad, the Arab governor of Egypt, immediately mounted an assault and managed to retake the city. He then began the construction of a Muslim fleet.
In Britannia, the newly, and pagan, king Cenwalh of Wessex was driven from his kingdom by his brother-in-law, King Penda of Mercia. Cenwalh fled to the court of king Anna of East Anglia, where he was baptized while in exile.
To be continued in the next part.