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ChAPTER 11 -- Part 2: The First Global Civilization: The Rise
The harsh desert and scrub environment of Arabia gave rise to forms of social organization and a lifestyle that were similar to those of other nomadic peoples.
Bedouin herders lived in tent camps.
The Postclassical Period, 600-1450: New Faith and New Commerce, but these were rarely congregated together and only in times of war or severe crisis.
A strong dependence on and loyalty to one's family and clan was a result of the struggle for food in the Arabian environment.
It depended on cooperation and support from family.
Most of the time it was fatal to be cut off from them.
The use of water ing places and grazing lands was regulated by clan council.
There could be differences of wealth and status between clans of the same tribe.
Band of free warriors whose families made up a majority of a given clan group were the ones who enforced the shaykhs' dictates.
The remnants of rival clans defeated in war, who served the shaykhs or the wives, and many children, were slaves beneath the warriors.
Fierce inter-clan rivalries and struggles to control vital watering places reinforced Clan Cohesion.
The warriors from one clan were likely to kill those from the other clan if they found them drawing water from one of their wells.
Wars broke out as a result of one clan encroaching on another's pasture areas.
In a culture where honor depended on respect for one's clan, the flimsiest pretexts could lead to violence.
An insult to a warrior in a market town, the theft of a prize stallion, or one clan's defeat in a horse race could end in battles between clan groups.
All the men of a given clan joined in these fights, which were usually won by the side that could field several champion archers who were famed for their strength and skill.
The battles were fought according to a code of chivalry.
Although battles were usually small in number, they were often bloody and hard-fought.
For hundreds of years, clan feuds were initiated or perpetuated by the battles.
Revenge was to be taken on the clan that killed the warriors.
Their deaths led to reprisals.
The bedouins were weakened by this constant infighting and allowed to be manipulated and set against each other.
Although most of Arabia was occupied by herders, farmers and town peninsula were founded by Umayyad dwellers in the western and southern parts of the peninsula.
The original home of Muhammad was destroyed by foreign invasions and bedouin peoples.
The transcontinental trading system that stretched from the Mediterranean to the east point in Islam led to the location of the chief religious pilgrimage north.
Mecca's wealth and status were enhanced by the fact that the city was the ruler of Islam from 661 to 750.
In the 7th century, there were fears of an assault by a rival.
Medina was an important shrine established in an Oasis like most of the other towns in the peninsula.
S sedentary agriculture was possible because of springs and wells.
There is wheat in Islam.
They traded to the bedouins.
In the long-distance caravan trade that passed through Arabia, Medina was also engaged, although on a much smaller scale town located northeast of Mecca.
The control of Medina was divided between two bedouin and three Jewish clans.
After flight from to the survival of the prophet Muhammad and the Islamic faith, the city became a poor second to Mecca as a center of trade.
Milking camels and weaving cloth were some of the key economic roles played by women.
Many tribes traced their descent through the mother rather than the father, because the men of the clan were often on the move.
Men and women were allowed multiple marriage partners in some tribes.
To seal a marriage contract, the man was required to pay a bride price to the woman's family, not the father's gift.
In pre Islamic Arabia, women were not secluded and did not wear veils.
In the pre-Islamic era, they composed poems that were the focus of bedouin cultural life, and their advice was highly regarded by clan and tribal councils.
Women were not considered equal to men despite these career outlets.
They were little more than laborers and could not gain glory as warriors, the most prized occupation of the bedouins.
Their status was dependent on the custom of individual clans and tribes.
It ranged from one clan to the next.
Property control, inheritance, and divorce were favored by men.
In the urban environment of trading centers such as Mecca, the rise of a mercantile elite and social stratification appear to have set back the position of women on the whole.
The more stable family life of the towns led to the practice of tracing descent through the male line, and while men continued to practice polygamy, women were expected to be monogamous.
Arab material culture was not developed because of the isolation of Arabia in the pre-Islamic age and the poverty of the natural environment.
There wasn't much art or architecture in the far south.
Mecca made little impression on the cosmopolitan merchants who traveled through the city in caravans from the ancient cities of the north.
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