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The Rise of the Arabs

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by TheGryphonPrince, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. TheGryphonPrince

    TheGryphonPrince King

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    Chapter 1 - The Early Arabs

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    The Ghaba is the vast forest that dominates the current Arabian homeland, and it is dotted with numerous hills. To the east, the forest dissolves into a semi-desertic region, known as the Ahmar Hills. In spite of the fertility of the Ahmar, with the Rizq river offering some fertile farming grounds thanks to it's yearly floodings, the unpredictable weather and flooding patterns, and the Rizq river itself only being able to support a small population, it is a harsh area to live on. To the south, the forest shifts into a warmer jungle, and to the north and west, it is surrounded by the sea, whose calm shores allow for ships from across the world to come trade.

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    The Arabs hail from the Ahmar Hills, and began migrating westward in the 8th millenium B.C, and would settle in what would become their homeland a thousand years later. They would call their new homeland Jamila, as they considered it a beautiful place. It was filled with fruits and fish aplenty, the local Walawd river offered fertility, and it was located next to the Fir penninsula, named after its abundant populations of native elephants.

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    By the end of the seventh millenium B.C, the first semi-permanent settlements began to arise in Jamila. The biggest village in this region was known as Mecca, and it would later come to dominate the region as well as the whole Arabic world, but for now, the only features that made it stand out from the rest of the villages were the Great Council of Elders, which was a council visited by all the Arab chieftains for religious matters. Surrounded by this council was the Kaaba, a local shrine that stored a rock that was considered a gift from the gods and thus revered by Arabs, who visited this shrine every winter and summer solstice and performed great celebrations.

    Among these early Arabic settlers, there were also groups of dauntless explorers that began to dive further inland. In these early days, the tribesmen they met were mostly friendly, and sent out large gifts towards the cities of Arabia, which would further encourage explorers. For millennia, these explorers will continue their adventures, mapping out vast areas of the continent, until the final days of the fourth millennium B.C, as Arab explorers were consistently caught in inter-tribal wars as nomadic populations continued to move.

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    From the fifth millennium B.C onwards, The Arab peoples started meeting with more advanced groups of peoples, the first of whom were the Japanese, then the Khmer, who had developed an organized religion by this point, and the Persians. As it would be revealed later on, excepting the Khmer, most of these groups lived far away from the Ghaba.

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    By the middle of the 4th millennium B.C, permanent settlements dominated the Jamila region, Mecca once again being the largest among these settlements. Population growth continued to generate bands of tribes who explored the world, and it also began to generate groups of people who wanted to live in the areas that the explorers mapped as fertile.

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    It was not until centuries later when these groups would be large enough to warrant a safe migration, and after decades of travel, they settled on the Sakhri peninsula. The peninsula seemed like a perfect place to settle, with vast formations of valuable rocks they could mine and send to the Jamila, as well as elephants and packs of deer, the latter beyond the small canal that divided the penninsula from the continent. The central settlement of the Sakhri was the city of Medina, and it's power would grow to rival that of Mecca.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  2. TheGryphonPrince

    TheGryphonPrince King

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    Chapter 2 : Early Struggles

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    In the middle-late 3rd millennium B.C, the cult to the one god Dhul-Khalasa was founded in the city of Medina. In spite of being far more organized than the pagan religion that dominated the Arabs, this cult would barely spread outside Medina for years to come.

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    Starting in the 2nd millenium B.C, notorious barbarian movements started to shake the regions surrounding Jamila. The cities of the region were initially able to pay off a generous yearly tribute, which guaranteed that these chieftains would protect the Jamila region, if only to secure their tribute.

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    However, more chieftains kept appearing at the doorsteps of Jamila, demanding further tribute. When the cities could no longer pay their tribute, the chieftains started to threaten with invasion. They gathered in the hills south of the Jamila and set up camps, hoping to receive enough reinforcements to initiate a sacking campaign.

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    This threw the region into panic, but the diplomats of Mecca convinced the rest of the cities of Jamila that, if they did not cooperate, the barbarians would surely be able to gather up enough forces to cause some major destruction the moment an opportunity came, and the cities of Jamila rallied a large army to repel the would-be sackers.

    The barbarian alliance, seeing the armies of the cities leave the safety of their cities, saw this as an opportunity and charged at the large army. In the battle of Talat-Aldam somewhere around 2020 B.C, the Arabian army held the hill of what would become known as the Talat-Aldam (Hill of Blood) and dispatched the poorly-armed barbarian chieftains.

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    A few years later, allies of the chieftains attempted to retaliate and sack the Jamila, but were driven off by angry militiamen.

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    During this time, population movements in Arabia began looking out for regions beyond the Jamila and Medina for colonization.

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    One group of settlers travelled far south, to the Eazri lakes. The Eazri lakes were two major freshwater lakes located in the southern Ghaba which provided fish, and to the north, there were numerous herds of elephants. The cities of the region, led by the settlement of Damascus, were destined to a prosperous growth, and this especially seemed so when they were able to pay tribute to barbarian chieftains, guaranteeing a certain degree of safety.

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    Another group of settlers left Mecca to settle in a region west of the Ghaba, where it was rumored that there were plenty of clams. This group of settlers was disappointed when they learnt that these lands were settled by French-speaking populations. Lacking strength to seize the settlements by force, they were forced to settle in the semi-desert east of that lushland, forced to live in quarries digging salt and stone.



    But because of the constant growth of the population and territory covered by the Arabic tribes, the traditional ways of the Arabs began to change. Changes to the traditional Arab ways began with the expansion of Arabia proper, but this process wasn’t completed until the eleventh century B.C.

    Warring cities began to coalesce into fewer, larger states controlled by a small circle of warriors, who were expected to be constantly showing dominance over the other surrounding cities. These states would be divided amongst many castes, which included the warriors at the top, the clergy, the peasants and the slaves.



    Speaking of slavery, by now slavery had become a major factor in Arab cities, and many cities, such as Medina and Baghdad, became major centers for the incoming slave trade. The warrior caste, only obedient to their own interests, made sure these slaves wouldn't ever think of revolting.



    But even these strongmen, with their fancy palaces and comfortable lives away from the rest of the population, still had to fullfill their duties. They made sure to offer even the most miserable slaves food, shelter, healthcare and protection from outer threats. Another factor that kept the population duly obedient was an ever growing pantheon of holy men, who reportedly had powers from the heavens to heal any ailments their followers had.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
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  3. TheGryphonPrince

    TheGryphonPrince King

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    Chapter 3: The Meccan Era

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    After the transition from the romanticized semi-tribal, semi-civilized period of the ancient days into the colder, more cynical military governments took place, dissatisfaction became the order of the day. This period saw the city of Mecca officially become the sole ruling power over the Jamilla valley, helped by the chronic infighting of the rest of the cities in the Jamilla. But this infighting also generated major discontent throughout the population and the impoverished warriors, who more often than not, came back to their homes only to find them completely razed and pillaged. The intrigues and schemes of the nobility

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    For centuries, the Sakhri penninsula, in particular the then-infamous city of Medina was one of the worst-governed cities of the Arabic world. For not only did it suffer the usual problems of the cities in the Jamilla, but it also was ruled by the Bakshids, a dynasty that unified the peninsula under its thumb, but spend lavishly on palaces and gigantic feasts. Nobles and peasants alike were infuriated by the reckless hedonism of the Bakshids, and so they sent emmissaries to Medina, begging them to invade the city.

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    The subsequent conquest of the city of Medina by 685 B.C consolidated Mecca as the center of the Arab world. Unlike the hedonistic Bakshids, who were exiled, King Abu-Bakr IV Abdulid made sure that, for the time being, power would not get on top of his head. He established a royal council, which accepted representatives from all castes (with the exception of the slave caste), and this council would also function as a check on the ever-growing power of the monarch. Because of the growing power of Mecca, many more cities would follow in the footsteps in establishing similar arrangements of power.

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    Beyond these constant shifts in power, inevitable in any time and age, the Arabs continued to expand across the surrounding region. They settled in the city of Najran, an outpost meant to block the endless stream of barbarian hordes harassing the Jamillan countryside, and they also settled the city of Kufah, known for its famous mines and nearby iron mines, as well as being close to the Khmer settlements nearby.

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    Territories controlled by Arabic-speaking populations in the 6th century B.C.

    The third wave of colonization began sometime in the 6th century B.C, and this time it would bring the Fayudan region into the Arabic fold. The Fayudan river included a mixture of jungles in upper river and deserts in the lower river, but fortunately for the Arabic settlers, the Fayudan flooded in these regions, providing much needed fertile soil. There was one major focus of resistance to Arabic settlement: The southern Uzbek cities, located in a river south of the Fayudan. These tribes posed a degree of resistance against the encroaching Arabs, but their marauders rarely raided Arab cities, and the Arabs established full control over the Fayudan by the end of the 5th century B.C.

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    Later historians agreed that by the 2nd century B.C, Arab-speaking peoples colonized vast amounts of territory in comparison to the rest of the world. However, historians also agree that, when compared to other civilizations at the time, the Arabs were behind in development (there wasn't much infrastructure outside the largest cities) and their armies were also very weak.

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    The city of Damascus, the most populated southern city, had for a long time been affected by the same issues as the cities of the Jamilla, including it's own series of slave revolts. And with the Arabs colonizing even further southwards, further issues became evident. The American people living west of the newly-colonized region started to expand the faith of Buddhism during this time, concentrating their missionary efforts in the newly-colonized Fayudan region in the south and reaching as far north as the city of Damascus.

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    The Abdulids, still ruling over the city of the Mecca, also commissioned the establishment of a series of roads that would connect the Arab cities with Mecca. This project could have taken several centuries, leaving much of Arabia unprotected to potential foreign invasions, but with the assistance of the brightest minds of this century, the project was completed within a few years.
     
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