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Byzantinische Zeit

Exponate von der Mitte des 4. Jahrhunderts bis zur muslimischen Eroberung im Jahr 636.

Teil der informativen Fototour durch das Jordan Museum, Amman, im Rahmen von Art Destination Jordanien.

Byzantinische Zeit in Jordanien  


Byzantinische Zeit in Jordanien (324 - 636)

Der Begriff "byzantinisch" wird von Archäologen und Historikern verwendet, um sich auf die letzten Jahrhunderte des oströmischen Reiches zu beziehen. Für Jordanien endete die byzantinische Zeit mit dem muslimischen Sieg in der entscheidenden Schlacht am Jarmuk im Jahr 636 n. Chr., während das byzantinische Reich in Kleinasien (Türkei) und Südosteuropa bis zur Mitte des 15. Jahrhunderts fortbestand.

Die byzantinische Zeit begann 324 n. Chr., als Konstantin I. die neue Reichshauptstadt Konstantinopel (das heutige Istanbul) am Ort eines Dorfes namens Byzanz gründete.

Die entscheidende Veränderung war die Annahme des Christentums durch Konstantin als offizielle Staatsreligion, die von seinem Vorgänger Diokletian noch grausam verfolgt worden war. Dies markierte einen wichtigen Wendepunkt in der Entwicklung des Römischen Reiches.

When Emperor Theodosius died in 395 AD, the Roman Empire was administratively divided into east and west between his two sons. This division became a permanent reality when the western part of the empire finally succumbed to external pressure in 476. As for Jordan, Constantine and his successors adopted the Diocletianic administrative reforms, which had Jordan divided within four imperial provinces: Palestine I, II, III, and Arabia.

Nomads and tribes that lived in Jordan at that time played a prominent role, especially along the eastern desert frontiers, and became influential factors in the management of the eastern provinces of the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantines and Persians adopted the strategy of using powerful local tribes as allies in their ongoing conflicts.

The Ghassanid tribes were the guardians of the eastern frontier of the Byzantine Empire, while the Arab Lakhmids protected the western frontier of the Persian Empire.

The Byzantine period in Jordan was marked by strong expansion. The population peaked and healthy trade and economic networks provided overall prosperity. The economy in Jordan was mainly dependent on agriculture. The Hawran plains continued to be a major source for wheat and barley production, while the spring-fed valleys were planted with vines, olives, fruits and nuts. There is also evidence of water systems in the semi-arid regions around Udhruh, Petra and Faynan.

Industry also played an important role in the economy, especially the manufacture of pottery and metals. Christian pilgrims travelling to holy sites and visiting the homeland of Christianity also contributed to the local economy. Sea trade prospered through the port of Aila (modern Aqaba). Oil, glass, metal, and agricultural products were imported and exported through its port. The land routes to the Mediterranean through the Negeb flourished, as did the routes to Egypt through Sinai. The trade routes across the desert between the Hijaz and Syria led to increasing populations south of Hawran.

A succession of disasters struck the prosperous eastern provinces of the Empire. Greater Syria was hit by a series of earthquakes during the 5th and 6th centuries; the plague also swept through the Empire in 541/542, contributing to the decline of Byzantine society in the 6th and early 7th centuries.

The Persians invaded the weakened region in 614, and occupied it until 628 when Emperor Heraclius finally succeeded in defeating them. Soon afterwards, however, the Islamic Conquests started in AD 629, and by 641 the entire region came under Muslim rule.

© Aus einem Wandtext im Jordan Museum.
© Aus dem Englischen: Universes in Universe

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