|Author||Alfred Joshua Butler|
|Publication Date||June 19, 2012|
For this book, so far as its purpose is concerned, perhaps no apology is needed. It aims at constructing a history, at once broad and detailed, of theS aracen conquest of Egypt. No such history has yet been written, although scattered essays on the subject may be found from Gibbon onwards brief sketches or chapters in some wider treatise upon the Roman or the Arab empire. Indeed the fact that no serious and minute study upon the conquest exists in any language is not a little remarkable: but it has been mainly due to two causes the scantiness of the material accessible to ordinary students, and the total want of agreement among the authorities, familiar or unfamiliar, eastern or western. The subject consequently has been wrapped in profound obscurity; to enter upon it was to enter a gloomy labyrinth of contradictions. This may seem exaggerated language: but it is no more than the truth, and it is borne out by the opinion of a very well-known writer, Mr. E. W. Brooks, who says: There is scarcely any important event in history of which the accounts are so vague and so discrepant as the capture of A lexandria. The whole history of the irruption of theS aracens into the [R oman] empire is indeed dark and obscure: but of all the events of this dark period the conquest of Egypt is the darkest To render this obscurity in some Myzaniim sche Zeilsckrift, 1895, p. 435.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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