Wednesday, July 29, 2015

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Parthia and the destruction of Byzantium

If not for the Persians, Islam might not have conquered the Mediterranean world.

by Ferdinand III

In the late 6th century the Christian Byzantines, one of the wealthiest empires in history, saved a pretender to the Persian-Parthian throne named Chosroes II. Later, the Byzantine Emperor Maurice, who had aided Chosroes to seize power; was murdered by a drunken psychopath, and poor general, named Phocas. The temptation for the Parthian-Persians was too much. Here was a legitimate call to war – to aid the aggrieved Byzantine population against the tyrant who murdered the just Emperor and a former friend and ally. Of course it would also fill the treasuries of the Persians with booty, plunder, more land, and the subjugation of Byzantine....

Warren H. Carroll in his great book, 'The Building of Christendom', surely an opus on the subject, describes what happens:

In the spring of 611 he [Chosroes] launched the greatest of all the Persian invasions of Roman territory in the Christian era. It engulfed Endessa, Antioch, and all of Syria, swept into Asia Minor, ran through Cappadocia. A weak counterattack by Heraclius in 613 accomplished little or nothing.....[Parthians] overwhelmed Damascus and Galilee and came rolling up to the hills of Jerusalem about Easter 614.”

When Phocas the drunken tyrant had murdered the legitimate emperor Maurice, he dispatched the entire Byzantine treasure into the watery depths of the Bosporus, knowing and fearing that retribution would be his reward. It was. He was justly murdered. Heraclius, one of the greatest emperors, took over. But he was handcuffed. When the Persians invaded with their largest force in history he was already reduced to a poorly trained militia, a small permanent army, and puerile generals. He would eventually defeat the Parthians, but only by rebuilding his army, and leading it himself.

In 614 however, the Christian empire was broken, in economic decline and entirely bankrupt. The distraught Byzantine economy, riven by 100 years of war with the Slavs, Bulgars and Parthians, could not recover. This lack of wealth mirrored its lack of military prowess. Phocas' misgovernment, inveterate high taxation, corruption and the incessant religious divides about the true nature of Christ, had made Byzantium impotent. Heraclius was in grave difficulty.

As Carroll relates, post Easter 614, within 30 days, the Persians took Jerusalem by undermining its walls, greatly aided by the Jews [I do not personally support any form of anti-Semiticism]. They wiped out 300 churches, and monasteries including the Church of the Resurrection of the Calvary, sold off 40.000 into slavery including sex-slavery, and gave the city back to the Jews, a payment in return for Jewish aid in reducing the fortress.

The only person who saved Jerusalem from total Persian annihilation was the Christian queen of Persia, Queen Shirin. She interdicted her power, and held up the eradication. It was she who arrested the blood, the rape, the destruction, the wanton obliteration of all things Christian. This will never appear in a Hollywood movie. Even so, the city was lost, and its main effect was to allow the Persians an easy access into Egypt, the granary of the Byzantine empire, which they easily reduced within 2 years. Byzantium was now broke and hungry.

By 615 the Christian Byzantine state was a rump of its former self. Exhausted by war, Persian Jihad, civil disputes, unrest, theological discord, and military unpreparedness, it was ripe for the picking when Islam came calling in 636 AD, in Syria, along the Yarmuk river. Thus is the untold story of how Submission destroyed Eastern Christendom. It won't appear on your evening's MSM grievance coverage of the week. Moslems and Persians [who became Moslem after a ridiculously bad military defense against the Arabs from 635-670]; are the victims; Christians are always the oppressors.