Jews During the Byzantine Empire/Christians In The Abbasid Caliphate

Unit 6 Discussion

Introduction

After the 300s CE, the Roman Empire (and then the Byzantine Empire which followed it) was Christian. As a result of this Christianization, Roman Law came to discriminate against non-Christians, particularly against Jews. You?ve read the relevant selections from Roman Law on the treatment of Jews.

You?ll remember that after the 600s, Arab Muslims conquered the Middle East and North Africa, subjecting Jews and Christians to legal discrimination. You?ve read the Pact of Umar which outlines some of this discrimination.

Instructions

Look at the way that these Empires treat members of the non-dominant religions based on those texts. If you lived in the ninth century (i.e., the 800s CE), would you rather be a Jew in the Byzantine Empire or a Christian in the Abbasid Caliphate? Why? Explain your answer in at least two paragraphs! Remember to cite any outside sources!

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