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By Aziz S. Atiya

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Finally, in the year 1000, the Fatimid Caliph, al-Hakim, sent an embassy to Constantinople to negotiate peace. It was agreed between the two parties to accept a ten-year truce on a status quo basis in the Holy Land. down at Tripoli. The Byzantine solution brought some gains to the Christians, since northern Syria remained in Byzantine hands for the time being, but it failed to deliver Jerusalem from the Muslim yoke. Nothing of great consequence happened after that date coming of the Saljuq Turks and the memorable appeal of Alexius Cornnenus to the Pope of Rome in 1093.

In the East, however, the idea of the Caliphate of recovery Syria and the Holy Places kept haunting the before its Byzantine mind, though more for political expediency and self-aggrandizement than for sheer piety. It would be idle to try to cover the whole story of ByzantineArab frontier incidents, occurring mainly on the soil of Armenia, which was wedged between those two empires. The first really serious enterprise to be undertaken against the Arabs took place in the reign of Emperor Nicephoras Phocas He recaptured both Cilicia and the island of (963-69) in 965, and was emboldened to begin his inroads Cyprus .

This show must have impressed Pope Leo III, who hastened plans to place the crown of the Holy Roman Empire on Charles head in the Basilica of St. Peter on Christ1 mas eve of 800. In the course of the following year, a direct embassy from the Caliph disembarked at Leghorn, port of the city of Pisa, and was granted audience by the Emperor at a place situated between Ivrea and Vercelli in the province of Turin, while he was on his way back to his German capital. The ambassadors, a Persian and a governor of Egypt called Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab, no doubt reported to the Emperor about their master's willingness to acquiesce in his request, and gave him the news about his former envoys, who must have reached Bagdad probably before the departure of the Eastern am- CRUSADE, COMMERCE AND CULTURE 38 The surviving member of the Christian embassy, Isaac the Jew, arrived later at Aachen in 802.

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Crusade, Commerce and Culture by Aziz S. Atiya


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