The Seventh Century Conquest of Kartli by Habib ibn Maslamah within the Context of the Arabic Wars

As is commonly known, from the 30s of the seventh century A.D. Arabic wars began. The Arabs did not conquer every city and village by means of the war and fire. Treaties of peace and security were used as a substitution for the military force to establish control over many cities, villages or towns. Peace was achieved on certain conditions. Peace treaty, the so-called  امانi.e. “Security guarantee pacts”, negotiated by the Arabs was not their innovation. The security guarantee pacts had been a part of the Middle East from the ancient times. We can find a detailed information about this in the works of Milka Levi-Rubin [Rubin, 2011:11]. We believe that we can find appropriate analogs for Arabic امان “Aman” and ذمة “dhimmah” in Latin “deditio” and “Pactum”. Moreover, Byzantine “metoikos” as well as Latin-Roman “peregrinus” can be considered as synonyms for Arabic “dhimmis.”

        Greco-Roman tradition clearly separated a peaceful (Latin – deditio; Greek – homologia) and a forced (Latin – vi; Greek – kratos) subjugation of people and territorial units. We can appropriate Arabic  صلحا“Sulhan” to the former and عنوة“Anvatan” to the latter. The security guarantee pacts were common in Sassanian Iran in the 5th-6th centuries. After the conquest of numerous cities in Mesopotamia (Edesa, Antioch, Beroa, Sura), Khosro Anushivan concluded peace treaties with them and Byzantine generals, making peace in exchange for money and natural products [Hoyland, 2015:29-30].

      In Arabia trade-political agreements were concluded during the youth of Muhammad. These treaties were called a ,,concord’’ -  ايلافThis word is found in the 106th  Surah.     ايلاف  established economic and political relations between Mecca and various tribes. According to the Arab-Islamic tradition, the Meccans have started to make concords from the beginning of the 6th century [Simonsen, 1988:20]. ,,Dhimmah’’ and ,,dhimmi’’ are also pre-Islamic notions. During Muhamad’s life it was possible to make dhimmah virtually with everybody, including those, who worshipped multiple gods. At the dawn of the history of Islam, Muhammad and Muhajirs were building, first and foremost, military and economic alliances (rather than religious) with the groups inside the city of Medina and tribes living in its vicinity. In the early-Islamic era, the adoption of Islam in exchange for a security guarantee was not necessary for tribes [Simonsen, 1988:52].

     In Islam “dhimmah” as well as “aman” meant “security guarantee” and “protection”. In the era of early conquests, the concept of “dhimmah” adopted the meaning that defined specific (social-political) relations between non-Muslim and Muslim peoples [Muslims, 2004:31]. Arabs divided conquered lands into three categories:  دارالصلح,,the land of peace’’, دارالعهد ,,the land of treaty’’ and دار الحرب  ,,the land of war’’. First two were lands obtained by peaceful means, through negotiations. On this lands population was allowed to retain religious and administrative autonomy. They were granted dhimmah i.e. a security guarantee. The land of Kartli was also declared as   ارض الصلح“the land of peace” [Lortkipanidze, 1963:77] [Rubin, 2011:13].

      In the early Islamic society ,,dhimmah’’ became a mutually advantageous treaty signed with non-Muslims, it was a mechanism obligating signatories not to harm and in cases of necessity, assist each other [Lobjanidze, 2006:558-559]. The person with whom the treaty was signed was called ,,dhimmi.’’ Although Principality of Kartli swiftly overthrew the Arab rule and halt the payment of tribute, its population still can be categorized as dhimmis. In the article “dhimma” Prof. Gocha Japaridze provides an exceptional definition of ,,dhimmis’’ and ,,dhimmah’’ [Lobjanidze, 2006:558-559].                                                 

    The attitude of the first Arab Muslim conquerors towards the people subjugated through peaceful negotiations was tolerance and acceptance of different religious beliefs [Muslims, 2004:84]. Arab Muslims’ primary concern was effective collection of taxes. They left local judicial norms untouched on the vast newly-conquered lands populated with the Christians. In the Muslim Empire, religious leaders of the Christians retained their traditional privileges of Byzantine and late Sasanian era [Muslims, 2004:84].

       Albert Noth meticulously describes peculiarities of the early truce agreements concluded with the peacefully subordinated Christian cities. In one of the conditions we can read that in the districts occupied by Muslims[1], Christians were forbidden to expose publicly their crosses and other religious sacred objects, including holy books.

     Majority of Syrian cities, including Bosra, surrendered to Muslim Arabs without a fight on the basis of the peace agreement [Hoyland, 2015:54]. Similarly, during the conquests of the mountainous regions of the Caspian Sea, numerous treaties of peace and security were signed between Arabs and locals. As for the inhabitants of Nahavand (Mah-Dinar), in exchange for paying Jizya (per capita yearly tax historically levied on non-Muslim subjects – dhimmis, who lived on Muslim lands) by every single adult male, they were promised by Hudhayfah  ibn al-Yaman to retain their faith, continue commercial activities, maintain property and land rights. In addition, people of Nahavand were obligated to assist lost Muslim soldier in finding a way, to maintain roads, to make available shelter and food for Muslim military units and in case of necessity, provide with an advise (useful information, intelligence, assistance) any time of a day [M. Adnan and I. Abbas, 1987:260-261]. In exchange for the removal of the land tax (Kharaja), Palestinian Samaritans accepted the Arabs’ request to serve as spies and guides [Christians, 2016:104], while the inhabitants of the mountainous region of Antioch - tribe of Jarajima – took the responsibility of guarding the boarder. They also agreed to fight along the Muslim army under the certain conditions  -  they were relieved from paying tribute and were entitled to request plundered goods of their desire [Christians, 2016:96] [Hoyland, 2015:97].

     The city of Raqqa was under the siege for six days by ‘Iyad ibn Ghanm ibn Zubayr al-Fihri. Finally, the inhabitants of Raqqa requested armistice. The peace and security treaty handed to them informed that ‘Iyad ibn Ghanm would grant citizens the right of life, property and church in exchange for paying tribute (one dinar per year for every adult male), restraining from building new churches and temples, maintaining low sound of the church bells, would not publicly celebrate the Easter and display crosses [Hoyland, 2015:172] [M.Adnan and I. Abbas, 1987:252]. ‘Iyad kept the land in Raqqa to their owners in exchange for paying Kharaja [Hoyland, 2015:176].  In addition to one diner tribute, Raqqans had to pay natural tax – wheat, olive, cloth and honey [Hoyland, 2015:176-177].

      It appears that early Islamic fiscal system was entirely based on Sassanian and Byzantine fiscal models. In Egypt the owners also retained their land in exchange for paying Kharaja. However, quite frequently, the amount of Kharaja was not strictly determined [Bell, 1925:177]. The Arab Muslims were not particularly interested in the conversion of the subordinated people to Islam. Their primary aim was subjugation of various people and collection of taxes [Bell, 1925:186].

      Neither Jizya nor Kharaja was the Muslim innovation [Z. Ahmed, 1975:302]. They both were based on Iranian model. Through the era of early Caliphate, Jizya was either strictly determined amount of money (one dinar for every household) or similarly strictly defined agricultural good (natural tax per household) [Z. Ahmed, 1975:303]. B. Silagadze presented an excellent analysis while writing that the treaty of peace and security for the population of Tbilisi (and not for the whole Kartli) considered Jizya as a tax for a household, not for an individual person. Prior to the formation of the Islamic law, the Arabs had borrowed a combined and a mixed version of Jizya from Sassanian Iran. Accordingly, “Jizya was applied to an individual or immovable and movable property, which simultaneously manifested itself as both Jizya and Kharaja. A tax was annual and was paid once per year by means of money or natural products, or both. The quantity of a tax was adjusted to the wealth of individuals’’ [Silagadze, 1991:77]; [Petrushevsky, 1960:387]. Similar conditions might be applied to citizens of Tbilisi through the treaty of peace and security of Habib ibn Maslamah [Silagadze, 1991:77].

      It was an accepted idea of the 20th century that the authenticity of the detailed early-conquest peace treaties was doubtful [Rubin, 2011:50] and ostensibly, the fighting Arabs had no sufficient time for drafting detailed and thorough peace treaties. However, Milka Levi-Rubin argued the opposite [Rubin, 2011:50].

     Conditions formulated in the treaty with the northern Syrian tribes Duluk and Ra’ban underlined their obligation to collect and transfer information about Byzantines to the Muslims [Christians, 2016:104]. Likewise, Al-Ruha people was tasked to repair and maintain bridges [Christians, 2016:103].

     Conditions for the peace agreements fell in two categories: “a surrender agreement” – an agreement with a city or an administrative unit (that showed some resistance but eventually surrendered), which would be governed by the Muslims, lose any form of a self-governance and suffer from a full subordination of its citizenry. According to this agreement, the Muslims took responsibility to protect local population from the external enemies. This pact was called كتاب امان – pact of security. In essence it meant that children, priests, bishops, their traditions and customs, churches and monasteries, crosses and properties of population were under Muslim protection, at the same time population was not forced to convert into Islam in exchange for paying Jizya [Rubin, 2011:42]. “A vassal agreement” implied the maintenance of the local governance and its subordination to the Arabs. It was used in Kartli (Jurzan), Tbilisi, Mah-Dinar, Isfahan, Ray, Tabaristan and Gilgilan, Azerbaijan, several Armenian cities, Herat and others [Rubin, 2011:45].

     Numerous historians have touched the subject of the first Arab invasion of Kartli (prior to the direct Arab invasion, it was under Byzantine political influence and not of Sassanian Iran as Milka Levi-Rubin asserts [Rubin, 2011:42], it follows that Arabs contested with Byzantine, not with Iran [Janashia, 1952:360]). The opinions diverge between 644 and 654 [Janashia, 1952:357-365] [Lortkipanidze, 1998:172] [Abashidze, 2012:92-104] [Dzimistarishvili, 1941:3-21] [Javakhishvili, 1983:73] [Muskhelishvili, 2012:125-126].

       Sikharulidze studied famous book تاريخ الرسل و اللملوك  ,,History of the Prophets and Kings’’ by Arab historian and theologian Al-Tabari, in which the author wrote that before subordinating Kartli, Habib ibn Maslamah (more precisely, Salman ibn Rabia al-Bahili. Habib was a member of his army) attempted the conquer Armenia. However, he failed [Moambe, 1961:186]. Supposedly, the 40s of the 7th century are implied here. Ahmad ibn A’thsam al-kufis’ note [Tskitishvili, 1984:91-104] completes Tabari’s idea regarding the fact that the Arabs marched Kartli (probably around 644-645) prior to its subordination by Habib ibn Maslamah and the declaration of a treaty of peace and security. As Beniamin Silagadze wrote that first Arab campaigns to Kartli were futile [Silagadze, 1991:38]. The Arabs resumed their attempts 9-10 years later (654). This argument is partially supported by Otar Tsikitishvili, who worked on Ahmad ibn A’tham al-Kufi’s note and argued that Salman ibn Rabiah al-Bahili marched in Kartli prior to Habib ibn Maslamah. However, in contrast to  Silagadze, Otar Tskitishvili wrote that Salman ibn Rabiah conquered Kartli in 644-646 and even charged the local population with the annual payment of Jizya [Tskitishvili 1984:100] [ثم انه وجه بخيل له الي جرزان فصالح اهلها علي شيء معلوم يعطونه في كل سنة] . After subordinating Bardav “Salman ibn Rabiah, together with his cavalry, marched towards Jurzan and made peace treaty with its population on the condition of a certain payment, which they would pay annually” [Tskitishvili, 1984:102]. Afterwards, Salman ibn Rabiah proceeded to Shirvan [Tskitishvili, 1984:100]. Shortly after this, anti-Arab uprising took place in Kartli and the Georgians stopped paying a tribute. Tskitishvili wrote: “It seems that granting “a treaty of peace and security” to Kartli was not a uniform political decision and the Georgians did not surrender to the conquerors immediately.” It is obvious that the second Arab campaign had to be arranged to conquer Kartli [Tskitishvili, 1984:98]. After Salman’s death in the battle with Khazars in 652, Habib ibn Maslamah successfully conquered the principality of Kartli in 654. Apparently, earlier Habib has distinguished himself as a skillful general in the battle against Mardaits in northern Syria and in the first conquest of Armenia in 642 [Japaridze, 1989]. Otar Tskitishvili’s research vividly illustrates that the Arabs, under the leadership of Salman ibn Rabiah (probably with the participation of Habib ibn Maslamah), held their first campaign against Kartli in 644-645. However, they have only marched the principality (they did not stationed permanent armies. Under this military act, they have declared their serious intention to dominate in the region and crippled Byzantine standing in the south Caucasus). Only after the subjugation of Iran, the Arabs resumed military operations in the Caucasus and reconquered Kartli for the second time. The conquest was followed by the signature of the famous treaty  [Lortkipanidze, 1990:93] [Silagadze, 1991:36-37]. B. Silagadze argued that: “The Arabs effortlessly and in a short timespan had subordinated eastern Georgia. Therefore, they promptly left the principality. As soon as they imposed tax and subordinated Kartli, they left without changing management of any system of local governance and customs” [Silagadze, 1991:62].

     In contrast to Eter Sikharulidze, Pavle Topuria (who relied on Yaqut al-Hamawi and al-Baladhuri and wrote that Georgian peasants fought against the Arabs at Lochini in the close vicinity of Tbilisi [Moambe: 198-191]) argues convincingly that no battle whatsoever took place between the Georgians and the Arabs and the place in Kartli identified by Yaqut al-Hamawi as ‘’zat al-lujum’’ –  ذات اللجوم   is an unidentified location (it is not Lochini asserted by Sikharulidze) [Moambe, 1961:85], which was possibly located in Armenia (not in Kartli). Topuria believed that al-Tabari had the clearest description of events of that time. According to this author, before marching Kartli (Jurzan), Habib ibn Maslamah took detour through Armenian cities subordinating them one by one. Upon reaching the middle of Armenia, he was met by the representative of Patrician (and other noblemen) of Kartli, who requested a peace treaty [Topuria, 1984:146].

    Apparently, the representative of Kartli’s Patrician Stephanoz II, either Theophile or Nikala (نقلى/تفلى), was accompanied by the group of noblemen. They granted the Arabs 100 Dinar and 80 000 Dirham respectively [History, 1984:98-99]. According to Abu-Ubaidah, the Arabs preferred systematic tribute (probably, a mixed Jizya, which obviously included Kharaja) to a single payment given by the population of Tbilisi [Sikharulidze, 2001:8-9].

     There are several versions of the treaty of peace and security. The most interesting and controversial issues connected to these documents are the allocation of Tbilisi to different administrative units and the attribution of treaties to entire Kartli or Tbilisi.

     All “treaties of peace and security” found in the works of various Arab historians have similar content. Accordingly, we will not present complete versions of the texts. They can be easily accessed through the works of different historians. They differ according to Tbilisi’s location in various regions and administrative units:

  1. Al-Baladhuri wrote: هذا كتاب من حبيب بن مسلمة لاهل طفليس من منجليس من جرزان القرمز   - “This is the book of Habib ibn Maslamah for the population of Tbilisi from Manglisi, Kirmizian Kartli” (This version was supported by G. Tsereteli).[2]
  2. In al-Tabari’s version we read: تفليس من جرزان ارض الهرمز هذا كتاب من حبيب بن مسلمة لاهل - “This is the book of Habib ibn Maslamah for the population of Tbilisi from Jurzan (Kartli), the land of (H)armaz.”
  3. Yaqut al-Hamawi wrote: تفليس من رستاق منجليس من جرزان الهرمز لاهل – “For the population of Tbilisi, from Manglisi community and Armazian Kartli.”
  4. Abu Ubaidah’s version: “The Book of Revenue’’: و هذا كتاب حبيب بن مسلمة لاهل تفليس من بلاد ارمينيا – “and this is the book from Habib ibn Maslamah to the population of Tbilisi, from the country of Armenia.”

It continues in such a way: هذا كتاب من حبيب بن مسلمة لاهل طفليس من ارض الهرمن – “this is the treaty of Habib ibn Maslamah for the population of Tbilisi (which is) from the land of al-Harman (Armenia).”

Indeed, may be Arab historians considered (falsely) Tbilisi as a part of Armenian region. May be at that time for Arabs Tbilisi was a city located within the territory of Armenia and not Kartli (Jurzan). E. Sikharulidze argues that this was the initial formulation and therefore, the most precise source must be ,,Ard al-Harman’’ i.e. ,,Land of Armenia’’ i.e. ,,Armenian Land’’ and all the rest may be its disfigured versions [Sikharulidze, 2001:9].

  1. 5.      In “Property Book” by Humaid ibn Zanjuwaih we read: هذا كتاب حبيب بن مسلمة لاهل تفليس من ارض الهرمز“This is the book of Habib ibn Maslamah for the population of Tbilisi from the land of (H)armazi.”


     Sikharulidze believed that since Abu Ubaidahs version is chronologically the oldest source, all other forms - قرمزهرمز - must be consequences of a graphical error [Sikharulidze, 2001:10-11]. Sikharulidze also asserted that Abu Ubaida’s version of the treaty clearly confirmed its attribution to the population of Tbilisi [Sikharulidze, 2001:10]. However, Lortkipanidze mentioned that the treaty was only for the population of inner and lower Kartli [Oriental studies, 2014:237].


     Ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadani lists all those points, which were peacefully conquered by Habib ibn Maslamah after subjugation of Tbilisi: ففتح حبيب بن مسلمة لعثمان بن عفان من ارمينيا جرزان و كسفر و كسال و خنان و سمسخي و الجردمان و كسفر ئس و شوشيت و بازليت صلحا علي ان يؤدوا اتاوة عن رؤسهم و اراضيهم و صالح الصنارية و اهل قلرجيت و الدودانية علي اتاوة – “Habib ibn Maslamah conquered for Uthman ibn Affan some parts of Armenia: Jurzan, Kaspar, Kisal, Khunan, Samsakh, al-Jardaman, Kspibis, Shavshit, Bazalit Sulhit, on the condition that they would pay person and land taxes. He agreed the question of tribute with Sanarians, Khlarjetians and Dudanians” [Moambe, 1961:187].


    Similarly, Baladhuri wrote: ففتح حبيب حوارح و كسفر سي و كسال و خنان و سمسخي و الجردمان و كستسجي و شوشيت و بازليت صلحا علي حقن دماء اهلها و اقرار مصلياتهم و حيطانهم و علي ان يؤدوا اتاوة عن ارضهم و رؤسم و صالح اهل قلرجيت و اهل ثرياليت و خاخيت و خوخيت و ارطهال و باب اللال و صالح الصنارية و الدودانية علي اتاوة – “and conquered Habib Hvarh, Kaspris, Ksal, Khunan, Samsakh, al-Jardaman, Kstsj, Shvshit, Bazlit on the condition that (Arabs) would not shed the blood of their population, destroy their shrines and city walls. They (subordinated) agreed to pay person and land taxes. He made armistice with the population of Klrjit, Srialit, Khakhit, Khukhit, Arthal, Bab al-lal and made peace treaty with Sanarians and Dudanians in exchange of the payment” [Moambe, 1961:189].


   Eter Sikharulidze gives a precise information regarding the names of Georgian toponyms disfigured by the Arab historians: خنان - Khunani, سمسخي - Samtskhe, الجردمان - Gardabani, شوشيت - Shavsheti, بازليت - Bazaleti, خوخيت - Kukheti, خاخيت - Kakheti, ارطهالArtani, باب اللال - Darialani, حوارحKherki (near Mtskheta), or more  precisely Javakhi (Javakheti),كسفر ئس  - Ksovrisi, كسال - Ksani, كسفر - Kaspi,  الصنارية- Tsanarebi, الدودانيةDidoelebi [Moambe, 1961:191-194].


     As a result, via relying on Eter Sikharulidze, we can reconstruct names of Georgian territories subordinated peacefully by Habib ibn Maslamah “Habib conquered Javakheti, Ksovrisi, Ksani, Khunani, Samtskhe, Gardabani, Kaspi, Shavsheti, Bazaleti on the condition that (Arabs) would not shed the blood of (subjugated) population, destroy their shrines and city walls. They (the Georgians) agreed to pay person and land taxes. He made armistice with the population of Trialeti, Kakheti, Kukheti, Artaani, Dariali  and made a peace treaty with Sanarians and Didoians in exchange of the payment” [Moambe, 1961:189]. We fully share Mariam Lortkipanidze’s idea regarding the fact that the Arabs subordinated Kartli part-by-part [Georgian, 1998:176]. However, the reason for that was not the Arabian tactic “separate and conquer” [Ocherki, 2009:91]. We believe that in this case, there was no centralized ruling of the Georgian territories listed by two Arab historians.


     It can be concluded that apparently before signing the treaty of peace and security with Tbilisi, the Arabs conducted preliminary military campaigns on the territory of South Caucasus in 644-645 and considerably weakened Byzantine positions in this region. It seems that around 644-645 Salman ibn Rabiah subordinated Kartli and imposed tribute on its population. However, Kartli hosted anti-Arab uprising and after getting rid of the enslavement with the help of Byzantine, returned to the political orbit of Byzantine. Once the Arabs managed to consolidate primary military forces and conquered Iran, distinguished General Habib ibn Maslamah peacefully reestablished his ruling over Kartli and signed a treaty of peace and security with the subordinated citizens of Tbilisi in 654-655.


     Feudal Lord of Kartli Stephanoz II wisely assessed a geopolitical situation and acted rationally via realizing the fact that Byzantine had no power of defending Kartli. Otherwise, Kartli, as the Byzantine ally, would not survive full scale Arab invasion. Moreover, without Byzantine’s help, it would be impossible to contradict the Arabs. However, initially (in 640s) Byzantine spared no efforts to maintain its political influence and defend allies (Georgia and Armenia). It seems that initially Byzantine succeeded and forced the Arabs to leave the South Caucasus (it is also possible that Arabs made a strategic retreat). However, after subordinating Iran, the Arabs continued their military policy of marching towards the north and in 654 they subjugated Kartli by signing a famous “treaty of peace and security” with the population of Tbilisi. We believe that separate treaties were presented to other parts of Kartli. This is verified by al-Baladhuri and Ibn al-Faqih in their list of other parts of Kartli. This is entirely in line with the spirit of the Arab conquests. They used to sign separate treaties with cities and regions (however, there are some exceptions, where the Arabs presented the common peace treaty for the entire country, for instance, Nubia and Egypt). As for the rest of the treaties signed between the Arabs and the Georgians, either they await other Arab historians’ discoveries or no one preserved notes about them.


       It is known that the conquest of Kartli by Habib ibn Maslamah did not lead to its final subjugation. Many circumstances inhibited the Arabs to firmly establish their ruling and influence in Kartli (including internal wars in the Caliphate, Byzantine opposition, overcoming of the competition with the Khazars). Kartli was finally subordinated after the invasion of Marwan ibn Muhammad ibn Marwan in 735-737. It became Arab Emirate with the center in Tbilisi.


     The paper illustrated essential similarity of the treaties signed between the Georgians and the Arabs with those, which were presented to other peacefully subordinated cities and  administrative units, especially, Iran, cities of Syria-Palestine and Nubia. This fact indicates to the existence of the cohesive Arabic strategy of acting towards peacefully subordinated Christian, Judean and Mazdean citizens. The conditions of the treaties were similar, because the Arabs used similar principles. This practice was adopted from Romans, Byzantines and Sassanian Iranians.


       In Kartli, similarly to all peacefully surrendered cities and regions, the Arabs left untouched local administrative systems of governance, religion, customs and traditions as well as social order of exchange of the payment of Jizya (which also included Kharaja) and other conditions required by the treaty.


      An administrative affiliation of Tbilisi to the Armenian land probably was not an accident. Perhaps, the Arab chroniclers considered Tbilisi as a part of Armenian land (and not Kartli) and the Arab historians of the Middle Ages perceived this type of an administrative mapping of the Caucasus. However, as we have observed, opinions diverge on this matter. Perhaps, the disputed part of the treaty of peace and security reads not as ارض الحرمن (land of Armenia), but rather ارض الحرمز (land of Armazi) and the misunderstanding is the consequence of the peculiarities of Arabic orthography and mistakes of scribes.


      Two historians  -  ibn al-Faqih al-Hamadani and al-Baladhuri  - clearly conveyed geographical names of the territories of Kartli (except unidentified ,,Kustasji’’) during Habibs’ conquests. Since the probability of the inaccuracy of historical facts expressed by two independent sources is low, we suppose that after the subjugation of Tbilisi, the Arabs separately signed multiple treaties of peace and security with Tsanars, Kakhetians, Kukhelians, Didoelians, Kaspians, etc. The Arabs had to subordinate these parts of Kartli one by one, because the power of Stephanoz II (feudal lord of Kartli) was either ineffective or did not extend on the above-mentioned territories. It is less surprising if we consider the history of Kartli of the 6th -7th centuries, when it was under a strong political influence of Byzantine and Iran.

[1] From the period of early conquests, in the subordinated Christian, Judean and Zoroastrian cities Arab Muslim soldiers settled separately from the local population. Those small settlements of Arab-Muslim soldiers were precisely the first military garrisons, which had been formed on the conquered territories (there was none in Kartli). From the 10s of the 8th century massive migration of ordinary Arabs from Arabic peninsula to Egypt, Syria-Palestine, Iran and other subordinated territories was observed. Emigrated Arabs had involved themselves in agriculture, adopted a wide variety of skills and jobs from locals and started to replace them on administrative positions. Consequently, they mixed up with the local population. These developments triggered the necessity for Arabs to develop comprehensive document, which would regulate interactions between Muslims and subordinated monotheists, Muslims would have advantageous position in this relationship. This rational culminated with the adoption of “Pact of Umar” during the period of Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz (717-720). The pact diminished social standing and status of Christians. This pact, to an extent, reflected the substance of conditions of the peace treaties of early conquest period.

[2] For more information see Arabic-Georgian dictionary by G. Tsereteli, p.197


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