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The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam

By Glen W. Bowersock Published 2013

Oxford University Press has published The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea Wars on the Eve of Islam (2013), by Glen W. Bowersock, Professor Emeritus in the School of Historical Studies. Just prior to the rise of Islam in the sixth century A.D., southern Arabia was embroiled in a violent conflict between Christian Ethiopians and Jewish Arabs. Though little known today, this was an international war that involved both the Byzantine Empire, which had established Christian churches in Ethiopia, and the Sasanian Empire in Persia, which supported the Jews in what became a proxy war against its longtime foe Byzantium. Bowersock carefully reconstructs this fascinating but overlooked chapter in pre-Islamic Arabian history, drawing on descriptions of an inscribed marble throne at the Ethiopian port of Adulis as well as a wealth of other historical and archaeological evidence.