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Volume :4 Issue : 16 1978      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

FOREIGN INTERVENTION IN YEMEN TOWARDS THE END OF ITS ANCIENT CIVILIZATION

Auther : By Dr. Farouk O. Abaza

 

Lack of documental historical sources about this particular subject of Yemeni ancient history makes a thorough scientific investigation very difficult.  Yet there are several translated inscriptions, classical Roman and Greek scripts, manuscripts of Arab informants and Yemeni historians in addition to some modern analytical studies which shed some light on this subject. 

          It is certain however, that Yemen was subject to foreign intervention towards the end of its ancient civilization and particularly during the 6th and 7th Century A.D. because of its strategic location along the route of international trade between the East and the West, mineral and agricultural resources and its prosperous trade during that period.

           Foreign intervention became frequent at the time when Yemen experienced a situation of weakness and disruption, which peaked around the Sixth Century.  During the Third Century A.D. the system of “primitive democracy” was fading gradually and social schism was getting more profound.  The ruling class grew increasingly despotic and the common people and tribes were withdrawing their loyalty and confidence towards the ruling minority.  Religious factors assumed an important role and the ruling class concealing its political failures behind Judaism while foreigners sought to spread their influence in Yemen through the Christian community there, a situation which lead to dividing the Yemeni society.

          Through the First and Second Century A.D. the Romans invaded Yemen several times and eventually succeeded in occupying Aden which was a very important port at that time already.  There, they established a military garrison to protect their marine trade to the Indian Ocean 

          The Abyssinians conquered Yemen and established their rule there with the approval and support of the Byzantines, who hoped to spread their control over the Arab Peninsula through Christianity which was established in Yemen by the end of the Fourth Century.  The Byzantines considered the Abyssinians their allies against the Persians who also held out hopes in controlling that part of Arabia for its economic importance.

 By the Sixth Century Yemen grew increasingly an apple of discord for the two major powers that influenced the events in the Middle East and Arabia, the Romans and the Persians.  The Yemenis sought at the beginning of the Sixth Century the help of the Persians to drive out the Aabyssinians from their country.  In 575 the Yemenis ousted the Abyssinians with the help of the Persians.   The Persians ruled Yemen later on and made San’aa their capital.  In 628 A.D. the latest Persian ruler converted to Islam and Yemen became part of the young Islamic Empire. 

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