Do the Arabs develop and spread like the Vikings without Islam?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Modern Imperialism, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. water123 Really bad at names

    May 11, 2014
    Depends. More coastal areas could raid India which is usually significantly less defended than the massive empires of the levant. The Jewish kingdoms of the Himyars could unify a lot of the surrounding tribes, or the Himyars could move into Ethiopia and become basically Jewish Swahili. However, the Byzantines and Sassanids both have a vested interest in maintaining influence as far as they can, and if one or the other cracks Arabia will fall not long after.
  2. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Tennessee, North American Union
    Yes and no, because the spread of Arabs north was ongoing in Late Antiquity and places like Petra and modern southern Iraq were already Arab. So the fringes of the fertile parts of this area would likely be thoroughly Arab. The rest would be absorbed but they'd leave a huge linguistic legacy on Coptic and Aramaic.

    If they can consolidate their states (the two big ones would be Syria--minus most of Iraq of course even though the Arabs would try--and Egypt) maybe propped up by Persia as buffers, then they could do pretty well even if they won't be marching to gates of Constantinople like the OTL Caliphate.

    Arabia was religiously diverse before Islam so the odds are high they would. They'd have a lot of advantage in converting to local Syriac/Coptic churches since that would give them a lot of support from the population.
  3. Byzantion Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    Forum Romanum, Suburra
    Hadn't they also already been established as prominent traders ?
  4. galanx Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    One of the first alternate history shared-world timelines was "Submission", created in 2001 on the old soc.history.what-if Usenet group, based on exactly that premise:
  5. Goldensilver81 Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2019
    The Arabic conquest where not out of this world
    The arabs in their early years where like the many nomadic conquerors before them and after
    The difference is that the arbs unlike many did not assimilate ( except in Persia )
    But even then they imposed their culture

    Without Islam there is really no strong cultural link to keep the arabs united
    An Arab from petra is not the same as an Arab from Mecca , and Arab from palestine is not the same as one from njran
    So it's safe to say the arabs would assimilate in to Roman and Persian culture
    Mostly Roman since it's closer geographicly and arabian peganisim was dying out
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019 at 11:48 AM
  6. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    Arab paganism was most certainly not dying out... It had outlasted Judaism in Yemen and dominated the entire region aside from the far northern sectors of the peninsula (which is disputed, it is not assured that the entire populaces of the Lakhmids were Nestorian or otherwise Christian, many of them remained pagan.
    The Undead Martyr likes this.
  7. stevej713 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2018
    Which provinces? Do you have a source? Egypt, Syria, and North Africa were certainly not majority-Arab before the advent of Islam. Arabia Petraea is the only example I can think of, but that goes without saying.
  8. Goldensilver81 Well-Known Member

    May 24, 2019
    Peganisim by Mohamed Time was ok in the south
    The north was orthodox and nestorian via the lakmids and the ghassinds
    The northen tribes (at least most of them ) where nestorian by this point

    One of the richest tribes where the 3 Jewish tribes of medina

    But you are right in one regard it wouldn't be a simple task converting all of the pagans I say it would be like the vikings they would convert in some decades or centuries
  9. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

    Dec 30, 2014
    The religion of the Lakhmid rulers was Nestorian, not necessarily their entire host, which was heterodox and constantly gaining new members from the south. They were certainly not simply bastions of Nestorianism, there was a more diverse background to Arab religious life at this time, especially among the more traditionalist Lakhmids, than in the Ghassanids. Jewish tribes existed certainly, but these were a strong minority, which were allied to the ruling 'pagan' elites.