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Mirage of the Saracen$
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Walter D. Ward

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520283770

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520283770.001.0001

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Imperial Response to the Saracen Threat

Imperial Response to the Saracen Threat

(p.111) 5 Imperial Response to the Saracen Threat
Mirage of the Saracen

Walter D. Ward

University of California Press

This chapter investigates imperial security in the sixth century in the Sinai and the security of the Roman frontiers. In the early fourth century, several forts had been built along the edge of Roman territory facing Arabia, but by the sixth century, most of these were abandoned. However, in response to the perceived danger to monks and pilgrims, the imperial government constructed fortresses in the Sinai and along the pilgrimage routes in the middle of the sixth century. Of these, several authors describe the construction of the monastery now known as Saint Catherine’s as a direct response to the “Saracen threat.”

Keywords:   Roman frontiers, imperial security, Sinai, Saint Catherine’s, Saracens

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