Buried Christian Empire Casts New Light on Early Islam

Discussion in 'History' started by longknife, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. longknife
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    longknife Platinum Member

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    By Matthias Schulz
    mber of questions about the early history of Islam. Was there once a church in Mecca?

    Read more @ Buried Christian Empire in Yemen Casts New Light on Early Islam - SPIEGEL ONLINE
     
  2. Mushroom
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    Mushroom VIP Member

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    mber of questions about the early history of Islam. Was there once a church in Mecca?
    [/QUOTE]

    Sorry if I question this, because it really makes little sense.

    You see, Yemen at that time was the center of the Himyarite Kingdom. And in the 6th century BCE, it was a Jewish Kingdom. Their capitol was Sana'a, which according to their legends was founded by Shem, son of Noah. And they also claim to be connected to the Queen of Sheeba.

    But yes, there was quite a bit of Christian influence in the region at the time. Byzentines were traveling and trading throughout the region at the time.

    And there was another cult that was probably even more influential in the region then that of Christ. And that was the cult of Zoroaster. Compare the following image from the article you cited:

    [​IMG]

    With this one:

    [​IMG]

    Now very little of the Zoroaster reliefs or carvings survive, because of the prohibition on Islam of "graven images". However, typically he was pictured as being crowned or having a halo, curly hair and beard, holding a torch in his right hand.

    If I had to guess, if the carving was made for locals, it was likely of Zoroaster, not Jesus. But the region at the time of the rise of Islam was largely in chaos, as the Jewish kingdom of the Himyarites had just collapsed about the time that Mohammad was a child.
     

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