Alqosham

Article

August 12, 2022

al-ʿAwashim (Arabic: العواصم‎, al-ʿAwāṣim, "defense, fortification"; singular: al-ʿāṣimah, "protection") is an Arabic term used to refer to the Muslim side of the frontier zone between the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad Caliphate and Abbasids in Cilicia, northern Syria and Upper Mesopotamia. It was founded in the early 8th century, when the first stream of Muslim conquests stalled, and lasted until the mid-10th century, when it was usurped by Byzantine advances. It consisted of the march forward, which consisted of a network of fortified forces, known as al-tsughūr (Arabic: الثغور‎; singular الثغر, al-tsagr, "opening"), and the inner region of the front zone, known as preparation al-ʿawāṣim. On the Byzantine side, Muslim marches were mirrored by the kleisourai district agencies and the akritai border guards. The term thughūr was also used in the marches of al-Andalus and Mawara al-Nahr, and remained in historical records, until it was re-appointed by the Egyptian Mamluks in the 14th century, when the area traditionally composed of 'ʿawāṣim and thughūr in northern Syria and north of the Euphrates region was under their control.

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Additional reading

Bonner, Michael (1994). "The naming of the frontier: 'Awāṣim, Thughūr, and the Arab geographers". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. Cambridge University Press. 57:17–24. doi:10.1017/S0041977X0002807X. Bonner, Michael (1996). Aristocratic Violence and Holy War: Studies in the Jihad and the Arab–Byzantine Frontier. New Ha