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(600 - 700.)
Saracens. A new power now appears. The Saracens (Arabs), a Semitic people, with the new religion of Mahometanism, attack at once the Eastern Empire and Persia, seize the provinces of Syria and Egypt from the Eastern Roman Empire between 632 and 639, invade Africa in 647, and take Carthage in 698. Between 632 and 651 they subdue the whole of Persia, which by degrees becomes a Mahometan country. They invade India and the lands east of the Caspian Sea. They unsuccessfully besiege Constantinople in 673.
Persia now becomes very powerful, and between 611 and 615 overruns all Egypt, Syria, and Asia. In a war from 620 to 625, Persia is overcome by the Eastern Roman Empire, and gives up the territory which she had taken from that empire. Between 632 and 651 the whole of Persia is conquered by the Saracens, and gradually becomes a Mahometan country.
Eastern Empire. The Eastern Empire, under Heraclius, overcomes Persia and wins back, between 620 and 625, all of her dominion which had been taken by that country (see under Persia). A few years later, the Saracens wrench away a great part of the Oriental dominion of the Eastern Empire. The Roman province in Spain again comes into the hands of the Visigoths. The territory of the empire is also encroached upon by inroads of the Slaves.
Franks. The kingdom of the Franks suffers no important changes in territory.
Britain, So far as occupied by the Angles and Saxons, is divided into seven (or eight) little kingdoms, known as the Saxon Heptarchy.
Visigoths. The Visigoths again get possession of the Roman province in Spain.
Lombards. The Lombards still hold their possessions in Italy.
Slaves. The Slavic tribes in this century force their way into the portions of the empire contiguous to the Adriatic, and give rise to several Slavonic kingdoms.