This volume covers A.D. 410-842.
to-day. Then, too, there came another great outburst of Semite religious enthusiasm. Mahomet started the Arabs on their remarkable career of conquest.
THE MAHOMETAN OUTBURST
Mahomet himself died (632) before he had fully established his influence even over Arabia: his successors had practically to reconquer it. Yet within five years of his death the Arabs had mastered Syria. They spread like some sudden, unexpected, immeasurable whirlwind. Ancient Persia went down before them. By 640 they had trampled Egypt under foot, and destroyed the celebrated Alexandrian library. They swept over all Africa, completely obliterating every trace of Vandal or of Roman. Their dominion reached farther east than that of Alexander. They wrested most of its Asiatic possessions from the pretentious Empire at Constantinople, and reduced that exhausted State to a condition of weakness from which it never arose. Then, passing on through their African possessions, they entered Spain and overthrew the kingdom o