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The Christian communities of Palestine: from Byzantine to Islamic rule. (New Jersey: The Darwin Press. , 1995), 178; and also: Atiyah, A. S. A history of Eastern Christianity (London: Methuen and Co Ltd and University of Notre Dame Press, 1967, reprint Kraus Reprint, 1980),184 21 Hitti, P. K. A history of the Arabs, revised 10th edition (first published 1937) (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002), 165 22 Christians and Jews who refused to convert thus became ahl al-dhimma, literally meaning people of protection or protected people .

24 Louth, Andrew. 70Ṣ-715), the official language of civil administration began to be transferred from Greek to Arabic. Although this transformation would not take place overnight, Christians were quickly becoming aware that to retain or secure a position within the newly Arabicised society, they would need to learn the language of their rulers. Hence Arabic not only became the lingua franca of the newly conquered lands, but also the key to social mobility for Christians and Jews. Towards the end of the Umayyad period, Christians began to be employed as translators, rendering Greek medical works into Arabic, often through the medium of Syriac.

Fakhry, Majid. History of Islamic philosophy; and Rosenthal, F. M. Free will and predestination in early Islam, (London: Luzac, 1948) 52 a result of varying positions on such questions, the most famous of whom would come to be known as the Mu tazila, who, for a good part of the ninth century, would not only enjoy theological dominance but also political prominence, particularly during the reign of al-Ma m n (r. 813-833). Characterised by the seemingly contradictory attitudes of the promotion of intellectual freedom and a love of foreign learning in contrast to an almost tyrannical demand of allegiance to a particular doctrine, al-Ma m n forms a fascinating figure.

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