Before the spread of Islam and the Arabic
language, the term "Arab" referred to any of the nomadic
residents of the Arabian Peninsula. When used in a modern context,
"Arab" refers to any of the Arabic-speaking peoples
who reside on the Atlantic Coast of Africa, Southwestern Iran,
Egypt, Sudan, Saudi-Arabia, Syria, and Iraq. The earliest nomadic
inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula herded their sheep, goats,
and camels through an unforgiving desert environment; while
those Arabs who settled in the oases provided date and cereal
agriculture as trade staples for Arab caravans that transported
spices, ivory, and gold from southern Arabia and the Horn of
Africa to the civilizations farther north.
the 7th century AD, Muhammad emerged as the prophet for the
religion of Islam, which was widely adopted by the Arab community.
Islam unified the Bedouins and the town-dwellers of the oases,
and within a century, spread throughout most of the present
day Arab-speaking world. The newfound social organization that
followed Islam offered new possibilities for the Arabs as agricultural
production and intercity trading, particularly in luxury goods,
saw significant increases. Gradually, the triad of temple, court,
and market formed, as well as a standardized style of writing
for laws and other texts. New institutions also emerged, including:
coinage, territorial deities, royal priesthoods, and standing
armies, which further enhanced Arab power. Adherence to the
religion of Islam has become a global phenomenon. Muslims predominate
in approximately 30 to 40 countries, from the Atlantic to the
Pacific and along a belt that stretches across northern Africa
into Central Asia and the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent.
Despite the absence of any large-scale Islamic political entities,
the Islamic faith continues to expand, by some estimates faster
than any other major religion.
By proclaiming his message publicly, Muhammad gained followers.
Abu Bakr is noted as being the first male convert to Islam and
also as Muhammad's closest companion and advisor. At the point
of Muhammad's death, on June 8th, 632 AD Muslims resolved the
crisis of succession by accepting Abu Bakr as the first Caliph.
In his rule as Caliph, Abu Bakr suppressed tribal, political,
and religious uprisings, known as the Rida Wars, and brought
central Arabia under Muslim control. These wars caused high
casualties among the Islamic community, but through them, Abu
Bakr not only ensured the survival of Islam, but also established
himself as the undisputed leader of the entire Arabian Peninsula.
By undertaking direct expansion from Arabia into Iraq and Syria,
he began the Muslim conquests otherwise known as 'Jihad'. Aside
from Iraq and Syria these conquests penetrated regions including
Anatolia, Nubia, Libya, and Iran. While early Muslim forces
consisted of very few soldiers, it's understood that they retained
higher morale and mobility than their enemies, as well as the
luxury to retreat into the desert where they alone knew the
location of water and grazing land. The one military unit that
was present in nearly all of the Arabic expansion of the 7th
to 9th centuries was the Ansar Warrior. These warriors participated
as infantry, but most commonly rode on horseback. The quality
of the Arabian horses quickly led to these soldiers dominating
the battlefield, making ample use of their array of weaponry,
which consisted of javelins, a sword, as well as bow and arrows.
Jihad is the only type of war legitimized by Islam, yet the
word itself is still misunderstood by Westerners. 'Holy War'
is the often-used misleading translation of Jihad, which in
fact is meant to consist of an individual's or a communal 'struggle'
against evil, within one's self, and in order to protect Islam,
but never as a tool for conversion.
Traditional Arab values have since been modified in the 20th
century through the combined pressures of urbanization, industrialization,
and Western influences. While urban Arabs still tend to identify
themselves more by nationality than by tribe, village farmers
revere the pastoral nomad's romantic way of life and claim a
kinship with the great desert tribes of the past. As heirs to
the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Hebrews, even
to the Greeks and Indians, the societies created by Muslims
bridge time and space. The original Arab tribes in less than
20 years after Muhammad's death defeated the Byzantine and Persian
empires, occupied a vast territory from Libya to Persia, and
then developed into the Arab, or Islamic, Empire known today.
In Civilization III: Play the World, the
Arabs are considered an Religious and Expansionistic civilization,
therefore, they start with Pottery and Ceremonial Burial and
have significant bonuses to exploratory and cultural activities.
See the developer update on
Civ-specific abilities for more on these bonuses.
While early Muslim forces consisted of very few soldiers, it's
understood that they retained higher morale and mobility than
their enemies, as well as the luxury to retreat into the desert
where they alone knew the location of water and grazing land.
The one military unit that was present in nearly all of the
Arabic expansion of the 7th to 9th centuries was the Ansar Warrior.
Directly translated as "Helper of Muhammad", these
warriors participated as infantry, but most commonly rode on
horseback. The quality of the Arabian horses quickly led to
these soldiers dominating the battlefield, making ample use
of their array of weaponry, which consisted of javelins, a sword,
as well as bow and arrows.
An Arab city must have Horses and Iron to
build a Ansar Warrior. They replace the knight and are much
|Arab Ansar Warrior