The next two centuries

The next two centuries -...

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The next two centuries (600-800) were instrumental for the creation of medieval civilization.  Politically, Byzantium faced the explosion of the Avars as far as Thrace. Additionally, renewed  Sassanid Persian offensives deprived Byzantium of the state of Eastern Anatolia as well as the  Levant, the birthplace of Christianity. Heraclius (r. 610-641) ultimately defeated the Sassanids  and restored the status quo, yet the exhaustion caused by the wars, the precariousness of  reestablished Byzantine control in the Near East, as well as continuing theological controversies  allowed the political and military arrival of Islam in the 630s to eject the Byzantines from all of  the Middle East, excluding Anatolia. Wedged between Avar domination in the Balkan and  Adriatic regions and Arab occupation of long-time Roman lands, 'Fortress Byzantium' began to  take form as the Orthodox Christian standard bearer in opposition to Islam, with only nominal,  formal concern for the West. In the West, while Lombards and other various tribes held Italy in uneasy alliances, the three- way split of France between the Burgundians, Visigoths and Franks had been decided in favor of 
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The next two centuries -...

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