Christianity’s Historic Roots in the Middle East: Christians at Home in the ‘World of Islam’
The important but neglected Christian heritage in Arabic is highlighted in Griffith’s work on Christian scholars of tenth-century Baghdad, especially the influence of Jews, Christians, and Muslims in translating Greek philosophy into Arabic and Latin. After the fall of Baghdad to the Mongols in 1258, this intellectual activity shifted to Damascus and Cairo. The accumulated pressures of dhimma status gradually brought the demographic decline of the Christian communities from a majority in Abbasid times to demographic insignificance in most of the Middle East by the end of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, historians must note the contributions of the indigenous Jews and Christians in the world of Islam.