Today in Middle Eastern history: Antioch surrenders to the Arabs (637)

This will be short, since there’s very little to say about the Arab conquest of Syria after the Battle of Yarmouk in 636 decisively broke the Byzantine army in that region. But Antioch was one of the great cities of the eastern Roman Empire, and its conquest by the Arabs was significant, if anticlimactic. The city itself put up almost no resistance to the invaders–it may have simply lacked the manpower to do so. Heck, by this point the residents may have welcomed the Arabs, since the Byzantines’ scorched-earth retreat from Syria had been very hard on the people still living there. Immediately preceding the surrender of Antioch there seems to have been a battle between a Byzantine force and part of the Arab army, called the Battle of the Iron Bridge, along the Orontes River, but we know almost nothing about that battle apart from the fact that it was an Arab victory.

Source: Today in Middle Eastern history: Antioch surrenders to the Arabs (637)

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