Hospitals, grand public buildings and numerous public endowment based charities characterised the generosity of Damascus.These institutions inspired the innovations and new learning which developed there.
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Cut down no fruit-trees, nor do any mischief to cattle, only such as you kill to eat.
When you make any covenant or article, stand to it, and be as good as your word.
His instructions to the chiefs of the Syrian army went: Remember that you are always in the presence of God, on the verge of death, in the assurance of judgment, and the hope of paradise.
Avoid injustice and oppression; consult with your brethren, and study to preserve the love and confidence of your troops.
From a truly military aspect, nothing can beat Glubb’s works on the subject of Muslim advance/conquests.
Glubb, an army general by profession, a great scholar, too, had qualifications which other authors do not have: he lived and worked as a military officer in the region for many years.
Although the work contains interesting stuff, it also shows very clearly that many insertions had been made into it by second and third hands.
The events that the author, al Waqidi, describes make no sense at all in places, are often contradictory, and he mixes the names of the people involved in many military or other operations.
It would seem nothing to do with Byzantine history escapes him; his bibliography and the sources he uses are by far the richest of all, and again, he did spend a great deal of time on the ground, and hence can deliver first class analyses, all combined with a meticulous approach and love for the extremely important details.
However, for anyone seeking a quick, entertaining, but still scholarly full history of Damascus and Aleppo, there is nothing better than Ross Burns’ works.
Neither is it its prerogative to dwell on secondary sources.