At Susan Katz Keating, the blogger suggests we reacquaint ourselves with an old set of history books. Check out Re-reading Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, With an Eye to Current Events.
Back when I was a young nerd… I majored in Medieval Studies at the University of California. I had a set of these books.
Not the originals, of course, but a student budget version. I read them. Very, very carefully.
Volume 5 is particularly interesting. It begins thusly:
While the state was exhausted by the Persian war, and the church was distracted… Mahomet, with the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, erected his throne on the ruins of Christianity and of Rome.