Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Eufraite, Eufrate, Eufraten

The Euphrates is one of the most historically significant rivers in the world, playing a crucial role in the development of ancient civilizations in the Middle East. The Euphrates is one of the two main rivers – along with the Tigris – that define the region historically known as Mesopotamia.

According to the Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal, the Euphrates river was the only home of the magical Cartenans fish, whose rib formed half the hilt of the Sword with the Strange Hangings.

Euphrates River Region | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman and Byzantine Period | 1st century BC – 7th century AD
In the first century BC, the Roman Empire expanded its control over the eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamia. The Euphrates River became a vital frontier and trade route for the Romans. The Byzantine Empire, the eastern continuation of the Roman Empire, inherited control over the Euphrates region. The river continued to serve as a key economic and strategic asset for the Byzantines.

Sassanian Persia | 3rd – 7th centuries
The Sassanian Empire, the pre-Islamic Persian Empire, controlled territories to the east of the Euphrates. The river marked the boundary between the Byzantine and Sassanian Empires. There were intermittent conflicts between the Byzantines and Sassanians for control over the Euphrates region.

Islamic Conquests | 7th century
In the seventh century, the Islamic Caliphate, under the leadership of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, conquered the Euphrates region. The Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in 636 played a significant role in the Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia. The Muslim conquests had a profound impact on the region’s demographics, culture, and administration.

Abbasid Caliphate | 8th – 9th centuries
The Abbasid Caliphate, established in the mid-eighth century, moved its capital to Baghdad, situated on the Tigris River, a major tributary of the Euphrates. Baghdad became a center of learning, culture, and trade. The Euphrates continued to play a role in the economic life of the Abbasid Caliphate, supporting agriculture and trade.

Decline of Abbasid Power | 9th century
By the ninth century, the Abbasid Caliphate faced internal strife, with regional governors gaining significant autonomy. This period saw the weakening of central authority. The Euphrates region became subject to invasions and conflicts, including raids by nomadic groups.

The geopolitical landscape of the Euphrates region continued to shift during this period, with various powers vying for control. The Seljuk Turks, who would later play a significant role in the region, began to emerge in the ninth century.

Vulgate Estoire del Saint Graal | 1220-1235