Roman era (30 p.n.e.-395). When Octavian's army entered Alexandria, Cleopatra knew, that the time of freedom for Egypt is over: Roma Aeterna began over 400 years of reign on the Nile. Emperors ruling from distant Rome maintained fiction, that they are the Egyptian pharaohs. They had themselves carved on the walls of the temples they founded, and sometimes they came on a tourist trip following the route of Egyptian monuments, such as Hadrian or Septimius Sever. However, the Roman legions kept order in the country with a hard hand, and the few rebellions were suppressed quickly and efficiently. Egypt was to provide Rome with food and entertainment. Alexandria was blooming, but it was only a faint shadow of her former glory. Many Jews lived in the city, who did not really agree with the Greek inhabitants of the city. For Nero in the first century. The first Christians came to Egypt, including St.. Marek, founder of the first bishopric in Alexandria. Christianity very quickly became a religion, which was professed not only by slaves and Jews: the Copts appeared, aware of his Egyptian heritage, and at the same time belonging to Christ. Rome could not come to terms with this, that there were subjects of the emperor, who refused to pay homage to him as a state god, hence the persecution. The most difficult period for Christians came under Diocletian (284-305), when thousands of Copts died. Only the Edict of Tolerance announced by Constantine the Great in 312 r. brought a momentary calm.
Christianity and the rule of Byzantium (395-641). When the Roman Empire 395 r. split into two organisms, Egypt was ruled by the emperors of Constantinople, former Byzantium. It seemed, that there would be peace at last, but unfortunately, doctrinal differences between the Coptic Church and the Church in Constantinople and Rome led to a split and persecution. Byzantine authorities treated Egypt as an almost conquered province, from which you must squeeze all the wealth. The official Byzantine army took its toll on the Egyptians, that they didn't protest too much, when Islamic warriors appeared within their borders, promising tolerance, peace and lower taxes. Yes in 641 r. Egypt has become part of the great Muslim umma.
Egypt Islamic (from 641 r.). After the conquest of Babylon and Alexandria, the Islamic leader Amr Ibn al-As founded a new capital at Fustat. Egypt was only one of the provinces of the caliphate ruled from Damascus and Babylon: it was supposed to provide food and soldiers. Promises of tolerance and peace remained promises. Arabization and Islamization of the country progressed from year to year, and it was mainly taxes that contributed to this, incriminating Christians and Egyptians the most. Umayyad, and then the Abbasid caliphs of Baghdad did not care about the people of a foreign province.
The Tulunid and Ichshdite dynasties (868-905; 935-969). W 868 r. Abbasid provincial governor – Ibn Tulun – declared independence of the country and founded his own dynasty -Tulunidów, which ruled until 905 r. They stabilized the economy and restored order, however, strife and murder brought her downfall, and power returned to Baghdad. W 935 r. successive administrators tried to gain independence: this is how the Ichshidite dynasty began to reign (from ichshid – Lord), reigning to 969 r. The new rulers decided to get rich quickly and imposed high taxes on their subjects. There was also a drought, hunger and outbreak of popular discontent, which facilitated the Fatimid invasion, the Shiite dynasty of Tunisia.
Fatimid Dynasty (969-1171). The Fatimid caliphs ruled over North Africa, Sicily, Syria and West Arabia, and their empire seemed invincible. Chief Jauhar founded the village of 969 r. a new capital – Al-Qahira (Victorious), to which the Caliphs of Tunisia moved (Al-Muizz). Here they built magnificent mosques and palaces. Cairo had commercial contacts with West Africa, India, Far East and Europe, and the caliphs formed a mighty army of mercenaries.
The Caliphs were different: some great, leading the country to flourish, others crazy, jak al-Hakim (996-1021), whose action – including the demolition of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem – triggered crusades. Egypt under the Fatimid rule at the end of the 11th century. began to decline. The mess in the administration and economy along with the famine led to this, that the Fatimids were forced to hand over Syria to the Seljuk Turks.
Meanwhile, the knights of the First Crusade arrived in Palestine (1097-1099), whose noble goal was to restore the Holy Land to Christianity, and real – conquering new territories. The Crusaders took over the Palestinian coast, formerly part of the Fatimid state. Caliphs and crusaders did not fight with each other, in fact, there was an almost fraternal relationship between them, therefore the Seljuk Sultan Nur el-Din went to Cairo.
Ayyubid Dynasty (1171-1250). A relative of the Sultan, Salah ad-Din al-Ayyubi (Saladyn), after the death of the last Fatimid caliph, St. 1171 r. established the Ayyubid dynasty (1171-1250).
This modest man with a great heart and mind was at the same time an effective ruler. As a sultan, he spent most of his time in Palestine, fighting crusaders for lost territories; captured Syria (1183) and took Jerusalem (1183). He became famous as an excellent patron of arts and science (erected, among others. the Cairo Citadel).
Saladin's successors, such as al-Kamil (1218-1238), they struggled with successive crusades. To protect the country from foreign invasions, the last Ayyubid ruler – Ayyub (Ajjub; 1240-1249) – he formed a huge army from specially trained slaves from the Black Sea region. His slave girl, Shagar ad-Durr, became his wife, who, as a sultan, took power after Ayyub's death. Forced to remarry with a military commander, she murdered him. Soon after, she was killed by Mameluk Baybars (Bajbarsa), who took the abandoned throne.