(1,175 words)

, name of a part of the frontier zone which extended between the Byzantine Empire and the Empire of the Caliphs in the North and North-East of Syria. The forward strongholds of this zone are called al-T̲h̲ug̲h̲ūr [q.v.] or frontier. strongholds properly so called, whilst those which were situated further to the rear, are called al-ʿAwāṣim , literally "the protectresses" (sing, al-ʿāṣima ).

Following their quick successes in Syria and Mesopotamia, the Arabs for a while made no attempt to extend their conquests and confined themselves to making raids into Byz…

Cite this page
Canard, M., “al-ʿAwāṣim”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 13 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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