For the Christian communities of the Middle East, the Turkish invasions of the eleventh century were the second time that their political order had been overturned by an alien foe. The seventh century had already seen the complete redrawing of the political map of the region, as the Persian and Roman empires were catastrophically defeated by the forces of the nascent caliphate. When the dust had settled, the Persian realms had been entirely absorbed by the new Arab state, and the Roman empire was reduced to an impoverished rump state in Anatolia and the Balkans. Yet Christians continued to live and prosper in the conquered territories. There was no sudden conversion to Islam that accompanied conquest.1.