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Lecture 3, Gregory, Missions & Islam:

Around 600, as Gregory I labored in Rome for the growth and development of Christianity in Western Europe, an Arabian trader named Muhammad began to wrestle with religious questions and arrive at answers that were very different from the teachings of the Christian church. Though neither knew it, each man’s influence would extend far beyond his lifetime: Gregory’s, through the missionary efforts that would bring all of Europe under Christian influence; and Muhammad’s, through the zeal of his followers who would establish Islam as a major religion. As the sixth century transitioned into the seventh, events were being set in motion that would profoundly influence the political, cultural, and religious landscape of Europe and the Mediterranean world.