Since the dawn of civilization the Levant with its varied flora and fauna has provided a rich diet for its indigenous population. This resulted in the area becoming a desirable target for conquest. Amongst the major conquerors were numbered the Greeks and Romans who exploited the area's crops through an essentially tributary economy. The belief that their presence was permanent discouraged introducing new types of crops to their environment. When the Roman Empire finally disintegrated, its tributary economy disappeared, civilization collapsed and all development stagnated. This dismal situation prevailed until the establishment of Islam (7 th century C.E.) when the Muslim Agricultural Revolution transformed the essentials of life and its environment. Subsequently Muslim scientists, physicians and botanists set scientific development into motion. Amongst the trailblazing Muslim scientists Ibn Al-Baytar (circa 1188–1248 C.E.) and his like created a phenomenal repertoire in the field of botany. The progress of Muslim scientific knowledge then continued uninterrupted for several centuries.
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