The Cat wrote: Where and when was that exactly?
1) There was no one named 'Muhammad' in Arabia up to the end of the 6th century
The Cat,The Cat wrote:2) There was no ancient city known as 'Mecca' up to the end of the 7th century in Arabia
You wished to make this argument public though I did not wish to make it so. Therefore, as you wish I will respond to your position.
There are two issue which you are addressing.
1.There was no Muhammad
2.There was no Mecca before say 300CE
The issue of was there a man named Muhammad is irrelevant at best. The man called Muhammad had another name which is often reported. Its something which I have often made snide comments about the way muslims change their names like other people change their clothes. These names change so often that it is often hard to keep track even in this modern time. How many names, for example, does Osma bin Laden have? At the very least, he has nine that I am aware of.
So its not worth the time and effort to try and disprove Muhammad solely on the basis of his ever changing name as he plotted to make himself a god named allah. That is futile and you are forever stuck with the issue that there is just not enough information to prove your case. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that there was a real person whom the muslims call their prophet. There are plenty of first hand accounts of who he was, his descriptions and so forth.
Its just not worth debating on the what kind of evidence there may or may not be on how Muhammad got his final name.
The other part however is much much easier to debate and deal with. You suggest that Mecca was not a place that was ever a settlement. However, you are strongly in error here.
Have you ever heard of Strabo? Plinty the Elder? Cassius Dio? King Attalus III? How about Caesar Scipio?
What do all those people have in connection to Mecca? They all refer to it!
Have you ever heard of Aelius Gallus? He was the Roman governor for Egypt and where? Arabia.
When did he live and when was he the governor? 26-24BCE! Why is this important?
Because Aelius Gallus like most Roman generals and Governors had their own personal historian whose job it was to report on how they ruled their districts or to give an account of them being the world conqueror and grand leader of the Roman Legions. All Roman governors sought to be Caesar. More so early and less so late.
The point being that Aelius Gallus crossed the Red Sea from Egypt to Leuce Kome which is Jiddah. Strabo wrote this account at the direction of Aelius Gallus. This was because Caesar Augustus had order him to either make a Roman type of peace or to conquer the Arabians. After taking the city of Jiddah, he marched south securing all the known water stops of the Arabian Spice trade caravan route he was more or less welcomed with little resistance Iathrib which is Modern day Medina and left a a legion there to secure the main road and oasis. From there Aelius Gallus went conquered the second oasis site of Mekke. THIS IS THE SAME AS MODERN MECCA! At which, strabo reported as a village of half the size of Medina. Aelius Gallus left another garrison at Mekke because it was a spice cross road and he also wanted to water. Aelius Gallus continued his assault on what the Romans called Arabia Felix which at that time in 26BCE was known to the Arabians as the Kingdom of Saba and finally sieged and took the capital of Arabia at the time of Ma'rib and then went down and sieged and took the sea port of Aden in what is now Yemen where he left sizable Roman presence for several years.
The point is that there are several historical accounts which identify specifically and without a doubt the existence of Mecca. It was a small village that sat on the spice crossroads and it had the Kaaba.
The Kaaba part is reported from the historical accounts from King Attalus III. ( I will note that there is a problem in that all the kings at this time were called by the same name. They did not differentiate with I, II or III. For this reason, King Attalus II could have gone down to Arabia rather than King Attalus III as we know them. But what is known, is in the will and treasure logs from King Attalus III.
You see, King Attalus III having no living son at the time of this death, willed his kingdom in Ionia to Rome with all its holding and lands owing tribute. When Arabians killed the son of King Attilus II or III he went down and took revenge and taking the wealth that conqueror do. It is here that King Attilus states that the black stone being given to Caesar Scipio is from Arabia and from the temple of Komesh as he put it, where he broke the arm holding the stone from the statue of the temple in Mekke as the stone was being held in a golden scepter. Thus King Attalus took it for the gold not the stone itself.
Thus the Kaaba and Mecca are reported in 204BCE. There are other resources that I could bring and I do not wish to spend an hour chasing them down again. Its enough that you can go to Rome today and read the account from the will of King Attalus III and within that will was a list of the primary treasure of Pegamum. Then you have the great historian Strabo who writes about the same said place 200 years later and you have maps made around 25CE which lists Mekka as a place of water.
You have other historians like Plinty the Elder who lived between 25CE and 79CE who traveled the Arabian Spice caravan route and described the stopping points and gave names to some noted cities. What you find in his accounts is Mekke or Mecca today!
The point I was making with you Cat is that Mecca was a place known long before Muhammad. It was a place which from time to time was attacked and most likely destroyed or had its population reduced or scattered for a time. When the Romans took it in 26CE, they sent the village people into slavery. Yet, you have Plinty the Elder who visited it about 40 years later which gives that the city was a known stopping point on the spice route and had a cult following there. He never stated who the cult was dedicated to but it was assumed to be the common god or gods of Arabia at the time. Which by archeology is Hubal the moon god and his twin daughters.
Do not take my word for it. Wiki this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romans_in_ ... ite_note-2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; as I am sure you will find this reference fairly interesting. Its just common knowledge stuff in reality.
Better yet, go to Paris and to the Louvre Museum as they are currently displaying maps and artifacts from southern Arabia which backs up exactly what I have been saying all along. The Louvre has it broken down into two categories. Ancient Arabia to the pre Islamic period and the Islamic period to 1850CE. They have a very nice collection of stele, statues of pagan gods and some really nice Roman hoards and other roman artifacts from the period which Rome controlled most of western Arabia for about 100 years before they could no longer could keep hold of such a remote part of the Roman Empire. Aden for example was only held for roughly 5 to 10 years. The further north you travel the longer the Romans stayed until you get to the Palestinian holding which were kept strong because of the Byzantine wealth until that failed because of the spread of the disease Black Plague which came from all places Arabia!
The islamic period pretty much is just a collections of pottery, old manuscripts of varying types and sections of the earliest known written parts of the Koran. Note, that the Koran is a compiled book created after Muhammad's death. Before that time, people wrote down what they heard Muhammad say so that they could memorize it or relay to others what Muhammad had said. Which is why Muhammad got into trouble several times when people who had memorized from these early writings questioned Muhammad about something he had said but now was saying something totally different.