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Francis of Assisi – Medieval Europe

By |2018-10-02T06:59:07+00:00August 4th, 2017|Medieval, Religion|

Francis of Assisi gives his father back his clothes (Giotto, in Assisi) Who was Francis of Assisi? By 1200 AD, the Catholic Church was very powerful. Bishops and popes were often rich men. They cared more about getting rich collecting tithes than they did about praying or helping poor people. What is a bishop? What is the pope? History of [...]

What are stigmata? Christian markings

By |2018-04-10T22:49:24+00:00August 1st, 2017|Art, Medieval|

Jesus on the Cross, by Fra Angelico When the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus  to the cross, the nails made holes in His hands and feet. Medieval people called these holes the "stigmata" (stig-MA-ta), which is the Latin word for "marks". St. Francis receiving the stigmata (Giotto) In the later Middle Ages in Europe, very holy Christian people sometimes got [...]

Giotto in Florence and Assisi

By |2018-04-15T16:34:28+00:00August 1st, 2017|History|

St. Francis giving away his cloak, from Assisi, Italy, probably by Giotto Giotto was an Italian painter around 1300 AD. Giotto was originally from Florence. He was born about 1265 AD. As a teenager, he may have been a student of the great painter Cimabue. It's possible that he suffered from dwarfism. When Giotto (jee-OTT-oh) grew up, he [...]

Saladin and the Ayyubid Dynasty

By |2018-04-19T13:51:11+00:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Saladin When the First Crusade defeated the Fatimid Caliphs and captured Jerusalem in 1099 AD, people were very upset. People in Egypt and Syria gradually decided that the Fatimids were too weak to rule anymore. One of their generals, Saladin (Salah ad-Din ibn Ayyub in Arabic), took over control from the Fatimids. He founded the Ayyubid dynasty (ai-YOU-bid). Citadel [...]