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Medieval African clothing – more and more cotton

By |2018-04-13T01:30:20+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Africa, Clothing|

Cotton cloth made in Gujarat, India andfound in Fustat (Cairo, Egypt) - ca. 800 AD(Now in Oxford, England) People first began to weave cotton in India, also around 2000 BC, but cotton weaving soon spread to Egypt, and all down the east side of Africa. By the 400s AD, the people of Meroe and Kush were growing and weaving cotton for their clothes. Before 800 AD, [...]

Seventh Crusade – Louis IX and Baybars

By |2017-08-03T15:02:32+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Louis IX (Saint Louis) The Seventh Crusade was not started by any Pope, but by King Louis IX of France, who became known later as Saint Louis because of his great devotion to the Christian God. The year after the Mamluks captured Jerusalem from the Europeans in 1244 AD, Louis announced his Crusade (in 1245). His mother, Blanche of Castile, thought [...]

Fifth Crusade – Medieval history

By |2017-08-03T11:29:17+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

The siege of Damietta In 1216 AD, Pope Honorius III succeeded in getting some more Europeans to agree to try again to conquer Jerusalem from the Ayyubids. This time, the Pope would be in charge instead of European kings. Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empire wanted to come along, but the Pope said no, this crusade was for the [...]

Medieval castles – Middle Ages

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Outer walls of Caen castle, Normandy, France (about 1050 AD) Rich Romans didn't live in castles. They lived in villas. But Roman soldiers lived in military forts called castra, and that is where we get the word castle. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, there was a lot of trouble with pirates and bandits and invasions. Rich people [...]

Maimonides – a Jewish doctor in medieval Cairo

By |2018-04-08T01:10:54+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Saladin's castle in Cairo, where Maimonides worked In the 1100s AD, when Maimonides wrote his book about medicine, doctors didn't have very many medicines or medical treatments that worked. Most of the things they tried just made people even worse. Maimonides was smart enough to realize this. So he wrote his book mainly about how to stay healthy and [...]

Medieval Islamic medicine – the first hospitals and quarantines

By |2018-04-18T18:18:05+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Islamic medicine: From an Ottoman manuscript, two doctors telling the pharmacist how to make different medicines Writing medical encyclopedias Doctors made big scientific advances in medicine during the Islamic empire. Islamic doctors began by collecting all the medical observations and logic of the past. They translated the work of Hippocrates and his followers, and Galen, into Arabic. About 750 [...]

Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Al Tusi's diagram of linear motion from circular motion In the Early Middle Ages, before the formation of the Islamic Empire, Buddhists ran the world's biggest universities. One was in India, at Nalanda. Another was in what is now Pakistan, at Taxila. In Egypt, the University of Alexandria was still an important center of learning, too. Most serious scholars went to [...]

Ibn al-Haytham – Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-16T10:32:27+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Diagram of an eye, by Ibn al-Haytham (ca. 1000 AD) Ibn al-Haytham was born about 965 AD in Basra, near the Persian Gulf (modern Iraq), and when he grew up he went to Cairo, then a rich university center under Fatimid rule, and became a scientist. Al-Haytham first worked on a plan to build a dam across the Nile [...]

Medieval Islamic astronomy

By |2018-04-23T10:04:24+00:00July 27th, 2017|History, Islam, Science|

Islamic astronomers taking observations West Asian astronomers had been world leaders in astronomy for thousands of years before the Islamic conquests in the 600s AD. In the last centuries BC, West Asian astronomers had already figured out that the earth was a ball, and that the earth went around the sun, and how big the earth was, and that the moon went [...]