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Fifth Crusade – Medieval history

By | 2017-08-03T11:29:17+00:00 August 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 [...]

High Middle Ages – European history

By | 2017-08-03T11:00:13+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Devils torture the damned in Hell (Abbey of Moissac, about 1050 AD) In 1071 AD, the Byzantine Empire lost most of Anatolia (modern Turkey) to the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Manzikert. About the same time, the Abbasids lost control of pieces of the Islamic Empire as well. The Seljuks took over the East, and local rulers took over North Africa and Spain. [...]

Third Crusade – Medieval history

By | 2017-08-03T10:25:55+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Saladin (Salah al-din) When the Mamluk general Imad-ed-din Zangi died, he was succeeded by his son Nureddin, who added Damascus to the land his father had gathered together. And after Nureddin died in 1174 AD, a strong Kurdish general named Salah al-din (called Saladin in the West) took over. Salah al-din soon conquered Egypt from the Fatimids, and then he was [...]

Second Crusade – Medieval history

By | 2017-08-03T10:15:53+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval, West Asia|

Castle of Edessa After the First Crusade in 1096 AD set up Christian kingdoms all along the coast of Israel and Lebanon, of course the Fatimid caliphs who had ruled that area before were very upset. Melisende and her son Baldwin By 1144, a Mamluk general, Imad-ed-din Zangi, had managed to unite enough Turks and Arabs in his army to attack [...]

Norman Conquest of England – Medieval Europe

By | 2017-08-03T07:57:06+00:00 August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Outer walls of Caen castle, Normandy, France Around 1000 AD, some of the Vikings who had been raiding France got permission from the French king to settle down and live in France instead. They were supposed to help protect France against other Vikings (as the Visigoths had done before). As part of the deal, these Vikings also converted from their German gods to Catholicism. [...]

Italy in the High Middle Ages

By | 2017-08-03T00:09:39+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Matilda of Canossa (ca. 1100 AD) By about 900 AD, the Holy Roman Emperors started to lose power over Northern Italy. The Counts of Canossa controlled most of Northern Italy: Florence, Pisa, Siena, Genoa. Around the year 1000 AD, a new city called Venice, in Northern Italy near Greece, became very rich by trading along the Silk Road. Venice was supposedly under the [...]

Vikings – Early Medieval Scandinavia

By | 2017-10-14T22:52:14+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

A Viking ship The Vikings were Indo-European people from Scandinavia (modern Denmark, Norway and Sweden). Around the 400s AD the Vikings started to make frequent raids by boat into Europe. They even went into the Mediterranean Sea and raided Sicily and southern Italy. The Vikings started to attack the Atlantic coast of southern France around 400 AD, and also the eastern coast of England. Ulfberht steel [...]

Zoe and Theodora – Byzantine History

By | 2017-08-02T12:43:56+00:00 August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

The Empress Zoe (from the church of Hagia Irene) Although he lived a long time and ruled nearly fifty years, Basil II never had any sons. When he died in 1025, his brother Constantine VIII succeeded. He, too, had no sons, so he left the throne to his fifty-year-old daughter Zoe and her husband Romanus III. [...]

Comneni Dynasty – Byzantine history

By | 2017-08-01T17:36:04+00:00 August 1st, 2017|History, Medieval|

Alexios I Comneni, the Byzantine emperor (1081 AD) TheBattle of Manzikert in 1071 was the end of Basil's Armenian Dynasty. The Byzantines had lost Armenia to Alp Arslan and the Seljuk Turks, and Alp Arslan took the Roman Emperor prisoner. So a new dynasty took over the Byzantine Empire, the Comneni. Alexios Comneni succeeded in reconquering part [...]

Castle at Caen – William the Conqueror

By | 2017-07-29T23:57:26+00:00 July 29th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Outer walls of Caen castle, Normandy, France This is the castle that William the Conqueror built before he left to conquer England, to defend his own territory in Normandy, in France. William built this castle around 1050 AD. That's about the same time as he built the Abbaye aux Hommes and the Abbaye aux Dames. The [...]