Saladin

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Jews in the Islamic Empire

By |2018-04-08T01:10:57+00:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

The synagogue where Maimonides worked in Cairo, Egypt (1100s AD) The Arabs first began to attack the Roman Empire in the 630s AD. At first, the Jews were quite enthusiastic about the idea of getting rid of their Christian persecutors. We don't really know whether the Jews actually helped the Arabs to conquer Israel and Syria. But many Roman [...]

Fourth Crusade – the sack of Constantinople

By |2018-04-24T09:08:57+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

In 1200 AD, Pope Innocent began to ask the rulers of Europe to participate in a fourth crusade, again attempting to take Jerusalem away from the Ayyubids who ruled there. Saladin had died in 1193 AD, and the Crusaders thought his successors were weaker and would be easier to beat. This time they would try something different. Instead of coming down from the north, [...]

Third Crusade – Medieval history

By |2018-04-11T09:09:27+00:00August 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 [...]

Eleanor of Aquitaine – Queen of France and England

By |2018-04-12T00:08:02+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Eleanor of Aquitaine (Cloisters Museum, New York City) Eleanor of Aquitaine was fifteen years old in 1137 AD, and not yet married, when her father, the Duke of Aquitaine, died suddenly. Eleanor had no brothers, so she inherited her father's duchy, which included most of southern France. Coin minted when Eleanor was ruling [...]

Comneni Dynasty – Byzantine history

By |2018-04-12T00:08:00+00:00August 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 [...]

Saladin Tax – Medieval Europe

By |2018-04-24T08:11:08+00:00August 1st, 2017|Economy, Medieval|

Sherwood Forest, where Robin Hood lived In the Early Middle Ages, most people did not pay any money taxes to the king. Instead, they gave chickens, honey, or work days to their own lord. Then in turn their lord passed on services to the king - if the king could make him do it. But in order to [...]

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 [...]

Guide for the Perplexed – Maimonides

By |2018-04-18T17:19:15+00:00July 25th, 2017|Egypt, Medieval, Philosophy|

Maimonides studied in this Cordoba synagogue in Spain (1315 AD, rebuilt from Maimonides' time) When Maimonides was a child, in the 1100s AD, he studied Jewish religious law in the Cordoba synagogue, in Spain. When he was a young man, he studied Aristotle and other scientific philosophers at the University of Fez in Morocco. Then when he grew up, Maimonides became [...]