Umayyad

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Capetians – French History – Middle Ages

By |2019-02-27T06:29:13-07:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Monogram of Hugh Capet (980s AD) Who was Hugh Capet? When the Carolingians died out in 987 AD, the lords of France met to choose a new king. They chose a man named Hugh Capet (hyoo ka-PAY). Hugh Capet was picked for being weak, so the lords could do whatever they wanted and the king wouldn't be [...]

Medieval Islamic science

By |2018-04-24T08:21:20-07:00July 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 [...]

What’s the difference between Shiite and Sunni?

By |2018-04-09T23:07:25-07:00July 26th, 2017|History|

In the lifetime of the Prophet Mohammed, and for some years afterwards, Islam was a united faith. But by the 650s AD, Islam split into two main sects. They fought bitterly with each other. These two sects were the Shiites (SHE-ites) and the Sunnis (SOO-knees). Both Sunnis and Shiites still exist today and they are still fighting. The Shiite [...]

Who are mawali? Medieval Islam

By |2017-07-26T22:57:59-07:00July 26th, 2017|History, Islam|

Shiite shrine at Karbala (from the 1800s AD): the tomb of Ali's son Hussein Mawali is the Arabic name for people all over the Islamic Empire who were not Arab but converted to Islam anyway. The mawali might be Syrians, Iranians, Egyptians, or Iraqis, but they weren't from the Arabian peninsula so they weren't Arabs. Legally, Mawali were the [...]

The Umayyads – Early Islamic History

By |2017-07-25T17:04:54-07:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Tomb of Ali, the first Imam and the fourth caliph, in Iraq (it was rebuilt about 1500 AD by the Safavids) Mohammed died in 632 AD. His second wife's father, a rich man named Abu Bakr, took over as caliph. He became the leader of the new religion of Islam, and of the newly united Arab [...]

Islamic Spain and the Umayyads

By |2018-04-09T10:31:09-07:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Cordoba mosque, Spain By the late 600s AD, the Moors, people from North Africa who had converted to Islam, were regularly attacking Visigothic Spain. At first these raids were not very serious, and the Spanish were able to fight them off. But in 711 AD, the Moors took advantage of a civil war in Spain to make a more serious attack, [...]

Mohammed the Prophet – Early Islamic history

By |2018-04-23T15:29:55-07:00July 25th, 2017|History|

Mohammed praying at the Ka'aba(in an Ottoman book from 1388 AD) Mohammed was born in the Arab trading and pilgrimage city of Mecca, in the Arabian peninsula, between 570 and 580 AD. His parents were part of a family of traders. They were not among the ruling families of Mecca, but they were certainly not poor either. Mohammed himself however grew up poor, [...]

History of the Islamic Empire

By |2018-04-07T17:04:30-07:00July 24th, 2017|History, Islam|

Dome of the Rock mosque, Jerusalem In 600 AD, West Asia had been divided for centuries between two big empires, the Romans and the Sassanians. People probably thought that would continue more or less forever. But they were wrong. Both the Romans and the Sassanians had gotten in the habit of using mercenary soldiers from the [...]

The Abbasids – Medieval Islamic history

By |2019-01-15T11:23:04-07:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|

Minaret at Samarra, 847 AD The first Abbasid caliphs In 750 AD, the Abbasid caliphs murdered all of the surviving Umayyad men but one. Who were the Umayyads? All our medieval Islam articles Turn away from the Mediterranean They took over ruling the Islamic Empire. The Abbasids were less interested in the Mediterranean coast than the Umayyads had been. [...]

Umayyad architecture – Islam

By |2017-07-23T08:21:29-07:00July 23rd, 2017|Africa, Architecture, Islam, West Asia|

Dome of the Rock mosque, Jerusalem People didn't build a lot of new buildings during the Umayyad period. They were busy getting organized after the Islamic conquests, and the Umayyad dynasty didn't rule very long. But what they did build was new and exciting. The Umayyads, who were conquering everything, had pots of money to [...]