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High Middle Ages – European history

By |2018-04-12T00:08:13-07:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Devils torture the damned in Hell (Abbey of Moissac, about 1050 AD) The Seljuks destabilize Europe's neighbors 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 [...]

Venice – Early Medieval Italy

By |2018-04-16T10:32:29-07:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice, Italy (about 1100 AD) During the fall of the Roman Empire, in the 400s AD, people who lived along the north-east coast of Italy didn't feel safe. Central Asian people like the Huns and Germanic people like the Ostrogoths were invading over and over again. Some people abandoned their homes and moved to wetlands and [...]

Republic of Genoa – Medieval Italy

By |2018-05-07T12:11:06-07:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Medieval drawing of the city of Genoa, Italy (1493) Genoa in the Early Middle Ages Around 900 AD, the Holy Roman Empire began to lose control of Italy, and Genoa was among the Italian cities that got their independence about this time. Genoa became one of the first medieval cities where citizens won some political rights. Genoa's [...]

Comneni Dynasty – Byzantine history

By |2018-04-12T00:08:00-07:00August 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 [...]

Romanesque Architecture – Medieval Europe

By |2018-04-10T22:48:55-07:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Façade of Pisa's Duomo We call this kind of building Romanesque because it is a little like Roman architecture, with its columns and round arches. But people built Romanesque buildings around 1000-1200 AD instead of during the Roman Empire. The fall of the Roman Empire, about 500 AD, made everybody in the empire poorer than they were before. But the people [...]

Ottoman Turks – Medieval Islamic history

By |2017-07-25T10:41:41-07:00July 25th, 2017|History, Islam|

Sultan Mehmed II (by the Venetian painter Gentile Bellini, 1479 AD) After the old Seljuk kingdom in Anatolia (Turkey) fell apart, one of these Seljuks, a man named Osman, started in 1299 AD to build a new kingdom - the Ottoman Empire. At this time, the Byzantine Empire was very weak from the Fourth Crusade. In 1347 AD, the Black Death weakened the [...]

Byzantine Greek history – Greece in the Middle Ages

By |2018-04-23T07:08:14-07:00July 7th, 2017|Greeks, History|

Byzantine Greece Byzantine Greece: Interior of Hagia Sophia After the collapse of the western part of the Roman Empire around 400 AD, the Romans continued to rule Greece , but now from their new capital at Constantinople. The Romans weren't as strong as they had been before, so there were a lot of [...]

History of Democracy: Who invented democracy? Athens and Italy

By |2018-06-11T18:36:14-07:00June 29th, 2017|Government, Greeks|

Democracy history: The Pnyx, where Athenian men debated issues and voted What is democracy? Democracy means the rule of the people (in Greek). That is where each individual person has a vote about what to do. Whatever the most people vote for wins. There is no king or tyrant, and anybody can propose [...]