Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Battle on the Ice: 1242

The Mongols had not touched the city-state of Novgorod, as it was just out of range to north and west. In this period, the region is known as the Novgorod Republic.¬†Novgorod was ruled by a Prince who was appointed or … Continue reading

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Quia Maior and the Fifth Crusade, 1213-1215

The Fifth Crusade left a permanent mark on Roman Christendom, laying the foundation for the Protestant Reformation but even so, altering the way we look at serving in the church, even now. It was Pope Innocent III’s second attempt to … Continue reading

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The Children’s Crusade, 1212

If the Children’s Crusade took place, the year was 1212. Whatever happened, that was the year. Pope Innocent III had been preaching Crusade, and more Crusade, for years. He was promoting the Spanish Crusade, the Crusade against the Cathars, and … Continue reading

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The Spanish Crusade, 1212

During the Third Crusade’s years, power in Spain swung back in the Muslim direction, but by the time of the Fourth Crusade, the Christians were again ascendant. As in the Middle East, the key to not losing was to stop … Continue reading

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The Cathar Crusade, 1209-1229

The Crusades that took place entirely within Europe aren’t really part of the narrative of the Muslim Empire, and its contacts and conflicts with Europe, that I’m primarily telling. However, it’s worth seeing how the idea of “crusade” developed during … Continue reading

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Ayyubid Egypt, 1192-1250

Saladin’s empire was split up among four sons, with his brother al-Adil receiving two important castles in Jordan. The oldest son was not a natural ruler. Uncle al-Adil had to broker peace among the brothers several times, until basically he … Continue reading

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al-Jazari’s Book of Ingenious Devices, 1206

In 1206, an engineer named Ismail al-Jazari published a book about inventions. It was a Do It Yourself manual, showing 100 things he had built, with diagrams for how to build them yourself. al-Jazari was the chief engineer in the … Continue reading

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Empires you’ve never heard of, 1204-1261

After the Fourth ¬†Crusaders destroyed Constantinople in 1204, they set up a new government. It is known as the Latin Empire of Constantinople, but in Latin, it was Imperium Romaniae, so we could translate it as the Empire of Romania. … Continue reading

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the Fourth Crusade Fiasco, 1203-4

The Fourth Crusade’s sudden diversion to attacking Constantinople took the city completely by surprise. Byzantine in-fighting had used many plot twists, but this was the first time a deposed prince had found a full army to rent instantly, waiting nearby. … Continue reading

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The Deposed Prince and the Fourth Crusade, 1195-1203

Byzantine Emperors and their relatives met many violent deaths; the favored ways of getting someone out of the way were poison, strangling, and blinding. The last one was the fate of the Emperor who had married his sister to Conrad … Continue reading

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