Monthly Archives: September 2017

Temujin’s Rise, 1206-1218

Far away, in a part of the world utterly unknown to Europe, a world-changer had been born around 1167. Temujin,¬†or Genghis Khan, is one of those people in history whose intelligence still shines brightly. First, Genghis is pronounced Jengis. Modern … Continue reading

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The Fifth Crusade, 1216-1221

With many French and Anglo-Norman knights already fighting a Crusade in France, and several crowned heads excommunicated, the pickings were slim for a major crusade effort. After Pope Innocent III died, his successor Honorius III inherited the task. Pope Honorius … 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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Acre in 1215

By the time of the Fifth Crusade, the medieval port of Acre was not only the capital of the “Kingdom of Jerusalem,” it pretty much was the kingdom. But if you had to choose one city to pretend was a … Continue reading

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The Orders of Knights, 1209 forward

In 1190, some German merchants set up a field hospital at the siege of Acre. The hospital soon became an Augustinian monastery, then a military order like the Templars. It was called the Order of the Brothers of the German … 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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