Tag Archives: Baghdad

The Shi’ite Revolution: Revenge of Fatima

Ever since the Battle of Karbala, true-believer Shi’ites kept track of a secret line of true Imams descended from one survivor. It was inevitable that someone would emerge to challenge Abbasid power, and to this end, the regime was constantly … Continue reading

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Mamluks and Seljuks

During the years of white ceramics, mathematics, and water clocks, the Abbasid dynasty was fairly stable. But no dynasty is ever easily stable; the Abbasid ruler had to move east to Samarra once, as power see-sawed. The Central Asia territory … Continue reading

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Mechanical engineering

Baghdad’s House of Wisdom also produced a collection of all of the mechanical engineering devices known at that time. It’s certainly a collection from China, India, Persia and Greece, like the other scientific works. We aren’t sure if the pictures … Continue reading

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10th century Pottery

Having never been a potter myself, I could never understand why archeologists seemed to assume that some tribe or region made the same kind of pottery over and over. They name prehistoric cultures that way: the Grey Ware culture, the … Continue reading

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House of Wisdom: Baghdad

Baghdad’s Round City featured a large building that was called, at first, The Bookstore. It was modeled after the Persian Empire’s library in Ctesiphon, but its chief purpose was to transfer civilization into the Arabic script of the recently-literate nomads. … Continue reading

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Baghdad of legend

The Abbasid dynasty endowed a scholars’ center in Baghdad; its first work was to collect and translate the Iranian books sitting in local libraries. We don’t know at what point they began to translate the Persian storybook that became the … Continue reading

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Baghdad

As payoff for Persian support, the Abbasid rulers agreed to relocate the administrative capital to Persian territory, instead of Damascus. The old capital of Ctesiphon may have been starting to fall apart, but in any case, they decided to build … Continue reading

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Abbasid Dynasty

The Umayyad dynasty had been ruling since winning the Battle of Karbala, where they defeated the last of Mohammed’s grandsons. They were of the same tribe as Mohammed, but not from his clan or family. Arabic extended families appear to … Continue reading

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