Tag Archives: Pope

Religious ideology in the early Middle Ages

When the Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads, theology had been only lightly involved, just enough to get most Shi’ite sympathizers on their side while actually shifting power to Persians. These dynasties had been about pragmatic balance of power and maximizing tax … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Gerbert as Pope Sylvester

I had trouble writing this entry because writerly discipline suggests I should stick with my main subject: the early Pope who attempted to introduce Arabic numbers, but failed. However, he was appointed Pope by his pupil, whom he was apparently … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Balance of power in the north

While Abd al-Rahman was a fugitive in North Africa, power shifted decisively in Europe. The last major Germanic barbarian invasion came from the east and had settled in the Italian Alps with a capital at Pavia. The Langobards, or Lombards, … Continue reading

Posted in Muslim Empire | Tagged , | 2 Comments

By request: what was the world like, the last time a Pope resigned?

1415: the Battle of Agincourt, the burning of Jan Hus, and the only other resignation of a pope. The Medieval Warm Period was over; Arctic ice was growing, making Greenland harder to reach and cutting back cod and herring fishing. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment