Monday, May 30, 2005

Crusades: 1.2-2.0

Remember HBG? I really urge you to check it out sometime. I have some ideas about a good blog organization that can be efficient and lead to real results, while saving the bloggers' independence.

I am still continuing to post about the Crusades, and will for a while. Const. Notes, Globalisation, and early civilization posts and other history will continue while I am researching for this. Why am I so obsessed about this period of history? Because it's one of those epic times, both when it comes to what happened and what it caused. There are just so many different types of people and different events and ideas. It is a true clash of civilizations, religions, ideas, and most importantly, people.

In the Middle East: The daily lives in Arabia are more urban-oriented. Cities and trade are a dominant part of the economy. People either live in massive metropolises near oasis, in river valleys, or on the coast, but always there is a trade route nearby. Agriculture is also important wherever there is good enough soil. The Arabs had studied and mastered Roman engineering, especially those pertaining to water. Aqueducts and extensive irrigation are quite common. The markets, or bazaars and souks as they are called, exist in every major city. They bring together wealth from lands near and far. Many gather here every day, gossiping, discussing theology, or considering the most recent political events.
The rulers have become somewhat less-warlike now, more interested in science and philophy and poetry. Exept for the newly-converted Turks, their previous lives were tough ones and combat was common. As I have said, Mamluks dominate the politics in many regions, influencing the weaker sultans and mastering the art of string-pulling.
Until now, it must be remembered that tolerance of Christians and Jews is more widespread. While certainly they are not treated equally, they have better treatment than pagan religions. Many early sects of Christianity, such as the Nestorians and the Coptics, flourish in Persia and Egypt. From there missionaries are sent to many other places. The main centers of conflict between the two peoples are in Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and Spain. But even the hostility there seems like friendship compared to the long-term bitter resentment and hate that is on the horizon.

Then, in about 1070, the Sejuk Turks took Jerusalem from the tolerant Fatimids of Egypt. They were much more reluctant to let Christian pilgrims come into the Holy City. Things got worse, and other reasons, explained in the next post, attributed strongly to what happens in 1095. In this year, Pope Urban II called for Christendom to gather its forces and march for the Holy Land.

1 comment:

Gone Away said...

Just found you thanks to BlogExplosion's blog rocket. You're a brave man, doing a blog on history - most people seem to find it boring. But I, for one will keep an eye on you. May you find many more who care about history.