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The Crusades

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Kveto from Prague
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Postby Kveto from Prague » Wed November 19th, 2008, 7:43 pm

"MLE" wrote:None of which changes the fact that both sides were aggressors, and that the counter-offensives which are known as the crusades were just that -- counter-offensives.

The behavior of the combatants was the usual in such cases-- brutal, violent and frequently unjustified. I'm just a little weary of the litany of 'Europeans bad, Muslims good' that has replaced the reverse in literature.

Why do you separate the Ottoman expansion from all the other eras of Islamic expansion? Is there some cutoff date?



i know what you mean. modern interpretation does seem to say "european crusaders bad, muslims good". i think a lot has to do with who is attacking. the aggressors are usually seens as the bad ones. in the holy land crusades, the europeans were the invaders, therefore bad. on the reverse, you could say the ottomans were the invaders of the balkans up to vienna. in that case they are the "bad guys" because they are aggressors.

but i sure know what you mean. labling groups the "bad" and the "good" is unfair

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Kveto from Prague
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Postby Kveto from Prague » Wed November 19th, 2008, 7:47 pm

"MLE" wrote:always a pity

i think Eastern Christianity like the nestorians managed to last up till Timurlane. the mongols had spared them, but old Timur didnt spare anyone and pretty much exterminated them


I think yo are comfusing the Greek Orthodox xhurch with the Nestorian Church. They were not the same at all. In fact, the Nestorian church was created specificaly to separate Persian Christianity from the official religion of Constantinople (They had some serious doctrinalo differences too, but this is about politics.)

sure, thanks,when volgadon said eastern christianity i assumed he was talking about the nestorians the paulines and other groups. i realize now he was probably refering to greek orthodox

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Volgadon
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Postby Volgadon » Wed November 19th, 2008, 7:58 pm

I was refering to more than just the Greek Orthodoxs. Never said all those groups were destroyed, but they definitely went into severe decline.

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Kveto from Prague
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sorry

Postby Kveto from Prague » Wed November 19th, 2008, 8:03 pm

hey, everybody, sorry for "messing up" this thread by trying to respond to so many. i just found lots of interesting posts to reply to. that will teach me not to check in for awhile

cheers

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Kveto from Prague
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sor

Postby Kveto from Prague » Wed November 19th, 2008, 8:09 pm

"Volgadon" wrote:I was refering to more than just the Greek Orthodoxs. Never said all those groups were destroyed, but they definitely went into severe decline.


my mistake. i misintepreted. i shouldnt read the last part of a thread first

im pretty sure timurlane killed just about all of the nestorians in east asia at least. it was part of his "clensing" (i did a bunch of research on him once. really depressing stuff.)

i agree on the greeks. the eastern crusades were not good for them. id say more damage was done to the byzantine empire than the islamic empires. imo.
Last edited by Kveto from Prague on Wed November 19th, 2008, 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Kveto from Prague
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Postby Kveto from Prague » Wed November 19th, 2008, 8:15 pm

[QUOTE=annis;12503]I certainly wouldn't deny the huge influence of religion on the medieval mindset, but still feel that if temporal benefit could be achieved in the name of religion it would be a motivating factor for those in power, in other words, killing two birds with one stone.
This may just be my cynical nature showing :)

i agree. ive heard it said that way as well. the pope wanted to find a way to control and aggresive and unruly class (the warrior aristocracy, a rival to the church as well) and direct them towards a "common enemy" . it also had the unfortunate effect of eliminating many of the poorest class, fewer mouths to feed, and helped get rid of unruly knights for extended periods. all in all, it was a massive brainchild on Urban's part.

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Volgadon
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Postby Volgadon » Mon November 24th, 2008, 5:13 pm

Is there any HF about the Crusades from a Jewish POV? I ask because I happened to be in a library where I read part of an interesting work, a study of Jewish medieval archives, the Cairo genizot. One of them provided a clue as to why the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders made such a slight impact on Jewish consciousness. No laments, no liturgy, nothing of the sort. The document was a letter from the heads of a rescue mission (led by Karaites) reporting to the donors in Alexandria.
Using Ashkelon as a base of operations, they gathered information about the fate of the captives, who they were and so on. They ransomed as many captives as they could, in fact, they were given an excellent discount by the Crusaders, who weren't sure how long they could hold on to Jerusalem and didn't want to hold on to a large amount of captives. Some of them had converted and some were held captive, so they couldn't be rescued. Two of the captives are mentioned in detail. One was the 8 year old nephew of one of the Karaite leaders, whom the Crusaders wish to baptize, the other was a well known intellectual, and they wanted him to convert and become a priest!!
Female captives, in this instance, were treated fairly well by the Thuringians (or possibly the Normans), refered to as the cursed sons of Ashkenaz. Seems like that was the generic Jewish term for northener, or perhaps just German.
The funds were raised amidst great sacrifice, because of the plague and troubled situation in Egypt. Whole families were wiped out within days and everyone was broke. As most of the books from the synagogues in Jerusalem were saved and most of the Jews still alive, nobody considered the sack of Jerusalem a anything out of the ordinary. It was always switching hands, so those involved in things like rescue efforts had to keep reminding people in other communities of the horrors. They were also expecting the Fatimids to recapture the city any day.

annis
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Postby annis » Mon November 24th, 2008, 6:05 pm

I can't think of anything offhand, Volgadon, though it's a bit surprising, considering that the Jews were as much affected by the Crusades as the Muslims.

The Muslims and Jews combined forces to try and repel the First Crusaders when they attacked Antioch and Jerusalem, being equally under threat if the Crusaders succeeded ( as they eventually did)

It's often forgotten, but especially in France and Germany the first step in the First Crusade lay in attacks against Jewish communities.
It's not fiction, but there's an interesting document around called the Mainz Anonymous which chronicles the experiences of the Jews in Europe prior to the First Crusade.
Last edited by annis on Mon November 24th, 2008, 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Volgadon
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Postby Volgadon » Mon November 24th, 2008, 7:29 pm

There are actually a lot of historical documents about Mainz, including many liturgical pieces as well as some modern poems by Tchernichovsky, but I can't even think of any Jewish HF.

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Margaret
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Postby Margaret » Mon November 24th, 2008, 8:07 pm

Interesting, interesting question, Volgadon! In Nicole Galland's Crossed, one of the main characters is an educated Jewish woman from Constantinople, and a considerable portion of the novel is devoted to the destruction of the Jewish quarter there. However, this is not really the type of subject matter you're talking about.

I learned enough about the Jews of Cairo when I was researching an article about Ibn Ridwan and the supernova of 1006 (on the web here). I was fascinated to see what an important role they played in the life of Cairo during the Fatimid era. There's material for much more than just one novel there, and I'm not aware of a single one about the Jews of medieval Cairo.

If I could read Arabic, I would certainly write a novel about Ibn Ridwan (not a Jew, but he had important Jewish friends).
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