Northern Crusades, 1260-1410 CE

Northern Crusades, 1260-1410 CE


History of the Jews in Europe

The history of the Jews in Europe spans a period of over two thousand years. Some Jews, a Judaean tribe from the Levant, [1] [2] [3] [4] migrated to Europe just before the rise of the Roman Empire. A notable early event in the history of the Jews in the Roman Empire was Pompey's conquest of Judea beginning in 63 BCE, although Alexandrian Jews had migrated to Rome before this event.

The pre-World War II Jewish population of Europe is estimated to have been close to 9 million, [5] or 57% of Jews worldwide. [6] Around 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, which was followed by the emigration of much of the surviving population. [7] [8] [9]

The Jewish population of Europe in 2010 was estimated to be approximately 1.4 million (0.2% of European population) or 10% of the world's Jewish population. [6] In the 21st century, France has the largest Jewish population in Europe, [6] [10] followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. [10]


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Prince Oleg expands territory, moves the capital to Kiev

Rurik and his brothers arriving in Staraya Ladog.

Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

It was after 840 that Scandanavian Vikings—who were known in Eastern Europe as “Varangians” or “Rus”𠅎stablished Viking rule over Slavic tribes in what came to be called Kievan Rus. At first, the region was divided between three noble brothers.

“The oldest, Rurik, located himself at Novgorod the second, Sineus, at Beloozero and the third, Truvor, in Izborsk,” recounts the Russian Primary Chronicle, a history of the region completed in the 12th century by Kievan monks. “On account of these Varangians, the district of Novgorod became known as the land of Rus.” (“Rus,” which is where the name “Russia” comes from, purportedly derives from an old Nordic word for “men who row.”)

Rurik’s brothers died within two years, so he claimed their territory and established Novgorod as the capital of his domain. After Rurik died, his successor Prince Oleg of Novgorod (or Oleg the Prophet) captured the city of Kiev in 882 and moved the capital from Novgorod to Kiev. In addition to capturing new territories to increase the size of Kievan Rus, Oleg also increased its wealth by negotiating a favorable trade deal with Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.


Further evidence that Tartaria was an Islamic Empire, and that the Northern Crusades of the 12th-15th centuries were against the Islamic Tartars of Russia and Eastern Europe

Maybe certain regions, I remember seeing old paintings of all the abrahamic flags being flown together attached to poles above an apparent tartary town.

With that said. I do not trust any abrahamic religion and believe they are the ones covering up the beliefs, sciences, and civilizations of the past. This part in great tartary's timeline being near its destruction.

Science had a revolution in the city of Baghdad where it reached Europe

How are Abrahamic faiths responsible for this purging of history, when Muslim countries and their civilizations have been getting nuked by us for the past 100+ years? Literally other Saudi Arabia which is basically America of the middle East, is the only Muslim country left that isn't or hasn't been destroyed yet.

I also recently pieced together that the Tartarian empire was a collectively unified Muslim world empire. So I was intrigued and I did some research on accomplishments made by Muslims for the benefit of humanity. I never knew that some like "Avicenna" was a Muslim guy lol

Evidence, I say. And fwiw, Evidence =/= proof.

Why are the drawings in French ? (Allemagne, Pologne etc)

Sorry for the late comment but i don’t see how pointing out that the Lipka Tatars existed and that they built mosques support your arguments. Considering that there is a perfectly reasonable mainstream historical explanation as to why and how they got there, you would more than just this as evidence that they were at some part of an islamic empire that existed in Russia and the Baltic. You would need to present evidence more compelling than that of the mainstream, the mere existence of these people and their mosques is not it. You are simply pointing out their existence and inferring their relationship to other muslim groups in Eastern Europe, conveniently avoiding presenting the actual evidence needed to show that they once belonged to unified imperial entity. The standard of evidence here is simply too low.


Contents

The name Franci was not a tribal name, but within a few centuries it had eclipsed the names of the original peoples who constituted them. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, [16] the name of the Franks has been linked with the English adjective frank, originally meaning "free". [17] There have also been proposals that Frank comes from the Germanic word for "javelin" (such as in Old English franca or Old Norse frakka). [18] Words in other Germanic languages meaning "fierce", "bold" or "insolent" (German frech, Middle Dutch vrac, Old English frǣc and Old Norwegian frakkr), may also be significant. [19]

Eumenius addressed the Franks in the matter of the execution of Frankish prisoners in the circus at Trier by Constantine I in 306 and certain other measures: Ubi nunc est illa ferocia? Ubi semper infida mobilitas? ("Where now is that ferocity of yours? Where is that ever untrustworthy fickleness?"). [20] [21] Latin feroces was used often to describe the Franks. [22] Contemporary definitions of Frankish ethnicity vary both by period and point of view. A formulary written by Marculf about 700 AD described a continuation of national identities within a mixed population when it stated that "all the peoples who dwell [in the official's province], Franks, Romans, Burgundians and those of other nations, live … according to their law and their custom." [23] Writing in 2009, Professor Christopher Wickham pointed out that "the word 'Frankish' quickly ceased to have an exclusive ethnic connotation. North of the River Loire everyone seems to have been considered a Frank by the mid-7th century at the latest [except Bretons] Romani [Romans] were essentially the inhabitants of Aquitaine after that". [24]

Apart from the History of the Franks by Gregory of Tours, two early sources relate the mythological origin of the Franks: a 7th-century work known as the Chronicle of Fredegar and the anonymous Liber Historiae Francorum, written a century later.

Many say that the Franks originally came from Pannonia and first inhabited the banks of the Rhine. Then they crossed the river, marched through Thuringia, and set up in each county district and each city longhaired kings chosen from their foremost and most noble family.

The author of the Chronicle of Fredegar claimed that the Franks came originally from Troy and quoted the works of Virgil and Hieronymous:

Blessed Jerome has written about the ancient kings of the Franks, whose story was first told by the poet Virgil: their first king was Priam and, after Troy was captured by trickery, they departed. Afterwards they had as king Friga, then they split into two parts, the first going into Macedonia, the second group, which left Asia with Friga were called the Frigii, settled on the banks of the Danube and the Ocean Sea. Again splitting into, two groups, half of them entered Europe with their king Francio. After crossing Europe with their wives and children they occupied the banks of the Rhine and not far from the Rhine began to build the city of "Troy" (Colonia Traiana-Xanten).

According to historian Patrick J. Geary, those two stories are "alike in betraying both the fact that the Franks knew little about their background and that they may have felt some inferiority in comparison with other peoples of antiquity who possessed an ancient name and glorious tradition. (. ) Both legends are of course equally fabulous for, even more than most barbarian peoples, the Franks possessed no common history, ancestry, or tradition of a heroic age of migration. Like their Alemannic neighbours, they were by the sixth century a fairly recent creation, a coalition of Rhenish tribal groups who long maintained separate identities and institutions." [26]

The other work, the Liber Historiae Francorum, previously known as Gesta regum Francorum before its republication in 1888 by Bruno Krusch, [27] described how 12,000 Trojans, led by Priam and Antenor, sailed from Troy to the River Don in Russia and on to Pannonia, which is on the River Danube, settling near the Sea of Azov. There they founded a city called Sicambria. (The Sicambri were the most well-known tribe in the Frankish homeland in the time of the early Roman empire, still remembered though defeated and dispersed long before the Frankish name appeared.) The Trojans joined the Roman army in accomplishing the task of driving their enemies into the marshes of Mæotis, for which they received the name of Franks (meaning "fierce"). A decade later the Romans killed Priam and drove away Marcomer and Sunno, the sons of Priam and Antenor, and the other Franks. [ citation needed ]

Early history Edit

The major primary sources on the early Franks include the Panegyrici Latini, Ammianus Marcellinus, Claudian, Zosimus, Sidonius Apollinaris and Gregory of Tours. The Franks are first mentioned in the Augustan History, a collection of biographies of the Roman emperors. None of these sources present a detailed list of which tribes or parts of tribes became Frankish, or concerning the politics and history, but to quote James (1988, p. 35):

A Roman marching-song joyfully recorded in a fourth-century source, is associated with the 260s but the Franks' first appearance in a contemporary source was in 289. [. ] The Chamavi were mentioned as a Frankish people as early as 289, the Bructeri from 307, the Chattuarri from 306–315, the Salii or Salians from 357, and the Amsivarii and Tubantes from c. 364–375.

The Franks were described in Roman texts both as allies (laeti) and enemies (dediticii). About the year 260 one group of Franks penetrated as far as Tarragona in present-day Spain, where they plagued the region for about a decade before they were subdued and expelled by the Romans. In 287 or 288, the Roman Caesar Maximian forced a Frankish leader Genobaud and his people to surrender without a fight.

In 288 the emperor Maximian defeated the Salian Franks, Chamavi, Frisii and other Germanic people living along the Rhine and moved them to Germania inferior to provide manpower and prevent the settlement of other Germanic tribes. [28] [29] In 292 Constantius, the father of Constantine I [30] defeated the Franks who had settled at the mouth of the Rhine. These were moved to the nearby region of Toxandria. [31] Eumenius mentions Constantius as having "killed, expelled, captured [and] kidnapped" the Franks who had settled there and others who had crossed the Rhine, using the term nationes Franciae for the first time. It seems likely that the term Frank in this first period had a broader meaning, sometimes including coastal Frisii. [32]

The Life of Aurelian, which was possibly written by Vopiscus, mentions that in 328, Frankish raiders were captured by the 6th Legion stationed at Mainz. As a result of this incident, 700 Franks were killed and 300 were sold into slavery. [33] [34] Frankish incursions over the Rhine became so frequent that the Romans began to settle the Franks on their borders in order to control them.

The Franks are mentioned in the Tabula Peutingeriana, an atlas of Roman roads. It is a 13th-century copy of a 4th or 5th century document that reflects information from the 3rd century. The Romans knew the shape of Europe, but their knowledge is not evident from the map, which was only a practical guide to the roads to be followed from point to point. In the middle Rhine region of the map, the word Francia is close to a misspelling of Bructeri. Beyond Mainz is Suevia, the country of the Suebi, and beyond that is Alamannia, the country of the Alamanni. Four tribes at the mouth of the Rhine are depicted: the Chauci, the Amsivarii ('Ems dwellers'), the Cherusci and the Chamavi, followed by qui et Pranci ('who are also Franks'). This implies that the Chamavi were considered Franks. The Tabula was probably based on the Orbis Pictus, a map of twenty years' labour commissioned by Augustus and then kept by the Roman's treasury department for the assessment of taxes. It did not survive as such. Information about the imperial divisions of Gaul probably derives from it.

Salians Edit

The Salians were first mentioned by Ammianus Marcellinus, who described Julian's defeat of "the first Franks of all, those whom custom has called the Salians," in 358. [35] [36] Julian allowed the Franks to remain in Texuandria as fœderati within the Empire, having moved there from the Rhine-Maas delta. [37] [38] The 5th century Notitia Dignitatum lists a group of soldiers as Salii.

Some decades later, Franks in the same region, possibly the Salians, controlled the River Scheldt and were disrupting transport links to Britain in the English Channel. Although Roman forces managed to pacify them, they failed to expel the Franks, who continued to be feared as pirates.

The Salians are generally seen as the predecessors of the Franks who pushed southwestwards into what is now modern France, who eventually came to be ruled by the Merovingians (see below). This is because when the Merovingian dynasty published the Salian law (Lex Salica) it applied in the Neustrian area from the river Liger (Loire) to the Silva Carbonaria, the western kingdom founded by them outside the original area of Frankish settlement. In the 5th century Franks under Chlodio pushed into Roman lands in and beyond the "Silva Carbonaria" or "Charcoal forest", which ran through the area of modern western Wallonia. The forest was the boundary of the original Salian territories to the north and the more Romanized area to the south in the Roman province of Belgica Secunda (roughly equivalent to what Julius Caesar had long ago called "Belgium"). Chlodio conquered Tournai, Artois, Cambrai, and as far as the Somme river. Chlodio is often seen as an ancestor of the future Merovingian dynasty. Childeric I, who according to Gregory of Tours was a reputed descendant of Chlodio, was later seen as administrative ruler over Roman Belgica Secunda and possibly other areas. [39]

Records of Childeric show him to have been active together with Roman forces in the Loire region, quite far to the south. His descendants came to rule Roman Gaul all the way to there, and this became the Frankish kingdom of Neustria, the basis of what would become medieval France. Childeric's son Clovis I also took control of the more independent Frankish kingdoms east of the Silva Carbonaria and Belgica II. This later became the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia, where the early legal code was referred to as "Ripuarian".

Ripuarians Edit

The Rhineland Franks who lived near the stretch of the Rhine from roughly Mainz to Duisburg, the region of the city of Cologne, are often considered separately from the Salians, and sometimes in modern texts referred to as Ripuarian Franks. The Ravenna Cosmography suggests that Francia Renensis included the old civitas of the Ubii, in Germania II (Germania Inferior), but also the northern part of Germania I (Germania Superior), including Mainz. Like the Salians they appear in Roman records both as raiders and as contributors to military units. Unlike the Salii, there is no record of when, if ever, the empire officially accepted their residence within the empire. They eventually succeeded to hold the city of Cologne, and at some point seem to have acquired the name Ripuarians, which may have meant "river people". In any case a Merovingian legal code was called the Lex Ribuaria, but it probably applied in all the older Frankish lands, including the original Salian areas.

Jordanes, in Getica mentions the Riparii as auxiliaries of Flavius Aetius during the Battle of Châlons in 451: "Hi enim affuerunt auxiliares: Franci, Sarmatae, Armoriciani, Liticiani, Burgundiones, Saxones, Riparii, Olibriones . " [40] But these Riparii ("river dwellers") are today not considered to be Ripuarian Franks, but a known military unit based on the river Rhone. [41]

Their territory on both sides of the Rhine became a central part of Merovingian Austrasia, which stretched to include Roman Germania Inferior (later Germania Secunda, which included the original Salian and Ripuarian lands, and roughly equates to medieval Lower Lotharingia) as well as Gallia Belgica Prima (late Roman "Belgium", roughly medieval Upper Lotharingia), and lands on the east bank of the Rhine.

Merovingian kingdom (481–751) Edit

Gregory of Tours (Book II) reported that small Frankish kingdoms existed during the fifth century around Cologne, Tournai, Cambrai and elsewhere. The kingdom of the Merovingians eventually came to dominate the others, possibly because of its association with Roman power structures in northern Gaul, which the Frankish military forces were apparently integrated into to some extent. Aegidius, was originally the magister militum of northern Gaul appointed by Majorian, but after Majorian's death apparently seen as a Roman rebel who relied on Frankish forces. Gregory of Tours reported that Childeric I was exiled for 8 years while Aegidius held the title of "King of the Franks". Eventually Childeric returned and took the same title. Aegidius died in 464 or 465. [42] Childeric and his son Clovis I were both described as rulers of the Roman Province of Belgica Secunda, by its spiritual leader in the time of Clovis, Saint Remigius.

Clovis later defeated the son of Aegidius, Syagrius, in 486 or 487 and then had the Frankish king Chararic imprisoned and executed. A few years later, he killed Ragnachar, the Frankish king of Cambrai, and his brothers. After conquering the Kingdom of Soissons and expelling the Visigoths from southern Gaul at the Battle of Vouillé, he established Frankish hegemony over most of Gaul, excluding Burgundy, Provence and Brittany, which were eventually absorbed by his successors. By the 490s, he had conquered all the Frankish kingdoms to the west of the River Maas except for the Ripuarian Franks and was in a position to make the city of Paris his capital. He became the first king of all Franks in 509, after he had conquered Cologne.

Clovis I divided his realm between his four sons, who united to defeat Burgundy in 534. Internecine feuding occurred during the reigns of the brothers Sigebert I and Chilperic I, which was largely fuelled by the rivalry of their queens, Brunhilda and Fredegunda, and which continued during the reigns of their sons and their grandsons. Three distinct subkingdoms emerged: Austrasia, Neustria and Burgundy, each of which developed independently and sought to exert influence over the others. The influence of the Arnulfing clan of Austrasia ensured that the political centre of gravity in the kingdom gradually shifted eastwards to the Rhineland.

The Frankish realm was reunited in 613 by Chlothar II, the son of Chilperic, who granted his nobles the Edict of Paris in an effort to reduce corruption and reassert his authority. Following the military successes of his son and successor Dagobert I, royal authority rapidly declined under a series of kings, traditionally known as les rois fainéants. After the Battle of Tertry in 687, each mayor of the palace, who had formerly been the king's chief household official, effectively held power until in 751, with the approval of the Pope and the nobility, Pepin the Short deposed the last Merovingian king Childeric III and had himself crowned. This inaugurated a new dynasty, the Carolingians.

Carolingian empire (751–843) Edit

The unification achieved by the Merovingians ensured the continuation of what has become known as the Carolingian Renaissance. The Carolingian Empire was beset by internecine warfare, but the combination of Frankish rule and Roman Christianity ensured that it was fundamentally united. Frankish government and culture depended very much upon each ruler and his aims and so each region of the empire developed differently. Although a ruler's aims depended upon the political alliances of his family, the leading families of Francia shared the same basic beliefs and ideas of government, which had both Roman and Germanic roots. [ citation needed ]

The Frankish state consolidated its hold over the majority of western Europe by the end of the 8th century, developing into the Carolingian Empire. With the coronation of their ruler Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in 800 AD, he and his successors were recognised as legitimate successors to the emperors of the Western Roman Empire. As such, the Carolingian Empire gradually came to be seen in the West as a continuation of the ancient Roman Empire. This empire would give rise to several successor states, including France, the Holy Roman Empire and Burgundy, though the Frankish identity remained most closely identified with France.

After the death of Charlemagne, his only adult surviving son became Emperor and King Louis the Pious. Following Louis the Pious's death, however, according to Frankish culture and law that demanded equality among all living male adult heirs, the Frankish Empire was now split between Louis' three sons.

Participation in the Roman army Edit

Germanic peoples, including those tribes in the Rhine delta that later became the Franks, are known to have served in the Roman army since the days of Julius Caesar. After the Roman administration collapsed in Gaul in the 260s, the armies under the Germanic Batavian Postumus revolted and proclaimed him emperor and then restored order. From then on, Germanic soldiers in the Roman army, most notably Franks, were promoted from the ranks. A few decades later, the Menapian Carausius created a Batavian–British rump state on Roman soil that was supported by Frankish soldiers and raiders. Frankish soldiers such as Magnentius, Silvanus and Arbitio held command positions in the Roman army during the mid 4th century. From the narrative of Ammianus Marcellinus it is evident that both Frankish and Alamannic tribal armies were organised along Roman lines.

After the invasion of Chlodio, the Roman armies at the Rhine border became a Frankish "franchise" and Franks were known to levy Roman-like troops that were supported by a Roman-like armour and weapons industry. This lasted at least until the days of the scholar Procopius (c. 500 – c. 565), more than a century after the demise of the Western Roman Empire, who wrote describing the former Arborychoi, having merged with the Franks, retaining their legionary organization in the style of their forefathers during Roman times. The Franks under the Merovingians melded Germanic custom with Romanised organisation and several important tactical innovations. Before their conquest of Gaul, the Franks fought primarily as a tribe, unless they were part of a Roman military unit fighting in conjunction with other imperial units.

Military practices of the early Franks Edit

The primary sources for Frankish military custom and armament are Ammianus Marcellinus, Agathias and Procopius, the latter two Eastern Roman historians writing about Frankish intervention in the Gothic War.

Writing of 539, Procopius says:

At this time the Franks, hearing that both the Goths and Romans had suffered severely by the war . forgetting for the moment their oaths and treaties . (for this nation in matters of trust is the most treacherous in the world), they straightway gathered to the number of one hundred thousand under the leadership of Theudebert I and marched into Italy: they had a small body of cavalry about their leader, and these were the only ones armed with spears, while all the rest were foot soldiers having neither bows nor spears, but each man carried a sword and shield and one axe. Now the iron head of this weapon was thick and exceedingly sharp on both sides, while the wooden handle was very short. And they are accustomed always to throw these axes at a signal in the first charge and thus to shatter the shields of the enemy and kill the men. [43]

His contemporary, Agathias, who based his own writings upon the tropes laid down by Procopius, says:

The military equipment of this people [the Franks] is very simple . They do not know the use of the coat of mail or greaves and the majority leave the head uncovered, only a few wear the helmet. They have their chests bare and backs naked to the loins, they cover their thighs with either leather or linen. They do not serve on horseback except in very rare cases. Fighting on foot is both habitual and a national custom and they are proficient in this. At the hip they wear a sword and on the left side their shield is attached. They have neither bows nor slings, no missile weapons except the double edged axe and the angon which they use most often. The angons are spears which are neither very short nor very long. They can be used, if necessary, for throwing like a javelin, and also in hand to hand combat. [44]

While the above quotations have been used as a statement of the military practices of the Frankish nation in the 6th century and have even been extrapolated to the entire period preceding Charles Martel's reforms (early mid-8th century), post-Second World War historiography has emphasised the inherited Roman characteristics of the Frankish military from the date of the beginning of the conquest of Gaul. The Byzantine authors present several contradictions and difficulties. Procopius denies the Franks the use of the spear while Agathias makes it one of their primary weapons. They agree that the Franks were primarily infantrymen, threw axes and carried a sword and shield. Both writers also contradict the authority of Gallic authors of the same general time period (Sidonius Apollinaris and Gregory of Tours) and the archaeological evidence. The Lex Ribuaria, the early 7th century legal code of the Rhineland or Ripuarian Franks, specifies the values of various goods when paying a wergild in kind whereas a spear and shield were worth only two solidi, a sword and scabbard were valued at seven, a helmet at six, and a "metal tunic" at twelve. [45] Scramasaxes and arrowheads are numerous in Frankish graves even though the Byzantine historians do not assign them to the Franks.

The evidence of Gregory and of the Lex Salica implies that the early Franks were a cavalry people. In fact, some modern historians have hypothesised that the Franks possessed so numerous a body of horses that they could use them to plough fields and thus were agriculturally technologically advanced over their neighbours. The Lex Ribuaria specifies that a mare's value was the same as that of an ox or of a shield and spear, two solidi and a stallion seven or the same as a sword and scabbard, [45] which suggests that horses were relatively common. Perhaps the Byzantine writers considered the Frankish horse to be insignificant relative to the Greek cavalry, which is probably accurate. [46]

Merovingian military Edit

Composition and development Edit

The Frankish military establishment incorporated many of the pre-existing Roman institutions in Gaul, especially during and after the conquests of Clovis I in the late 5th and early 6th centuries. Frankish military strategy revolved around the holding and taking of fortified centres (castra) and in general these centres were held by garrisons of milities or laeti, who were former Roman mercenaries of Germanic origin. Throughout Gaul, the descendants of Roman soldiers continued to wear their uniforms and perform their ceremonial duties.

Immediately beneath the Frankish king in the military hierarchy were the leudes, his sworn followers, who were generally 'old soldiers' in service away from court. [47] The king had an elite bodyguard called the truste. Members of the truste often served in centannae, garrison settlements that were established for military and police purposes. The day-to-day bodyguard of the king was made up of antrustiones (senior soldiers who were aristocrats in military service) and pueri (junior soldiers and not aristocrats). [48] All high-ranking men had pueri.

The Frankish military was not composed solely of Franks and Gallo-Romans, but also contained Saxons, Alans, Taifals and Alemanni. After the conquest of Burgundy (534), the well-organised military institutions of that kingdom were integrated into the Frankish realm. Chief among these was the standing army under the command of the Patrician of Burgundy.

In the late 6th century, during the wars instigated by Fredegund and Brunhilda, the Merovingian monarchs introduced a new element into their militaries: the local levy. A levy consisted of all the able-bodied men of a district who were required to report for military service when called upon, similar to conscription. The local levy applied only to a city and its environs. Initially only in certain cities in western Gaul, in Neustria and Aquitaine, did the kings possess the right or power to call up the levy. The commanders of the local levies were always different from the commanders of the urban garrisons. Often the former were commanded by the counts of the districts. A much rarer occurrence was the general levy, which applied to the entire kingdom and included peasants (pauperes and inferiores). General levies could also be made within the still-pagan trans-Rhenish stem duchies on the orders of a monarch. The Saxons, Alemanni and Thuringii all had the institution of the levy and the Frankish monarchs could depend upon their levies until the mid-7th century, when the stem dukes began to sever their ties to the monarchy. Radulf of Thuringia called up the levy for a war against Sigebert III in 640.

Soon the local levy spread to Austrasia and the less Romanised regions of Gaul. On an intermediate level, the kings began calling up territorial levies from the regions of Austrasia (which did not have major cities of Roman origin). All the forms of the levy gradually disappeared, however, in the course of the 7th century after the reign of Dagobert I. Under the so-called rois fainéants, the levies disappeared by mid-century in Austrasia and later in Burgundy and Neustria. Only in Aquitaine, which was fast becoming independent of the central Frankish monarchy, did complex military institutions persist into the 8th century. In the final half of the 7th century and first half of the 8th in Merovingian Gaul, the chief military actors became the lay and ecclesiastical magnates with their bands of armed followers called retainers. The other aspects of the Merovingian military, mostly Roman in origin or innovations of powerful kings, disappeared from the scene by the 8th century.

Strategy, tactics and equipment Edit

Merovingian armies used coats of mail, helmets, shields, lances, swords, bows and arrows and war horses. The armament of private armies resembled those of the Gallo-Roman potentiatores of the late Empire. A strong element of Alanic cavalry settled in Armorica influenced the fighting style of the Bretons down into the 12th century. Local urban levies could be reasonably well-armed and even mounted, but the more general levies were composed of pauperes and inferiores, who were mostly farmers by trade and carried ineffective weapons, such as farming implements. The peoples east of the Rhine – Franks, Saxons and even Wends – who were sometimes called upon to serve, wore rudimentary armour and carried weapons such as spears and axes. Few of these men were mounted. [ citation needed ]

Merovingian society had a militarised nature. The Franks called annual meetings every Marchfeld (1 March), when the king and his nobles assembled in large open fields and determined their targets for the next campaigning season. The meetings were a show of strength on behalf of the monarch and a way for him to retain loyalty among his troops. [49] In their civil wars, the Merovingian kings concentrated on the holding of fortified places and the use of siege engines. In wars waged against external foes, the objective was typically the acquisition of booty or the enforcement of tribute. Only in the lands beyond the Rhine did the Merovingians seek to extend political control over their neighbours.

Tactically, the Merovingians borrowed heavily from the Romans, especially regarding siege warfare. Their battle tactics were highly flexible and were designed to meet the specific circumstances of a battle. The tactic of subterfuge was employed endlessly. Cavalry formed a large segment of an army [ citation needed ] , but troops readily dismounted to fight on foot. The Merovingians were capable of raising naval forces: the naval campaign waged against the Danes by Theuderic I in 515 involved ocean-worthy ships and rivercraft were used on the Loire, Rhône and Rhine.

Language Edit

In a modern linguistic context, the language of the early Franks is variously called "Old Frankish" or "Old Franconian" and these terms refer to the language of the Franks prior to the advent of the High German consonant shift, which took place between 600 and 700 CE. After this consonant shift the Frankish dialect diverges, with the dialects which would become modern Dutch not undergoing the consonantal shift, while all others did so to varying degrees. [50] As a result, the distinction between Old Dutch and Old Frankish is largely negligible, with Old Dutch (also called Old Low Franconian) being the term used to differentiate between the affected and non-affected variants following the aforementioned Second Germanic consonant shift. [51]

The Frankish language has not been directly attested, apart from a very small number of runic inscriptions found within contemporary Frankish territory such as the Bergakker inscription. Nevertheless a significant amount of Frankish vocabulary has been reconstructed by examining early Germanic loanwords found in Old French as well as through comparative reconstruction through Dutch. [52] [53] The influence of Old Frankish on contemporary Gallo-Roman vocabulary and phonology, have long been questions of scholarly debate. [54] Frankish influence is thought to include the designations of the four cardinal directions: nord "north", sud "south", est "east" and ouest "west" and at least an additional 1000 stem words. [53]

Although the Franks would eventually conquer all of Gaul, speakers of Frankish apparently expanded in sufficient numbers only into northern Gaul to have a linguistic effect. For several centuries, northern Gaul was a bilingual territory (Vulgar Latin and Frankish). The language used in writing, in government and by the Church was Latin. Urban T. Holmes has proposed that a Germanic language continued to be spoken as a second tongue by public officials in western Austrasia and Northern Neustria as late as the 850s, and that it completely disappeared as a spoken language during the 10th century from regions where only French is spoken today. [55]


William the Conqueror: Background

William was the son of Robert I, duke of Normandy, and his mistress Herleva (also called Arlette), a tanner’s daughter from Falaise. The duke, who had no other sons, designated William his heir, and with his death in 1035 William became duke of Normandy.

Did you know? William, an Old French name composed of Germanic elements (“wil,” meaning desire, and “helm,” meaning protection), was introduced to England by William the Conqueror and quickly became extremely popular. By the 13th century, it was the most common given name among English men.

William was of Viking origin. Though he spoke a dialect of French and grew up in Normandy, a fiefdom loyal to the French kingdom, he and other Normans descended from Scandinavian invaders. One of William’s relatives, Rollo, pillaged northern France with fellow Viking raiders in the late ninth and early 10th centuries, eventually accepting his own territory (Normandy, named for the Norsemen who controlled it) in exchange for peace.

Just over two weeks before the Battle of Hastings in October 1066, William had invaded England, claiming his right to the English throne. In 1051, William is believed to have visited England and met with his cousin Edward the Confessor, the childless English king. According to Norman historians, Edward promised to make William his heir. On his deathbed, however, Edward granted the kingdom to Harold Godwineson (or Godwinson), head of the leading noble family in England and more powerful than the king himself. In January 1066, King Edward died, and Harold Godwineson was proclaimed King Harold II. William immediately disputed his claim.


Devastation of the Jewish Rhineland

The events of 1096 temporarily stopped the intellectual and social activity of Ashkenazic Jewry. Urban II&rsquos call for the Crusade did more than arouse interest in the armies that went to Jerusalem. Two other groups formed, both of which harmed the Jews: itinerant preachers and bands of German peasants. For the most part, the itinerant preachers were only interested in exploiting the Jews financially, demanding money for provisions. The peasant groups were much more dangerous. These bands coalesced around a charismatic leader and engaged in spontaneous violence against Jews.

In the early stages of the Crusade, these latter groups destroyed the Jewish communities in Speyer, Worms, and Mainz. There are accounts of these peasants ruthlessly slaughtering defenseless people, attacking Jews while in synagogue, and storming royal buildings to massacre the Jews.


What were the crusades?

What comes to mind when you think of the crusades? Earnest and alarmingly buff knights (in shining armor, of course) engaged in against-the-odds quests to accomplish godly deeds in an evil world? Red crosses on pure white backgrounds? Orlando Bloom?

This is not surprising. A quick look at our pop culture and politics in the West reveals a continued fascination with the crusades. Compared with popular representations, the historical reality is more complicated and often less heroic.

How do we define the crusades?

Imagine a man-at-arms in the French city of Clermont in 1095. He is listening to Pope Urban II—the only pope he has ever seen in person!—speak passionately about the need to fight in the Holy Land. His lord is persuaded, and gathers his men and resources. The man-at-arms says goodbye to his family, and departs in 1096 on years of painful journeying and military campaigns. He dies of starvation at Antioch, never seeing Jerusalem. His family never knows his fate. This was crusading.

Now imagine Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily. Frederick regains Jerusalem from the Muslims without waging war—it helps that he knows Arabic. He is crowned the King of Jerusalem in 1229, but returns to Europe to find the pope waging war on his lands. This, too, was crusading—at least it was for some, though others, like the pope, disagreed.

Finally, imagine an English knight in 1370. He plans to travel to northeastern Europe to fight non-Christians and help Christians there expand their territory. He will go for a season, enjoy feasting and knightly camaraderie, then return home and go back to his regular life, with his reputation enhanced by his trip. You guessed it: this was also crusading.

Crusading took many different forms, and attempting to precisely define crusading has engaged historians in intense debates for more than 150 years.

Scholarly debates

Most of the debates among scholars are concerned with identifying the key characteristics of a crusade. Some, for example, consider only expeditions aimed at Jerusalem or the Holy Land to be crusades. This approach is responsible for the traditional, numbered crusades (i.e., First Crusade, Second Crusade, etc.).

Others downplay the importance of a specific target, and emphasize instead characteristics related to authorization and procedure. These scholars would ask, did a pope authorize the expedition? Did participants take vows and receive certain legal and spiritual privileges? Taking this approach yields a larger number of crusades, spread over a larger geographical area and chronological range. At the same time, some question whether the role of authorities (i.e, the pope) determined a crusade as much as grassroots enthusiasm among ordinary people. These scholars would look, instead, for signs of mass popular support for an expedition. Still others assert that the characteristics of crusading were so diffuse throughout medieval culture that it is impossible and ultimately misleading to attempt to define what was or was not a crusade.

It is also fair to say that many scholars recognize that one can spend too much time seeking a meticulous definition, in essence missing the forest for the trees!

Outward signs

If crusading was so nebulous, how did potential participants know what a crusade was? Remember our man-at-arms in Clermont in 1095? He (and his lord) noticed preaching for a new expedition (perhaps emphasizing a papal proclamation, perhaps not), or heard people around him discussing it. Perhaps he also saw others taking public vows and wearing the sign of the cross on their garments. He may have learned of certain legal privileges designed to encourage participation and help protect property and families in the crusader’s absence. Or perhaps he heard of a papal promise of an indulgence (“indulgence” in this context simply means a spiritual benefit of some kind—the precise kind of indulgence offered for crusading changed over time).

Finally, our man-at-arms was interested in crusading, but for others, someone with authority over them (or someone they loved), may simply have told them it was happening or that they were going. Much like today, some people may have simply paid attention to their taxes at times, especially in the later Middle Ages, both the Church and secular authorities levied funds for new expeditions. Any or all of these factors may have caught people’s attention, especially if they came from a family or region with a tradition of crusade participation. Meanwhile, for those who were the targets of crusader violence, presumably the only sign needed was the sight of an approaching army bedecked with crosses.

Different points of view

While it’s valuable to seek to understand the crusades from the perspective of participants, it’s equally important to seek out different points of view. Internal criticism of the crusading movement was more limited than many today might expect. What criticisms existed were usually leveled at specific expeditions or participants, rather than at the idea of crusading in general or the underlying attitudes towards religion and violence that made crusading possible.

Muslim voices, whether in the Iberian Peninsula (what is now Spain and Portugal), the Levant (the eastern Mediterranean), or further afield, described the crusades in different ways—often as simple territorial expansion, religious warfare, or a combination of the two. Descriptions of the “Franks” themselves (as the crusaders were called) ranged from respect to ridicule to hostility.

Records from Jewish communities around the Mediterranean sometimes described an undiscriminating ferocity and zealous fervor held by many crusaders, a theme also underlined by Christians within Europe who did not conform to Church teachings, and thus were called “heretics.” Some accounts of the crusades from the Byzantine Empire (a medieval state based on the remains of the classical Roman Empire) emphasized the purported “barbarity” and relative naivete of the crusaders.


1,400 Years of Christian/Islamic Struggle: An Analysis

I was very disappointed to see that U.S. News would publish a clearly false article, adopting the world's clearly false, politically correct (PC) view of the place of the Crusades in history. What makes it even worse, the article hides its views under the additional headline falsehood, "The Truth About the Epic Clash Between Christianity and Islam."

The opening heading states, "During the Crusades, East and West first met." This is just totally in error, as any person with the slightest knowledge of history well knows. East and West had been fighting for at least 1,500 years before the first Crusade.

To give just a few examples -- the Persians invaded Europe in an attempt to conquer the Greeks in the fifth century B.C. The Greek, Alexander the Great, attempted to conquer all of Asia, as far as India, in the fourth century B.C. Both the Persians of the east and the Greeks of the west set up colonial empires founded upon bloody military conquest. The Romans established by bloody military conquest colonies in Mesopotamia, northwestern Arabia, and Assyria in the second century A.D.

A different type of bloody conquest occurred through the movement of whole tribal groups between the east and the west. Again, just to name a few, the Huns, the Goths, and the Avars came from as far away as western Asia, central Asia, and China respectively in the fifth through the seventh centuries A.D. Indeed, the Avars from northern China and Mongolia were besieging Constantinople in 626 A.D., at the very moment Mohammed was a merchant in Arabia. Indeed, the Avars, by this siege, were one of the forces that weakened the Byzantines (there were many other, perhaps more important, forces) to the extent that most of the Byzantine mid-eastern empire fell relatively easily to the Muslims.

But let's give the writer the benefit of the doubt and say that the author meant that "During the Crusades, Islam and Christianity first met." This, of course, is also totally false.

Let us review the Muslim conquest. In 624, Mohammed led a raid for booty and plunder against a Meccan caravan, killing 70 Meccans for mere material gain. Between 630 A.D. and the death of Mohammed in 632 A.D., Muslims -- on at least one occasion led by Mohammed -- had conquered the bulk of western Arabia and southern Palestine through approximately a dozen separate invasions and bloody conquests. These conquests were in large part "Holy wars," putting the lie to another statement in the U.S. News article that proclaimed the Crusades "The First Holy War," as if the Christians had invented the concept of a holy war. After Mohammed's death in 632, the new Muslim caliph, Abu Bakr, launched Islam into almost 1,500 years of continual imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquest and subjugation of others through invasion and war, a role Islam continues to this very day.

You will note the string of adjectives and may have some objection to my using them. They are used because they are the absolute truth. Anyone denying them is a victim of PC thinking, ignorant of history, or lying to protect Islam. Let us take each word separately before we proceed further in our true history of the relationship between the Christian west and the Islamic east.

Imperialistic

The Muslim wars of imperialist conquest have been launched for almost 1,500 years against hundreds of nations, over millions of square miles (significantly larger than the British Empire at its peak). The lust for Muslim imperialist conquest stretched from southern France to the Philippines, from Austria to Nigeria, and from central Asia to New Guinea. This is the classic definition of imperialism -- "the policy and practice of seeking to dominate the economic and political affairs of weaker countries."

Colonialist

The Muslim goal was to have a central government, first at Damascus, and then at Baghdad -- later at Cairo, Istanbul, or other imperial centers. The local governors, judges, and other rulers were appointed by the central imperial authorities for far off colonies. Islamic law was introduced as the senior law, whether or not wanted by the local people. Arabic was introduced as the rulers' language, and the local language frequently disappeared. Two classes of residents were established. The native residents paid a tax that their colonialist rulers did not have to pay.

Although the law differed in different places, the following are examples of colonialist laws to which colonized Christians and Jews were made subject to over the years:

  • Christians and Jews could not bear arms -- Muslims could
  • Christians and Jews could not ride horses -- Muslims could
  • Christians and Jews had to get permission to build -- Muslims did not
  • Christians and Jews had to pay certain taxes which Muslims did not
  • Christians could not proselytize -- Muslims could
  • Christians and Jews had to bow to their Muslim masters when they paid their taxes and
  • Christians and Jews had to live under the law set forth in the Koran, not under either their own religious or secular law.

In each case, these laws allowed the local conquered people less freedom than was allowed the conquering colonialist rulers. Even non-Arab Muslim inhabitants of the conquered lands became second class citizens behind the ruling Arabs. This is the classic definition of colonialist -- "a group of people who settle in a distant territory from the state having jurisdiction or control over it and who remain under the political jurisdiction of their native land."

We will talk about "bloody" as we proceed. Because the U.S. News article related only to the Christian west against the Muslim east, except in this paragraph I will not describe the almost 1,500 years of Muslim imperialistic, colonialist, bloody conquest and subjugation of others through invasion and war to the east of Arabia in Iraq, Persia, and much further eastward, which continues to this day.

In any event, because it was the closest geographically, Palestine was the first Western non-Arab area invaded in the Muslim imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquest and subjugation of others. At the time, Palestine was under the rule of the so-called Eastern Roman Empire, ruled from Istanbul by Greek speaking people, and was Eastern Orthodox Catholic. The Eastern Orthodox rule was despotic and the Eastern Roman Empire was in serious decline. The Eastern Orthodox rulers were despots, and in Palestine had subjugated the large population of local Jews and Monophysite Christians. Because the Orthodox were imperialist, colonialist, and bloody, and majored in religious persecution to boot, the Muslim imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquest and subjugation of Palestine, and then Egypt, was made easier. Because of Orthodox weakness and the relative speed of the conquest of Palestine and Israel, I have often seen this Muslim, imperialist, colonialist bloody conquest described by Muslim and PC writers as "peaceful" or "bloodless." This statement is simply not true.

The Muslim imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquest and subjugation of Palestine began with a battle, the August 20, 636, battle of Yarmk (it is believed that 75,000 soldiers took part -- hardly bloodless). With the help of the local Jews who welcomed the Muslims as liberators, the Muslims had subjugated the remainder of Palestine but had not been able to capture Jerusalem. Beginning in July 637, the Muslims began a siege of Jerusalem which lasted for five (hardly bloodless) months before Jerusalem fell in February 638. Arabs did not sack the city, and the Arab soldiers were apparently kept in tight control by their leaders. No destruction was permitted. This was indeed a triumph of civilized control, if imperialism, colonization, and bloody conquest can ever be said to be "civilized." It was at this conquest that many significant hallmarks of Muslim colonialism began. The conquered Christian and Jewish people were made to pay a tribute to the colonialist Muslims. In addition, Baghdad used the imperialist, colonialist, bloody wars of conquest throughout the life of its empire to provide the Caliphate with a steady stream of slaves, many of whom were made eunuchs.

The Muslim conquest of (Christian) North Africa went relatively easily until the native peoples of North Africa (most importantly the Berbers) were encountered west of Egypt. The North African people fought so strongly against the Muslims that the Muslim imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquest in the west was brought to an almost complete stop between Tripoli and Carthage for more than a quarter century. The Muslims broke through in a series of bloody battles followed by bloody (revenge) massacres of the Muslim's (largely Christian) opponents. This Muslim imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquest continued through North Africa and through what is now Spain, Portugal, and southern France, until they were stopped at the battle of Poiters (hardly bloodless) in the middle of France.

I believe that if I had the time, I could show that the Muslims, in their western imperialist, colonialist, bloody conquests, killed two to three times as many Christians as the Christians killed Muslims in all of the Crusades combined.

But let us return to Jerusalem.

The U.S. News article states that after Saladin conquered Jerusalem, "the victorious Saladin forbade acts of vengeance. There were no more deaths, no violence." True, as far as it goes. The article goes on to say, "most Muslims [will] tell you about Saladin and his generosity in the face of Christian aggression and hatred." Thus, the PC people and the Muslims ignore 450 years of prior Muslim aggression and approach the Crusades as being Christian or Western aggression against Islam, beginning out of the blue, without any prior history. Let us go back to the Muslim colonialist occupation of Jerusalem.

When we left our truthful history of Jerusalem, the Muslims, headquartered in Arabia, had just captured Jerusalem. For approximately 100 years, chiefly under the Umayyads, Jerusalem prospered under Muslim rule. Under the succeeding Abbasids, Jerusalem began to decline -- beginning at approximately 725 A.D. The occasion, among other things, was the decline of the central Muslim government, the breaking away from Arabia of far-flung provinces, the growth of warlike revolutionary groups, the growth of extremist Muslim sects, and, perhaps most important, the decision (relatively new) that Muslims had an obligation to convert all Christians and Jews (and "other pagans") to Islam. Thereafter, the true colonial nature of Jerusalem became more apparent. The Abbasids drained wealth from Jerusalem to Baghdad for the benefit of the caliphs, and Jerusalem declined economically. The language of the government became Arabic, and forcible conversion to Islam became the Muslim policy.

In approximately 750, the Caliph destroyed the walls of Jerusalem, leaving it defenseless (they were later rebuilt, in time to defend against the Crusaders). The history of the following three hundred years is too complex and too tangled to describe in a single paragraph. Jerusalem and its Christian and Jewish majority suffered greatly during alternating periods of peace and war. Among the happenings were repeated Muslim destruction of the countryside of Israel (970-983, and 1024-1077) of Jerusalem the wholesale destruction by the Muslims of Christian churches -- sometimes at the direct order of the Caliph, as in 1003, and sometimes by Muslim mobs the total destruction of Jerusalem by the Caliph of Cairo in the early 1020s building small mosques on the top of Christian churches enforcing the Muslim laws limiting the height of Christian churches attacking and robbing Christian pilgrims from Europe attacking Christian processions in the streets of Jerusalem etc.

Why the change after nearly 100 years of mostly peaceful Muslim rule? From what I read, there is a general view among the historians that the caliphs had begun to add a religious importance to their conquests, setting conversion to Islam as an important priority their later caliphs had no first-hand remembrance of Mohammed the vast distances of the empire led to independent rulers being established in Spain, North Africa, Cairo, Asia Minor, etc. and the instability of the caliphates and resulting civil wars.

The point about conversion to Islam I find particularly interesting. Many historians believe that the first one hundred years of Muslim conquest were imperialist and colonialist only with little significant forced conversion content. With respect to Jerusalem, there was a particular problem in the fact that generally the Christians and their churches (and to a lesser degree, the Jews) were significantly wealthier than the Muslims. This was largely because beginning in the early 800s with Charlemaigne, Europe adopted a sort of prototype "foreign aid" program for the churches located at the holy places in Jerusalem, where, to the embarrassment of the Muslims, Christian churches and monasteries outshone their Muslim rivals. Many of these churches and monasteries were run by western religious orders reporting directly to Rome under western leaders appointed by Rome (more were subject to Constantinople). Literally thousands of European Christian pilgrims made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem from such places as Germany, France, and Hungary (particularly in the years 1000, 1033, 1064, and 1099). Finally, Muslim rulers and European rulers frequently sought to enter into treaties of support with each other. As a result, Christian churches became the target of Muslims when enemies of those with whom there were European ties were victorious in a civil war. From time to time, Christian churches were rebuilt with Muslim funds when pro-western rulers came to power.

So much for the PC, U.S. News, Muslim outright lie that begins with the statement, "During the Crusades, East and West first met," and that later in the article called the Crusades, "the first major clash between Islam and Western Christendom." What about the long, prior conquest by Islam of Spain and Portugal? What about the battle of Portiers?

The following is just an aside, which I cannot prove, but I have noticed that PC and Muslim statements frequently cut off history when it is not in their favor. Thus, the article gives credence to the widespread belief in Islam that east-west history began with the Crusades. See also as an example of this tendency to begin history where it is convenient, today's Muslim description of the current Israeli occupation of the West Bank without mentioning the fact that the current occupation was caused by the widespread cold-blooded murder of Israeli civilians by Muslims.

But let us move on to the Crusades themselves.

The Crusades

First, a word about my personal view of the Crusades. I believe that the murderous and pillaging acts of the Crusaders when they entered Jerusalem were barbaric, unchristian, and evil. This is particularly so as those barbaric, unchristian, and evil acts were carried on in the name of a religion of peace, love, and forgiveness. I believe that the vast bulk of thinking Christians agree with me. I cite as evidence the large numbers of Christians who have recently taken long pilgrimages in the footsteps of the Crusaders, repenting for the Crusader's acts, seeking for forgiveness, and giving penance for the Crusader's barbaric, unchristian, and evil acts.

A question occurs to me here. How many Muslim groups have taken long pilgrimages in the footsteps of the Muslim conquest repenting, seeking for forgiveness, and giving penance for the Muslims imperialist, colonialist, and bloody conquest of Palestine, Egypt, Syria, North Africa, and Spain? This is particularly important as the U.S. News article claims, "For [Muslims] imperialism is a dirty word" Where is Muslim repentance for its imperialism, geographically the largest in all of history, which permits Muslims to call Western imperialism a dirty word?

Let us rewrite the beginning of the U.S. News article as follows: "In 1095, after suffering from the murderous invasions of Muslim conquerors who killed tens of thousands of Christians through four-and-one-half centuries of Muslim imperialist, colonialist conquest, made slaves and eunuchs of Christians for the pleasure of the caliphs, burned down or sacked the holiest churches in Christendom, robbed and killed thousands of Christians on holy pilgrimage, brutally sacked and pillaged Jerusalem, and pillaged the countryside of Israel, western Europe, under the leadership of the Pope, decided to free the people of the Holy Land from their brutal masters and reclaim Christianity's holiest places for free Christian worship."

Now, I fully realize that the previous paragraph is one-sided, that the six centuries of Muslim colonial, imperialist occupation were more complex than are shown in the previous paragraphs, and that the Christians were not always blameless, little babes. However, the previous paragraph has the benefit of not being an outright lie, which is more than I can say for the U.S. News article.

To beat the dog one more time, you may have noted that I stated above that Muslim imperialism has continued until the present. Muslim imperialism has continued without any let-up from ten years before Mohammed's death until today.

Consider the Ottoman invasion of Christian Eastern Europe in which the Ottoman Empire invaded the west and conquered and colonized Greece, all of the Balkans, Romania, Bessarabia, and Hungary, and was stopped only at the outskirts of Vienna in 1529. Consider also the Muhgal conquest of Northern India in the early 1600s. But today? Of course! In the 20th century alone:

1. Muslim Turkey has expelled approximately 1,500,000 Greeks from its empire in the east and replaced them with Turks. They have massacred approximately 2 million Armenians and replaced them with Turks in the west.

2. Muslim Turkey has invaded and occupied northern Cyprus, displacing the Greeks living there.

3. Muslim northern Sudan has conquered much of southern Sudan, literally enslaving its Christian and pagan population.

4. Indonesian imperialism has occupied all of non-Islamic western New Guinea and incorporated into Indonesia.

5. Muslim Indonesia has invaded and conquered Christian East Timor with horrible loss of life.

6. This very day, Muslim Indonesia is attempting to destroy Christianity in what used to be called the Celebes.

7. A half-dozen Arab countries have fought two to four wars (depending how you count) in an attempt to destroy Israel and occupy its territory, and is currently continuing the attempt this very day with the publicly voted consent of 55 of the world's 57 Islamic nations.

8. For no good reason, Muslim Libya has blown up western aircraft, killing many civilians.

9. Muslim Iraq, in an imperialist war of aggression, invaded and occupied Muslim Kuwait.

10. Muslim Iraq, in an imperialist act of aggression, invaded Muslim Iran with a resulting (some estimates say) death of 2 million people.

11. Muslim Albania, this very minute, is attempting to enlarge its borders at Christian Macedonia's expense.

12. Muslim Northern Nigeria has been (and is currently) an aggressor against the Christian south.

13. Muslims expelled approximately 800,000 Jews from their homelands between 1947 and 1955.

14. During Jordan's occupation of the West Bank, the kingdom undertook an unsuccessful attempt to make Jerusalem a Muslim city by forcing out approximately 10,000 Christian inhabitants.

Yes, I know that the reverse has been true. For example, Christian Serbia entered and massacred Bosnian Muslims. The western response was instructive. The west sent troops to protect the Muslims. Serbia gave up its leader to be tried for the crime by an international panel. Will Indonesia do the same with respect to Timor? Or Sudan with respect to southern Sudan?

Question: What is the title of the shortest book in the world? Answer: "The list of Muslim nations who have risked the lives of their soldiers to protect (as with the U.S. protection of Muslims in Kuwait) Christian or Jewish citizens from Muslim imperialism."

Yes, I also know that in the 20th century the west fought two of the bloodiest wars in history. But in the past more than 55 years, the west has developed methods that have led to peace among the west, and all but totally ended western imperialism and colonialism. With former colonies having a large majority in the UN, and the example of the west before it, Islam has continued its imperialist, colonial, bloody wars unabated.

One final point. Muslims base their claim to the city of Jerusalem upon the belief that Jerusalem has been a Muslim city for centuries. It may be that Muslims were never a majority in Jerusalem. We cannot prove this for all time periods, but we know that Muslims were a minority in the first several centuries after the Muslim imperialist conquest and during the century of Christian occupation during the Crusades. And we know that in the Middle Ages, Jerusalem was not considered important to the Muslims, but it was to the Christians and Jews. The Muslims made cities other than Jerusalem the capital of their Palestinian colony. Many Caliphs never even visited Jerusalem. Therefore, there was a steady stream of Jewish and Christian (but not Muslim) immigrants into Jerusalem throughout the Middle Ages, including a major immigration of Karaite Jews in the late eighth and early ninth centuries, and a steady stream of Armenians for hundreds of years, until there were so many Armenians that an Armenian Quarter was established in Jerusalem. Finally, we know that for at least more than the last 160 years, Muslims were a clear minority in Jerusalem. The Muslim Ottomans, and then the British and Israelis, kept careful census record showing the following percentages of Muslim population in Jerusalem:


Watch the video: German Medieval Crusader Song - Palästinalied