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the Crusades (Original)

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Ceneca
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« Reply #75 on: December 31, 2007, 01:07:18 am »

Brooke

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   posted 11-28-2005 08:23 PM                       
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Hi Ishtar,

You made some pretty good points about the causes of the Crusades, but don't you think you're getting a bit carried away by saying that the Crusaders weren't religious zealots? I mean, come on, when the Crusaders first retook Jerusalem, they killed every man, woman and child they found there, by some estimates, about 30,000!

And, from what I've seen, it was about money just as much as religion, if not more, sort of like we're doing today.

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"The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is that it can be comprehended." - Albert Einstein

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Ceneca
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« Reply #76 on: December 31, 2007, 01:07:40 am »

Rachel Dearth

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   posted 11-28-2005 11:31 PM                       
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I don't know what the exact figures are, but I actually agree with a lot of what Ishtar posted. It's fashionable these days to paint the Muslims as victims, but most of the lands that are like that these days because they were conquered. Nothing more. You can say what you want about Christianity, but at least it wasn't spread like that.

I have no respect for Islam. I think it's a hypocritical religion that demeans women and is stuck in the past. Fundamentalists of both sides suck, though, make no mistake. Like others here, I believe religion has no right in the business of government.
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Ceneca
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« Reply #77 on: December 31, 2007, 01:08:24 am »

 
Ishtar

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  posted 11-29-2005 07:57 AM                       
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Timeline of the Crusades: Before the Crusades 350 - 1095
0355 After removing a Roman temple from the site (possibly the Temple of Aphrodite built by Hadrian), Constantine I has the Church of the Holy Sepulcher constructed in Jerusalem. Built around the excavated hill of the Crucifixion, legend has it that Constantine's mother Helena discovered the True Cross here.
0613 Persians capture Damascus and Antioch.
0614 Persians sack Jerusalem. damaging the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the process.
0633 Muslims conquer Syria and Iraq.
0634 - 0644 Umar (c. 0591 - 0644) reigns as the second caliph.
0635 Muslims begin the conquest of Persia and Syria.
0635 Arab Muslims capture the city of Damascus from the Byzantines.
August 20, 0636 Battle of Yarmuk (also: Yarmuq, Hieromyax): Following the Muslim capture of Damascus and Edessa, Byzantine Emperor Heraclius organizes a large army which manages to take back control of those cities. However, Byzantine commander, Baänes is soundly defeated by Muslim forces under Khalid ibn Walid in a battle in the valley of the Yarmuk River outside Damascus. This leaves all of Syria open to Arab domination.
0637 The Arabs occupy the Persian capital of Ctesiphon. By 0651, the entire Persian realm would come under the rule of Islam and continued its westward expansion.
0637 Syria is conquered by Muslim forces.
0637 Jerusalem falls to invading Muslim forces.
0638 Caliph Umar I enters Jerusalem.
0639 Muslims conquer Egypt and Persia.
0641 Islam spreads into Egypt. The Catholic Archbishop invites Muslims to help free Egypt from Roman oppressors.
0641 Under the leadership of Abd-al-Rahman, Muslims conquer southern areas of Azerbaijan, Daghestan, Georgia, and Armenia.
0641 Under the leadership of Amr ibn al-As, Muslims conquer the Byzantine city of Alexandria in Egypt. Amr forbids the looting of the city and proclaims freedom of worship for all. According to some accounts, he also has what was left of the Great Library burned the following year. Al-As creates the first Muslim city in Egypt, al-Fustat, and builds there the first mosque in Egypt.
0644 Muslim leader Umar dies and is succeeded by Caliph Uthman, a member of the Umayyad family that had rejected Muhammad's prophesies. Rallies arise to support Ali, Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, as caliph. Uthman launches invasions to the west into North Africa.
0649 Muawiya I, a member of the Umayyad family, leads a raid against Cyprus, sacking the capital Salamis-Constantia after a short siege and pillaging the rest of the island.
0652 Sicily is attacked by Muslims coming out of Tunisia (named Ifriqiya by the Muslims, a name later given to the entire continent of Africa).
0653 Muawiya I leads a raid against Rhodes, taking the remaining pieces of the Colossus of Rhodes (one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world) and shipping it back to Syria to be sold as scrap metal.
0654 Muawiya I conquers Cyprus and stations a large garrison there. The island would remain in Muslim hands until 0966.
0655 Battle of the Masts: In one of the only Muslim naval victories in the entire history of Islam, Muslim forces under the command of Uthman bin Affan defeat Byzantine forces under Emperor Constant II. The battle takes place off the coast of Lycia and is an important stage in the decline of Byzantine power.
0661 - 0680 Mu'awiya, founder of the Umayyad dynasty, becomes the caliph and moves the capital from Mecca to Damascus.
0662 Egypt fell to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates until 868 CE. A year prior, the Fertile Crescent and Persia yielded to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, whose rule lasted until 1258 CE and 820 CE, respectively.
0667 Sicily is attacked by Muslims coming out of Tunisia.
0668 First Siege of Constantinople: This attack lasts off and on for seven years, with the Muslim forces generally spending the winters on the island of Cyzicus, a few miles south of Constantinople, and only sailing against the city during the spring and summer months. The Greeks are able to fend off repeated attacks with a weapon desperately feared by the Arabs: Greek Fire. It burned through ships, shields, and flesh and it could not be put out once it started. Muawiyah has to send emissaries to Byzantine Emperor Constans to beg him to let the survivors return home unimpeded, a request that is granted in exchange for a yearly tribute of 3,000 pieces of gold, fifty slaves, and fifty Arab horses.
0669 The Muslim conquest reaches to Morocco in North Africa. The region would be open to the rule of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates until 800 CE.
0672 Muslims under Mauwiya I capture the island of Rhodes.
0674 Arab conquest reaches the Indus River.
August 23, 0676 Birth of Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer) in Herstal, Wallonia, Belgium, as the illegitimate son of Pippin II. Serving as Mayor of the Palace of the kingdom of the Franks, Charles would lead a force of Christians that turn back a Muslim raiding party near Poitiers (or Tours) which, according to many historians, would effectively halt the advance of Islam against Christianity in the West.
0677 Muslims send a large fleet against Constantinople in an effort to finally break the city, but they are defeated so badly through the Byzantine use of Greek Fire that they are forced to pay an indemnity to the Emperor.
0680 Birth of Leo III the Isaurian, Byzantine Emperor, along the Turkish-Syrian border in the Syrian province of Commagene. Leo's tactical skills would be responsible for turning back the second Arab Muslim siege of Constantinople in 0717, shortly after he is elected emperor.
0688 Emperor Justinian II and Caliph al-Malik sign a peace treaty making Cyprus neutral territory. For the next 300 years, Cyprus is ruled jointly by both the Byzantines and the Arabs despite the continuing warfare between them elsewhere.
0691 Birth of Hisham, 10th caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. It is under Hisham that Muslim forces would make their deepest incursions into Western Europe before being stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 0732.
0698 Muslims capture Carthage in North Africa.
0700 Muslims from Pamntelleria raid the island of Sicily.
0711 With the further conquest of Egypt, Spain and North Africa, Islam included all of the Persian empire and most of the old Roman world under Islamic rule. Muslims began the conquest of Sindh in Afghanistan.
April 0711 Tariq ibn Malik, a Berber officer, crosses the strait separating Africa and Europe with a group of Muslims and enters Spain (al-Andalus, as the Muslims called it, a word is etymologically linked to "Vandals"). The first stop in the Muslim conquest of Spain is at the foot of a mountain that comes to be called Jabel Tarik, the Mountain of Tarik. Today it is known as Gibraltar. At one time the Berbers had been Christians but they recently converted in large numbers to Islam after the Arab conquest of North Africa.
July 19, 0711 Battle of Guadalete: Tariq ibn Ziyad kills King Rodrigo (or Roderic), Visigoth ruler of Spain, at the Guadalete River in the south of the Iberian peninsula. Tariq ibn Ziyad had landed at Gibraltar with 7,000 Muslims at the invitation of heirs of the late Visigoth King Witica (Witiza) who wanted to get rid of Rodrigo (this group includes Oppas, the bishop of Toledo and primate of all Spain, who happens to be the brother of the late king Witica). Ziyad, however, refuses to turn control of the region back over to the heirs of Witica. Almost the entire Iberian peninsula would come under Islamic control by 0718 CE.
0712 Muslim governor of Northern Africa Musa ibn Nusayr follows Tariq ibn Ziyad with an army of 18,000 as reinforcements for the conquest of Andalusia. Musa's father had been a Catholic Yemenite studying to be a priest in Iraq when he was captured in Iraq by Khalid, the "Sword of Islam," and forced to choose between conversion or death. This invasion of Iraq had been one of the last military orders given by Muhammed before his death.
0714 Birth of Pippin III (Pippin the Short) in Jupille (Belgium). Son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne, in 0759 Pippin would capture Narbonne, the last Muslim stronghold in France, and thereby drive Islam out of France.
0715 By this year just about all of Spain is in Muslim hands. The Muslim conquest of Spain only took around three years but the Christian reconquest would require around 460 years (it might have gone faster had the various Christian kingdoms not been at each other' throats much of the time). Musa's son, Abd el-Aziz, is left in charge and makes his capital the city of Seville, where he married Egilona, widow of king Rodrigo. Caliph Suleiman, a paranoid ruler, would have el-Aziz assassinated and sends Musa into exile in his native Yemen village to live out his days as a beggar.
0716 Lisbon is captured by Muslims.
0717 Cordova (Qurtuba) becomes the capital of Muslim holdings in Andalusia (Spain).
0717 Leo the Isaurian, born along the Turkish-Syrian border in the Syrian province of Commagene, revolts against the usurper Theodosius III and assumes the throne of the Byzantine Empire.
August 15, 0717 Second Siege of Constantinople: Taking advantage of the civil unrest in the Byzantine Empire, Caliph Sulieman sends 120,000 Muslims under the command of his brother, Moslemah, to launch the second siege of Constantinople. Another force of around 100,000 Muslims with 1,800 galleys soon arrives from Syria and Egypt to assist. Most of these reinforcements are quickly destroyed with Greek Fire. Eventually the Muslims outside Constantinople begin to starve and, in the winter, they also begin to freeze to death. Even the Bulgarians, usually hostile to the Byzantines, send a force to destroy Muslim reinforcements marching from Adrianopolis.
August 15, 0718 Muslims abandon their second siege of Constantinople. Their failure here leads to the weakening of the Umayyad government, in part because of the heavy losses. It is estimated that of the 200,000 soldiers who besieged Constantinople, only around 30,000 made it home. Although the Byzantine Empire also sustains heavily casualties and loses most its territory south of the Taurus Mountains, by holding the line here they prevent a disorganized and militarily inferior Europe from having to confront a Muslim invasion along the shortest possible route. Instead, the Arabic invasion of Europe must proceed along the longer path across northern Africa and into Spain, a route which prevents quick reinforcement and ultimately proves ineffective.
0719 Muslims attack Septimania in southern France (so named because it was the base of operations for Rome's Seventh Legion) and become established in the region known as Languedoc, made famous several hundred years later as the center of the Cathar heresy.
July 09, 0721 A Muslim army under the command of Al-Semah and that had crossed the Pyrenees is defeated by the Franks near Toulouse. Al-Semah is killed and his remaining forces, which had previously conquered Narbonne, are forced back across the Pyrenees into Spain.
0722 Battle of Covadonga: Pelayo, (0690-0737) Visigoth noble who had been elected the first King of Asturias (0718-0737), defeats a Muslim army at Alcama near Covadonga. This is generally regarded as the first real Christian victory over the Muslims in the Reconquista.
0724 Hisham becomes the 10th caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. It is under Hisham that Muslim forces make their deepest incursions into Western Europe before being stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 0732.
0724 Under the command of Ambissa, Emir of Andalusia, Muslim forces raid southern France and capture the cities of Carcassone and Nimes. Primary targets in these and other raids are churches and monasteries where the Muslims take away holy objects and enslave or kill all the clerics.
0725 Muslim forces occupied Nimes, France.
0730 Muslim forces occupy the French cities of Narbonne and Avignon.
October 10, 0732 Battle of Tours: With perhaps 1,500 soldiers, Charles Martel halts a Muslim force of around 40,000 to 60,000 cavalry under Abd el-Rahman Al Ghafiqi from moving farther into Europe. Many regard this battle as being decisive in that it saved Europe from Muslim control. Gibbon wrote: "A victorious line of march had been prolonged above a thousand miles from the rock of Gibraltar to the banks of the Loire; the repetition of an equal space would have carried the Saracens to the confines of Poland and the Highlands of Scotland; the Rhine is not more impassable than the Nile or Euphrates, and the Arabian fleet might have sailed without a naval combat into the mouth of the Thames. Perhaps the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Muhammed." Others, though, argue that the battle's importance has been exaggerated. The names of Tours, Poitiers, and Charles Martel do not appear in the Arab histories. They list the battle under the name Balat al-Shuhada, the Highway of Martyrs, and is treated as a minor engagement.
0735 Muslim invaders capture the city of Arles.
0737 Charles Martel sends his brother, Childebrand, to lay siege to Avignon and drive out the Muslim occupiers. Childebrand is successful and, according to records, has all the Muslims in the city killed.
0739 Already having retaken Narbonne, Beziers, Montpellier, and Nimes during the previous couple of years, Childebrand captures Marseille, one of the largest French cities still in Muslim hands.
June 08, 0741 Death of Leo III the Isaurian, Byzantine Emperor. Leo's tactical skills were responsible for turning back the second Arab Muslim siege of Constantinople in 0717, shortly after he was elected emperor.
October 22, 0741 Death of Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer) in at Quierzy (today the Aisne county in the Picardy region of France). As Mayor of the Palace of the kingdom of the Franks, Charles had led a force of Christians that turned back a Muslim raiding party near Poitiers (or Tours) which, according to many historians, effectively halted the advance of Islam against Christianity in the West.
April 04, 0742 Birth of Charlemagne, founder of the Frankish Empire.
0743 Death of Hisham, 10th caliph of the Umayyad Dynasty. It was under Hisham that Muslim forces made their deepest incursions into Western Europe before being stopped by Charles Martel at the Battle of Poitiers in 0732.
0750 The Arabian Nights, a compilation of stories written under the reign of the Abbasids, became representative of the lifestyle and administration of this Persian influenced government.
0750 - 0850 The Four Orthodox Schools of Islamic Law were established.
0750 The Abbasids assume control of the Islamic world (except Spain, which falls under the control of a descendant of the Umayyad family) and moved the capital to Baghdad in Iraq. The Abbasid Caliphate would last until 1258.
September 0755 Abd al-Rahman of the Umayyad dynasty flees to Spain to escape the Abbasids and would be responsible for creating the "Golden Caliphate" in Spain.
0756 The Emirate of Cordova is established by Umayyad refugee Abd al-Rahman I in order to revive the defeated Umayyad caliphate which had been destroyed in 0750 by the Abbasids. Cordova would become independent of the Abbasid Empire and represents the first major political division within Islam. The political and geographic isolation of the Cordova Caliphate would make it easier for Christians to decisively conquer it despite their failures elsewhere, although this would not be completed until 1492.
0759 Arabs lose the city of Narbonne, France, their furthest and last conquest into Frankish territory. In capturing this city Pippin III (Pippin the Short) ends the Muslim incursions in France.
0768 Pepin's son, Carolus Magnus (Charlemagne), succeeded his father and became one of the most important European rulers of medieval history.
September 24, 0768 Death of Pippin III (Pippin the Short) at Saint Denis. Son of Charles Martel and father of Charlemagne, in 0759 Pippin captured Narbonne, the last Muslim stronghold in France, and thereby drove Islam out of France.
0778 Charlemagne, King of the Franks and soon-to-be Holy Roman Emperor, is invited by a group of Arab leaders in northeastern Spain to attack Abd al-Rahman I, ruler of the Emirate of Cordova. Charlemagne obliges them, but is forced to retreat after only getting as far as Saragossa. It is during his march back through the Pyrenees that his forces are set upon by Basques. Among the many who die is the war leader Roland from Breton, killed in Roncevalles, whose memory has been preserved in the "Chanson de Roland," an important epic poem during the Middle Ages.
0785 The Great Mosque in Cordoba, in Muslim controlled Spain, was built.
0787 Danes invade England for the first time.
0788 Death of Abd al-Rahman I, founder of the Umayyad Emirate of Cordova. His successor is Hisham I.
0792 Hisham I, emir of Cordova, calls for a Jihad against the infidels in Andalusia and France. Tens of thousands from as far away as Syria heed his call and cross the Pyrennes to subjugate France. Cities like Narbonne are destroyed, but the invasion is ultimately hated at Carcassone.
0796 Death of Hisham I, emir of Cordova. His successor is his son, al-Hakam, who would keep up the jihad against the Christians but would also be forced to contend with rebellion at home.
0799 The Basques rise in revolt and kill the local Muslim governor of Pamplona.
0800 North Africa falls under the rule of the Aghlabi dynasty of Tunis, which would last until 0909 CE.
0800 - 1200 Jews experience a "golden age" of creativity and toleration in Spain under Moorish (Muslim) rule.
0800 Ambassadors of Caliph Harunu r-Rashid give keys to the Holy Sepulcher to the Frankish king, thus acknowledging some Frankish control over the interests of Christians in Jerusalem.
0801 Vikings begin selling slaves to Muslims.
0806 Hien Tsung becomes the Emperor of China. During his reign a shortage of copper leads to the introduction of paper money.
0813 Muslims attack the Civi Vecchia near Rome.
April 04, 0814 Death of Charlemagne, founder of the Frankish Empire.
0816 With the support of Moors, the Basques revolt against the Franks in Glascony.
0822 Death of Al-Hakam, emir of Cordova. He is succeeded by Abd al-Rahman II.
June 0827 Sicily is invaded by Muslims who, this time, are looking to take control of the island rather than simply taking away booty. They are initially aided by Euphemius, a Byzantine naval commander who is rebelling against the Emperor. Conquest of the island would require 75 years of hard fighting.
0831 Muslim invaders capture the Sicilian city of Palermo and make it their capital.
0835 Birth of Ahmad Ibn Tultun, founder of the Tulunid Dynasty in Egypt. Originally sent there as a deputy by the Abbasid Caliphate, Tultun will establish himself as an independent power in the region, extending his control as far north as Syria. It is under Tultun that the Great Mosque of Cairo is built.
0838 Muslim raiders sack Marseille.
0841 Muslim forces capture Bari, principle Byzantine base in southeastern Italy.
0846 Muslim raiders sail a fleet of ships from Africa up the Tiber river and attack outlying areas around Ostia and Rome. Some manage to enter Rome and damage the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul. Not until Pope Leo IV promises a yearly tribute of 25,000 silver coins do the raiders leave. The Leonine Wall is built in order to fend off further attacks such as this.
0849 Battle of Ostia: Aghlabid monarch Muhammad sends a fleet of ships from Sardinia to attack Rome. As the fleet prepares to land troops, the combination of a large storm and an alliance of Christian forces were able to destroy the Muslims ships.
0850 The Acropolis of Zimbabwe was built in Rhodesia.
0850 Perfectus, a Christian priest in Muslim Cordova, is executed after he refuses to retract numerous insults he made about the Prophet Muhammed. Numerous other priests, monks, and laity would follow as Christians became caught up in a zest for martyrdom.
0851 Abd al-Rahman II has eleven young Christians executed in the city of Cordova after they deliberately seek out martyrdom by insulting the Prophet Muhammed.
0852 Death of Abd al-Rahman II, emir of Cordova.
0858 Muslim raiders attack Constantinople.
0859 Muslim invaders capture the Sicilian city of Castrogiovanni (Enna), slaughtering several thousand inhabitants.
0863 Under Cyril (0826 - 0869) and Methodius (c. 0815 - 0885) the conversion of Moravia begins. The two brothers were sent by the patriarch of Constantinople to Moravia, where the ruler, Rostilav, decreed in 863 that any preaching done had to be in the language of the people. As a result, Cyril and Methodius developed the first usable alphabet for the Slavic tongue - thus, the Cyrillic alphabet.
0866 Emperor Louis II travels from Germany to southern Italy to battle the Muslim raiders causing trouble there.
0868 The Sattarid dynasty, whose rule would continue until 0930 CE, extended Muslim control throughout most of Persia. In Egypt, the Abbasid and Umayyad caliphates ended and the Egyptian-based Tulunid dynasty took over (lasting until 904 CE).
0869 Arabs capture the island of Malta.
0870 After a month-long siege, the Sicilian city of Syracuse is captured by Muslim invaders.
0871 King Alfred the Great of England created a system of government and education which allowed for the unification of smaller Anglo-Saxon states in the ninth and tenth centuries.
0874 Iceland is colonized by Vikings from Norway.
0876 Muslims pillage Campagna in Italy.
0879 The Seljuk Empire unites Mesopotamia and a large portion of Persia.
0880 Under Emperor Basil, the Byzantines recapture lands occupied by Arabs in Italy.
0884 Death of Ahmad Ibn Tultun, founder of the Tulunid Dynasty in Egypt. Originally sent there as a deputy by the Abbasid Caliphate, Tultun established himself as an independent power in the region, extending his control as far north as Syria. It is under Tultun that the Great Mosque of Cairo is built.
0884 Muslims invading Italy burn the monastery of Monte Cassino to the ground.
0898 Birth of Abd al-Rahman III, generally regarded as the greatest of the Umayyad caliphs in Andalusia. Under his rule, Cordova would become one of the most powerful centers of Islamic learning and power.
0900 The Fatimids of Egypt conquered north Africa and included the territory as an extension of Egypt until 0972 CE.
0900 Mayans emigrate to the Yucatan Peninsula.
0902 The Muslim conquest of Sicily is completed when the last Christian stronghold, the city of Taorminia, is captured. Muslim rule of Sicily would last for 264 years.
0905 The Tulunid Dynasty in Egypt is destroyed by an Abbasid army sent to reestablish control over the region of Egypt and Syria.
0909 Sicily came under the control of the Fatimids' rule of North Africa and Egypt until 1071 CE. From 0878 until 0909 CE, their rule of Sicily was uncertain.
0909 The Fatimid Dynasty assumes control of Egypt. Claiming descent from Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammed, and Ali bin Abi Talib, the Fatimids would rule Egypt until being overthrown by the Auyybids and Saladin in 1171.
0911 Muslims control all the passes in the Alps between France and Italy, cutting off passage between the two countries.
0912 Abd al-Rahman III becomes the Umayyad Caliph in Andalusia.
0916 A combined force of Greek and German emperors and Italian city-states defeat Muslim invaders at Garigliano, putting Muslim raids in Italy to an end.
0920 Muslim forces cross the Pyrenees, enter Gascony, and reach as far as the gates of Toulouse.
0929 Abd al-Rahman III transforms the Emirate of Cordova into and independent caliphate no longer under even theoretical control from Baghdad.
0935 - 0969 The rule of Egypt was under the Ikhidid dynasty.
0936 The Althing, the oldest body of representative government in Europe, is established in Iceland by the Vikings.
0939 Madrid is recaptured from Muslim forces.
0940 Hugh, count of Provence, gives his protection to Moors in St. Tropez if they agree to keep the Alpine passes closed to his rival, Berenger.
c. 0950 Catholicism becomes prevalent and dominant religion throughout Europe.
0950 According to traditional historiography, Europe enters Dark Ages.
0953 Emperor Otto I sends representatives to Cordova to ask Caliph Abd al-Rahman III to call off some Muslim raiders who had set themselves up in Alpine passes and are attacking merchant caravans going in and out of Italy.
0961 Death of Abd al-Rahman III, generally regarded as the greatest of the Umayyad caliphs in Andalusia. Under his rule, Cordova became one of the most powerful centers of Islamic learning and power. He is succeeded by Abdallah, a caliph who would kill many of his rivals (even family members) and has captured Christians decapitated if they refuse to convert to Christianity.
0961 Under the command of general Nicephorus Phokas, the Byzantines recapture Crete from Muslim rebels who had earlier fled Cordova.
0965 Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus Phokas reconquers Cyprus from the Muslims.
0965 Grenoble is recaptured from the Muslims.
0969 The Fatimid dynasty (Shi'ite) takes Egypt from the Ikshidids and assumes the title of caliphate in Egypt until 1171 CE.
0969 Byzantine Emperor Nicephorus II Phocas reconquers Antioch (modern Antakya, capital of the province Hatay) from the Arabs.
0972 The Fatimids of Egypt conquer north Africa.
0972 The Muslims in the Sisteron district of France surrender to Christian forces and their leader asks to be baptized.
0981 Eric the Red is exiled from Iceland and settles in a new land he called Greenland in order to attract settlers.
0981 Ramiro III, king of Leon, is defeated by Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir (Almanzor) at Rueda and is forced to begin paying tribute to the Caliph of Cordova.
0985 Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir sacks Barcelona
0994 The monastery of Monte Cassino is destroyed a second time by Arabs.
0995 Japanese literary and artistic golden age begins under Emperor Fujiwara Michinaga (ruled 0995 - 1028).
July 03, 0997 Under the leadership of Almanzor, Muslim forces march out of the city of Cordova and head north to capture Christian lands.
August 11, 0997 Muslim forces under Almanzor arrive at the city of Compostela. The city had been evacuated and Almanzor burns it to the ground.
0998 Venice conquers the Adriatic port of Zara. The Venetians would eventually lose the city to the Hungarians and, in 1202, they offer a deal to soldiers of the Fourth Crusade: capture the city again for them in exchange for passage to Egypt.
c. 1000 Chinese perfect the production and use of gunpowder.
1000 The Seljuk (Saljuq) Turkish Empire is founded by an Oghuz Turkish bey (chieftain) named Seljuk. Originally from the steppe country around the Caspian Sea, the Seljuks are the ancestors of the Western Turks, present-day inhabitants of Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
August 08, 1002 Death of Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir, ruler of Al-Andalus, on the way back from raiding the Rioja region.
1004 Arab raiders sack the Italian city of Pisa.
1007 Birth of Isaac I Comnenus, Byzantine emperor. Founder of the dynasty of the Comneni, Isaac's government reforms may have helped the Byzantine Empire last longer.
1009 The Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is destroyed by Muslim armies.
1009 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze sect and sixth Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, orders the Holy Sepulcher and all Christian buildings in Jerusalem be destroyed. In Europe a rumor develops that a "Prince of Babylon" had ordered the destruction of the Holy Sepulcher at the instigation of the Jews. Attacks on Jewish communities in cities like Rouen, Orelans, and Mainz ensue and this rumor helps lay the basis for massacres of Jewish communities by Crusaders marching to the Holy Land.
1009 Sulaimann, grandson of Abd al-Rahman III, returns over 200 captured fortresses to the Castilians in return for massive shipments of food for his army.
1012 Caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, founder of the Druze sect and sixth Fatimid Caliph in Egypt, orders the destruction of all Christian and Jewish houses of worship in his lands.
1012 Berber forces capture Cordova and order that half the population be executed.
1013 Jews are expelled from the Umayyad Caliphate of Cordova, then ruled by Sulaimann.
1015 Arab Muslim forces conquer Sardinia.
1016 The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is partially destroyed by earthquakes.
1020 Merchants from Amalfi and Salerno are granted permission by the Egyptian Caliph to build a hospice in Jerusalem. Out of this would eventually grow The Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (also known as: Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and most commonly as Knights Hospitaller).
1021 Caliph al-Hakim proclaimed himself to be divine and founded the Druze sect.
1022 Several Cathar heretics are discovered in Toulouse and put to death.
1023 Muslims expel the Berber rulers from Cordova and install Abd er-Rahman V as caliph.
1025 The power of the Byzantine Empire begins to decline.
1026 Richard II of Normandy leads a group of several hundred armed men on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the belief that the Day of Judgment had arrived. Turkish control of the region hampers their goals, however.
1027 The Frankish protectorate over Christian interests in Jerusalem is replaced by a Byzantine protectorate. Byzantine leaders begin the reconstruction of the Holy Sepulcher.
1029 Alp Arslan, "The Lion Hero," is born. Arslan is the son of Togrul Beg, conqueror of Baghdad who made himself ruler of the Caliphate, and great-grandson of Seljuk, founder of the Seljuk Turkish empire.
1031 The Moorish Caliphate of Córdoba falls.
1031 The emir of Aleppo has the Krak des Chevaliers contructed.
1033 Castile is retaken from the Arabs.
1035 The Byzantines make a landing in Sicily, but don't try to recapture the island from the Muslims.
1038 The Seljuk Turks become established in Persia.
1042 The rise of the Seljuk Turks begins.
1045 - 1099 1099 Life of Ruy Diaz de Vivar, known as El Cid (Arabic for "lord"), national hero of Spain. El Cid would become famous for his efforts to drive the Moors out of Spain.
May 18, 1048 Persian poet Umar Khayyam is born. His poem The Rubaiyat became popular in the West because of its use by Victorian Edward Fitzgerald.
1050 - 1200 The first agricultural revolution of Medieval Europe begins in 1050 CE with a shift to the northern lands for cultivation, a period of improved climate from 700 CE to 1200 CE in western Europe, and the widespread use and perfection of new farming devices. Technological innovations include the use of the heavy plow, the three-field system of crop rotation, the use of mills for processing cloth, brewing beer, crushing pulp for paper manufacture, and the widespread use of iron and horses. With an increase in agricultural advancements, Western towns and trade grow exponentially and Western Europe returns to a money economy.
1050 Duke Bohemond I (Bohemond Of Taranto, French Bohémond De Tarente), prince of Otranto (1089–1111) is born. One of the leaders of the First Crusade, Bohemond would be largely responsible for the capture of Antioch and he secures the title Prince of Antioch (1098 - 1101, 1103 - 04).
1050 Byzantine emperor Constantine IX Monomachos restores the complex of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.
1054 A famine in Egypt forces al Mustansir, 8th Fatimid caliph, to seek food and other commercial assistance from Italy and the Byzantine Empire.
July 16, 1054 Great Schism: The Western Christian Church, in an effort to further enhance its power, had tried to impose Latin rites on Greek churches in southern Italy in 1052; as a consequence, Latin churches in Constantinople were closed. In the end, this leads to the excommunication of Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople (who in turn excommunicates Pope Leo IX). Although generally regarded as a minor event at the time, today it is treated as the final event that sealed the Great Schism between Eastern and Western Christianity.
1055 Seljuk Turks capture Baghdad.
1056 The Almoravid (al-Murabitun) Dynasty begins its rise to power. Taking the name "those who line up in defense of the faith," this is a group of fanatical Berber Muslims who would rule North Africa and Spain until 1147.
1061 Roger Guiscard lands at Sicily with a large Norman force and captures the city of Masara. The Norman reconquest of Sicily would require another 30 years.
1063 Alp Arslan succeeds his father, Togrul Beg, as ruler of the Baghdad Caliphate and the Seljuk Turks.
1064 The Seljuk Turks conquer Christian Armenia.
September 29, 1066 William the Conqueror invades England and claims the English throne at the Battle of Hastings. Because William is both the King of England and the Duke of Normandy, The Norman Conquest fuses French and English cultures. The language of England evolves into Middle English with an English syntax and grammar and a heavily French vocabulary.
1067 Romanus IV Diogenes becomes the Byzantine Emperor.
1068 Alp Arslan invades the Byzantine Empire and is repulsed by Romanus IV Diogenes over the course of three campaigns. Not until 1070, though, would the Turks be driven back across the Euphrates river.
1070 Seljuk Turks capture Jerusalem from the Fatimids. Seljuk rule is not quite as tolerant as that of the Fatimids and Christian pilgrims begin returning to Europe with tales of persecution and oppression.
1070 Brother Gerard, a leader of the Benedictine monks and nuns who run the hospices in Jerusalem. beings to organize The Order of Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (also known as: Knights of Malta, Knights of Rhodes, and most commonly as Knights Hospitaller) as a more military force for the active protection of Christian pilgrims.
1071 Normans conquer the last Byzantine holdings in Italy.
1071 - 1085 Seljuk Turks conquer most of Syria and Palestine.
August 19, 1071 Battle of Manzikert: Alp Arslan leads an army of Seljuk Turks against the Byzantine Empire near Lake Van. Numbering perhaps as many as 100,000 men, the Turks take the fortresses of Akhlat and Manzikert before Byzantine Emperor Romanus IV Diogenes can respond. Although Diogenes is able to recapture Akhlat, the siege of Manzikert fails when a Turkish relief force arrives and Andronicus Ducas, an enemy of Romanus Diogenes, refuses to obey orders to fight. Diogenes himself is captured and released, but he would be murdered after his return to Constantinople. Partly because of the defeat at Manzikert and partly due to the civil wars following the murder of Digoenes, Asia Minor would be left open to Turkish invasion.
1072 Tancred of Hauteville is born. A grandson of Robert Guiscard and nephew of Bohemund of Taranto, Tancred would become a leader of the First Crusade and eventually regent of the Principality of Antioch.
December 15, 1072 Malik Shah I, son of Alp Arslan, succeeds his father as Seljuk Sultan.
1073 Seljuk Turks conquer Ankara.
July 1074 El Cid marries Jimena, niece of Alfonso IV of Castile and daughter of the Count of Oviedo.
1076 First recorded execution in England by the ax: the Earl of Huntingdon.
1078 Seljuk Turks capture Nicaea. It would change hands three more times, finally coming under control of the Turks again in 1086.
1079 Battle of Cabra: El Cid led his troops to a rout of Emir Abd Allah of Granada.
1080 Order of the Hospital of St. John is founded in Italy. This special order of knights was dedicated to guarding a pilgrim hospital, or hostel, in Jerusalem.
1080 An Armenian state is founded in Cilicia, a district on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor (Turkey), north of Cyprus, by refugees feeling the Seljuk invasion of their Armenian homeland. A Christian kingdom located in the midst of hostile Muslim states and lacking good relations with the Byzantine Empire, "Armenia Minor" would provide important assistance to Crusaders from Europe.
1081 - 1118 Alexius I Comnenus is Byzantine emperor.
1081 El Cid, now a mercenary because he had been exiled by Alfonso IV of Castile, enters the service of the Moorish king of the northeast Spanish city of Zaragosa, al-Mu'tamin, and would remain there for his successor, al-Mu'tamin II.
1082 Ibn Tumart, founder of the Amohad Dynasty, is born in the Atlas mountains.
1084 Seljuk Turks conquer Antioch, a strategically important city.
October 25, 1085 The Moors are expelled from Toledo, Spain, by Alfonso VI.
October 23, 1086 Battle of Zallaca (Sagrajas): Spanish forces under Alfonso VI of Castile are defeated by the Moors and their allies, the Almorivids (Berbers from Morocco and Algeria, led by Yusef I ibn Tashufin), thus preserving Muslim rule in al-Andalus. The slaughter of Spaniards was great and Yusef refused to abide by his agreement to leave Andalusia in the hands of the Moors. His intention was actually to make Andalusia an African colony ruled by the Almorivids in Morocco.
1087 After his crushing defeat at Zallaqa, Alfonso VI swallows his pride and recalls El Cid from exile.
September 13, 1087 Birth of John II Comnenus, Byzantine emperor.
1088 Patzinak Turks begin forming settlements between the Danube and the Balkans.
March 12, 1088 Urban II is elected pope. An active supporter of the Gregorian reforms, Urban would become responsible for launching the First Crusade.
1089 Byzantine forces conquer the island of Crete.
1090 Yusuf Ibn Tashfin, King of the Almoravids, captures Granada.
1091 The Normans recapture Sicily from the Muslims.
1091 Cordova (Qurtuba) is captured by the Almoravids.
1092 After the death of Seljuk Sultan (al-sultan , "the power") Malik Shah I, the capital of the Seljuks is moved from Iconjium to Smyrna and the empire itself dissolves into several smaller states.
May 1094 El Cid captures Valencia from the Moors, carving out his own kingdom along the Mediterranean that is only nominally subservient to Alfonso VI of Castile. Valencia would be both Christian and Muslim, with adherents of both religions serving in his army.
August 1094 The Almoravids from Morocco land near Cuarte and lay siege to Valencia with 50,000 men. El Cid, however, breaks the siege and forces the Amoravids to flee - the first Christian victory against the hard-fighting Africans.
November 18, 1095 Pope Urban II opens the Council of Clermont where ambassadors from the Byzantine emperor Alexius I Comnenus, asking help against the Muslims, were warmly received

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“Ad initio, alea iacta est.”
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
it's Later Than You Think
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« Reply #78 on: December 31, 2007, 01:13:13 am »

Ishtar

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While scriptural interpretation may seem like a remote and innocuous activity, close textual study of Jewish and Christian scripture played no small role in loosening the Church's domination on the intellectual and cultural life of Europe, and paving the way for unfettered secular thought. "The Muslims have the benefit of hindsight of the European experience, and they know very well that once you start questioning the holy scriptures, you don't know where it will stop," the scholar explained.

http://www.rim.org/muslim/qurancrit.htm

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“Ad initio, alea iacta est.”
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
it's Later Than You Think
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« Reply #79 on: December 31, 2007, 01:13:33 am »

 
Sarah

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Excellent timelines.
Ane we can see that those who just want to conentrate on the carnage broght about by the Crusades are perhaps forgetting all the years of bloodshed that came beforehand.

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"If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand fail..." - King David, Psalms 137:5

http://www.zwoje-scrolls.com/shoah/index.html

http://www.holocaustchronicle.org/

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« Reply #80 on: December 31, 2007, 01:15:20 am »

Rachel Dearth

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Finding the True Cross
Eusebius describes in his Life of Constantine [1] how the site of the Holy Sepulchre, originally a site of veneration for the Christian community in Jerusalem, had been covered with earth and a temple of Venus had been built on top — although Eusebius does not say as much, this would probably have been done as part of Hadrian's reconstruction of Jerusalem as Aelia Capitolina in 135, following the destruction of the Jewish Revolt of 70 and Bar Kokhba's revolt of 132–135. Following his conversion to Christianity, Emperor Constantine ordered in about 325–326 that the site be uncovered and instructed Saint Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, to build a church on the site. In this Life, Eusebius does not mention the finding of the True Cross.

Socrates Scholasticus (born c. 380), in his Ecclesiastical History, gives a full description of the discovery [2] that was repeated later by Sozomen and by Theodoret. In it he describes how Saint Helena, Constantine's aged mother, had the temple destroyed and the Sepulchre uncovered, whereupon three crosses and the titulus from Jesus's crucifixion were uncovered as well. In Socrates's version of the story, Macarius had the three crosses placed in turn on a deathly ill woman. This woman recovered at the touch of the third cross, which was taken as a sign that this was the cross of Christ. Socrates also reports that, having also found the nails with which Christ had been fastened to the cross, Helena sent these to Constantinople, where they were incorporated into the emperor's helmet and the bridle of his horse.

Sozomen (died c. 450), in his Ecclesiastical History [3], gives essentially the same version as Socrates. He also adds that it was said (by whom he does not say) that the location of the Sepulcre was "disclosed by a Hebrew who dwelt in the East, and who derived his information from some documents which had come to him by paternal inheritance" (although Sozomen himself disputes this account) and that a dead person was also revived by the touch of the Cross. Later popular versions of this story state that the Jew who assisted Helena was named Jude or Judas, but later converted to Christianity and took the name Kyriakos.

Theodoret (died c. 457) in his Ecclesiastical History Chapter xvii gives what had become the standard version of the finding of the True Cross:

"When the empress beheld the place where the Saviour suffered, she immediately ordered the idolatrous temple, which had been there erected, to be destroyed, and the very earth on which it stood to be removed. When the tomb, which had been so long concealed, was discovered, three crosses were seen buried near the Lord's sepulchre. All held it as certain that one of these crosses was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the other two were those of the thieves who were crucified with Him. Yet they could not discern to which of the three the Body of the Lord had been brought nigh, and which had received the outpouring of His precious Blood. But the wise and holy Macarius, the president of the city, resolved this question in the following manner. He caused a lady of rank, who had been long suffering from disease, to be touched by each of the crosses, with earnest prayer, and thus discerned the virtue residing in that of the Saviour. For the instant this cross was brought near the lady, it expelled the sore disease, and made her whole.
With the Cross were also found the Holy Nails, which Helena took with her back to Constantinople. According to Theodoret, "She had part of the cross of our Saviour conveyed to the palace. The rest was enclosed in a covering of silver, and committed to the care of the bishop of the city, whom she exhorted to preserve it carefully, in order that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity."

Another popular ancient version from the Syriac tradition replaced Helena with a fictitious first-century empress named Protonike.

Some modern historians consider these versions to be apocryphal in varying degrees. It is certain, however, that the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre was completed by 335 and that relics of the Cross were being venerated there by the 340s, as they are mentioned in the Catecheses of Cyril of Jerusalem (see below).
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« Reply #81 on: December 31, 2007, 01:15:45 am »

Rachel Dearth

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Conservation of the relics
The silver reliquary that was left at the Basilica in care of the bishop of Jerusalem was exhibited periodically to the faithful. In the 380s a nun named Egeria who was travelling on pilgrimage described the veneration of the True Cross at Jerusalem in a long letter, the Itinerario Egeriae that she sent back to her community of women:

"Then a chair is placed for the bishop in Golgotha behind the [liturgical] Cross, which is now standing; the bishop duly takes his seat in the chair, and a table covered with a linen cloth is placed before him; the deacons stand round the table, and a silver-gilt casket is brought in which is the holy wood of the Cross. The casket is opened and [the wood] is taken out, and both the wood of the Cross and the title are placed upon the table. Now, when it has been put upon the table, the bishop, as he sits, holds the extremities of the sacred wood firmly in his hands, while the deacons who stand around guard it. It is guarded thus because the custom is that the people, both faithful and catechumens, come one by one and, bowing down at the table, kiss the sacred wood and pass through. And because, I know not when, some one is said to have bitten off and stolen a portion of the sacred wood, it is thus guarded by the deacons who stand around, lest any one approaching should venture to do so again. And as all the people pass by one by one, all bowing themselves, they touch the Cross and the title, first with their foreheads and then with their eyes; then they kiss the Cross and pass through, but none lays his hand upon it to touch it. When they have kissed the Cross and have passed through, a deacon stands holding the ring of Solomon and the horn from which the kings were anointed; they kiss the horn also and gaze at the ring…"
Before long, but perhaps not until after the visit of Egeria, it was possible also to venerate the crown of thorns, the pillar at which Christ was scourged, and the lance that pierced his side.

The Old English poem Dream of the Rood mentions the finding of the cross and the beginning of the tradition of the veneration of its relics.

In 614 the Sassanian Khosrau II of Persia ("Chosroes") removed the Cross as a trophy, when he captured Jerusalem. Thirteen years later, in 628, the Emperor of the East Heraclius defeated Khosrau and retook the relic, which he at first placed in Constantinople and later, took back to Jerusalem. Around 1009, Christians in Jerusalem hid the cross and it remained hidden until it was rediscovered during the First Crusade, on August 5, 1099, by Arnulf Malecorne, the first Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, at a moment when it was sorely needed. The relic that Arnulf discovered was a small fragment of wood embedded in a golden cross, and it became the most sacred relic of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem, with none of the controversy that had followed their discovery of the Holy Lance in Antioch. It was housed in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre under the protection of the Latin Patriarch, who marched with it ahead of the army before every battle. It was captured by Saladin during the Battle of Hattin in 1187 and subsequently disappeared.

Other fragments of the Cross were further broken up, and the pieces were widely distributed; in 348, in one of his Catecheses, Cyril of Jerusalem remarked that the "whole earth is full of the relics of the Cross of Christ," [4] and in another, "The holy wood of the Cross bears witness, seen among us to this day, and from this place now almost filling the whole world, by means of those who in faith take portions from it." [5] Egeria's account testifies how highly these relics of the crucifixion were prized. Saint John Chrysostom relates that fragments of the True Cross were kept in golden reliquaries, "which men reverently wear upon their persons." About 455 Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, sent to Pope Leo I a fragment of the "precious wood", according to the Letters of Saint Leo. A portion of the cross was taken to Rome in the seventh century by Pope Sergius I, who was of Byzantine origin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Cross
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« Reply #82 on: December 31, 2007, 01:16:05 am »

Rachel Dearth

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Dispersal of relics of the True Cross
An inscription of 359, found at Tixter, in the neighbourhood of Sétif in Mauretania, was said to mention, in an enumeration of relics, a fragment of the True Cross, according to an entry in Roman Miscellanies, X, 441.

But most parts of the very little relics of the True Cross in Europe are coming from Constantinople. The town was captured and sacked by the Fourth Crusade in 1204: After the conquest of the city Constantinople inestimable wealth was found, incomparably precious jewels and also a part of the cross of the gentleman, which Helena transfers from Jerusalem and was decorated with gold and precious jewels. There it attained highest admiration. It was carved up by the present bishops and was divided with other very precious relics among the knights; later, after their return to the homeland, it was donated churches and monasteries. Chronica regia Coloniensis (1197-1240)

By the end of the Middle Ages so many churches claimed to possess a piece of the True Cross, that John Calvin famously said to have remarked that there was enough wood in them to fill a ship:

"There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poictiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it."
— Calvin, Traité Des Reliques.
Santo Toribio de Liébana in Spain presently holds the largest of these pieces and is one of the most visited Roman Catholic pilgrimage sites. It is possible that many of the extant pieces of the True Cross are fakes, created by travelling merchants in the Middle Ages, during which period a thriving trade in manufactured relics existed.

In 1870, Rohault de Fleury in his "Mémoire sur les instruments de la Passion" (Paris, 1870) made a study of the relics in reference to the criticisms of Calvin and Erasmus. He drew up a catalogue of all known relics of the True Cross showing that, in spite of what various authors have claimed, the fragments of the Cross brought together again would not reach one-third that of a cross which has been supposed to have been three or four meters in height, with transverse branch of two meters wide, proportions not at all abnormal. He calculated: supposing the Cross to have been of pine-wood (based on his microscopic analysis of the fragments) and giving it a weight of about seventy-five kilograms, we find the original volume of the cross to be .178 cubic meters. The total known volume of known relics of the True Cross, according to his catalogue, amounts to approximately .004 cubic meters, leaving a volume of .174 cubic meters lost, destroyed, or otherwise unaccounted for. Other scientific study of the extant relics has been conducted which confirms that they are from a single species of tree. Four cross particles from European churches, i.e. S.Croce in Rome, Notre Dame, the cathedral of Pisa and the cathedral to Florenz, were microscopically examined. "The pieces came all together from olive." (Ziehr, William, Das Kreuz, Stuttgart 1997, Seite 63)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Cross
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« Reply #83 on: December 31, 2007, 01:16:27 am »

Rachel Dearth

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Veneration of the Cross
St John Chrysostom wrote homilies on the three crosses:

"Kings removing their diadems take up the cross, the symbol of their Saviour's death; on the purple, the cross; in their prayers, the cross; on their armour, the cross; on the holy table, the cross; throughout the universe, the cross. The cross shines brighter than the sun."
The Roman Catholic Church, many Protestant denominations (most notably those with Anglican origins), and the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on September 14, the anniversary of the dedication of Constantine's Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In later centuries, these celebrations also included commemoration of the rescue of the True Cross from the Persians in 628. In the Gallician usage, beginning about the seventh century, the Feast of the Cross was celebrated on May 3. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, when the Gallician and Roman practices were combined, the September date, for which the Vatican adopted the official name "Triumph of the Cross" in 1963, was used to commemorate the rescue from the Persians and the May date was kept as the "Invention of the True Cross" to commemorate the finding. (Note: the term "Invention" is from the Latin invenire, to find (lit. to come across), and should not be understood in the modern sense of creating something new. ) The September date is often referred to in the West as Holy Cross Day; the May date was dropped from the liturgical calendar by the Second Vatican Council in 1970. (See also Roodmas.) The Orthodox still commemorate both events on September 14, one of the twelve Great Feasts of the liturgical year, and the Procession of the Venerable Wood of the Cross on August 1st, the day on which the relics of the True Cross would be carried through the streets of Constantinople to bless the city [[6]].

In addition to celebrations on fixed days, there are certain days of the variable cycle when the Cross in celebrated. The Roman Catholic Church has a formal Adoration of the Cross during the services for Good Friday, while the Orthodox celebrate an additional Veneration of the Cross on the third Sunday of Great Lent. In Greek Orthodox churches everywhere, a replica of the cross is brought out in procession on Holy Thursday for the people to venerate.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Cross
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« Reply #84 on: December 31, 2007, 01:17:10 am »

Rachel Dearth

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The Battle over the Crusades

By Robert P. Lockwood

One reason for the persistence of anti-Catholicism is the historical legacy of the post-Reformation world. Myths, legends and anti-Catholic "histories" created in the bitterness of theological, national and cultural divisions in the centuries after the Reformation have colored our understanding of the past, and are often used in the present as a club against the Church. Our understanding of the world in which we live and the events of the past that helped to shape it are often determined by this anti-Catholic legacy. The popular image of the Inquisition, for example, is rooted in the anti-Spanish polemics of the Sixteenth Century. Of course, the current conventional wisdom on Pope Pius XII is of more recent vintage, beginning with a German playwright in 1963.3

With the Crusades, the assumption is of a ruthless Church driving Europe into a barbaric war of aggression and plunder against a peaceful Islamic population in the Holy Land. As the common portrait paints it, led by mad preachers and manipulating popes, the Crusades were a Church-sponsored invasion and slaughter that descended into a massacre at Jerusalem, the sack of Constantinople and the persecution of European Jews.

The Crusades are also viewed as concretizing the schism of the Orthodox churches, a division that remains today. Though that division was not caused by the Crusades, it was certainly exacerbated by the Fourth Crusade, and remains its saddest legacy. When Pope John Paul II visited Greece in the spring of 2001, he apologized for the actions of Western Catholics involved in the sack of Constantinople,4 though that sack had not been ordered, determined or intended by the Church or the papacy itself.

The Crusades, of course, are a far more complicated series of events in history than the anti-Catholic statements of Brickman. The Crusades should be understood within the context of the times and by their reality, rather than through the myths created for purposes of propaganda. Narrowly and traditionally defined, the Crusades involved a military attempt under a vow of faith to regain the Holy Land – containing the sites of the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus – from its Islamic conquerors. The goal as defined by the Church was to allow safe pilgrimage to these sites and to protect and maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land.5 This narrow papal purpose, however, would become caught up in dynastic feuds, schism and heresies, economic warfare over Mediterranean trade, the reunification and rise of an aggressive Islamic military movement, and the final destruction of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Pompey had conquered the Holy Land for the Roman Empire in 63 BC. As such, the country where Jesus lived His earthly ministry would be under Roman hegemony. It would continue so for centuries after Him. The Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in 313 AD and began the process of identifying the Roman Empire with the Christian faith. Christianity, which had existed throughout the Empire prior to Constantine, would soon become the dominant faith in all the old Roman territories. The Holy Land itself, as well as Egypt and North Africa, became strong and vibrant Christian communities. The first Church of the Nativity would be erected in Bethlehem in 325 AD.6

In 331 AD Constantine moved the seat of the Roman Empire to Constantinople. This would accelerate the decline of Rome and the inheritance of the Empire would shift east. The Holy Land would remain a faithful center of Christianity in the Near East. Yet, along with the ancient Patriarchal Sees such as Antioch, the Holy Land would look toward Imperial Constantinople as its political and, to a certain extent, religious center. As a result, the Church in the Near East would take its liturgy and characteristics from Constantinople. As relations between the Eastern Church under imperial leadership and the Western Church under papal leadership became more strained over the centuries, the future of the Holy Land would be tied directly to the politics of Constantinople than Rome.7

In the early Seventh Century, the Persian Empire overtook the Holy Land, sacked Jerusalem and slaughtered the Christian inhabitants. While the Eastern Empire was eventually able to recapture it, in 638 Jerusalem was taken by invading Arabian forces under the sword of the new Islam only six years after the death of the prophet Mohammed. Egypt was lost to the Moslem forces and by 700 AD Roman Africa was conquered. In 711 Spain was occupied and it was not until the victory of Charles Martel at Tours and Potier in 732 that the Moslem advance in the West ended. Constantinople was able to hold off an invasion and the remnant Eastern Roman Empire, stripped of Syria, Palestine and North Africa, continued to exist. Over the next three centuries, the Empire would recover somewhat, though never able to reclaim the entire Holy Land itself.

The differences within the Church as it developed in the East and West became more pronounced over the centuries. Differences in language, tradition, history, theology and religious sensibilities created divisions particularly as the Church in the West began to both adjust to and convert the successive invading ethnic tribes of Europe. The Eastern Church, seeing itself as the intellectual and cultural center of the world, resented the juridical authority of Rome. While consenting to Rome as a court of last resort in doctrinal concerns, it did not accept Roman leadership over its daily affairs. Additionally, thorny theological issues would divide the Church in the East far more than the West. Schisms and heresies would breakdown the unity of the Church in the East even before the major break between East and West in the schism of 1054 that created the Orthodox churches.

Briefly, the Schism of 1054 was the result of that long history, though the specific events began in Southern Italy. Southern Italy was still ruled by the Eastern Empire, while Sicily was in the hands of Islam. Neither exercised any great authority, however, and the lands "were a paradise for landless adventurers. By the mid-eleventh century, Norman mercenaries, called in by local princelings struggling against Muslim or Byzantine overlords, had broken the Muslim power in Sicily and established themselves as a threat in their own right."8 Pope Leo IX feared this Norman advance that was closing in on papal territory and organized an armed resistance. Expecting assistance that never came from the Eastern Empire, his forces were defeated in 1053. The Empire might loath the Normans, but they resented papal authority even more and saw the pope’s advance into Southern Italy as an attempt to claim jurisdiction over part of the eastern Church. When Leo named a new bishop for Sicily and the Normans were amenable to the establishment of the Western Church in their newly conquered lands, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Michael Cerularius responded by angrily closing the Western Latin-rite churches that existed in Constantinople. Leo answered with a bull of excommunication in July 1054 and, in turn, the patriarch pronounced the pope excommunicated, though Leo was already dead.9

This schism would serve as a backdrop to the Crusades. The popes were convinced that assisting the successive emperors in their battles with the Seljuk Turks and other Islamic enemies of the Empire would heal the schism. In turn, various emperors would use the bait of possible reunification to encourage papal support in their military efforts. Unfortunately, the roots of the schism were far too deep in the East that any emperor could simply negotiate it away.10 Crusading armies would only exacerbate resentment against the West, deepening rather than healing the long-standing division in Christendom.

Unity in the Islamic world had also begun to break down in the generations after Mohammed’s death. By the 11th century there were three different centers of Arab rule – in Spain, Egypt and Iran\Iraq – with the Fatmid dynasty of Egypt exercising control over Jerusalem. At the same time, there were any number of independent Islamic states with their own military forces, dynasties, feuds and battles for power. The death of any leader seemed to immediately result in endless family battles for power. The Holy Land was certainly never a part of a peaceful united Islamic empire.11

By 1027, the Eastern Emperor had negotiated relief for the Christians of Jerusalem after their persecution under the mad caliph Hakim and pilgrimages from Europe had resumed to the holy sites. However, the rise of the Islamic Seljuk Turks in the 11th Century would destroy this peaceful interlude and be a direct cause of the First Crusade. The Seljuk Turks had overrun Armenia and the entire Anatolia peninsula was threatened. Imperial forces were destroyed at the battle of Manzikert in 1071, considered the greatest defeat in the history of the Eastern Empire. Ten years later, Alexius Commenus would take over the imperial throne when it appeared that the entire Empire was on the verge of collapse. Through negotiations and careful manipulation of Islamic disunity, he was able to survive and to rebuild a base of power against the Seljuks. As part of his plan, he also mended fences with the papacy and it appeared that the schism of 1054 could be healed. He developed a cordial relationship with Pope Urban II who held a council of the Church in 1095 in which representatives of the Empire were in attendance. In desperate need of soldiers, they begged for assistance from the West. In November 1095 at a Church council in Clermont, France, Pope Urban II issued the formal call for a Crusade to rescue eastern Christendom and recover the Holy Land to make it safe for pilgrimage.12

Why did Urban support the idea of a Crusade to the Holy Land and put the weight of the Church behind it? Clearly, the return of the Holy Land and the defense of the Christian communities in the Near East were the first objectives. But there were additional concerns. There was the clear threat of the Islamic advance into Europe that threatened the entire Christian community. If Constantinople fell, the victory at Tours could be rendered in vain and all Eastern Europe would be wide open to Islamic advance. Additionally, the pope certainly believed that allying with Constantinople and rescuing the ancient sees of Antioch and Jerusalem could heal the disunity of Christianity cause by the schism of 1054.13

Urban was of the line of the great reforming popes that had greeted the new millenium and would continue through the 13th Century. Freed from the control of local Roman aristocrats, a true reformation in Church life – spiritual and juridical – was underway at the direction of the papacy. Urban had a vision of a united Christendom controlled by no petty lords, kings or emperors. Most of Europe had been converted to Christianity by the year 1000. During the 11th century a spirit of religious reform argued that the salvation of the world would be greatly increased if the world itself were reformed. Led by a strong papacy, the goal was to sanctify the world through a combination of the Church’s need to reform its institutional life free from control by secular lords, and to build a Christian society.14 The defense and unity of this goal of a new Christendom was at stake.

An additional part of this reformation of Christian life was to somehow end, or deter, the incessant warfare that plagued the European community. The incessant Christian slaughter of Christians had led to the "truce of God" movement in the 11th Century as part of the general attempt at creating this new Christendom. Warfare was banned on the Sabbath. Under the influence of the great abbey of Cluny, a driving force in the reformation of the church, the truce was extended to holy days. In various territories it expanded to Advent, Lent, Easter and Pentecost. By the middle of the 11th Century it was closely knit to the Peace of God movement, which protected Church property and the poor from war. Violation of the Peace or the Truce was considered grounds for excommunication. While it seems contradictory to encourage a Crusade in the interest of peace, there was certainly the papal hope that by turning the incessant warring fervor outward in the purpose of defending Christendom there was greater purpose than the continuing scandal of Christians slaughtering Christians.15

There were other forces at work in the Crusades, however, that would negatively impact both the image and the results of the Crusades. First, these were violent times and warfare was waged ruthlessly. The Frankish lords taking part in the First Crusade were among the most ruthless. These men viewed the Crusade as a holy venture that could save their souls. But they also saw an opportunity for conquest and new lands to rule. At the same time, the Emperor Alexius in Constantinople viewed the Crusaders as a means to preserve the Empire by assisting him in destroying the Turks and recapturing the ancient lands of the Empire now dominated by Islam. These contrary expectations would increase the bad blood between East and West.16

In the Holy Land itself, various Islamic dynasties would see the Crusaders as much as potential allies than enemies. The "kingdoms" established after the First Crusade would be caught up in the regional power disputes of the Islamic leaders, as well as their own dynastic ambitions.17 And finally, there was the ambition of the Italian cities to extend their rising commercial power. They saw the Crusade as an opportunity to end both Islamic domination of trade in the Eastern Mediterranean and the power of Constantinople. The commercial ambitions of Venice would lead to the devastating sack of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade.18

Pope Urban had hoped that the great kings of Europe would lead the Crusades. Instead, the First Crusade began out of papal control when virtual leaderless mobs of the poor began to assemble and "march" toward Constantinople. In the Rhineland these disparate mobs of peasants and townsfolk began to launch attacks on the Jews. The bishop of Spier had managed to protect most of the Jews, but at Worms there was greater violence. The bishop opened up his home to protect the Jewish community, but the mobs broke in and slaughtered them. At Mainz, another slaughtered followed in this rag-tag armies’ wake. As the army approached Cologne, Jews were hidden in Christian homes and the archbishop was able to protect most of them. At Trier, most of the Jewish community was protected in the archbishop’s palace. These attacks on Jews in the Rhineland continued by these mob armies despite the constant intervention of Church authorities on behalf of the Jews. Eventually, Christians and Turks destroyed these peasant armies and most of western Christendom viewed it as just penalty for their anti-Jewish atrocities.19 When the Second Crusade was preached, St. Bernard of Clairvaux went to the Rhineland to stamp out anti-Jewish riots, and they effectively ceased as part of the crusading movement.20

The First Crusade with papal blessing was made up of four Frankish armies that assembled at Constantinople. From the beginning, relations were cool at best with Emperor Alexius who feared the size and reliability of armies he considered little more than barbarian. After extracting pledges from three of the four Frankish leaders that any land conquered would be returned to the Empire, each army was quickly dispatched to Asia Minor on its own. In 1097, the armies faced a divided Moslem power. The Fatmids of Egypt held southern Syria while their enemies, the Seljuk Turks, held most of Asia Minor and northern Syria.21 But with collective armies of possibly 30,000 men, including an army of Emperor Alexius, the Crusaders found the heat and lack of water a greater problem than disunited Islamic forces. The Crusaders first captured Nicea, capital of the Seljuk Turks, then defeated the major Seljuk force at Dorylaeum which left a clear passage across Asia Minor. On June 3, 1098, Antioch was captured and a large Turkish contingent defeated in front of its walls. On July 15, 1099, the Crusaders took Jerusalem. The papal legate, however, had died. Without his restraint, the crusading army – now reduced to about 12,000 – stormed the walls and engaged in a horrific slaughter of the Islamic and Jewish population. Though the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was then established, that slaughter would help to reunify Islamic resistance to the new conquerors.22

The Crusaders essentially held four areas – Jerusalem, Antioch, Edessa and Tripoli. After first seeing the Crusaders as possibly useful allies in their internecine conflicts, the Islamic world in the Near East become less enamored of the invaders. The Crusaders, for the most part, were not colonizers. Most fought, then returned to their homelands. As a result, the Latin kingdoms established in the Holy Land were in incessant need of reinforcement for defense. The famous crusading orders of vowed knights would develop from this need. But it would also necessitate calls to Europe whenever the situation grew threatening.

In 1144, Edessa was retaken and the Islamic leader Nur-ur-din emerged as the principal enemy of the Crusader kingdoms. It was these events that led to a call for a Second Crusade. Emperor Conrad of Germany and King Louis VII of France led their armies into what became essentially a debacle. Convinced that the emperor had betrayed them to the Turks, the Second Crusade collapsed in a failed attempt to conquer Damascus. Nur-ur-din, meanwhile, took Damascus from a rival Islamic dynasty in 1154 and solidified his power.23

Amalric, now the Frankish King of Jerusalem, was lured into an attempt to conquer Egypt by the Syrian Shirkuh, whose master was Nur-ur-din and who was also the uncle of the young Saladin. Shirkuh had been betrayed after helping to restore the Egyptian chief Shawar to power. The invasion failed when the King of Jerusalem was forced to return to defend Antioch from an attack by Nur-ur-din. In a curious switch of alliances, by 1166 Amalric would decide to help Egypt from a renewed attack by Shirkuh, fearing the expanding Syrian power under Nur-ur-din. Almaric was defeated and then proceeded to Alexandria to attempt a siege. Shirkuh left his nephew Saladin with a small garrison to defend the city. A treaty was eventually concluded but the battle for Egypt was rejoined and, in 1169, Shirkuh avoided Almaric’s forces and took Cairo. Syria and Egypt were united in an aggressive two-prong front that would directly threaten the Holy Land. However, shortly after Shirkuh’s victory, he died and was succeeded by Saladin, whom Nur-ur-din did not trust. For a brief time, Saladin preferred that a Frankish buffer state existed between Egypt and Nur-ur-din. But with the death of Nur-ur-din in 1174 and Almaric two months later, Saladin’s star was rising rather than setting.24

Shortly thereafter, the Byzantine Empire suffered a major defeat at the hands of the Turks that effectively removed the Empire as a serious source of support. This would leave the Latin kingdoms of the Holy Land at the mercy of a more and more united Islamic force. Saladin advanced out of Egypt expecting a quick and easy march on Jerusalem. But he was surprisingly defeated. In 1180 a truce was concluded and Saladin continued to consolidate his power while the Byzantine Empire faced revolution and the dynasties in the Holy Land engaged in petty internal squabbles. In 1182 war was resumed after a Christian raid on an Islamic caravan. After failing to win any important victories, Saladin turned toward his Islamic enemies once again. By 1183 he took the vital city of Aleppo and was now the most powerful Islamic prince, controlling Syria and Egypt. He concluded a new four-year truce with the Christian enclaves to prepare to complete the conquest of the Holy Land. In 1187, after a large caravan was attacked by one of the Frankish knights, Saladin launched his war of conquest. At the Horns of Hattin, Saladin defeated the Christian armies and by October he had taken the city of Jerusalem. Only Tyre, Antioch and Tripoli remained as the Christian-held outposts.25

The Third Crusade was launched in response to Saladin’s successes. This Crusade would create much of the romantic legends and myths that surround the battle for the Holy Land, in both the West and Islamic culture. An army under the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa entered the fray in June 1190, but the emperor himself drowned crossing a river. Saladin considered it a miracle of faith. The emperor’s dispirited army took refuge in Antioch. In the meantime, the remnants of the Frankish forces besieged Acre, a port of the Gulf of Haifa that had been one of the wealthiest of the Frank communities. The battle was essentially a stalemate until the arrival of the Kings of England and France.

It was in the Third Crusade that Richard the Lion Heart of England would engage Saladin in a ritual of attacks and counterattacks, as well as chivalrous courtesies. The French king had come to Acre before him, but it was Richard’s arrival in June 1191 after taking the island of Cyprus that energized the Christian army. In July the stalemate was broken and the port of Acre seized from Saladin. The French king soon departed for home while Richard planned to take back Jerusalem. He defeated Saladin at the battle of Arsuf and moved to secure the port of Jaffa. But this delay in approaching Jerusalem allowed Saladin to reinforce the city’s defenses. Richard decided that even if he took the city, he could never hold it once the crusaders returned home. After a few more desultory campaigns, Richard saved Jaffa from Saladin’s attack and a treaty was eventually negotiated between Richard and Saladin. The Christians regained the coastal cities and pilgrims would be allowed to visit the holy shrines in Jerusalem peacefully. Richard left the Holy Land in 1192, ending the Third Crusade.26

The Fourth Crusade began as a fundamental part of the reforming zeal of Pope Innocent III. Elected in 1198, he dedicated his pontificate to recapturing Jerusalem. He negotiated with the Eastern Emperor Alexius III, who had ascended the imperial throne in 1195 after overthrowing his brother, for a healing of the schism and a joint effort to take the Holy Land. French knights took up the mantle of the crusades under Tibauld of Champagne while in Germany, Philip of Swabia made clear his designs were bigger than the Holy Land. He was after Constantinople and the Eastern Empire itself. Innocent presumed that a Crusade without kings would lead to the same success as the First Crusade. But virtually from the start Innocent III lost control of the endeavor. The knights decided that Egypt should be the power conquered to reclaim the Holy Land (which had been the advice of Richard the Lion Hearted). Meanwhile, Philip entered into negotiations with the son of the emperor deposed by Alexius III. This young Alexius hoped to regain the throne taken from his father and Philip was more than willing to assist, assuming that would turn the old empire into his virtual puppet.

Soon, Venice entered the picture. The Venetians would give transport and supplies for the Crusading force in return for payment and one-half of its conquests. The Venetians, however, were uninterested in supporting an attack on Egypt, having arranged a trade agreement with the Sultan of Egypt at the very time they were negotiating with the Crusaders. When the Crusaders failed to come up with the payment necessary, the Doge of Venice, Enrico Dandolo, offered to delay payment if they assisted in an attack on the city of Zara, control of which Venice hoped to wrestle from the king of Hungry. (Dandolo also held a long grudge against Constantinople.) In November 1202 the fleet sailed for Zara and the city was taken and pillaged. The Crusaders and Venetians decided to stay there for the winter.

Pope Innocent was outraged that a crusading army was used to attack a fellow Christian king. He excommunicated the entire expedition. Discovering the machinations of the Venetian Doge, he lifted the excommunication of the crusading knights, but not the Venetians. But over the winter, news reached Zara that young Alexius would pay the Crusaders what they owed the Venetians and supply them with all they needed to proceed to Egypt, if they would take Constantinople and place him on the throne. The Doge supported the plan as a means to enlarge its trade in the Mediterranean at the expense of a puppet Constantinople. Innocent called on the Crusaders to move on Palestine. He thought little of the young Alexius and warned against attacks on fellow Christians. The record is unclear if the pope had any advanced knowledge that the Crusaders would turn on Constantinople, but in any case, he had lost any control he might have exercised to the Venetians and the friends of Philip of Swabia.

In June 1203 the Venetian and the Crusaders, along with young Alexius, arrived at the gates of Constantinople. Alexius had assured them that Constantinople would rise up in his favor. That did not happen. His uncle, Emperor Alexius III, fled and his father was restored to the throne. It was argued that therefore there was no need to continue the attack. Alexius would co-rule with his father as Alexius IV. He tried to force the city to accept the supremacy of Rome in matters of faith which the clergy rejected outright. He also found a treasury that could not pay off the Venetians. In February 1204, he was deposed and killed by the citizens of Constantinople. The Crusaders saw the revolution as a direct attack on them and any plans to continue on to the Holy Land were abandoned. The Franks and the Venetians poured into the city. The victorious Doge and the knights of the crusades then allowed the sack of the city. It was horrific. For 900 years the city had been the remnant of imperial Rome. It was virtually destroyed, it’s art works stolen or destroyed, it’s citizenry ruthlessly murdered. A Western empire was set up that would last a short time and Innocent, seeing in it the hope of reunification of Christendom, accepted it at first is a fait accompli. However, he became more enraged as stories of the savagery waged against Constantinople reached Rome. Innocent wrote angrily to the Westerners in Constantinople denouncing the sack of the city. "Then, to his disgust, he heard that his legate…had issued a decree absolving all who had taken the Cross from making the further journey to the Holy Land. The Crusade was revealed as an expedition whose only aim was to conquer Christian territory."27

The sack of Constantinople ended the Fourth Crusade and effectively determined that the Crusades would never succeed in its original purpose. The Empire was effectively destroyed and would be of no assistance in future crusades. The Church was not reunified, as the Greeks would never forgive the West for the atrocities at Constantinople. The schism of 1054 would become permanent.

The end of the Fourth Crusade actually created a breathing space for the surviving Latin kingdom of Acre in the Holy Land. The unity of the Islamic peoples began to crumble after the death of Saladin in 1193. After years of internecine warfare, al-Adil became the effective Sultan and successor to Saladin’s empire. He had concluded a truce with the surviving Western rulers in the Holy Land as he dealt with his Islamic enemies. The truce was scheduled to end in 1217 and appeals were made to the West for a new crusade when the peace would end.28

Pope Innocent III died in 1216 and was succeeded by Honorius III who was importuned by the king of Acre to move forward with a Crusade. The other Frankish rulers in the Holy Land, however, were less interested. The peaceful interlude had allowed them to expand their wealth and, since Saladin’s death, had felt far less threatened. Honorius supported the Crusade and a force soon arrived in Acre. A desultory campaign followed that was essentially purposeless. However, it was soon decided that if Egypt could be captured, the entire balance of power could change. The Fifth Crusade of 1217 captured Damietta in Egypt. The sultan of Egypt and Syria offered the surrender of Jerusalem, but the crusaders refused believing that the conquering of Egypt and the Holy Land was at hand. But their moment had gone and they eventually withdrew from Egypt when promised reinforcements under Frederick II of Germany never came.29

Frederick II, excommunicated for his constant delays in undertaking a crusade, set out on the Sixth Crusade in 1228. Arriving in the Holy Land, he sent emissaries to the sultan and arranged a treaty that returned Jerusalem to Christian control. But after Frederick departed, the Christian rulers of Jerusalem allied with the Muslim ruler of Damascus against the sultan. By 1244, Jerusalem would be back under the control of Islam. The Sixth Crusade under Louis IX of France once again captured Damietta but failed to take Egypt. The king was eventually captured and released for ransom. He returned to France in 1254. After his departure, a series of civil wars among the Venetians and the Genoese in the Holy Land further weakened the kingdoms there. The new sultan of Egypt marched up the coast and took one city after another, including Antioch in 1268. Louis attempted another crusade but died shortly after arriving on the African coast in 1270. In 1291, the kingdom of Acre was sacked and the Latin kingdom in the Holy Land came to an end.30

With the end of Acre, there was no Christian base left from which crusading forces could operate. If the popes wished to re-establish crusading fever, there were few places they could turn to after 1291. The remnant Empire, once more under Greek control, was fighting for survival and Europe itself had lost interest. King Peter of Cyprus – who claimed the kingdom of Jerusalem – launched a Crusade in 1365 with the support of Pope Urban V. Another attempt was made on Egypt as the key to regaining the Holy Land. Alexandria was sacked, but soon evacuated and peace was made with the sultan of Egypt when subjects tired of his crusading spirit overthrew King Peter.31

The sack of Alexandria led to a revived Islamic persecution of Christians within their territories under the Egyptian Mameluks. In 1426 Cypriot would face a devastating invasion, while, by 1375, the Christian kingdom of Armenia disappeared under combined Turkish and Mameluk forces. The rising power of the Islamic Ottoman Turks soon threatened Eastern Europe, as well as Constantinople. A crusade was assembled in Hungry but was defeated by the Turks at the battle of Nicopolis in 1396. It would only be a matter of time before Constantinople would fall. In 1439, the eastern emperor agreed to end the schism at the Council of Florence to obtain western aid. But his own subjects rejected the union and in 1453 the Turks would capture Constantinople.

The fall of Constantinople did not come as a great shock in Europe. But Pope Pius II, elected in 1458 would labor toward one last crusade to throw back the Turks from Constantinople. The threatened king of Hungary facing the Turkish onslaught readily agreed but little other support was engendered before the ailing pontiff died in 1464. From this point on, the Crusades as a narrowly defined holy war of a united Christendom supported by the popes essentially disappeared. In Church histories, the crusade of King Louis of France in 1270 marked the last of the traditional international crusades made under vow.32 Certainly from the 15th Century on, battles against the Islamic forces were national enterprises for limited national goals, the most well known being the Reconquista of Spain completed by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.

Yet, even from the First Crusade, it would be a mistake to see the Crusades as wars that were controlled by the Church. Supported by the papacy in an attempt to secure Christian rights in the Holy Land, the Crusades themselves were dominated by the kings and princes who took part in them. A movement that began as essentially a limited religious quest for a union of sovereigns, papacy and people to secure the right of safe pilgrimage to the Holy sites associated with the life of Christ became caught up in the wider history of the period. Additionally, however, the negative caricatures of the Crusades that are used as a contemporary club against the Church have little to do with their reality. The Crusades were far from colonizing efforts. The small kingdoms established after the first Crusade suffered chronically from a lack of population to support or defend themselves. Most crusaders served for a short period of time then returned home. The Holy Land and its environs were far from a peaceful Islamic enclave invading by vicious European knights. The Islamic peoples spent far greater time and energy fighting among themselves than they would fighting crusading forces. The crusading kingdoms would often serve as allies of one side or the other in this warfare.

Certainly, the Church supported the ideal of the Crusade, but rarely controlled events and was often at direct odds with the Crusaders themselves. The horrors of warfare as fought at the time – and the ruthlessness of the slaughter that often followed victory – was neither caused by the Church, or was the Church capable of limiting it in any great fashion. The means used by the Franks in particular in warfare were hardly surprising for the time, or subject to control by the Church. There was no Church presence to mitigate the sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade. In the Fourth Crusade, the responsibility for the destruction of Constantinople must be placed on the Doge of Venice and the schemes of the pretender to the imperial throne, rather than at the foot of Pope Innocent III who was horrified at the Christian slaughter of Christians that made a crusade to the Holy Land impossible. The attacks on the Jews in the Rhineland that took place on the eve of the First Crusade were in direct contradiction to Church teaching and the local hierarchy would be the only physical defenders of the Jewish population.

It is difficult to argue that the Crusades for the Holy Land had any real positive impact on Western culture and the Church. They certainly did nothing to improve relations between Islam and Christianity, though they also certainly did not cause what had already been a violent confrontation between East and West since the Islamic emergence under Mohammed centuries earlier. The persistent division of Western Christianity in the Orthodox schism was hardened by the Fourth Crusade, but the schism itself and the causes of it pre-existed the Crusades. The schism has persisted for too many long centuries not because of the Crusades, but for a host of other reasons grounded in culture, nationalism, spirituality and theology.

Initiated at the request of the Byzantine emperors and by the dream of successive popes for a safe Holy Land and a united Christendom, the Crusades and the crusaders were never controlled by the Church. Even the First Crusade, though inspired by lofty ideals, essentially became a means for Frankish knights to recreate small feudal kingdoms in a backwater of the Islamic Empire. The negative results of the Crusades are clear. But to point to the Crusades as a symbol of a power-crazed Church engaging in slaughter to pursue its own nefarious ends is to misunderstand history and simply to look for an excuse for contemporary bigotry.

SUMMARY POINTS

One reason for the persistence of anti-Catholicism is the historical legacy of the post-Reformation world. Myths, legends and anti-Catholic "histories" created in the bitterness of theological, national and cultural divisions in the centuries after the Reformation have colored our understanding of the past, and are often used in the present as a club against the Church.

With the Crusades, the assumption is of a ruthless Church driving Europe into a barbaric war of aggression and plunder against a peaceful Islamic population in the Holy Land. As the common portrait paints it, led by mad preachers and manipulating popes, the Crusades were a Church-sponsored invasion and slaughter.

Narrowly and traditionally defined, the Crusades involved a military attempt under a vow of faith to regain the Holy Land – containing the sites of the Gospel accounts of the life of Jesus – from its Islamic conquerors. The goal as defined by the Church was to allow safe pilgrimage to these sites and to protect and maintain a Christian presence in the Holy Land.

This narrow papal purpose, however, would become caught up in dynastic feuds, schism and heresies, economic warfare over Mediterranean trade, the reunification and rise of an aggressive Islamic military movement, and the final destruction of the Eastern Roman Empire.

The Church in the Near East would take its liturgy and characteristics from Constantinople. As relations between the Eastern Church under imperial leadership and the Western Church under papal leadership became more strained over the centuries, the future of the Holy Land would be tied directly to the politics of Constantinople than Rome.

In 638 Jerusalem was taken by invading Arabian forces under the sword of the new Islam only six years after the death of the prophet Mohammed. Egypt was lost to the Moslem forces and by 700 AD Roman Africa was conquered. In 711 Spain was occupied and it was not until the victory of Charles Martel at Tours and Potier in 732 that the Moslem advance in the West ended. Constantinople was able to hold off an invasion and the remnant Eastern Roman Empire, stripped of Syria, Palestine and North Africa, continued to exist.

The Eastern Church, seeing itself as the intellectual and cultural center of the world, resented the juridical authority of Rome. While consenting to Rome as a court of last resort in doctrinal concerns, it did not accept Roman leadership over its daily affairs. Additionally, thorny theological issues would divide the Church in the East far more than the West. Schisms and heresies would breakdown the unity of the Church in the East even before the major break between East and West in the schism of 1054 that created the Orthodox churches and provided the backdrop to the Crusades.

Unity in the Islamic world had also begun to break down in the generations after Mohammed’s death. By the 11th century there were three different centers of Arab rule – in Spain, Egypt and Iran\Iraq – with the Fatmid dynasty of Egypt exercising control over Jerusalem. At the same time, there were any number of independent Islamic states with their own military forces, dynasties, feuds and battles for power. The death of any leader seemed to immediately result in endless family battles for power. The Holy Land was certainly never a part of a peaceful united Islamic empire.

The Seljuk Turks had overrun Armenia and the entire Anatolia peninsula was threatened. Imperial forces were destroyed at the battle of Manzikert in 1071, considered the greatest defeat in the history of the Eastern Empire. Ten years later, Alexius Commenus would take over the imperial throne when it appeared that the entire Empire was on the verge of collapse.

In November 1095 at a Church council in Clermont, France, Pope Urban II issued the formal call for a Crusade to rescue eastern Christendom and recover the Holy Land to make it safe for pilgrimage.

Why did Urban support the idea of a Crusade to the Holy Land and put the weight of the Church behind it? Clearly, the return of the Holy Land and the defense of the Christian communities in the Near East were the first objectives. But there were additional concerns. There was the clear threat of the Islamic advance into Europe that threatened the entire Christian community. If Constantinople fell, the victory at Tours could be rendered in vain and all Eastern Europe would be wide open to Islamic advance. Additionally, the pope certainly believed that allying with Constantinople and rescuing the ancient sees of Antioch and Jerusalem could heal the disunity of Christianity cause by the schism of 1054.

These were violent times and warfare was waged ruthlessly. The Frankish lords taking part in the First Crusade were among the most ruthless. These men viewed the Crusade as a holy venture that could save their souls. But they also saw an opportunity for conquest and new lands to rule. At the same time, the Emperor Alexius in Constantinople viewed the Crusaders as a means to preserve the Empire by assisting him in destroying the Turks and recapturing the ancient lands of the Empire now dominated by Islam. These contrary expectations would increase the bad blood between East and West.

In the Holy Land itself, various Islamic dynasties would see the Crusaders as much as potential allies than enemies. The "kingdoms" established after the First Crusade would be caught up in the regional power disputes of the Islamic leaders, as well as their own dynastic ambitions. There was also the ambition of the Italian cities to extend their rising commercial power. They saw the Crusade as an opportunity to end both Islamic domination of trade in the Eastern Mediterranean and the power of Constantinople. The commercial ambitions of Venice would lead to the devastating sack of Constantinople in the Fourth Crusade.

The First Crusade began out of papal control when virtual leaderless mobs of the poor began to assemble and "march" toward Constantinople. In the Rhineland these disparate mobs of peasants and townsfolk began to launch attacks on the Jews. In many cases, the Church provided the only protection for the Jews though even at Trier, where they were sheltered in the archbishop’s palace, the mobs broke-in and slaughtered them. Eventually, Christians and Turks destroyed these peasant armies and most of western Christendom viewed it as just penalty for their anti-Jewish atrocities. When the Second Crusade was preached, St. Bernard of Clairvaux went to the Rhineland to stamp out anti-Jewish riots, and they effectively ceased as part of the crusading movement.

The Crusaders first captured Nicea, capital of the Seljuk Turks, then defeated the major Seljuk force at Dorylaeum which left a clear passage across Asia Minor. On June 3, 1098, Antioch was captured and a large Turkish contingent defeated in front of its walls. On July 15, 1099, the Crusaders took Jerusalem. The papal legate, however, had died. Without his restraint, the crusading army – now reduced to about 12,000 – stormed the walls and engaged in a horrific slaughter of the Islamic and Jewish population. Though the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was then established, that slaughter would help to reunify Islamic resistance to the new conquerors.

The Crusaders, for the most part, were not colonizers. Most fought, then returned to their homelands. As a result, the Latin kingdoms established in the Holy Land were in incessant need of reinforcement for defense. The famous crusading orders of vowed knights would develop from this need. But it would also necessitate calls to Europe whenever the situation grew threatening.

In 1144, Edessa was retaken and the Islamic leader Nur-ur-din emerged as the principal enemy of the Crusader kingdoms. It was these events that led to a call for a Second Crusade. Emperor Conrad of Germany and King Louis VII of France led their armies into what became essentially a debacle. Convinced that the emperor had betrayed them to the Turks, the Second Crusade collapsed in a failed attempt to conquer Damascus.

In 1187, after a large caravan was attacked by one of the Frankish knights, Saladin launched his war of conquest. At the Horns of Hattin, Saladin defeated the Christian armies and by October he had taken the city of Jerusalem. Only Tyre, Antioch and Tripoli remained as the Christian-held outposts. The Third Crusade was launched in response to Saladin’s successes.

It was in the Third Crusade that Richard the Lion Heart of England would engage Saladin in a ritual of attacks and counterattacks, as well as chivalrous courtesies. The French king had come to Acre before him, but it was Richard’s arrival in June 1191 after taking the island of Cyprus that energized the Christian army. In July the stalemate was broken and the port of Acre seized from Saladin. The French king soon departed for home while Richard planned to take back Jerusalem. He defeated Saladin at the battle of Arsuf and moved to secure the port of Jaffa. But this delay in approaching Jerusalem allowed Saladin to reinforce the city’s defenses. A treaty was eventually negotiated between Richard and Saladin. The Christians regained the coastal cities and pilgrims would be allowed to visit the holy shrines in Jerusalem peacefully. Richard left the Holy Land in 1192, ending the Third Crusade.

The Fourth Crusade, the dream of Pope Innocent III, collapsed in the sack of Constantinople that resulted from the manipulations of the Doge of Venice. A Western empire was set up that would last a short time and Innocent, seeing in it the hope of reunification of Christendom, accepted it at first is a fait accompli. However, he became more enraged as stories of the savagery waged against Constantinople reached Rome. Innocent wrote angrily to the Westerners in Constantinople denouncing the sack of the city.

The sack of Constantinople ended the Fourth Crusade and effectively determined that the Crusades would never succeed in its original purpose. The Empire was effectively destroyed and would be of no assistance in future crusades. The Church was not reunified, as the Greeks would never forgive the West for the atrocities at Constantinople. The schism of 1054 would become permanent.

It was decided that if Egypt could be captured the entire balance of power could change in the Holy Land. The Fifth Crusade of 1217 captured Damietta in Egypt. The sultan of Egypt and Syria offered the surrender of Jerusalem, but the crusaders refused believing that the conquering of Egypt and the Holy Land was at hand. But their moment had gone and they eventually withdrew from Egypt when promised reinforcements under Frederick II of Germany never came.

Frederick II, excommunicated for his constant delays in undertaking a crusade, set out on the Sixth Crusade in 1228. Arriving in the Holy Land, he sent emissaries to the sultan and arranged a treaty that returned Jerusalem to Christian control. But after Frederick departed, the Christian rulers of Jerusalem allied with the Muslim ruler of Damascus against the sultan. By 1244, Jerusalem would be back under the control of Islam.

The Sixth Crusade under Louis IX of France once again captured Damietta but failed to take Egypt. The king was eventually captured and released for ransom. He returned to France in 1254. After his departure, a series of civil wars among the Venetians and the Genoese in the Holy Land further weakened the kingdoms there. The new sultan of Egypt marched up the coast and took one city after another, including Antioch in 1268.

Louis attempted another crusade but died shortly after arriving on the African coast in 1270. In 1291, the kingdom of Acre was sacked and the Latin kingdom in the Holy Land came to an end.

The rising power of the Islamic Ottoman Turks soon threatened Eastern Europe, as well as Constantinople. A crusade was assembled in Hungry but was defeated by the Turks at the battle of Nicopolis in 1396. It would only be a matter of time before Constantinople would fall. In 1439, the eastern emperor agreed to end the schism at the Council of Florence to obtain western aid. But his own subjects rejected the union and in 1453 the Turks would capture Constantinople.

The fall of Constantinople did not come as a great shock in Europe. But Pope Pius II, elected in 1458 would labor toward one last crusade to throw back the Turks from Constantinople. The threatened king of Hungary facing the Turkish onslaught readily agreed but little other support was engendered before the ailing pontiff died in 1464. From this point on, the Crusades as a narrowly defined holy war of a united Christendom supported by the popes essentially disappeared. In Church histories, the crusade of King Louis of France in 1270 marked the last of the traditional international crusades made under vow.32 Certainly from the 15th Century on, battles against the Islamic forces were national enterprises for limited national goals, the most well known being the Reconquista of Spain completed by Ferdinand and Isabella in 1492.

The negative caricatures of the Crusades that are used as a contemporary club against the Church have little to do with their reality. The Crusades were far from colonizing efforts. The Holy Land and its environs were also far from a peaceful Islamic enclave invading by vicious European knights. The Islamic peoples spent far greater time and energy fighting among themselves than they would fighting crusading forces.

The Church supported the ideal of the Crusade, but rarely controlled events and was often at direct odds with the Crusaders themselves. The horrors of warfare as fought at the time – and the ruthlessness of the slaughter that often followed victory – was neither caused by the Church, or was the Church capable of limiting it in any great fashion. The means used by the Franks in particular in warfare were hardly surprising for the time, or subject to control by the Church. There was no Church presence to mitigate the sack of Jerusalem in the First Crusade.

In the Fourth Crusade, the responsibility for the destruction of Constantinople must be placed on the Doge of Venice and the schemes of the pretender to the imperial throne, rather than at the foot of Pope Innocent III who was horrified at the Christian slaughter of Christians that made a crusade to the Holy Land impossible.

The attacks on the Jews in the Rhineland that took place on the eve of the First Crusade were in direct contradiction to Church teaching and the local hierarchy would be the only physical defenders of the Jewish population.

It is difficult to argue that the Crusades for the Holy Land had any real positive impact on Western culture and the Church. They certainly did nothing to improve relations between Islam and Christianity, though they also certainly did not cause what had already been a violent confrontation between East and West since the Islamic emergence under Mohammed centuries earlier. The persistent division of Western Christianity in the Orthodox schism was hardened by the Fourth Crusade, but the schism itself and the causes of it pre-existed the Crusades.

http://www.catholicleague.org/research/battle_over_the_crusades.htm
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« Reply #85 on: December 31, 2007, 01:17:57 am »

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Image of Edessa

According to Christian legend, the Image of Edessa, (known to Orthodox Christians as the Mandylion), was a holy relic consisting of a square or rectangle of cloth upon which a miraculous image of the face of Jesus was imprinted— the first icon ("image").

The legend of the mandylion as it is known today is the product of centuries of development. The first and earliest version involves a letter written by King Abgar of Edessa to Jesus, asking him to come cure him of an illness. It is found in the early 4th century History of the Church ( 1.13.5-1.13.22) written by Eusebius of Caesarea who claimed that he had transcribed and translated the actual letter in the Syriac chancery documents of the king of Edessa. In this earliest account, Christ replies by letter, saying that when he had completed his earthly mission and ascended, he would send a disciple to heal Abgar (and does so). It is noteworthy that in this first account there is no mention of an image of Jesus. That was a later addition to the story.

The next stage of development appears in the Doctrine of Addai [Thaddeus], c. 400 c.e., which introduces a court painter among a delegation sent by Abgar to Jesus, who paints a portrait of Jesus to take back to his master: "When Hannan, the keeper of the archives, saw that Jesus spoke thus to him, by virtue of being the king's painter, he took and painted a likeness of Jesus with choice paints, and brought with him to Abgar the king, his master. And when Abgar the king saw the likeness, he received it with great joy, and placed it with great honor in one of his palatial houses" (Addai 13).

By 544, when Procopius recorded the recovery of Edessa from the Persians, he attributed the event to the letter sent from Jesus to Abgar. Yet in 593 Evagrius attributed the same event to a miraculous "God-made image," a miraculous imprint of the face of Jesus upon a cloth. It was this last and latest stage of the legend that became accepted in Eastern Orthodoxy and was mistakenly regarded as historical.

Thus we can trace the development of the legend from no image in Eusebius (just a letter) to an image painted by a court painter in Addai; then to a miracle caused by the letter in Procopius, which becomes a miracle caused by a miraculously-created image supernaturally made when Jesus pressed a cloth to his wet face in Evagrius.

The later legend of the image recounts that because the successors of Abgar reverted to paganism, the bishop placed the miraculous image inside a wall, and setting a burning lamp before the image, he sealed them up behind a tile; that the image was later found again, after a vision, on the night of the Persian invasion, and that not only had it miraculously reproduced itself on the tile, but the same lamp was still burning before it; further, that the bishop of Edessa used a fire into which oil flowing from the image was poured to destroy the Persians.

This long in the making legend of a miraculous first images of Jesus that appeared on a cloth he pressed to his wet face, was adopted by the Eastern Orthodox church not as legend, but as presumed historical fact. Countless reproductions of what was considered to be the image were painted as icons; many reproductions were carried by the Russian armies of Tsar Nicholas II. Because the miraculous image of the later legend was believed to be not made by humans but by God, it is called acheiropoietos in Greek--"Not Made by Hands."

John of Damascus (died 749) mentions the image in his anti-iconoclastic work On Holy Images [1], quoting a tradition that Abgarus had requested an image of Jesus and Jesus himself put a cloth to his face to produce the image. The cloth is described as being a "strip", or oblong cloth, rather than a square, as other accounts hold.


The Mandylion of Edessa from the private chapel of the pope in the Vatican. Photography taken in the pavillion of the Holy See during the EXPO 2000 in Hannover/ GermanyThe Mandylion disappeared again after the Persians conquered Edessa in 609. An Arab legend, related to historian Andrew Palmer when he visited Urfa (Edessa) in 1999, relates that the towel (mendil) of Jesus was thrown into a well in what is today the city's Great Mosque. The Christian tradition is at variance with this, recounting how in 944 it was exchanged for a group of Muslim prisoners— at that time the Image of Edessa was taken to Constantinople where it was received amidst great celebration by emperor Romanus I, who deposited it in the Palatine Chapel. It remained there until the Crusaders sacked the city in 1204 and carried off many of its treasures to western Europe - though the "Image of Edessa" is not mentioned in this context in any contemporary document.

Other documents from the 6th century— it is said— in the Vatican Library and the University of Leiden, Netherlands, seem to suggest another image at Edessa. A 10th century codex, Codex Vossianus Latinus Q 69 found by Gino Zaninotto in the Vatican Library contains an 8th-century account saying that an imprint of Christ's whole body was left on a canvas kept in a church in Edessa: it quotes a man called Smera in Constantinople: "King Abgar received a cloth on which one can see not only a face but the whole body" (in Latin: Faciei figuram sed totius corporis figuram cernere poteris)1. This image is apparently not the same as the mandylion whose widely-disseminated and familiar iconic image is of a face alone.

However, some modern researchers have suggested that by folding the Shroud of Turin it is possible to display a rectangle of fabric showing only the face, suggesting that the Shroud and the Mandylion are in fact one and the same relic. This interpretation is also a means of explaining the provenance of the Shroud - of which no record exists before the fourteenth century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_of_Edessa
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« Reply #86 on: December 31, 2007, 01:18:28 am »

Rachel Dearth

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Iron Crown of Lombardy

The Iron Crown of Lombardy (Corona Ferrea) is both a reliquary and one of the most ancient royal insignia of Europe. It is kept in the Cathedral at Monza, Lombardy.

The Iron Crown is so called from a narrow band of iron within it, said to be beaten out of one of the nails used at the Crucifixion. This very thin band is about one centimeter (three-eighths of an inch) broad. According to tradition, the nail was first given to Emperor Constantine by his mother Helena, who discovered the Cross. How it fell into the hands of the Lombard kings is not well explained. The outer circlet of the crown is of six gold and enamel segments of beaten gold, joined together by hinges and set with precious stones that stand out in relief, in the form of crosses and flowers.

Its small size and hinged construction have suggested to some that it was originally an armlet or perhaps a votive crown that was presented to the Cathedral of Monza, where it is preserved as a holy relic. On March 1, 1026, Heribert, the archbishop of Milan, crowned Conrad II at Milan with the Iron Crown of Lombardy. From the 9th to the 12th century the Kings of Italy received the Iron Crown of Lombardy at Pavia.


Cathedral of MonzaOn the May 26, 1805, Napoleon had himself crowned King of Italy at Milan, with suitable splendor and magnificence. Seated upon a superb throne, he was invested with the usual insignia of royalty by the Cardinal Archbishop of Milan, and ascending the altar, he took the iron crown, and placing it on his head, exclaimed, being part of the ceremony used at the enthronement of the Lombard kings, Dieu me la donne, gare à qui la touche – "God gives it to me, beware those who touch it".

On the occasion, Napoleon founded the Order of the Iron Crown, on June 15, 1805. After Napoleon's fall and the annexation of Lombardy to Austria, the order was re-instituted by the Austrian Emperor Francis I, on January 1, 1816. Emperor Ferdinand I was crowned King of Lombardy and Venetia in Milan on September 6, 1838, using the Iron Crown. After the war between Austria and Italy, when the Austrian had to withdraw from Italy in 1859, the Iron Crown was delivered to Victor Emmanuel.

A surprising image of the Iron Crown figures in Chaper 37 "Sunset" of Herman Melville's Moby Dick. The brief chapter is devoted to Captain Ahab's soliloquy. Among his delusions of persecution and of grandeur, he imagines himself crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy, an unexpectedly erudite touch for Ahab, though perhaps not for Melville.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Crown_of_Lombardy
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« Reply #87 on: December 31, 2007, 01:19:10 am »

Rachel Dearth

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   posted 12-11-2005 07:37 PM                       
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Relics attributed to Jesus

There are many relics attributed to Jesus that people believe or believed to be authentic relics of the Gospel accounts.

The Shroud of Turin is perhaps the most well-known relic; its authenticity was questioned due to radiocarbon dating, performed in 1988, the accuracy of which has itself been subsequently questioned. The earlier-measured sample was generally agreed to have been thrown off by contamination on the shroud, though retests are also debated, and it remains a controversial item.

Other alleged relics include:

Pieces of the True Cross, including the half of the INRI inscription tablet, preserved at the ancient basilica Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome. Very small pieces or particles of the True Cross are preserved in hundreds of other churches in Europe.
The Calvary of crucifixion, a small rock called Golgotha, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Inside the church is a pile of rock about 3 m high, believed to be what is now visible of Calvary.
The Iron Crown of Lombardy and Bridle of Constantine, said to be made from nails used during the crucifixion
The Holy Prepuce or foreskin of Jesus, removed during his circumcision
The Spear of Destiny or Holy Lance, the spear of Longinus used to pierce Jesus' side when he was on the cross, to ensure that he had died.
The Crown of Thorns which was placed upon the head of Jesus at his crucifixion by Pontius Pilate
The Holy Chalice which Jesus used for serving wine during the Last Supper
The Holy Grail which is said to have been used to collect Jesus' blood during Crucifixion
Veronica's Veil, used to wipe the sweat from Jesus' brow as he carried the cross
The Seamless robe of Jesus, which is kept at the cathedral of Trier
Letters Jesus himself has written to Abgar, the King of Edessa declining an invitation to visit his palace.
The "Icon Not Made by Hands" that Jesus allegedly sent to the King of Edessa to cure him of leprosy.
the Sudarium of Oviedo
the Holy Sponge, in Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
the Holy Umbilical Cord
hair
tears
blood
milk teeth


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relics_attributed_to_Jesus
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« Reply #88 on: December 31, 2007, 01:19:45 am »

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Naturally, there are no alleged relics of his bones, because of Christianity's belief in Jesus' bodily resurrection.

Many modern Christians, however, do not accept any of these as true relics. Indeed, this skepticism has been around for centuries, with Erasmus joking that so much wood formed parts of the True Cross, that Jesus must have been crucified on a whole forest.

In 2002, an ossuary with the inscription Ya`aqov bar Yosef akhui Yeshua` ("James son of Joseph brother of Jesus") came to light under questionable provenance and was thought by some to be historical evidence for Jesus's brother James. On June 18, 2003, the Israeli Antiquities Authority published a report concluding that the inscription on the ossuary is a modern forgery based on their analysis of the patina. It appears that the inscription was added recently and made to look old by addition of a chalk solution. The dealer, Oded Golan, was arrested at his Tel Aviv home July 21, on suspicion of forging ancient artifacts. He was released on July 25; as of August 8 charges had not yet been filed against him. Allegedly, authorities found forgery equipment and partially completed forgeries in Oded Golan's home.

In the work Asarim the Sudarium (John 20:7) is described as a Turban. The fact that it was set aside in the tomb when found points out that Jesus had removed it from his head himself and that the tomb had not in fact been robbed at any point in time. It can in fact be seen in the Cathedral of Oviedo, Spain.
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« Reply #89 on: December 31, 2007, 01:20:14 am »

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   posted 12-14-2005 11:34 PM                       
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The problem with the Crusades wasn't simply because the west invaded Arab lands, it was the way they did it.

You know when Alexander and the Romans invaded and absorbed other lands, they allowed the people to keep their culture. That built good will among the masses.

If you invade other lands and kill those people simply because of their culture, naturally that will start the cycle of death and vengeance.

The reason why Alexander was so successful and the Roman Empire lasted as long as it did was precisely because they made a point not to do that.
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