Financing the tribute to the Kingdom of Jerusalem: An urban tax in Damascus

Near_East_1135

After a brief introduction to legal taxation and Saljuq fiscal policy, the philological problems in the definition of a specific due, al-fissa, illegitimate according to the sharia, will be addressed along with its political function and history. This due was levied in Damascus for the tribute to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

Mosaics discovered at Byzantine-era Synagogue in Israel

The newly found mosaic with an inscription in the Horvat Kur synagogue (photographed by Jaakko Haapanen, www.haapanenphotography.com; © Kinneret Regional Project.

Excavations of a medieval synagogue in Israel dating to the Byzantine period (4th—7th c. CE) have uncovered a partially-preserved colorful mosaic floor.

Byzantine church discovered near Jerusalem

Remains of a Byzantine church discovered near Jerusalem. Photo by Skyview Company, courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remains of a Byzantine church and road station just west of Jerusalem. The site is believed to be about 1500 years old.

Early Christian Mosaic Floor discovered in Nazareth

mosaic floor nazareth

Mosaic floor found under the Church of the Annunciation is believed to date to the fourth century.

Caliph’s palace on the shores of the Sea of Galilee to be restored

Aerial view of the excavated early Islamic caliph's palace Khirbat al-Minya (photo/©: Yaniv Darvasi, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

The German government will be funding archaeologists to help restored an Umayyad palace dating back to the early eighth century.

Enumerating the Battles, Skirmishes, and Naval Actions at the Siege of Acre

Philip Augustus and Richard I receiving the surrender of Acre

Hosler examines the many episodes during the siege, which involved Saladin’s Egyptian and Syrian troops, fighting against crusader forces that were eventually joined by kings Philip Augustus and Richard I.

Medieval cesspit in Jerusalem reveals 15th century diseases

British Library Egerton 1070   f. 5   Jerusalem

Analysis of a latrine in Jerusalem that dates back over 500 years finds human parasites common in northern Europe yet very rare in Middle East at the time, suggesting long-distance trade or pilgrimage routes and shedding light on prevalent infectious diseases of the age.

The German Crusade of 1197-1198

Reconquest of Beirut, Alexandre Hesse, 1842

This article reconsiders the significance of the German Crusade of 1197-8, often dismissed as a very minor episode in the history of the Crusading movement.

Infidel Dogs: Hunting Crusaders with Usama ibn Munqidh

Battle between the Turks and the Crusaders  - The Hague, KB, KA 20 fol. 254v

Few works of medieval Arabic literature are as valuable to the student of Islamic perspectives on the Crusades as the Kitab al-I tibar or Book of Learning by Example by the Syrian warrior and man-of-letters Usama ibn Munqidh (1095–1188).

Gold coin hoard discovered off Mediterranean coast

gold coins israel - photo courtesy Israel Antiquities Authority

Nearly 2,000 coins, the largest treasure hoard ever discovered in Israel, was found a few weeks ago in the waters off the medieval port of Caesarea.

1500-year-old Byzantine grape seeds discovered in Israel

wine of negev

The charred grape seeds, over 1,500 years old, found in southern Israel excavation were used to produce the ‘Wine of the Negev’ – one of the finest and most renowned wines in the whole of the Byzantine Empire.

Why does Saladin have such good PR in the Medieval West?

Saladin -  by Gustave Doré

The story of Hattin and the Third Crusade is a very good read and it features a splendid duel, indeed almost a tournament, pitting Saladin against Richard the Lionheart. And to this exciting mixture is added a dash of sex

The Muslim Conquest of Byzantine Palestina – Monstrous Invasion or Peaceful Occupation?

Byzantine Palestine. Created by Haldrik

The Persian and Muslim invasions of Palestina brought with them large-scale changes to the whole region

An Unknown Female Martyr from Jerusalem

Jerusalem

In the present article we edit the fragment of a text related to an unnamed female new martyr from Jerusalem from the time of John XIII.

Why did the First Crusade succeed while later Crusades failed

Adhémar de Monteil carrying the Holy Lance in one of the battles of the First Crusade

The overwhelming success of the First set off a chain of events that would eventually make it almost impossible for future Crusades to achieve the same levels of success as the first.

Byzantine monastery discovered the Negev Desert

Photograph: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

An impressive Byzantine monastery dating to the late sixth-century has been discovered in the northern part of the Negev Desert in Israel.

Asserting Political Authority in a Sacred Landscape: A Comparison of Umayyad and Israeli Jerusalem

The Dome of The Rock Mosque, in the temple mount. Photo by David Baum

Maintenance of authority is of course the end goal, but how does political leadership ‘build’ political authority in the first place?

Byzantine Church and Mosaic discovered in Israel

The Byzantine period mosaic uncovered in the church - Copyright: Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists working for the Israel Antiquities Authority have uncovered the remains of a 1500 year old Byzantine church south of Tel Aviv. It includes a large mosaic and inscriptions in Greek.

A Twelfth-Century Oil Press Complex at the Crusader Town of Arsur (Apollonia-Arsuf) and the Olive Oil Industry in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem

Remains of the Crusader fortress of Arsuf

This article documents an oil press discovered in the southern part of the Crusader town of Arsur, dating to the twelfth century CE.

A Climate for Crusades? Weather, climate and armed pilgrimage to the Holy Land (11th–14th Century)

Crusaders on the march

The crusaders found themselves confronted not only with foreign cultures and violent armed resistance, but also with an alien natural environment and climatic conditions that could prove to be sometimes just as fatal as the arrows of the enemy.

Eleventh-century villa discovered in Israel

Pictures of the fountain and the plumbing - Photographic credit: Assaf Peretz; courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Archaeologists working near the central-Israeli city of Ramla have discovered the remains of an eleventh-century villa that had its own garden fountain.

Melisende: A True Queen

Fulk and Melisende

This leads us to our primary question: did Melisende rule as a political entity during this time?

Byzantine coins and jewelry discovered in Israel

Bronze rings that were uncovered in the excavation. Photograph: Assaf Peretz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority

Refuse pits near the ancient city of Apollonia-Arsuf are turning up a large number of artefacts, including hundreds of Byzantine coins, Samaritan lamps and gold jewelry. Why were people throwing out this stuff?

Crusader hospital discovered in Jerusalem

Yoli Shwartz, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.

The remains of a large hospital from the Crusader period have been discovered in the heart of Old Jerusalem, according to the Israel Antiquities Authority. Later this year the public will be to visit part of the structure when the site is turned into a restaurant.

Holy Meditations and Earthly Curiosities: Understanding Late Medieval Pilgrims to Jerusalem

pilgrims in jerusalem

There were many worthy sites along the way, destinations in themselves, but Jerusalem in particular was unrivaled. It lured pilgrims to face death just to stand upon Mountjoy, that fabled vantage point overlooking the city.

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