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Infidel Dogs: Hunting Crusaders with Usama ibn Munqidh

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).

The Patriarch Alexios Stoudites and the Reinterpretation of Justinianic Legislation against Heretics

Using normative legal sources such as law codes and imperial novels to illuminate Byzantine heresy is a very difficult proposition. One of the great problems in the analysis of Byzantine law in general is that the normative legal sources rarely were adapted to subsequent economic, political, or social conditions.

Unexpected Evidence concerning Gold Mining in Early Byzantium

One of the consequences of the decline of Roman imperial might was the shortage of slaves at state-run mines. Consequently, criminals were often sentenced to damnatio ad metallum. The need for gold especially soared when the gold solidus was introduced at the beginning of the fourth century.

Amending the Ascetic: Community and Character in the Old English Life of St. Mary of Egypt

Among the most eligible saints for such treatment, Mary of Egypt deserves particular consideration: her popularity is evidenced by over a hundred extant Greek manuscripts of her Life and her uniquely prominent position in the Lenten liturgical cycle in the Eastern Church.

Syrian army captures Crac des Chevaliers

Syrian government forces have captured the medieval fortress of Crac des Chevaliers from rebels on Thursday.

Christmas Books: Great Medieval Fiction Reads for the Christmas Holidays!

Some medieval stocking stuffers for the historians on your Christmas list!

Crac des Chevaliers – once again – Comments on the state of research

The Crac des Chevaliers in today’s Syria (province of Homs), is one of the most famous castles in the world – and not just because this spectacular eye-catcher is often used as a prime example when talking in the broadest sense about crusades or the Middle Ages in the Near East.

How did Christians view the Rise of Islam?

When Muslim armies came out of Arabia in the 630s and 640s, Christian writers of the time saw it a sign that the Apocalypse had come.

Crac des Chevaliers struck by missile, heavily damaged

Video footage provided by rebels in the Syrian Civil War shows an air strike on Crac des Chevaliers, one of the most famous castles of the Middle Ages.

The Battle of Yarmuk

On August 20, 636 AD, a battle was fought in Syria between the Roman army and a Saracen force made up of allied Arab tribes which during the previous decade had been converted to the new monotheistic religion of the prophet Mohammed.

Christian reactions to Muslim conquests (1st-3rd centuries AH; 7th-9th centuries AD)

We in fact find a great diversity of reactions to Muslim expansion from Christian authors, depending on their particular circumstances and point of view

The Indigenous Christians of the Arabic Middle East in an Age of Crusaders, Mongols, and Mamlūks (1244-1366)

The chronological period of study is highlighted by the usurpation of the Ayyūbid-ruled Sultanate by the Baḥrī Mamlūks, while the two most important political-military events in the region were the collapse of the Crusader States and the invasion of the Mongols. This thesis will examine how events impacted on the nine Christian Confessions, treating each separately.

“Qa’idat al-Mamlakah”: Structural Changes in Taxation and Fiscal Administration during the Reign of al-Nasir Muhammad bin Qalawun

Al-Nasir Muhammad’s reign was defined by his reorganization of the tax system and investment in the agricultural infrastructure of the sultanate in a manner which fundamentally altered the economic structure of the Mamluk state.

Nomadic Violence in the First Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Military Orders

That the threat posed by bands of marauders was taken seriously by the early crusader settlers can be seen by some of the barons’ brutal reactions to it.

Worlds writ small: four studies on miniature architectural forms in the medieval Middle East

While academic discussion of ornament within medieval Islamic art has laboured much over the codification and meaning of certain forms, there has been relatively little research to date on the visual and iconographic function of architecture as ornament in this context…This thesis proposes, first and foremost, that there is significant cultural meaning inherent in the use of architecture as an inspiration for the non-essential formal qualities of portable objects from the medieval Islamic world.

Masonry Techniques of the Early Sixth Century City Wall of Resafa, Syria

This paper will present some of our latest insights on the design of the wall and the structural techniques used for the masonry and will compare these features with similar building structures at other sites.

Curricula and educational process in Mamluk Madrasas

This study examined and discussed about the process of education in Egypt and Syria during the Mamluk Era (1250 – 1517).

Pervenimus Edessam: The Origins of a Great Christian Centre Outside the Familiar Mediaeval World

This is the meeting place of the western and eastern worlds, for near here passed the movements between Palestine and Mesopotamia associated with Abraham, near here the Assyrians made their last stand after their capital fell in 610 B.C., and near here Crassus ill-advised attempt to press eastwards came to an end.

Sultans with Horns: The Political Significance of Headgear in the Mamluk Empire

The aim of this article is to present the changing fashions of headgear of the ruling elite in the Mamluk Empire throughout their reign in Egypt and Syria, and to show how fashion and headgear functioned as markers of social differences in a medieval Islamic society

‘For Whom Does the Writer Write?’: The First Bubonic Plague Pandemic According to Syriac Sources

This includes information about the geographical spread and extent of the initial outbreak in the time of Justinian (541–543), the chronology of later outbreaks, the pathology of the disease, its occurrence among animals…

Arab-Byzantine War, 629-644 AD

The paper seeks to answer the question ‘Why did the Byzantine Empire fail in the defense of these territories’ by looking at diplomatic, military, economic and social differences between the Arab and Byzantine sides.

Crac des Chevaliers in danger as Syrian forces shell town around medieval castle

Video emerged yesterday which appears to show that the town surrounding Crac des Chevaliers in Syria under artillery fire from Syrian forces.

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