Tag Archives: Byzantine Empire

WORD: bezant


bezant

Definition: (noun) A gold coin of the Byzantine Empire; widely circulated in Europe in the Middle Ages.
Synonyms: solidus
Usage: The gold coin I found on my archaeology dig turned out to be an authentic bezant. Discuss.
Advertisements

Basiliscus


Basiliscus

Shortly after seizing control of the Eastern Roman Empire, Flavius Basiliscus alienated his supporters by promoting Miaphysitism—a doctrine which holds that in the person of Jesus there was but a single nature that merged both the human and the divine rather than a dual nature. Consequently, his rule lasted just 20 months. Earlier in his career, Basiliscus led the disastrous invasion of Vandal Africa, one of the greatest military operations in history. How many ships and soldiers were involved? More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 17th, 2015: St. Paschal Baylon


 

Image of St. Paschal Baylon

St. Paschal Baylon

Franciscan lay brother and mystic. Born to a peasant family at Torre Hermosa, in Aragon, on Whitsunday, he was christened Pascua in honor of the feast. According to accounts of his early life, … continue reading

More Saints of the Day

Islam in Europe: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Islam in Europe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Islam in Europe
by percentage of country population[1]

 
 
FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe

FROM WIKIPEDIA: Islam in Europe (click to enlarge)

Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe in 711 with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. They advanced into France but in 732, were defeated by the Franks at the Battle of Tours. Over the centuries the Umayyads were gradually driven south and in 1492 the Moorish Emirate of Granada surrendered to Ferdinand V and Isabella. Muslim civilians were expelled from Spain and by 1614 none remained.[2]

Islam entered Eastern and Southeastern Europe in what are now parts of Russia and Bulgaria in the 13th century. The Ottoman Empire expanded into Europe taking portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries. Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire also gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922. However, parts of the Balkans (such as Albania and Bosnia) continued to have a large populations of Muslims.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries substantial numbers of Muslims immigrated to Europe. By 2010 an estimated 44 million Muslims were living in Europe.

Iberia and Southern France

 
A manuscript page of the Qur’an in the script developed in al-Andalus, 12th century.
Main articles: Al-Andalus and Moors

 
The Moors request permission from James I of Aragon, Spain, 13th century

Muslim forays into Europe began shortly after the religion’s inception, with a short lived invasion of Byzantine Sicily by a small Arab and Berber force that landed in 652. Islam gained its first foothold in continental Europe from 711 onward, with the Umayyad conquest of Hispania. The invaders named their land Al-Andalus, which expanded to include what is now Portugal and Spain except for the northern highlands of Asturias, Basque country, Navarra and few other places protected by mountain chains from southward invasions.

Al-Andalus has been estimated to have had a Muslim majority by the 10th century after most of the local population converted to Islam.[3]:42 This coincided with the La Convivencia period of the Iberian Peninsula as well as the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. Pelayo of Asturias began the Christian counter-offensive known as the Reconquista after the Battle of Covadonga in 722. Slowly, the Christian forces began a conquest of the fractured taifa kingdoms of al-Andalus. By 1236, practically all that remained of Muslim Spain was the southern province of Granada.

In the 8th century, Muslim forces pushed beyond Spain into Aquitaine, in southern France, but suffered a temporary setback when defeated by Eudes, Duke of Aquitaine, at the Battle of Toulouse (721). In 725 Muslim forces captured Autun in France. The town would be the easternmost point of expansion of Umayyad forces into Europe; just seven years later in 732, the Umayyads would be forced to begin their withdrawal to al-Andalus after facing defeat at the Battle of Tours by Frankish King Charles Martel. From 719 to 759, Septimania was one of the five administrative areas of al-Andalus. The last Muslim forces were driven from France in 759, but maintained a presence, especially in Fraxinet all the way into Switzerland until the 10th century.[4] At the same time, Muslim forces managed to capture Sicily and portions of southern Italy, and even sacked Rome in 846 and later sacked Pisa in 1004.

Sicily

Muslim musicians at the court of the Norman King Roger II of Sicily, 12th century

Sicily was gradually conquered by the Arabs and Berbers from 827 onward, and the Emirate of Sicily was established in 965. They held onto the region until their expulsion by the Normans in 1072.[5][6]

The local population conquered by the Muslims were Romanized Catholic Sicilians in Western Sicily and partially Greek speaking Christians, mainly in the eastern half of the island, but there were also a significant number of Jews.[7] These conquered people were afforded a limited freedom of religion under the Muslims as dhimmi, but were subject to some restrictions. The dhimmi were also required to pay the jizya, or poll tax, and the kharaj or land tax, but were exempt from the tax that Muslims had to pay (Zakaat). Under Arab rule there were different categories of Jizya payers, but their common denominator was the payment of the Jizya as a mark of subjection to Muslim rule in exchange for protection against foreign and internal aggression. The conquered population could avoid this subservient status simply by converting to Islam. Whether by honest religious conviction or societal compulsion large numbers of native Sicilians converted to Islam. However, even after 100 years of Islamic rule, numerous Greek speaking Christian communities prospered, especially in north-eastern Sicily, as dhimmi. This was largely a result of the Jizya system which allowed co-existence. This co-existence with the conquered population fell apart after the reconquest of Sicily, particularly following the death of King William II of Sicily in 1189.

Cultural impact and Christian interaction

“Araz” coat of arms of Polish Tatar nobility. Tatar coats of arms often included motifs related to Islam.

 
Mosque of Rome, in Rome, the largest in the EU

 
The East London Mosque is the first mosque which was allowed to broadcast the adhan in European Union.

The Christian reconquests the Iberian peninsula and southern Italy helped to reintroduce ideas and concepts lost to the Western World after the fall of Rome in A.D. 476. Arab speaking Christian scholars saved influential pre-Christian texts and this coupled with the introduction of aspects of medieval Islamic culture (including the arts, agriculture, economics, philosophy, science and technology) assisted with fomenting conditions required for a rebirth of European thought and art (Renaissance). (See Latin translations of the 12th century and Islamic contributions to Medieval Europe for more information).

Muslim rule endured in the Emirate of Granada, from 1238 as a vassal state of the Christian Kingdom of Castile, until the completion of La Reconquista in 1492.[3]:41 The Moriscos (Moorish in Spanish) were finally expelled from Spain between 1609 (Castile) and 1614 (rest of Spain), by Philip III during the Spanish Inquisition.

Throughout the 16th to 19th centuries, the Barbary States sent Barbary pirates to raid nearby parts of Europe in order to capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in the Arab World throughout the Renaissance period.[8][9] According to Robert Davis, from the 16th to 19th centuries, pirates captured 1 million to 1.25 million Europeans as slaves. These slaves were captured mainly from the crews of captured vessels[10] and from coastal villages in Spain and Portugal, and from farther places like Italy, France or England, the Netherlands, Ireland, the Azores Islands, and even Iceland.[8]

For a long time, until the early 18th century, the Crimean Khanate maintained a massive slave trade with the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East.[11] The Crimean Tatars frequently mounted raids into the Danubian principalities, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia to enslave people whom they could capture.[12]

The Great Mosque of Paris, built after World War I.

The Balkans, Russia and Ukraine

 
Log pod Mangartom Mosque was the only mosque ever built in Slovenia, in the town of Log pod Mangartom, during World War I.

There are accounts of the trade connections between the Muslims and the Rus, apparently people from Baltic region who made their way towards the Black Sea through Central Russia. On his way to Volga Bulgaria, Ibn Fadlan brought detailed reports of the Rus, claiming that some had converted to Islam. “They are very fond of pork and many of them who have assumed the path of Islam miss it very much.” The Rus also relished their nabidh, a fermented drink Ibn Fadlan often mentioned as part of their daily fare.[13]

The Ottoman campaign for territorial expansion in Europe in 1566, Crimean Tatars as vanguard.

The Mongols began their conquest of Rus’, Volga Bulgaria, and the Cuman-Kipchak Confederation (present day Russia and Ukraine) in the 13th century. After the Mongol empire split, the eastern European section became known as the Golden Horde. Despite the fact that they were not Muslim at the time, the western Mongols adopted Islam as their religion in the early 14th century under Berke Khan, and later Uzbeg Khan who established it as the official religion of the state. Much of the mostly Turkic-speaking population of the Horde, as well as the small Mongol aristocracy, were Islamized (if they were not already Muslim, such as the Volga Bulgars) and became known to Russians and Europeans as the Tatars. More than half[14] of the European portion of what is now Russia and Ukraine, were under suzerainty of Muslim Tatars and Turks from the 13th to 15th centuries. The Crimean Khanate became a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire in 1475 and subjugated what remained of the Great Horde by 1502. The Khanate of Kazan was conquered by Ivan the Terrible in 1552.

Balkans during the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, awaits the arrival of his Greek Muslim Grand Vizier Pargalı Ibrahim Pasha at Buda, in the year 1529.

 
Medieval Bulgaria particularly the city of Sofia, was the administrative centre of almost all Ottoman possessions in the Balkans also known as Rumelia.[15]

The Ottoman Empire began its expansion into Europe by taking the European portions of the Byzantine Empire in the 14th and 15th centuries up until the 1453 capture of Constantinople, establishing Islam as the state religion in the region. The Ottoman Empire continued to stretch northwards, taking Hungary in the 16th century, and reaching as far north as the Podolia in the mid-17th century (Peace of Buczacz), by which time most of the Balkans was under Ottoman control. Ottoman expansion in Europe ended with their defeat in the Great Turkish War. In the Treaty of Karlowitz (1699), the Ottoman Empire lost most of its conquests in Central Europe. The Crimean Khanate was later annexed by Russia in 1783.[16] Over the centuries, the Ottoman Empire gradually lost almost all of its European territories, until its collapse in 1922, when the former empire was transformed into the nation of Turkey.

Between 1354 (when the Ottomans crossed into Europe at Gallipolli) and 1526, the Empire had conquered the territory of present day Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Hungary. The Empire laid siege to Vienna in 1683. The intervention of the Polish King broke the siege, and from then afterwards the Ottomans battled the Habsburg Emperors until 1699, when the Treaty of Karlowitz forced them to surrender Hungary and portions of present day Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia. From 1699 to 1913, wars and insurrections pushed the Ottoman Empire further back until it reached the current European border of present-day Turkey.

For most of this period, the Ottoman retreats were accompanied by Muslim refugees from these province (in almost all cases converts from the previous subject populations), leaving few Muslim inhabitants in Hungary, Croatia, and the Transylvania region of present day Romania. Bulgaria remained under Ottoman rule until around 1878, and currently its population includes about 131,000 Muslims (2001 Census) (see Pomaks).

Painting of the bazaar at Athens, Ottoman Greece, early 19th century

Bosnia was conquered by the Ottomans in 1463, and a large portion of the population converted to Islam in the first 200 years of Ottoman domination. By the time Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia in 1878, the Habsburgs had shed the desire to re-Christianize new provinces. As a result, a sizable Muslim population in Bosnia survived into the 20th century. Albania and the Kosovo area remained under Ottoman rule until 1913. Previous to the Ottoman conquest, the northern Albanians were Roman Catholic and the southern Albanians were Christian Orthodox, but by 1913 the majority were Muslim.

Conversion to Islam

Apart from the effect of a lengthy period under Ottoman domination, many of the subject population were converted to Islam as a result of a deliberate move by the Ottomans as part of a policy of ensuring the loyalty of the population against a potential Venetian invasion. However, Islam was spread by force in the areas under the control of the Ottoman Sultan through devşirme and jizya.[17][18]

Rather Arnold explains Islam’s spread by quoting 17th-century pro-Muslim[citation needed] author Johannes Scheffler who stated:

Meanwhile he (i.e. the Turk) wins (converts) by craft more than by force, and snatches away Christ by fraud out of the hearts of men. For the Turk, it is true, at the present time compels no country by violence to apostatise; but he uses other means whereby imperceptibly he roots out Christianity… What then has become of the Christians? They are not expelled from the country, neither are they forced to embrace the Turkish faith: then they must of themselves have been converted into Turks.[19]

Cultural influences

Islam piqued interest among European scholars, setting off the movement of Orientalism. The founder of modern Islamic studies in Europe was Ignác Goldziher, who began studying Islam in the late 19th century. For instance, Sir Richard Francis Burton, 19th-century English explorer, scholar, and orientalist, and translator of The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, disguised himself as a Pashtun and visited both Medina and Mecca during the Hajj, as described in his book A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah.

Islamic architecture influenced European architecture in various ways (for example, the Türkischer Tempel synagogue in Vienna). During the 12th-century Renaissance in Europe, Latin translations of Arabic texts were introduced. The Koran was also translated (for example, Lex Mahumet pseudoprophete).

Current population and its perception

Muslim-majority areas in Europe

According to the Pew Forum, the total number of Muslims in Europe in 2010 was about 44 million (6%),[20] excluding Turkey. The total number of Muslims in the European Union in 2010 was about 19 million (3.8%).[20] Approximately 9 million Turks are living in Europe, excluding the Turkish population of Turkey, which makes up the largest Muslim immigrant community in Europe.[21] However the real number of Muslims in Europe is not well-known. The percentage of Muslims in Russia (the biggest group of Muslims in Europe) varies from 5[22] to 11.7%,[20] depending on sources. It also depends on if only observant Muslims or all people of Muslim descent are counted.[citation needed]

The Mosque of Sultan Mehmet Fatih in Pristina, Kosovo

The Muslim population in Europe is extremely diverse with varied histories and origins. Today, the Muslim-majority regions of Europe are Albania, Kosovo, parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, parts of Bulgaria and Macedonia, as well as some Russian regions in Northern Caucasus and the Volga region. The Muslim-dominated Sandžak of Novi Pazar is divided between Serbia and Montenegro. They consist predominantly of indigenous Europeans of the Muslim faith whose religious tradition dates back several hundred years. The transcontinental countries of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan also are Muslim majority.

The Muslim population in Western Europe is composed primarily of peoples who arrived to the European continent in or after (1945), when France declared itself a country of immigration. Muslim emigration to metropolitan France surged during the Algerian War of Independence. In 1961, West German Government invited first Gastarbeiters. Similar contracts were offered by Switzerland. A 2013 poll by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung says that Islamic fundamentalism is widespread among European Muslims with the majority saying religious rules are more important than civil laws and three quarters rejecting religious pluralism within Islam.[23] The European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia reports that the Muslim population tends to suffer Islamophobia all over Europe, although the perceptions and views of Muslims may vary.[24]

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that 70% of the people of Albania [25][26][27] are Muslim, 91% in Kosovo, and 30% of them in Macedonia are Muslim. Bosnia has a Muslim plurality. In transcontinental countries such as Turkey 99%, and 93% in Azerbaijan[28] of the population is Muslim respectively. Muslims also form about one sixth of the population of Montenegro. In Russia, Moscow is home to an estimated 1.5 million Muslims.[29][30][31]

Projections

 
According to the Pew Research Center, Europe’s population was 6% Muslim in 2010, and is projected to be 8% Muslim by 2030.[20]

Don Melvin wrote in 2004 that, excluding Russia, Europe’s Muslim population will double by 2020. He also says that almost 85% of Europe’s total population growth in 2005 was due to immigration in general.[30][32] Omer Taspinar predicted in 2001 that the Muslim population of Europe will nearly double by 2015, while the non-Muslim will shrink by 3.5%, if the higher Muslim birth rate persists.[33] In the UK, between 2001 and 2009, the Muslim population increased roughly 10 times faster than the rest of the population.[34]

A 2007 Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report argued that some Muslim population projections are overestimated.[35] Philip Jenkins of Penn State University estimates that by 2100, Muslims will compose about 25% of Europe’s population. Jenkins states this figure does not take account divergent birthrates amongst Europe’s immigrant Christians.[36] Other analysts are skeptical about the accuracy of the claimed Muslim population growth, stating that because many European countries do not ask a person’s religion on official forms or in censuses, it has been difficult to obtain accurate estimates, and arguing that there has been a decrease in Muslim fertility rates in Morocco, the Netherlands and Turkey.[37] A Pew Research Center study, published in January 2011, forecast an increase of Muslims in European population from 6% in 2010 to 8% in 2030.[20] Pew also found that Muslim fertility rate in Europe would drop from 2.2 in 2010 to 2.0 in 2030. On the other hand, the non-Muslim fertility rate in Europe would increase from 1.5 in 2010 to 1.6 in 2030.[20]

by percentage of country population[1]
  < 1%
  1–2%
  2–4%
  4–5%
  5–10%
  10–20%
  20–30%
Cyprus
  30–40%
Rep. of Macedonia
  40–50%
Bosnia–Herzegovina
  80–90%
Albania
  90–95%
Kosovo
  95–100%

MORE READING: HERE

“Camp Brisket” a Thriller for Grillers


“Camp Brisket” a Thriller for Grillers

People flocked to Texas A&M University’s Meat Science and Technology Center this month for Camp Brisket, a gathering focused on how to properly cook the eponymous cut of meat. Many campers were foodies experienced with cooking barbecue staples, like pulled pork, but looking to conquer the more challenging brisket. Meat scientists, chefs, and pit masters all taught lessons about the day-long grilling and seasoning process that brisket requires. Tickets to the popular event, which cost up to $550, sold out in minutes. More… Discuss

Saint of the Day for Wednesday, January 7th, 2015: Raymond of Pennafort


SAINT OF THE DAY – APRIL 13: ST. MARTIN I


SAINT OF THE DAY
Catholic saints are holy people and human people who lived extraordinary lives. Each saint the Church honors responded to God’s invitation to use his or her unique gifts. God calls each one of us to be a saint. Click here to receive Saint of the Day in your email.

April 13
St. Martin I
(d. 655)
When Martin I became pope in 649, Constantinople was the capital of the Byzantine empire and the patriarch of Constantinople was the most influential Church leader in the eastern Christian world. The struggles that existed within the Church at that time were magnified by the close cooperation of emperor and patriarch.

A teaching, strongly supported in the East, held that Christ had no human will. Twice emperors had officially favored this position, Heraclius by publishing a formula of faith and Constans II by silencing the issue of one or two wills in Christ.

Shortly after assuming the office of the papacy (which he did without first being confirmed by the emperor), Martin held a council at the Lateran in which the imperial documents were censured, and in which the patriarch of Constantinople and two of his predecessors were condemned. Constans II, in response, tried first to turn bishops and people against the pope.

Failing in this and in an attempt to kill the pope, the emperor sent troops to Rome to seize Martin and to bring him back to Constantinople. Already in poor health, Martin offered no resistance, returned with the exarch Calliopas and was then submitted to various imprisonments, tortures and hardships. Although condemned to death and with some of the torture imposed already carried out, Martin was saved from execution by the pleas of a repentant Paul, patriarch of Constantinople, who was himself gravely ill.

Martin died shortly thereafter, tortures and cruel treatment having taken their toll. He is the last of the early popes to be venerated as a martyr.

Comment:

The real significance of the word martyr comes not from the dying but from the witnessing, which the word means in its derivation. People who are willing to give up everything, their most precious possessions, their very lives, put a supreme value on the cause or belief for which they sacrifice. Martyrdom, dying for the faith, is an incidental extreme to which some have had to go to manifest their belief in Christ. A living faith, a life that exemplifies Christ’s teaching throughout, and that in spite of difficulties, is required of all Christians. Martin might have cut corners as a way of easing his lot, to  make some accommodations with the civil rulers.

Quote:

The breviary of the Orthodox Church pays tribute to Martin: “Glorious definer of the Orthodox Faith…sacred chief of divine dogmas, unstained by error…true reprover of heresy…foundation of bishops, pillar of the Orthodox faith, teacher of religion…. Thou didst adorn the divine see of Peter, and since from this divine Rock, thou didst immovably defend the Church, so now thou art glorified with him.”

Enhanced by Zemanta

ARTICLE: SICILY


Sicily

Sicily, the strategically located largest island in the Mediterranean, has long been a crossroads of history, a “melting pot” of ancient cultures and peoples. It was colonized by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks starting in the 8th century BCE and in the millennia that followed fell first to the Romans, then successively to the Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, and Arabs, and finally to the Normans. Today, it is an autonomous region of Italy. Who are some of history’s most famous SiciliansMore… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Deipnosophistae


The Deipnosophistae

Written in the 3rd-century by the Greek writer Athenaeus, the Deipnosophistae professes to be an account of three banquets held at the house of a scholar and wealthy patron of the arts. The work is invaluable for providing information about the Hellenistic leisure class of the Roman Empire, particularly in terms of food and sexuality. In the course of conversation, the banqueters quote about 700 authors, many of them otherwise unrecorded, and discuss the story behind what famous statue? More… Discuss

Latakia


Latakia

Latakia is Syria‘s principal port city and a manufacturing center for nearby agricultural towns and villages. Formerly the ancient Phoenician city of Ramitha, it was rebuilt circa 290 BCE by one of Alexander the Great’s generals and prospered under Roman rule. Byzantines and Arabs fought over it from the 7th to 11th century, and it was captured in 1098 by the Crusaders and in 1188 by Saladin. From the 16th century to WWI, it was part of the Ottoman Empire, after which it fell into whose hands? More… Discuss

This day in History: The Night Attack (1462)


AtaculdeNoapte_ The Night Attack_Teodor Aman

AtaculdeNoapte_ The Night Attack_Teodor Aman


The Night Attack (1462)

The Night Attack was a battle fought between the forces of Wallachian Prince Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler, and the forces of Mehmed II, sultan of the Ottoman Empire. After Vlad raided Bulgaria and killed more than 20,000 Turks and Bulgarians, Mehmed marched on Wallachia, and the two powers fought a series of skirmishes. In the Night Attack, Vlad attacked the Turkish camp in an attempt to assassinate Mehmed. The attempt failed, but Mehmed retreated anyway. Why? More… Discuss