Early Middle Ages Lecture
Lisa M. Lane 2008
The text and audio by Lisa M. Lane is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.
>> Today's lecture is going to have, so far, most of my lectures have kept to the chapter, but this particular one can't because we are getting to the Middle Ages, which is my field, so this is the point at which I start getting really unhappy with the textbook authors. It doesn't matter which book, the way we put things together is not necessarily the way that I put things together and for example I see huge changes all over the place taking place in the ninth century that they have scattered all over this chapter and the next two. You are going to see your textbook not only slows down in terms of what dates they cover, it is going to start overlapping in a dumb and confusing way. As they take certain issues and put them in this chapter and then they take certain other issues and put them in the next two chapters, but those issues overlap time wise. So that all of a sudden three chapters from now, they are bringing up something that was back here in the ninth century, because this chapter you just studied goes from 600 to 900 and yet in the next few chapters, you will see stuff happening in the ninth century. I don't mean to stick more timing to the chronology it is just that you missed some of the cross-cultural things that are going on by not doing that. So there is essentially going to be two different focuses here to my lecture on the early Middle Ages. I am going to look at Islam in detail and the chapter definitely did that, but the second part of my lecture, I am going to get into ninth century things that are kind of scattered throughout the next few chapters, because I want you to pull them together and it is just too stupid to do it the way the book is actually doing it. That might actually make the future homework for the next two or three chapters a little bit easier, because some things will have already been brought up already and you will go oh right, she has talked about that already, so maybe it will help in that way too. Recognize this place, we have a picture of it right, right at the beginning of the chapter. Do you remember where it is?
>> Is it Cordova?
>> Cordova good, it is in Cordova, Spain showing then is a good visual way to remember that Islam expanded into Spain, went that far, gives you a little bit of a visual map. So we will get back to that. As with any new area, I always start with what? Map [inaudible], the way the place is laid out and what people have to deal with, we are jumping out of Europe proper again, this time into the Arabian Peninsula. Are you able to orient yourself there with that map? We are way east, we are in the eastern Mediterranean and it has got Iraq right there. It has got the modern nation states and the Tigress and Euphrates Rivers right there going into Iraq. That is ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt over here with the Nile, so this should look very familiar from the map we have worked with before. But here we are focused on the middle part, the Arabian Peninsula. You essentially have a couple of different types of people here, it is more than two, but I am going to oversimplify just for the sake of discussing Islam particularly. You have people that tend to live closer to the Coast here along the Red Sea and then you have people who live here in the interior, in the dessert area and those two types of people are very different. The ones that tend to live near the coast, they were called the Hizdases [assumed spelling] originally. These people are trading. They trade internally. They trade along the coast. They trade across the Red Sea. They are very familiar with Egypt and everywhere else and they are the ones who established these trade networks you see in this map here, pre-Roman trade networks from Arabia to all points everywhere, out to the east, connected to Northern Europe, connected to the Mediterranean, connected directly to Egypt. These trade routes run along that corridor here on the western side of what is now Saudi Arabia and they also run across the desert. So these people along the coast, the ones who are very into trade are going to be somewhat different from the desert people that they trade with. The desert people, so again the coastal people are the.
[ Writing on Board ] Hizdazi and then the people who live in the desert areas are the Bedouin [assumed spelling] and again I am simplifying these groups for the purpose of illustration. They are very different types of people. The Hizdazi are much more cosmopolitan and exposed to ideas from all around them, the Bedouin out in the desert are a little bit more isolate and have some very formal codes of behavior that impact Islam. Because they are in such a harsh environment in the desert, they have one extremely important aspect to their culture that becomes part of Islam. I guess we would call it hospitality.
[ Writing on board ] If people aren't hospitable in the desert, let's say you are out there and you run out of water, you are just going to talk. If you can find someone who can share what they have, you will stay alive. In harsh environments, most cultures that emerge in most harsh environments have a very strict code of hospitality, even to the point that if they are involved in a war and the enemy will die without assistance, they will help. I had in class a few years ago some men who had been in Kuwait during the war there in the 90s and they were telling me that their unit got helplessly lost at one point and a bunch of them ended up breaking away from the main group and were found by a group of Arabs and were taken in, even though they were the enemy, invader, etc and fed, given water, before they were sent on their way again. There is just a code there and it started in Arabia, but it now goes through many of the Muslim cultures of hospitality, even toward the enemy, because without it you will die. So what you get then in the Islamic cultures is a combination of two these two modes. The Hizdazis habit of trading and taking in knowledge from the outside and adapting it, which is a very merchant culture thing to do and the hospitality and other aspects of the Bedouin culture, including things like the Blood Feud, where if somebody from another tribe kills a member of your tribe, you are required to maintain your honor to go kill whoever did it in the other tribe. This blood feud can go back and forth for generations and generations. That is also a Bedouin that comes into the culture. Questions about the geography of the area or these two cultural groups?
>> [Inaudible] so not really.
>> Yes, I am not focusing on the other side so much, because the groups that are in the east are going to be pulled into a lot of the trade networks once Islam expands, but they are not really involved in the beginning. In fact, both Mecca and Medina are along the western edge here. It is hard to read it here, but they are along the purple trade routes on this map. So since both of those early cities of Islam are involved, I am sticking to the western groups for now. It is a lot more culturally diverse than this, of course. Okay, to deal with the significance of Mohammad himself, because he is terribly important to the rise and spread of this particular faith. This building here is the cabal [assumed spelling], it is now the Muslim center of pilgrimage, but it existed I am assuming without the tourists. It existed at the time of Mohammad back in the seventh century. You have got then a courtyard with walls surrounding it where pilgrims go to worship. This was true before Mohammad and in fact Mohammad was born into the tribe that was designated to take care of the cabal. I didn't spell cabal up there.
[ Writing on board ] It is in your books of course. The Kaaba had always been a center of worship, it was the center of worship for the many Arab gods and there had been a lot of them and they had statutes all the way around, at the top of the wall all the way around. And again the [inaudible] tribe, which is the one Mohammad was born into was responsible for caring for this. Each tribe sort of had a public responsibility and that happened to be theirs, so he would naturally be extremely familiar with the cabal, the center for religion. I had already mentioned here then with geography that you had two cultural groups and as a member of the Kraits [assumed spelling], his particular group would have had more culture with the merchants sort of the Hizadi mode along the coast, because of where he was living. But he would have been aware as with most of the merchants and scholars of the habit of the Bedouin as well and we will see that come into Islam. Now Mohammad himself of course has an experience, I guess the Christians would have called it a conversion experience. He was married to a woman, your textbook mentions who was older than himself, a wealthy widow named Khadijah and when he first started having visions and seeing an angel come to him and talk to him, he thought he was crazy. So being a logical guy, the only person he told was his wife and it was his wife Khadijah who said I don't think you are crazy, I think you are having virtual revelations here. I think God is talking to you. The angel kept yelling at him to recite, recite and he didn't know what he was supposed to recite and ultimately it became clear that what he was supposed to recite was the word of God given to him from this angel. That God was speaking through the angel to him and that the intention was for him to share that information and it was Khadijah who encouraged him to start doing so. So he starts preaching and he starts gathering a following and that is how Islam begins. Do you remember from the book what the word Islam means?
>> Submission, surrender, the idea that you are very small, God is very big. So he begins preaching these revelations that he has heard, he gathers a following. He is getting these revelations and the angel makes it clear from the one God and it is also made clear that this one God is the exact same God who came to Abraham, which began Judaism. It is the exact same God, who Jesus Christ is the son of according to the Christians, in other words, it is the same God. It is not a different mono[inaudible] God, it is the same one. And because of their extraordinary contact with both Jewish and Christian merchants the people who joined Mohammad's group are very much aware of both Jewish and Christian traditions and a lot of them were very well read, in both the Torah and the Christian Bible. So it was very clear early on that this is the same God and that this is in a tradition, the idea is kind of like this, God made a covenant with the Jews and they messed it up. So God had to send Jesus to try to get everything straightened out and some people got it, but most people didn't, so it is the last effort on the part of God to communicate with people and make this arrangement clear. The last effort then is the direct word of God channeled through the angel through Mohammad directly to the people and it is the last effort, so Mohammad is called the last prophet or final prophet in a long line of prophets that include all these Old Testament prophets and that include Jesus himself, Mohammad is the last one and he is being given the word of God and that is what he is reciting. So that is the idea, questions so far on Mohammad and what was happening, yes?
>> I heard that he through that the [inaudible] was actually Christianity becoming poly-theistic and he actually thought that was part of the corruption of the Church and stuff like that.
>> Yes, the Trinity was very problematic, of course the Trinity had been developed by the Church itself, right reading a certain way what was in the gospel. So they had developed this idea of the Trinity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit and Mohammad was not alone in seeing that as a division of God, into either three parts, depending on there was a heresy that believed that. That it was three parts of the same or that it was different Gods, which was an even worth heresy that you have actually got three Gods there instead of one, so all of that the disputes that had been going on in the Christian church itself, what was heresy, what was orthodoxy, all of that had channeled through to this part of the world through the trade routes and Mohammad and a number of his followers were very much aware of those arguments. So they were very concerned about it, similarly he had another group that did not want him portrayed in such a way to indicate Mohammad was a God or part of God or like Jesus. There was a lot of concern about doing that and in fact we have very few images, artistic images of Mohammed all together, because it quickly became a thing not to do that. He is often just portrayed with a veil over his face, because they were worried about him becoming an icon and an image of veneration or being like Jesus in that regard and he didn't want that either. So yes, they were aware of all of those variations on the scene here, very much so. Other questions, so far?
>> What is the correlation of Mohammad and [inaudible]?
>> Yes, a Mecca is the city that the Quraysh tribe was from. The Cabal is in Mecca. When he began preaching, his own tribe was not happy with him, because he was talking about the one God and of course their job is to take care of their place with the many Gods and as a result he ended up leaving and going to preach in Medina, which is a very similar city down the Coast, preach in Medina, another merchant area. And there was a Jewish group there who really got behind what he was saying and joined him and others had followed him from Mecca and so he creates this core group in Medina and then goes back with them to attack and take over Mecca and knock down all the idols, okay that is what they would see them as at this point and dedicate, rededicate cabal to the one and only God. Now it is interesting how they do that to make people understand is they choose the name Allah, some people say that the word Allah.
[ Writing on Board ] Is just Arabic for God, but that is not exactly true. The original multi-God, Arabic religion, the top God, the one who was considered to be more in charge then a lot of the others in that system, his name was Allah. So what Mohammad and his followers were trying to do is make it clear to people who had been practicing the old Arab religion that just the system was there was one God and they were familiar with the name Allah, so it would be kind of like making Jupiter or Zeus the only God, so they would get it, who had been previously worshiping in a poly-theistic system, so that name Allah was chosen to represent God. So it does mean the same thing now, but at the time it was a deliberate choice to help me understand. Emily, you had a question?
>> I thought that the cabal was a box that was in.
>> There is a box, you can kind of see it in the middle. There is a box that was supposed to contain the stone of Abraham they call it. There is this idea that Abraham built in the Torah it says he built an alter at some point, maybe that was one of his descendents that built an alter with stone. The idea is that Abraham built something dedicated to God and that this was the first stone. The first stone dedicated for the first time to the one true God and that is the stone that is in the box.
>> Isn't that what they search for?
>> That is what they walk around that area as a memory, the object itself, whether it is holy or not is disputed among Muslim scholars.
>> Is that the direction that they pray?
>> The direction that they pray depends on where they are in the world. When they are in here, they walk while they pray, seven times around that stone, so it provides a centerpiece for the prayers that take place in the cabal.
>> There are actually arrows.
>> Exactly they do and we will talk about that with prayer to make sure that everybody is supposed to face the cabal from wherever they are in the world. Here we have this understanding oh Muslims when they pray they face east, well from here maybe, right, but not elsewhere. And you are right in Indonesia and where the islands are all broken up, they have arrows on the ceilings of the hotels and stuff, you are right, to make sure people know which way to pray, because it is easy to get disoriented and not figure out exactly where you are and the word orient is back, which means east, to orient yourself is to face east, because that is where the sun comes up and you figure out where you are and there are arrows on the ceiling, so you can orient yourself and pray in the proper direction, toward Mecca, although it is not always east, right from where you are in Turkistan, southwest. You had a question?
>> Yes, so that whole [inaudible] Mecca is that the celebration of [inaudible]?
>> Yes, it is and with most religious calendars, you know the holidays are set out to commemorate certain historic or historical events and we will get to some of the habits here, traditions and worships. They are all put together in Islam, instead of being scattered all over the place like in Judaism, they are in one core thing called the Five Pillars of Islam, yes?
>> Didn't the Muslims pray toward Jerusalem at first, but then pray toward Mecca in that first fight with the Jews?
>> The original attitude toward the Jews was very mixed, because the recitation itself, the Koran what he was being told made it pretty clear that those Jews and Christians were people of the book and that how to treat them at first was somewhat confusing, because there was a group and Mohammad was with them at first that said well force conversion. You have to get these people to get it and then later he changed his mind and said wait a minute, wait a minute, we can't that doesn't make any sense because these people have already had revealed knowledge of the one god, you can't be persecuting them. That doesn't make any sense. It is Pagans and those who believe in many Gods who need to come to the true God, the others already know the true God, they just don't have the whole story. So that attitude completely shifted, so whether that shifted which direction they were praying, I am not sure, but it wouldn't make sense that wouldn't make sense for them to do that unless you have one group or another still arguing over what the role of the Jews was, but by the time Mohammad died, it is pretty clear what the understanding is that Jews and Christians are people of the book and you are not to force conversion at sword point. That is not appropriate for anybody but a Pagan.
>> So most of the [inaudible] were Jewish before?
>> Well the ones in Medina were Jewish, I mean it was a group of Jews that converted, some were Jewish, some were Christian and many were Pagan, because that was the traditional religion in the area, what we would call or what mono-theists would call Pagan religion, multiple Gods. These are the Five Pillars, the things that every Muslim is supposed to do, unlike Christianity and the Roman Church, there way of thinking of it that there is a great deal to do to sort of maintain your Christian status and your relationship with God, many of these are very flexible as to if you have to do them and how often and at what particular time and some of them are a little more formal. To many people the only thing you have to have is the first one to be a Muslim, period, you have to have the declaration of faith and the declaration of faith is just a simple statement that says there is no God, but Allah or there is no God, but God, the one God and Mohammad is his prophet, meaning Mohammad is his final, the last in a series. So if you believe that there is no God, but God and Mohammad is his prophet in classical Islam that is it, you are Muslim and you don't even have to tell anyone, you just have to say it to yourself, because again remember that a significant number of these people are not necessarily in a place where they can go to a mosque or go to a particular place, unlike Christianity that the buildings themselves are just convenient meeting places for worshipers. They are not sanctified, a Catholic Church is sanctified, it is holy ground itself and you are supposed to be on that ground for certain things. That doesn't work in a mobile society like the Bedouins. So the declaration of faith can be made out in the middle of the desert, you can be talking to the sun, if you want and you are converted, you are considered converted from that point, so it is simple, a highly portable religion. The second thing is prayer, in facing the cabal from wherever you are five times per day and roughly even, what would be the purpose of praying that often, that formally, equally spaced throughout your waking hours. What would be the purpose of that?
>> To remind you of God.
>> It is easy to forget, going about your daily thing. You have a merchant society here and people trekking across the desert and blood feuds going on, it is easy to forget. If the purpose is submission, an understanding that there is a higher power than you that is controlling everything, five times a day is a great reminder of that. You have to stop what you are doing. In Muslim countries everybody at work stops what they are doing, many people go outside, take a prayer rug and line up outside. I was once in San Diego at the train station, I forgot what I was there for, probably something theatrical or museum-ish and there were a group, a family of five or six Muslims and I guess it was time, because they went out in front of the Santa Fe Depot and laid out in the direction and prayed. You stop what you are doing and you pray and you pray in a position that is submissive, you know, all the way down head to the ground and that is how you pray to remind you of how great this higher power is, five times a day.
>> [Inaudible] city wide, all over.
>> In places where there are a great many Muslims, you can hear everybody pray and see everybody pray simultaneously. In some places where it is very crowded, the Imams [assumed spelling] who call people to prayer, actually do it five times a day and will call people to prayer from the towers.
>> At 5 in the morning no matter what is going on.
>> Yes, everybody is praying, it is time to pray, wake up already, exactly. The fasting thing, of course, you may be familiar with Ramadan, there are several fasting holidays in Islam. Fasting is very difficult, especially if you are in the desert group, so there is generally an exception made for water that you need to keep you alive. Fasting means no food, no drink other than water, no sexual activity or any activity that is done purely for fun or pleasure, because that would be distracting you, right, from the purpose of fasting. The Ramadan fast, which may be the one you are most familiar with lasts a lunar month. It doesn't mean people are fasting for a whole month, what they are doing is fasting from dawn till dusk, so you can't eat or drink anything all day long. Now in many Muslim Countries, there is kind of a party atmosphere surrounding this and many people take off work and just sort of hang out with family and friends during the day and in the evening, they have kind of a small meal, why wouldn't you have a big meal? Why wouldn't you do Thanksgiving every night for a month? They have to be hungry.
>> It sure does, it would stretch your stomach out, so what would the next day be like.
>> Well what is the next day after Thanksgiving like, yeah. You are hungry and you don't even really want to be. You would feel really gross and it would go on for a month and you would probably get really sick, so the idea of the eating in the evening, it needs to be moderate so you can do this for a whole month. It is quite difficult. So again with the prayer five times a day, here is a reminder for a whole month of your position, vis a vis Allah. Charity is really important and it is supposed to be very direct. It is not the situation like in the Catholic Church where you pay your tithe of 10 percent and then the church then determines who the worthy causes are. Here everybody who doesn't have something, everybody who says they need more than they have becomes a worthy cause. Any fellow Muslim who asks you for money, you are to assume that they need it, there is a reason for that. So you have got these oil barons and such, driving around in their giant limousines. They carry money with them everywhere they go, because it is painfully obvious to everybody that they have more, so people come up to the limousines at stop signs and such and they are always handing out money, everywhere they go, they are handing out money. The charity needs to be direct, public, when asked and a lot of people then need it. There were in ancient Islam, professional beggars. There are a lot of stories out there if you ever get a chance to read, you know, the 1,001 Knights or any of the old Arabian tales, there are often cleaver beggars that are at the head of the story and that is because begging is not in disrepute in Muslim countries. If that is how you make your living by being some of the people in the stories are entertainers, essentially they are street entertainers and they beg for money and they make their living that way. And that is kind of charity too. In Muslim countries, you do not normally see people who are homeless hanging out destitute, unable to find a way to eat, because people give them money when they see beggars or transients or homeless people, what they see is an opportunity to do charity. Oh here is a good way I can do that today, so you don't have people you know passing people on freeway exits and that kind of thing, it doesn't tend to happen here.
>> Even in this day and age.
>> The ides is you are supposed to give what you can afford to give, like those oil barons, they can afford to give a lot. They have a car full of cash and it doesn't have much influence, but someone that doesn't have a lot of money would be expected to give small amounts, as much as you are comfortable with or able to. It is just the level of comfort seems to be a little higher in the Muslim Countries, because to give money to someone who asks for it is part of the Five Pillars of Islam, it has religious significance, very similar to the Roman church setting up charity boxes and stuff in the churches that when you give to the poor it has religious significance. It gives you some points you know with God, so it is a good thing. Pilgrimage [inaudible] that is where they all come in as [inaudible] as people in the cabal, where people come to the cabal to pray from wherever they are in the world and again the rule here is kind of flexible, if you are able to come, your health is okay, you have the money, you can afford to come. Then you are required to come to pray at the cabal at least once in your lifetime. Some people with quite a bit of money come every year to pray, some come more often depending, but the rule is if you can you must. If you can't, it is okay. If you are living half way around the world, you don't have any money, you can't possible go, that is alright, not a big deal. But if you can, you have to and when you get there, it is very symbolic. The whole city of Mecca is set up for this one thing, they have people coming in and when they go into the cabal there are all these cubbies, people take off their clothes, watches, rings, any jewelry, anything that distinguishes one individual from another in terms of wealth and they put them in cubbies and they put on just white, plain white strips of cloth around them, so everybody going into the cabal looks the same. It is this idea that everybody is the same in the eyes of God, so when you are praying there should not be distinction based on wealth or status. And they leave all that stuff outside and nobody takes it, the expensive Rolex watches and stuff, nobody takes it. Everybody is there for religious reasons. You are not supposed to go in there if you are Muslim by the way, people have and that is okay that is between you are your conscious. So they have had film crews come in and this kind of thing that aren't supposed to be there and everybody just pretty much ignores them. You are there for your own spiritual reasons. Yes?
>> Yes and there are separate areas where they can do then, but it is men and women are allowed in the cabal.
>> But it is distinguished.
>> I am not sure how they do it in the courtyard, I don't see a way for them to distinguish in the courtyard. I would have to look that up, how they actually do it in the courtyard, because as far as I know the crowd itself is not broken into parts and they all move together around the center, so I am not sure what they do with the women, whether they have times for the women. I am not sure how they do it, I would have to look that up, because that would make sense in very traditional Islam and very traditional Judaism and very traditional Roman Christianity, the women and men are often divided for prayer, so I would have to find out. Other questions about the Five Pillars, you know Pillars is what holds up the beginning, it is what holds up the religion the five big things. Of course, there is a book involved here, some people mistakenly call the Koran, the Muslim Bible, of course bible is really just based on the Greek word for book, like your bibliography with a book. But it has got a different kind of content and it is laid out in a different way and it has got a different purpose than other books. So the Konok [assumed spelling], which consists of the Torah and the other Hebrew books, books in Aramaic, the Jewish book that collection is sort of a history of the covenant between the Jews and God and what happens as a result of that and of course what they call the new Testament, the Gospel just means good news, Jesus Christ is again in a story. It is a story told from several different perspectives in the gospel, but it is the story of Jesus, but the Koran is not a story. It is not a narrative, both of the other two are narratives, even though this one is kind of a broken up narrative, they are both narrative stories and the Koran is not. It is a series of statements, recitations, declarations, sound bites, whatever you want to call it, but if you actually pick up a copy of the Koran and it is laid out the way it is supposed to be laid out in its early form, it is like these bits that have been organized into categories to make it easier to look something up. So it is not a narrative story and the reason for that of course is it is supposed to be these recitations, these declarations that were given directly from God so in the Koran you have, the word of God channeled, but not changed and written down. So it is seem by Muslims as much more direct. They appreciate the value of the story, they say all the values that we believe here and in here, they appreciate the value of the previous stories, but the final product, the subject of God's impatience with people not learning from the stories is the commands, the discussions, bits that come through in the recitation. So it is very different, the Muslims in other words do not consider this to be the Muslim bible, because bible would suggest it is a story and it is not, it is the direct word of God, because the other thing that is suggested here is that these books are written by people, the ideas of humans who have translated what they have seen or heard here and then written it in a book. This one got channeled through without changes and simply written. Not by Mohammad himself by the way either, is that what you were going to ask?
>> Yes, did he write it?
>> He heard it, he said it, scribes wrote it down, because once they had enough followers, they started to realize, hey this guy is going to die, Mohammad is not a God clearly and when he dies, how much of us are going to remember everything that we are told and even if we could remember it all, you know, and they were literate and had trouble remembering things because they could read to say we are going to remember it accurately. So while Mohammad was alive, they had him recite it all again and write it all down, so scribes wrote it down while he was alive.
>> Is [inaudible] translation?
>> All of these have been translated into lots and lots of languages and there are many, many translations here as well. It is kind of interesting, the real translations it is difficult, especially with these books. These books here were put together at various times in history, some of them in Hebrew, some of them in Aramaic, similar difficulties with the Christian bible, which is the original. Is it the Greek or the Latin vulgate, the one the later church used, later Protestants said no you can't use that one, it has been corrupted by the church you have to go back to the Greek one. This one is considered, although it is available for translation in every possible language, that to truly get it you need to read it in Arabic, because the idea is that God spoke Arabic to the angel who spoke Arabic to Mohammad who spoke Arabic to the scribe. So that if you want to really read it, you have to read it in Arabic and in fact children are taught Arabic to read it all over the world, for exactly that reason, so they can read the real thing, not just the translation, but it is available in all the translations. Other questions on the primary sources here, you have got a bit of it right in the chapter and you saw the bit and you might have thought they were edited somehow to give you portions like I did with Hammurabi's [assumed spelling], no it is in there. It looks like that. For those who are interested in the mono-theistic history or history of religion, I had to look and look and look to find this and I found it on a Christian site, but it is interesting. The idea is that Jews, Christians and Muslims are all related or at least the founders are all related but it also backs to Abraham. That is why it is Abraham's stone in the middle and why Abraham is so important to the whole thing. Abraham had two woman he had children with and Sarah his official wife was the one he was with who had Isaac and then Isaac had two children Jacob and Esau and the idea is that Jacob is the father of the Jews of all the children that become the tribes of Israel and that Esau is the father of a group called the Edomites, who do not sound their own world faith, so we don't tend to talk about them at all, but Sarah had a handmaid [inaudible] Hagar, who Abraham fathered a son with and that son Ishmael who if you read the Torah was treated rather badly is essentially the father of all the Arab people and therefore is the connection between Abraham and the Muslims. It is an interesting way of looking at it, the other reason I like this chart, as opposed to other ones I have found is that it also shows the connection to Christianity very closely in that the idea here and this is all legend of course, we have got almost no proof of any of this other than the text of the sacred [inaudible], I mean we don't have archeological evidence or anything like that, but the ideas themselves stick, the ideas themselves are a fact, even if they are not based on fact, if you understand the difference. So the idea is there is a genetic line to King David, who we can say who he was and where is was from there, Jesus was a descendent is the idea from King David. It all seems awfully convenient to me, but as I said there is no evidence, as to how this ties together. They are all the same mono-theistic stock. Questions about this, I was almost afraid to show it. It is not a historical fact really and the way it is laid out like a geographical chart like this implies that this is true and it is not necessarily true. What is true is that a lot of people believe it and that in itself is true, for some people, they just can't get hold of that, but I think you guys can. Alright, I am going to move away from Islam like I said into the ninth century in Europe, so just draw a line or make an adding of whatever you would like to do in your notes. Islam is a part of this, because the Muslim power that arises in Mesopotamia particularly in Baghdad of everything that is going to happen in the ninth century. But this is an old map of different people, now we are talking cultures here and it is not so much significant, it is hard to read which one is where, but that you see there is a mix. That there are different types of people all over the place and we are going to see is these people on the move and their lives tainted in many ways quite drastically. So I am taking stuff again that is in several chapters and putting it all together, I think the Abases are partly in this chapter and a lot in another chapter and there might be some later on. And the Vikings are later on and the [inaudible] was in this chapter, because I am talking about iconography, which is fine, but they didn't give you the whole story. I am tying it altogether into the ninth century and this map shows you what happened. There are invasions into Europe all over the place and I don't want to confuse you with the Barbarian invasions into the Roman Empire that was later. That was third, fourth and fifth centuries. This is the ninth century and it is different for people coming in. So I have got a list here, from the north, the Vikings come from Scandinavia. Like other groups, they will come to stay, but they don't originally start that way, they start as raiders, trying to take wealth and go back home again. It is over 100 years or so that they start actually settling in the places where you see the purple arrows so they start by raising the coats and there are some similarities between the German Barbarians, because they tend to be taller and more fierce looking than the people they are attacking. We will get to that in a minute. From the east come the Magyars, they are one of these dramatic groups that are being pushed from far away, but they missed the first round getting all the way into Europe and were over here in the caucus area and they start coming in an invading Europe as well. So the people who have settled there, 100, 200 years before are subject to this other group and then from the South, you have got a group of Muslims in the area, you might recognize that area, we have talked about this before, where is this?
>> The oberi of Carthage [assumed spelling], the African area, major culture has arisen there, this time it is a Muslim culture called the Sarasin [assumed spelling] and they begin invading up across the Mediterranean into the South. So these are the ninth century invasions, three completely different groups of people causing I don't want to say trouble, what do they call it disequilibrium. Keeps things exciting.
>> Were Vikings a group of people who invaded [inaudible]?
>> They probably start, they start by raiding northern Europe and taking stuff back.
>> Does it mean raiders that makes perfect sense, it may well. It is not one group they are all Scandinavian, but it is many different types of Scandinavians and they were in these large family groups that would look very familiar to us from looking at the Germanic barbarians who they follow very similar cultural norms, honor of glory and battle. Your name must live on beyond you, they are in many ways much more like the Germanic barbarians then the other group, but they are Vikings, they are Scandinavian barbaric from further north. It is quite possible scientific studies that they suggest that the areas they were living in Scandinavia which had been supporting them very well had difficulties due to the climate and that in this case, there may have been a warming trend that caused difficulties with fishing and farming and other things the Vikings were doing to support themselves and that is why they started raiding the coast of Europe.
>> [Inaudible] there was a warming trend going on and the problem was it became so prosperous that it sort of got bored, they all crowded in and [inaudible].
>> Yes, warming trends can cause population growth in agricultural communities. We are about to see that in Europe in the next unit, Europe is going to get overpopulated shortly, but because of the farming, your productivity goes way up when you have warmer conditions, so as long as your crops are decibel to those warmer conditions, but the one area where you suffer when there is warming is fish and that was also an important part of the economy. So the current studies suggest that yes the population was growing, because of the warming trends in the agricultural areas, but those who lived off the sea were actually having some trouble because of that, the fishing wasn't so good, cold water fish are huge and when the water is not so cold, things change and they start dying off. So I suspect it was a little of both, multi-causation right, very likely. Alright so one at a time here, let me consider the [inaudible] first going back to Islam for a minute, because if you are looking for the intellectual center, it is not the Vikings and it is not in the middle of early Medieval Europe somewhere, it is not Charlamain's broken empire either, the cultural center where all the intellectual activity is going on, where all the scholarship is going on, if we follow this through the ages, we can set it in Athens in the fifth century BC and then we can move it to Rome after awhile, but it is in Baghdad here in the ninth century. This is a map of the area that the [inaudible] control, they are just a [inaudible] ruling out of Baghdad, the Abases is just the name of the family, the dynasty. Mathematics is, it is important to us, you ever use Arabic numerals.
[ Inaudible ] All the time right, we don't use roman numerals to write and do math right, can you imagine doing Calculus with Roman numerals, you know. Think about that for a minute, oohh ouch, balancing your checkbook with Roman numerals, VIII.
>> Well think the Abacus Family you don't have to do that, it is very likely they got the idea from India actually, in fact, some people call them Indian numerals as a result, but the idea that you need to have a symbol that counts up the total of things. If you think about it, Roman numerals are like counting on your fingers and this is much more symbolic and direct and makes it possible to do complex mathematics, the Abacus Kelly family sponsored mathematical scholars who came up with this numeral set adopted from India and created the most important numeral of all, zero. I mean imagine life without zero. There is no zero or conception of zero with Roman numerals, so you can't move anything over, there is no place. After awhile with Roman numerals, it gets really weird, especially if you are trying to combine them, add them, subtract them, multiply them, divide them, it is almost impossible, all of the complex calculations are made possible by Arabic. So that is an Abacus Kelly kind of thing. Other things that were happening in the ninth century and extended onward were that everybody has two names, everyone in the Abacus Kelly phase has two names, has a name as they were known by the Europeans and their real name in Arabic, so ibbon means son of, so you see ibbon a lot. Kind of in our language, Johnson, son of John, Robinson, son of Robin going back to English names, in Hebrew Ben is son of, all languages have that, all the westerns one do. So ibbonsina was the son of Sina, but in the European culture they combined and made it one name so they called him Abasina [assumed spelling]. He took the works of Aristotle, when is that going back to Aristotle.
>> So he is going back to the golden age of Greek, right and he had constructed a great many treatises on knowledge and he was the one you may recall who divided up knowledge into different kinds of knowledge, you know politics and all of those things. He had left behind a substantial corpus of work that had been taken, adopted, studied, adapted, added to by Muslim scholars, the origin of our universities is in the Abacus Kelly faith, the idea of groups of scholars, financed usually by the central authority, working on things, they worked on Aristotle. What is kind of cool about this is later, later, later when we get to the Renaissance, the Renaissance is going to adapt back, the knowledge of the classical age through the Arabs. They are going to get Aristotle back, not from Aristotle, not books from Aristotle, they are going to get Arabic translations and additions to Aristotle and that is how Greek and Roman knowledge is going to come back into the west later on during the Renaissance, they got it from here. Astronomy, this is the after lay on the left, it is the first computer ever invented. It is able to calculate with significant accuracy what time it is in terms of the construction of the earth and using the stars calculate placement on the earth as well. It is a very complicated device. The Christians in Europe, those associated with the church particularly didn't like it, because the church had its own calculation of these things that it wanted everyone to follow, so they called it a tool of the devil. They did not like the after lay, which is funny, because later on they are going to use it like Columbus is going to use one, everyone is going to use one of these later, but when they first heard about them they weren't pleased. Again at the same time, here is the Vikings invading northern Europe and I wanted to get a picture of the Vikings so you could see how much even scarier they were. If you can remember the pictures of the Romans compared to the barbarians, these guys out barbarian the barbarians. They are extremely frightening and they used fear to break affect. The rages were preceded by lots of noise and clanging of things, the invasions, they weren't there to kill people, they were there to get people out of the way, getting them to run away would be great, getting them to abandon their whole village, so they could plunder it and take the stuff, so being scary is part of the raiding program and it was very effective, even the ships are scary. Look at that thing with the serpent head on the front, you are some coastal monk or something and you see these guys coming over the water, you run, you hide, if you are smart, you hide some of your stuff and then you just give up, because you are not going to win. And they are not going to hang around and wait for some central authority like Charlamay to send an army that is going to take three days to get there, they are just going to take stuff and go, back in their scary ship. It is very effective. Okay, there is one connection that your book completely misses and scatters the story all over the place and they give you icons, but nothing else. Okay, here is an icon, his name is Cero [assumed spelling] and he is very important, because what he does is he brings Christianity to what we now call Russia and they skip over that, there is like one little half sentence in there. It is really awful because this is a big deal, the Slavic people who are culturally an identifiable group and the Magyars are kind of sideways related to them are expanding, you can see the eighth century up in the corner there, they are moving outward from their home area, all directions, not just westward, but all directions, we have an expansion that again we think is related to a group climate and population growth. The Slavic people are expanding outward and they are starting to form kingdoms and groups, the Byzantine Empire, which your text did bring up again extensively is right here, shown in the picture. The Byzantine Empire as you know was Christianized. The Byzantine church split from the Roman Church, so what did we call the Byzantine church?
>> Greek Orthodox.
>> Greek Orthodox, there is one of those next to the campus, Greek Orthodox church, similar to but different from the Roman Catholic Church, both of them Christian, but they do things in a very different way. It was the Byzantine church that decided the Slavic people should be Christianized. It was not the pope in Rome over in the west doing that, it is the Byzantines church out of Constantinople doing it and they begin sending visionaries northward to convert the Slavic tribe.
>> [Inaudible] there were some Vikings called the roost who invaded Russia.
>> Yes, they are on the map, they invaded Russia from the north on this area and they take up areas around Leningrad and that kind of region and they give Russia its name and then you have these Slavic people extending outward simultaneously, which means what we would today call Russians are really a combination, they have Viking stock and they have Slavic stock from the south and what is interesting is that King Cero and his crowd come up through this region and start converting and they get all the way up to [inaudible].
>> I heard a legend about there was a [inaudible] who wanted to convert to a new religion because he thought Paganism was too backward and too orderly and he recruited by what he advertised, somehow he advertised he wanted a new religion, so a Muslim person came up and the Roman Church sent him a Catholic preacher.
>> This sounds like a joke.
>> I know it is sort of amusing, but the Russian didn't like either one, because he didn't like mass and he didn't like not eating pork, he liked pork and the Muslims were against that, so he [inaudible] and then the Orthodox Church came up and they had these things [inaudible].
>> That sounds like a wonderful legend in support of the adoption of that particular time of Christianity by the Russians and that is an excellent story. The conversion then is to Greek Orthodox not to Roman Catholicism, not to Islam and why this is important, take a look at the things that Cero is holding, those letters. What do they look like to you? They look Greek. They are really alphabet that Russia and a lot of Slavic countries use.
[ Writing on board ] Does this word look familiar? Related to, Saint Cero brings more than Christianity to all of these Slavic groups, he brings an alphabet, he brings the Greek alphabet and it gets adapted to the Slavic languages and becomes what we call the Cyrillic alphabet. It looks really different from the Latin alphabet, although both of them are derived from the Greek, we are using the Latin alphabet, you are writing your notes in the Latin alphabet adapted, but the Latin alphabet, so more comes than Christianity. You have a society that did not have their own form of writing that once they do information goes both ways, right you get a little information revolution here where people who did not know anything about the Russian area, the Slavic areas, they now have a format to record their culture, their history, their stories and that can be readable across the area, because of the alphabet that was brought to them from the Greek alphabet, through the Byzantine empire through St. Cero. So if you ever wonder why those look different, you are watching the Olympics and you are seeing the letters and they look vaguely familiar and you know you can't read them, things look backwards and upside down and this kind of thing, that is why. It is also why the Russian Orthodox Church is its own thing and is not related to the Roman Catholic Church in Rome at all, even though both are Christian. It is a nationalized form of Greek Orthodox. That is just it, so questions on that connection, because your book just blew that one hardly, but this is cool.
>> Yes, he is sent by the patriarch of the Greek Church on Constantinople.
>> Christian. [inaudible].
>> He would be Greek Christian, Greek Orthodox and yes [inaudible] now of course they did in the west, it is not that the Pope doesn't send out good missionaries that are so wonderful, it is just his impact is very easy to see, a lot of the other people who left from Rome and went out and Christianized their record is a little spotty, it is hard to tell you what their influence was, many of them influenced the belief in the Catholic Church as well, but don't necessarily do anything this marked to the society they come in contact with, this guy did.
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