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8

How leprosy was considered in the Middle-Ages is an interesting story, because it evolved quite rapidly at the end of the 12th century, but differently depending on the place, and Baldwin IV was used as example. If you read French, read this article from Mark Gregory Pegg (it is a translation; I could not find the English original online). As a rough ...


8

There was a certain amount of natural antagonism between the west and the Byzantines. Part of this was religious: They belonged to different sects of Christianity, and thus often viewed each other as little better than heretics or Muslims. Another part was commercial. What little commerce the west had was in direct competition with the Byzantines, whose ...


6

Please keep in mind that the IVth Crusade mentioned in the first answer has resulted in taking of Constantinople by mostly Venician troops in 1204. This has resulted in a long-lasting civil war between the Latins and the Byzantines. Finally Constantinople was taken back by the Byzantines in 1261, but the Empire did not regain all its territory and wealth. ...


5

This passage seems inspired by a number of letters Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote around 1518. One example is his March 1518 letter to John Colet, in which Erasmus concluded that "the rule of the Turks will be more tolerable than the rule of Christians like [the Papacy]". Another is his (again) March 1518 letter to John Fisher, in which he claimed that Papal ...


5

That 14th century passage of Richard eating Saracens is fictitious, for reasons @T.E.D. has gone into. Richard Coer de Lyon is a romance, not history. In this story, King Richard first became a cannibal when he requested pork to cure himself of a malady, and was given a Saracen instead - as a practical joke by his knights. Richard Coer de Lyon is a ...


4

As this was the height of the Middle Ages, our sources for these kinds of things quite frankly stink. The legend about King Richard seems to come from a "ballad-chronicle". They were sort of the lowbrow popular equivalent to the Romantic Epic. These were stories sung by bards chiefly for the purpose of entertainment. The accurate recounting of historical ...


4

Mail is actually a heatsink: it draws the heat out of you. The same principle is employed in the construction of computers. In hot weather mail makes you cooler. Indeed, the first people to use mail extensively were the Romans, who fought mostly in and around the Mediterranean and other such hot climates. The only problem is that when directly exposed to ...


3

A large portion of the (ex-)Crusaders married local Christian women and stayed behind in the Levant after the demise of the Crusader states. The largest Christian community in present-day Palestine are the Latin-rite Catholics, generally believed to be descendants of Crusaders, though now they speak Arabic and are integrated in Palestinian society.


2

First, it should be noted that there were a lot of Eastern Christians in the Middle East before during and after the Crusades. Some of their cultural descendents still live in Lebanon and Israel/Palestine and Iraq and Syria. There are many Christians in Egypt. If you're talking about Western colonists and their descendents, they almost certainly were all ...


1

The question needs a time period, but assuming that you are asking about the period when Constantinople fell in 1453, the old map below shows the situation: As you can see from the map, Constantinople was in a desparate situation, completely surrounded by Turkish territory for hundreds of miles. The only European power that could help them was the ...


1

Erasmus of Rotterdam was a "correspondent" of Martin Luther, and this quote came out around the time of Luther's publishing the "95 Theses," attacking the sale of indulgences and other practices of the Catholic Church. The context was a "choosing sides" issue. As every boy learns on the playground, "you don't want to be the odd man out in a three cornered ...


1

The preferred tactic of the so-called Assassins (or, as they called themselves, the Fida’iyyun) was to come up close to a public figure and kill him with a sword. It is difficult to see how they could have could have got so near to their victims, unchallenged, if they were wearing a distinctive uniform. The whole point was that they blended in to the crowd.



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