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Medieval and Byzantine History Medieval and Byzantine History Forum - Period of History between classical antiquity and modern times, roughly the 5th through 16th Centuries


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Old November 16th, 2012, 07:07 AM   #251

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You couldn't imagine to what extent is your superb "little post" informative & provoking for yours truly

A million thanks for sharing it with us.

After all has been said, it seems painstakingly obvious that we fundamentally agree, huh?

Glad to be of service.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 07:34 AM   #252

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As pointed out in a post above quoting New Advent, I do seem to recall it being largely about Heraclius and his various successors in a 7-11th century context, as opposed to anything concerning the Comneni or post 1261 Byzantines.

Did that thing where I read a bit of it thought to myself that it was interesting and that I should come back to it...then immediately forgot where it was.


Thre is this


First Crusader: Byzantium's Holy Wars: Geoffrey Regan: 9781403961518: Amazon.com: Books


But its not the one Im thinkg of....it was an article somewhere or other.
That book is atrocious. Not only are his arguments unconvincing, it's full of basic factual errors as well. Herakleios is usually the one under discussion when this topic comes up, but I disagree with Reagan's argument that he was a crusader. Dennis makes a good point in his article on Byzantine holy war that propaganda does not make a holy war, and that regardless of whether or not Herakleios had gone to such extremes with his religious propaganda (as he did) he would have still fought his wars against Persia. Quoted from my review:


This work is not purely descriptive. Regan clearly set out to argue that the Byzantines did have a concept of holy war, a topic contested in the scholarship. This is evident from his large quotation of Tia Kolbaba's work at the beginning of the book, as she wrote an important article on the topic. Dr. Kolbaba can rest assured that her thesis still stands in the light of Regan's book, because not only is his attempt to disprove it rather feeble, there are so many basic factual accuracies in this book that it even makes bad popular history. On p. 73, he uses the terms 'themata' and 'tagmata' with Herakleios. This is simply wrong. Although our first use of the term 'themata' appears in an entry by Theophanes in Herakleios' reign, this very may well be the use of later terminology for a period where it does not belong. The tagmata, on the other hand, were created by Constantine V in the eighth century. Regan claims that the Sassanids abutted the Chinese in the east (p. 41); this is not the case, and there is a long way between China and Sassanid Iran at all points in Sassanid Persian history. He also claims that Herakleios brought about the fall of the Sassanid dynasty (p. 126). This is not the case, as they would be overthrown by the Arabs in the decade and a half after Herakleios' victory. When he discusses the Arab conquest of Egypt, Regan uses extremely old scholarship. When bringing up Herakleios' new silver hexagram and the inscription on it (p. 71) he completely mistranslates it. On p. 195 he places Justinian's general Belisarius in the fifth century and not the sixth. Belisarius may have been born towards the end of the fifth century, but his entire career was firmly located in the sixth. On p. 33-4, Regan argues that the death and resurrection of Jesus only became fundamental part of early Christianity in the fourth century, which strongly suggests that he has never read either the Gospels nor any early Christian works. These constant mistakes serve to seriously undermine the integrity of this book.

When it comes to attempting to prove his thesis, Regan continues to falter by twisting and ignoring evidence to support his claims. He tries extremely hard to demonstrate that the wars of Herakleios are a holy war, but the support for this is so feeble that it falters. He argues that in 622 Herakleios was forced to turn to God and this led to the outbreak of holy war. Regan criticizes modern scholars for refusing to call a crusade a crusade. He claims that they are unable to see the forest for the trees, but it seems that Regan is unaware of the fact that the sources he's using are mostly late, and all are extremely tainted by the propaganda of the regime. As Regan himself notes later for his section John I Tzimiskes, propaganda does not make a holy war. Admittedly, Walter Kaegi's
Heraclius was not available when Regan was writing this book, but even a reading of the sources suggests Herakleios' constant desire to make peace. If this was a holy war bent on the destruction of the enemy, why was Herakleios so eager to end it, even with an unfavourable peace?

Last edited by Kirialax; November 16th, 2012 at 07:41 AM.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 07:49 AM   #253

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Indeed, doesnt sounds grand at all.


It is interesting to see the retoroactive crusading qualifications of historic personalities created by the people of the 13th Century. Heraclius and Charlemagne bot get such pedigrees attached to them long after their actions. Theri actions struck something of a chord with those that came after.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 07:53 AM   #254
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Must agree with our Kirialax here; IMHO pretending that any armed conflict could be considered any "Crusade" just because the contenders may not share the same religion would be an unacceptably abusive, unspecific and misleading use of the term, which in such condition would simply lose any relevance.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 08:04 AM   #255

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Must agree with our Kirialax here; IMHO pretending that any armed conflict could be considered any "Crusade" just because the contenders may not share the same religion would be an unacceptably abusive, unspecific and misleading use of the term, which in such condition would simply lose any relevance.

Hence much of the debate in academic circles.

Projecting notions of crusading back int othe decades just prior to the First (1095-1099) to cover some of the activites of the Normans et al. in Southern Italy and Sicily, when the Ppacy was in the process of creating crusading ideas that would come about is one thing, often referred to as proto-crusades, crusades still undergoing R&D and beta testing. Heraclius however is a different kettle of fish all together.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 10:11 AM   #256

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Would wars against 'Heretics' such as the Cathars and Hussites count as 'crusades'.

The Teutonic Knights in the North and East are often called crusade aren't they?

Would the siege of Malta be a crusade?
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Old November 16th, 2012, 10:42 AM   #257
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History, you are doing it wrong.

You make the point, it is your responsibility to prove it. It is not for me to prove your argument, be it a popular one or otherwise. If you are too lazy or cant then your point is speculation. I'm not challenging it thus far, I simply wish for you to provide evidence to back up your claim, like historians are supposed to.



So.......source?
I have no need to prove my argument as it is one already agreed upon by historians more knowledgeable than you and I. And my unwillingness to you, indulge your unwarranted and unreasonable request is not out of laziness but is due to my appreciation of time. I am also a student of history and I have my own course related research to do so kindly don't attribute this to laziness.

You know as well as I do that providing quantitative data for something like that would take countless hours of research. And I am quite sure you knew that when you made your request and perhaps you knew from the beginning that I would decline to waste so much of my time. So I will not be indulging your request as this is not some weak argument in need of strong support. It is something that is largely attested in a wide variety of secondary sources. My time is valuable to me and unless it is for official academic purposes, I will not be conducting this quantitative study.

And you may take that as you wish.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 10:45 AM   #258
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Not to intrude here, but as far as I know, I don't think there is an online directory for Al-Tabari's....we're talking about a 12 book History reference (Al Tabari's History) !! Its cumbersome to search it for this topic and have scanned and put here for example !.....

And you know, even if someone actually does this...the other guy could ignore it altogether or simply render it bias, so its not worth the effort !!

I was arguing with someone on whether "Curved Swords" were known to the Middle East before Turkic migrations. I searched the web for half an hour and found a collection of the Prophet Mohammed's swords, for which one of them was "Curved" (among many straight swords)......when I posted it here the other guy simply said: I don't believe that !!.......Some People are simply afraid to change their minds and just look for a confirming evidence...
I agree with you. I dont see the point of wasting so many precious hours on something that is likely to simply be disregarded by the person requesting the citation and lost among thousands of forum posts.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 11:37 AM   #259
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Would wars against 'Heretics' such as the Cathars and Hussites count as 'crusades'.

The Teutonic Knights in the North and East are often called crusade aren't they?

Would the siege of Malta be a crusade?
Strictly speaking no, sometimes depending on the context in turn, largely because virtually all of those military expeditions were blessed by the Papacy and had at least nominally some pro-Catholic intention (e.g. the conversion of pagan populations)

For the purposes of this thread I understood that the strict definition was implied.
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Old November 16th, 2012, 12:09 PM   #260

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I would say the The Christians won land but lost it when Islamic took Jersulum.
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