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Western Civ Era Of The Crusades

2903 words - 12 pages

Rihlat Ibn Battuta, Usamah Ibn Murshis Ibn Munqidh, and Johann Schiltberger. Three names that if you heard them, you most likely would not know who they were, or what they stood for. The following paper will discuss the personal writings of the above people in terms of their own personal views of other societies, people, and religions as a whole. Since the authors wrote their papers or text in the time of the crusades, from the mid 10TH Century to the middle 14TH Century. Two of the authors are of the Sunni Muslims descent, while Schiltberger is a Latin Christian. This would lead one to believe that since the authors follow two different faiths, thus two different Gods, and following different ways of living, all three would have massive differences on the views surrounding the time of the crusades. While this paper spans over some 300 years and offers different views on religion and life as a whole, one might say that all 3 authors could see the bad, but could they also cut through the surface of a religion and see the good in their "enemies."Rihlat Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan scholar of Islamic Law who spent years traveling the world. His travels took him to such places as Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Persia. When Battuta goes to Bilad ar-Rum, or otherwise known as the " Land of the Romans", He is surprised to see all the Christians still living there, due to the fact of the Muslim takeover of the land. He is also surprised by the kindness of the Christians. "There are still large numbers of Christians there under the government of the Turkmen Muslims…" "…We were 10 nights at sea, and the Christians treated us kindly and took no passage money from us." (Battuta,1) Battuta was also impressed with the work of the artisans who work on the seven cathedrals of Ladhig. The artisans were Greek women. "Most of the artisans there are Greek women, for there are many Greeks here, who are subject to the Muslims and who pay dues to the sultan, including the jizya…" (Battuta, 1) This was Battuta's account upon entering Bilad ad-Rum, but his writings extend even further. When Battuta crossed the Black Sea in 1332, he traveled across the desert and spoke how the Turks have strict theft laws. " At every halt the Turks loose their horses, oxen and camels and drive them out to pasture at liberty, night or day, without shepards or guardians…" " Any person found in possession of a stolen horse is obligated to restore in with nine others; if he can not do this, his sons are taken, and if he has no sons he is slaughtered like a sheep" (Battuta, 2) Also Battuta speaks of how the Turks treat women. "A remarkable thing I saw in this country was the respect shown to women by the Turks, for they hold a more dignified position than men." (Battuta, 2) "Sometimes a woman is accompanied by her husband, and anyone seeing him would take him for one of her servants:, he has no other garments other than a sheep's wool cloak and a high cap to match."...

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