Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Events Leading to the Reformation

Their were three main causes for the outbreak of the Protestant Reformation. The fallen Church, Martin Luther's teachings and influence, and the building of Saint Peters by the purchase of indulgences all led to Reformation. These three causes greatly affected the Catholic Church and will be visited in this post.

The fallen Church played a huge role in the eruption of the Reformation. The Church had fallen in many aspects, one was the area of corruption. They were selling Church positions to whoever would pay the most, even to Popes. You could buy your family member out of Purgatory, pay to see Holy relics, or buy a statue of your favorite saint. The focus was taken off God and was put on taking people's money. The focus for most Priests or Popes was their social status.

Martin Luther was the most well known "leader" of the Reformation. He was a priest within a monastery who definitely doubted his faith. He was sent to Rome to be in the Holy city and this is where he sees all of the problems within the Catholic Church. Pope Julius was ruling during Luther's journey. Luther sees how corrupted the Church is and is sent to the University of Wittenburg to be a priest and a Professor, as well as a student in order to receive his Doctorate in Theology. Prince Frederick of Saxony was the Patron of the University and did not like Luther's teachings on the problems with the Church. Martin Luther soon posts his 95 theses on the door of the Church after he finds out about the works of the new pope.
He is definitely one of the most remembered of his time.(Booth, Chapter 2;24-55)

The new pope is Pope Leo X. He is from a very wealthy family who built Florence. Pope Leo has a huge goal that he must reach. He wants to build one of the biggest, if not the most ornate, churches known to man. St. Peters was to be built and funded by the selling of indulgences. Indulgences were bought so that the consumer would be rid of past, present, and future sins. A passport to heaven was a hot item back then and people believed the sellers, mainly Letsul. This is the third and final main reason for the outburst of the Protestant reformation.
(Thopson, 55-56)

In conclusion the fallen Church, Martin Luther's teachings and influence, and the building of Saint Peters by the purchase of indulgences all led to Reformation. These three influences' forever changed the Church. Martin Luther is one of the most remembered men of his time, if not all times.

Thompson, Stephen, ed. The Reformation. New York: Greenhaven P, Incorporated, 1999.

Booth, Edwin. Martin Luther : The Courage to Seek. Grand Rapids: Barbour, Incorporated, 2004.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Louis XIV

Louis XIV of France is a very interesting man. He is known as the sun king and took to his thrown at the age of four. He ruled France and Navarre for many years, the longest European rule known. He ruled for 72 years, 3 months, and 18 days.

During his extremely long reign he established a court at Versailles, and brought absolute monarchy to its height in Europe. He was also known for fighting most of the other European contries in only four wars. At the begging of his rule the empire was led mainly by the chief minister Cardinal Mazarin. Louis was too young to rule by himself so the chief minister led the empire with the four year old at his side.

The middle of his rule he led by himself, effectively and without trouble. His last years, though were full of problems. The nick name "Sun King", came from a role he led on stage in Versailles. Versailles was one of his greatest achievements, and was even open to the public most of the week.

King Louis was also know for the building and blossoming of the theatre, music, architecture, painting, sculpture, and all the sciences. All of these accomplishments were shown on the cieling of the Hall of Mirrors. What an exremely effective man!

In conclusion, Louis XIV had many things to show for his extremly long reign. He showed his side of the arts and how talented he was. He also fought many wars and was also effective in the area of military.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Real Story of Saint Nicholas

Many people have grown to learn that Santa Claus is not real, but what they do not realize that "Good ol' Saint Nick" was a real man. Saint Nicholas was born during the third century, in a Greek city known as Patara. Which now lies on the coast of Turkey. He was raised a Christian by his parents who died when he was still a child. Nicholas followed Jesus' teachings and gave all of his inheritance to those who needed it. He gave all that he owned.

Saint Nicholas became the Bishop of Myra and dedicated all of his life to serving God. Bishop Nicholas was known all over for his love for children, being generous to all who need, and his concern for ships and sailors. Nicholas was alive during the rule of Diocletian, the Roman Empire, and for being a Christian was punished. He was exiled and sent to prison.

These prison were so full of the clergy and the church workers that there was absolutely no room for the actual criminals. He was released from the prisons and soon attended the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. Less than twenty years later Saint Nicholas died in Myra on December 6, 343 A.D. He was buried in his church. December 6Th is known as Saint Nicholas Day and is a day of celebration.

Many can see the resemblance of this real Saint, and the made up character during Christmas season. One can see how the love of children turned into the giving of toys and how much care was given to all. It is interesting to learn how such a great Saint was turned into a mythological man.

In conclusion, Saint Nicholas was an extraordinary man. He followed the teachings of Jesus and gave all he owned to those in need. His death is still remembered today and he is a very well looked up to man. I can see why, however it happened, his life turned into a fairytale man who gives toys to kids for Christmas.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Bubonic Plague

During the Ancient and Medieval world plague was one of the most feared diseases. The biggest epidemic of the Bubonic Plague was during the 1300's in France, England, Germany, and Italy. One out of every three people were killed. People back then did not know how it was spread which, in turn was a contributing factor to the rate at which it spread.

The Bubonic Plague first began with aching limbs, and vomiting of blood. Then the lymph nodes would begin to swell, found within your armpits, neck, and groin. The lymph nodes would swell for three to four more days until they burst. How quick the disease spread, the excruciating pain, and the awful appearances of the people, all made the plague even worse.

The plague was also known as the "Black Death" because the skin of the infected people would turn a dark gray color. It began in China’s Gobi Desert, and it killed about 35 million people living there. When sailors traveled to Asia infected rats returned with them and were back inside Europe. Fleas living on the infected blood would then carry it to the European people.

Merchant ships traveled from Asia on the Black Sea. They arrived in port at Messina, Italy. The disease spread as far as England within a year. The reason it spread so quickly was due to the fact many did not know why it was spreading. The people thought that if they all gathered together to pray they would find healing. They were in fact completely wrong.

By being so close to each other for so many amounts of time the disease spread much more rapidly. If people had avoided contact with each other the death count would have been much lower. Now we have a cure but death still exist due to the Bubonic Plague.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tudor Dynasty

The Tudor Dynasty occurred in England from around 1485-1603. Many people know this dynasty by two very important monarchs who were members of the Tudor Dynasty. Both King Henry VII and his daughter Elizabeth I played a key role within this dynasty. During the Tudor Dynasty, England survived a great number of economic, religious, social, and political reforms that drastically changed the country and the people.

The founder of the Tudor Dynasty was Henry VII, who reigned from 1485-1509. In 1485 a great civil war within England took place titled the War of the Roses. Henry Tudor took the crown away from Richard III and then married Elizabeth of Your, establishing the Tudor Dynasty.

Henry VII was succeeded by his son Henry the VIII, who reigned from 1509-1547. Henry the VIII was a significant figure in History and certainly made his mark. He is commonly known for having many wives and killing them, along with proclaiming himself the Head of the Church of England. Henry VIII was followed by his son Edward VI in 1547, who ruled until 1553. He was a very young hing who didn't hold the thrown for long.

Lady Jane Grey held the thrown for a very short while and was soon followed by Mary I. Mary I is more commonly known as "Bloody Mary" and was the daughter of Henry VIII. She reigned from 1553 to 1558. Her main goal during her reign was to reestablish a Catholic England, which was newly a protestant country. This failed miserably.

Elizabeth I followed her sister in ruling the Dynasty from 1558-1603. During her reign many great changes occurred in England. They became an economic power and prospered commercially. Her 44 year reign led England to be a great naval power and trade was booming. After the death of Elizabeth the Tudor Dynasty ended and the Stuart Monarch began.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Failures of the Crusades

One of the biggest failures of the Crusades was very obvious in my opinion. If you have to recapture a city, or try to, shoots up a giant warning of failures to come. After the First Crusade, the Second Crusade began to recapture the city of Edessa. This is just one of the failures shown throughout the Crusades.

The Second Crusade began to recapture the city of Edessa in 1147. It was called for by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and led by two kings. Louis VII, King of France, and Conrad III, the German Emperor, led this crusade. They so poorly managed this crusade that nothing at all was accomplished.

During the Third Crusade Saladin, the Muslim leader, recaptured Jerusalem. This led to the German Emperor Frederick I, called "Barbarossa" {Red Beard}; Philip Augustus, King of France; and King Richard the Lion-Hearted of England to become leaders of the Third Crusade. This Crusade also ended in failure.

So I guess one could say another event that showed the failures was the fact that more than one crusade was needed. The First Crusade was the only Crusade that actually succeeded. After that there were only failures and this led to even more failures and many more deaths.

In conclusion, one of the biggest events, that led to failures, was the fact that they had recapture city's so many times. After the First Crusade failures were unstoppable. Nothing truly was accomplished after this and many lives were lost.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and the Second Crusade

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux was born in the year 1090 and died August 20 1153. He was a French monk during the Crusades who's father was a knight and his mother was a daughter of nobility. Bernard sought to reform Cistercian monastic order.

Saint Bernard was the main force for the Second Crusade. He was a Cistercian monk who had a great passion for the Second Crusade which was ultimately a failure. In 1115 he founded a new Cistercian Abbey at Clairvaux, which at its largest, had 700 monks. 68 other houses had become due to this Abbey at Clairvaux.

Bernard preached of the Second Crusade and many, thousands, of men became crusaders. Due to the loss of Edessa, to the Muslims, Bernard was very enthusiastic about the Second Crusade. His enthusiasm caught on and for the first time western Monarchs, including King Louis VII of France and King Conrad III of Germany came to the east to see for themselves.

King Louis and King Conrad led the Second Crusade after hearing of Saint Bernard. Nothing was accomplished in this Crusade although many still went on into Asia Minor. Although nothing was achieved during this Crusade, many things came from Saint Bernard's success.

Saint Bernard died August 20, 1153, in Clairvaux, Champagne, France. He was a remarkable speaker and a very driven Monk. The Second Crusade was mainly a result of his perseverance. Saint Bernard made a great impact upon Cistercian Monasticism.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The First Crusade

The First Crusade was first launched by Pope Urban in 1096 when Alexius called on him for help. The Crusade was created in order to regain Jerusalem from the infidels, or the Muslims, who had captured it from the Eastern Christians. The idea was to free the Eastern Christians from Islamic rule, but it turned into much more.

In 1095 Pope Urban made a very convincing speech at Clermont, France. He urged the common people to join them in theCrusade and to fight to regain their holy city. He obviously made a very convincing speech because almost everyone left for the crusade right away. One of the reasons for this was that the Pope told them that they would be given immunization for any past, present, and future sins if they fought for the Lord.

One issue came into play. The Crusaders were killing people who they thought were the infidel but really Christians whop spoke different language. They stopped in Nicaea and decided they were going to try to capture it. This presented a problem. Some of the Crusaders went off on their own and ended up getting themselves killed. Most of the commoners were killed in this part of the Crusade and one would think the crusade was over but not yet.

After this people's part of the Crusade the knights were finally arriving. These Crusaders had 3 main goals, the first was to conquer Nicaea, the next was to conquer Antioch, and last was their final and most important goal, Jerusalem. Nicaea fell easily to the Crusaders, but what was ahead took a lot longer to accomplish. Antioch took seven months to fall, but the next target was what was going to take the longest of all.

They finally reached Jerusalem,and the attack began in the summer of 1099. Jerusalem was very well defended by very tall walls and fortresses. They Crusaders were short many materials, but when the materials arrived they were very ready to siege the city. Some of the crusaders got inside the city and let the rest of them in. They killed whoever they wished and the Muslims that were spared had to dispose of the dead bodies because of the smell. The Muslims later claimed that 70'000 were killed and the Crusaders took whatever they pleased from the Dome of the Rock.

In conclusion ,the First crusade was successful in regaining Jerusalem from the Muslims. They created the kingdom of Jerusalem and the first King they crowned was
Godfrey of Bouillon. He passed away in 1100 and his brother succeeded him. This gain led the Crusaders to want more and that led to many more crusades in the future, but this crusade was very successful.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

William the Conqueror

William 1 of England (better known as William the Conqueror) led a very interesting life. He was born the only son of Robert 1, Duke of Normandy, and Herleva of Falaise. He was an illegitimate son due to the fact that his parents were never married. He was also known as William the Bastard due to the fact that his parents were never married. When his father passed, William inherited his father's name but none of his riches because he was and illegitimate son.

William was born 1028 in Falaise. William was given the title of Duke of Normady in 1035 at the very young age of 7 years. In 1052 William married Matlida of Flanders. They had 10 children together, 6 daughters and 4 sons.

In 1066 many important events occured. In the spring of 1066 the Normans went to Rome to ask for papal support during the Norman invasion. In July William prepares his fleet and in september the invasion begins against King Harold of the Saxons. During September and October many fights occur during the Norman invasion. On December 25 William is finally crowned king of england in the Westminster Abbey in London.(Guy, 25)

On September 19, 1087, 21 years after he was crowned King of England, William died in France. His reign was magnificent and glorious. Even though he was not able to inherit his fathers riches he still became very rich and was a great leader. "William of Normandy conquered England with warriors from all over Northern France." (Mc Kitterick, 122)

In conclusion, King William conquered King Harold of the Saxons, and many other groups. He was eventually crowned king of England and was a great leader. He was a good husband and a great leader. He got far in his career and even though he was an
illegitimate son he was a great leader.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

No blog

There is no blog this week

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Charlemagne was born in 742 into a already imperial family. His father was Pepin the Short who at the time was a great controller of most of the European land. His brother also controlled a large chunk of land. With the death of both his family members Charlemagne was left a large land to rule. This is how we came to know him as emperor. "The empire created by Charlemagne extended over most of what is not regarded as western Europe."(McKitterick 38)

Charlemagne begins his imperial role with many accomplishments. In 722 Charlemagne begins many conquests against the Saxons. This drags on for a little more than 30 years, and finally thirty years later the were conquered. In 774 he conquers the Lombards of Italy.

In 778 Charlemagne moves into attack Pamplona through Spain.
In 782 Charlemagne was attacked by the Saxons in a surprise attempt against his men. In response Charlemagne killed 4'500 Saxon prisoners. In 800 A.D. a "first time in history" moment occurs.

Pope Leo crowns Charlemagne Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, this is the only time in papal history where a pope bows to a king that's not Jesus. In 802 Charlemagne establishes his court at Aachen and attempts to create a non-discriminate school for students in his empire. The problem with this is the fact that his empire was far to large. His dream was never accomplished. (Guy 8)

The Byzantine empire began with Charlemagne and he ruled for a total of 13 years. He had such an amazing empire thanks to the help of his father and brother. He accomplished many things and attacked and conquered territories. Charlemagne was truly one of the greats.

McKitterick, Rosamond. Times Medieval World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Justinian I

Justinian was emperor from 527 A.D. until he died. The time period of his rule is known as the golden age of Byzantium. He was a ruthless ruler and was known for doing whatever it took for him to succeed. During his rule the plague struck his empire and his body.

Justinian I was born in Tauresium in Illyria 482 A.D. He was born a Slavic peasant and the nephew of Justin I. Justinian studied in Byzantium and when his uncle died he was crowned the new emperor of Byzantium along with his wife Theodora.

his rule he accomplished the Byzantine Reconquest. This was due to the fact that in 532 A.D. he made peace with Khusrho of the Sassanids. This allowed him to to take back Italy from the Ostrogoths, Africa from the Vandals, and Spain from the Visigoths. After he passed the land he had reconquered was slowly lost to invaders.

Another great accomplishment during his reign was the building of the Hagia Sophia. This magnificent church was built in Byzantium and means Church of the Holy wisdom. It is dome structured but far taller and wider then the dome shaped buildings during this time. This is clearly one of the most beautiful churches of the time period.(Hallam 82)

During Justinian's time period the first introduction to the bubonic plague. This is one of the most deadliest types of plagues, known to kill 40 to 70 percent of its victims. Not only did the plague strike them but so did earthquakes and floods. Justinian's great empire came crumbling down due to these three disasters.(Guy 19)
Justinian is most interesting to me because he dealt with so many things. He dealt with the plague and many destruction's to his empire. He was so interesting in the way that he dealt with things so extremely. He was a very extreme leader and many will remember him in years to come.

Guy, John. Medieval Life. London: Ticktock Media Limited, 2001.

Hallam, Henry. The Middle Ages:History of Europe. New York: Colonial press, 1900.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Class Evaluation-9th History

My overall impression of the class this year was good. I enjoyed the movies that we watched and how we took time to understand the materials provided. There would only be one thing that I think did not work. Other than that I learned a lot.

I really enjoyed how the movies we watched that corresponded with what we were learning in the book. One thing that sometimes confused me is when we would be watching a movie but in the book we were learning something else. Sometimes this would confuse me when it came to quizzes and tests. Other than that the movies really enforced what we were learning, it was nice to get information besides just what the text book supplies.

I also enjoyed how this year we took time to understand what we were going to be quizzed on. This really helped me when it came to quizzes. This was a change that began during the middle of the year and I think it really helped me. After being told what to study I could really understand what concepts i needed to grasp.

One thing that I think did not work was towards the beginning of the year. We weren't told when quizzes were going to be and what we were to study. It seemed very unorganized and all were confused. This is the only thing that I think did not work.

In conclusion, Many things in the class worked. The fact that we watched movies to reinforce what we learned was really good and so was quiz and test preparation. One thing that did not work was the un organization. This was my overall impression of the class.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Islam and Christianity

The religions of Christianity and Islam have many things in common and many differences. The belief in only one God is the largest aspect that they have in common. One huge difference is the fact that they view Mohammad as just a prophet and also Jesus. As Christians we believe that Jesus is not just a prophet, he is part of the trinity, he is divine. These main points will be visited later on in this essay. (Wilkinson 13)

The biggest similarity between the two religions is that they are monotheistic. They both have a belief in one God. As Christians we believe in God as Yahweh and Muslims believe in Allah. They believe that Allah is the only supreme God as we view our God. They believe that one is to surrender all things to God and much more. We as Christians believe the same. Both religions believe in the creation of all things by God and believe in the power of prayer.

The biggest difference is the viewing of Jesus. We as Christians believe that Jesus was a prophet but also much more. We believe he is "God in a bod". He is part of the Trinity. We believe that God sent his son Jesus to come and give us the word of God. With Islam they believe that Jesus was just a prophet bringing Allah's message. They don't believe that he is the Messiah or that he is part of the Trinity. This is one of the biggest differences between the two religions.(Gordon 15)

Another difference between the two religions is the viewing of War. No where in the Bible does it say that we as followers of Christ should slaughter people because they do not believe in what we believe. We are told to show them the love of God and show the Character of Christ through us. Muslims believe in Jihad. Jihadis believed to mean, "Struggle in the way of God." Or it is also known as holy war. If one looks at 9-11 they can see the difference.

In conclusion, we have view to of the worlds largest religions. They are both very similar and very different in many ways. We have viewed these two religions with their similarities and differences. The biggest similarity would have to be the fact that they are both Monotheistic religions. The biggest difference is the viewing of Jesus.

Gordon, Matthew S. Islam:World Religions. New York: Facts on File Inc, 1991.

Wilkinson, Philip. Islam. New York: DK, 2002

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Muslim Conquest of Byzantium

The Byzantines were one of the first peoples to feel the wrath of the Arabs. The Battle of Yarmuk is one of the most well known battles where the Arabs defeat the Byzantines. The Muslims take over the Byzantines and establish a new Dynasty. (Wilkinson 22)

The Byzantine Empire was established with the center being Constantinople. The Byzantines began to worry because the Turks had just become Muslim. They did not want the Islamic religion to overpower the Christian religion. This is the beginning of the Crusades.

In 639 the Muslim army conquered part of Byzantium. They conquered Syria, Egypt, and Jordan. The Byzantines though, were able to keep Constantinople safe when the Muslims tried to capture it.(Gordon 46-47)

The Muslims conquered the Byzantines. They used their knowledge and their might. At the time they may have been the only superpower. Within a forty year time period the Muslims had the birth of their faith and became a superpower. This is amazing.

In conclusion, the Muslims wanted to take over Byzantium and change the religion from Christianity to Islam. The Byzantines became afraid of the Turks because they had recently became a Islamic nation. This is how the Crusades began. Crusades means "wars of the cross"

Gordon, Matthew S. Islam:World Religions. New York: Facts on File Inc, 1991.

Wilkinson, Philip. Islam. New York: DK, 2002

Friday, May 2, 2008

Two Sects of Islam

There are two main sects of Islamic beliefs. One is the Sunni and the other is the Shi'a. These two sects make up the Islamic culture. The branch of Sunni Islam is the largest sect in most countries, but in some it is the minority.The split between the Shi'a and the Sunni Muslims is mainly over Caliphs.

When Muhammed died in 632 he left no clear successor. When this was known the Muslims came together to elect a leader, this is called a Caliph. The Caliph was the head of the Muslim throughout the world. They were to lead the army and gave authority to Muslim leaders. Caliph means "successor." (Gordon 32)

They elected Abu Bakr, Mohammed's father in law. Many thought that the next successor should be 'Ali, Mohammed's cousin, who married Fatima, Mohammed's daughter. Those who followed 'Ali were known as the Shi'a Muslims. In 656 'Ali ruled as Caliph, but the Muslims were still separated when it came to how a Caliph should be chosen. Sunni Muslims believe that they should be chosen by election. Shi'a Muslims believed that the Caliphs should be of the 'Ali of Fatima bloodline. (Wilkinson 20)

Now lets understand what the Shiites are all about. The Shi'a Muslims are a sect of Muslims who were the supporters of 'Ali. They wanted many Arabs to be followers too. One thing that many do not know is that Shi'a sect revolts only against the upper Arab class, not all Arabs in general.

The Sunni Muslims are the largest sect of Muslims. They are the followers of Abu Bak'r. Sunni means the "way" or the "example" referring to the example of Mohammad. Abu Bak'r was one of the first to embrace Islam so he is highly revered.
Gordon, Matthew S. Islam:World Religions. New York: Facts on File Inc, 1991.
Wilkinson, Philip. Islam. New York: DK, 2002

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Five Pillars of Islam

The Muslim life is framed by the Five Pillars of Islam. They consist of obviously five key parts to their religion. The first is testimony of faith, second prayer, giving to the needy, fasting, and a pilgrimage. Some of these things are done on a daily basis, some monthly, some annually, and one is to be completed only once during a persons lifetime.Source 1

The first Pillar of Islam is called Shahadah. It is the worship of Allah(god)alone.
"There is none worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is the messenger of God." This is the declaration of the faith that the Muslims speak. It is stating that the only purpose in life is to serve and obey Allah. This is achieved by reading the teachings of Muhammed. (Wilkinson, 12)

The second Pillar of Islam is called the Salah. This is the worship of five times a day to Allah. The prayers are prayed at dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and nightfall. These prayers are spoken in Arabic and contain many scriptures from the Qur'an. Each prayer is done facing Mecca and the Ka'bah. Source 2 (Gordon, 74)

The third Pillar of Islam is called Zakah. This is the action of giving regularly to the poor. The cutting back of a persons wealth is encouraging in new growth and it balances. Each person calculates their owns Zakah. It is a fortieth of a person's wealth. This includes everything except professional tools and automobiles. Source 2

The fourth Pillar of Islam is called Sawm. This is the fasting during the month of Ramadan for thirty days. During this month all Muslims fast from drink, food, and from sexual relations with their spouses. This is a time for self purification. If someone has to many health problems during this month they can make up the days that they break the fast later in the year if their health allows them to.

The fifth and final Pillar of Islam is called Hajj. The hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a Muslim's lifetime. The pilgrimage is to the Ka'bah and other place including the hills of Safa and Marwa, then Arafa. "The rites of the Hajj include circling the Kaaba seven times and going seven times between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa, as Hagar did during her search for water. Then the pilgrims stand together in Arafa5 and ask God for what they wish and for His forgiveness, in what is often thought of as a preview of the Day of Judgment."

Gordon, Matthew S. Islam:World Religions. New York: Facts on File Inc, 1991.

Wilkinson, Philip. Islam. New York: DK, 2002

Friday, March 7, 2008

Fall of Rome with an insight on Gibbon

Rome fell for many reasons. Each one had something to do with each other. Much later in time a man named Edward Gibbon stated his opinion on the topic. In this essay we will cover the many reasons for the fall of Rome and see if Gibbon was correct with his assumptions.

The first reason was the decline in the moral values and the second is the public health. With a decline in the moral values in the citizens they could not keep the Roman legions together and the empire was hard to keep control toward the end. The public health was also declining. Disease was more and more prone to spread, through all the gladiatorial games and the wealthy was also dying due to the led pipes containing their water supply.

The third and forth reasons for the fall of Rome is the Political corruption and the unemployment of many of the citizens. Without a smooth system of choosing a new emperor the city went through turmoil. Many emperors were assassinated which also weakened the empire. With the unemployment in the city, crime went up tremendously. With people loosing their farms more and more ended up on the streets.Source

The last reason that some state for the fall of Rome is the spreading of Christianity. This is the reason Gibbon states for the fall. Many believe that the Romans were made into pacifists and made it harder for the city to attack against barbarians. Also many believe that the money used to build churches could have been used to fund the empire. But the true final reason for the fall of Rome still remains. (Barnett 77)

The true final end to the Roman empire was the when the Romans troops were pulled from defending from the Germans and was told to fight a civil war in Italy. Gradually the Germans began to take over the city. Then in 476 A. D. General form Germany Odovacar took over the empire by getting rid of the last Roman Emperor, Augustulus Romulus. Then Rome no longer existed. (Hadas 146)

Now we have exposed the true reasons for the fall of Rome. Christianity as said by Gibbon was the leading cause of the fall of the Roman Empire. I believe that it was because of the final capture by the Germans. They could see that the country was weakening and the ceased the opportunity. Sadly Rome did fall and the great city of Italy came to a bitter end.

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: The Archaeology and Mythology of AncientPeoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Hadas, Moses. Imperial Rome. Time Inc Publishers. Canada 1965

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Roman Roads

The Roman roads were built for very specific reasons. One reason was for army's behalf. The other reason was for the fact of speed and trade. These roads help advance the Roman culture far ahead of its time.

The Roman army had a hard time getting around Britain because of all of the mud and grass tracks. It was a pain for the army to travel in this matter especially when the roads went in ways no one could figure out. It took a lot of extra time to follow the paths laid out by the British. This is one of the reasons for the building of the Roman roads. (Hadas 56)

Another reason for the building of the roads was the fact that trade and easy moving about the country wasn't so easy. Trade took a lot more time than it should have and
the emperor was greatly affected by speed as well. More trade and the faster it went the more taxing the emperor could do. This was very important to the emperor.

The Roman roads were built in a certain way too, like the way our roads are built only a little bit more old fashioned. There was a ditch for drainage and the roads were tri leveled. The first level was large stones or tiles, the second level was small stones, and the top level was gravel or cobbles. Over the tri leveled road was a curved surface called a camber. The large stones provide support for the travelers and the curved arch of the road helped with drainage. The small stones provided a hard enough surface for the travelers above and all of their belongings.Source

In conclusion the Roman roads had two main purposes. The helped with trade but more importantly the helped with the transporting of the Roman soldiers. These roads paved the way for the roads of our time. (Barnett 89)

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: The Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient
Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Hadas, Moses. Imperial Rome. Time Inc Publishers. Canada 1965

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Daily Life in Ancient Rome

The Romans had a life like ours. They ate food and wore clothes. They lived in houses and had ceremonies. The Romans had a society and a government much like ours. In this essay we will visit the daily life of ancient Rome.

First we will start with the living conditions of Rome. The Romans lived in homes the stretched from the smallest apartment to the biggest mansion. There was a home called a domus which is like a town home. This was a single family home built around a big hall. The size of the home showed others how wealthy or not the owners were. The bigger homes would have a living room, bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and a reception room. The even wealthier would have a bathtub or a library. There were also apartments. These apartment would reach a few floors off the ground. These came around in the 1st century B.C. There were more apartments then town homes and the apartments stayed the main type of home for Romans until the end of the century.

Next we have the Romans style of clothing. There are three different types of clothing that we will observe today. The men's clothing, women's clothing, and shoes. The toga is what the men usually wore. It was an expensive piece of clothing that was worn especially in public places. The women of Rome wore what are called tunics. The women wore makeup and did their hair how they pleased. As for children they wore miniature clothing of what the adults wore. The shoes of the Romans were different styles of leather shoes. Sandals and boots were worn as well.

There were two types of very important Roman ceremonies. They were the naming of a baby and marriage. The naming of a baby was very important to the Romans. This was the day where they could hand down a name that was in their family to their child. This was a very joyous ceremony. Marriage was another very important ceremony. The man and woman had to be Roman citizens to wed and they had to make their marriage known in order for the children to be legalized.

The Romans had a very well balanced diet. The meals for most Romans was centered around, grain, oil, and wine. If you were richer than you ate better. Fish and oysters were on a high demand. The Romans obviously loved wine but when they drank it they watered it down and heated it. They also put spice in it.

In conclusion the Romans led a life like ours. They just didn't have a lot of the modern conveniences like we do. Our daily life is a lot like the Romans daily life.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Roman Art and Architecture

The Roman art and architecture was derived from two different types of people during their time. The art was derived mostly from the Etruscans, a people in Rome before them. The Architecture was derived mostly from the Greeks, but they put their own twist on it. These two different races helped develope the Romans art and architecture in many different ways. (Hadas 11)

Roman Art was originally derived from the Etruscans. The first Roman art looks alot like the Etruscans and partly the Greeks. Around 500 B.C. is when we start to see the Romans art start to look like its own type. There are many famous Roman Artists known to us today. Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Sandro Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, and Giotto di Bondone. The Artists help Roman art flourish.

The Romans truely believed that a statue should look like the real person. This is called portraiture. The Greeks were more interested in the idealistic perspective of the statue. The Romans liked to keep it realistic. They also liked to keep a sculpture of the head of a person after they died. They thought it would keep whoever the person was happy, that way the dead would not haunt you.

The Roman architecture is what has given Rome the most fame. The three very important things that the Romans brought to the Architectural world is the baked brick, use of cement and concrete, and also the arch. The Romans were taught most of their Architecture from the Etruscans. During the Republican period temples and aquaducts were built, along with sewers and basilicas. Ampitheaters were also built.
Some of the most famous pieces of Architecture made by the Romans still exist today. This includes the Colloseum, Pantheon, Arch of Titus, and later the Arch of Constantine. (Barnett 100)

In conclusion the Romans are very famous for many pieces of art and architecture. Their time brought us some of the greatest artists including Michelangelo and Leinardo di Vinci. They also brought us some of the greatest pieces of Architecture our world has ever seen. Including the Pantheon and the Coloseum. These pieces truely define Rome.
Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: the Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient
Peoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996
Hadas, Moses. Imperial Rome. Time Inc Publishers. Canada 1965

Saturday, February 9, 2008

The Importance of Caesar Augustus

The date was the 23 of September in 63 B.C. and one of the most legendary emperors of Rome was born. His name was Octavian. He ruled form 23 B.C. to 14 A.D. He was adopted by his uncle Julius Caesar but his father's real name was Gaius Octavias and his mothers name was Atia. He had a daughter, 3 sons and two wives. All three sons were adopted. His wives were named Scribonia and Livia. His daughter was with Scribonia. The three sons were adopted with Livia.

Octavian was chosen to be the heir to the throne by his uncle Julius Caesar. Augustus began his ruling when the first triumvarate came to an end. After Crassus died and Julius Caesar was murdered and the death of Pompey brought the end of the first triumvurate. The second triumvirate was formed with Octavian,whose name was later changed to Augustus, Lepitus and Mark Antony.

With the death of Marc Antony, Agustus became the one and only ruler of the Rome. The first thing that he accomplished was letting soldiers return to their lands until needed. He also accomplished the building of public bridges and roads, along with public baths and government buildings. The civil wars during this time were also ended by him. He also brought a time of peace for Rome which was called the Pax Romana.

Octavian was later named Agustus. Agustus means respected one. Many Romans treated him like a god.

Agusustus was a well respected leader, the first sole emperor of Rome. He made many great improvements of Rome and the lives of Romans. He has created a great legacy for himself to be remembered forever.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Government of Rome

Rome began by the annihilation of the Etruscans. When Rome began it started as a Republic between 500 B.C. and 1500 A.D the system was unchanged except for some minor changes. The Roman republic was first set up in 500 B.C.

The Roman republic was originally set ip to have two consuls that were in charge of the army and making laws. The consuls were given advice from the Senate which was made up of only rich men. The consuls could veto anything that the Senate said but the two consuls had to both agree on something before it could be passed. In the end the consuls usually listened to what the Senate said. After the two men were consuls they usually end up being part of the senate.

Later in the Republic around 146 B.C. the republic started to fall apart. The Romans realized that they could no longer rely on the senate to run the empire. The Romans looked forward to their next general to see what he could accomplish.

Instead of just one man, three men formed what is called a triumvirate. These three men were Pompey, Crassus, and Julius Caeser. Pompey and Crassus fade and Caeser had an affair with Cleopatra. This then leads up to his murder.

After this the second triumvirate came into play. This consisted of Octavian, Caeser's nephew, Ledipus, and Mark Antony. Ledipus was eventually forced out of power and Octavian and Antony got into a civil war. Octavian won and Mark Antony commited suicide. (Hadas 44)(Barnett 14-15)

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: the Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient Peoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Hadas, Moses. Imperial Rome. Time Inc Publishers. Canada 1965

(p.s. Mr. Lockwood, for some reason the titles of my book sources would not underline and the spell check was not working so if i missed some spelling i apologize.)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Aeneid vs Odyssey

The Greeks and the Romans produced two very well known poets. Virgil was a very famous Roman poet who wrote the Aeneid. The Aeneid is one of the very well known foundational myths of Rome. Virgil was born on October 15, 70 B.C. Homer was a very well known greek poet who is mostly known for his well known epic poems the Iliad and the Odessey. These two epics were to have been taught to children in Greece during the time of Homer and they are still being taught today in America. (Barnett 19)

The Odessey is an Epic poem written by Homer to tell the story of a famous war hero. After the great Trojan War the great war hero Odysseus travels back to his home Island of Ithica to meet his wife Penelope. With a mistake on Odysseus part the god of the sea Poseidon unleashes his fury on Odysseus. The goddess Athena will not allow Poseidon to kill Odysseus, therefore, Odysseus must face terroble trials in order to reach his home land. (Hadas 14)

The Aeneid was written by Virgil around 19 B.C. The story of Aeneas starts off with our main character Aeneas traveling away from his homeland to start a new empire because his homeland was being taken over. The goddess Juno stirs up the seas so that Aeneas looses his men but is then reunited. He and his men end up on the shores of Carthage. There Aeneas meats Queen Dido and fall in love but has to leave her. Carthage soon hate Aeneas for leaving their Queen. Aeneas must go to the underworld and there he meets many that he knows. The Aeneid is basicly showing the seven years Aeneas spend finding his new home after the Trojan War. The gods send him on a wild goose chase to found Rome, his new empire.

The Aeneid and the Odyssey have many things in common and many things that are different. One major sililarity is that both Odesseus and Aeneas both have to leave and go face trials to get to what they want. They both are led by the gods with help and with hatred.

The difference in the two poems is that Aeneas has to leave his home to find another. Odysseus has to leave where he is to get home. Another difference is that the gods in the Odyssey are Greek and the gods in the Aeneid are Roman. These differences make the two stories very different.

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: the Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient Peoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Hadas, Moses. Imperial Rome. Time Inc Publishers. Canada 1965

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Roman Foundation Myths

There are two myths that tell of the foundation of Ancient Rome. These two myths include the myth of Romulus and Remus, the twin boys raised by a wolf, and the myth of Aeneas, son of the goddess Aphrodite. These two myths show the founding of Rome in two very different ways. ( Barnett 28)

The myth of Aeneas is about how a young man begins the founding of Rome. Aeneas was born to a very attractive man named Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father, Anchises, can trace his ancestors back to the son of Zeus, Dardanus. (Marks and Tingay 5)

The legend begins with the Greeks laying siege to Troy and killed almost all of the people in the city. One prince of Troy escaped by boat and sailed all the way to Italy. His name was Aeneas. Aeneas landed on the west coast of Italy at Laurentum. The king of the Latins, Latinus, had a daughter named Lavinia. Aeneas and Latinus formed an alliance and Aeneas married Lavinia. Aeneas and his wife Lavinia had a son named Ascanius. Alba Longa was the city founded by Ascanius. Ascanius was the first of a 400 year rule of kings to follow. This is where Rome was founded. (Marks and Tingay 5)

The second myth of the founding of Rome is the legend of the twin boys named Romulus and Remus. Romulus and Remus are the twin boys that were born to the god Mars and the mortal Rhea Silvia. When the twins were born they were placed in a basket to float down the Tiber River and to die. They were placed there by their great uncle because he did not want them to be a threat to his power. The twins were found by a she-wolf and the wolf raised them.

The she-wolf raised them until one day a shepherd named Faustulus and his wife found the boys. They then raised the twins as if they were their own. Years later when the twins were old enough they decided to found their own city. Romulus and Remus looked to the sky and to the birds. After seeing the signs they saw that Romulus' section of the city would be twice the size of Remus'. The twins quarreled and Remus was either killed by Romulus or just disappeared. Romulus did continue to build up his city, which was named Rome.

In conclusion there are two very different myths about the founding of Rome. One to do with a Trojan Prince and the other to do with wolf raised twin boys. Both of these myths have survived throughout the centuries to be very well known.

Barnett, Mary. Gods and Myths of the Romans: the Archaeology and Mythology of Ancient Peoples. Smithmark Publishers. New York. 1996

Marks, Anthony, and Graham Tingay. The Romans. Usborne. London. 1990.