November 22, 2017, 10:43:31 AM

Author Topic: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey  (Read 1288 times)

Offline Skip

Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2017, 09:42:56 PM »
Thanks, Peat, but this ain't my bailiwick either, except insofar as I taught a course on the Crusades for a long time. My corner of the world is central Europe from around 1300 to around 1600, with a fair amount of fudging.

The subject line is confusingly inconsistent. Medieval Islamic North Africa would mean roughly 650 to whenever you want to end the Middle Ages. Call it a thousand year span. That's a huge chunk of time and Morocco is a long way from Egypt. At the very least you would have to distinguish between the Bedu and whoever dominated the towns at any given period. Differences in dress and custom were significant.

Then a slash followed by pre-Islamic Turkey, which means before the Seljuks rolled in during the 11thc, extending backward to infinity. As was pointed out, the immediate precursor there is Byzantium. So, something entirely different from Islamic North Africa.

Norwich is fine for Byzantium. So is Sir Steven Runciman, one of my faves. When we move over to Islamic history, I'm quite out of my depth. Regardless, my advice to the OP is find a comfy chair and buckle up. You have a lot of reading to do.

Offline Peat

Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2017, 09:59:49 PM »
Huh. Why did I think you did Byzantium? I guess there's a little touching between that and Central Europe.

Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2017, 09:11:15 AM »
Norwich is fine for Byzantium. So is Sir Steven Runciman, one of my faves. When we move over to Islamic history, I'm quite out of my depth. Regardless, my advice to the OP is find a comfy chair and buckle up. You have a lot of reading to do.

Like I said in the OP, I'm looking for book suggestions. No claim to knowledge on the topics here.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 09:17:13 AM by JohnCalliganWrites »

Offline Lanko

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Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2017, 05:00:49 PM »
About pre-Turkey I read The Ottoman Empire: A History From Beginning to End by Henry Freeman.

It's pretty short covering broad aspects and inside it has references to other works for deeper study. Sadly it's not ordered in a "For Further Reading" section, but you can get plenty of titles in the text.

I haven't read these others, but I read from the authors about Venice and enjoyed it very much (reading about Venice will inevitably also put you in some contact with the Byzantines and the Ottomans).

By Thomas F. Madden

Istanbul: City of Majesty at the Crossroads of the World

By Roger Crowley

1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West

John Julius Norwich is another well-regarded author, but nothing specific about the Ottomans, unless the Byzantines is what interests you, he has a trilogy on them.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 05:08:09 PM by Lanko »
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Offline Skip

Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2017, 10:29:11 PM »
But he said pre-Islamic Turkey, which means before the Ottomans, before the Seljuks or the Danishmends.
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Offline Skip

Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2017, 10:31:57 PM »
Huh. Why did I think you did Byzantium? I guess there's a little touching between that and Central Europe.

A lot of touching, much of it inappropriate.  :D
If you do the Crusades, you're gonna have to deal with the Greeks, like it or not. Then that gets you into the Catalan Company, which gets you over to Aragon which pulls in Sicily ... it's a real web. And all that barely touches the labyrinth that is North Africa.

I regularly retreat north for a breather.
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2017, 11:46:48 PM »
But he said pre-Islamic Turkey, which means before the Ottomans, before the Seljuks or the Danishmends.

Hm I put some more research into it, he's gonna have to go reeeeally further back, like 600-700 AD, maybe before, which is roughly 600+ years before the Ottomans. Guess that's gonna depend which Medieval period you wish to focus now.

Quote
Tengri is the god of the old Turkic, Mongolian and Altaic religion named Tengriism. The Mongols called him Tengri, (depicted as Blue Sky) was the highest God of Turks and Mongols. The name "Tengri" (Tana-Gra) means "Ruler, Master of the Land"; there might be some connection with the Sumerian word for god Dingir.

In the pre-islamic Turkish worship of celestial objects, lies the usage of Turkish Muslims of the crescent Moon as their symbol. Incidentally, the crescent moon, was borrowed by other non-Arab Muslims from the Turks. We may note that the Arabs never use the crescent moon as their symbol.

How the Turks shed their blood, fighting the Jihad for Four Hundred years and finally gave up and embraced Islam, and later became the tormentors themselves to carry the bloodied tradition of Jihad into Anatolia (modern Turkey) and the Balkans up to Austria.
The Turks in Pre-Islamic times

Today we read in history that the Ottoman Turks carried the Jihad into Europe. The Turks besieged and sacked Constantinople. To many of us, the Turks before Ataturk reformed Turkey into becoming the Muslim world's first secular republic, were ruthless Jihadis, whose king was the Caliph till 1924, when Ataturk abolished the Caliphate. But we know little of the bloodied struggle that the Turks waged against Islam for 'four hundred years from 650 up to 1050. The first clash of the Turks with the Islamic Jihad took place when the Muslims in their surge through Persia reached the borders of the Sassanid Empire in Khorasan, near Central Asia. In those days the Turks ruled Central Asia. They have been referred to as Turanians by the ancient Persians of Zoroaster's time.

Quote
Turks adopted the Islam from Arabs of Abbasid Caliphate who had recently conquered Sassanian Iran after the Battle of Talas(751 AD) between the Chinese Tang Dynasty army and the army of Abbasids. Turks had been long in a skirmish-like war with various Chinese states for hundreds of years in the form of Xiongnu(Proto Huns), Gokturk and Uighur Khanates and when the Tang dynasty was at its peak, it drove the Turkish clans westward which ended up Turks being squeezed between the bloody Arabs and the bloody Chinese. The Turkish city states of the time, namely examples Bukhara and Samarkand were Silk Road hubs and trade was the vital element of their survival. Once under the Abbasid rule, Arabs forced a very heavy tax system for non-Muslims and those who rejected this burden were put under siege and literally decimated. This fear and inconvenience ended up Turks slowly adopting Islam in order to get rid of Arab pressure and also gain the favor of the Arabs against the millenial enemy, the Chinese. Hence over time the Turks became Muslim in masses.

Sources: http://www.turkishclass.com/columns/alameda/2009/02/22/forumTitle_26731

https://www.quora.com/What-was-the-religion-of-Turkish-people-before-Islam

Quote
Most Turks, believe it or not, would not even realize that they actually had a pre-islamic past. This is due to the dismal level of ignorance and lack of any sort of historical perspective in minds. At school, you study about Gokturks (or you used to, in my time) and other old Turkic tribes but the fact that they were not muslim is never born into the minds of the students so I would not be surprised if many people in Turkey think that Gokturks were muslim :) Anyway, the Turkish society is so islamicized that telling them once the Turks were not muslims (simply because islam was not yet invented) would be considered as an insult.

As for books, I found A history of pre-Islamic and early-Islamic Turkish culture on Amazon... but it's out of print. https://www.amazon.com/history-pre-Islamic-early-Islamic-Turkish-culture/dp/B0007AW894

The Idea of State in Pre-Islamic Turkish Thought (Analecta Isisiana: Ottoman and Turkish Studies), also out of print. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pre-Islamic-Turkish-Thought-Analecta-Isisiana/dp/1617191310

Hm, material seems pretty scarce. In English at least.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 11:48:22 PM by Lanko »
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Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2017, 08:51:42 AM »
@JohnCalliganWrites  Noticed this lady today who specialises in Medieval Islamic Art and Archaelogy. If you are on Twitter she is @stephenniem and her timeline has various interesting items so she may be worth following.

If you are not on Twitter here is a link to her website


https://utexas.academia.edu/StephennieMulder

What first drew my attention was this pic and comment  ;D



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Re: Medieval Islamic North Africa / Pre Islamic Turkey
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2017, 02:56:19 PM »
lol thanks for the link. That's great!