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Re: two Sicilies
A little late, but I am less then 24 hours from my trip down under and
am relaxing. Richard the LionHeart took out a broadsword before Saladin
and split an iron bar in two. Saladin could not do this with His sword,
but instead flung a silk scarf in the air and sliced it in two...Richard
could not,the scarf merely folded...Love,my cousins, Gord.
Spirit One Email wrote:
> Yes, indeedy, they were quite civilized. A good description in "Crusades"
> by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira.
> Listen to this:
> "Baghdad had once been the largest and most civilized city in the world.
> Before the Turkish invasions it had enjoyed free hospitals, public baths, a
> postal service, a water supply, a sewage system, as well as several
> banks--with branches in China. Under the rule of Caliph Harun al-Rashid
> three hundred years earlier, it had ruled over an Islamic empire that
> included North Africa, Palestine, Syria and Iraq, and beyond Persia and
> Afghanistan, and to Azerbaijan and the southern shores of the Caspian Sea.
> In those days Islamic culture had opened itself up to the influence of
> other civilizations. Ever since the days of Caliph al-Mamun d. 833) Moslems
> had had the benefit of permanent endowments to support their cultural life,
> rather than the chance largesse of rulers. Al-Mamun had established
> colleges of translators who made the wealth of knowledge contained in Greek,
> Syriac, Persian and Sanskrit writing available in Arabic. He established
> the great Hall of Science with it library and astronomical laboratory in
> Further north, in the city of Harran, a school of science had grown up
> which was centuries ahead of the West. By the time the Crusaders first
> achieved sword-contact with the Islamic world, one Harran scientist,
> Albatanius, had already correctly calculated the distance from the Earth to
> the Moon, while another, Jabir bin Hayyan, had suggested that if the atom
> could be divided it might release enough power to destroy a city the size of
> Arab medicine was also highly developed. To practice medicine required
> a knowledge of surgery, anatomy and circulation of the blood (400 years
> before Harvey). There were specialists in eye surgery, breast tumors,
> epilepsy, preventive medicine and perhaps most important of all--hygiene.
> Arab doctors even used anesthetic. A sponge was soaked in a mixture of
> hashish, opium, darnel and belladonna, and then left to dry in the sun.
> When it was needed, the sponge would be re-moistened and placed in the
> nostrils of the patient, who was --perhaps not surprisingly--plunged into a
> deep sleep."
> So who were the uncouth invading hoards??--the Crusaders. And it was
> from their observation of Saladin that they learned the ways of an honorable
> knight and brought the pattern of chivalry back to the West. Unfortunately
> the Muslims had learned the treacherous ways of the west and used their
> tactics from then on very effectively against future Crusaders.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Gordon Holmes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 9:00 PM
> Subject: Re: two Sicilies
> > I doubt this has anything to do with anything but the Muslims were
> > pretty civilized and sometimes we were in haste driving the heritic out.
> > My main thrill though, is the fact that names like "The Weasel" were in
> > use in Sicily even That far back..Gord.. :) (Da Family..)
> > Spirit One Email wrote:
> > >
> > > Sinclair,
> > > You wrote:
> > > Niven often speaks of Sinclair guarding the
> > > approaches to great cities and productive areas. In the Norman Kingdom
> > > the two Scillys the King is quoted by a Muslim historian say of Sinclair
> > > "These are my immortals, they are feared at the very gates of Hell"
> > >
> > > Dictionary says: "Two Sicilies a former kingdom including Naples (with
> > > lower Italy) and Sicily; united with the kingdom of Italy in 1861"
> > > Oh, just came across another interesting definition in "Medieval Warfare
> > > Maurice Keen:
> > > This word was in the last message:
> > > MAGNATES= "is a catch-all term; it includes great secular officials like
> > > counts, great ecclesiastics like bishops and the abbots of royal abbeys
> > > (although prelates were not supposed to fight in person, they were
> > > to lead contingents of troops). It aslo includes wealthy nobles who did
> > > hold secular or ecclesiastical office. Sucyh men undoubtedly acted as
> > > leaders, as Nithard's account of Fontenoy shows, and where narrative
> > > accounts mention casualties it is men of this type that they name.
> > > importance for the cohesion of armies cannot be overestimated; the
> > > contribution they and their own followings made to armies is, as more
> > > difficult to assess."
> > >
> > > Now about the Normans in Apulia according to the Medieval Warfare book:
> > > 20th century authors sometimes agree that the powerful mounted Norman
> > > knights swept all before them but this view has been challenged. "Their
> > > normal technique was to seize a castle and use it as a base from which
> > > terrorize the surrounding district into submission, as Robert of
> > > known as Guiscard, 'the Weasel', did from San Marco Argentano in
> > > According to Amatus of Montecassino, another Norman, Richard of Aversa,
> > > 'carried off everything he could and gave it away (to his men) keeping
> > > little....in this way the land about was plundered and the number of his
> > > knights multiplied'.
> > > Decades of this kind of brigandage made the Normans thoroughly
> > > and Pope Leo IX organized a coalition of Byzantines and Lombards against
> > > them. This forced the various Norman bands to unite their forces and
> > > managed to bring the Pope's army, which included a contingent of Swabian
> > > tgroops to battle at Civitate on 17 June 1053 (so our WIlliam Warlenc
> > > not loose his Norman title until 1054-55. But he could have been in
> > > where he received his nickname and then returned to Normandy with a
> > > reputation to challenge Duke William).
> > > At Civitate, it has been said, 'the old world of Germanic infantry
> > > tactics went down before the new chivalry of heavy cavalry.' But
> > > to William of Apulia's "Deeds of Robert of Guiscard", once the pope's
> > > Lombards had ridden away in flight, the 700 Swabian foot soldiers who
> > > remained put up a prolonged and stout resistance against several
> > > Normans. If anything Civitate demonstrates the stgrength in battle of
> > > infantry even when hugely outnumbered. Leo IX was taken prisoner and
> > > to recognize the Norman acquitiions. But the few lordships they had
> > > obtained by this date were hardly impressive. As yet, apart perhaps
> > > Humphrey of Hauteville's Melfi, they controlled none of the major
> > > Only after 1059 did the Normans make spectacular gains, and for this
> > > there were two principal reasons. The first was the growing pressure of
> > > Seljuk Turks on Anatolia. As late as 1038 Constantinople had shown real
> > > interest in the West, sending an expedition to recover Sicily, Messina
> > > Syracuse. But with the push of the Turks in Anatolia, the Byzantine
> > > priority was to the East." And the second reason was the continuity
> > > cooperation of the brothers Robert Guiscard in Italy and Roger in
> > >
> > > So these early Normans in Apulia used the same plundering tactics of
> > > their Viking ancestors and as our Rollo did. Just determinly wearing
> > > and exhausting the defenders, year after year. Anna Comena, sister of
> > > Constantinople's emperor said of Robert Guisard, "That Norman braggart
> > > Robert, notorious for his power-lust, of obscure origin, over-bearing,
> > > thoroughly villainous, a brave fighter and very cunning, wonderfully
> > > and utterly determined." This was actually praise coming from the
> > > Byzantines who were among the world's great connivers for that is how
> > > were able to hold out so many centuries against the hoards from the
> > > And when Robert was almost at the gates of Constantinople one day with
> > > armies, it was the revolt that the emperor was able to foment back in
> > > that drew Robert back there and saved Constantinople once again.
> > >
> > > So, Sinclair, the Muslim historian, actually names the SInclairs as
> > > enemies and warriors in the two Sicilies. Sounds like there were more
> > > one of them there. But who were they. William Warlenc and sons or
> > > William the Seemly??? I wish we had more access to the history of this
> > > region. I am guessing that William Warlenc would have been born about
> > > What would you guess?
> > >
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