Onward Muslim Soldiers

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Almost 1,400 years ago, the established world order was overturned by the emergence of a dynamic new power in the Near East. From the mid-630s, fearsome bands of Arab tribesmen began to pour out of their homelands in the Arabian Peninsula. Within a few decades these highly mobile, mounted warriors achieved startling successes – overrunning […]

The Alexiad Revisited

Posted on by Tom Fleming

The Byzantine Empire has never had a good press, but few things in its long history have given rise to more controversy than its relations with the crusades. The First Crusade is an epic story, on a par with the tale of Xenophon and the ten thousand. A volunteer army, inspired by a heady mix […]

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Raise the Holy Sail

Posted on by Tom Fleming

Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama used to enjoy special status in our pantheon of heroes: Columbus for ‘discovering’ the continents that blocked his way to Asia, and da Gama for figuring out how to circumnavigate Africa for the same end. Both ventures ended up changing history by restructuring the networks of trade linking Europe […]

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RLF - March