Você está na página 1de 631

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF

INVASIONS
AND
CONQUESTS
FROM ANCIENT TIMES
TO THE PRESENT
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF
INVASIONS
AND
CONQUESTS
FROM ANCIENT TIMES
TO THE PRESENT

Paul K. Davis

Millerton, NY
PUBLISHER: Leslie Mackenzie
E D I T O R I A L D I RE C T O R : Laura Mars-Proietti
PRODUCTION EDITOR: T o b y R a y mo n d
M A R K E T I N G D I RE C T O R : Jessica Moody

Grey House Publishing, Inc.


185 Millerton Road
Millerton, NY 12546
518.789.8700
FAX 518.789.0545
www.greyhouse.com
e-mail: books @greyhouse.com

While every effort has been made to ensure the reliability of the information presented in this publication,
Grey House Publishing neither guarantees the accuracy of the data contained herein nor assumes any
responsibility for errors, omissions or discrepancies. Grey House accepts no payment for listing; inclusion in
the publication of any organization, agency, institution, publication, service or individual does not imply
endorsement of the editors or publisher.

Errors brought to the attention of the publisher and verified to the satisfaction of the publisher will be
corrected in future editions.

Except by express prior written permission of the Copyright Proprietor no part of this work may be copied
by any means of publication or communication now known or developed hereafter including, but not limited
to, use in any directory or compilation or other print publication, in any information storage and retrieval
system, in any other electronic device, or in any visual or audio-visual device or product.

This publication is an original and creative work, copyrighted by Grey House Publishing, Inc. and is fully
protected by all applicable copyright laws, as well as by laws covering misappropriation, trade secrets and
unfair competition.

Grey House has added value to the underlying factual material through one or more of the following efforts:
unique and original selection; expression; arrangement; coordination; and classification.

Grey House Publishing, Inc. will defend its rights in this publication.
Copyright © 2006 Grey House Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved
First Edition printed 1996
Second Edition printed 2006
Printed in the USA

Publisher's Cataloging-In-Publication Data


(Prepared by The Donohue Group, Inc.)

Davis, Paul K., 1952-


Encyclopedia of invasions and conquests from ancient times to the present / Paul K. Davis. -- 2nd ed.

p. : ill., maps ; cm.

ISBN: 1-59237-114-0
Originally published: Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, 1996.
Includes bibliographical references and index.

1. Military history--Encyclopedias. I. Title. II. Title: Invasions and conquests from ancient times to
the present

D25.A2 D38 2006


355/.003
E NCYCLOPEDIA OF I NVASIONS AND C ONQUESTS
F ROM A NCIENT T IMES TO THE P RESENT
SECOND EDITION

D ETAILED T ABLE OF C ONTENTS ....... iii


P REFACE ............................................... ix
L IST OF C ONTRIBUTORS ..................... xi
L IST OF M APS ....................................... xii

SECTION ONE : ENTRIES


DETAILED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES
PART 1: THE A N C I E N T W O R L D ............................................ 1
PART 2: THE C L A S S I C A L W O R L D .......................................... 17
PART 3: THE D A R K A N D M I D D L E A G E S ................................. 57
PART 4: THE R E N A I S S A N C E A N D T H E A G E O F E X P L O R A T I O N .... 129
PART 5: THE A G E O F R E V O L U T I O N S A N D N A P O L E O N .............. 195
PART 6: THE A G E O F E M P I R E S .............................................. 229
PART 7: THE T W E N T I E T H C E N T U R Y ...................................... 289

SECTION TWO : BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................... 421

SECTION THREE : READINGS ................................. 435


DETAILED ON THE FOLLOWING PAGES

SECTION FOUR :
HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF ENTRIES .................... 529

SECTION FIVE : INDEX ........................................... 539

i
DETAILED TABLE OF CONTENTS
E NCYCLOPEDIA OF I NVASIONS AND C ONQUESTS
FROM ANCIENT TIMES TO THE PRESENT
SECOND EDITION

SECTION ONE : ENTRIES

PART 1 TH E A N C I E N T W O R L D ....................................... 1

A S S Y R I A N E M P I R E ............................................................... 2
C A N A A N , I S R A E L I T E I N V A S I O N O F ....................................... 4
C H A L D E A N ( N E O - B A B Y L O N I A N ) E M P I R E , E X P A N S I O N O F ......... 7
C Y R U S T H E G R E A T .............................................................. 8
E G Y P T , H Y K S O S I N V A S I O N O F .............................................. 9
H I T T I T E S ........................................................................... 11
I N D I A , A R Y A N I N V A S I O N O F ................................................ 12
K U S H , E X P A N S I O N O F ......................................................... 13
P A L E S T I N E , E G Y P T I A N I N V A S I O N S O F ................................... 14
S A R G O N T H E G R E A T .......................................................... 15

PART 2 TH E C L A S S I C A L W O R L D .................................... 17

A L E X A N D E R T H E G R E A T ...................................................... 18
A U G U S T U S , C A E S A R ........................................................... 20
B R I T A I N , R O M A N C O N Q U E S T O F .......................................... 22
C A E S A R , J U L I U S ................................................................. 24
C A R T H A G E , E X P A N S I O N O F ................................................. 26
C A R T H A G E , R O M A N I N V A S I O N O F ( T H I R D P U N I C W A R ) .......... 27
C H ' I N D Y N A S T Y .................................................................. 28
C O N S T A N T I N E , E M P E R O R .................................................... 29
E G Y P T , A L E X A N D E R ' S C O N Q U E S T O F ..................................... 30
G A U L , R O M A N C O N Q U E S T O F .............................................. 32
G E R M A N Y , R O M A N I N V A S I O N O F .......................................... 33
G R E E C E , P E R S I A N I N V A S I O N O F ............................................ 35
H A N D Y N A S T Y ................................................................... 37
H A N N I B A L ......................................................................... 39
I N D I A , A L E X A N D E R ' S I N V A S I O N O F ....................................... 41
I T A L Y , C A R T H A G I N I A N I N V A S I O N O F ( S E C O N D P U N I C W A R ) ... 42
M A U R Y A N E M P I R E .............................................................. 45
P E R S I A , A L E X A N D E R ' S C O N Q U E S T O F .................................... 46
P H I L I P O F M A C E D O N ........................................................... 48
P T O L E M A I C D Y N A S T Y ......................................................... 49
S E L E U C I D E M P I R E ............................................................... 50
S I C I L Y , R O M A N C O N Q U E S T O F ( F I R S T P U N I C W A R ) ................. 52
S P A I N , R O M A N C O N Q U E S T O F .............................................. 54

iii
PART 3 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES ........................... 57

A V A R S .............................................................................. 58
A X U M , E X P A N S I O N O F ........................................................ 59
B R I T A I N , N O R M A N I N V A S I O N O F ......................................... 59
B U L G A R S ........................................................................... 61
B Y Z A N T I N E E M P I R E ............................................................ 62
C A R O L I N G I A N D Y N A S T Y ..................................................... 64
C H I N A , K H I T A N I N V A S I O N O F ............................................. 66
C H I N A , M O N G O L C O N Q U E S T O F ........................................... 67
C R U S A D E S ......................................................................... 68
E N G L A N D , V I K I N G C O N Q U E S T O F ......................................... 71
E U R O P E , M O N G O L I N V A S I O N O F .......................................... 73
F R A N C E , V I K I N G I N V A S I O N O F ............................................. 75
F R A N K S ............................................................................ 76
G E N G H I S K H A N .................................................................. 78
G H A N A , A L M O R A V I D I N V A S I O N O F ...................................... 80
G U P T A E M P I R E ................................................................... 81
H U N D R E D Y E A R S ' W A R ....................................................... 82
H U N S ................................................................................ 84
I N D I A , K U S H A N I N V A S I O N O F .............................................. 86
I N D I A , M U S L I M I N V A S I O N O F .............................................. 87
I R E L A N D , E N G L I S H I N V A S I O N O F ......................................... 89
I R E L A N D , V I K I N G I N V A S I O N S O F .......................................... 90
I T A L Y A N D S I C I L Y , N O R M A N C O N Q U E S T O F ........................... 90
J A P A N , M O N G O L I N V A S I O N S O F ........................................... 91
J U S T I N I A N ........................................................................ 93
K H M E R K I N G D O M ............................................................... 95
K O R E A , M O N G O L I N V A S I O N O F ............................................ 97
K U B I L A I K H A N ................................................................... 98
L O M B A R D S ........................................................................ 99
M A G Y A R S .......................................................................... 100
M A L I , E X P A N S I O N O F ......................................................... 101
M E X I C O , A Z T E C C O N Q U E S T O F ............................................ 102
M I D D L E E A S T , M O N G O L I N V A S I O N O F T H E ............................ 103
M I D D L E E A S T , M U S L I M C O N Q U E S T O F T H E ............................ 105
M I N G D Y N A S T Y .................................................................. 107
O S T R O G O T H S .................................................................... 109
R U S S I A , E S T A B L I S H M E N T A N D E X P A N S I O N O F ....................... 110
R U S S I A , M O N G O L C O N Q U E S T O F .......................................... 113
S C O T L A N D , E N G L I S H C O N Q U E S T O F ..................................... 114
S C Y T H I A N S ....................................................................... 116
S O N G H A Y , E X P A N S I O N O F ................................................... 117
S P A I N , M U S L I M C O N Q U E S T O F ............................................. 118
T A M U R L A N E ...................................................................... 119
T ' A N G D Y N A S T Y ................................................................. 120
T U R K S .............................................................................. 122
V A N D A L S .......................................................................... 124
V I E T N A M , C H I N E S E C O N Q U E S T O F ....................................... 125

iv
VISIGOTHS ........................................................................ 127

PART 4 T H E R E N A I S S A N CE
A N D T H E A G E O F E X P L O R A T I O N ................................... 129

A F R I C A , D U T C H O C C U P A T I O N I N ......................................... 130
A F R I C A , P O R T U G U E S E O C C U P A T I O N I N ................................. 130
A U S T R A L I A , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F .................................. 132
A U S T R I A , T U R K I S H I N V A S I O N O F ......................................... 133
B R A Z I L , P O R T U G U E S E C O L O N I Z A T I O N O F .............................. 136
C A R I B B E A N , E U R O P E A N O C C U P A T I O N O F .............................. 137
C E Y L O N , D U T C H O C C U P A T I O N O F ........................................ 141
C E Y L O N , P O R T U G U E S E O C C U P A T I O N O F ................................ 141
C H I N G ( M A N C H U ) D Y N A S T Y ................................................ 142
C O R T E S , H E R N A N ............................................................... 145
C Y P R U S , O T T O M A N I N V A S I O N O F ......................................... 146
E A S T I N D I E S , D U T C H O C C U P A T I O N O F T H E ........................... 149
E N G L A N D , S P A N I S H I N V A S I O N O F ( S P A N I S H A R M A D A ) ........... 151
I N D I A , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F .......................................... 153
I N D I A , F R E N C H O C C U P A T I O N O F .......................................... 156
ITALY, AUSTRIAN INVASION OF (WAR OF THE SPANISH
S U C C E S S I O N ) ..................................................................... 157
I T A L Y , F R E N C H I N V A S I O N S O F ............................................. 160
M O G H U L E M P I R E ................................................................ 162
N E T H E R L A N D S , F R E N C H I N V A S I O N S O F T H E .......................... 165
N O R T H A M E R I C A , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F .......................... 167
N O R T H A M E R I C A , F R E N C H O C C U P A T I O N O F .......................... 169
O T T O M A N E M P I R E .............................................................. 171
PALATINATE, FRENCH INVASION OF THE (WAR OF THE LEAGUE OF
A U G S B U R G ) ....................................................................... 174
P O R T U G A L , S P A N I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F .................................. 176
R U S S I A , S W E D I S H I N V A S I O N O F ( G R E A T N O R T H E R N W A R ) ...... 178
S A X O N Y , P R U S S I A N I N V A S I O N O F ( S E V E N Y E A R S ’ W A R ) .......... 180
SILESIA, PRUSSIAN INVASION OF
( W A R O F T H E A U S T R I A N S U C C E S S I O N ) ................................. 184
T H I R T Y Y E A R S ' W A R ........................................................... 185
U Z B E K S ............................................................................. 188
W E S T E R N H E M I S P H E R E , S P A N I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F .................. 189
Z U L U S , E X P A N S I O N O F ........................................................ 191

PART 5 THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS AND NAPOLEON ....... 195

A U S T R I A , N A P O L E O N ' S C O N Q U E S T O F .................................. 196


C A N A D A , A M E R I C A N I N V A S I O N O F ....................................... 197
C A N A D A , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F ................................................ 200
E G Y P T , N A P O L E O N ' S I N V A S I O N O F ....................................... 203
F R A N C E , E U R O P E A N I N V A S I O N O F ........................................ 205
I T A L Y , N A P O L E O N ' S I N V A S I O N O F ........................................ 207
N A P O L E O N B U O N A P A R T E .................................................... 209

v
N E W Y O R K , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F (1776) ............................. 212
N E W Y O R K , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F (1777) ............................. 215
P R U S S I A , N A P O L E O N ' S I N V A S I O N O F .................................... 218
R U S S I A , N A P O L E O N ' S I N V A S I O N O F ...................................... 219
S O U T H E R N U N I T E D S T A T E S , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F ................ 222
U N I T E D S T A T E S , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F (1814) ...................... 225

PART 6 THE AGE OF EMPIRES ...................................... 229

A F G H A N I S T A N , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N S O F ................................ 230
A F R I C A , F R E N C H O C C U P A T I O N S I N ...................................... 232
A F R I C A , G E R M A N O C C U P A T I O N S I N ..................................... 234
A L G E R I A , F R E N C H O C C U P A T I O N O F ..................................... 235
A S H A N T I , B R I T I S H C O N Q U E S T O F ........................................ 238
C E Y L O N , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F ....................................... 241
C H I N A , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F ( O P I U M W A R ) ......................... 242
C O N G O , B E L G I A N O C C U P A T I O N O F ...................................... 243
C U B A , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F .................................................... 245
E G Y P T , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F ......................................... 247
F R A N C E , P R U S S I A N I N V A S I O N O F ( F R A N C O - P R U S S I A N W A R ) ... 248
I N D I A N S O F N O R T H A M E R I C A , U . S . C O N Q U E S T O F ................. 251
I N D O C H I N A , F R E N C H O C C U P A T I O N O F ................................. 254
K E N Y A , B R I T I S H C O L O N I Z A T I O N O F ..................................... 255
K O R E A , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F ( S I N O - J A P A N E S E W A R ).......... 259
M E X I C O , F R E N C H O C C U P A T I O N O F ....................................... 261
M E X I C O , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F ................................................. 262
N E W Z E A L A N D , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F ............................. 266
P A R A G U A Y A N W A R ............................................................ 267
P H I L I P P I N E S , U . S . O C C U P A T I O N O F T H E ................................ 269
P U E R T O R I C O , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F ......................................... 271
S I N G A P O R E , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F .................................. 273
S O M A L I A , E U R O P E A N C O L O N I Z A T I O N O F ............................. 274
S O U T H A F R I C A , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F ............................. 277
U G A N D A , B R I T I S H O C C U P A T I O N O F ..................................... 280
W A R O F T H E P A C I F I C .......................................................... 284
Z U L U L A N D , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F ....................................... 285

PART 7 T H E T W E N T I E T H C E N T U R Y ................................ 289

A F G H A N I S T A N , S O V I E T I N V A S I O N O F ................................... 290
A F G H A N I S T A N , U N I N V A S I O N O F ......................................... 292
A L B A N I A , I T A L I A N C O N Q U E S T O F ........................................ 295
A U S T R I A , N A Z I O C C U P A T I O N O F .......................................... 296
B A L K A N S , N A Z I I N V A S I O N O F .............................................. 298
B O S N I A - H E R Z E G O V I N A , S E R B I A N I N V A S I O N O F ...................... 301
B R I T A I N , N A Z I I N V A S I O N O F ( B A T T L E O F B R I T A I N ) ................ 305
B U R M A , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F .......................................... 307
C H I N A , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F ........................................... 310
C Y P R U S , T U R K I S H I N V A S I O N O F ........................................... 313

vi
C Z E C H O S L O V A K I A , N A Z I O C C U P A T I O N O F ............................. 317
D U T C H E A S T I N D I E S , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F ........................ 319
E A S T A F R I C A , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F .................................... 321
E G Y P T , I T A L I A N I N V A S I O N O F ............................................. 322
E I S E N H O W E R , D W I G H T D A V I D ............................................. 324
E T H I O P I A , I T A L I A N I N V A S I O N O F ......................................... 326
F I N L A N D , S O V I E T I N V A S I O N O F ........................................... 327
F R A N C E , A L L I E D I N V A S I O N O F ............................................. 329
F R A N C E , G E R M A N I N V A S I O N O F ........................................... 332
F R A N C E , N A Z I I N V A S I O N O F ................................................ 335
G E R M A N Y , S O V I E T I N V A S I O N O F .......................................... 339
G R E N A D A , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F ............................................... 342
H I T L E R , A D O L F .................................................................. 342
I R A Q , U S / C O A L I T I O N I N V A S I O N O F ...................................... 345
I S R A E L , A R A B I N V A S I O N O F ( Y O M K I P P U R W A R ) .................... 348
I T A L Y , A L L I E D I N V A S I O N O F ................................................ 351
K U W A I T , I R A Q I I N V A S I O N O F .............................................. 354
L A T I N A M E R I C A , U . S . I N T E R V E N T I O N S I N .............................. 358
L I B Y A , I T A L I A N O C C U P A T I O N O F ......................................... 362
M A C A R T H U R , D O U G L A S ...................................................... 366
M A N C H U R I A , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F (1904)
( R U S S O - J A P A N E S E W A R ) ..................................................... 369
M A N C H U R I A , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F (1931) ........................ 372
M E S O P O T A M I A , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F .................................. 373
M I D W A Y , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F ........................................ 376
M U S S O L I N I , B E N I T O ............................................................ 377
N E W G U I N E A , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F .................................. 378
N O R T H A F R I C A , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F ....................................... 379
N O R W A Y A N D D E N M A R K , N A Z I I N V A S I O N O F ......................... 381
P A C I F I C I S L A N D S , U . S . C O N Q U E S T O F ................................... 383
P A N A M A , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F ................................................ 388
P H I L I P P I N E S , J A P A N E S E I N V A S I O N O F T H E ............................. 389
P H I L I P P I N E S , U . S . I N V A S I O N O F T H E ..................................... 392
P O L A N D , N A Z I C O N Q U E S T O F .............................................. 394
R H I N E L A N D , N A Z I O C C U P A T I O N O F T H E ............................... 397
R U S S I A , G E R M A N I N V A S I O N O F ............................................ 398
S I C I L Y , A L L I E D I N V A S I O N O F ............................................... 401
S I N A I , I S R A E L I I N V A S I O N O F (1956) ( S U E Z C R I S I S ) ................. 403
S I N A I , I S R A E L I I N V A S I O N O F (1967) ( S I X - D A Y W A R ) .............. 404
S I N G A P O R E A N D M A L A Y A , J A P A N E S E C O N Q U E S T O F ............... 405
SOUTH KOREA, NORTH KOREAN INVASION
O F ( K O R E A N W A R ) ............................................................. 409
S O V I E T U N I O N , N A Z I I N V A S I O N O F T H E ................................ 412
T U R K E Y , B R I T I S H I N V A S I O N O F ............................................ 416

SECTION TWO: BIBLIOGRAPHY ................................................. 421

vii
SECTION THREE : READINGS
I N T R O D U C T I O N ........................................................................ 435

T E X T O F T H E A R M A N T S T E L A (1456 BCE) ........................... 437


T H E P E A C E O F N I C I A S (421) ............................................... 439
T R U C E O F G O D – B I S H O P R I C O F T E R O U A N N E (1063) ............. 443
DECREE OF THE EMPEROR HENRY IV
C O N C E R N I N G A T R U C E O F G O D (1085) ............................... 444
F U L C H E R O F C H A R T R E S (1095) ........................................... 445
PEACE OF THE LAND ESTABLISHED BY
F R E D E R I C K B A R B A R O S S A (1152-1157) ................................. 448
C O N S T I T U T I O N O F T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S O F A M E R I C A ............ 451
FINAL ACT OF THE INTERNATIONAL
P E A C E C O N F E R E N C E (1899) ................................................ 453
FINAL ACT OF THE SECOND INTERNATIONAL PEACE
C O N F E R E N C E (1907) .......................................................... 455
GENERAL PACT FOR THE RENUNCIATION IF WAR-
S I G N E D A T P A R I S (1928) .................................................... 457
D I R E C T I V E N O . 1 F O R T H E C O N D U C T O F T H E W A R (1939) ..... 459
P R O C L A M A T I O N B Y A D O L F H I T L E R (1939) ........................... 460
T H R E E -P O W E R P A C T A M O N G G E R M A N Y , I T A L Y
A N D J A P A N (1940) ............................................................. 461
TEXT OOF FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT’S SPEECH
TO CONGRESS AND THE NATION FOLLOWING THE
J A P A N E S E A T T A C K O N P E A R L H A R B O R (1941) ...................... 462
SELECTIONS FROM THE CHARTER OF
T H E U N I T E D N A T I O N S (1945) ............................................. 464
U N I V E R S A L D E C L A R A T I O N O F H U M A N R I G H T S (1948) ........... 472
T H E N O R T H A T L A N T I C T R E A T Y (1949) ............................... 476
EXCERPTS FROM THE DAYTON PEACE ACCORDS: GENERAL
F R A M E W O R K A G R E E M E N T F O R P E A C E I N B O S N IA A N D
H E R Z E G O V I N A (1995) ........................................................ 479
“N O T -S O -S A C R E D B O R D E R S ” B Y J A M E S K I T F I E L D .................. 508
F R O N T L I N E : G I V E W A R A C H A N C E – T H E U S E S O F M I L I T AR Y
F O R C E B Y J I M M O K H I B E R A N D R I C K Y O U N G .......................... 511
S E P T E M B E R 11, 2001: A T T A C K O N A M E R I C A , J O I N T
R E S O L U T I O N 63 – I N T R O D U C E D I N T H E H O U S E
S E P T E M B E R 13, 2001 .......................................................... 514
SUPREME COURT CASES REVIEWING THE WAR AND TREATY
P O W E R S O F T H E U N I T E D S T A T E S C O N S T I T U T I O N .................. 516
J U S T -W A R T H E O R Y B Y A L E X A N D E R M O S E L E Y ....................... 519

SECTION FOUR :
HISTORICAL TIMELINE OF ENTRIES .......................... 529

SECTION FIVE : INDEX ................................................. 539

viii
PREFACE

The greatest difficulty in undertaking a from consideration most revolutions,


work such as this is defining the terms unless they are against a foreign power and
invasion and conquest. Both have overtly the revolutionaries achieve national
military connotations, though not all status. The American Revolution would
conquests are accomplished totally be covered, because the United States
through military means. Still, conquest became a nation in the midst of revolution
can best be described as the occupation with formal recognition by other countries.
and long-term domination of one country The Texas Revolution, on the other hand,
by another. Using this criterion, would not because Texas did not gain
colonization can be defined as conquest, international recognition until after
especially because most examples of hostilities ended.
colonization have a military aspect. Additionally, the placement of national
Hence, the Spanish occupation of the boundaries creates another question. For
New World, the British occupation of most of its history, modern Italy has been a
America, Canada, India, etc., all collection of nation-states trying to
constitute conquests. If the colonization establish domination over one another. Do
takes place with little military activity, the conflicts among these neighbors constitute
term occupation is used. invasions? Would the fighting between
The definition of invasion is much more Serbs, Croats, and Muslims in post-
difficult to nail down. Any battle involves Communist Yugoslavia be considered a
invasion of territory, even if it is only series of territorial invasions, or simply a
enemyheld ground on the other side of the struggle for local control? Is an attack
battlefield. To narrow our field, we will against a neighbor, conducted with no
deal only with the violation of national intent of conquest (for example, Prussia
borders - one country invading another. versus Austria in 1866), considered an
This immediately removes from invasion?
consideration all civil wars, since a nation These are some of the considerations to be
fights such a war against itself. While faced in defining the scope of this work,
many would argue that Union forces and in some cases, inclusion ultimately
attacking the Confederacy constituted an comes down to an editorial judgment call.
invasion, this cannot fit our criteria What some might view as an invasion, we
because the Confederate States of might decide was a dynastic squabble
America was never officially an among rival factions, and modern national
independent nation. This further removes identities may at times be overlaid on a set

ix
PREFACE

of historical states that no longer exist. In possible - from the time Sargon the Great
general, we will explore actions by one first expanded the borders of Akkadia to
nation against another with the intent or the American-led coalition effort to
result of establishing the attacker’s overthrow Saddam Hussein and establish
domination over the defender. By this democracy in Iraq.
definition, invasions almost always will be I would like to thank all the contributors
military, but ultimate conquests may be who aided in the production of this work:
political or economic, as in the U.S. John Adams, Gary Botello, Ed Davis,
intervention in Latin American nations. Thomas E. Davis, Allen Hamilton, James
Because the establishment and fall of L. Iseman, Edward Maier III, Rhett
empires normally involve the conquests of Michael Schall, Deborah Palacios, Travis
numerous enemies, these events are Denzer, Michael Barden, and Kyle
covered by the names of the empires, Matheu.
rather than by the listing of each conquest I very much want to recognize the efforts
involved in the process of empire building. of my wife, Jerri, for her patience with me
during the research and writing of this
Every effort has been made to cover as work.
much history of the world’s invasions as

x
List of Contributors

John Adams
Michael Barden
Gary Botello
Thomas E. Davis
Thomas E. Davis, Jr.
Travis Denzer
Allan Lee Hamilton
James L. Iseman
Edward L. Maier III
Kyle Matheu
Deborah Palacios
Rhett Michael Schall

xi
List of Maps

Title of Map Title of Entry Page

PART 1 – ANCIENT WORLD


The Ancient World – Map 1
Numbered locations on this map correspond with all entries contained in Part 1.
Assyrian Empire Assyrian Empire 3
Ancient Israel Canaan, Israelite Invasion of 5
Ancient Egypt Egypt, Hyskos Invasion of 10

PART 2 – CLASSICAL WORLD


The Classical World – Maps 1 & 2
Numbered locations on these maps correspond with all entries contained in Part 2.
Alexander's Route of Conquest Alexander the Great 19
Roman Empire from Augustus to 150 Augustus, Caesar 21
Ch’in Dynasty Ch'in Dynasty 29
Ancient Greece Greece, Persian Invasion of 36
Han Empire Han Dynasty 38
Hannibal's Campaign Second Punic War Italy, Carthaginian Invasion of 43
(Second Punic War)
Mauryan Empire Mauryan Empire 45
Hellenistic Kingdoms after Alexander Ptolemaic and Seleucid Dynasty 51

PART 3 – DARK AND MIDDLE


AGES
The Dark and Middle Ages – Maps 1 & 2
Numbered locations on these maps correspond with all entries contained in Part 3.
Byzantine Empire 527-1025 Byzantine Empire 63
Frankish Expansion under Charlemagne Carolingian Dynasty 65
Mongol Empire in the Late 13th century Genghis Khan 79
Barbarian Migrations into Europe Huns 85
Spread of Islam Middle East, Muslim Conquest of 106
Ming Dynasty China Ming Dynasty 108
Russia before Mongol Conquest 1190 Russia, Establishment and 111
Expansion of
Early Modern Russia at Accession of Peter Russia, Establishment and 112
the Great 1689 Expansion of
T’ang Empire T'ang Dynasty 121

xii
PART 4 – RENAISSANCE AND AGE
OF EXPLORATION
The Renaissance and the Age of Explorations – Maps 1-4
Numbered locations on these maps correspond with all entries contained in Part 4.
Manchu (Ching) Dynasty Ching (Manchu) Dynasty 143
Cyprus after Partition Cyprus, Ottoman Invasion of 147
British in India 1857 Ceylon, British Occupation of 154
War of Spanish Succession Italy, Austrian Invasion of 158
Moghul Empire Moghul Empire 163
Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire 173
War of the League of Augsburg Palatinate, French Invasion of the 175
Great Northern War Russia, Swedish Invasion of (Great 179
Northern War)
Seven Years’ War Saxony, Prussian Invasion of 182
Thirty Years’ War Main Theaters of Thirty Years' War 186
Action

PART 5 – REVOLUTIONS AND


NAPOLEON
The Age of Revolutions and Napoleon – Maps 1 & 2
Numbered locations on these maps correspond with all entries contained in Part 5.
American Invasion of Canada 1775-76 Canada, American Invasion of 198
War of 1812 Northern Theater Canada, U.S. Invasion of 201
Napoleon's Empire Napoleon Bonaparte 210
British Invasion of the United States July-New York, British Invasion of 213
October 1776 1776
British Invasion of New York 1777 New York, British Invasion of 216
1777
Napoleon’s Russian Campaign 1812 Russia, Napoleon's Invasion of 220
British Invasion of Southern United States Southern United States, British 223
Invasion of

PART 6 – AGE OF EMPIRES


The Age of Empires – Maps 1-3
Numbered locations on these maps correspond with all entries contained in Part 6.
The Ashanti Campaign 1873-74 Ashanti, British Conquest of 239
Franco-Prussian War France, Prussian Invasion of 249
U.S. Conquest of North American Indians Indians of North America 253
Kenya Kenya, British Colonization of 256
U.S. Invasion of Mexico Mexico, U.S. Invasion of 263
Paraguay (Banda Oriental) Paraguayan War 268
Somalia Somalia, European Colonization of 275

xiii
Uganda Uganda, British Occupation of 281
British Invasion of Zululand 1879 Zululand, British Invasion of 287

PART 7 – THE TWENTIETH


CENTURY
The Twentieth Century – Maps 1-5
Numbered locations on these maps correspond with all entries contained in Part 7.
Coalition Invasion of Afghanistan Afghanistan, UN Invasion 294
Nazi Invasion of Balkans Balkans, Nazi Invasion of 299
Countries and Provinces of the Former Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian 302
Yugoslavia Invasion of
U.N. Peacekeeping Forces in Bosnia Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbian 303
Herzegovina Invasion of
The Battle of Britain Britain, Nazi Invasion of 306
Japanese Aggression in China 1941-44 China, Japanese Invasion of 311
Cyprus 1960 Ethnic Distribution Cyprus, Turkish Invasion of 314
Allied Landings Normandy – June, 6 1944 France, Allied Invasion 330
German and French Plans for War 1914 France, German Invasion of 333
Nazi Conquest of France France, Nazi Invasion of 336
Coalition Invasion of Iraq, Initial Iraq, U.S./Coalition Invasion of 346
Operations
Yom Kippur War Israel, Arab Invasion of 349
Allied Conquest of Italy through the Fall Italy, Allied Invasion 353
of Rome
Iraqi Army Positions Eve of Gulf War Kuwait, Iraqi Invasion of 355
1991
Allied Forces Positions and Goals Eve of Kuwait, Iraqi Invasion of 356
Gulf War
Libya Libya, Italian Occupation of 363
Russo-Japanese War 1904-1905 Manchuria, Japanese Invasion of 370
(1904)
Lower Mesopotamia Mesopotamia, British Invasion of 374
Allied War vs. Japan - Pacific Theater, Pacific Islands, U.S. Invasion 384
1945
Nazi Invasion of Poland Poland, Nazi Conquest 395
German and Russian Plans for War 1914 Russia, German Invasion of 399
Japanese Invasion of Singapore Singapore and Malaya, Japanese 406
Conquest of
Outbreak of Korean War South Korea, North Korean 410
Invasion
Nazi Invasion of the Soviet Union Soviet Union, Nazi Invasion 413
British Invasion of Turkey Turkey, British Invasion 417

xiv
SECTION ONE : ENTRIES
PART 1
THE ANCIENT WORLD

1 Assyrian Empire 6 Hittites, Expansion of


2 Canaan, Israelite Invasion of 7 India, Aryan Invasion of
3 Chaldean (Neo-Babylonian) Empire, 8 Kush, Expansion of
Expansion of 9 Palestine, Egyptian
4 Cyrus The Great Invasions of
5 Egypt, Hyksos Invasion of 10 Sargon The Great

1
ASSYRIAN EMPIRE

1 ASSYRIAN EMPIRE Assurbanipal was the last of the Assyrian kings.


More of a scholar than a warrior, he let his gen-
The first strong Assyrian state was formed in the erals punish the rebellious while he established
late Bronze Age in the wake of the decline of the a large library at Nineveh.
Mitanni, a confederation of tribes living along The Assyrian Empire came to an abrupt end
the upper reaches of the Tigris River. In the four- in 612 B.C.E. Three hundred years of warfare, both
teenth century B.C.E., Ashururballit led his peo- conquests and the suppression of almost constant
ple in an expansion westward, during which they rebellions, had put a serious strain on Assyrian
came to control the upper arch of the manpower. The birthrate had not kept up with
Fertile Crescent for approximately a century. the casualty rate, and the Assyrians had been
The Assyrians ran up against the power of Aram obliged to use conscript troops, who proved of
(situated in modern-day Syria), which blocked doubtful loyalty. Agreements with neighbors
their access to western trade routes. Still, the lapsed, and enemies pressed from all directions.
early success coupled with the continued fight- Ultimately the Medes led a coalition that laid
ing against Aram made the Assyrian army strong siege to the Assyrian capital city of Nineveh,
and experienced, able to defend itself and mount which fell after three months, spelling the end
major raids far to the south and west. With this of the empire, an end more celebrated than
powerful military, Assyria dominated the Near lamented. The biblical prophet Nahum wrote,
East by the 900s B.C.E. “All who hear the news of you clap their hands
Initially, the Assyrians’ main objective was over you. For upon whom has not come your
to expand to the Mediterranean coast in order unceasing evil?” Nahum summed it up perfectly;
to control the major trade routes of ancient Assyria had built and maintained its empire by mil-
times. Assyrian armies finally overcame the itary force and terror, showing no mercy to any
resistance of nations led by Aram, and they cap- defeated foe, whether in conquest or rebellion.
tured the major city of Damascus in 732 The Assyrians were the first people to insti-
B.C.E. Old Testament accounts tell of Assyrian tutionalize cruelty to control the lands they
attacks into Samaria and Judah, and fighting acquired. Towns destroyed in battle were left in
against the Egyptians. Assyria established ruins as an example to other possible foes.
empire status under the leadership of Sargon II Ashurnasipal bragged, “I caused great slaughter. I
(722–705 B.C.E.), who named himself after destroyed, I demolished, I burned. I took their
the Sumerian leader Sargon the Great, the warriors prisoner and impaled them on stakes
first well-known conqueror. Sargon II’s son before their cities. . . . I flayed the nobles, as
Sennacherib maintained the lands his father many as had rebelled, and spread their skins out
had conquered, and raided Asia Minor on the piles [of dead bodies]. . . . Many of the
after 700 B.C.E. Sennacherib established control captives I burned in a fire. Many I took alive;
over Phoenician towns on the Mediterranean from some I cut off their hands to the wrist, from
coast all the way to the Egyptian frontier. others I cut off their noses, ears and fingers; I put
The last of the great emperors was Esarhaddon out the eyes of many soldiers. I burnt their young
(681–668 B.C.E.), who came to the throne men and women to death.” This boast was not
by murdering his father, Sennacherib. To secure just Ashurnasipal’s; every leader acted in the
his frontiers, Esarhaddon coupled diplomacy same fashion. It is not surprising that they had to
with warfare. He entered into agreements with deal with constant rebellion; they certainly
the Medes to the east and the Cimmerians to inspired no loyalty from their subjects.
the north, but also invaded Egypt, a nation Despite this negative characteristic, the
seemingly always in rebellion against the Assyrians contributed to society and culture.
Assyrian demands for tribute. By the end of Some of the world’s oldest roads were built in
Esarhaddon’s reign, Assyrian territory stretched the time of Sargon II. This road system allowed
from the Persian Gulf across the Fertile for freer trade and the development of a postal
Crescent and halfway down the Nile in Egypt. system. The Assyrian Empire was the first to

2 THE ANCIENT WORLD


B LAC K SEA
ASSYRIAN EMPIRE
0 300

Scale of miles
.
ly sR
Gordium Ha

PHRYGIA CASPIAN SEA


Sardis
Van
LYDIA URARTU

Sam'al
IA Harran
CILIC
Carchemish Ninevah
MEDES
SYRIA
Ashur
Ecbatana
Tig
r

Tig
r
is

A
R.

is R
.

ICI
Eu

EN
Epuh
ARAMEANS prha

O
ratet
MEDITERRANEAN SEA Damascus
ess
R
R.
ELAM

PH
Babylon Susa

Jerusalem CHALDEA PERSIANS

PALESTINE
EGYPT

Memphis

R.
PERSIAN

Nile
GULF

THE ANCIENT WORLD


RED SEA

3
ASSYRIAN EMPIRE
CANAAN, ISRAELITE INVASION OF

construct aqueducts. Adopting cuneiform script God’s blessing or intercession on their behalf,
from the Babylonians, the Assyrians became the no matter who their god may have been. Worse
world’s first serious historians. They established yet, a holy war is usually fought with more
a number of libraries, where they recorded sci- ferocity and less mercy.
entific knowledge acquired on their own and The Israelite invasion of the area that has
from Babylon. They also inaugurated the first come to be known as the Holy Land was proba-
widespread use of iron. Though iron was used by bly as genocidal as any in history, but it seems
the Hittites, the Assyrians were the first to use to have been conducted with less malice. As a
the metal for weapons. As more iron-producing racial and religious group, the Hebrews consid-
territory came under their control, it became the ered themselves to have been chosen by the one
most common metal in tool production, far out- and only God, who had promised their forebear,
performing anything made from bronze. Their Abraham, that they would have a country of
artists are regarded as masters of relief work, their own. Thus, it became a tradition covering
with realistic and emotional portrayals of kings several centuries that the Hebrews had a man-
at war and sport. date from God to possess this land. The people
The Assyrians are best remembered, however, who inhabited the land were virtually unknown
for their accomplishments in warfare. Using char- to the Israelites, and the only indication that the
iots (already invented), they were the first to add invasion was conducted with moral overtones is
cavalry to their army, which often proved the the biblical statement that God was punishing
decisive factor in their victories. Assyria was the the local inhabitants for their idolatry.
first state, but certainly not the last, to build its Forty years before the invasion began, the
society around the armed forces. They established Israelites were a captive people serving Egyptian
what may be called the first true empire, because masters in the Nile Delta region. In response
whereas most previous warriors cam paigned to intolerable treatment, they came together
mainly for loot and tribute, the Assyrians estab- under the leadership of a man named Moses, who
lished political control by appointing governors in had been raised and educated in the household of
conquered lands. Had they had the statesmanship the pharaoh. Though not always popular with
skills to match their military prowess, they could the rank-and-file Israelites, Moses was able to
not only have lasted longer as an empire, but they secure their release from bondage during a time of
would also have had an even greater impact on turmoil and plague, which had been attributed to
the progress of ancient society and culture. God’s intercession.
According to the Bible, the Israelites left
See also Hittites; Sargon the Great.
Egypt some six million strong, but were unable to
References: Bury, J. B., S. A. Cook, and F. E. Adcock, muster the resolve necessary to invade their
eds., The Cambridge Ancient History: The Assyrian objective immediately. They spent 40 years wan-
Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, dering about the Sinai desert, and by the time the
1923–1939); Laessoe, Jorgen, People of Ancient
Assyria, Their Inscriptions and Correspondence
actual invasion began, their numbers had consid-
(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963); Saggs, erably decreased. The Bible states that they were
H. W E, The Might That Was Assyria (London: fielding an army of about 40,000 men as they
Sidgwick & Jackson, 1984). approached Canaan, the Promised Land. The
Israelites had apparently come out of Egypt unpre-
C ANAAN, ISRAELITE pared for the hardships of the Sinai or the rigors of
2 INVASION OF battle, but during the 40 years of wandering
through the territories of various kingdoms, they
Throughout history, nations have gone to war had been toughened and their fighting skills
against their enemies in the name of God, sharpened by encounters with nomadic tribes.
whether for punishment, revenge, or greed. At a date scholars place variously from the
Seldom has there been a war in which one or sixteenth to the thirteenth century B.C.E.,
all of the participants did not try to invoke the Israelites arrived in the area south of the Dead

4 THE ANCIENT WORLD


CANAAN, ISRAELITE INVASION OF

Sidon
Sidon
MEDITERRANEAN Damascus
SEA
Tyre
Tyre Dan

A
Damascus
CI
NI
OE

BASHAN
PH

Sea of
Galilee

Jerusalem

GILEAD Dead Sea


Jordan R.

Samaria Gerasa

Rabboth Petra
Joppa
Bethel Ammon
Jericho
Gezer
Ashdod Jerusalem Jerusalem
Bethlehem Mt. Nebo Gulf of 0 50
Akaba
Ascalon
Hebron
Lachish DEAD
Gaza SEA

Beersheba MOAB

ANCIENT ISRAEL
David's kingdom
WILDERNESS
OF ZIN Judah (to 586 BC) Israel (to 722 BC)
0 50
EDOM
Scale of miles

THE ANCIENT WORLD 5


CANAAN, ISRAELITE INVASION OF

Sea, Canaan’s southern limit. They encountered swing south, clearing the land of its inhabitants as
two Amorite kingdoms, Sihon and Og, and he went. Standing in his way was the city of
defeated both. According to God’s instruction, Ai, another walled city partway up the moun-
through Moses, those occupying the land of the tain slope. He sent only part of his army
ancient mandate were to be killed to protect the (about 3,000 men) and was repulsed. Joshua
Hebrews from contamination by idol worshippers. returned with the bulk of his army, and by a ruse
All the people were put to the sword, thus clear- enticed the defenders out of the city. Cut off from
ing the land, which reached from the Dead Sea to the protection of the city fortifications, they
well north of the Sea of Galilee and from the were ambushed; once again, all the inhabitants
Jordan River eastward almost to the Euphrates. were killed. Archaeologists dispute the existence
Though the territories of Sihon and Og were of Ai, but reputedly it was very near the city of
vast and a part of the Promised Land, the sym- Bethel; possibly the conquests of both cities were
bolic point at which the Israelites began the inva- accomplished at the same time. Whatever the
sion was on the Jordan River just south of explanation, the Israelites unquestionably stormed
the ancient walled city of Jericho. Moses passed the heights, and Joshua continued his conquest.
the mantle of leadership to Joshua, the general The only exception to the policy of genocide
of his army, and died without ever having crossed apparently occurred at this time. The inhabi-
the Jordan. Joshua gathered all his people together tants of Gibeon took advantage of the Israelites’
and instructed them to follow the priests who were unfamiliarity with the country. Sending out
carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the sacred emissaries dressed in rags and professing to be
chest containing holy relics, the most important travelers from a distant land, they exacted
of which were the tablets containing God’s laws, a pledge from Joshua that he would spare their
the Ten Commandments. As the priests stepped people. When Joshua learned that they lived just
into the water, the Bible says that the river ceased over the next ridge, he honored his pledge, but
to flow, and all the people passed through the sentenced them to be slaves, forever “carriers of
riverbed dry-shod. water and hewers of wood.”
Once across the river, Joshua ordered an The land of God’s mandate, now called
altar to be built and the proper sacrifices made. Israel, extended roughly from the Dead Sea in the
He reinstituted the ancient rite of circumcision, south past the Sea of Galilee in the north; it was
which had been abandoned during the years of bounded by the Mediterranean on the west and by
wandering. He also reconsecrated himself and some portion of the Euphrates on the east. After
his family to God and the task before them, and passing Gibeon, Joshua continued south along the
preparations soon began for the assault. Jericho mountains and then dropped into the lowlands,
was a strong, walled city founded on the site of taking all the land to the south and west.
an abundant spring and surrounded by palms. Retracing his steps, he conquered most of the land
Seeing the Israelites’ approach and terrified by in the north. In all, the Bible lists 31 kingdoms
the disasters that had befallen Sihon and Og, the that were conquered, including Jericho. No peace
local inhabitants fled into the walled city. They treaties were made, except for that with the
had heard that the Israelites crossed the Jordan Gibeonites, and no one was allowed to surrender.
on dry ground, and had seen with their own eyes Though the Bible states that the conquest was
how the Jordan had ceased to flow. complete after six years and that the Israelites
Joshua instructed his people to march around then rested, it is clear that some resistance still
the city silently for six days; on the seventh day remained even when Joshua died, 25 years after
they would give a great shout, and the walls the invasion began.
would fall down. This happened as Joshua pre- The chief problem lay with the Philistines, a
dicted, and the people in the city perished—save non-Semitic people of mysterious origin occupying
for one family, who had harbored Israelite spies. the area along the southern seacoast. So stubborn
After the sacking of Jericho, Joshua planned to was their resistance, so superior their iron weapons
climb from the river valley to high ground and over the bronze implements of the Israelites, and

6 THE ANCIENT WORLD


CHALDEAN (NEO-BABYLONIAN) EMPIRE, EXPANSION OF

so devious their tactics that the term Philistine has 150 miles south of Sumer, site of the world’s first
come to mean a person of crass and base instincts. civilization. The ruins of the ancient city visible
The Philistines fought against the Israelites in the today were left by the Chaldeans, or Neo-
time of the judges (the two centuries or so after Babylonians, another Semitic group that came to
invasion), and brought about Samson’s downfall. prominence after the first Babylon settled by the
A giant Philistine from Gath was killed by young Amorites.
David, setting the boy on the path to power. Not The Assyrians, a warrior race based some
until David was king did the entire Promised Land 200 miles north of Babylon, were in total control
come under complete Hebrew control. The geno- of Mesopotamia around 750 B.C.E. Being a people
cidal policy was never fully implemented, and the dedicated to conquest and plunder, the Assyrians
Bible blames many of the later problems of the maintained a mighty army but made no loyal
nation on interracial marriages, economic ties, and allies among their conquests. Hatred of the
the worship of false gods. Assyrians by their conquered subjects ultimately
For more than 3,000 years the descendants of weakened the civilization. Being forced to deal
the Israelites have possessed (in their own minds with almost continual rebellions laid them open
and that of many others) the Promised Land, if to conquest from the outside, an invasion that
they have not always controlled it. This land was came from the Chaldeans and Medes. The
the geopolitical center of the then-civilized world: Chaldeans had lived in the Persian Gulf area for
exposed to all cultures and religions, crossed by centuries and the Medes lived in the foothills
most of the trading caravans, and host to ships of Persia. Together, led by the Chaldean king
from the far places of the sea. Christianity began Nabopolasser, they destroyed the Assyrian capital
here and, though dominated by the Romans for at Nineveh in 612 B.C.E.
centuries, this product of the land conquered and With the Assyrians removed from power, the
eventually possessed even that great power. Chaldeans and Medes split the territory; the
The Israelite conquest that came sweeping Chaldeans occupied the area around Babylon, and
out of the desert one and a half millennia before the Medes settled in the northwest. King
the time of Christ has had more far-reaching con- Nabopolasser established his capital at Babylon,
sequences on the entire world than any other ascending the throne in that city in 604 B.C.E.
conquest in history. Though the land today is of Defeat of the Assyrians did not bring peace to the
relative insignificance in an economic sense, it Chaldeans, however. Assyria’s fall encouraged the
continues to be a force in world affairs—a magnet expansion of Egypt, under Pharaoh Necho, into
for Jews, Muslims, and Christians, many with the Syria. Nabopolasser wanted to resist, but fail-
old antipathies and genocidal tendencies intact. ing health caused him to send his son
Nebuchadnezzar to fight the Egyptians. The
References: Gaubert, Henri, Moses and Joshua,
Founders of the Nation (New York: Hastings
Chaldeans won a major battle at Carchemish, but
House, 1969); Grant, Michael, The History of the Egyptians remained covetous of Syria. Allying
Ancient Israel (New York: Scribner, 1984); Miller, themselves with Phoenicia and the kingdom of
James, A History of Ancient Israel and Judah Judah, the Egyptians returned to the area.
(Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1968). Again they met defeat at Chaldean hands.
Nebuchadnezzar captured the capital of Judah,
CHALDEAN (NEO-BABYLONIAN) Jerusalem, and took a large part of the nation’s
3 EMPIRE, EXPANSION OF population into captivity in Babylon in 597 B.C.E.
When the Egyptians tried a third time to take
Many memorable civilizations arose in the area Syria—and were a third time defeated—
known as Mesopotamia, the land lying between Nebuchadnezzar again took Jerusalem by siege
the Tigris and Euphrates rivers above the and removed the remainder of the population.
Persian Gulf. The Bible frequently mentions While Nebuchadnezzar was in the Mediter-
Mesopotamian civilizations, especially the spec- ranean coastal area, he made war against
tacular city of Babylon. The city lay some Phoenicia, capturing the port city of Sidon. He

THE ANCIENT WORLD 7


CYRUS THE GREAT

was unable to capture the fortress city 4 CYRUS THE GREAT


of Tyre, though he disrupted their trade. During
this expedition, Egypt caused little trouble. Texts sing with endless praise of the accomplish-
Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, Neriglassar, took mili- ments of Cyrus, king of Persia. One would think,
tary action to defend his national borders from an therefore, that there would be few unrecorded
invasion in the west. Neriglassar’s successor, and aspects of his life. However, it appears that rela-
the final Chaldean king, was Nabonidus, who tively little is known of his early life and many of
spent much of his reign putting down Syrian rebel- his achievements. The contemporary coverage
lions and capturing the town of Shindini in Edom. focused on three battles that led to the creation
Though the Chaldean Empire was not as large of the Persian Empire and on a few decisions
as that of the Assyrians, the former were known as made at the beginning of his reign. His birth and
the great conquerors of the Middle East because of death are shrouded in myth.
better documentation, especially in the Bible. Some have speculated that Cyrus was the son
Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, burned the of a sheepherder who migrated from the moun-
temple of Solomon, and hauled the people into tains north of modern-day Iraq to the plains of
captivity, but he was also famous for beautifying the Tigris River valley. We do know that his
Babylon and transforming it into the cultural and father, Cambyses, ruled over a small Persian tribe
economic center of its time. The city was about 81 in the southern Tigris-Euphrates area. When
square miles in area and surrounded by a defensive Cambyses died, Cyrus took over and united all of
wall of brick. Eight gates into the city were dedi- the Persian tribes under his rule in 559 B.C.E.
cated to eight Chaldean gods. Babylon not only The first of the three battles in which he is
had a royal residence along the Euphrates, but known to have fought received limited coverage,
sophisticated, multistory housing and paved Supposedly, Cyrus moved against Astyages, king of
streets. Such architectural marvels as the Hanging the Medes, capturing the capital city of Ecbatana
Gardens and huge temples (possibly even the in 550.This aggressive act caused the Lydian King
Tower of Babel) were located in Babylon. Croesus to turn his attention toward the rising
The city became the trade center of the Persian threat.The Lydians were allied with the
Middle East, bringing in goods from India and Medeans and, through Croesus’s conquests, the
Arabia. The people excelled in science, especially Lydian boundaries had been extended to the Halys
astronomy and astrology. Babylon became the River, west of the newly acquired kingdom of the
center of learning in Mesopotamia, and the begin- Persians. Croesus wasted no time in hiring Spartan
nings of literature can be traced there. The king, mercenaries to mount an offensive against Cyrus.
though not considered divine, was believed to be When he learned of this, Cyrus led his forces into
a mediator between the gods and the people, and Lydian territory, demanding that Croesus surren-
he had to perform rituals worshipping Ishtar, der and become his royal vassal. After a series of
Marduk, and Shamush. battles, Croesus was crushed and the Lydian capi-
Despite this cultural advancement, or perhaps tal at Sardis was captured in 546. Cyrus’s generals
because of it, the Chaldeans became the targets of extended his empire to the Hellespont while he
yet other invaders. In 539 B.C.E., the Persian king attempted conquests in the east. Again, the details
Cyrus attacked from the east and overwhelmed of his exploits have escaped modern historians.
the Chaldean military, which had been neglected Evidently, he succeeded in extending the bound-
in favor of science and the arts. aries of the empire to the Indus River in the east
See also Assyrian Empire; Palestine, Egyptian and the Oxus River in the northeast.
Invasions of. Cyrus now sought to bring the Babylonian
Empire under his control. In 539, conflict began
References: Falls, Cyril, The First 3000 Years (New
when Belshazzar, the emperor’s son and the reign-
York: Viking Press, 1960); Mac-Queen, James,
Babylon (New York: Praeger, 1965); Seignobos, ing governor of Babylon, confronted Cyrus at
Charles, The World of Babylon (New York: Leon Opis. Belshazzar was soundly defeated and
Amiel, 1975). the city of Babylon was captured without a

8 THE ANCIENT WORLD


EGYPT, HYKSOS INVASION OF

fight. Cyrus entered the city several days later,


proclaiming himself liberator. Several factors
contributed to the fall of Babylon. Nebonidus, its
emperor, raised heavy taxes to pay for personal
religious expeditions. He also introduced the gods
of Ur, Uruk, and Eryden, which angered
Babylonian priests. These actions encouraged dis-
sidents to aid the Persians in the overthrow.
The first of Cyrus’s great qualities was his
ability to lead in battle. Through the strategies
employed in the three battles, one can see
his genius. Against the Lydians he marched his
troops several thousand miles through winter
snows, after a standoff at Pteria, in order to sur- Cyrus the Great, founder of the
prise Croesus at Sardis. Croesus had sent most of Persian Empire.
his troops home, thinking the Persians would be
delayed by the weather and terrain. Cyrus’s mili- These policies of tolerance led to this procla-
tary vision also can be appreciated in the fall of mation after the fall of Babylon: “Come forth, col-
Babylon.To capture the city, he diverted the lect your herds, draw water for the animals, and
waters of the Euphrates, which flowed through give your families to eat. The disturbance is
the city, so his troops could enter under the wall. ended, the peace of Archaemedia prevails.” The
Cyrus organized and trained his troops better kingdom of Cyrus would be the precursor of many
than any other ruler of his day.Organization tolerant empires to come. Cyrus would have been
proved to be a problem because the Persian army forgotten as an insignificant character, and not
was composed of several different tribal and eth- assigned the status “the Great” afforded him
nic groups. Cyrus divided these groups by tribes, today, were it not for his tolerant policies.
allowing some of their own tribesmen to lead The familiarity of his name in the Western
them. The familiarity of a local leader aided the Hemisphere grows largely out of the praise given
troops in their ability to trust Cyrus’s decisions. to him in the Old Testament. The Book of Ezra
The last qualities relate to one another. elevates him to an exalted status: “. . . the Lord
They were policies that grew from an attitude of God of Heaven . . . appointed me [Cyrus] to build
openness and toleration. The ritual of conquer- a Temple for Him at Jerusalem.” The Jewish and
ing nations dictated that a vassal state surrender Christian faiths recognize Cyrus as not only the
all customs and national identity to the con- king of Persia, but also “the Great” because of his
querors. The Assyrian and Babylonian empires benevolent and tolerant policies, which led to the
practiced displacement of peoples and the propagation of both faiths.
destruction of their cultures by carrying off their See also Assyrian Empire; Chaldean (Neo-Babylonian)
gods to their respective capitals. Conversely, Empire, Expansion of.
Cyrus allowed the conquered peoples of Babylon
References: Huart, Clement, Ancient Persian and Iranian
to return to their homeland with their gods.
Civilization (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1972);
The Hebrew people particularly benefited from Lamb, Harold, Cyrus the Great (New York:
these policies, as they had been prisoners in Doubleday, 1960); Sykes, Sir Percy, Persia (Oxford:
Babylon for 70 years. When Cyrus came to Clarendon Press, 1922).
power, he permitted them to return to Palestine
with the sacred elements of their temple. Cyrus 5 EGYPT, HYKSOS INVASION OF
also funded the rebuilding of the Temple in
Jerusalem, issuing a decree that gave Jewish lead- Power slipped from the pharaohs of Egypt in the
ers the power to secure the materials needed for late Middle Kingdom, during the Twelfth Dynasty,
construction. in a relatively easy victory for the Hikau-Khoswet,

THE ANCIENT WORLD 9


EGYPT, HYKSOS INVASION OF

E
IN
ST
Lake
Alexandria

LE
Mareotis

PA
Bulo
Sais Avaris
Naucratis Busiris
D E L T A desert
LIBYA
Bubastis

Gizeh Heliopolis
Memphis
Lake
Moeris

Arsinoe Heracleopolis
Nile R.

Oxyrhynchus Mt. Sinai

Antinoe
Hermopolis
El-Amarna

Lyconopolis

UPPER EGYPT
Ptolemais
Abydos
Coptos
Der el-Bahri
Thebes Karnak
Luxor

ANCIENT EGYPT Ombi


caravan routes
Ancient cities
Syene
Greek/Roman cities Berenice
cataracts
0 100
scale of miles

PUNT

Abu Simbel

cataracts
NUBIA

10 THE ANCIENT WORLD


HITTITES, EXPANSION OF

a name originating from the Egyptian phrase During his rise to power, he banned the contem-
meaning “rulers of foreign lands.” An Asiatic porary Egyptian rulers from the capital city of
group composed primarily of Semites, the Hikau- Memphis and extended his rule over most of
Khoswet, or Hyksos, reigned over Egypt for well Middle Egypt, eventually taking over Upper
over 100 years, beginning from about 1750 B.C.E. Egypt and Nubia as well. In the meantime,
and ending with the establishment of the New Hyksos rulers had moved the capital to Avaris,
Kingdom in 1567 B.C.E. The main catalysts that the location of which remains a mystery. Though
enabled the Hyksos to invade the Nile Delta so these Semitic invaders were eventually over-
easily were the internal dissent among the thrown by the Egyptians in the late 1560s, they
Egyptians themselves, a counterrevolt of the nobil- left behind the tools and knowledge that helped
ity, and the weakening power of the pharaohs. build Egypt’s future empire. Little information
Additionally, the Hyksos were said to be well exists on the Hyksos invasion itself, but their
trained and well armed, using tactics that included overall accomplishments were dynamic and
the introduction of the horse and chariot to Egypt. paved the way for future Egyptian glory.
During the course of their invasion, towns
References: Baines, J., and J. Malek, Atlas of Ancient
and cities were burned, temples damaged, and Egypt (New York: Facts on File, 1980); Hayes, W,
the native populations subjected to severe hard- The Scepter of Egypt (Cambridge, MA: Harvard
ships and cruelties. Once the Hyksos gained con- University Press, 1959); Van Seeters, J., The Hyksos
trol, they imposed heavy taxes as well as a strong (New Haven, CT Yale University Press, 1966).
military dominance. Surprisingly, the majority of
Egyptians accepted this style of leadership with- 6 HITTITES, EXPANSION OF
out much resistance.
The Hyksos were not entirely preoccupied The Hittites probably originated northeast of the
with military goals. According to William Hayes, Caucasus. They migrated into Asia Minor circa
“The Hyksos kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty 1900 B.C.E. and established a kingdom. They
brought about the construction of temples, pro- occupied the Anatolian plateau, ultimately
duction of statues, reliefs, scarabs, and other extending their influence toward Syria. Their
works of art and craftsmanship,” some of which migration may have pushed other populations
are regarded as the best examples of Egyptian lit- southward, creating the Hyksos invasion of
erary and technical works of that time. Practical Egypt. The Hittites probably took their name
and useful inventions such as the well sweep, the from the Plain of Hatti, which they occupied and
vertical loom, and the composite bow, as well as upon which they imposed their culture and
the introduction of new religious and philosoph- Indo-European language. Their first conquest
ical concepts, were Hyksos legacies. Until this was the town of Nesa (near modern Kayseri,
time, Egypt was comparatively slow in its tech- Turkey), followed by the capture of Hattusha
nological advancements in relation to the (near modern Bogazkoy).
Middle Eastern civilizations. Egyptians were now Little is known of them until the seven-
able to learn of bronze working, the potter’s teenth century B.C.E., when Labarna (ruled
wheel, and the use of arsenic copper. The Hyksos circa 1680–1650) established the Old Hittite
also introduced humpbacked cattle and fruit Kingdom and set up his capital at Hattusha.
crops, and taught the Egyptians new planting Labarna was the first major conqueror for the
and harvesting skills. Evidence suggests that the Hittites, spreading their control throughout
Hyksos encouraged exercise through dance and Anatolia to the coast. His successors pushed
expression with new musical instruments. their borders southward to Syria. Mursili (or
On the whole, the Hyksos seem to have been Mushilish) raided deep into the Old
a powerful and influential people, but only a few Babylonian Empire, captured Aleppo, and set
rulers can take credit for these advances. One of the kingdom’s southern boundary in Syria. This
the six Hyksos rulers was Prince Salatis, a name proved to be the extent of their conquest, for
that has been interpreted to mean “Sultan.” they spent the next two centuries quelling

THE ANCIENT WORLD 11


INDIA, ARYAN INVASION OF

internal disturbances and fighting the Mitanni (forerunners of modern Syrians) and then by the
of upper Mesopotamia. Assyrians in the eighth century B.C.E. The Hittites
Around 1500 B.C.E., the kingdom returned to used both cuneiform writing adopted from
some stability under the leadership of Telipinu, Mesopotamia and hieroglyphics influenced by
who laid down strict succession guidelines and Egypt, and their formal political writings were in
possibly established a law code. Some 50 years Akkadian. They had a highly developed literature
later, the New Hittite Kingdom was established. and historical writing. Their main strength lay in
The Hittites had just suffered a defeat at the hands their administration; their law codes were based
of Egyptian pharaoh Thutmosis III and had begun on those of Babylon, but depended less on retri-
paying them tribute. One of the key figures in the bution than on compensation. Their artwork,
New Kingdom was Suppiluliuma (Shubbiluliu), though recognizable as their own, was heavily
who seized power about 1380 B.C.E., reestablished influenced by Babylon, as was much of their pan-
Hittite authority in Anatolia, and defeated the theon. The Hittites are believed to have been the
Mitanni. He was unable to defeat the Egyptians, first to smelt iron, which would account for some
however, and the two powers remained rivals for of their military superiority at a time when their
the next century. During a time of Egyptian weak- enemies, especially Egypt, were still using bronze.
ness under Akhenaton, the Hittites made gains in Apparently, it did not prove a sufficient advantage
Lebanon at Egyptian expense; they also spread to save their civilization from invasion.
their power to the Aegean, Armenia, and Upper
See also Assyrian Empire; Egypt, Hyksos Invasion of.
Mesopotamia.
The key battle in the ongoing conflict with References: Ceram, C. W, The Secret of the Hittites,
Egypt took place in 1294 B.C.E. at Kadesh, on the trans. Richard Winston and Clara Winston (New
Orontes River. Pharaoh Rameses II led his army York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1956); Lehman, Johannes,
The Hittites: People of a Thousand Gods, trans. J.
of Numidian mercenaries north to force his will M. Brownjohn (New York: Viking Press, 1977);
on the Hittites once and for all. He captured two MacQueen, J. G., The Hittites and Their
Hittite deserters, who informed him that their Contemporaries in Asia Minor (London: Thames &
army was still many days’ march away, so Rameses Hudson, 1968).
rode ahead of his army to set up camp near
Kadesh. The two prisoners had been planted by 7 INDIA , ARYAN INVASION OF
the Hittite king Muwatallis, and the pharaoh,
without most of his troops, was attacked by the The earliest known civilization in India was
Hittite army. Rameses fought bravely until his that of the Harappans, who established well-
men arrived, and their appearance forced a organized cities in the valley of the Indus River in
Hittite retreat into the city of Kadesh. Without the third millennium BCE. By about 2000 BCE, the
siege equipment, Rameses could not force their civilization was beginning to fade, probably
surrender, so he withdrew. Shortly thereafter, the because of climatic changes, which brought about
two nations signed a peace agreement: The shifts in the rivers and widespread flooding. By
Egyptians recognized Hittite sovereignty in Syria sheer coincidence, as the Harappans were weak-
in return for Hittite recognition of Egyptian dom- ening, a group of invaders appeared from the
inance in Palestine. The alliance was sealed by a steppes of the Caucasus. The Aryans were mostly
dynastic marriage, and the two nations remained nomadic-herding sheep, horses, and cattle-and,
at peace until the fall of the Hittite Empire, like most nomadic peoples, more warlike than
which came at the hands of the “Peoples of the the agricultural inhabitants of northern India.
Sea,” about 1200 B.C.E. Both by migration and by force of arms, they
The Hittite legacy showed itself in a mixed dominated the area of the upper Indus valley and
culture in the region of northern Syria. Some of over time spread eastward down the Ganges.
their written and spoken language remained in The Aryans take their name from the word
the region, as did their last remaining city-states, in their Sanskrit language meaning “noble.” The
which were ultimately overrun by the Arameans Aryans themselves are identified as a language

12 THE ANCIENT WORLD


KUSH, EXPANSION OF

group, not a racial one. The fact that their area years fighting and negotiating in northwestern
of origin made them lighter-skinned than the India, installing a Greek administration in some
people they conquered has nothing to do with areas. After his death, however, Chandragupta
the language they spoke, so equating “Aryan” Maurya overthrew the bureaucracy and established
with “white” is incorrect; this nineteenth-century an Indian empire. Not until the Islamic invasion
concept was reinforced by some twentieth-century of India in the 800s CE did outside forces have
racists. However, the original Aryans instituted a much luck in penetrating the subcontinent.
practice that called for separation of their peo- All that being said, there has been strong
ples from the conquered. Their society was based debate starting in the 1990s about the entire story.
on four basic classes that are the basis of the caste Some modern scholars argue that there was no
system that dominates India to this day: priests, serious migration into India between 4500-800
warriors, merchants/artisans, and laborers. This BCE, and the whole thing is a nineteenth-century
class division did not include the conquered peo- construct based on misreading the Vedas. The lat-
ples of India, who became “outcast[e]s,” or the est interpretation is as follows: “Rig Veda verses
“untouchables” of modern India. belie the old chronology (VI.51.14-15 mentions
The Aryans ultimately settled down to an the winter solstice occurs when the sun rises in
agricultural way of life, but their early years in Revati nakshatra, only possible at 6000 BCE, long
India resulted in the perpetuation of their herd- before the alleged invasion). Carbon dating con-
ing ways. The plains of northern India provided firms horses in Gujarat at 2400 BCE, contradicting
good grazing land, and their herds of horses and [the old] model [claiming that] Aryans must have
cattle grew. Cattle became the most valuable of brought them. NASA satellite photos prove [that
commodities, possibly foreshadowing the sacred- the] Sarasvati River basin is real, not a myth. Fire
ness of cattle in the Hindu faith. The Aryans’ altars excavated at Kali Bangan in Rajasthan sup-
famous horsemanship was a major reason for port existence of Rig Veda culture at 2700 BCE.
their military successes, as the Harappans had Kunal, a new site in Haryana, shows use of writing
neither cavalry nor chariots. A military society and silver craft in pre-Harappan India, 6-7000
built around the upper-class warriors was reflect- BCE.” (Hinduism Today)
ed in the rowdiness of the Aryans, who celebrat- The latest evidence does, indeed, seem
ed life with drinking, horse racing, and gambling; strong, although critics counter that the claims
the last was a national obsession. are Hindu revisionism attempting to discredit
The greatest legacy of the Aryans is the reli- European influence in India since the 1500s.
gious works passed down originally through the See also Mauryan Empire [27]; India, Muslim Invasion
priesthood. The Vedas are a collection of reli- of [53].
gious rituals handed down through oral tradition
References: Gokhale, Balkrishna, Ancient India: History
and finally committed to writing when that skill and Culture (Bombay and New York: Asia
was introduced about 700 BCE. The ceremonies Publishing House, 1959); Wheeler, Radha, Early
practiced and the gods worshipped through the India and Pakistan (New York: Praeger, 1959);
Vedas laid the groundwork for the introduction Wolpert, Stanley, India (Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice Hall, 1965); “Hindu Timeline
of the Hindu faith, the dominant religion of
Reconstruction”, Hinduism Today, December,
India for some 2,000 years. 1994, www.hinduismtoday.com/ archives/1994/12/,
Though they were conquerors of northern 14 March 2006.
India early in the second millennium BCE and of
the northeastern plains and Ganges River valley 8 KUSH, EXPANSION OF
between 1000 and 500 BCE, the Aryans became the
dominant inhabitants of India as they settled into About 1500 B.C.E., Egypt conquered the area
agricultural pursuits. This less mobile pastime bred, above the cataracts known as Kush. The purposes
as it almost always does, a less martial society, but of this expedition were to establish frontier forts
the Indians managed to remain fairly isolated from to protect against the aggressive Nubians and to
later conquerors. Alexander the Great spent two gain access to the gold of Kush. Egypt dominated

THE ANCIENT WORLD 13


PALESTINE, EGYPTIAN INVASIONS OF

the area for about 400 years, until the collapse of Kush eventually fell owing to circum-
the New Kingdom. In the meantime, they intro- stances beyond its control. The area the
duced Egyptian civilization into Kush, and the Kushites controlled was fertile enough to sup-
Kushites found it attractive. By the 700s B.C.E., port extensive agriculture and flocks at the
Kush had grown in power and invaded Egypt in time, but today it is almost totally desert.
turn. Starting about 725 B.C.E., Kushites con- Historians hypothesize that overgrazing and a
quered Thebes and Memphis, establishing shift in weather patterns began to rob the land
themselves as rulers of Egypt and beginning the of its fertility, making it impossible to support
Twenty-fifth Dynasty. Their occupation was rel- the population. Also, the trade routes Meroe
atively short-lived, thanks to the Assyrians who controlled along the Nile began to fall from
invaded in 664 B.C.E. and forced the Kushites to favor after easier, seagoing trade established
return home, behind the protective barriers of itself along the Red Sea coast. This lack of
the Nile cataracts. income, coupled with decreasing arable land,
Though no longer a major factor in Egyptian spelled the Kushites’ doom, and they fell easy
history, the Kushites established a strong civiliza- prey to Axum about 350 C.E.
tion along Egyptian lines. They copied Egyptian For 2,000 years, Kush had been virtually the
religion and government, and built temples and only point of contact between Africa’s interior
tombs heavily influenced by Egyptian architec- and the civilizations of the Middle East. Almost
ture. Their capital at Napata, just south of the nothing is known of their posterity, though leg-
fourth cataract, was a major religious center for ends relate that the ruling families traveled west
the worship of Amonre. When a later Egyptian into the Sudan and were instrumental in estab-
ruler raided into Kush with the aid of Greek mer- lishing nations in central Africa.
cenaries, the capital was moved from Napata to
See also Assyrian Empire; Axum, Expansion of.
Meroe, which became not only the political but
the mercantile center of the Kushite Empire. In References: Hallett, Robin, Africa to 1875 (Ann
the few centuries prior to the Christian era, a Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1970);
succession of kings established their control over Mokhtar, G., Ancient Civilizations of Africa (Paris:
outlying areas and peoples, and recorded these UNESCO, 1990).
exploits on inscribed memorials.
Kush reached the height of its civilization at PALESTINE, EGYPTIAN
the beginning of the Christian era, when a series 9 INVASIONS OF
of military encounters with Roman forces in
Egypt brought about a treaty establishing exact Considering the number of times Egyptian armies
borders between the two powers. By this time, entered Palestine, it is somewhat ironic that the
Meroe was the major supply center for gold as spur for their activity was an invasion that prob-
well as precious and semiprecious stones from ably came from Palestine. For about 100 years the
the interior of Africa to the Mediterranean Egyptians had been ruled by the Hyksos, who
world. The profits from this trade translated into introduced new weaponry (especially the chari-
elaborate buildings and artwork. Kush made a ot) to Egypt. As is often the case, the rulers
name for itself throughout the known world, and became lazy and corrupt, and in the middle 1500s
references and artistic depictions of them spread B.C.E., Egyptian rebels overthrew them. The
widely. Indeed, it is from the Greeks that the Egyptian army that chased them back to their
name for the peoples of this area comes: homeland was the first in a long line of forces to
Ethiopians, or “men with burnt faces.” Kush was cross the Suez into Palestine.
the first essentially Negroid nation to reach a The Theban prince Ahmose chased the
powerful status. They were the first Africans to Hyksos out of Egypt and established a foothold on
mine and smelt iron; that, in addition to their the eastern Mediterranean coast. Tuthmosis I led
ability to buy horses, gave them a better armed, his army as far as the Euphrates River, and set up a
more mobile army than any of their neighbors. monument to himself. His immediate successors

14 THE ANCIENT WORLD


SARGON THE GREAT

had little to do with the area, but in the reign of Rameses’s future forays were less ambitious, and
Tuthmosis III (1490–1436 B.C.E.), 17 expeditions he finally signed a treaty with the Hittites in
entered Palestine or Syria, and the Egyptians 1269 B.C.E. The treaty gave Egypt a nominal role
fought several times against the Mitanni, a con- in the area, but the Hittites gave little away.
federation of Hurrian tribes living north of the Egypt’s influence soon faded. Pressures from
Euphrates who raided or forced tribute from a large desert tribesmen to the west occupied much of
area in the Middle East. Tuthmosis’s eighth cam- their attention, and the Egyptians spent much
paign resulted in a major defeat of the king of time trying to maintain the gold supply from the
Kadesh at the plain of Megiddo, or Armageddon. southern territory of Nubia. Many historians
Tuthmosis personally led a flanking maneuver that believe the Jewish exodus, leading to the estab-
crushed his opponents in what became the first lishment of the state of Israel, took place during
recorded battle in history. He pushed Egyptian the reign of Rameses II. Rameses III was the last
influence to the edge of Hittite authority in Asia New Kingdom pharaoh to enter Palestine in
Minor and into northwestern Mesopotamia. This order to retain it as part of the empire; he beat
proved to be the greatest distance the Egyptian back several threats to his frontiers and recon-
army ever traveled, because Tuthmosis Ill’s succes- quered Palestine. By the eleventh century B.C.E.,
sors merely maintained Egyptian influence in however, Egypt had withdrawn into its shell,
Palestine, and signed a treaty with the Mitanni in coming out only occasionally to unsuccessfully
the late fifteenth century B.C.E. challenge the Assyrians or the Persians. Pharaoh
Egypt ruled the area with a number of gar- Necho regained temporary sway over Palestine by
risons under the direction of provincial governors, defeating King Josiah in 609 B.C.E., but his defeat
who worked with the local princes to con trol the at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon in
larger population centers, holding their princes’ 605 ended Egypt’s role in Palestine’s history.
children hostage in Egypt to ensure cooperation.
See also Assyrian Empire; Canaan, Israelite Invasion
The governors’ main duty was to provide annual of; Cyrus the Great; Egypt, Hyksos Invasion of;
tribute from the conquered territories. What, if Hittites; Kush, Expansion of.
anything, the conquerors brought to Palestine is
References: Hawkes, Jacquetta, Pharaohs of Egypt
unknown, for there are no written records from
(New York: American Heritage, 1965); Matthew,
this area in that period. The Egyptians probably Eva, The Mediterranean World in Ancient Times
gave little to the people besides a military pres- (New York: Ronald Press, 1951); North, Martin,
ence, but they took with them knowledge, which The Old Testament World (Philadelphia: Fortress
Egypt, long isolated from the rest of the world, Press, 1962).
used along with the tribute money to build a civi-
lization rich in architecture and culture. The 10 SARGON THE GREAT
Egyptians grew so accustomed to the tribute that,
over time, less attention was paid to the army in As is the case with many ancient figures,
Palestine, and Egyptian control began to wane. Sargon’s early years are somewhat of a mystery.
After a series of introspective pharaohs, He was born around 2350 B.C.E. of undetermined
Egypt returned to Palestine in force during the parentage. Some historians theorize that he had
reign of Seti I (1305–1290 B.C.E.), who launched either a pastoral upbringing or that he was the
a number of expeditions to reestablish Egyptian child of a temple prostitute, for he did not know
authority. The Egyptians ran into difficulties his father. According to legend, the boy began
with the Hittites north of Syria and were ulti- life as Moses did: cast adrift on the Euphrates by
mately forced to come to a settlement with his mother. He was rescued and raised by others—
them. It would not last. Rameses II returned to in this case a farm family, not a royal one.
Palestine with a large army in 1286 B.C.E. and However, he managed to become cupbearer to
marched to the city of Kadesh on the Orontes Ur-Zababa, the king of Kish. He came to power
River. He walked into a trap, but managed to sur- either by overthrowing the king himself or by
vive with the timely arrival of reinforcements. assuming the king’s throne when Ur-Zababa was

THE ANCIENT WORLD 15


SARGON THE GREAT

in posts around the empire, garrisoning them


with forces of all nations, though some soldiers
were forced to join his armies. Sargon was suc-
cessful in battle because he initiated new tactics.
He abandoned the standard tight, phalanx-style
formation in favor of a looser one, and he adopt-
ed the use of javelins and arrows shot from
com pound bows. He also maintained the first
standing army, a force of 5,400 men.
By placing so much land under one ruler,
previously uncooperative peoples became more
open to relations with neighboring tribes, and
the freer exchange of goods and ideas resulted.
New gods and religions were adopted from con-
quered peoples, as were cuneiform writing and
art. The Akkadians were the first to use writing
for more than keeping temple records. Because of
this, we have the first recorded actions of royal-
ty; hence, Sargon is regarded as the first clearly
identified individual in history. He set an exam-
ple for later royal chroniclers, as seen here: “He
spread his terror-inspiring glamour over all the
Bronze Head of the Akkadian ruler Sargon the Great countries. He crossed the Sea in the East and
(Scala/Art Resource, NY) he, himself, conquered the country of the
West…He marched against the country of
Kazalla and turned Kazalla into ruin-hills and
killed by the invading king of Sumer. He took heaps of rubble. He even destroyed there every
the name Sargon, meaning “King of Universal possible perching place for a bird.”
Dominion,” and made war against Sumer. Having acquired vast amounts of land,
Sargon united his Semitic people into history’s Sargon’s empire was exceedingly wealthy, con-
first empire: the Akkadians. Sargon set about con- trolling the known world’s gold, silver, copper,
quering, quite successfully. He captured cities up and stone. With the abundant agriculture of
the Euphrates River, then crossed to the Tigris Mesopotamia and plenty of forage to the north,
River and worked his way up to Ashur. From Sargon seemingly had it all. He maintained con-
there he conquered eastward to the Persian hills, trol by appointing loyal governors and visiting
then south to defeat Sumer, possibly gaining parts of his empire on occasion to let the people
revenge for the death of Ur-Zababa. He symbol- know he was interested in them. He ruled for 56
ically washed his weapons in the Persian Gulf, years, but his reign ended with parts of the
marking the limit of his conquests in that direc- empire in revolt. The Akkadian empire lasted
tion. After consolidating his hold on Sumer, he some 200 years, only to be overthrown by those
marched west to conquer Mesopotamia and pos- who had originally been defeated—a resurgent
sibly as far as Syria and Lebanon, with rumors of Sumerian society.
conquests in lands as far-flung as Egypt, Asia
Minor, and India. References: Edwards, I. E. S., ed., The Cambridge
Ancient History (Cambridge: Cambridge
In order to control this vast amount of terri-
University Press, 1980); Gabriel, Richard, The
tory, Sargon appointed representatives of the Culture of War (New York: Greenwood Press,
conquered peoples to governing positions, and 1990); Gabriel, Richard, From Sumer to Rome
they answered only to him. He stationed troops (New York: Greenwood Press, 1991).

16 THE ANCIENT WORLD


PART 2
THE CLASSICAL WORLD

11 Alexander the Great 23 Han Dynasty


12 Augustus, Caesar 24 Hannibal
13 Britain, Roman Conquest of 25 India, Alexander’s Invasion of
14 Caesar, Julius 26 Italy, Carthaginian Invasion of
15 Carthage, Expansion of (Second Punic War)
16 Carthage, Roman Invasion of 27 Mauryan Empire
(Third Punic War) 28 Persia, Alexander’s Conquest of
17 Ch’in Dynasty 29 Philip of Macedon
18 Constantine, Emperor 30 Ptolemaic Dynasty
19 Egypt, Alexander’s Conquest of 31 Seleucid Empire
20 Gaul, Roman Conquest of 32 Sicily, Roman Conquest of
21 Germany, Roman Invasion of (First Punic War)
22 Greece, Persian Invasion of 33 Spain, Roman Conquest of

17
ALEXANDER THE GREAT

11 ALEXANDER THE GREAT encounter with Darius III, the Persian emperor,
occurred at Issus in northeastern Syria.
Alexander was born to rule and to conquer. He Contemporary accounts of the Persian force
was the son of the great military and political claim it was 500,000 strong, but few historians
leader Philip of Macedon and his first wife, believe it. Still, although it was probably larger
Olympia. Philip was organizing the remote than Alexander’s force, the battle proved a fairly
province of Macedon into a military powerhouse easy Macedonian victory. Alexander positioned
and using his well-trained and well-disciplined himself to be in the thick of the fighting, encour-
army to beat back the more barbaric tribes aging his comrades and striking fear in his
of Macedon and attack the more civilized polises ene mies. Darius abandoned the field and ran,
of Greece to his south. He defeated the disorgan- leaving behind not only his army but his family,
ized Greek city-states and obliged them to recog- whom Alexander took to his camp and treated
nize him—not as their king, but as the defender like royalty.
of the Greek way of life against outside threats, Rather than pursue Darius deeper into the
notably from Persia. He convinced most of his countryside, Alexander turned south to capture
defeated enemies to accept this and treated them the coastal cities and deny the harbors to
with magnanimity, but he never converted the the Persian fleet. Capturing the eastern
Athenian leader Demosthenes, who spent his life Mediterranean coast, he entered Egypt and win-
opposing Philip and Alexander. It was in the bat- tered there in 332–331. He established the city
tle of Cheronaea, in which the Macedonians of Alexandria (the first of many) and led a small
defeated the Athenians, that Alexander first column into the desert to visit the temple of
distinguished himself in battle. Ammon. What transpired inside the temple is
He was only 18 years old when he unknown, but many think Alexander com-
commanded a wing of the Macedonian army at muned with the great god and received confir-
Cheronaea in 338 B.C.E., but he gained the respect mation that he was indeed of divine parentage as
of all who fought with him. His father trained him his mother had told him. True or not, he did
well in both military and political strategies, but nothing to stop those who deified him. This may
the two fought. Alexander’s mother, Olympia, have been megalomania or a clever ruse to awe
told him that his true father was not Philip but the his enemies; no one knows for sure.
supreme god Zeus (Ammon to the Egyptians). Leaving Egypt, he marched into Persia and
She also plotted against Philip and may have been met a new army under Darius at Gaugamela along
responsible for his murder in 336 B.C.E., an act that the Euphrates River. Again, the contemporary
brought Alexander to the throne. He quickly put estimates are too fantastic to believe, but Darius
down revolts that sprang up throughout Greece proved no match for Alexander. The latter
upon the news of Philip’s death, then marched marched on to the Persian capital at Babylon and
north to defeat the tribes on Macedon’s frontiers. occupied it, then captured the Persian treasury at
While there, the false report of his death was Persepolis. With the Persian empire well under his
circulated in Athens and Demosthenes stirred up control, he finally cornered Darius near the
rebellion, which Alexander suppressed as soon as Caspian Sea, but lost him to the swords of Darius’s
he returned from the north. Like his father, he minions, who murdered him rather than be caught
spared Demosthenes’s life and left a constant with him. From here, Alexander meandered east-
irritant in Greece. ward until he made his way through Afghanistan
Once the rebellions were put down, into India. Here he won victories, but they proved
Alexander marched to the Hellespont, where his too costly; his army convinced him to abandon the
father had been preparing to lead the united expedition and return to Persia. He did so, taking
polises of the Corinthian League against Persia. the desert route, which proved much more difficult
Alexander marched into Asia Minor in 334 B.C.E. than he had anticipated.
with 35,000 men, liberating the coastal Ionian Back in Persia, Alexander began to show his
provinces from Persian rule. His first serious brilliance as a statesman. He had a vision for a

18 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


MACEDON Black Sea Alexandria

C
Eschate

a
THRACE Byzantium

s
Pella

p
ia
Samarkand

n
Gordium Ancyra

S
e
a
Sardis
Ephesus Cilician
Ipsus Gates Gaugamela
Miletus Issus
Tarsus Arbela Bactra
Xanthus Side Euph
ra
Hecatampylos
tes

Tigr
CRETE Ecbatana

is

R.
R.
CYPRUS PARTHIA Kabul
Byblos Herat
Opis MEDIA
MEDITERRANEAN SEA Sidon
Tyre Damascus IRAN NA Hydaspes R.
Susa N GIA
Babylon C RA A
A D
.
B

SU R SI
Gaza M O
Alexandria A H
JA

Paraetonium MESOPOTAMIA SI
A N
N

N AC
Indus R

IA R
A Kandahar A
PA

Heliopolis Pasargadae
Siwah Craterus’
Memphis P P Persepolis return route
E
ARABIA e R
rs S
IS
ia Alexandria
n GEDROSIA INDIA
Memphis G
u

R
Thebes lf
ALEXANDER'S ROUTE

ed
Pattala
LIBYA OF CONQUEST

Se

Nile R.
Major towns

a
Major battles

0 500 INDIAN OCEAN


Scale of miles

THE CLASSICAL WORLD


19
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
AUGUSTUS, CAESAR

world empire in which the wealth and culture of 12 AUGUSTUS, C AESAR


the East would meld with the rationality and
drive of the Greeks. He encouraged his veterans Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, or more simply
to marry Persian women in order to facilitate the Octavian, was the grandnephew of Julius Caesar
integration of the two societies. He began to act and was named in his will as heir. After Julius
more like an Eastern potentate than a Greek Caesar’s assassination in March 44 B.C.E., his
general, and his men grew weary of that. He killers left Rome, Cassius going to Syria and
shamed them into remaining loyal, but his time Brutus to Macedonia. Mark Antony, consul
was limited. Not long after his return from India, under Julius and one of his most trusted advisers
the wounds he received in battle there, along and generals, saw himself as the rightful political
with the difficulty of the desert march and the successor, and he was not happy to see Octavian
fever he had developed in Babylon, conspired to present himself to the Senate as such. After some
ruin his health. The stress of combat and leader- fighting between them, Octavian finally invited
ship was not aided by his prodigious thirst; alco- Antony to join forces with him and another gen-
holism, too, brought about his demise. eral, Lepidus, to form the Second Triumvirate.
Alexander can be regarded as one of only a With Senate approval, they marched to do battle
handful of truly brilliant leaders. Like Genghis with Cassius and Brutus. In October 43 B.C.E.,
Khan and Charlemagne, he was equally adept at the forces met near Philippi, in Greece. They
both conquest and rule. He was ruthless in battle were evenly matched in numbers, but Antony
but forgiving in victory, gaining converts to his proved the more able general. Two battles were
cause from among his opponents. His dream of fought; the first was a draw in which Cassius
blending the two diverse cultures of East and West killed himself, and the second was a clear victory
was successful for some centuries, for his succes- for the Triumvirate, resulting in Brutus’s suicide
sors (the Ptolemaic Dynasty and Seleucid Empire) soon after.
created a Greek-like society called Hellenism, The Triumvirate soon quarreled among
which blended the perspective and scientific bent themselves, but at the signing of the Treaty of
of the Greeks with the beauty and grace of Eastern Brundisium in 40 B.C.E., the empire was divided
philosophies. The intellectual and artistic accom- among the three members: Lepidus controlled
plishments of the Hellenistic societies surpassed Africa, Octavian ruled the western provinces
anything that had come before and attracted the from Rome, and Antony ruled the provinces of
future power of the Mediterranean, Rome, to the east. Antony aided Octavian in suppressing a
desire and fight for the mystic East. Alexander’s revolt from Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily led by
generalship created an army that was unbeatable the son of Pompey, a member of the original
and soldiers who were second to none, but his suc- Triumvirate with Julius. In return, Octavian sup-
cessors learned only from his military lessons and ported Antony’s campaigns against Parthia.
not from his political acumen. They fought Antony’s popularity with his troops and his
among themselves, and by doing so, laid them- relative success in the east gave him the impetus
selves open to defeat by Rome. for more power. He allied himself (personally
and politically) with Cleopatra of Egypt, who
See also Egypt, Alexander’s Conquest of; India, urged him to seize power. Octavian convinced
Alexander’s Invasion of; Persia, Alexander’s
the Senate that Antony planned to establish rule
Conquest of; Philip of Macedon; Ptolemaic
Dynasty; Seleucid Empire; Carolingian Dynasty; of the empire from Alexandria in Egypt and
Genghis Khan. name his sons by Cleopatra as his heirs, which
motivated the Senate to support Octavian’s call
References: Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, trans. for war. Between 33 and 30 B.C.E., the two sides
Aubrey de Selincourt (New York: Penguin,
maneuvered for position until 2 September 31,
1958); Keegan, John, The Mask of Command
(New York: Viking, 1987); Tarn, W W, Alexander when Octavian’s forces won the naval battle of
the Great (Cambridge: Cambridge University Actium, defeating Egypt’s navy. Octavian
Press, 1948). proceeded to invade Egypt against a disheartened

20 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


THE ROMAN EMPIRE
from Augustus to AD 150

80-120 AD Empire at the Later growth of Empire,


death of Augustus with date of acquisition
HIBERNIA
0 1000
BRITTANIA Scale of miles
71 AD

GERMANIA

Rhin
BE
LG
I C
CA a

e R.
s
p
AD 83 ia
Danub
e R. n
S
e
GALLIA RAETIA a
NIA DACIA
AQUITANIA NO
PAN AD 106
Black Sea ARMENIA
ILL AD 114-17
NARBONESIS A YR
dr IC THRACIA US
ia UM NT
IT ti Byzantium O
Massilia AL c AD 44 P
LUSITANIA IA S A& CAPPADOCIA
CORSICA
ea
MACEDONIA Y NI ASSYRIA
Rome I T H AD 18
HISPANIA B ME AD 115-17
SOP
OTA
SARDINIA CILICIA MIA
Antioch Ti
gr
BAETICA AD 43 AD is
ACHAEA 115
- 1
R.
Ionian Sea SYRIA 7
Euphra
tes R.
Carthage CYPRUS
MAURETANIA AD 42 NUMIDIA CRETE JUDAEA
MEDITERRANEAN SEA

Alexandria ARABIA
Cyrene
AD 106
EGYPT
CYRENAICA
Nile R.

R
e
d
S
e
a

THE CLASSICAL WORLD


21
AUGUSTUS, CAESAR
BRITAIN, ROMAN CONQUEST OF

Antony and a desperate Cleopatra. After suffer- accustomed, while working through those insti-
ing reverses at Roman hands, the two killed tutions to impose his will. Rarely has one man
themselves and left Octavian supreme. He exercised so much positive influence on the
looted the Egyptian treasury, which was world. Not until the reign of Constantine or
immense, and returned to Rome. Justinian would the Mediterranean world come
After years of turmoil under the close to being ruled by such a man of vision.
Triumvirates, Rome was finally at peace, and See also Caesar, Julius; Constantine, Emperor;
Octavian was determined to keep it that way. Justinian.
Though he had not shown himself to be an out-
References: Campbell, J. B., The Roman Army, 31
standing soldier, Octavian used the services of
B.C.E.–AD 337 (London: Routledge, 1994); Earl,
able leaders, proving his eye for talent. Thus, his Donald C., The Age of Augustus (New York:
importance lay not in his military ability but in Crown, 1968); Jones, A. H. M., Augustus (New
his political acumen, which was extensive. York: Norton, 1970).
Octavian inherited a republic with far-flung
responsibilities, and he turned it into an empire. BRITAIN, ROMAN
In 27 B.C.E. he was named Augustus by the 13 CONQUEST OF
Senate, a title of divinity that he graciously
accepted, though he preferred the title First Between 58 and 50 B.C.E., prior to the time of his
Citizen, princeps of the Senate. Octavian thus rise to power in Rome, Julius Caesar undertook
avoided Julius’s mistake of giving the appearance the conquest of Gaul, an extensive territory
of grasping for power, and his power ultimately roughly corresponding to modern-day France.
far exceeded that of his granduncle. Through He did this in order to enhance his financial and
lavish spending of his Egyptian wealth, he stim- political status within Rome’s governing elite.
ulated a lagging economy, and by forgiving debts The conquest of Gaul brought Britain to Caesar’s
he stimulated investment; Rome’s financial state notice because of the assistance the British gave
was soon healthy. He dismissed 60 percent of his the Celts of Gaul. Rome had had a strong desire
half-million-man army, giving them rewards to grow from a republic to an empire, which
and lands for pensions. He paid the remaining necessitated the invasion and conquest of other
200,000 men well, and distributed them territories to amass land and riches. As Virgil
around the frontiers to maintain what became wrote, “Forget not, Roman, that it is your special
known as the Roman Peace, the Pax Romana. genius to rule the peoples; to impose the ways of
He maintained a Praetorian Guard of 10,000 peace, to spare the defeated, and to crush those
with which to tacitly keep control of Rome and proud men who will not submit.” Along with the
Italy. After a 20-year enlistment, retiring veter- land and wealth that came to Caesar and his suc-
ans received land; citizenship was granted to for- cessors came power and glory, all of which fueled
eigners who served in his army. the desire to “rule the peoples.”
Caesar Augustus’s most lasting accomplish- Beginning with Julius Caesar and ending
ments were the Roman Empire and the formula- with Honorius, the conquest of Britain and its
tion of Augustan law. By synthesizing legal codes transformation to Roman rule was a process that
from around the known world, he created a sys- took centuries. Caesar’s invasion was almost an
tem in which all men were treated equally before afterthought. During his successful conquest of
the law in a manner that did not seem alien to the Gauls, he recognized that Britain was rich
any of the subordinate cultures. The resulting with deposits of tin and iron ore, and that, from
peace created an atmosphere in which trade a financial standpoint, their resources and pros-
boomed, as did cultural advancements. Until his perity would make Roman conquest worth the
death in 14 C.E., Caesar Augustus oversaw the effort. Also, from a geographic perspective,
largest and most placid empire up to that time. England’s southeastern shore was only 21 miles
He wisely maintained the forms of republican across the Channel from Gaul, easily visible on a
government to which Roman citizens were clear day. During the Gallic campaign, British

22 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


BRITAIN, ROMAN CONQUEST OF

tribes fought among themselves, and appeals for In contrast to the highly skilled and organ-
Roman support from defeated British chieftains ized Roman legions, the British had no standing
indicated that a conquest should not be too dif- armies. Lengthy campaigns were impractical for
ficult. Finally, in light of the Celts’ support of British troops because the majority of them were
their brothers-in-arms across the Channel in farmers, and they would leave the fields of battle
Gaul, Caesar no doubt wished to teach some for their fields of crops. During the Roman march
respect for the might of Rome. through the British lowlands, in which there was
Caesar made two forays into Britain, the first little resistance, the British tried to fight with
in 55 B.C.E. and the second a year later. Both chariots. One of their favorite stratagems was to
expeditions were of minor consequence, because feign retreat to draw off small groups of Romans,
Rome’s interest in the Britons was just begin- and then attack them with chariotborne troops,
ning. On both of these attacks, Caesar crossed dismounting to fight hand-to-hand.
the Channel and entered Britain by way of Deal, Following the years of war after the Claudian
after first being turned away at the cliffs of invasion, there were intermittent rebellions
Dover. Once on land, British forces were over- against Roman rule. These conflicts were peace-
whelmed and victories came easily. As was the fully resolved for the most part, but there was
case with all Roman conquests, demands for one significant uprising known as Boudicca’s
hostages and regular tribute followed. The signif- Rebellion, which took place in 60 C.E. in the
icance of Caesar’s invasions would not be real- British province of Iceni. This rebellion repre-
ized immediately, but the die was cast. Britain sented a critical turning point for the Romans in
had been brought to Rome’s attention and, with their quest to establish rule. Ironically, the rebel-
the organization of Celtic Gaul into Roman lion was organized and led by Boudicca, widow of
provinces, the British began to feel the impact of Prasutagus, king of the province of Iceni, a tribe
Roman civilization. friendly and loyal to Rome from the beginning of
A century went by before the emperor the Claudian invasion. Shortly before Prasutagus
Claudius turned his attention to Britain, in 43 C.E. died, Nero ascended the Roman throne and
He sent four Roman legions under the command appointed C. Suetonius Paulinus, a man of
of Aulus Plautius across the Channel into Kent excellent military credentials, as governor of
with the intention of bringing Britain under Britain. During this unstable transitional period
Roman authority. The Claudian invasion, which of Roman rule in Britain, the Roman military
lasted 15 years, marked the real beginning of and civil officers ransacked the Iceni kingdom of
Roman Britain. From this point on, the primitive all its wealth, confiscated Queen Boudicca’s prop-
culture of the British Celts was transformed by the erty, raped her two daughters, and flogged the
conquering legions of a huge cosmopolitan power, queen herself. Simultaneously, her neighbors, the
and by the administrators and entrepreneurs who Trinovantes of Essex, were becoming impatient
followed them. The invasion forces represented with Roman rule. Many Roman soldiers had
the best Rome had to offer: Many of the legionar- retired and settled in the colony at Colchester
ies were specialists such as engineers, architects, and, in so doing, drove the native Trinovantes
masons, clerks, and medical staff. This mixture of from their homes and land, and treated the
soldiers was in keeping with the Roman policy of natives as captives and slaves. These abuses of
ensuring that its soldiers were highly trained, long- power and the instability of Roman rule fostered
term professionals whose skills were as important the perception by the natives that perhaps now
to Rome in peace as in war. Even while garrisoned, the time was ripe to rid Britain of the invaders
the troops sometimes practiced digging defensive and regain control of their homeland.
works or assisted civil authorities with building In the year 60, the uprising commenced. On
projects. This practice and experience in building the Roman side, considerable confusion reigned
and construction work made it possible for Roman at first. The British force, led by Boudicca, was a
armies to construct siege-works, build bridges, and coalition of a half-dozen tribes consisting of
lay roads very quickly during invasions. 230,000 men, women, and children—farmers,

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 23


CAESAR, JULIUS

peasants, and soldiers. They advanced on concentrate on trade, farming, and manufactur-
Londinium (London), a city without colonial or ing rather than be preoccupied with village
municipal status at the time, but already a large defense. A long period of peace and prosperity
and attractive prize for plundering armies. followed, the likes of which had not been seen
Suetonius realized he did not have a force large for almost 160 years.
enough to repel the British, so he retired and left For the next two and a half centuries,
the city to its fate. Londinium fell to the rebels, Roman Britain prospered. The Romans con-
and many of the same atrocities and bestialities tributed greatly to the development of
the Iceni had suffered at Roman hands now the British economy, and not only in agriculture.
befell the residents. Britain had been mining long before the
The only way to defeat the overwhelming Claudian invasion, but the Romans introduced
British force was with superior Roman discipline more efficient mining technology. They also
and tactics. Suetonius could now choose the contributed to the cultural development of
location of the decisive battle, and he drew up Britain by introducing language, theater, art, and
his 10,000 troops in a defensive position to face trade skills to its labor force. Rome’s greatest
a force of over 200,000. He placed his men on a contribution, though, was peace. Ironically, this
hill with woods behind to protect his flanks and reduction of military force led to the successful
rear, then lured the British into attacking uphill. Visigothic invasion of Britain.
Suetonius drove through Boudicca’s force in a During the reign of Emperor Honorius
tight wedge, the infantry doing serious damage (395–423) came the beginning of the end of
with the glddius, a short sword. The Roman cav- Roman rule in Britain. Many of the highly
alry next attacked the flanks of the disorganized skilled and trained professional Roman
British force. Unable to retreat, the British were legionaries were replaced by local tribesmen
butchered. Boudicca escaped, but she committed and Saxon mercenaries, who were unable to
suicide shortly thereafter. Romanization recom- fend off attacks by the Visigoths. Honorius
menced in full force under peaceful conditions. rejected pleas from Britain in 410 to help
Another turning point took place during the defend its borders, and the barbarians ultimately
reign of the emperor Hadrian in 117. His reign prevailed. Urbanization, one of Rome’s greatest
concentrated on consolidation of the empire contributions, halted completely, and cities and
rather than expansion—securing the borders of towns withered and died.
Roman Britain rather than conquering new
See also Gaul, Roman Conquest of.
lands—and he made use of the military to restore
order in those parts of the empire with violent References: Fry, Plantagenet Somerset, Roman Britain,
disaffection. The main effect of this emphasis on History and Sites (Totowa, NJ: Barnes & Noble,
defense was three-quarters of a century of peace 1984); Holder, P A., The Roman Army in Britain
throughout the empire. Hadrian accomplished (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1982); Salway,
Peter, Roman Britain (New York: Oxford
this goal in Britain by commissioning the con- University Press, 1981).
struction of a wall 70 miles long, spanning the
narrow neck of land between Solway Firth and
the mouth of the Tyne. The consequences were 14 C AESAR, JULIUS
immense. Protection from the hostile tribes of
Scotland brought general prosperity, which in Gaius Julius Caesar was born 13 July 100 B.C.E.
turn caused the provincials to more readily iden- At age 16 he took over as head of the family
tify with the empire, and it created a unified gov- upon his father’s death and tended to his mother
erning class. The universal extension of Roman and two sisters. At age 19 he married Cornelia,
citizenship to free inhabitants of the empire the daughter of a Roman consul. After her death,
would be a direct result of Hadrian’s reforms. An Julius made a politically significant match by
air of security allowed economic development by marrying the granddaughter of the great consul
the southern tribes because it allowed them to Sulla. (He divorced her after five years.)

24 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


CAESAR, JULIUS

Through these contacts, and his military abili-


ties, he rose from the relative unimportance of
an impoverished noble family to contacts with
the most powerful men in Rome.
Early in his military career, Julius saw serv-
ice in Asia and Cilicia and was involved in
battles against the Persian leader Mithradates.
His accomplishments on the battlefield and his
political contacts put him in position to be
elected tribune in 73 B.C.E. As this was an elected
position, it showed his growing popularity with
the public. He later held other elective and
appointive offices, including aedile (city admin-
istrator), pontifexmaximus (head of the priests),
and proconsul in Spain. He reached for the top
when he allied himself with the two consuls
Pompey and Crassus, forming the Triumvirate in
60 B.C.E. With their support in the Senate, he
received the proconsulship of Gaul. There, he
could enforce Roman rule and make a name for Bust of Julius Caeser, dictator for
life of the Roman Republic before
himself as a general, which was fast becoming
his assassination in 44 B.C.
the path to political power.
Between the years 58 and 51, he subdued
Gaul, challenged marauding Germanic tribes,
and mounted an expedition to Britain. He also security for her country, which was a declining
tried to mediate between the increasingly hostile power. After a quick campaign against the Persian
Crassus and Pompey. Mithradates VI, Caesar returned to Rome.
Their failing relationship was the catalyst that Caesar did much to improve the lot of the
ultimately led Julius to power. When Julia, Julius’s Roman citizen. He established two colonies to
daughter and Pompey’s wife, died in 54 B.C.E., and drain off surplus population, and revived an old
Crassus was killed on a campaign in 53, the ties law requiring one-third of all agricultural labor-
binding Julius and Pompey were broken. Pompey ers to become free men, cutting into the wide-
appealed to the Senate to remove Julius from his spread use of slave labor long practiced by estate
position in Gaul, a move designed to destroy any owners. He worked on codifying Roman law,
chance Julius might have to reach the highest opened the first public library in Rome, drained
government position: consul. Rather than accept marshes around the city, and surveyed and
his recall, Julius crossed the Rubicon River and mapped the empire. His longest lasting contribu-
led his forces into Italy, a treasonable act that led tion was the Julian calendar, which remained
to direct military confrontation between himself the standard for date-keeping until the
and Pompey. Middle Ages.
Julius’s reputation had preceded him, and As a military man, Caesar is best known for
many cities welcomed his arrival as Pompey’s his Gallic War, mainly because he wrote about it
forces fled. Their forces finally fought at Pharsalus, first-hand in his Commentaries. While in service
where Julius was victorious. Pompey fled to Egypt, in Gaul, he promoted the engineering aspect of
but was murdered upon his arrival. Julius followed, Roman armies by modifying camp structure and
and fell under the spell of the Egyptian Queen weaponry. He improved the gathering of intelli-
Cleopatra; when her brother dethroned her, Julius gence, the methods of training, and the art of
helped her regain the throne. Cleopatra consid- military speechmaking. He promoted loyalty by
ered a close relationship with Caesar the best increasing pay and benefits, and by his increased

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 25


CARTHAGE, EXPANSION OF

respect for the rights of soldiers. His campaign in Carthage represented the first major attempt to
Gaul secured the region for the Roman Empire settle along the North African coast outside the
for centuries and set up the later Roman con- Egyptian sphere of influence.
quest of Britain. The inhabitants of Carthage lived peacefully
Rather than claim the position of king, for more than two centuries because the local
which had been banned by the Roman Republic Libyan population was not organized enough to
at its birth centuries earlier, Caesar took the title resist them and whatever military action was
Dictator. He had himself elected to this position necessary was directed from Tyre. When
for single-year terms, then for a 10-year term; Phoenicia came under Babylonian control, how-
shortly afterward, he accepted the position for ever, Carthage lost its connection with the
life. The difference in terminology between king homeland and came into its own. While Babylon
and dictator was too indistinct for the Roman was conquering the Levant, the Greeks stirred up
Senate, which Caesar had reduced to an almost trouble in Sicily, where their colonies attacked
powerless body. On the Ides (fifteenth) of March Phoenician settlements around 580 B.C.E.
44 B.C.E., Caesar was assassinated on his way to Carthage provided the defensive forces for Sicily
address the Senate. The conspirators, led by and for threatened towns in southern Sardinia.
Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius In 553 B.C.E. Carthage allied with the Etruscans
Longinus, removed the man who threatened to of Italy; together, they inflicted a major defeat of
return the Republic to the status of a kingdom, a Greek fleet off Corsica. That battle made
but they had no contingency plans of their own. Carthage master of the western Mediterranean
They were defeated shortly after by Caesar’s and gave it dominance over the Spanish trade.
grandnephew and appointed heir, Octavian, who Like Phoenicia, Carthage’s major expansion
instituted the position of Emperor and, as Caesar was in the form of settlement and trade. The soci-
Augustus, took Rome to its greatest power. Julius ety was so involved in trade that its military forces
Caesar did not make the Roman Empire himself, were almost always mercenaries. After a defeat of
but his actions laid the groundwork for the suc- its army and navy at Himera in Sicily in 480 B.C.E.,
cesses of Augustus. Carthage focused its attention on expansion in
See also Augustus, Caesar; Britain, Roman Conquest of.
North Africa, spreading its influence from Libya to
the Atlantic coast of modern Morocco. The
References: Bradford, Ernie Julius Caesar: The Pursuit Carthaginians made little attempt to enter the
of Power (New York: Morrow, 1984); Caesar, interior, so their dominance was almost exclusively
Julius, Commentaries, trans. John Warrington
(New York: Heritage Press, 1955); Wiseman,
along the coastal strip. Though Carthage main-
Anne, and Peter Wiseman, Julius Caesar: The tained settlements in western Sicily after the
Battle for Gaul (Boston: David R. Godine, 1980). defeat at Himera, it took as small a part as possible
in the island’s politics, rising only to defend its set-
C ARTHAGE, tlements from attack by Syracuse in the east.
15 EXPANSION OF Carthage’s relationship with Rome proved its
ultimate undoing. Though the two cooperated
The city of Carthage was established by the against Greece, they had little other contact
Phoenicians late in the ninth century B.C.E. as a because their spheres of influence did not overlap.
stopping place for eastern Mediterranean traders That came to an end in 264, when both Carthage
plying their business with the inhabitants of and Rome sent forces to save a band of Roman
Spain and the western Mediterranean. Tyre was mercenaries, employed by Carthage, fighting
the parent city to Carthage, which is the around Syracuse. The result was the First Punic
Latinized version of the Phoenician Kart- War, which lasted 23 years and was followed by
Hadasht, or New City. The trading empire of two more Roman-Carthaginian wars, the latter of
Phoenicia, dealing in various metals, was well which resulted in Carthage’s utter destruction.
established in Spain; it also had settlement/trad- Carthage was unique in ancient history for
ing posts in Sicily, Corsica, and Sardinia. having its wealth built almost completely on

26 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


CARTHAGE, ROMAN INVASION OF

trade. Carthaginians became the middlemen for Carthage ceded because of Roman support of
almost all Mediterranean trade west of Sicily, Masinissa’s claims. The demands were not
reaching as far as Cape Verde on the Atlantic extravagant, but over time they chipped away at
coast of Africa and possibly as far as the Atlantic Carthage’s homeland. As Carthage grew surly at
coast of France. Carthage displayed little in the this loss of territory, Rome became jealous of the
way of culture that was particularly their own, revived Carthaginian economy. In Rome a
but they served as disseminators of eastern cul- merchant class arose, gaining influence in the
tures to the western reaches of the known world. government, and the merchants had a powerful
The language and sciences of the East were made mouthpiece in M. Porcius Cato. Cato wanted
available to the West, and the Carthaginians Carthage destroyed, and Masinissa’s claims
established urbanization in northern Africa, proved the vehicle for that destruction.
where before only tribal villages had existed. The In 156 B.C.E. the Carthaginian government
transformation to “modern” civilization in demanded that a Roman envoy come to Africa
northern Africa, Spain, Corsica, and Sardinia to rule on Masinissa’s latest demand. Cato got
was due to Carthaginian merchants. the job, and observed first-hand the revival of
Carthage’s power. He ruled for Masinissa, pro-
See also Carthage, Roman Invasion of (Third Punic
War); Italy, Carthaginian Invasion of (Second
voking war. In 151 B.C.E. Carthage invaded
Punic War); Sicily, Roman Conquest of (First Numidia, but it was a disastrous campaign and
Punic War). their army was virtually destroyed. As they had
gone to war without Roman permission, Rome
References: Charles-Picard, Gilbert, and Collette
Picard, The Life and Death of Carthage, trans.
declared war on them. To Roman surprise,
Dominique Collon (London: Sidgwick & Carthage put up no resistance, depending on a
Jackson, 1968); Warmington, B. H., Carthage: A complete surrender to guarantee lenient terms.
History (London: Robert Hale, 1960). The Romans restored lost territory to the
Carthaginians, but demanded that the city
C ARTHAGE, ROMAN itself be abandoned. The citizens would not
INVASION OF concede their city, so Rome laid siege from 149
16 (THIRD PUNIC WAR) to 146 B.C.E.
The city finally fell to P. Cornelius Scipio
After Rome was victorious in the Second Punic Aemillius, son of a hero of Rome’s war against
War, Carthage recovered well and quickly Macedon and grandson of the Scipio Africanus,
under the leadership of Hannibal. He was as who defeated Hannibal. Just as Rome had
able a political leader as a military one, but as demanded, no one lived in Carthage afterward
he learned in his campaign in Italy, the people because the Roman government ordered
of Carthage would not give him sufficient sup- Aemillius to raze the city and sell into slavery
port. The Carthaginians’ return to economic the 10 percent of citizens who survived the siege.
health made them believe that they could The destruction of the Carthaginian empire
return to military health as well, though the brought its territory under direct Roman control,
terms of the treaty ending the Second Punic and the city of Utica became its new capital. The
War denied them the ability to make war at all province proved a valuable source of grain for
outside Africa, and only with Rome’s permis- Rome’s expanding empire, and a century after
sion on the continent. This control over the city’s fall it was rebuilt under orders of Julius
Carthage’s foreign policy laid the groundwork Caesar, who settled some of his veterans there.
for the city’s doom. The North African coast was so Romanized that
The Numidian king Masinissa, a one-time any remains of Carthaginian influence virtually
ally of Carthage against Rome, changed sides dur- disappeared. Whatever chance Carthage had
ing the later stages of the last war and was now had of dominating the western Mediterranean
trying to expand his kingdom at Carthaginian and bringing the culture and religion of the
expense. He periodically demanded lands, which East into Europe halted. Roman power and

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 27


CH’IN DYNASTY

civilization were reconfirmed and remained Shih Huang-ti implemented a centralized


dominant until the 400s C.E., when the Vandals bureaucracy, removing the aristocracies from
conquered the area. the conquered states. He brought their leaders
See also Hannibal; Italy, Carthaginian Invasion of
to his capital and built them luxurious
(Second Punic War); Vandals. homes—not from kindness, but to keep them
under his watchful eye. He appointed gover-
References: Bagnall, Nigel, The Punic Wars (London: nors to the provinces he created in his now-
Hutchinson, 1990); Caven, Brian, The Punic
Wars (London: Wei-denfeld & Nicolson, 1980);
unified state. These governors had the duty of
Dorey, T. A., and D. R. Dudley, Rome against enforcing the law and mobilizing the local pop-
Carthage (London: Seeker & Warburg, 1971). ulation for military duty. Shih Huang-ti
ordered a census with such depth that it rivaled
the Domesday Book of William the Conqueror
17 CH’IN DYNASTY in England. He also began the construction of
a large series of internal improvements, and
The Chinese had been under the leadership of mandated standards for construction, language,
the Shang and Chou dynasties, but neither and coinage. His administration was based on
dynasty had been able to maintain a strong hold the Chinese philosophy of legalism, which
over a large amount of territory or protect the punished lawbreakers but also rewarded those
citizens from nomadic raiders. The Chou dynasty who aided in law-keeping. Easily, the most
established a capital at Hao, near modern Sian, famous of the Ch’in projects was the construc-
in the eleventh century B.C.E., but was forced to tion of the Great Wall to protect the Chinese
move eastward in 770 B.C.E. by the pressure of from northern nomadic raiders. Shih Huangti’s
barbarian invaders, coupled with some rebellious military power took his armies as far south as the
provinces. The eastern capital at Loyang oversaw Red River valley in modern Vietnam and on to
a smaller Chinese state until 476 B.C.E., when the the Korean peninsula. Campaigning and the
Chou emperor was reduced to the status of construction of large palaces reflected his
prince. For another 250 years, the provinces power but cost a substantial amount of money,
warred among themselves until one fought its which came from increasingly high taxation.
way to the top in 221 B.C.E.: the Ch’in. His burial in 210 B.C.E. also became famous; he
The Ch’in learned from the nomads the suc- was interred with thousands of terra-cotta sol-
cessful military use of cavalry. They also developed diers and horses.
a militaristic society under the leadership of Shang Shih Huang-ti’s sons proved weak and
Yang, who removed the traditional power of the oppressive, and soon provoked a peasant uprising.
aristocracy and replaced it with a ruling class based Knowing that defeat against the rebels would be
on success in battle. All the adult males were liable rewarded with beheading, many Ch’in generals
for military service and could rise in status by decided to change sides, and the opposition
showing bravery in combat. Any member of a rul- strengthened. Finally, in 206 B.C.E., a peasant
ing family who engaged in private quarrels or did rebel leader named Liu Pang captured the Ch’in
not fight well in battle would be punished. With capital at Hsienyang, and the Ch’in dynasty
an increasingly powerful military, the Ch’in also ended, leaving an empire that Liu Pang, who
worked diplomatically to keep the other states at established the Han dynasty, would enlarge upon.
odds with one another so they could not combine
See also Han Dynasty; Britain, Norman Invasion of.
in opposition. In 278 B.C.E. the Ch’in attacked
and seized the capital of their neighbors, the Chou. References: Cotterell, Arthur, The First Emperor of
The Chou leader fell to Ch’in aggression in China (London: Macmillan, 1981); Hookham,
Hilda, A Short History of China (New York: St.
256 B.C.E., and the last of the five opposing states
Martin’s Press, 1970); Twitchett, Denis, and
fell in 222. The next year, China was declared Michael Loewe, The Cambridge History of China,
united under one lord, who took the title Ch’in Vol. 1: The Ch’in and Han Empires (New York:
Shih Huang-ti, or Ch’in First Emperor. Cambridge University Press, 1978).

28 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


CONSTANTINE, EMPEROR

WALL
GREAT
Yell
o w R.

KOREA

R.

w
ll o
Ye

Wei R.
Wei R.
Sian
R.
ai
Hu
Han R.

.
eR
tz

ng
Ya
Red

.
est R
R.

CH'IN DYNASTY
Original area
of state of
Ch'in (Qin)
0 600

Scale of miles

18 CONSTANTINE, EMPEROR divided power in the empire between two people,


himself and Maximian, who were called augusti.
Constantine was born Flavius Valerius They each appointed a subordinate, a caesar, who
Constantinus about 272 C.E. in Moesia, the area of would rise to the position of augustus upon his
modern Serbia or Macedonia. His mother Helena superior’s death or retirement. Under this system,
bore him illegitimately, but he was adopted by Constantius was named caesar by Maximian,
Constantius I when Helena became Constantius’s while Diocletian chose Galerius. When Diocletian
chief concubine. Constantius was named caesar in retired (and forced Maximian to do likewise),
305 under the newly reorganized power structure Galerius and Constantius rose to become augusti.
of the Roman Empire. Emperor Diocletian had The sons of Constantius and Galerius hoped to be

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 29


EGYPT, ALEXANDER’S CONQUEST OF

named caesars, but were disappointed when two personally fought with his forces in a victory that
others got the jobs. What Diocletian had hoped forced Licinius into Byzantium. Constantine
would become a peaceful progression of power besieged the city and fought a final engagement
became instead a struggle for inheritance. at Scutari, where Licinius surrendered and was
Constantine had little formal education and executed. Constantine was now the sole emperor.
turned to soldiering early. He fought with his Constantine’s importance was in his role not
father in a campaign in Britain, where his father only as the final leader of a unified Roman Empire,
died. Popular with the legions, they named but also as the founder of Constantinople as the
Constantine augustus in his father’s place. Instead, new seat of empire, a second Rome. From there he
he took the title caesar rather than directly chal- directed the affairs of empire, the most important
lenge the ultimate authorities in Rome. His of which was his support of Christianity. In 313 he
assumption of the title, though reluctantly recog- and Licinius had issued the Edict of Milan, which
nized by Rome, added fuel to the succession fire. guaranteed religious freedom; however,
Constantine stayed with his troops and cam- Constantine became an open supporter of
paigned against incursions by the Franks in Gaul. Christianity, and by the time of his death it was the
In 306 the Praetorian Guard in Rome sup- state religion. He remained sole leader of the
ported a new candidate for augustus, and the empire for 13 years, during which time he contin-
scramble for power that ensued virtually defies ued military reforms begun when he first occupied
rational description. Not until Renaissance Italy Rome. He defended the frontiers from barbarian
would the world see another such convoluted attacks by constructing a series of forts to create a
struggle for leadership. At one time six men all defense in depth, with mobile reserves stationed to
claimed the title augustus. Constantine’s army come to the aid of any that were attacked. This
won victories at Aries and Marseilles over his strategy worked well in his time, but ultimately the
rival and father-in-law Maximian in 310; the fol- increasing use of frontier recruits and the differ-
lowing year Galerius died, and four possible ence in pay between frontline and reserve forces
augusti remained: Maxentius and Daia, allied created problems. To a great extent the establish-
against Constantine and Licinius. ment of a second capital promoted the idea of a
Learning of Maxentius’s movements against divided empire, and after Constantine’s death, the
him, in early 312 Constantine marched 40,000 empire gradually split, with Rome ruling the west
men into Italy and won victories at Susa, Turin, and Constantinople ruling the east. The eastern
Milan, Brescia, and Verona. He also recruited sup- Byzantine Empire would survive until the fifteenth
porters along the way and entered his greatest fight century, whereas the west would fall to barbarian
with some 50,000 men. At Milvian Bridge across invasions within a century.
the Tiber River he received a vision; some sources
See also Caesar, Julius; Byzantine Empire; Franks.
say it came in a dream the night before the battle.
More traditionally, it was said to come in the References: Barnes, Timothy, The New Empire of
bright sun in front of thousands of witnesses. Diocletian and Constantine (Cambridge, MA:
Harvard University Press, 1982); Dorries, Herman,
However it appeared, Constantine was con-
Constantine the Great (New York: Harper & Row,
vinced by this vision that if he placed the symbol 1972); MacMullen, Ramsay, Constantine (New
of Christ on his soldier’s shield, he would be vic- York: Dial Press, 1969).
torious. He did so, and won. As in Julius Caesar’s
campaign across the Rubicon into Italy, EGYPT, ALEXANDER’S
Constantine now became the master of Rome. 19 CONQUEST OF
He named Licinius augustus of the east.
After Licinius defeated Daia, it seemed The Persian Empire had ruled Egypt since Cyrus
inevitable that he and Constantine would oppose the Great’s son Cambyses conquered the country
each other rather than return to Diocletian’s orig- in 525 B.C.E. Cyrus’s occupation was brutal, but
inal framework. They fought a series of indecisive later Persian emperors were occasionally more
battles until, in 323 at Adrianople, Constantine tolerant. Under Darius the Great, the Persians

30 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


EGYPT, ALEXANDER’S CONQUEST OF

allowed unrestricted worship of the Egyptian virtually impossible, but the Greeks followed birds,
gods. Darius studied native writing and theology, which flew to the oasis. At the temple, Alexander
encouraged commerce, and completed a canal left everyone outside and entered to commune
between the Nile and the Red Sea. The admin- with the priests of Ammon-Zeus. What passed
istration of his successor, Xerxes, was marked by between them was never revealed, but from then
its cruelty; he enslaved the people and robbed on Alexander did nothing to discourage the grow-
their temples. By the time of Darius III, ing belief of many in the east that he was a god.
Alexander the Great’s Persian foe, the Egyptians After the journey to Siwah, Alexander laid
had had more than enough of their rule. plans for the construction of a new city named—
The occupation of Egypt was the culmina- as so many of his cities were—Alexandria. The
tion of the first phase of Alexander’s campaign city was designed in a grid pattern to create well-
against the Persian Empire, 334–331 B.C.E. The organized thoroughfares. He made sure that
Persian navy far outclassed anything the Greeks temples to both Egyptian and Greek gods were
could muster, so Alexander decided to control con structed. He oversaw the start of construc-
the Mediterranean coastline and occupy the port tion prior to his return to Memphis, where he
cities, thereby denying the Persian navy any base established a government to administer the
of operations. Rather than chase the defeated country. He appointed several locals to impor-
Darius II after the Greek victory at Issus, tant positions while leaving several garrisons of
Alexander turned south to complete his coastal Greek soldiers. In the spring of 342, he left Egypt
strategy. After capturing Tyre and Gaza, in pursuit of Darius, never to return.
Alexander’s forces marched into the Egyptian After his death, Alexander’s conquests were
city of Pelusium. The city surrendered to him divided among three of his generals. Egypt and
without a fight; indeed, the Egyptians viewed much of the Mediterranean coast went to Ptolemy,
Alexander more as a liberator than a conqueror. whose descendants ruled Egypt as pharaohs until
From Pelusium, Alexander proceeded to the days of Caesar Augustus. Alexander’s virtually
Memphis, on the Nile River. The inhabitants wel- bloodless occupation of Egypt changed both the
comed him and, so grateful were they for their conqueror and the subdued. Coins minted from
deliverance from Persia, the Egyptians made this time depict Alexander with rams’ horns (the
Alexander pharaoh. Alexander endeared himself symbol of Ammon-Zeus), and Alexander notified
to the Egyptians by honoring their gods, and it was Greece that they could now worship him as a god.
by way of religion that he not only solidified his Egypt benefited greatly from the Greek occupa-
dominance over Egypt, but also laid the ground- tion. Alexandria became not only one of the
work for his own future adulation. Alexander’s great cities of the ancient world, but it was also
mother, Olympia, claimed that Alexander had the site of the greatest library of antiquity, hous-
been fathered not by her husband Philip but by the ing some 700,000 scrolls. The city became the
god Zeus, and therefore Alexander was semidivine. center of learning for centuries, with public build-
This claim fit neatly into the Egyptian view of ings, parks, and the first museum. Alexander’s
pharaoh as a mixture of god and man. Prior to legacy was one of knowledge and culture, but that
leaving Greece, Alexander visited the Oracle at of the Ptolemies was also one of exploitation of
Delphi and was told to pay close attention to the the Egyptian population and economy.
Egyptian deity Ammon-Zeus.
See also Cyrus the Great; Alexander the Great;
When Alexander decided to spend the winter
Augustus, Caesar; Philip of Macedon; Ptolemaic
of 332–331 B.C.E. in Egypt, he traveled to the Dynasty.
remote desert site of the temple of Ammon-Zeus
at the oasis of Siwah. The journey had all the References: Bosworth, A. B., Conquest and Empire
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1988);
marks of a divinely led pilgrimage. The Greek
Green, Peter, Alexander of Macedon (Los Angeles:
force was saved from dehydration by a freak University of California Press, 1991); Lane Fox,
rainstorm in the desert. A sandstorm obscured Robin, The Search for Alexander (Boston: Little,
landmarks and made navigation in the desert Brown, 1980).

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 31


GAUL, ROMAN CONQUEST OF

GAUL, ROMAN cavalry of the Helvetii and their allies. Still,


20 CONQUEST OF Caesar was successful in forcing their withdrawal
in 58 B.C.E., while capturing the Suebi leader
In Roman times, Gaul made up the area now Ariovistus after a campaign in Alsace. The fol-
encompassed by France, Belgium, Luxembourg, lowing year, Caesar marched north and defeated
and Germany west of the Rhine River. It was the Belgae and Nervii, establishing Roman con-
divided into four general areas: Provincia, trol over the lands of modern Belgium and
Aquitania, Celtica, and Belgica. The first to northern France. He spread Roman power to the
come under Roman domination was Provincia, Atlantic coast in 56 B.C.E., thereby isolating the
whose capital, Massalia (or Massilia), was the site central Gallic tribes. An invasion by the Usipites
of modern Marseilles. Massilia had long served as and Tencteri forced his return to Belgium, but
a trading center for Phoenician and Greek mer- Caesar defeated them as well and kept his hold
chants before Rome took over; it remained a on the province. Campaigns in Germany and
financial but not a military center. The remain- Britain accomplished little of immediate impor-
der of Gaul, having less contact with tance, but they gave Caesar more experience and
Mediterranean cultures, became known as publicity.
Gallica Comata, or Long-Haired Gaul. The “bar- With most of Gaul under his control, Caesar
barian” tribes of that area included the Suebi, spent the years 54–51 suppressing revolts. The
Sequani, Arverni, Aedui, and Helvetii. most serious was a coalition of Gallic tribes led by
Population pressures forced the Gallic tribes Vercingetorix. Caesar cut off their supplies with
into expansion, with the Helvetii allying with scorched-earth tactics and starved them into sub-
the Sequani and Aedui to escape the pressures mission, defeating them at Alesia in 53 B.C.E.
exerted by the Suebi and other Germanic tribes The immediate effects of Caesar’s campaigns
pushing westward. were to expand Rome’s northwestern borders all
This combination of conquest and migration the way to the Atlantic and beyond, laying the
soon put pressure on Provincia, and that attracted groundwork for a later, more successful invasion
the Roman military. of Britain. His success and personal appeal made
Rome had been undergoing political him immensely popular with his troops; that and
upheavals with a rivalry between the elected the wealth he accumulated through his victories
senate, which served in a strongly advisory translated into personal power, for money and
capacity, and the growing power of individuals military support were soon to be the main factors
who hoped to exercise expanded if not supreme necessary to advance in Roman politics. The
power. By 60 B.C.E., the three major figures in death of Crassus in 53 B.C.E. and Caesar’s military
this rivalry were Pompey, Crassus, and Julius success created a rift between him and Pompey
Caesar. Their cooperation (the Triumvirate) was that exploded into civil war in 49. Rather than
unconstitutional but effective in the face of a leave his army outside Rome’s borders (as the law
weakening senate. Their personalities, however, demanded) and appear before the senate alone,
guaranteed that the trio could not rule together Caesar crossed onto the Italian peninsula at
indefinitely. The junior partner of the the Rubicon River and challenged Pompey and
Triumvirate was Caesar, who lacked Pompey’s the government. Caesar proved the superior gen-
military experience and Crassus’s wealth. In eral, quickly establishing his power in Italy and
order to gain both, he lobbied for and received Spain, chasing Pompey to Greece, and then to
the position of governor and commander of the Egypt. Defeating Pompey, his allies, and later his
Roman forces in Gaul. His accession to the polit- sons gave Caesar ultimate power in Rome, and
ical position in Gaul coincided with the arrival he became the first emperor.
of the Helvetii, so his chance for glory beckoned. In Gaul, Romanization proceeded fairly quick-
There was no better infantry force in the ly in the south, mainly through the retirement and
world than the Roman legions, but at first they settlement of many of Caesar’s veterans. In Gallica
had difficulty in dealing with the aggressive Comata, however, anti-Roman sentiment died

32 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


GERMANY, ROMAN INVASION OF

hard. Caesar sponsored settlements only along mutually antagonistic, which kept them from
the frontier between Provincia and the interior. making any real progress in acquiring Gallic
The tribes so lately defeated kept nominal power lands or cooperating in the face of Roman
in their lands, and Rome allowed them to exer- attacks. Individually the Germans were coura-
cise local autonomy in return for trade. These geous, but they were impaired by a lack of unity
tribes also acted as a buffer against possible and discipline.
Germanic invasions of Roman settlements. The The Roman armies began their offensive
main part of Gaul, however, remained fairly with Tiberius pushing eastward through
independent. Under the reign of Claudius I, some Switzerland to defeat the Pannonians (residing
100 years after Caesar’s conquest, the provinces in modern-day Austria), thereby securing the
of Belgica, Lugdenensis, and Aquitania emerged, southern frontier by placing Roman troops on
and they were eventually allowed to send nobles the Danube. Drasus, meanwhile, marched north
to the senate. The Roman pantheon and emper- through the Brenner Pass, then down the Rhine.
or worship were encouraged, to the detriment In a series of rapid thrusts he mastered western
(and occasional persecution) of other religious Germany and raided as far as the Elbe. Roman
practices. The later Roman Empire introduced advances stopped here because Drasus’s death
Christianity and Latin, both of which further in 9 B.C.E. terminated the invasion. Not until two
eroded Gallic culture. Though Gaul prospered years later did they take the offensive again, this
through trade with Rome, it ultimately suffered time with Tiberius in overall command.
by being first in line during the Germanic and Tiberius consolidated the Roman hold along
later barbarian invasions. The territory finally the Rhine by transplanting uncooperative
was settled and divided among the new tribes, German tribes to Gaul, where superior Roman
mainly the Vandals and Visigoths in the south of forces could keep an eye on them. Two years later
France and Spain, and with the Franks, Alamani, Tiberius advanced from the upper Danube into
and Burgundians in the upper portion of Gaul. the valley of the Saale River. He also sent
columns toward the Elbe River, defeating
See also Britain, Roman Conquest of; Caesar, Julius.
German tribes and forcing most of them to
References: Caesar, Julius, The Gallic War, trans. H. J. recognize Roman overlordship by 4 B.C.E. Rome
Edwards (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University held this position for nearly a decade, assuming
Press, 1966); Drinkwater, J. E., Roman Gaul
(London: Groom Helm, 1983); King, Anthony,
that Germany had been pacified. Roman mer-
Roman Gaul and Germany (Berkeley: University chants began to operate in the area, and forts
of California Press, 1990). and trading posts were constructed. The German
tribes did nothing to give the impression that
they resented Roman rule, and Rome took many
GERMANY, ROMAN of the German leaders and their families to
21 INVASION OF Rome to teach them “civilized” behavior and
language. Some of the Germans learned the
Though Julius Caesar had conquered Gaul in the Roman way of war and fought in the Roman
middle of the first century B.C.E., the Roman army, sometimes with Roman troops and some-
attitude toward Germany remained undefined. times in command of native auxiliaries. One
Under the direction of Caesar Augustus, Rome of the more successful students of Roman
began campaigns against German tribes in warfare was Arminius of the Cherusci. He com-
12 B.C.E., ostensibly to protect Gaul from attacks manded German cavalry forces in support of
by aggressive German tribes, but actually to Roman operations; the Romans were strong on
establish a new frontier along the Elbe River. infantry and tended to use foreign troops as
Augustus chose two generals—Tiberius and mounted soldiers.
Drasus—to carry out the campaign. Plans finalized in 5 C.E. called for Roman
The Germanic people were composed of a forces to occupy all of Germany. Again Tiberius
number of independent tribes, most of them was placed in command, but he was unable to

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 33


GERMANY, ROMAN INVASION OF

area, but he decided not to push Roman luck. He


solidified Rome’s hold along the Rhine, but
refrained from entering the Germanic wilder-
ness. In 14, Germanicus was ordered to the
region to avenge Varsus’s defeat, but after cam-
paigning among the tribes with mixed success,
he withdrew to the better defended Rhineland.
Tiberius, successor to Augustus as emperor, real-
ized that if Rome did not offer a visible threat,
the feuding German tribes could not maintain a
solid front or pose a serious threat to Rome’s
frontiers.
Rome’s goal became the maintenance of
German recognition of their power without
Rome’s having to hold the ground to prove it.
The frontier remained relatively peaceful until
the Roman Empire began to decline in the third
century. By the 220s the Goths, descended from
Scandinavian immigrants, broke through the
frontier and drove the Romans out of Germany,
the Balkans, and central Europe.
As Roman power declined over the succeed-
ing centuries, former enemies of Rome became
Bust of Roman Emperor Tiberius, who consolidated allies. Rome hired German mercenaries to man
the Roman hold over Germany. its legions, and in the process the Germans
became acquainted with Roman civilization and
advances. Later, Roman generals assigned to
undertake this mission because of a revolt in frontier garrisons became caesars, thanks to the
Illyrica (modern Yugoslavia). The operation was skill of their German soldiers. The people who
reinstated the following year under the com- occupied what is modern-day Germany came
mand of Quintilius Varsus, who was ordered to under a variety of influences as various peoples
conquer all German territory, no matter the cost. migrated through their territory, so Roman input
By this time, the Germans seem to have learned into Germanic culture was but one factor among
some lessons from the Romans, for they had many. Germans were sufficiently impressed with
formed alliances to face this threat. Led by the Roman wealth to lust after it, and the Germans
Cherusci tribe, the Germans launched a were among many who invaded and looted the
surprise attack on Varsus in the Teutoburger Italian peninsula. They took treasures, but not
Forest. The Cherusci prince Arminius, leading much culture, and not until the Christian
the cavalry contingent of the Roman force, had church came to be a dominant force in Europe
lured his commander into a trap. Unable to use did the tribes of Germany rise to the level of out-
their standard tactics in the rugged, wooded ter- side cultures.
rain, the Romans were overwhelmed, losing
See also Caesar, Julius; Gaul, Roman Conquest of;
three legions. Ostrogoths.
This was a major blow to Rome’s prestige.
The Romans feared that the Germans would References: Balsdon, J. B V D., Rome: The Story of an
Empire (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970); Dudley,
follow up this victory with an invasion of the
David, The Romans: 850 B.C.E.–AD 337 (New
Rhine area or Gaul, but it did not happen. The York: Knopf, 1970); Salmon, Edward, A History of
Germans seemed satisfied with defending their the Roman World from 30 B.C.E. to AD 138 (London:
own lands. Tiberius was soon reassigned to the Methuen, 1972).

34 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


GREECE, PERSIAN INVASION OF

GREECE, PERSIAN the Athenian army in place. The Athenian


22 INVASION OF leader Callimachus ceded command of the force
to Miltiades, who argued for a bold attack on the
Thanks to the efforts of Cyrus the Great and Persian force, now reduced to 20,000; that num-
Darius the Great, the Persian Empire stretched ber was still half again the size of the Greek
from the borders of India to Egypt and from the force. The Athenians advanced in a long, line-
Caspian Sea to the Hellespont by 500 B.C.E. abreast formation with stronger flanks. The
However, spelling ultimate doom for the Persians Persians struck the weaker center, but found
was the crossing of the Hellespont into Europe. their own weak flanks surrounded by the
Once across that narrow strait, they faced Athenians. The result, intended or accidental,
the determined people of Hellas, ancient was a perfect double envelopment, which broke
Greece. Though the Greeks were divided into Persian morale. They raced for the safety of the
independent city-states that were often antago- ships on the beach and escaped only by a strong
nistic toward each other, in the face of an outside holding action. The main, relatively contempo-
threat, they banded together. The Greeks had rary source for the battle is the Greek historian
attracted Darius’s attention when Athens gave Herodotus, who numbered the casualties as 192
support to former Greek colonies in Ionia, along Greek dead versus a loss of 6,400 Persians. The
the western Asia Minor coast. Because they were Persians sailed away, and the victorious
under Persian rule, Athenian and Eretrian sup- Athenians met the Spartans arriving just after
port of the Ionian rebellions of the 490s B.C.E. the battle’s end. The Persian fleet sailed for
demanded punishment. Darius was determined Athens but arrived too late; the army had
to invade Greece and bring the country to heel. returned and taken defensive positions, so the
He sent his general, Mardonius, to subdue the Persians sailed for home.
northern provinces of Thrace and Macedon in Darius was not about to let this defeat go
492 B.C.E., and massed an invasion force for an unavenged, but he was diverted from immediate
amphibious assault on Greece. counterattack by a revolt in Egypt. In the process
Darius gathered 50,000 men for the attack, of subduing the rebellion, Darius died, so the duty
which was commanded by Datis. With the of punishing Greece fell to his successor, Xerxes.
Persians was Hippias, a former Athenian tyrant Xerxes planned an even larger invasion force, of
who had been deposed some years earlier and probably 200,000, who marched around the
now returned with his patrons to engage in some Aegean, supplied by the Persian fleet sailing
behind-the-scenes agitation and reestablish his along the coast. At the Hellespont, he ordered a
power. Only after the Persians attacked Eretria bridge of boats constructed, and the Persian army
on the island of Euboea did the Greek mainland marched into Europe in 480 B.C.E. The Greeks
learn of the invasion. The Athenians prepared had spent the last 10 years fighting among them-
for battle and dispatched a messenger to the selves, and now had to bury their differences to
southern city-state of Sparta for assistance. The meet the foreign threat. The Persians marched
militant Spartans responded that they would through northern Greece, gaining the voluntary
arrive as soon as they had completed some nec- or grudging assistance of virtually every city-state.
essary religious festivals. Thus, Athens marched This time the Spartan army marched to the fore,
out alone to battle. They made their way west- while the Greek fleet sailed to impede the Persian
ward to the high ground overlooking Marathon, navy. The Greek strategy was to separate the
the only available port near Athens, where the Persian army from its food supply onboard the
Persians had debarked their forces. Once the ships, so the Greek fleet blocked the straits
Athenians arrived (and were joined by a small between the mainland and the island of Euboea.
force from Plataea), the Persians implemented The Persian army continued along the coast to
their strategy. The city of Athens now stood the pass of Thermopylae, where a Greek force
undefended, so they embarked about half their commanded by the Spartan leader Leonidas
force to sail for the city while the remainder held awaited them. Leonidas stood on the narrow

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 35


GREECE, PERSIAN INVASION OF

B LAC K
ANCIENT GREECE SEA
Athenian
empire, 450 bc THRACE
BATTLE SITES Byzantium
Bosphorus
0 50 Propontis
(Sea of Marmora)
Scale of miles MACEDON
Hellespont
E
P
IR
U

Troy
S

A
E
G
E
A Lesbos
N PERSIAN
S
E EMPIRE
A
Thermopylae
Ithaca Delphi
Thebes Chios

Corinth I
Olympia Athens O Samos
Mycenae N
IONIAN SEA Argos I Miletus
PELOPONNESUS Delos
A
Halicarnassus
Sparta

Thera
Rhodes
Mt. Parnassus
Cretan Sea
Delphi Cheronaea
Thebes
Plataea Knossos
Marathon
Eleusis CRETE
Megara
Athens
Corinth Salamis Piraeus
Mycenae
Argus MEDITERRANEAN SEA
Tiryns Epidaurus

0 25

defile between mountains and sea, and for three The Athenians had earlier consulted the
days his 6,000 men repulsed the might of the Oracle at Delphi on the best strategy for meeting
Persian army. With the aid of a local Greek shep- the invaders, and in true Delphic style they were
herd, the Persians learned of a track around the told to seek refuge behind wooden walls. The
Greek roadblock and marched to surround their debate over this response led the Athenians to
opposition. Learning of this move, Leonidas sent determine that the oracle meant the wooden
most of his force to meet it. They failed to stop walls of ships rather than the walls surrounding
the encirclement by the superior Persian force; the city of Athens, so the city was abandoned to
Leonidas and his few hundred men held the pass the advancing Persians. The Athenians led a
until all were killed. The news of the Persian vic- combined Greek naval force in the waters off
tory at Thermopylae convinced the Greek fleet Athens, but it was only about half the size of the
to withdraw, so the Persian advance continued. Persian navy. Their only hope was to use the

36 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


HAN DYNASTY

superior maneuverability of the smaller Greek leaders, seized power in 206 B.C.E. and began the
triremes in the narrow waters off the island of Han dynasty, taking the regnal name of Kao-
Salamis, near Athens. Xerxes sat atop his throne tsu. Kao-tsu was able to take advantage of the
on the hillside to watch his fleet’s victory, but he territorial consolidation of the Ch’in dynasty;
was disappointed. Lured on by a false promise of he took over almost all of the Ch’in lands,
turncoats within the Greek fleet, the Persians except Yueh in the south, which he ceded to
found themselves unable to maneuver their another general, Chao To, for his support in the
unwieldy ships in the straits. Herodotus claims rebellion. Kao-tsu spent the early years of his
that the outcome was 40 Greek ships sunk for a reign consolidating his power and protecting
loss of 200 Persian ships, and the remainder his frontiers.
sailed away home. Xerxes withdrew much of his Kao-tsu’s main rivals on the frontier were the
army, but left a force in the northern provinces; Hsiung-nu, known to Europe as the Huns.
it was defeated in 479 B.C.E. The battle of Plataea Dominating the steppes north of the Great Wall
broke the back of the remaining Persian force, and often raiding south of it, their cavalry num-
and the Greek victory at Mycale a month later bered as many as a quarter million. Kao-tsu’s first
brought about the final destruction of Persian campaign against the Huns was very nearly a dis-
forces in Greece. aster, for they drew him into a trap and took him
The Persian Wars rate among the most prisoner. He made peace with them and sealed a
important in history. They proved the worth of treaty with the marriage of one of his harem to the
the western military mind and infantry soldier Hsiung-nu leader, which secured the north for
against a previously undefeated foe. The chance some years. Following Kao-tsu’s death in 195
to continue the experiment of democracy con- B.C.E., the Hsiung-nu honored the agreement, but
tinued unburdened by Oriental despotism, and after 176 B.C.E., new leaders began raids into
the philosophy and culture developed by the China almost as far as the Han capital at Loyang.
Greeks influence Western civilization to this Rather than attack the northerners directly, the
day. As the historian J. F. C. Fuller wrote in his Han leaders often paid other tribes to harass them.
Military History of the Western World, “With these With the accession to the throne of Wu Ti
battles we stand on the threshold of the western in 140 B.C.E., the Han challenged the might of
world to be, in which Greek intellect was to con- the Hsiung-nu. Wu Ti, also known as the
quer and to lay the foundations of centuries to Martial Emperor, took the Han dynasty to its
come. No two battles in history are, therefore, heights of power. He launched attack after
more portentous than Salamis and Plataea; they attack against the nomads, but was beaten back
stand like the pillars of the temple of the ages by their superior numbers or the hostility of the
supporting the architecture of western history.” terrain. Wu Ti sought allies against his enemy,
sending the envoy Chang Chien to the west to
See also Cyrus the Great.
broker a pact with the Yueh Chih, or Kushan
References: Burn, A. R., Persia and the Greeks: The Empire, of Bactria. Chang Chien was captured
Defence of the West (London: Arnold, 1962); by the Hsiung-nu, but escaped and made his
Fuller, J. F. C., Military History of the Western
World (New York: Minerva, 1954-1956); Grant,
way to Kushan. The Kushans’ disastrous
Michael, The Rise of the Greeks (New York: encounters with the Hsiung-nu convinced
Scribner’s Sons, 1987); Hignett, Charles, Xerxes’ them not to ally themselves with China.
Invasion of Greece (Oxford: Clarendon, 1963). Finally, Wu Ti led an invasion and succeeded
in defeating the nomads between the Great
23 HAN DYNASTY Wall and the northern bend of the Yellow
River in 127 B.C.E. Six years later, Wu Ti sent
After the successful reign of Shih Huang-ti, the 20-year-old general Ho Ch’u Ping with
founder of the Ch’in dynasty, his two successors 100,000 men to attack the Hsiung-nu capital.
failed to live up to his standards and became the He was so successful that the nomads were
objects of rebellion. Liu Pang, one of the rebel driven north of the Gobi Desert; this victory

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 37


38
HAN DYNASTY

Tarim
Basin

THE CLASSICAL WORLD


KUSHAN Yellow R.
KOREA
EMPIRE

R.
w
llo
Ye
We
iR Luoyang
.

h
Chang’an ’a
n

C an g
Han R.
Hi
Mo mal R.
un aya gtze
ta n Yan
ins

HAN EMPIRE
Region of Nanhai
Han Dynasty (Canton)

silk trade routes Jiaozhi


Great Wall
0 300

Scale of miles
HANNIBAL

opened the land route westward for both inva- 90, Chinese armies inflicted the final defeat on the
sion and trade. Hsiung-nu, expelling them from central Asia and
Wu Ti learned the value of cavalry from the starting them on a migration that ultimately
Hsiung-nu, and he spent much time breeding reached Europe and produced the great leader
horses and training horsemen. This proved suc- Attila. This abandonment of the high plains
cessful in beating the Hsiung-nu at their own opened the area to habitation by the Mongols, who
tactics, and gave Wu Ti the ability to defeat began their long rise to prominence.
other, less prepared enemies. He campaigned in After the first century, the Han dynasty
the south against the former Ch’in province of began to decline, mainly because of internal
Yueh, capturing it, and drove southward as far as strife. It had been the most successful Chinese
Annam and Tonkin by 109 B.C.E.; the chieftains dynasty thus far, and had opened China to influ-
of that region acknowledged Chinese suzerainty ences outside its culture via the Silk Road and
and paid tribute. The next year, Wu Ti focused naval expeditions into the South China Sea and
his attention on the north, conquering beyond. Representatives of the Roman emperor
Manchuria and northern Korea. Marcus Aurelius are reported to have visited
Not content with merely dominating China Han territory. However, the internal unrest
and its immediate environs, Wu Ti sent Li Kuang caused by the recurring problem of overtaxation
Li on an expedition to the west. Li Kuang Li drove weakened the dynasty, as it did so many others.
into central Asia and defeated a number of tribes Military dictators ruled at the end of the second
in the Jaxartes River region before being forced to century, but after 220 the empire broke into war-
withdraw into Sinkiang. After regrouping there, ring states, not to be reunited, by the Sui and
he reinvaded the region of Ferghana and forced T’ang dynasties, until the late sixth century.
the inhabitants to acknowledge Chinese domi-
See also Ch’in Dynasty; Huns; T’ang Dynasty; Vietnam,
nance. The expedition was expensive, as only Chinese Conquest of.
10,000 of the original 60,000 soldiers returned to
China, but they brought back excellent breeding References: Hookham, Hilda, A Short History of China
(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1970); Twitchett,
stock for Wu Ti’s increasingly important cavalry. Denis, and Michael Loewe, The Cambridge History
Wu Ti spent the last years of his reign con- of China, Vol. 1: The Ch’in and Han Empires (New
solidating his empire, which had tripled in size York: Cambridge University Press, 1978).
under his rule. The constant warfare had cost
huge fortunes, and he dedicated himself to 24 HANNIBAL
restoring financial stability, but the overworked
bureaucracy and overtaxed peasantry staged a Often compared to Alexander the Great, Julius
series of rebellions. Nevertheless, China gener- Caesar, or Napoleon, Hannibal dominated the
ally enjoyed relative peace with its neighbors military scene of his day. With the possible excep-
and an expansion of trade, most notably along tion of his father, Hamilcar, Carthage never had
the Silk Road to India and the Middle East. a better political leader. Even more remarkably,
Internal troubles brought about more rebel- this reputation was established strictly by the
lions in the first century C.E. and led to the estab- accounts of his enemies, because Carthaginian
lishment of the Second Han dynasty in 24 C.E. sources on his life do not exist.
under the leadership of Kuang Wu Ti. During his Hannibal was born to fight Rome: At age
reign, Chinese forces under General Ma Yuan cam- nine his father made him swear eternal enmity to
paigned in the south and reestablished dominance that trans-Mediterranean power. At the age of
in Annam and Hainan. The return of the Hsiung- 26, Hannibal became leader of the Carthaginian
nu at mid-century provoked Chinese punitive Empire. He combined the policy of his brother-
expeditions that drove the nomads farther in-law, Hasdrubal, of building Carthaginian
west. Later in the first century, Chinese armies power by diplomacy with that of his father, who
drove even deeper west, conquering Turkestan and sought military conquest. Hannibal took control
scouting as far as the Caspian Sea. Around the year of Carthage’s major possession, Spain, by marry-

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 39


HANNIBAL

Hannibal’s greatest legacy to military history


came from his tactics at Cannae, his greatest vic-
tory and Rome’s worst defeat. By withdrawing the
center of his forces from Roman attack, he drew
the Romans into the center of the field, where
the cavalry on either end of his line could attack
both Roman flanks and rear, a double envelop-
ment that came to be known as the “Cannae
maneuver.” Rome entered the battle with 60,000
men and left with only 10,000. Hannibal did not
follow up this victory with an assault on Rome
itself, for he knew the city’s defenses were too
strong. He contented himself with rampaging
around the countryside, living off the land, deny-
Hannibal, famous for introducing a new weapon to
ancient warfare–the elephant. (Detail from a fresco ing the Romans badly needed food supplies, and
ca 1510, Palazzo del Campidoglio [Capitoline provoking rebellions against Roman rule for 15
Museum], Rome) years (218–203 B.C.E.). Hannibal’s successes were
insufficient to persuade his government in
Carthage to provide him with reinforcements.
ing a Spanish princess and demanding hostages All his successes went for naught when he had to
of the major tribes. return to Carthage to save the city from a Roman
With this as a base, he challenged Roman attack. At Zama he lost his only battle, at the
authority along the Pyrenees and provoked the hands of the Roman general Scipio.
Second Punic War, where he established his rep- Defeated in battle and owing the Romans
utation as a commander. tribute, Hannibal strove for seven years to rebuild
Hannibal seemed to have had neither his nation’s fortunes. He concentrated on the
personal nor strategic fear. He invaded Italy virtu- traditional Carthaginian pastime—trade—to sta-
ally without supply lines, as his crossing of the bilize his society. He challenged the authority of
Pyrenees and Alps made resupply extremely diffi- the corrupt oligarchy, which had placed an intol-
cult. He made the best use of his enemy’s weak- erable tax burden on the people to pay the trib-
nesses, striking where they had the fewest forces, ute to Rome, and forced an almost democratic
and he encouraged Rome’s vassals to rebel and join system on them. His economic leadership and
him. He instituted a new weapon to ancient war- evenhanded treatment of the public were so suc-
fare—the elephant. cessful that Carthage made enough money to pay
Hannibal knew when to take risks, and he the Roman tribute years early. But once again,
knew his enemy. Recognizing that he might lose Hannibal was betrayed by his own government.
half of his 100,000-man army crossing the moun- Unable to exist in his just society, the country’s
tains to Italy, he proceeded anyway, aware that leaders plotted against him by telling Rome that
the Gauls on the other side would gladly make he was planning another war. Hannibal had to
up his losses for the opportunity to fight their flee for his life; rather than fall into Roman
Roman overlords. Even though he lost massive hands, he ultimately committed suicide.
numbers of men in the march, he did everything
See also Alexander the Great; Caesar, Julius; Italy,
possible to take care of his troops. “In all his Carthaginian Invasion of (Second Punic War);
operations, we see supreme excellence, skill, Napoleon Buonaparte.
resource, daring, an heroic spirit, the faculty of
References: Baker, G. P, Hannibal (New York: Barnes
command in the very highest degree, caution,
& Noble, 1967); Lamb, Harold, Hannibal (New
sound judgement, extraordinary craft, and last York: Doubleday, 1958); Morris, William,
but not least, watchful and incessant care in pro- Hannibal: Soldier, Statesman, Patriot (New York:
viding for the requirements of his troops.” Knickerbocker Press, 1978).

40 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


INDIA, ALEXANDER’S INVASION OF

INDIA , ALEXANDER’S the front of his line, supported by infantry; his


25 INVASION OF 3,000–4,000 cavalry were in two equal units on
the flanks. Unknown to Porus, however,
With the entire Middle East under his control, Alexander had detached a cavalry force to ride
Alexander the Great looked for more land to behind the hills and strike the Indians from the
bring under his domination. Determined to con- rear after Alexander struck along the river to
quer the entire Persian Empire, he needed to draw the entire Indian cavalry to that side. The
occupy all the territory to the Indus River. He assault from the rear collapsed the Indian line
marched his men toward India at the urging of from the right, and the elephants ultimately
one of his new allies, Taxiles, who had a dispute lost control when the Greeks killed their
with an Indian king, Porus. In November 326 handlers. The wounded Porus surrendered, but
B.C.E., the Greeks and their auxiliaries took two as was his wont, Alexander restored the gallant
routes through modern Afghanistan: Hephaestion enemy to his kingdom in return for an alliance,
through the Khyber Pass to establish a bridgehead and he settled the differences between Porus
across the Indus, and Alexander paralleling him a and Taxiles.
bit to the north to defeat the tribes in the hills Alexander established two towns in the neigh-
and secure the left flank. When the two columns borhood of his victory and divided his force:
reunited, Alexander’s force numbered 5,600 cav- Under Hephaestion, one-half moved down the
alry and 10,000 infantry. Taxiles had provided a Hydapses to its juncture with the Indus, and
number of elephants, but Alexander used them Alexander took the other half southeastward to
only for transport. the Hyphasis (Beas) River. After he defeated a
Just past the Indus, the Greeks found Porus force of Cathaeans there, he wanted to proceed in
encamped on the southern side of the Hydapses his search for the Indian Ocean, but for the first
(modern Jhelum) River. It was late spring and time, his men would not follow him. This river was
the river was rising, so Alexander had to act perhaps the extent of the Persian Empire, and they
quickly. He spread rumors that he was going to were homesick. Alexander sulked in his tent for
wait until the river fell to cross, yet at the same three days, but his men would not relent, so he
time he built boats in plain sight of Porus’s army. finally left to rejoin Hephaestion. With his force
Unsure of Alexander’s intentions, Porus reacted divided, as well as hurt by unrevealed casualties he
to Alexander’s ploy of marching up and down suffered at the Hydapses, certainly Alexander
the river, feinting at a number of places yet never could not have fought his way to the ocean,
attacking, in order to tire the Indians so they though he was convinced it was not far away.
would soon give up following his marches and Once again reunited with the entire army,
countermarches. When they stopped reacting to Alexander ordered ships built. The fleet was to
his moves, Alexander took advantage of a well- carry many of his troops to the mouth of the Indus
timed storm to move his cavalry and 6,000 at Karachi and up the coast toward the Persian
infantry upriver, where they crossed in the night. Gulf. While the ships were being built,
Spotted early the next morning, Alexander soon he launched his last great campaign, this time
faced a 2,000-man cavalry force sent by Porus’s against the Malli tribe, probably subjects of the old
son to investigate. After easily defeating them, Persian Empire. He crossed to the Hydraotes
Alexander marched downriver. The covering (Ravi) River and attacked their main city, which
force he had left behind made threatening moves fell easily. The Indians retreated to their citadel,
to cross the river opposite Porus’s camp, so the and here the fighting was the fiercest. Alexander
Indians had to decide which threat to meet—a led the assault, but found himself inside the citadel
tactic taught in infantry schools to this day. walls with only three other soldiers. He fought
Porus turned to face Alexander. He with his usual tenacity even though wounded by
stretched his men across an open plain with his an arrow. Finally, his army broke through the walls
anchors on the river to his left and a chain of and killed all the defenders. This campaign was
hills to his right. He placed 300 elephants along marked by more than the usual slaughter, perhaps

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 41


ITALY, CARTHAGINIAN INVASION OF

an indication that the Greeks wanted to go home the later part of the war, these men had gone un-
and not leave trouble behind. paid, and therefore they rebelled against Carthage.
Alexander nursed his wounds until the fleet When many of the towns under Carthaginian
was prepared in the autumn of 325 B.C.E. He control rebelled as well, in sympathy with the mer-
intended to march along the coast and establish cenaries, the appointment of Hamilcar Barca to
supply depots for the ships, but the terrain forced head Carthage’s defense proved a wise move.
him to swing north. He and his troops suffered Hamilcar put down the revolt and cemented his
terribly from the heat and lack of supplies, but leadership of Carthage at the same time.
finally reached the shore and met the fleet at the Though neutral throughout the revolt,
Gulf of Hormuz. From there they returned to the Rome soon made advances in Sardinia to sup-
Persian capital at Susa. port discontented Carthaginian subjects there.
The Greek expedition to India was in some Rome claimed that this was part of its spoils from
ways a reunion, because the Aryan conquerors the first war, and Carthage could do little about
who had established themselves in northern India it. Rome’s additional demand for control of
a thousand years earlier may have had the same Corsica and a higher indemnity served to
roots in the steppes of western Asia as did the fore- reignite hostility. Because Carthage was in no
bears of the Greeks; certainly there were similari- position to challenge Rome immediately,
ties of language that suggest the possibility. As Hamilcar focused Carthaginian attention on
Alexander was intent on spreading Greek culture expanding its power base in Spain throughout
wherever he went, the establishment of cities and the 230s B.C.E. After Hamilcar’s death in 229, his
garrisons left some Greek imprint in the north son-in-law, Hasdrubal, continued his work by
Indian states. Though Alexander’s death a few establishing the port city of Nova Carthago
years later brought an end to Greek dominance, (modern-day Cartagena). Rome watched with
the Mauryan Empire that succeeded it left art and interest, as the Romans were beginning to look
sculpture heavily influenced by Greek styles. outward from Italy for the first time and were
Alexander’s love of knowledge led him to debate anxious to establish their own contacts in Spain.
Indian philosophy at every chance, but the long- They entered the Iberian peninsula from Gaul as
lasting interchange of ideas is hard to pin down. the Carthaginians were consolidating the south.
Though the Greek invasion did not have abiding In 226 B.C.E., the two powers agreed to estab-
effects, it created a power vacuum in northern lish the Ebro River as the border between their
India that allowed the Mauryans to come to power, domains, and for a few years this worked well.
and their domination of India had positive results. Hasdrubal’s assassination in 221 B.C.E. brought
Hamilcar’s son Hannibal to power, and he soon
See also India, Aryan Invasion of; Alexander the
Great; Mauryan Empire; Persia, Alexander’s
had to deal with Roman expansionism. Rome per-
Conquest of. suaded the town of Saguntum, south of the Ebro,
to elect a pro-Roman government. Hannibal
References: Bosworth, A. B., Conquest and Empire viewed this as a violation of the spirit of the 226
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); B.C.E. treaty, and responded by laying siege to the
Keegan, John, The Mask of Command (New York:
Viking, 1987); Tarn, W W, Alexander the Great
city in 219 and capturing it eight months later. As
(Boston: Beacon Press, 1948). the siege continued, the militant faction came to
power in Rome and declared war against Carthage.
Carthage had ceased to control the waters of
ITALY, C ARTHAGINIAN the northwestern Mediterranean, so Hannibal
INVASION OF had to move his forces overland to invade Italy,
26 (SECOND PUNIC WAR) preempting a Roman invasion of Spain. He sur-
prised everyone by clearing away resistance and
After the First Punic War, Carthage had domestic moving his army, complete with elephants,
problems to overcome, mainly concerning the through the Alps into northern Italy by
mercenary forces with whom it fought its wars. In November 218 B.C.E. Fighting local tribes in the

42 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


HANNIBAL'S CAMPAIGN
2ND PUNIC WAR
Carthaginian territory

Roman territory
Ticinus
Tolosa
cities battle sites Arausio
Trebia

Hannibal Massilia
Pisae Metaurus
Emporiae Hannibal
Publius Scipio Lake
Hasdrubal
Trasimenus
Dertosa
ROMA
Saguntum
Baecula Capua Cannae
Ilipa
Tarentum
Gades
Carthago
Croton
Nova
Scipio Africanus
Utica Lilybaeum

CARTHAGO
Syracusae
Hadrumetum
Zama
Mileta

THE CLASSICAL WORLD


43
ITALY, CARTHAGINIAN INVASION OF
ITALY, CARTHAGINIAN INVASION OF

mountains, coupled with the onset of winter brother, but at the Metaurus River, he was
weather, killed many of his men, but he entered defeated and beheaded. Hannibal learned of
Italy with 20,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and a his brother’s fate when a Roman horseman
number of elephants. He quickly won two bat- threw Hasdrubal’s head into his camp.
tles and went into winter quarters in the Po The fighting continued, without much suc-
Valley. Hannibal’s strategy was to provoke the cess on either side, until 206 B.C.E., when Scipio
subject tribes of Italy into revolt against Rome, finally consolidated Roman power in Spain. In
which would simultaneously weaken its power 204 he sailed for Africa, where he gained
and enlarge his. His apparent goal was not to Numidia as an ally. Scipio failed to impose his
destroy Rome as a major power, but to limit it will on Carthage, but he frightened the inhabi-
to the peninsula and regain territory lost since tants considerably. Carthage ordered Hannibal
the first war. home to defend the city, but he could not com-
The Romans were unable to defeat Hannibal ply; Rome still controlled the sea lanes. Scipio’s
as he rampaged through Italy, defeating every capture of Tunes, very near Carthage, forced the
Roman army sent against him. In 216 at Cannae, Carthaginians to agree to terms. Hannibal
he won one of ancient history’s most brilliant returned to Carthage under the terms of the
victories by executing a double envelopment of ceasefire to negotiate with Scipio. When they
the Roman forces in which he inflicted 60,000 could not agree, the two powers fought the bat-
casualties for a loss of only 6,000 of his own men. tle of Zama. Scipio, with the assistance of
The Romans appointed Fabius as occasional Numidian cavalry, became the first Roman to
consul/occasional dictator during Hannibal’s defeat Hannibal in open battle.
campaign. Fabius decided that the best way to Though Hannibal had campaigned through
fight Hannibal was to avoid pitched battles, and Italy for 17 years, causing immense destruction
instead to settle into defensive positions in cities and hundreds of thousands of deaths, the peace
and wait for the Carthaginians to wear them- terms were fairly easy. Carthage lost its posses-
selves out. His method became known to history sions in Spain, but maintained its merchant
as Fabian strategy, and it proved successful. navy (however, the war fleet was reduced to
Hannibal neither gained as many local allies as 10 ships) and trading connections. Carthage
he had hoped for, nor accumulated a sufficient also was to pay Rome reparations amounting
siege train to assault the well-defended cities. He to 10,000 talents (more than 500,000 pounds of
had to content himself with living off the coun- silver) over a 50-year period. Rome could have
tryside and attacking the occasional city, usually annexed Carthage into its new empire or denied
with mixed results. the Carthaginians the ability to trade, the latter
Meanwhile, Rome committed its reconsti- of which would have proven deadly. Rome did
tuted military to Spain, attempting to deny neither, and under Hannibal’s political leader-
Hannibal his base of operations. Hannibal’s ship Carthage was able to recover economically.
brother, also named Hasdrubal, fought a long The Carthaginians also recovered militarily and
and inconclusive war against Roman forces challenged Rome once more—a decision that
under the Scipio brothers. Both Spain and would be fatal. The main result of the Second
Italy saw much fighting, but no force became Punic War was the establishment, somewhat by
dominant until 209 B.C.E., when the son of one default, of the Roman Empire. Though overseas
of the now-dead Scipio brothers came to com- possessions had not been sought intentionally,
mand in Spain. Publius Scipio proved to Rome now controlled the islands of the
be a match for the Carthaginian generals. Mediterranean as well as Spain. For the next
He captured Nova Carthago, the capital of 600 years, Rome would be the dominant power
Carthaginian Spain, and forced Hasdrubal and in the world.
his brother Mago to go on the defensive in See also Carthage, Expansion of; Carthage, Roman
southwest Iberia. In 207, Hasdrubal attempted Invasion of (Third Punic War); Hannibal; Spain,
to march through the Alps to reinforce his Roman Conquest of.

44 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


MAURYAN EMPIRE

References: Charles-Picard, Gilbert, and Collette existed until the arrival of Alexander the Great.
Picard, The Life and Death of Carthage, trans. Though northwestern India was considered a part
Dominique Collon (London: Sidgwick &
of Alexander’s empire, after his death the strug-
Jackson, 1968); Dorey, T A., and D. R. Dudley,
Rome against Carthage (Garden City, NY: gling inheritors of his lands could not pay atten-
Doubleday, 1972); Lamb, Harold, Hannibal (New tion to the distant reaches of India. The consoli-
York: Doubleday, 1958). dation that had taken place gave an opportunity
to a regional Indian prince, Chandragupta, to fill
27 MAURYAN EMPIRE the power vacuum left by Alexander’s death. He
came to power in 323 B.C.E. and cleared the north-
After the decline of the Harappan civilization west regions of India of Greek troops. One of
in India, little or no organized political system Alexander’s successors, Seleucus, reinvaded India

MAURYAN EMPIRE
SELEUCID GREEKS
at time of Ashoka's reign
ca. 232 BC
limit of empire
0 400
Scale of miles

ed
u er
q s
c on ple
n o
U Pe

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 45


PERSIA, ALEXANDER’S CONQUEST OF

in 305 B.C.E., but could not defeat Chandragupta’s vision of the first three, and local revolts coupled
forces. Seleucus agreed to cede the Indian lands with a return of the Seleucids in 206 B.C.E.
Alexander had conquered in return for 500 war brought the empire down.
elephants. This action confirmed Chandragupta’s See also Alexander the Great; India, Alexander’s
power and extended the reach of his control. Invasion of; Seleucid Empire.
Once solidly in control, Chandragupta organ-
References: Allan, John, The Cambridge Shorter History of
ized an efficient government machinery to
India (Delhi: S. Chand, 1964); Mookerji, Radha,
oversee economic and military affairs. He kept a Chandragupta Maurya and His Times (Delhi: Motilal
standing army of about one-quarter the size of his Banarsidass, 1966); Wheeler, Robert, Early India
wartime conscripted army, described by a Seleucid and Pakistan to Ashoka (New York: Praeger, 1959).
ambassador as 600,000 infantry, 30,000 cavalry,
and 9,000 elephants. He also maintained a river
fleet for both the Ganges and Indus, which may PERSIA , ALEXANDER’S
have protected the coastlines as well. His reserves 28 CONQUEST OF
were in the form of “guild levies,” groups of crafts-
men who trained together and were called up in Upon the death of Philip of Macedon, his 20-
time of emergency. One of history’s first political year-old son Alexander inherited his throne and
manuals was written for Chandragupta by his clos- his army. Though still young, Alexander had
est adviser, Kautilya: the Arthasastra, or Manual of gained combat leadership experience from the
Politics. Like Machiavelli’s The Prince, it spelled battle of Cheronaea two years prior to his acces-
out the necessities for a ruler to maintain power, sion. His first task, however, was to restore
and included extended sections on military organ- Macedonian control over those provinces that
ization, structure, and function. had rebelled upon hearing of Philip’s death. That
Chandragupta began the Mauryan Empire, accomplished, he set out to attain his father’s
but its greatest expansions came through his suc- dying goal: the conquest of Persia. Historians
cessors. His son Bindasura attacked southward argue whether Alexander was originally intent
and brought almost all of India under his rule, on world conquest, Persian Empire conquest, or
excepting only the subcontinent’s southernmost merely defeating Persian forces and gaining con-
tip and the island of Ceylon. Bindasura’s son trol of Asia Minor. Successive victories took him
Asoka (or Ashoka) accomplished the last con- deeper and deeper into Persian lands, so it is dif-
quests, securing the eastern coast. Under Asoka, ficult to gauge his original design by the outcome
the Mauryan Empire was not only at its political of his campaign.
extreme, it reached cultural heights previously Whatever his original motivation, he crossed
unknown in India. Asoka became disgusted with the Hellespont in 334 B.C.E. The Persian emperor,
the destruction caused by warfare and turned to Darius III, left his satraps (governors) to deal with
Buddhism. He mandated the establishment of a Alexander’s invasion. They met him quickly;
Buddhist bureaucracy to maintain honesty in within three days of his entrance into Asia Minor,
government affairs. Asoka spent his wealth on Alexander faced a mixed force of Persian cavalry
the construction of monasteries and temples and and Greek mercenary infantry at the river
the erection of inscribed stone pillars extolling Granicus. Twenty thousand Persian cavalry
his accomplishments. He sent Buddhist mission- aligned themselves along the eastern bank of the
aries to Ceylon, Burma, and Java, and stretched Granicus, with the infantry arrayed in phalanx for-
India’s trading empire to those distant areas. mation well behind them. Alexander ignored
It is difficult to know for certain how strong advice to wait for dawn to make a surprise attack,
the Mauryan hold in India was, or if the emper- and advanced immediately. He had the phenome-
ors were lords to vassal nobles who exercised nal ability to pick out his enemy’s weak point and
local power. Whatever the case, the empire did strike it; in this case it was the center of the Persian
not last long after Asoka’s death in 232 B.C.E. line, usually a strong point. Because the Persians
The succeeding emperors lacked the will or were at the water’s edge, however, they were

46 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


PERSIA, ALEXANDER’S CONQUEST OF

unable to use their cavalry to build momentum for


a charge. Coupled with the lack of close infantry
support, this made them vulnerable to a deter-
mined assault by a mixed cavalry/infantry force.
Once the center was broken, the Persians fled, and
the Greeks were surrounded and slaughtered.
Alexander quickly proceeded along the
coast, liberating the Greek cities of Ionia. Those
that surrendered, he treated kindly; those that
resisted, he pillaged or destroyed. His goal was
not merely to free Greeks from Persian rule but to
control the coastline so completely that the
Persian navy would become superfluous. After
capturing Helicarnassus, he drove inland to seize Alexander (left) stabs a Persian soldier as he rushes
Gordium, in the heart of Asia Minor, in April to battle Darius, the Persian king, in a mosaic
333 B.C.E. There he cut the Gordian knot, a feat depicting the Macedonian victory at Issus.
legend said would indicate the king of Asia. He (Erich Lessing/Art Resourc, NY)
worked his way southward and then eastward to
Tarsus by the autumn of 333 B.C.E. At this point, construction, and the defection of Phoenician
where the coast of Asia Minor turns southward to ships from the Persian navy to his cause, gave
become the Levant, Darius arrived to fight him. Alexander the tools necessary to assault the fort.
Darius reached the coast at Issus a few days Tyre resisted for seven months before succumbing
after Alexander had passed, thus cutting him to Alexander’s men; for their resistance, they suf-
off from his line of communication back to fered 8,000 dead and 30,000 sold into slavery.
Ionia and Macedon. Alexander turned about to Jerusalem fell without a fight, but Gaza resisted.
fight at the River Pinarus, which feeds into the Its capture and destruction in November 332
Gulf of Issus. Again, Alexander chose to B.C.E. gave Alexander mastery of the eastern
charge the Persian center in mid-afternoon, Mediterranean coast and open access to Egypt.
and again he was successful. Darius soon After almost a year in Egypt, Alexander
dropped his weapons and fled, abandoning his marched his forces back up the coast, supplying
army and his family. A determined counterat- them by sea. From Syria he struck inland for the
tack by Greek mercenaries forced Alexander to Euphrates with 47,000 men. He marched along
stand and fight rather than pursue, and Darius the edge of the Armenian hills rather than attack
escaped. The sudden collapse of the Persian down the river into the waiting arms of Darius’s
center and Darius’s quick flight demoralized newly raised army on the plains around Babylon.
the Persians, and the battle was over by night- Darius grew impatient, and marched away from
fall. Estimates of the size of the Persian force friendly and favorable ground to move on
vary wildly, but it is generally agreed that it far Alexander near the Tigris. In late September,
outnumbered Alexander’s, and therefore his Alexander crossed the river first and encamped
quick victory was correspondingly amazing. near Gaugemela, just upriver from Darius’s army.
The victory at Issus took Darius out of the Darius chose the battleground, however, and
Levant for a year and gave Alexander time to placed his men in two long lines. Arrian, traveling
continue his conquest of the coast. with Alexander, numbered the Persian army at one
Sidon and Byblus surrendered without a million, but modern historians discount this figure
fight, but Tyre resisted. The Persian garrison and estimate between 100,000 and 250,000, a
manned a walled fortification on an island just off number still significantly larger than Alexander’s.
the beach. The only way Alexander and his army Early in the battle, Darius ordered the com-
could approach it was to build a causeway, which mitment of his secret weapon—scythed chari-
he began constructing in January 332 B.C.E. Its ots—but Macedonian skirmishers and light

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 47


PHILIP OF MACEDON

infantry disabled the horses or drivers, and they 29 PHILIP OF MACEDON


proved useless. Though Persian attacks on the
Macedonian left almost broke Alexander’s line, Philip was born in 382 B.C.E. in Macedon. In 359,
the Persian desire for loot overcame their disci- he became regent for his young nephew. The
pline and they drove for the rear rather than turn arrangement proved unworkable for the stability
to envelop their enemy. Alexander saw a growing of the kingdom, and Philip was named the new
gap in their line and attacked there, once again king. At this time the Macedonian state was not
breaking the Persian lines and panicking Darius unified, and the area was under incessant attack
into flight. The need to protect his forces kept from barbarian tribes. Macedon had never been
Alexander from pursuing, but the battle was won. known for its military abilities and could rarely
After Gaugemela, Darius could do nothing but field a large force. This changed under Philip,
keep running. Alexander caught up to him a year when he quickly proved his leadership abilities.
later, but could only claim the body of Darius; he He used bribery and diplomacy to keep most of
had been killed by his few remaining courtiers. his enemies at a distance while he concentrated
Meanwhile, Alexander marched on and on the nation’s greatest threat, the Illyrians.
occupied Babylon and the Persian capital at Within 18 months of his accession to power,
Susa, then captured the city of Persepolis, site of Philip defeated the Illyrians in one battle in 358,
the Persian treasury. In January 330 B.C.E., he and celebrated the victory by marrying the first
destroyed the royal palace at Persepolis and of seven wives, Olympia.
declared Persia to be his. Some Persian vassals Philip proposed to unify Greece, not so much
resisted their new lord, and Alexander had to for the sake of conquest as for making sure his rear
fight a guerrilla campaign in the northeast until was secure for a future invasion of Asia. He gained
327. After that, he was poised for India. control of Amphipolis, which provided him with
After his return from India, Alexander the necessary wealth to continue his campaign. By
ensconced himself in Babylon and proceeded to capturing Pydna and Methone, he obliged the
remake the known world. He dreamed of a new Athenian forces to withdraw southward. He next
worldview blended from Eastern culture and captured Chalcidice, then Thessaly. Philip made
Greek rationality, and Hellenism was the result. himself leader of the Thessalian League and mar-
For 300 years after his death, until the Middle ried a Thessalian princess. This leadership posi-
East came under Roman sway, Hellenism was the tion gave him access to fine herds of horses, which
dominant culture of the world. The infusion of he used for his cavalry. After defeating a northern
Greek settlers brought literacy and new sciences, threat at Olynthus, he turned toward Athens.
and the massive treasury of Persepolis provided Philip laid siege to cities vital to Athens’s survival
an enormous economic boost to the region that and ultimately attacked Athens itself; after its
brought the expansion of trade and patronage of capture, he surprised the inhabitants with his
the arts. Though Alexander’s political bequest lenient surrender terms.
was one of dissension, the cultural heritage With Greece under his domination, Philip
brought about new philosophies, scientific dis- made himself leader of the Corinthian League.
coveries, and an atmosphere of learning that was He hoped to use the combined power of the
not matched again until the Renaissance. Greek city-states to wage war against Persia,
which they voted to do in 337 B.C.E. Philip
See also Alexander the Great; Egypt, Alexander’s
Conquest of; India, Alexander’s Invasion of;
returned home to Macedon to prepare for the
Philip of Macedon. invasion, but was assassinated before the opera-
tion could start. Though Philip’s death is the
References: Hammond, N. G. L., Alexander the Great: subject of some debate, historians generally
King, Commander, and Statesman (Park Ridge, NJ:
believe that his first wife, Olympia, was behind
Noyes Press 1980); Keegan, John, The Mask of
Command (New York: Viking, 1987); Tarn, W. the murder, as she feared for the future of her
W., Alexander the Great (Cambridge: Cambridge son, Alexander, because Philip was producing
University Press, 1948). sons by other wives.

48 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


PTOLEMAIC DYNASTY

In his 46 years, Philip accomplished a great Assyrians ruled Egypt, so weakening the local cul-
deal. He turned a floundering kingdom into a mil- ture that the Egyptians could not withstand the
itary power and made Greece a unified state for the onslaught of the Libyans or the Empire of Kush.
first time. His military organization changed the When the Persians took over in the sixth century
nature of classical warfare. He adopted the stan- B.C.E., Egypt chafed under their rule, though Persia
dard phalanx formation of the time, but length- was more lenient than were other empires that
ened the spears the formation infantry carried to had conquered the Nile Valley. When Alexander
between 16 and 23 feet. The extra length made it the Great entered the country in 331 B.C.E., the
much more difficult to attack the phalanx, and locals viewed him as a liberator and welcomed
extended the killing range of the Macedonian him without resistance. Alexander’s rule proved
unit. Philip also made his infantry wear lighter short, but Greek rule did not; Ptolemy, one of
armor so that they could maneuver more quickly Alexander’s generals, succeeded to the Egyptian
than his enemies. He used cavalry wisely in sup- throne on his leader’s death in 323 B.C.E. Ptolemy
port of his infantry and employed engineers for the and his heirs ruled Egypt for three centuries, until
construction of siege engines, including the first they succumbed to the power of Rome.
torsion catapult. He placed members of the same Having served as governor for Egypt under
community in regiments to promote unit cohe- Alexander’s administration, Ptolemy declared
sion. Troops under Philip’s command were well himself the independent ruler of Egypt in 305
known for their discipline, training, and loyalty. B.C.E., taking the regnal name of Ptolemy I Soter
Able as he was in military affairs, Philip pre- (meaning “preserver”). He ruled as pharaoh, the
ferred diplomacy and bribery to warfare. He was divine leader recognized by Egyptian culture for
an intelligent leader who knew when to back two millennia. This may not have endeared him
away from a battle as well as when to join one. He to the Egyptians, but at least it made his rule
maintained a large network of spies, and often acceptable.
knew his enemies’ abilities better than they Ptolemy I Soter fought with his fellow suc-
themselves did. He also used marriage to cement cessor generals, the Diodachi (Seleucus and
alliances and bind newly conquered states to his Antigonus), who had each inherited a third of
cause. His civil works were also notable: He Alexander’s empire. He maintained almost con-
founded new towns and encouraged cultural stant conflict with the Seleucids, in particular,
advances. Most of all, he trained his firstborn son, over control of Syria and the eastern
Alexander, to succeed him, and provided the Mediterranean coast, and he managed to estab-
best-trained army in the world for Alexander’s lish control over Rhodes and Palestine. Most
own dreams of conquest. Though Philip never famous for establishing the Library of Alexandria,
saw the destruction of Persia, his son accom- Ptolemy I Soter resigned in favor of his son in
plished that goal beyond Philip’s wildest dreams. 285. Ptolemy II Philadelphus (meaning “brother-
ly”) continued his father’s wars with the
See also Alexander the Great. Seleucids. He established Egypt as the major mar-
itime power of the Mediterranean at the expense
References: Borza, Eugene, In the Shadow of Olympus:
The Emergence of Macedon (Princeton, NJ: of the Seleucid king Antiochus I. He also fol-
Princeton University Press, 1990); Cawkwell, lowed in his father’s academic footsteps by enlarg-
George, Philip of Macedon (Boston: Faber & Faber, ing the Alexandrian Library and sponsoring liter-
1978); Perlman, Samuel, Philip and Athens (New ary and scholarly endeavors. He was also respon-
York: Barnes & Noble, 1973). sible for the Pharos, or great lighthouse, one of
the seven wonders of the ancient world. His reign
30 PTOLEMAIC DYNASTY of nearly 40 years made Egypt the cultural center
of its time. He was outdone only by his own son,
Late in Egypt’s New Kingdom period, the ancient Ptolemy III Euergertes (meaning “benefactor”),
civilization came under the domination of foreign who reunited Cyrenaica (modern Libya) with
invaders. In the seventh century B.C.E. the Egypt and invaded Syria. Egyptian naval power

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 49


SELEUCID EMPIRE

grew to dominate the Aegean Sea. Ptolemy


Euergertes spent even more time and money
31 SELEUCID EMPIRE
improving the library and patronizing the arts, The death of Alexander the Great brought a
making his 25-year reign the height of Ptolemaic struggle among his subordinates for succession to
power and prestige. his throne. As many as 11 of his commanders
Successive rulers of the dynasty made alter- vied for position, but it finally became a struggle
nate peace and war with the successors of the among three: Antigonus controlled Macedon,
other Diodachi, as each attempted to match the Seleucus took over most of what had been the
empire founded by Alexander. Though they Persian Empire, and Ptolemy became ruler of
brought wealth and fame to their own spheres of Egypt. Not satisfied with their holdings, the
influence, they could not match Alexander’s three fought among themselves for more land;
military accomplishments. Frontiers moved back often, two of them allied against the third in an
and forth, but the Ptolemies usually maintained ever-changing set of partnerships. Seleucus con-
control of African territory even when they trolled the largest of the three domains, but his
occasionally ceded authority across the Suez. successors had the most difficult time in main-
The Ptolemies maintained their Greek heritage taining it. Seleucus established his capital at
by following the Egyptian practice of family Babylon in 312 B.C.E., but spent most of the rest
intermarriage. It was a brother-sister/husband- of his life suppressing revolts by provincial gov-
wife combination who controlled Egypt in the ernors. Syria was a continual source of trouble.
middle of the first century B.C.E. when Julius His victory at the battle of Ipsus in 301 B.C.E.
Caesar focused Roman attention on the Egypt of gave him control of the important trade center,
Cleopatra and Ptolemy XII. but keeping it was another matter.
Though the Ptolemies could not be consid- Upon Seleucus’s death, his son Antiochus I
ered cruel masters, their three centuries of rule inherited the throne and had to fight on all fron-
certainly did not benefit the common inhabitant tiers. He was the first to war with Egypt over
in Egypt. Almost constant warfare cost significant Syria, losing it to Ptolemy II in the First Syrian
tax money and necessitated conscription for pub- War of 280–279 B.C.E. Antiochus allied himself
lic service, which the commoners were obliged to with Antigonus after the Macedonian had to
provide. The cultural advancements typified by suppress several Greek rebellions subsidized by
the Library of Alexandria benefited only the Ptolemy. Antiochus invaded Syria in 260 B.C.E.,
upper classes. However, the Ptolemies maintained and Antigonus engaged and defeated the
strict observance of Egyptian religious rites, and Egyptian fleet off the island of Cos in 258.
provided a steady flow of money to the temples for Ptolemy sued for peace in 255. Ptolemy III
maintenance and improvement, which kept the regained Syria in a Third Syrian War, 246–241
people relatively quiet, if not happy. Rebellion B.C.E., while Seleucus II was busy fighting a civil
was always close at hand, but the Egyptian peo- war against his brother. Seleucus was aided in
ple never had the power to defeat their Greek this by the city-state of Pergamum on the
masters. The takeover of the country proved Turkish Adriatic coast, which had a brief career
almost as easy for Rome as it had for Alexander, as arbiter of Asia Minor politics.
but the locals viewed them as new masters rather The Seleucid Empire reached the height of
than liberators. its power under Antiochus III, called “the Great.”
See also Assyrian Empire; Kush, Expansion of He regained territory in Asia Minor from
Alexander the Great; Augustus, Caesar; Caesar, Pergamum; he fought yet another Syrian war to
Julius; Egypt, Alexander’s Conquest of; Seleucid little effect; he suppressed a rebellion in Asia
Empire.
Minor (216–213); he defeated Armenia and
References: Seven, Edwyn, A History of Egypt under the forced them to recognize his suzerainty; and he
Ptolemaic Dynasty (London: Methuen & Co., invaded Parthia, the power that had succeeded
1927); Foster, Edward, Alexandria, a History and a the Persians in the east. At the battle of the Arius
Guide (Gloucester: Doubleday, 1968).

50 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


HELLENISTIC KINGDOMS
AFTER ALEXANDER
THRACE Ptolemy’s kingdom Antigonus’s kingdom
MACEDON B LAC K S EA
Seleucus’s kingdom Cassander’s kingdom
PO
NT
GALATIA US 0 300
PERGAMUM ARMENIA Scale of milesBACTRIA
ASIA MINOR BACTRIA
CILICIA

Ti
g
ME

ris
DI Eu MEDIA PARTHIA

R.
TE ph
RR ra
te
AN Antioch s
Antioch R.
EA
N Seleucia A
R
SE A
A H
Babylon D
N
A
Alexandria G
.
sR

P PERSIS
E
Indu

Nile R.
R
S
IA
N

R
G
U

ED
L
F

SE
A

THE CLASSICAL WORLD


51
SELEUCID EMPIRE
SICILY, ROMAN CONQUEST OF

in 209, he forced the Parthian king Araces III to lished Greek communities throughout the area,
become his vassal. Moving farther east, making Greek the language of science and the
Antiochus III fought the Bactrians (in modern- arts. Greek schools kept alive the sciences and
day Afghanistan) and forced their submission, philosophies of Greece and served to introduce
after which he marched down the banks of the Stoicism to the region, an outlook that had
Kabul River into northwestern India. In effects on the establishment of Christian doctrine.
205–204, he campaigned down the Persian Gulf Without strict religious oversight or strong polit-
to conquer Gerrha (modern Bahrain). His final ical order, the citizens of the empire were able to
successful effort was another war in Syria, in explore the ideas of both Eastern and European
which he took advantage of the infant king cultures and blend them into views unique to the
Ptolemy V. Again allying his nation with area. Especially in religion, these views would
Macedon, now under Philip V, Antiochus easily arise as rivals to the gods of Rome and heresies to
defeated Egyptian forces in the key battle at Orthodox and Roman Christianity.
Panium in 198, which gave him control over
See also Alexander the Great; Ptolemaic Dynasty.
Palestine, Syria, and Asia Minor. Macedon was of
little assistance because it lost battles to References: Bar-Kochva, Bezalel, The Seleucid Army
Pergamum and Rome. (London: Cambridge University Press, 1976);
The rising power of Rome spelled the end of Sherwin-White, Susan, From Samarkand to Sardis
(London: Duckworth, 1993).
Seleucid power. After defeating Philip V, the
Romans continued onward toward Syria. The
Romans and Seleucids fought their major battle SICILY, ROMAN CONQUEST OF
at Magnesia in December 190 B.C.E. After achiev- 32 (FIRST PUNIC WAR)
ing the upper hand early on, Antiochus’s forces
were broken when their elephants suddenly Prior to 264 B.C.E., the Mediterranean Basin and
became uncontrollable and trampled their own Asia Minor were dominated in large part by
army. The Romans took the victory, but did not either Hellenic or Hellenistic military force and
take territory for themselves. Instead, they gave culture. However, the status quo had been
Asia Minor and Antiochus’s Greek possessions to inexorably changing, owing to the growing
Pergamum and Rhodes at the Peace of Apemeax strength of agricultural Rome and commercial
in 188 B.C.E. This defeat and Antiochus’s death Carthage. According to the historian Polybius,
the following year brought about a general revolt these two powers negotiated three separate
throughout the Seleucid domain. treaties prior to the outbreak of this war. The
Antiochus IV managed to hold on to power first two were basically nonaggression pacts, and
for a while, even defeating Egypt twice, but he the third was a mutual-defense agreement
was forced by Rome to evacuate. His occupation designed to neutralize or defeat a perceived com-
of Palestine after that evacuation was so harsh mon enemy, King Pyrrhus of Epirus. Rome’s
that it provoked a Jewish revolt: the war of the defeat of Pyrrhus removed the common threat,
Maccabees. He restored Seleucid dominance in setting the stage for the Punic Wars.
the east, but a succession struggle broke up the Many historians believe that the First Punic
empire. More revolts and the rising power of War began by mistake, and some writers label
Parthia under Mithradates served to bring the the initial conflict an “accidental war.” This
Seleucid dynasty to an end late in the second viewpoint stems from the Roman and
century B.C.E. Carthaginian encounters in Sicily, which were
Despite the fact that the Seleucids spent centered on the Mamertine city of Messana
almost their entire tenure in wars, there were along the Sicilio-Roman border. The
some positive results of their time in power, Mamertines (“Men of Mars”) were an unruly
mostly in the implementation of Alexander’s group of brigands who plundered and looted
legacy of Hellenism throughout the Middle throughout coastal Sicily, provoking the ire of
East. Greek settlers and retired veterans estab- Syracuse, the dominant force on the island. The

52 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


SICILY, ROMAN CONQUEST OF

Mamertines induced Carthage to protect them force at Palermo. His government refused to
from Syracuse; then, during the Carthaginian send aid or reinforcements.
occupation, they persuaded the Romans that the Two battles in 249 B.C.E. brought a major
citizens of Messana were Roman allies or even of naval loss for each side, after which ensued a
Roman blood. Rome intervened on their behalf, ceasefire of almost nine years, time the
starting the 23-year-long war. Other historians Carthaginians wasted, while the Romans rebuilt
speculate that the move to save their supposed their forces. In 241 B.C.E., with a new 200-ship
brothers in Sicily was merely an excuse for an armada, the Romans sailed secretly to Sicily,
aggressive Roman Centurial Assembly, made up caught a Carthaginian fleet unaware, and over-
of wealthy plebeians, to force the senate into a whelmed it. The Carthaginian admiral Hanno
war to expand Roman power. was crucified upon his return to Carthage fol-
From Consul Appius Caudex’s defeat of a lowing this loss to Consul Catalus. This defeat
combined Syracusan-Carthaginian force at swung the balance firmly in Rome’s favor, forcing
Messana in 264 B.C.E. to the decisive naval battle the Carthaginians into peace negotiations.
at Lilybaeum, won by Consul Catalus in 242 The immediate effects of the victory were to
B.C.E., no previous war had cost so much in lives give Rome complete hegemony over Sicily and
and materiel. During the conflict at sea, the to provide its coffers with 2,200 talents (125,400
Romans lost an estimated 250,000 men and the pounds) of silver in Carthaginian reparation pay-
Carthaginians 210,000; no estimate has been ments over 10 years. In the long term, Rome
made regarding personnel losses suffered on land. would henceforth view Sicily as vital to its
The Romans were thought to be stronger on national security. The Sicilian client-states,
land and their adversary stronger at sea, but the established after the war, would become models
conflict became a seesaw affair, with Rome win- for Rome’s governance of conquered territories
ning many naval battles and Carthage defeating during the life of the Roman Empire.
a number of Roman armies in the field. Consul In North Africa, the Carthaginian govern-
Regulus, for example, soundly defeated ment continued to be its own worst enemy.
Hamilcar’s fleet off Sicily in 256 B.C.E.; in turn, When the mercenaries, who made up most of the
his army was beaten and captured by Xanthippus army, demanded their back pay, the government
at the Plain of Tunis. prevaricated and provoked a rebellion. Hamilcar
The Romans had no navy before 260 B.C.E., again proved himself their most able commander.
so it is quite remarkable that they became a mar- He raised a force to restore order, then con-
itime power virtually overnight. Two key reasons vinced the government to send him to Spain to
for Roman success in naval warfare were their reestablish Carthaginian dominance. That move
development of a boarding platform, called a helped to provoke the Second Punic War.
“raven,” and the courage, discipline, and training Although, as stated, the First Punic War may
of the average Roman soldier or marine. The have been accidental, it is far more likely that
only serious naval defeats the Romans suffered such a conflict was inevitable. The residents of
came from either poor leadership or disdain for Messana merely provided the spark to put the
the power of nature: The majority of Roman two powers at loggerheads. Carthaginian claims
naval losses were incurred during storms. on Sicily were tenuous at best, because the pow-
The Carthaginian government greatly erful Syracusans lived in closer proximity to
aided the Roman cause by crucifying their own Rome than to Carthage. Polybius’s writings
most capable admirals and generals after the notwithstanding, it is likely that the powerful,
loss of a single engagement, thus depriving aggressive Romans had already decided to
themselves of their best leadership. They also expand their borders beyond the Italian coast.
refused to support their most successful general, The voices of senators who called for peace in
Hamilcar Barca. After a series of successful 265 B.C.E. were drowned out by those clamoring
raids against Roman outposts along the Italian for war. With consuls eager to gain fame and
coast, he landed his force to occupy a Roman riches through warfare, it seems logical that they

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 53


SPAIN, ROMAN CONQUEST OF

would look toward Carthage for fulfillment. At Scipio’s success at Carthage was the result of
any rate, the First Punic War set the stage for his talent for deception. Cartagena was surround-
Carthage’s ultimate destruction and established ed by water on three sides—a lagoon on the
the framework for Roman dominance in the north, a canal on the west, and a bay and the open
Mediterranean. sea on the south. The winter prior to his assault,
Scipio made careful topographical inquiries about
See also Carthage, Expansion of; Italy, Carthaginian
Invasion of (Second Punic War).
the area. He learned from local fishermen that the
lagoon was easily fordable at low tide. In the
References: Charles-Picard, Gilbert, and Collette spring of 209 B.C.E., he launched a frontal attack
Picard, The Life and Death of Carthage, trans. on the gates of the city, which faced east, to divert
Dominique Collon (London: Sidgwick &
Jackson, 1968); Errington, R., The Dawn of
their forces. He then sent a party of 500 men with
Empire: Rome’s Rise to World Power (New York: ladders across the lagoon. Quickly clearing the
Cornell University Press, 1972); Gruen, E. S., ed., wall, his men took the Carthaginians by surprise
Imperialism in the Roman Republic (New York: and opened the way for the main body of Roman
Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc., 1970). troops to overwhelm the city.
This victory, coupled with Hannibal’s even-
SPAIN, ROMAN tual withdrawal back to Africa, left Rome in con-
33 CONQUEST OF trol of Spain. Rome had not intended to conquer
all of Spain, but the law of expansion forced the
During the First Punic War, Rome and Romans either to commit themselves totally or
Carthage battled each other from 264 to 261 surrender what they had captured. The more civ-
B.C.E. The cause of that conflict was Rome’s dis- ilized eastern and western portions of Spain sub-
content with Carthaginian expansion into mitted easily to Roman rule, but it took more
Sicily, and ultimately, Rome forced Carthage than 60 years to gain firm control of the country
back into its African domain. In 218 B.C.E., because the warlike tribes of the interior would
Rome interpreted a Carthaginian attempt to not give in. Engaging in tribal warfare against
rebuild a power base in Spain as a threat to militant Spanish bands throughout the country-
Roman interests, forcing another declaration of side was a challenge to Rome. Coping with the
war on Carthage. Early in the contest, Roman type of warfare the Spanish practiced was difficult
success was minimal. In fact, the famed for the legionaries because the Spanish fought in
Carthaginian general Hannibal wreaked havoc small groups, taking advantage of their knowl-
across the Italian countryside. Looking for new edge of the terrain to cut off and surprise Roman
leadership, the Roman senate arranged for detachments. These tactics, employed often in
Publius Cornelius Scipio’s son, Scipio the future, were given the name guerrilla,
Africanus, to be elected proconsul to Spain. Spanish for “little war.” Until 132 B.C.E., Roman
Unlike most Romans, he realized that Spain armies were often defeated in the Spanish hinter-
was the key to the struggle against Hannibal: land and were obliged to concede peace terms on
Spain would serve as his main base of opera- many occasions. Nevertheless, each time, the
tions and provide most of his replacements. treaties were disavowed by the government in
Scipio’s first target in Spain was New Rome or by Roman generals on the scene.
Carthage (modern-day Cartagena). New The process of Romanization was slow, not
Carthage was the capital, and the only Spanish only because of the native opposition, but also
port able to handle a large fleet. Furthermore, it because Roman ideas themselves continued to
possessed other strategic aspects: It provided a evolve until the second century C.E. Their initial
direct sea link to Carthage, the Carthaginians contributions dealt with law and administration.
kept the bulk of their gold bullion and war Rome’s administrative abilities were passed on to
materiel there, and it would give Scipio an essen- the Spanish through their organization of cities,
tial base from which he could conduct his cam- towns, and governmental institutions. Even the
paign into the south of the peninsula. Christian Church, introduced to Spain by the

54 THE CLASSICAL WORLD


SPAIN, ROMAN CONQUEST OF

Romans, was organized on the basis of Roman Spain was invaded by the Visigoths in 409
administrative districts, employing Roman C.E., but by that time, most Roman characteris-
methods and Roman law. tics were permanently engraved in Spanish soci-
Thanks to agricultural and commercial ety. Despite further invasions by barbarians from
successes during Roman rule, Spain amassed con- the north and the Muslims from the south,
siderable wealth. The public works projects under- Roman influence endured. Whether or not
taken during Roman rule were among the most Rome had a concrete reason for invading and
significant contributions to Spanish society. New occupying Spain in the beginning, the Romans
roads and bridges—some existing in whole or in were so successful in planting their culture and
part to this day—permitted the peoples of Spain to institutions during six centuries of occupation
communicate freely with one another as never that much remains to this day.
before. The construction of aqueducts served as
See also Hannibal; Italy, Carthaginian Invasion of
both a necessity and a convenience for expanding (Second Punic War); Sicily, Roman Conquest of
cities. Roman architecture in Spain had the char- (First Punic War); Visigoths.
acteristics of massiveness and strength, borrowing
References: Chapman, Charles E., A History of Spain (New
structural principles from the Etruscans and deco-
York: Free Press, 1966); McDonald, A. H., Republican
rative forms from the Greeks. These qualities were Rome (New York: Praeger, 1966); Scullard, Howard
most evident in theaters, amphitheaters, temples, H., A History of the Roman World: From 753 to 146
triumphal arches, and tombs. B.C.E. (London: Methuen & Co., 1969).

THE CLASSICAL WORLD 55


PART 3
THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES

34 Avars 58 Justinian
35 Axum, Expansion of 59 Khmer Kingdom
36 Britain, Norman Invasion of 60 Korea, Mongol Invasion of
37 Bulgars 61 Kubilai Khan
38 Byzantine Empire 62 Lombards
39 Carolingian Dynasty 63 Magyars
40 China, Khitan Invasion of 64 Mali, Expansion of
41 China, Mongol Conquest of 65 Mexico, Aztec Conquest of
42 Crusades 66 Middle East, Mongol Invasion of the
43 England, Viking Conquest of 67 Middle East, Muslim Conquest of the
44 Europe, Mongol Invasion of 68 Ming Dynasty
45 France, Viking Invasion of 69 Ostrogoths
46 Franks 70 Russia, Establishment and Expansion of
47 Genghis Khan 71 Russia, Mongol Conquest of
48 Ghana, Almoravid Invasion of 72 Scotland, English Conquest of
49 Gupta Empire 73 Scythians
50 Hundred Years’ War 74 Songhay, Expansion of
51 Huns 75 Spain, Muslim Conquest of
52 India, Kushan Invasion of 76 Tamurlane
53 India, Muslim Invasion of 77 T’ang dynasty
54 Ireland, English Invasion of 78 Turks
55 Ireland, Viking Invasions of 79 Vandals
56 Italy and Sicily, Norman Conquest of 80 Vietnam, Chinese Conquest of
57 Japan, Mongol Invasions of 81 Visigoths

57
AVARS

34 AVARS Sclavini against the Avars, forgoing the need to


commit his own forces, but the Avar victory
A people ethnologically related to the Huns, the ended that hope.
Avars are first mentioned in the fifth century C.E. Perhaps earning the respect of the Sclavini,
as living east of the Volga River in Russia. Their the Avars soon joined with them and came to be
first contact with Western society came in the known as Avaro-Slavs. Together they invaded the
mid-sixth century when they appeared in the Balkan peninsula, wreaking havoc everywhere.
Caucasus. The Avars invaded the territory west They rampaged from Constantinople to Thrace to
of the Dnieper River, defeating the Utigurs (the Greece for four years, then returned across the
last of the Huns) and the Antes. They pillaged Danube. Emperor Maurice paid the Avars tribute
this territory so thoroughly that those two tribes in return for being allowed to claim the land to
disappeared, and the Avars then made demands the Danube as his own. In 601 Maurice’s generals
on the Byzantine Empire. For a while, the Avars defeated the Avars, neutralizing the Avar threat,
served the Byzantine Empire as mercenaries, but but a mutiny the following year gave the Avars
over time they grew too strong. In 561 Khagan the opening to recover their strength and coun-
Baian, the major Avar leader, received tribute terattack. In the first decade of the 600s, the
from Emperor Justinian to stay away from Avaro-Slavs defeated Byzantine forces in several
Constantinople, so the Avars moved north and cities along the Adriatic coast, leaving only ruins
west. Though they met defeat at the hands of the in their wake. The Sclavini returned to ravage
Franks in Thuringia in 562, they allied with the Greece between 610 and 626. With Avar aid, they
Langobards in 565 to make war on the Gepids, laid siege to Thessalonika for 33 days, ending the
inhabitants of the Danube valley. Together they siege with a treaty in 626 that gave the surround-
crushed the Gepids in a huge battle in 567 and ing territory of Illyria to the Avars while allowing
split Gepid lands between them. Rather than Thessalonika to remain free. That proved to be
face a potential new enemy, the Langobards the high point of Avar power. In 626 they were
ceded their newly acquired Gepid lands to the defeated while attacking Constantinople. From
Avars and migrated to Italy, where they became that time forward they had to face rebellious
better known as Lombards. tribes, including the Sclavini, who sapped their
With this cession from the Langobards in power. Migrations of Bulgars and Magyars ulti-
addition to their initial conquests, the Avars now mately took over Avar holdings. The final war the
controlled land stretching from western Rumania Avars fought was against Charlemagne in 805;
through Hungary to Bohemia and on to the Elbe after that, they ceased to exist.
River in central Germany. After attacking the The main result of the Avar conquests was
Byzantine fortress at Sirmium, the Avars extorted the establishment of a Slavic population in east-
an increased tribute from Emperor Justin II. Only ern Europe. The remains of Avar cemeteries show
on their southern frontier was there a challenge a high quality of metalwork in the form of bridle
to their power: the Sclavini, the forerunner of the bits, saber-daggers, spear points, and three-barbed
Slavs. This tribe had pillaged throughout the arrowheads. This artistry reflected the style of
Balkans and Danube valley for years, growing eastern Asian nomads rather than any influences
wealthy in the process. Khagan Baian offered to adapted from the peoples they conquered.
accept the Sclavini as vassals if they would pay Dedicated mainly to conquest and plunder, the
him tribute; they rejected his offer by killing his Avars left virtually no architectural legacy.
envoy. That was all the excuse the Avars needed. See also Byzantine Empire; Carolingian Dynasty;
They quickly went to war against the Sclavini by Franks; Huns; Justinian; Lombards.
moving tens of thousands of men overland and
References: Gimbutas, Marija, The Slavs (New York:
down the Danube River into their territory. The
Praeger, 1971); Hosch, Edgar, The Balkans, trans.
Avars made short work of the Sclavini, pillaging Tania Alexander (New York: Crane, Russak &
their land and forcing them to run for the hills of Co., 1972); Obolensky, Dimitri, Byzantium and
northern Greece. Justin had hoped to play the the Slavs (London: Variorum Reprints, 1971).

58 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


BRITAIN, NORMAN INVASION OF

35 AXUM, EXPANSION OF Axum contributed brought travelers from all


over the world. Apparently the Axumites were
The Axumites inhabited an area of eastern Africa tolerant Christians, as evidence points to
lying in what is today Ethiopia. The peoples who Jewish, Kushite, and even Buddhist enclaves.
settled here around 500 B.C.E. seem to have been a The empire remained important and profitable
mixture of Semites from Yemen and settlers from past the fall of Rome, and kept up good trade
the empire of Kush. The main centers of popula- relations with the Byzantines, even though the
tion were the city of Axum and the port of Adulis, Axumites embraced the monophysite views of
both initially recorded in the first century C.E. For the Egyptian church, which the Orthodox
the first two centuries C.E., the Axumites con- church considered heretical.
trolled the Red Sea coastline and carried on With the growth of Islam, the power of
extensive trade with Greek and Egyptian mer- Axum began to slip, though the Axumites’ toler-
chants, acting as the outlet for sub-Saharan prod- ant religious attitude is shown by the fact that
ucts such as ebony, ivory, and exotic animals. By early on, they sheltered persecuted Muslims from
the third century, the Axumites were noted Mecca. This action stood them in good stead
throughout the Middle East as a major empire, when Muslim conquerors spread through eastern
controlling not only the Horn of Africa but also Africa. Axum remained a Christian island in a
the southern portion of the Arabian peninsula, sea of Islam and maintained cordial relations
from which they collected tribute. with their neighbors, but gradually the political
The exploits of the Axumite kings were center of the country retreated inland and trade
recorded on stone monuments. The first major declined. Though not conquered by Islam,
conqueror seems to have been Aphilas, who Axum would not regain its former influence.
established Axumite dominance in the Yemen
See also Kush, Expansion of.
area, though it is impossible to tell exactly when
that took place. The leader who dominated the References: Buxton, David, The Abyssinians (New
expansion of the empire was Ezana in the fourth York: Praeger, 1970); Jones, A. H. M., and
century. Records show that the Axumites still Elizabeth Monroe, A History of Ethiopia (Oxford:
controlled Yemen, and Ezana campaigned Clarendon, 1955); Mokhtar, G., Ancient
around the borders, defeating harassing tribes Civilizations of Africa (Paris: UNESCO, 1990).
and ultimately conquering the faded glory of
Kush. Upon securing this conquest, Ezana gave BRITAIN, NORMAN
credit to the Christian God, marking the fact 36 INVASION OF
that Axum was converted during his reign. At its
greatest extent, Axum spread from the Arabian Norman writers say that King Edward of England
peninsula across the Ethiopian plateau all the had promised the English throne to William,
way to the Sahara. The last major exploit by an duke of Normandy. While Harold Godwinsson,
Axumite king took place in 525 when King the earl of Wessex and Edward’s brother-in-law,
Kaleb led a force of 30,000 to Nadjran on the was on embassy to Normandy, he supposedly
Arabian peninsula to avenge a massacre of agreed to Edward’s bequest and promised his sup-
Christians. He succeeded in this campaign and port. But when Edward died on 5 January 1066,
left behind a garrison of 10,000. Harold was named king by England’s leaders.
Control of extensive fertile land gave William decided on war. Only Norman versions
Axum a solid agricultural base for its economy, of the incidents survive, so it is impossible to
to which could be added a great amount of determine whether Edward actually promised
international trade. From the third century for- William the throne. Harold’s broken promise,
ward, Axum was well known for its architec- however, was William’s argument in gaining
ture and monolithic monuments. It was also papal support for his cause, which allowed him to
the first African nation to mint coins in gold, raise an army fairly quickly. The pope gave his
silver, and copper. The trade network to which support to William without having any sort of

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 59


BRITAIN, NORMAN INVASION OF

William organized 4,000–7,000 cavalry and


infantry. After ransacking every town in the
area, he found himself in a narrow strip of land
bounded by the coast on one side and the forest
of Andred on the other. On 25 September, word
came to William of Harold’s victory over his
brother near York, along with the news that
Harold’s army was on the march and would
arrive sooner than William had expected.
On 13 October Harold emerged from the
thick forest, surprising William. It was too late in
the day to continue on to Hastings, so Harold
Scene from the decisive Battle of Hastings
took up a defensive position along a ridge and
as represented in the Bayeux Tapestry.
awaited William’s assault the next morning. The
Normans repeatedly failed to make headway up
input from Harold concerning the truth of the hill against the steadfast line the British main-
William’s claims, which was strange considering tained. The heavy Norman cavalry could not
Harold’s consistent loyalty to Rome. The bless- build up enough speed to break the English line
ing of the Church, coupled with the prospect of atop the hill, nor could their archers hurt many
some serious pillage and looting in England, was English behind their interlocked shields. Only
sufficient reason for the aristocracy of northern when the English broke ranks to pursue a repulsed
France to join the expedition. Norman charge did they lose the protection of
In May 1066, Tostig, Harold’s exiled brother, their position. In the open field, they fell prey to
raided England with the assistance of some the Normans. The ensuing melee, and the death
Viking allies. In September he invaded the of Harold, spelled the end of the English army.
Northumbrian coast with a force provided After the battle, William marched his force to
by Harold III Hardraade, king of Norway. This London, defeating any resistance he met along
obliged Harold of England to move many of the way. He entered the city in December and had
his troops, which had been awaiting William’s himself crowned, like Charlemagne, on Christmas
attack, away from the south coast. Harold was Day. William settled in to sovereignty fairly quick-
successful in defeating the Norsemen at the bat- ly. There was little resistance at first, and William
tle of Stamford Bridge, but immediately after- set about establishing Norman control by con-
ward received word that William’s force had structing forts as centers of power across the coun-
landed. He ordered his exhausted troops to try. In early 1068, William moved against risings
march south immediately. in the southwest by capturing Exeter and moving
William had concent rated his forces at the into Cornwall. More castles were built in order to
mouth of the Dives River in Normandy in maintain control. Trouble in the north took
August. He probably planned to sail north and William to Northumbria and York, but he gained
land first at the Isle of Wight, where he could the fealty of the northern earls and King Malcolm
establish an offshore base. He was forced to wait of Scotland. It was short-lived, for he had to
for favorable weather and could not sail until return in the winter of 1069–1070 in a brutal
September, when a westerly wind allowed him to campaign. William destroyed the agricultural pro-
begin his expedition. The strong wind blew his duction of the northern counties, burning crops
ships up the English Channel, away from the Isle and animals to deny the locals any chance of sus-
of Wight, and he had to regroup at Saint-Valery, taining themselves. An autumn 1069 victory over
still on the French coast. He had lost some ships Scandinavian forces under Swein Estrithson at
and morale was slipping. Finally, at the end of the Humber River, in addition to a second cam-
September, a southerly wind took him to England, paign against Scotland’s King Malcolm in 1072,
where he landed at Pevensey and Hastings. completed William’s conquest.

60 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


BULGARS

Some Norman influence was present in “Great Bulgaria,” but it did not last beyond
England prior to 1066, but only after William’s Kovrat’s reign. The Bulgars separated into two
conquest did the whole of the British Isles begin groups, one moving northward toward the Volga,
to change. The Norman king introduced and the other establishing itself under Kovrat’s
feudalism into England, and the construction of son Asparuch (Isperich) on the lower Danube in
castles throughout the country, along with the 680. In 681 Byzantine emperor Constantine IV
appointment of Normans to own them, created a recognized Asparuch as ruler of the region stretch-
new ruling class. At first, the conquest was over ing from the Balkan Mountains to the Dniester.
the aristocracy only, as the predominantly When Avar power collapsed after defeat by
Scandinavian rulers were replaced by continental the Frankish leader Charlemagne, the Bulgars
ones, even though the Normans themselves were moved into the power vacuum left in the eastern
not that far from their Scandinavian roots. All of Balkans. The Slavs, who had been under Avar
Britain soon felt the Norman presence when domination, fell under the power of the Bulgars;
William ordered the compilation of the after a few generations, the nomadic Turkic
Domesday Book, a census of all the country’s peo- Bulgars were absorbed and transformed by the
ple, lands, and possessions for taxation purposes. peasant Slavs. The mixture of the two races
Much of historians’ knowledge of medieval created Bulgarians.
England comes from the minute details recorded Bulgar power grew with the gradual weaken-
in that book. The construction of castles and ing of the Byzantine defensive system in the
then churches changed the nature of architecture Balkans. Though Constantinople controlled the
in Britain, and the new church construction area around Greece in the late eighth and early
signaled a change in the church hierarchy as well. ninth centuries, it could make little headway
Not only did the aristocracy change, but local against the Bulgarians. In 802, the Bulgars came
abbots and bishops were replaced by Norman under the leadership of Khan Krum, who chal-
church officials; by the time of William’s death in lenged both the Byzantines and the Franks. He
1090, no high-ranking church official had been conquered eastern Pannonia (modern Austria),
born in Britain. The church, being the center of then turned southward, capturing Sofia in 809,
learning on the continent, had a profound effect destroying a Byzantine army in 811, marching to
on the intellectual life of Britain. The country the walls of Constantinople in 813, and captur-
ceased to be part of Scandinavia and began to be ing Adrianople in 814. Krum was succeeded
part of Europe. in 814 by Omortag, who followed a more peace-
ful strategy with Constantinople and exposed
See also France, Viking Invasion of.
his people to Hellenistic influences. The next
References: Freeman, Edward, The History of the khan, Boris, allowed Christian missionaries into
Norman Conquest of England (Chicago: University his realm.
of Chicago Press, 1974); Furneaux, Rupert, The
Bulgarian Tsar Simeon (r. 893–927) attacked
Invasion of 1066 (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-
Hall, 1974); Howarth, David, 1066: The Year of Constantinople and won a major victory in 896,
Conquest (New York: Viking Penguin, 1977). exacting an annual tribute from the city. When
that tribute was discontinued in 912 after the
37 BULGARS death of Emperor Leo VI, Simeon went to war
again. He attacked Constantinople twice, in
The Bulgars were another of the nomadic tribes 913 and 924, but was unable to breach the
of central Asia who wandered into Europe in the walls. Though he called himself “Emperor of
wake of the Roman Empire’s fall. Arriving late the Romans and the Bulgars,” only his own peo-
in the fifth century, at first they were kept at bay ple recognized the first part of that title. At his
by the power of the Byzantine Empire and that of death in 927, Simeon’s empire stretched from
the Avars. the Adriatic to the Black Sea. His son Peter
The Bulgar leader Kovrat established a king- signed a peace treaty that year and married
dom in 635 recognized by the Byzantines as the granddaughter of a Byzantine emperor; this

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 61


BYZANTINE EMPIRE

was the closest to a juncture the two empires 38 BYZANTINE EMPIRE


ever achieved.
Tsar Simeon’s reign marked the height of In the early 300s C.E., Emperor Diocletian came
Bulgarian power. After his time, Byzantine to the conclusion that the Roman Empire was
diplomacy brought too many allies into the pic- too unwieldy for one man to rule. He therefore
ture for the Bulgarians to resist. From the 890s appointed himself and Maximian as coemperors,
the Magyars, a tribe of Scandinavian descent or augusti, and named a subordinate to each, cre-
with Turkic blood, had harassed the frontiers of ating two caesars, which effectively divided the
both Constantinople and Bulgaria. In the mid- empire into quarters. After creating this format,
dle 900s they expanded into the upper Danube Diocletian resigned. His planned smooth transi-
plain at Bulgaria’s expense. More deadly was tion of power became chaos, as up to six people
the threat from the rising power of Russia, scrambled for power. Rising to the top was
which Constantinople also cultivated. The Constantine, who finally subdued his rivals and
emperor encouraged the Russian prince of Kiev, established a new capital for the Roman Empire
Sviatislav, to attack Bulgarian Tsar Peter; in at Byzantium (renamed Constantinople) at the
969 the Russians occupied virtually all crossroads of east-west trade routes and Black
Bulgarian lands. When they were forced back to Sea and Mediterranean Sea routes. Though it
Russia by Emperor John I Tzimisces, the territo- was not Constantine’s intention, this shift of
ry once again belonged to Constantinople and power to the east laid the groundwork for the
the power of the Bulgars was broken. Byzantine Empire. In 378, the Visigoths defeated
Bulgaria was influential in eastern Europe in Roman troops under Valens at Adrianople and
a number of ways. When Christian missionaries changed the nature of the empire and its mili-
were allowed into the territory, the representa- tary. Valens’s successor, Theodosius, made peace
tives of the church included “the apostles of the with the Goths and ceded them land, hoping
Slavs,” Cyril and Methodius. These two devel- they would act as a buffer against other maraud-
oped the alphabet that dominates eastern ing peoples. Upon his death in 395, the empire
Europe—Cyrillic—and in so doing created was divided between his sons and became per-
Bulgarian literature. The long-term contact with manently split into two sections.
Constantinople was not always hostile, and the The western half soon succumbed to barbar-
culture of the Eastern Roman Empire strongly ian invasions, but the eastern half prospered.
influenced Bulgar society. The introduction of The Byzantines adapted themselves to the new
Orthodox Christianity brought a Bulgarian fighting style of the Goths and recruited many of
patriarchate that lasted until the removal of the them into their army. They also abandoned the
Russians. The contact with Eastern religions also legion style of formation that had long served the
brought about new interpretations of Romans so well in favor of smaller, more mobile
Christianity, with the incorporation of ancient units. They developed a long-service professional
Manichaean ideas that influenced the Cathar army that rarely numbered above 100,000, but
and Albigensian heresies of medieval Europe. which defended the empire and at times expanded
Bulgaria was well placed to act as a transition it. The basis of this new army was the cataphract,
between European and Asiatic views, creating a cavalry that could wield either lances or bows
cultural heritage unique to the Balkans. and act as either light or heavy cavalry. Heavy
infantry was armed with lances and formed
See also Avars; Byzantine Empire; Carolingian
Dynasty; Magyars. into phalanxes, while the light infantry used
bows and javelins. By mixing these various for-
References: Bury, J. B., The Invasion of Europe by the mations in groups of 400, a Byzantine army of
Barbarians (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963);
25,000–30,000 had all the necessary units for
Hosch, Edgar, The Balkans (New York: Crane,
Russak & Co., 1972); Thompson, E. A., Romans attack and defense.
and Barbarians (Madison: University of Wisconsin With these professional soldiers, Byzantine
Press, 1982). generals under the direction of Justinian

62 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


BYZANTINE EMPIRE

expanded the borders almost to the original The homeland of Asia Minor and southeast-
boundaries of the Roman Empire, reacquiring ern Europe was protected by the professional
northern Africa, Italy, and southern Spain from army, occasionally updated and reformed along
barbarian conquerors, though they were unable to lines laid out in works like Emperor Maurice’s
maintain that far-flung empire when the power of Strategicon and Emperor Leo’s Tactica. By hold-
Islam grew. Justinian introduced an updated law ing the Muslim advance at bay until it settled
code that became the model for the legal system down to consolidation, the Byzantines grew con-
of western Europe, but it proved too oppressive for fident in their ability to defend themselves. Over
religious groups who disagreed with Justinian’s time, that grew into overconfidence. When
Orthodox faith. His laws were so resented that attacked by the Seljuk Turks in 1063, the
many people in the empire saw the religious Byzantines lost the battle of Manzikert, and with
toleration preached by Muhammad as a better it much of Asia Minor. From this point forward
alternative. Muhammad’s warmaking, and that of they defended the remains of their territory
his successors, was effective enough to drive back against increasingly powerful and aggressive ene-
the borders of the Byzantine Empire in the sev- mies on all sides. Still, they managed to survive
enth century and detach the distant provinces of another 400 years, until the Ottoman Turks
Africa and Spain from Byzantine control. became the first and only people to capture

Venice
HUNGARY
HOLY ROMAN
EMPIRE

Rome
NORTH Naples Constantinople
SEA Nicea Manzikert
Athens Dorylaeum
Smyrna Iconium

AT LAN T I C
SYRIA
BYZANTINE EMPIRE
Rhin

OCEAN ca. 1025 A.D.


eR
.

Da
FRANKS nub S
e R
.
ARD AVARS
MB
LO
Ravenna BULGARS
VISIGOTHS
A
D

B LAC K S EA
R

Toledo
IA

CORSICA
T
IC

Cordoba Rome
Constantinople
S
E

SARDINIA
A

SICILY
VANDALS Antioch
Carthage
BYZANTINE EMPIRE
527-1025
CRETE CYPRUS
Empire at time of
Justinian’s accession MEDITERRANEAN SEA Jerusalem
Conquests during
Justinian’s reign Alexandria
0 500
Scale of miles EGYPT

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 63


CAROLINGIAN DYNASTY

Constantinople. The Turks soon controlled (modern France). In the late fifth century,
almost as much as the Byzantine Empire had at Clovis I established what came to be called the
its height. Merovingian dynasty, and he spread Frankish
In 1,100 years of existence, the Byzantine power to the Pyrenees in the south and the
Empire put the stamp of Christian and European Main River in the east. He was responsible for
culture on the Balkans and the Middle East, the defeat of barbarian tribes all around his
while absorbing much of the East’s civilization frontiers: the Allemanni, Burgundians,
and learning. The empire’s longest-lasting influ- Visigoths, and the Ripaurian Franks of the
ence was in the area of religion: The Eastern upper Rhine. Upon his death, however, the
Orthodox church was born and survives to this empire divided along traditional lines (his four
day. Its missionaries spread Christianity from sons each inherited a part), which effectively
central Europe to Russia to Armenia, surviving broke apart a budding empire.
onslaughts of Muslims and Mongols in the The successive Merovingian kings came to
process. The empire likewise maintained con- depend more and more on their mayordomo, or
tacts with western Europe, though usually from a mayor of the palace, who acted as a liaison
position of need. Their call for assistance from between the king and his nobles and subjects.
Muslim attack in the twelfth and thirteenth cen- The position became one of increasing power,
turies brought the Crusades to the Middle East, and was successively in the hands of the
with a resulting shift in power and trade. The Carolingian family. The Carolingians descended
enmity between the Orthodox and Roman from Pepin the Elder of Landin, mayordomo
churches, however, kept the possible spread of from Austrasia (now northeastern France), the
Eastern learning from entering Europe until the Low Countries, and western Germany. By the
Renaissance. The Byzantine Empire lasted long time Pepin of Herstal came to the post in the late
enough to cede control of the Mediterranean to seventh century, he virtually ruled the Frankish
Europe rather than to Islamic countries, and kingdom in the Merovingians’ name. He over-
Western naval power ultimately translated itself threw the Neustrians and Burgundians, rivals to
into worldwide empires in the fifteenth and six- united Merovingian rule.
teenth centuries. The illegitimate son of Pepin of Herstal,
Charles Martel (“the Hammer”), became the
See also Constantine, Emperor; Crusades; Justinian;
Middle East, Muslim Conquest of the; Turks;
first high-profile leader of the Carolingian line.
Visigoths; Ottoman Empire. Charles invaded and conquered Bavaria, solidi-
fied Frankish control in Frisia and Thuringia,
References: Browning, Robert, The Byzantine Empire and turned his attentions to the south. He
(New York: Scribner, 1980); Byron, Robert, The
Byzantine Achievement (New York: Russell &
harassed Eudo of Aquitaine, taking advantage of
Russell, 1964); Franzius, Enno, History of the his weakness after fighting the Muslims of Spain.
Byzantine Empire (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, Charles defeated Eudo and fought the Muslims
1968). at Tours in 732. This Frankish victory proved the
high-water mark of Muslim expansion in the
39 C AROLINGIAN DYNASTY West, forcing them to stay in Spain until the fif-
teenth century. He fought the Muslims again in
The Carolingian Empire had its roots in the the latter 730s, and ceded his mayordomo posi-
migrations of the Franks into the frontiers of tion to his sons Carloman and Pepin the Short.
the Roman Empire in the third century C.E. The Carloman resigned his position in 747, and
Salian Franks, living along the lower stretches Pepin moved to seize real position as well as
of the Rhine, were conquered by the Romans in power. He overthrew the last of the Merovingians
358 and became their allies. When the Romans and named himself king of the Franks in 751,
withdrew from the German frontier, the Salian thus officially establishing the Carolingian royal
Franks followed them and became the masters line. His action was sanctioned by the Roman
of territory above the Loire River in Gaul Catholic Church when Pepin was crowned by

64 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


CAROLINGIAN DYNASTY

KINGDOM OF
DENMARK
NORTH
SEA

SLAVS
SAXONS
SORBS
THUR-
Mersen INGIA
AACHEN
AUSTRASIA BOHEMIA
Rouen Mainz
Verdun MORAVIA
Reims
Paris Ratisbon

E
East
ALSAC
NEUSTRIA ALEMANNIA March
BRITTANY BAVARIA Pannonian
CARINTHIA March
BURGUNDY
FRIULI
ACQUITAINE Milan
Venice CROATIANS
Bordeaux Genoa BOS-
Ravenna NIA
PROVENCE LOMBARDS PAPAL

A
D
R
GASCONY

IA A
S
E
T
NAVARRE STATES

IC
CORSICA
Spanish
ROME DUCHY OF
March
BENEVENTO
Naples
FRANKISH EXPANSION UNDER
CHARLEMAGNE
SARDINIA
Frankish Kingdom
Tributary states
in 768
Territories acquired Byzantine
by Charlemagne territory MEDITERRANEAN
0 300 SEA SICILY
Scale of miles

Pope Stephen II in 754. This anointing by the experience, which he quickly put to use for the
pope made Pepin the defender of the Church, defense and expansion of Frankish lands. That
and he fulfilled that role in 754 and 756 when he experience, coupled with his natural ability,
led forces into Italy to fight the Lombards. He brought him the title Charles the Great, better
also put down a revolt in Bavaria and defeated known as Charlemagne (Carolus Magnus in
the Saxons, forcing them to pay tribute, then Latin; Karl der Grosse in German). Charlemagne
turned to Aquitaine to quell a revolt there. inherited the position of defender of the Church
Pepin died in 768; following tradition, his from his father as well, and he soon had trouble
sons Carloman and Charles inherited joint con- with the Church’s main threat, the Lombards of
trol of the throne. Carloman died in 771 and northern Italy. Charlemagne married a Lombard
Charles became sole ruler. Through campaigning princess in 770, but his repudiation of her, cou-
with his father, Charles had received combat pled with appeals for aid from Carloman’s heirs,

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 65


CHINA, KHITAN INVASION OF

brought him into conflict with the Lombards. scholarship and trying with minimal success to
Pope Adrian I appealed for aid in 772, and defend his northern borders from increasing
Charlemagne marched against the Lombard pressure by the Vikings. The Carolingian line
leader Desiderius, his erstwhile father-in-law. divided again on Louis’ death when his three
The Franks were victorious in 774, and sons divided the empire into thirds. The three
Charlemagne named himself king of the Franks spent an inordinate amount of time fighting
and the Lombards. among themselves rather than cooperating in
Extending the tradition of fighting the the face of Viking attacks. The Holy Roman
Muslims, Charlemagne invaded Spain in 777. Empire split into German and French halves;
He had mixed success, but finally drove the the Saxons took over the western part in 911
Muslims south of the River Ebro. He campaigned and the Capetians took the French territories
in southern Italy and Bavaria, putting down in 987. Those two territories became the bases
revolts, then turned eastward toward the Danube of the modern states of France and Germany.
River Valley. In the 790s he defeated and The Holy Roman Empire, designed to defend
destroyed the Avars and conquered parts of the church of Rome, became more a central
Croatia and Slovenia. On Christmas Day 800, European political entity of waxing and waning
Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as emperor power over the next several centuries; based
of the Romans. That action, and the recognition more in Austria than in Germany, it came
of his position by the Byzantine Emperor under the control of the Habsburg dynasty.
Nicephorus I in 810, created the Holy Roman See also Avars; France, Viking Invasion of; Lombards;
Empire. Charlemagne spent most of the remain- Spain, Muslim Conquest of; Visigoths.
der of his reign establishing an administration for
References: Barraclough, Geoffrey, The Crucible of
the empire and carrying on regular campaigns
Europe (Berkeley: University of California Press,
against the Saxons, who alternately accepted his 1976); Bullough, Donald, The Age of Charlemagne
suzerainty (and Christianity) and rebelled (New York: Putnam, 1965); Holland, Jack, The
against him. Order of Rome (London: Cassell, 1980).
Charlemagne’s court, built at Aix-la-
Chapelle (Aachen), became the first cultural CHINA , KHITAN
center of western Europe since the fall of the 40 INVASION OF
Roman Empire. By promoting widespread
literacy and schooling, building monasteries During the declining years of the T’ang dynasty,
and churches, and advocating and financing China had little luck resisting nomadic raids
art, his reign introduced the Carolingian from the steppes. The Khitan Mongols had
Renaissance. He created a hierarchy of officials learned the art of farming and iron smelting from
to rule the empire, which expanded from the refugees of the Han dynasty, thus developing a
Pyrenees to the North Sea, France to the culture based on agriculture as well as herding.
Danube Valley, and south into northern Italy. They aided a T’ang warlord in the middle of
Charlemagne also brought back the concept of the tenth century, and for their support were
a standing army and reintroduced the practices awarded 16 provinces from Peking to the Great
of the Roman Empire in his attention to logis- Wall, as well as a large annual monetary tribute.
tics and transport. He built forts to protect his The Khitan made Peking their capital, and in
borders and reintroduced the art of siege war- the age of first contact with medieval Europe
fare. All in all, he proved the best ruler of gave the area of northern China the name by
medieval times from military, cultural, and which it was then known: Cathay.
social points of view. They invaded southward when the annual
Tradition served him fairly well at his tribute stopped coming, captured the T’ang cap-
death, for there was only one son to inherit and ital at Kaifeng, and proclaimed themselves the
thus no division of rule. Louis spent his time Liao dynasty. Their success was short-lived; the
maintaining his father’s interest in the arts and T’ang counterattacked and drove the Khitan

66 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


CHINA, MONGOL CONQUEST OF

northward. In 960 a successful T’ang general the Ch’in, which in turn foreshadowed the rise
started the Sung dynasty, and it was with this of Mongol power under Genghis Khan.
new government that the Khitan fought. See also Han Dynasty; Genghis Khan; T’ang Dynasty.
Fortunately for the Sung, the Khitan were also
fighting with the rising power of the Hsia king- References: Hookham, Hilda, A Short History of China
(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1970); Kwanten,
dom farther to the west. Still, the Khitan
Luc, Imperial Nomads (Philadelphia: University of
enjoyed occasional success against the Sung. At Pennsylvania Press, 1979); Morgan, David, The
the beginning of the eleventh century, in Mongols (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986).
response to two unsuccessful Sung campaigns
against them, they invaded to the gates of CHINA , MONGOL
Kaifeng and left only with the promise of tribute 41 CONQUEST OF
totaling 100,000 taels (roughly, more than 8,000
pounds) of silver and 200,000 bolts of silk. In the Genghis Khan was named leader of all the
1030s the tribute was increased in response to Mongol peoples in 1206, and he set about unit-
demands and pressure by the Khitan leaders. ing the tribes and conquering large parts of Asia.
Thus, the Sung maintained peace by bribery, One of his main interests was to conquer China,
not only to the Khitan but also to the Hsia, pay- on the southern side of the Great Wall, which
ing tribute despite the fact that they maintained had long kept steppe peoples out of “civilized”
a massive army of over a million men. History lands. He first led forces across the wall on raids,
records the development of the first gunpowder stealing livestock and other goods and stockpil-
weapons, in the form of rockets, during the Sung ing them on the other side. As his army gained
dynasty. The Sung did not use them effectively experience, he moved farther into China and
enough to establish a military ascendancy, which brought land under his control. He made war
often accompanies the development of new against the Hsi-hsia between 1206 and 1209,
weaponry. The large amounts of tribute, however, finally forcing them to acknowledge his posi-
had an unintended effect. The Khitan, already tion. His war against the Ch’in dynasty was
different from other Mongol tribes by their use of hampered at first by his lack of siegecraft, for his
agriculture, became increasingly Chinese in their cavalry forces were useless against the Ch’in
culture and language. This not only robbed them fortresses and walled cities. Ch’in military men
of their fighting edge, but it also provoked the who joined his cause brought with them the
disdain of other Mongol tribes, notably the knowledge necessary to reduce those fortifica-
Juchen Mongols. The Juchen allied themselves tions. In 1215 he captured and sacked Peking,
with the Sung, and together they defeated the forcing recognition of his dominance from the
Khitan, destroying the Liao government. Rather Ch’in emperor.
than accept payment of the 16 provinces the Mongol forces occupied northern China
Khitan had first won, the Juchen continued their while Genghis and his army made war farther
invasion of China and forced the Sung dynasty to to the west. In his absence, the Ch’in and Hsia
reestablish itself in the south. The new northern grew restless and allied themselves against the
power gave up the name Juchen for the Ch’in (or Mongols in 1224—Genghis named his son
Kin) dynasty, and set the borders with the Sung Ogadai as his successor should death claim the
at the Hwai and upper Han rivers. former before the reconquest occurred.
The Khitan invasion had little effect socially Genghis entered the domain of the Hsia in the
on the Chinese, but the huge payment of tribute winter of 1225 with 180,000 men. Across the
and the large standing army detailed to protect frozen water of the Yellow River, the Mongols
the population drained the Sung treasury and fought a force of some 300,000 Hsia; at the end
provoked peasant unrest. The Ch’in became of the battle, all the khan’s enemies were dead.
more Sinified than the Sung became He then divided his army; a third of it to lay
Mongolized, but aggressiveness weakened the siege to the Hsia capital at Ninghsia, a third
Sung while giving rise to the growing power of under Ogadai to drive westward against the

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 67


CRUSADES

Ch’in, while the remainder Genghis took creating the Yuan dynasty. Sung resistance in the
southeastward to threaten the Ch’in southern deep south continued until he finally besieged
border and block any possible reinforcements. and captured Canton. During his reign, Kubilai
In 1227, the Hsia emperor surrendered, but Khan unified China as no other emperor, yet he
Genghis refused any peace overtures from the kept his Mongol subjects separate from the mass
Ch’in. With a premonition of death, Genghis of Chinese he now ruled. The Mongols ruled
returned to Mongolia. He died along the way, China through the existing bureaucracy, and did
after advising his youngest son Tului on the little to change the country; Kubilai realized
future conquest of China. that the conquered culture was much
Ogadai continued Genghis’s expansionary more advanced than his own, and that he had
plans, conquering Korea and then returning to much to learn.
deal with the Ch’in. While he and his father’s The dynasty did not last after his death in
most trusted general, Subotai, pressured the for- 1294. The Mongol conquest, while deadly in its
tified cities of the north, his youngest brother, establishment, had little lasting effect other than
Tului, took a force of 30,000 southward to the peaceful times in which to progress. During the
Sung Empire, then swung northward to put the Yuan dynasty, drama came to the fore as an art
Ch’in armies in a pincer between himself and his form, but the longest-lasting symbol of the Yuan
brother. He decimated the Ch’in forces by wear- leadership was the construction of Kubilai’s cap-
ing them down in cold mountain fighting, then ital at Shangtu, better known in the West as
chased them northward when they retreated to Xanadu. This garden city was Kubilai’s home,
meet the now-attacking Ogadai. Tului died of though he often returned to the steppes to main-
sickness during the campaign, and Ogadai tain his heritage and pursue the ancient Mongol
returned to Mongolia, leaving Subotai to finish pastime of hunting.
off the siege of Kaifeng, the Ch’in capital. Kubilai carried on more attempted con-
The city fell to him in 1233 after a year’s siege. quests against Japan and Southeast Asia.
The Sung in the south asked for a portion of the Sogatu, one of Kubilai’s generals, advanced into
Ch’in Empire in return for the safe passage they the province of Annam in 1257, but he could
had granted Tului, but Subotai refused. When not overcome the guerrilla war the native
the Sung seized Honan, the Mongols prepared to Annamese and Chams waged against him.
make war on them. Kubilai tried again to subdue the region in
War against the Sung lasted 35 years. 1287, but it proved costly. After many deaths
Ogadai’s nephews Mangu and Kubilai directed on both sides, in 1293 the Annamese recog-
the campaigns. Kubilai conquered the province nized Kubilai’s suzerainty; in return, Kubilai left
of Yunnan in 1253, and Mangu led the army in them alone.
a series of campaigns between 1257 and 1259
See also Ch’in Dynasty; Genghis Khan; Japan, Mongol
that defeated Sung armies and captured fortified Invasions of; Kubilai Khan.
cities. Mangu succeeded Ogadai as the Great
Khan, but his death in 1260 provoked a struggle References: Cohen, Daniel, Conquerors on Horseback
(Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970); Kwanten,
for the position between Kubilai and his
Luc, Imperial Nomads (Philadelphia: University
younger brother, Arik-Buka. Kubilai won after a of Pennsylvania Press, 1979); Lamb, Harold,
four-year civil war and became the Great Khan, March of the Barbarians (New York: Literary
then finished off the Sungs in a campaign Guild, 1940).
designed to be as bloodless as possible. It failed
to be totally without killing, but Kubilai spread 42 CRUSADES
the news of his benevolent intentions, and many
Sung generals turned against their own leaders to During the seventh and eighth centuries, the
join him. When the seven-year-old emperor Islamic religion swept out of the Middle East,
and his grandmother the dowager empress bowed across northern Africa, and into Spain, where it
to him, he declared himself emperor of China, began to encroach on central Europe. During the

68 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


CRUSADES

tenth century, European Christianity went on overland to meet in Constantinople before con-
the offensive, and by the eleventh century the tinuing on to Jerusalem.
tide began to turn against Islam. Christian The so-called Peasants’ Crusade led by Peter
Europe meant not only to overthrow Muslim the Hermit preceded the main contingents of
rule, but to expel it from Europe and recover nobility and men-at-arms, and turned into a
Jerusalem for Christianity. binge of pillage, thievery, and eventual wide-
Italian city-states exercised naval and com- spread murder of innocent Jews. Many of Peter’s
mercial dominance, and the German empire “army” died at the hands of the Turks, only a few
was on the rise. Christianity was spreading into ever reaching Constantinople.
northern Europe, and the number of pilgrim- The main forces under command of the
ages to the Holy Land and other sacred sites was nobility reached Constantinople in 1096. The
increasing. The desire to spread the gospel was leaders were required to swear allegiance to
mixed with a desire to open new markets and Alexis, emperor of the Byzantine Empire, in
conquer new territories. Despite the opportunity return for immediate gifts and a promise of future
for war with the Muslims, the feudal barons of help, which never materialized. Alexis’s main
central Europe engaged in private wars with one objective was to get the Crusaders to help him
another. The need for peace compelled the regain territories lost to the Turks, who were
pope to declare the Peace of Christ, and later seeking to take over his empire. Before they were
the Truce of Christ, in a vain attempt to limit allowed to leave for Jerusalem, however, the
such conflict. Crusaders were coerced into helping Emperor
By 1095, the power and influence of the Alexis capture the city of Nicea in l097.
papacy, as well as the sanctity of the majority The Muslim world was totally unprepared
of the clergy, were declining, while the power for the Christian invasion; the strength and
and influence of the German empire were power of the mounted knights, as well as the
expanding. Pope Urban II, fearing the church bravery of the common foot soldiers, were more
would lose what little influence it had, and than a match for their own cavalry. The march
abhorring the results of continued infighting to Palestine was marked by a decisive victory
among the Christian nobility, sought a way to at Doryleum and the conquest of Tarsus by
unite Christendom in a common cause. In Baldwin and Tancred. The Crusaders and their
Clermont, France, he advocated the First Crusade. camp followers were not prepared, however,
His plea was a mixture of propaganda concern- for the long and arduous march over the
ing the alleged cruelty of Muslims to Christian Black Mountains toward Antioch. This journey
pilgrims, a request for aid by the Byzantine emperor, meant the death of many through hunger, thirst,
a call for a display of righteous action in the and heat.
recovery of Jerusalem, and an offer of remis- Antioch fell to the Crusaders in 1098 after
sion of sins for those who participated. The eight months, despite poor provisions and ill
effect was overwhelming. Not only did the health among the besiegers. The Crusaders’
nobility—his prime audience—heed his confidence in the leadership of their God and
call, but so did many peasants and disreputable the righteousness of their cause helped them to
people of the cities. Others also took to overcome numerous efforts by the inhabitants to
preaching the crusade, most notably Peter the break the siege and defeat reinforcements
Hermit, whose call went mostly to peasants attempting to relieve the city. Antioch finally
and street rabble. fell, after betrayal by one of its citizens. The
The nobility were led by Godfrey of Bouillon Crusaders spent the next several months in
(Rhinelanders), Raymond of Toulouse Antioch recuperating, making local conquests,
(Provencals), and Bohemund (Normans of and repelling Turkish attempts to regain the city.
southern Italy). Along with the peasants and Bohemund finally secured Antioch for himself as
rabble, they made up six hosts of 100,000 to the others continued on to Jerusalem.
200,000 crudata, or cross-signed, who traveled Tales of the seeming invincibility of the

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 69


CRUSADES

conflict between Christian Europe and the


Islamic Middle East over the land and holy sites
of modern-day Palestine. It was the several
aggressive endeavors by European nobility, at the
behest of successive popes, to reinforce the Latin
Kingdom or regain territory lost to Islam that
give the illusion of multiple invasions. Battles
would continue to be fought, cities would be won
Louis IX of France leading crusaders and lost, but the great Christian victories of the
attacking Damietta, Egypt. initial invasion would not be repeated.
The Second Crusade was preached by the
Christian army preceded it, and the march pope and St. Bernard of Clairvaux after the fall of
toward Bethlehem and Jerusalem was without Edessa in 1144 to Zangi, governor of Mosul. This
incident. God, it seemed, was surely guiding and crusade was led by Louis VII and Conrad III of
protecting them, and no one dared stand in Germany (1147–1149). The two armies were
their way. unable to cooperate, and were separately defeated
They reached Jerusalem in 1099 and imme- in Asia Minor. An attempt to capture Damascus
diately placed it under siege. It fell to Godfrey failed, and the Crusaders returned home.
and Raymond on 15 July. For several days, any Muslim power was consolidated under Zangi,
Muslims who could be found were put to death. his son Nur-ed-Din, and later Saladin, who
After the capture of Jerusalem and the secur- sought a holy war with Christianity. In 1187,
ing of the surrounding territory, most of the Saladin’s army overran the Latin Kingdom and
Crusaders returned home, feeling that they had captured Jerusalem. This caused the pope to
done what was required of them by their God and preach a Third Crusade (1189–1192). It was led
their pope. Only the adventurers stayed on to by Philip Augustus of France, Richard I of
establish the four states of what would be called England, and Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
the Latin Kingdom. These four states, the king- Barbarossa drowned in Asia Minor, and Philip
dom of Jerusalem and the vassal states of Edessa, and Richard were unable to work together
Antioch, and eventually Tripoli, were islands of because of jealousy. Philip returned home, leav-
Christianity in a hostile sea of Islam. The Muslim ing Richard in the Holy Land; Richard captured
world was now much more aware of the Acre, but was unable to recapture Jerusalem. The
Crusaders’ presence and purpose, their strengths best he could manage was a treaty with Saladin to
and weaknesses. The Muslims wasted little time allow safe passage for pilgrims visiting Jerusalem.
in trying to regain what had been taken from In 1198, Pope Innocent Ill’s influence finally
them. Communications among the four Crusader brought peace to the feuding nobility of Europe,
cities was difficult, if not impossible, and the and he tried to reestablish the Crusade as a holy
Christians’ only hope of survival lay in reinforce- cause. This Crusade was led mainly by the
ments from Europe. In the meantime, however, Venetians, whose only goal was to expand their
their strength, bravery, audacity, and faith would trading empire by destroying the influence of
have to keep them alive and in possession of the Constantinople. This they did with the sacking
holy sites and the fortified cities. of Constantinople in 1204 by the Crusaders
With the eventual death of the last of the whom the Venetians had starved into compli-
great leaders of the First Crusade, the bravery ance after they could not afford their passage to
and piety that had marked it also died. The cru- the Holy Land.
sading spirit the soldiers had initiated would wax In 1215, Innocent III proclaimed the Fifth
and wane, but continue unbroken for the next Crusade (1218–1221). Emperor Frederick of
two and a half centuries. Germany obtained the title of king of Jerusalem by
What are commonly referred to as the marriage in 1225, but was excommunicated in
“Crusades” were actually one long, protracted 1227 for delaying the start of the crusade. In 1228,

70 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


ENGLAND, VIKING CONQUEST OF

Frederick finally went to the Holy Land, gaining freely in dedicated districts of these cities, and
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, and a connecting gained some legal control over citizens and visi-
strip of land to Acre—by treaty, not by conquest. tors within those districts. Their basic problem
In 1244, Jerusalem fell to the Saracens, and was that, though they provided a conduit to the
a new Crusade was proclaimed by Innocent IV West, they could deal only with Muslim traders
in 1245 and led by Louis IX of France. Though who handled Oriental goods, mainly spices.
he invaded Egypt and captured Damietta, Louis Therefore, the middleman remained, and the
was taken prisoner and Damietta was lost. Egypt local government always got its share of the rev-
revolted, and a new Muslim movement called enues. Still, there was enough money to go
for the recovery of Syria. Within the next few around, and when the trade routes shifted from
years, all remaining Christian possessions in Alexandria in Egypt to Damascus, Aleppo, and
Syria were captured and the Crusades effectively Antioch, the Europeans were able to expand
came to an end. their rights within the area. Political and
The major military goals of the Crusades— military conflicts occasionally interfered with
the driving of the Muslims from the Holy Land trade, but not enough to cut it off completely.
and the imposition of Western culture on the See also Ottoman Empire.
captured territory—were never accomplished.
References: Lamb, Harold, The Crusades, 2 vols.
On the contrary, the Crusades strengthened and (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1931); Smith,
united the Islamic world, and weakened the Jonathan Riley, The Crusades (New Haven, CT
Byzantine Empire until it was overcome by the Yale University Press, 1987).
Turks in the fifteenth century. The Crusades suc-
ceeded, however, in accomplishing Pope Urban ENGLAND, VIKING
II’s original goals of returning the papacy to its 43 CONQUEST OF
previous position of power and influence and
eventually ending feudal warfare. The Vikings raided and conquered along the
The Crusades also had a profound effect on coasts of Europe and the British Isles from the
commerce and trade, both inside and outside late eighth century. They left Scandinavia for a
Europe. Feudalism and serfdom disintegrated. A number of reasons, overpopulation being a
money economy began to predominate, which prime cause, but the drive for trade and/or plun-
stimulated a need for banks. Spheres of influ- der was almost equally important. The timing
ence were set up in port cities of Palestine by the was perfect for them because no society other
trading powers of Venice, Genoa, and Pisa, pro- than Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire could
viding easier acquisition of goods from both the mount any sort of organized resistance, and
Middle and Far East. Navigation and shipbuild- after Charlemagne’s death in 810, his successors
ing improved with the increased need for trans- had little luck in matching his military prowess.
portation of people and goods. Many of the Europe was gaining in wealth, but not in the
developments attributed to the Crusades were ability to defend it. Historian Gwen Dyer words
merely the end result of changes that had begun this situation well: “Loot is loot in any lan-
before Pope Urban’s call to retake the Holy guage, and western Europe was full of it.
Land. The Crusades served only to facilitate and Ireland, England, France were the vikings’
accelerate them. Mexico, with learning, arts, wealth, and a civi-
In the Middle East, the influence of Europe lization superior to those of their northern con-
remained for some time. Italian merchants estab- quistadors, and a similar inability to defend
lished trading privileges in the major ports of themselves from a numerically inferior but
Acre and Tyre. By controlling the sea lanes of mobile and energetic foe.”
the Mediterranean, they provided Muslim The Danes first raided England around 789
merchants with access to European goods while and 793, even as Swedes pressed eastward into
remaining the sole distributors of Oriental goods the Baltic and the Norwegians attacked Ireland.
to the West. Italian traders moved and worked The Danes alternated between attacking

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 71


ENGLAND, VIKING CONQUEST OF

England and France, striking both sides of the king of England in 886 (of all save Danelaw),
English Channel at will. In the middle 830s, and Ethelred was a staunch supporter. In that
they probed along the south coast as far as same year, Alfred negotiated with Guthrum a
Cornwall, but found the raiding easier along the system of tributes and hostages to maintain the
eastern shore, which they began to assault in peace between the two peoples. It was an elusive
843. Not until 862, however, did large-scale peace at best, for while the Danes may not have
landings take place, with forces numbering made war against Alfred, they had no compunc-
perhaps a thousand raiders under Yngvarr, tion about assisting any countrymen who cared
Ubbi, and Halfdan, who attacked to avenge to try. Thus, when Hastein invaded the mouth of
their father Ragnar’s death at the hands of King the Thames in 891, the successful English resist-
Ella of Northumbria. They defeated an English ance took longer than would have been the case
force under Ella at York in 863, and from that had the population of Danelaw not granted aid.
date the Danes began their mastery of north- Alfred’s improved organization and training of
eastern England. the levies and his construction of forts along the
Viking forces quickly expanded into coasts proved invaluable in protecting the coun-
Mercia (central England) and East Anglia, try. Further, his construction of ships, though not
killing King (later Saint) Edmund and occupy- of the quality of the Vikings, led to some success
ing his lands. In 870, Halfdan led men into against them and acted as a deterrent in later
Wessex and won many battles, but at a high Viking planning.
enough cost that he made peace and returned Alfred died in 899, having been the major
to the north to fight the Picts and Scots. That factor in the Vikings’ failure to conquer all of
year marked the accession to the Wessex England. He was succeeded by Edward, who car-
throne of Alfred (later to be titled “the ried the English tide northward and regained the
Great”), who would mount the most successful land to the Humber River for England by the
English resistance to the Vikings. Before he time of his death in 924. Edward’s cousin
could do so, however, the Danes received not Ethelwold had con- spired with the Vikings in
only reinforcements but immigrants, and began Danelaw to invade the southern territories,
settling in. which proved their undoing. Edward and
In January 878 the Viking chieftain Guthrum Ethelred were too skillful, and the Viking losses
attacked Wessex and drove Alfred southwestward. opened Danelaw to English counterattack. After
Outrunning his opponents, Alfred collected a Ethelred’s death in 911, he was ably succeeded
force from Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Somerset. both politically and militarily by his wife (and
He defeated an army of Vikings in Devon, then Edward’s sister) Ethelflaed. She and Edward
marched to fight Guthrum. Guthrum surrendered pressed continually northward, consolidating
at Chippenham after a two-week siege, acknowl- their gains by constructing numerous fortresses,
edging Wessex as Alfred’s and adopting which Viking tactics had no way to defeat.
Christianity as his new religion. The conversion Edward attempted to defeat the Danes with
appears to have been successful, because the as little bloodshed as possible, showing himself
Christianization of Danes in England began to to be a merciful victor. He did this both to assure
expand. It did not keep Alfred from attacking the Christian Danes of retribution and to recruit
southward as far as the Thames in 880, establish- their aid to fight Norwegian Vikings from
ing the river as the southern border of Danelaw, Ireland who were beginning to settle on the
that area of England ruled by the Danes. Fourteen west coast between Wales and Scotland. After
years of relative peace followed. the Norse leader Rognvald captured York in
Alfred was greatly assisted by an alliance 919, he and Edward made peace; Edward was
with Ethelred, who was based in the southeast. accepted as king of all England and Scotland—
United through Ethelred’s marriage to Alfred’s at least for a while.
oldest daughter, the two leaders made progress The deaths of Rognvald in 921 and Edward
against Viking pressure. Alfred was recognized as in 924 laid the groundwork for further conflict

72 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


EUROPE, MONGOL INVASION OF

between Edward’s son Athelstan and Rognvald’s language, personal and place names, and social
grandson Olaf. The Norse Vikings of Ireland custom from the invaders. In the long run,
joined with the Scots to fight Athelstan’s however, more change came from the Norman
English forces at Brunanburh (actual site conquest than from the Danes.
unknown) in 937. It was a decisive English vic-
See also Britain, Norman Invasion of; Carolingian
tory, but not a lasting one. Athelstan ruled well Dynasty; Ireland, Viking Invasions of; Russia,
and in nominal peace with the Danes, but after Establishment and Expansion of.
his death in 939, fighting began again. Until
References: Dyer, Gwen, A History of the Vikings
954, northern England was alternately under
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1968; Layn, H.
English, Danish, or Norwegian rule, but none R., The Vikings in Britain (Oxford: Blackwell,
could rule for more than a year or two because of 1995); Marsden, John, The Fury of the Northmen
outside pressure or internal struggles. (London: Kyle Cathie, 1993).
England remained English through the
reigns of several kings, until the young and weak- EUROPE, MONGOL
willed king Ethelred the Unready (978–1016) 44 INVASION OF
had to stand against a second great outpouring of
Danish Vikings. Ethelred paid for a peace treaty As the middle of the thirteenth century
with the raiding Olaf Tryggvason after the battle approached, the Mongols had established them-
of Maldon in 991. Olaf returned a few years later, selves along the Volga River, assuming the title
allied with the king of the Danes, Svein “the Golden Horde.” As they consolidated their
Forkbeard. In 994 the two were paid for peace; hold on Russia, reconnaissance forces penetrated
Olaf soon converted to Christianity and left eastern Europe, returning with the news that,
England for good, but Svein left only temporarily. like the Russian principalities, the Europeans
His return in 1001 brought another huge ransom. were divided and quarreling. They reported that
The following year, Ethelred ordered the massacre the mightiest king, Frederick of the Holy Roman
of all Danes in England. Some killing took place, Empire, was feuding with Pope Gregory, so a
including that of Svein’s sister. Svein invaded in Mongol advance should meet no consolidated
1003 to avenge her death and succeeded in pil- resistance. The leader of the Golden Horde was
laging as much as he liked; only famine, in 1005, Batu, son of Genghis Khan’s illegitimate son
forced his withdrawal. He was back looting the Juchi. He preferred to settle into the steppes of
next year and took yet another massive bribe Russia and enjoy his conquest, but Genghis’s
from Ethelred. He finally came to stay in 1012; chief general, Subotai, under orders from
he was received in the north by the descendants Genghis’s successor, Ogadai, convinced him that
of the first Vikings, and from that base he pil- they must invade Europe.
laged the entire country save London, which he Subotai commanded the invasion force,
could not capture. It did not matter, for the which went into motion in December 1240.
country surrendered to him, and Ethelred went Subotai chose this time because the rivers would
with his family to Normandy. be frozen, allowing his horsemen to cross more
Svein’s victory was short-lived, for he died easily, and the poor weather would hamper the
five weeks later. His son Canute succeeded him gathering of defensive forces. Their first stop was
and maintained Danish rule over England. Kiev, and Subotai offered the citizens peace in
This also proved relatively short, for other return for submission. When the Mongol envoys
Viking descendants conquered England under were slaughtered, so was the population of Kiev,
William of Normandy in 1066. The Vikings in and the most beautiful city east of Europe was
England were both conquerors and conquered, destroyed. The remainder of the Slavs inhabiting
as so often happens. They adapted themselves the area were driven westward until Subotai halted
to a countryside that provided much more fer- his men before the Carpathian Mountains. They
tile farmland than the one they had left. The and the nomadic Kipchaks of the south, whom the
area of Danelaw inherited influences of law, Mongols had already defeated, spread the news of

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 73


EUROPE, MONGOL INVASION OF

the Mongols’ advance and Kiev’s fate. The drew. He followed, not realizing that Subotai was
Kipchaks fled to the court of King Bela of not retreating but leading him on. On 9 April
Hungary, offering themselves for baptism in the Mongols turned and attacked, and again
return for his protection. Bela accepted them their mobility was superior to the Europeans’
until Subotai wrote to him that the Kipchaks heavy armor. An opening in their lines allowed
were Mongol servants who should be returned to the Hungarians to escape, but that too was a
him. Bela became convinced that his new con- ruse. The road back to Pest was five days long,
verts were spies, so he drove them into the hills, and the retreating men were slaughtered; some
where they became bandits. reports claim as many as 70,000 died.
On the eastern slopes of the Carpathians, The Mongols occupied Pest and sent out
Batu again counseled against entering Europe, more patrols to scout their next operation.
and again Subotai overrode him. Subotai Through the summer of 1241, they consolidated
ordered his force to divide into four parts. The their hold on Hungary while sending patrols
northernmost, under Kaidu, was to swing around toward Germany, Austria, and Italy. Europe was
the Carpathians into Poland and then ride horrified. The defeated peoples had run west,
southward to Pest on the Danube. A second col- spreading the details of the massacres, but the
umn was to perform the opposite task, riding rivalry between Frederick and Pope Gregory was
southward, then upriver. A third column was still too intense to overcome, each accusing the
detailed to cross the mountain passes on Kaidu’s other of openly or tacitly supporting the Mongol
left flank, while Subotai and Batu led the center invasion. Only after Gregory’s death in August
column through the pass known as the Russian 1241 did the feud end. In the meantime, the
Gates. The four columns were to meet in one Mongols settled into Hungary, and peace, if not
month, 17 March, in front of Pest. security, returned to the land. Trade flowed once
Kaidu’s column proved fabulously successful. again, and the Mongols proved to be less harsh
He captured Szydlow, but that was on 18 March; masters than enemies.
he was well behind schedule. Cracow fell to him Once winter approached in 1241, however,
on 24 March. He burned the city and marched the Mongols again prepared to move. Following
for Breslau, capturing it a week later. Before their strategy of a year earlier, Batu crossed frozen
Liegnitz, he met a combined force of Moravians, rivers with a portion of the army. In late
Poles, Silesians, and Teutonic Knights. Kaidu’s December, they captured and burned the city of
more mobile cavalry made short work of both the Gran, having defeated the force of French and
infantry and the heavy cavalry on 9 April. Lombards defending it. Passing Vienna, Batu
Outmaneuvering a Bohemian force marching to turned southward and campaigned down the
the battlefield, the Mongols captured and burned Adriatic coast, pillaging and searching for King
Moravia. Kaidu was almost a month late, but the Bela, who had escaped the slaughter outside Pest.
northern flank was secure. Batu met little resistance, while Subotai waited on
The southern column rode through Galicia the eastern bank of the Danube for the German
but was slowed by the heavily wooded terrain, attack he was sure would come. Before it could,
and it failed to reach Pest on the appointed day. however, word arrived from Karakorum that
Subotai had to force his way past a stout defense Ogadai had died. All Mongol chieftains had to
in the Russian Gates, but he arrived on 15 return for the election and installation of a new
March with his advance patrols, while Batu Great Khan. Subotai marched home, and
arrived with the bulk of the force two days later. although now Batu was in favor of staying in
When the second column arrived, notifying Europe, he was obliged to follow.
Subotai of Kaidu’s progress, the Mongol general The death of Ogadai was all that saved
was prepared to fight with only half his army. Europe from the fate of Hungary. The Europeans
King Bela marched his force out of Pest on had not shown any ability to defeat the tactics of
4 April. Having collected almost 100,000 men, the Mongol horsemen, and there is no reason to
he was not surprised when the Mongols with- believe that any power farther west could have

74 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


FRANCE, VIKING INVASION OF

done so. Though the withdrawing Mongols left no until Charles the Bald ransomed the city. They
doubt that this was a voluntary leave-taking, the returned in 885 with 700 ships and 30,000 men,
Europeans breathed a sigh of relief; they would and besieged Paris for 13 months; again they left
have time to prepare for the return of the nomads. after receiving a ransom of 700 pounds of silver.
As it turned out, the Mongols did not return; Batu Duke Odo and Charles the Simple protected the
settled into comfort along the Volga and did not area around Paris and acted as something of a
want to leave Russia again. A rivalry among the buffer for the inland provinces, but they did lit-
possible heirs created a division of the Mongol tle to actively defend anything other than their
Empire into four khanates, so no concerted effort own neighborhoods.
to return to Europe ever materialized. Other than Charles the Simple of Paris finally attempted
waste and death, the Mongols left little of their to assuage the Vikings with land of their own,
culture behind. The children they fathered went which could then be a buffer between the
home with them, so no permanent racial infusion European interior and the defenseless coastline.
resulted. Their campaign had serious effects on In 911 the Treaty of St.-Clair-sur-Epte ceded
the region, however, because the Slavs and land at the mouth of the Seine and the city of
Magyars of the region were slain by the invaders Rouen to Hrolf (or Rollo), leader of a group of
or by the resulting famine and disease after the Danish Vikings. Over the next few decades, the
Mongols’ withdrawal. The Teutonic peoples, who Norsemen stretched their borders eastward and
had not suffered as greatly, therefore filled the westward along the coast, though how much was
power vacuum in eastern Europe. The surviving through conquest and how much through ces-
Bulgars and Magyars were pushed into the Balkan sion by Frankish leaders remains the subject of
Mountains, to be dominated by Germans and some debate. Over the next century and a half,
Austrians for centuries. Scandinavian and Frankish cultures mixed, with
the conquered exerting a mighty influence on
See also Genghis Khan; Magyars; Russia, Mongol
Conquest of. the conquerors.
As more emigrants moved to this territory,
References: Chambers, James, The Devil’s Horsemen the Norsemen became Normans and the province
(New York: Atheneum, 1979); Kwanten, Luc,
Normandy, with French becoming the predomi-
Imperial Nomads (Philadelphia: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 1979); Lamb, Harold, The nant language. As part of the 911 treaty, the
March of the Barbarians (New York: Literary Vikings accepted Christianity. In time, the Norse
Guild, 1940). religions were completely replaced, and the con-
verts became militantly Christian. In viewing the
FRANCE, VIKING construction of buildings dating from this period,
45 INVASION OF some of the oldest are monasteries and churches
because the new Christians set about repairing
The Vikings sailed their longships throughout what their pagan fathers had looted. The
the known world between the ninth and Normans soon embraced Christianity with a fer-
eleventh centuries, establishing both a fearsome vor, not only rebuilding but joining the monaster-
reputation and a number of colonies. Their con- ies in large numbers. When Norman soldiers went
quest of territory in France, however, became a out into the world, they went as soldiers of God,
pivotal event in both Scandinavian and often with papal blessing or cooperation.
European history, for it turned a raiding, seafar- The sailors soon forsook the ship for the
ing population into a land-based military society horse; they maintained their warlike heritage,
affecting Europe and the Middle East. but transformed their naval prowess into cavalry
As long as Charlemagne ruled the Holy power. The Normans slipped easily into the feu-
Roman Empire, his military prowess kept the dal system of Frankish Europe, and one of the
Norsemen at bay. After his death, however, his prerequisites of nobility was leadership in battle.
sons had little success in stopping Viking raids. The Normans perfected the heavy cavalry of
The Vikings captured Paris in 849, holding it knighthood and developed the code of chivalry

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 75


FRANKS

surrounding it. This development dominated the authority to the Seine River with his victory at
military tactics of Europe for three centuries and Soissons and later reached the Eoire. A decade
often ran roughshod over the lightly armed sol- later, Clovis went to the aid of the Ripaurian
diers of Islam and Constantinople. Franks around modern-day Bonn and defeated
the Allemanni, thus extending Frankish power
See also Carolingian Dynasty; Crusades; England, into Germany.
Viking Conquest of; Franks; Ireland, Viking
Invasions of; Italy and Sicily, Norman Conquest
Clovis converted to Catholicism, possibly
of; Russia, Establishment and Expansion of. influenced by his wife, Clotilda of Burgundy.
Some sources suggest that he was a Christian
References: Arbman, Holger, The Vikings (New York: when he won at Soissons, but many claim that
Praeger, 1961); Brown, R. Allen, The Normans he embraced the faith in 496. He chose
(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1984); Searle,
Eleanor, Predatory Kinship and the Creation of
Catholicism over the Arian version of
Norman Power (Berkeley: University of California Christianity, though both were practiced among
Press, 1988). the Franks. This choice had profound effects,
because it started the Franks on the road to
becoming protectors of the Church of Rome.
46 FRANKS First, however, there were other lands to
capture and other enemies to fight. Clovis’s
This group of tribes living in the Rhine River expansion to the Loire River brought him into
area was first recorded during the later part of the contact with the Visigoths, who controlled
Roman Empire. The earliest history of the Franks southern France and northern Spain. The
was written by Gregory of Tours, a contemporary Ostrogoth king, Theodoric, an Arian and related
of Clovis, one of the early great chieftains. Prior to Clovis by marriage, had long striven to
to Clovis’s time, the history of the Franks is maintain peace in southern Gaul, but Clovis
sketchy. The first recorded leader was Chlodio, went to war as the champion of Catholicism.
who led the tribes into northern Gaul in the early He defeated the Visigothic forces under Alaric
fifth century. Chlodio was succeeded by at Poitiers in 507 and sent his son to conquer
Merovech, who fought alongside the Roman as far as Burgundy. Frankish authority extended
forces against Attila the Hun at Mauriac Plain in over all of France, with the exception of a
eastern Gaul in 451. The first recorded Frankish southern coastal strip and the Breton penin-
dynasty, the Merovingian, was named after sula. Clovis moved his capital to Paris and
Merovech. His son Childeric was on the throne established a church to commemorate his
by 457 and apparently remained a friend of the victory over Alaric. Rumor has it that despite
declining Roman Empire; he had perhaps been a his Christianity, Clovis plotted to murder
captive of the Huns as a child. His Frankish forces the ruling family of the Ripaurian Franks.
again fought alongside Roman soldiers against The truth remains conjectural, but he was
Visigoths at Orleans in 463 or 464, then kept elected their king after his war against Alaric.
later Gothic and Saxon invaders away from With his power solidified, Clovis was recog-
Roman Gaul. nized as king of the Franks by the Byzantine
In 481, Clovis became the Frankish king, emperor Anastasius. He was made a consul
though sources indicate that he was merely the under the emperor’s authority and treated as if
chief of other Frankish chieftains, a first among he ruled in the emperor’s name, which was
equals. He made war against the remaining hardly the case.
Roman leadership under Syagrius, defeating him Clovis’s four sons inherited parts of his
at Soissons in 486. Soon thereafter, Clovis kingdom and regularly made war against their
defeated rival chieftains and claimed supreme neighbors. Under the leadership of Theudibert,
authority among the major Frankish tribes, the the Germanic tribes were placed under tribute
Salians; Clovis can thus be named as the first and the Burgunds were destroyed, which gave
real king of the Franks. He extended his the Franks control over the Rhone River valley

76 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


FRANKS

and the port city of Marseilles. Theudibert’s him his most recognizable victory. In 732 the
expeditions into Italy weakened the Ostrogothic Franks defeated a force of marauding Muslims
regime there to the extent that Byzantine forces from Spain at Poitiers in a battle widely regarded
came to control the peninsula. as saving Europe from Islamic influence. The
The next great leader was Dagobert, who battle was one of a series in which the Franks
defeated the Avars, a Hunnish tribe forced the Muslims to settle south of the
threatening to expand past the Danube. He Pyrenees. In 737, the last Merovingian king died,
also raided into Spain and received tribute (or but Charles remained mayor of the palace with
bribes) from Constantinople. Dagobert’s reign no king to whom he could represent the chief-
also saw an expansion of Frankish trading tains. He died in 741, dividing his extensive
power and the widespread coinage of gold and landholdings between his two sons—Carloman,
silver. He established a mint at the mouth of to whom he granted his eastern holdings, and
the Rhine and carried on extensive trade, Pepin III, who inherited land in the west.
mainly in the cloth of Frisia, in modern Carloman became increasingly interested
Belgium. He also supported the Church’s in affairs of the soul, so much so that in 747 he
efforts to convert the Frisians. Dagobert, the ceded his lands to his brother and went to
last great king of the Merovingian dynasty, died Monte Cassino to become a monk. With tacit
in 639. His sons fought among themselves, and papal approval, Pepin removed the last pre-
the eastern (Austrasian) and western tenders to the Merovingian throne and made
(Neustrian) factions of the kingdom struggled himself king of the Franks. His successful
for dominance. defense of Rome against Lombard invaders
The real power in Frankish politics was not endeared him to the Catholic Church, which
the king but the mayor of the palace, who repre- named Pepin III “King by the Grace of God.”
sented the tribal leaders before the king. Pepin II, The Franks now became the official defenders
one of the mayors, gave birth to the next of the Catholic Church. Pepin spent the 750s
Frankish ruling clan. He led Austrasian forces to challenging the Muslims in Spain and reassert-
victory over the Neustrians at the battle of Tertry ing Frankish claims on southern France. At his
in 687, which made him the dominant figure in death, the greatest of the Carolingian mon-
Frankish politics. He assumed the role of military archs, Charlemagne, came to the throne.
leader, the defender of the Frankish lands from To a great extent, Charlemagne’s reign ends
outside attack. Pepin’s conquest of Frisia brought the story of the Franks. His establishment of the
him into close cooperation with the Irish Holy Roman Empire changed the nature of west-
Catholic monks who were trying to convert the ern Europe and laid the groundwork for the
Frisians, and the connection between nation-states that arose in the following cen-
Pepin’s family and the Catholic Church began to turies. The greatest effects the Franks had on
solidify. Pepin led campaigns against the western Europe were to serve as a stabilizing
Allemanni, Franconians, and Bavarians, and the influence in the wake of the fall of the Roman
missionaries followed his conquests. Pepin died Empire and to be a force for Christian missionary
in 714 as the most powerful man in Frankish pol- work in west-central Europe. Though much of
itics, but still mayor of the palace. this time frame is taken up with warfare, the
Pepin’s illegitimate son, Charles Martel, cooperation of the Frankish tribes, under the
inherited the position of mayor. (His Latin leadership of either kings or mayors of the palace,
name, Carolus, gave his heirs the title served to facilitate trade in western Europe and
Carolingians.) He led campaigns against the the exchange of goods and ideas. Little techno-
Saxons and Bavarians to secure the northern and logical innovation took place, though the devel-
eastern frontiers. Like his father, he worked opment of Frankish cavalry influenced warfare
closely with the Church to extend Christianity. throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Charles developed a well-disciplined military See also Avars; Byzantine Empire; Carolingian
based strongly on cavalry; that army won for Dynasty; Huns; Ostrogoths; Visigoths.

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 77


GENGHIS KHAN

References: Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, into Ch’in territory. By 1215, he occupied
trans. Ernest Brehaut (New York: Norton, 1969); Peking. At this point, he left the Ch’in conquest
James, Edward, The Franks (New York: Blackwell,
in the hands of General Muqali and turned
1988); Lasko, Peter, The Kingdom of the Franks
(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971). toward the southwest and the Muslim nation of
Khwarezm. A dispute over their treatment of a
caravan under Mongol protection brought
47 GENGHIS KHAN Genghis to this nation east of the Caspian Sea.
When representatives from Khwarezm refused
Certainly one of the best known and most suc- to discuss compensation, the Mongols invaded.
cessful conquerors was Genghis Khan, ruler of It is in this campaign in the Oxus River area
the Mongols and founder of the Mongol nation. that the Mongols established their fearsome rep-
Son of Yesugai, leader of the Borjigin tribe of utation. Under Genghis’s direction, the
Mongols, he was born probably in 1167 (though Mongols began destroying cities, fields, and irri-
earlier dates are suspected) and named Temujin gation systems.
(Temuchin). Orphaned at age nine when his It was also in this campaign that the
father was murdered, Temujin struggled to exist Mongols began to employ new military meth-
as an outcast in his own tribe. Stories abound ods. Mongol forces were made up totally of cav-
as to his charismatic personality even as a alry, which were unable to besiege cities.
youth, and he began to regain his position when Therefore, Genghis adopted catapults and siege
an old friend of his father’s gave him military engines from the nations he conquered. He also
support to regather his tribe and avenge himself learned that there was more to empire-building
on those who murdered his father. With the than owning sufficient territory to feed Mongol
assistance of his childhood friend, Jemuka (now horses. Cities and towns were necessary to
a prince), Temujin was immensely successful in hold territory and establish trade. With this in
defeating his enemies and from his earliest vic- mind, Genghis began to stop razing cities and
tories established a pattern for treating his foes: only engaged in wholesale slaughter on rare
He killed the leaders and brought the commoners occasions, though often enough to maintain a
into his own tribe. By doing this, he crushed any reputation that he could use as a negotiat-
remaining loyalty to previous clans and ing tool.
required fealty to himself alone. With Khwarezm conquered and under his
His early victories were directed against domination by 1223, Genghis remained rela-
the tribes of the steppes, and he gradually tively passive, though his troops raided far and
brought them under his control. He began to wide into Russia, southeastern China, and
have some trouble, though, within his own toward India. He died while on campaign in
camp when Jemuka started occasionally dis- Russia on 18 August 1227, leaving an empire
agreeing with and gradually challenging stretching from the Caspian Sea to Peking. This
Temujin’s authority. Jemuka led rival clan lead- was expanded further by his sons and grandsons,
ers in a number of attacks against Temujin, but who took the Mongol empire to its heights.
ultimately Temujin defeated and killed his for- Genghis was equally adept at conquest and
mer ally. By doing so, he brought all the steppe administration. While extremely strong-willed,
tribes under his control. This was confirmed in he was able to listen to opposing views and
1206 when he was named emperor of the incorporate them into his own if he saw their
steppes and given the title Genghis Khan, merit. While believing himself divinely guided,
meaning Universal Ruler. he tolerated every religious belief his subjects
With central Asia in his hands, Genghis practiced. Upon receiving his imperial title, he
began to look outward. With only his sons and developed the Great Yasa, a code of civil, mili-
his closest advisors for generals, he began to tary, and economic laws that governed all
attack China in 1211. He established a base Mongols, himself included. From his conquered
northwest of the Great Wall and moved quickly subjects he took not only military tactics and

78 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


SIBERIA
Lake
Moscow Baikal
KIPCHAK
KHANATE MONGOLIA
POLAND Kiev (GOLDEN HORDE) Lake
Balkhash
Karakorum
GREAT

CC
Danu
Shang-tu

AA
be R
. CHAGATAI SEA

SS
PP
B LAC K SEA KHANATE OF

A
II A
Peking JAPAN

N
Samarkand KHANATE

N
R
Constantinople

SS
Bukhara Kashgar w (1274)
l lo

EE
Gr

A
Ye

A
YELLOW
an

Kaifeng SEA
dC

Tig
r is
an

ILKHANATE
al

R.

R.
MEDITERRANEAN Eu

us
ph Lhasa
SEA ra Baghdad . (1281)

Ind
tes
PERSIA eR Hangchow
(1260) R.
n gtz
Ya
EAST
Foochow
Meko

PE
RS CHINA

Nile R.
IA
N Ch’uan-chou
ng R

SEA
.

GU
LF Ganges R. Wei R.
MONGOL EMPIRE Canton
in the late 13th century INDIA PAC I F I C
interior boundaries BAY
SOUTH OCEAN
OF
failed invasion attempts ARABIAN CHINA
BENGAL
SEA SEA

0 1200

Scale of miles

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


79
GENGHIS KHAN
GHANA, ALMORAVID INVASION OF

hardware, but also adopted an alphabet, a writ- the Senegal River, while others say Mauritania
ten language, and whatever cultural accom- or an island off the coast). Here he established
plishments they could offer. His domination of aribat, a fortified center for the study of religion
central Asia initiated a Pax Mongolica that and warfare, which attracted a following of peo-
allowed the reopening of the Silk Road, bring- ple pious to the point of fanaticism. These “men
ing ideas and trade from the Middle East and of the ribat” came to be known as Almoravids
beyond. Though known for the terror inspired (in Arabic, al-muribatun). When Ibn Yasin had
by his soldiers, Genghis used this terror as a psy- about 1,000 followers, mostly from the Sanhaja
chological weapon more than for its own sake. tribes, he declared a jihad (holy war). Returning
Unlike later strongmen in the mold of Hitler to the territory of the Sanhaja, he told his
and Stalin, who practiced genocide and mass recruits to either convert their people to a
murder, Genghis Khan was actually quite an stronger belief, or inspire God’s wrath upon
enlightened and tolerant ruler. them. After a few defeats, the Sanhaja tribes
See also China, Mongol Conquest of; Kubilai Khan;
embraced Ibn Yasin’s fundamentalist stand and
Russia, Mongol Conquest of. joined his forces, not only for religious reasons,
but also for the promise of booty. With enlarged
References: Chambers, James, The Devil’s Horsemen
forces, Ibn Yasin moved north to Morocco,
(New York: Atheneum, 1979); de Hartog, Leo,
Genghis Khan, Conqueror of the World (New York: defeating the Berber inhabitants in 1054-1055.
St. Martin’s Press, 1989); Morgan, David, The Here, in Ibn Yasin’s homeland, the Almoravid
Mongols (Oxford: Blackwell, 1986). state was established. After Ibn Yasin’s death in
battle in 1059, the dynasty was founded by Yusuf
ibn Tashufin.
GHANA , ALMORAVID While the main Almoravid force was con-
48 INVASION OF quering Morocco, a smaller force attacked
south with the intent of recapturing
The nomads of the western Sahara, most notably Awdaghust. Accomplishing this in 1054, they
the Sanhaja tribes, dominated the gold trade ultimately attacked deeper into Ghanan territo-
between Ghana and the Mediterranean in the ry and captured the capital in 1076. For a while
eleventh century. This was a profitable pastime they instituted a strict Muslim rule in the west-
until Ghana seized control of the town of ern African state, forcing tribute and the pay-
Awdaghust, at the southern end of the trade ment of a head tax by non-Muslims. This con-
route. Because of internal dissent, the Sanhaja trol lasted only a few years because the
tribes were unable to respond to this loss of Almoravids were more concerned with pil-
power and revenues. The king of the tribes lage and profit than local improvement.
believed something needed to be done to unite Even though they controlled both ends of the
his people, and he thought that religion was the trans-Saharan trade route, they did not take
key. Islam had spread throughout western Africa advantage of it. When the Almoravids with-
since the eighth century, but it was practiced drew, Ghana remained disrupted, allowing an
with irregular piety, and among the Sanhaja opportunity for the expansion of Mali into the
tribes of the Sahara, the people seemed to be gold territory.
only nominally Muslim. When their king went Meanwhile, the Almoravids in Morocco
on his pilgrimage to Mecca, he returned with the extended their campaign for Muslim fundamen-
desire to increase his people’s faithfulness. He talism into Spain. They attempted to revive the
brought back a teacher, Ibn Yasin, to motivate lethargic practices of the Spaniards and were
his tribes to become better Muslims, a task Ibn welcomed as protection against the approaching
Yasin was unable to accomplish. Christian forces from Europe.
Disgusted at the intransigence of the At their height, the Almoravids controlled
nomads, Ibn Yasin went into retreat along the territory from Spain through western Africa,
west coast of Africa (some say near the mouth of but that rule was short-lived. They were, in

80 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


GUPTA EMPIRE

turn, overthrown by another fundamentalist from both parents. After Chandragupta’s death
movement, the Almohads, who declared a in 330, Samudragupta, aiming to reestablish the
jihad against them in 1122 and ultimately boundaries of the Mauryan Empire, attacked to
overthrew them in 1163. That defeat in the west and southwest, conquering Rajputana
Morocco, coupled with the inability to make a and the northern Deccan plateau of central
profit at the southern extreme of their holdings India. His campaign along the eastern coast
in the gold region of Ghana, brought the drove as far as modern Madras, and the remnants
Almoravids to a rather abrupt end. The afteref- of the Andhra territory paid him tribute. He
fects of the Almoravid reign are mixed. attacked and was able to exact tribute from
Though they did not introduce Islam into Assam, Punjab, and Nepal. After Samudragupta’s
Ghana, they accelerated the spread of the reli- death in 375, his son Chandragupta II main-
gion into the interior of western Africa along tained the aggressive goals of his forebears. He
the Niger River to Mali and the Songhay defeated the Punjabis and gained direct control
empires. They also acted as a solidifying influ- over their territory in the northwest, then
ence for the tribes of the Maghrib in north- annexed the regions of Malwa, Saurashtra, and
west Africa; by building their capital at Gujarat. The empire reached its greatest exten-
Marrakesh, they laid the foundation for the sion under his rule, and saw the beginnings of a
modern nation of Morocco. Both in Morocco Golden Age.
and in the Sahara, the tribes were confirmed in Because the empire of the Guptas was not as
their Islamic faith, but the fundamentalism centralized as that of the Mauryans, much local
the Almoravids preached did not last much past autonomy was exercised. The environment
their demise. became peaceful and safe, however, and the
See also Mali, Expansion of; Songhay, Expansion of;
main chronicler of the period, the Chinese trav-
Spain, Muslim Conquest of. eler Fa Hsien, praises the administration for its
maintenance of such a quiet land. Poetry and lit-
References: Fage, J. D., A History of West Africa erature were taken to their heights, and in the
(London: Cambridge University Press, 1969);
Hallett, Robin, Africa to 1875 (Ann Arbor:
sciences the value of pi and the exact length of
University of Michigan Press, 1970); the solar year were calculated. The world’s best
Trimingham, J. S., Islam in West Africa (London: university at the time was established at
Oxford University Press, 1962). Nalanda, near the capital city of Pataliputra, and
it attracted students from all over India as well as
49 GUPTA EMPIRE China and Southeast Asia. By patronizing the
cult of Vishnu, the Indian religious climate
Northern India was in a state of flux for a long favored Hinduism and led to a decline in
time after the fall of the Mauryan Empire, com- Buddhism. A number of monasteries and temples
ing under the occasional control of the Bactrians were also constructed at this time.
and the Scythian Kushans. Their decline in the The empire did not long survive Chadragupta
face of Sassanid Persia, coupled with the decline II, who died in 413. The Ephthalites, or White
of the Andhra dynasty in southern India, left a Huns, drove through modern Afghanistan and
power vacuum that was filled by Chandragupta through the passes into northwest India. Though
of Pataliputra. The area of Magadha, around the kept at bay temporarily by Kumaragupta and
lower Ganges Valley, had been the base for the Skandagupta, the pressure proved overwhelming
Mauryan Empire, and Chandragupta claimed by 480, and the Gupta Empire collapsed. The
descent from the founder of that dynasty. He White Huns set up a short-lived kingdom in the
campaigned up the Ganges Valley and, having northwest, but the subcontinent remained frag-
placed it under his authority in 320 C.E., named mented until the rise of Harsha, the last of the
himself Chandragupta I, King of Kings. He mar- strong native leaders. During his reign
ried the daughter of a neighboring king, and (606–647), reunification extended almost as far
their son Samudragupta could claim noble blood as the Gupta Empire, but its decentralization

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 81


HUNDRED YEARS’ WAR

guaranteed its collapse into warring factions after trouble in Flanders by instituting an embargo
his death. Not until the Mongol invasion of on English wool, placing the merchants and
India would there again be a centralized admin- trade guilds in economic jeopardy. The cities of
istration. Flanders were obliged to recognize Edward as
king of France in order to reopen trade. They
See also Mauryan Empire; India, Kushan Invasion of;
Moghul Empire. signed a treaty of alliance with England, but
proved to be unfaithful in following it. With
References: Allan, John, The Cambridge Shorter History this foothold on the continent, Edward
of India (Delhi: S. Chand, 1964); Basham, A. L.,
The Wonder That Was India (New York: Taplinger,
organized an invasion force. He drew first blood
1954); Gokhale, Balkrishna, Ancient India, with a naval victory over the French at the bat-
History and Culture (Bombay: Asia House, 1959). tle of Sluys in January 1340, a battle which
gave him control of the English Channel.
Unable to follow this up because of a lack of
50 HUNDRED YEARS’ WAR Flemish support, he was forced to conclude a
truce with France.
Rival claims to both land and power were the Edward broke this in 1346 when English
basis of conflict between Britain and France in forces invaded Normandy and won a series of
the fourteenth century. The death of Charles VI victories culminating in their triumph at Crécy.
of France in 1328 left a void in the French He did not want to fight the French at that
monarchy. The Capetian dynasty had ruled in time, but since his ships had left Calais to evac-
France since 987, but there was now no direct uate wounded and booty, he could not escape.
male heir. The closest claimant was Edward III While on the march for Flanders, he met French
of England, grandson of Philip the Fair forces at Crécy and had to stand and fight.
(1285–1314), but the French nobility had a dif- Edward’s army of knights and longbowmen faced
ficult time conceiving of a foreigner as their a French army much superior in numbers of
king. They chose instead Philip VI Valois, decid- mounted knights and foot soldiers. He won by
ing to bring the Capetian dynasty to a close. defense and poor French leadership. Philip
Edward resisted this choice, not only because he attacked late in the afternoon of 26 August,
wanted the throne for himself, but also because before his entire army had arrived on the scene.
he was technically a vassal of the French king. The great range and power of the longbows held
Since he controlled some lands in France, he French crossbowmen at bay and drove back
might be called upon to obey his liege lord with repeated cavalry charges. By midnight the
actions detrimental to England. The French had French army was in tatters. Edward retreated to
also supported the Bruces of Scotland in their Calais, laid siege to it throughout the winter,
struggle for independence from the English. Last, and captured it in the spring of 1347. England
England coveted Flanders, nominally under controlled Calais for the next 200 years, denying
French control but tied to England via the wool the French any opportunity to launch a coun-
trade. Add to all this the traditional dislike the terinvasion. Mutual exhaustion and the arrival
French and English have always harbored for of the bubonic plague brought the war to a halt
each other, and war seemed inevitable. for eight years. The second phase of the war
Even though it possessed a larger and wealth- came when England won a victory at Poitiers in
ier population, France did not have a strong cen- September 1356. This time, the key English
tral administration to direct military operations weapon was artillery. By destroying the castle
or to collect the necessary taxes to pay for a war. walls at Poitiers, along with the flower of French
England was better organized, and had more con- knighthood at Crécy, England defeated the
sistent military leadership and superior weaponry French army and took King Philip prisoner.
in the form of the longbow. Political order in France collapsed and the
The war was fought in three phases over countryside was vandalized by roving bands of
the space of 116 years. First, Edward provoked out-of-work soldiers. Scorched earth tactics

82 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


HUNDRED YEARS’ WAR

employed by both armies, coupled with the pil-


laging of the brigands, brought destruction to all
parts of the French countryside. England forced
France to sign the Treat of Bretigny in May
1360, freeing Edward from his position as vassal
to the French king and forcing France to recog-
nize English control over its territories. Edward
renounced his claim to the French throne and
received three million gold crowns for King
Philip’s release.
Owing to domestic problems in England
over the next few decades, the country was
unable to focus sufficient attention to its pos-
sessions in France and the new French King The bloody Battle of Agincourt which claimed
Charles V was able to regain influence over the lives of half the male French nobility.
much of France while English kings had to deal
with peasant uprisings. After Edward III died in throne, but at first had little luck. As his army
England in 1377, the two countries remained inside Orleans was being besieged in 1429, a
in relative peace. In 1396, Richard II of young girl, Joan of Arc, requested an audience
England married the French king’s daughter, with him. She informed him that God had
sealing a truce. Not until 1415 did the war given her the power to lift the siege. As the war
resume, when King Henry V of England took had been going so poorly and no French gener-
advantage of a French power struggle and al could succeed, Charles had nothing to lose.
invaded, initiating the third phase of the war. Joan was just what the French military needed:
He scored a major triumph at Agincourt in a psychological boost. She had no military
October. Henry’s army of 8,000 defeated a training, of course, but her arrival at Orleans
French force of 25,000, again doing most of the coincided with a British retreat owing to a lack
damage with longbows against a reconstituted of supplies. Any French army in this position
French armored nobility on horseback. could have won, but she got the credit.
Unhorsed knights packed into a muddy field Heartened by this victory and what they
fell victim to a swarming English infantry. believed to be divine guidance, French forces
Enraged by a French attack at his undefended built momentum and scored a series of successes
baggage train late in the battle, Henry broke over the English. Charles openly declared him-
the conventions of the time and ordered his self king as the English forces reeled. The
prisoners executed. Half the French nobility Burgundians saw which way the wind was blow-
died at Agincourt. ing and, disavowing their English allies, signed
Allying himself with the Burgundians, an agreement with Charles in 1435. Backed
Henry held a commanding position in control of into a corner around Calais, which remained
almost all of northern France. He forced the their sole possession in France, the British
French to sign the Treaty of Troyes, which cre- agreed to peace in 1453. The Hundred Years’
ated a joint monarchy. The deaths of Henry V War accelerated the pace of change in Europe,
of England and Charles VI of France in especially in France. The defeats of the French
1422 brought a single king to power, the infant nobility at Crécy and Agincourt were impor-
Henry VI. In Paris, he was proclaimed king tant because the feudal system was based on
of both France and England, but most French the power of the knights. Without the ability
ignored the treaty and recognized Charles VII to enforce the system of vassalage, feudalism
Valois. began to fade. The arrival of the bubonic
The two countries were unified in name plague in the midst of this war brought about
only. Charles VII soon set about regaining the changes as well. By killing vast numbers of

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 83


HUNS

people in the cities, peasants from the country- the Scythians. Some of the earliest direct refer-
side, no longer bound to their land by the dead ences come from clashes with the Goths around
or absent nobles, abandoned an agricultural life the area north of the Black Sea in the mid-fourth
for one of business in urban areas. Decreased century C.E. The first Hun conquest was the
demand for agricultural products because Alans; they were then used in the vanguard of
of the plague, coupled with the lack of farm Hun attacks against the Goths or emigrated into
workers, meant that the nobles on their estates the Roman Empire.
could not maintain an income. This caused In 376 the Huns began to harass the
political power to shift to where the money Caucasus lands controlled by the Ostrogoths.
was—with the merchants and craftspeople of After fighting around the Crimea, the
the cities. Without a strong agricultural nobil- Ostrogoths were pushed back across the Dnieper
ity, the king became the most important polit- to the Dniester River, and began to pressure the
ical figure in the nation, and he was supported Visigoths. The Visigoths had not fared too well
by the cities, which had no traditional loyalty against the armies of the Eastern Roman Empire,
to one noble as the country peasants had. and their leader, Athanaric, had no wish to see
Feudalism fell, replaced by nationalism. Taxing his people defeated by a second enemy.
power from now on lay in the hands of the Athanaric established his forces along the
king, so he used his military power to open and Dniester and sent a reconnaissance force east to
control trade routes and foreign lands, and keep an eye on the advancing Huns. This force
keep the cities wealthy. was easily destroyed, and the Huns were upon
There were changes in England as well. Athanaric’s army before the Visigoths could fin-
When the war started, Edward III needed ish their defenses. The Visigoths vanished into
money. In order to get it, he needed the the countryside and reformed between the Pruth
approval of Parliament, which he called upon and Danube rivers, where Athanaric ordered a
to approve an unprecedented amount of money wall built. A second time the swift Hun army
and supplies. This meant holding regular meet- arrived and surprised the Visigoths, who again
ings, which resulted in a steady increase in the scattered and retreated toward the Danube. The
power of the House of Commons. Thus, as refugees numbered between 700,000 and one
Edward tried to gain power in France, he was million, and they settled into the forests of
relinquishing it little by little at home. Transylvania.
Pressed against the frontiers of the Roman
References: Painter, Sidney, and Brian Tierney,
Empire, in 376 the Visigoths begged protection
Western Europe in the Middle Ages (New York:
Knopf, 1983); Palmer, John J. N., England, France from Emperor Valens. The Visigoths were
and Christendom: 1377–99 (Chapel Hill: granted land along the Danube in return for mil-
University of North Carolina Press, 1972); Vale, itary service. The Ostrogoths, who arrived later,
Malcolm, English Gascony, 1399–1453 (London: also begged imperial protection, but were denied
Oxford University Press, 1970). it; they crossed the Danube anyway. Emperor
Theodorus I, crowned in Constantinople in 379,
led Roman campaigns against the Huns, who
51 HUNS were rampaging through the Balkans, but he
could not turn them back.
The Huns are one of a myriad of tribes who rode The two Gothic peoples combined to fight
out of central Asia, but little can be determined against the Eastern Romans, leaving no strong
of their origin. Probably they were the Huing-nu, force to oppose the slowly approaching Huns.
who failed in wars against the Chinese and The Huns settled into Pannonia along the
turned (or were forced) westward. Occasional Adriatic coast.
early sources opine that they were the Nebroi By 432, the Huns were well established and a
mentioned by Herodotus as a semimythical peo- force to be reckoned with. Emperor Theodosius II
ple living on the fringes of territory controlled by paid tribute to the Hun leader, Ruas, and gave

84 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


NORTH BALTIC
SEA SEA
ANGLES
G
O
TH
SAXONS S
FR
AN
LOMBARDS
KS NS
HU
VAND
ALS

HS
GOT
O
TR
HUNS OS

AT LAN T I C BURGUNDIANS V
IS
OCEAN Ravenna IG
O
T B LAC K
H
S
SEA
Rome
S
OTH
G Constantinople
SI
VI

PERSIA

ALS
AND
V MEDITERRANEAN SEA
BARBARIAN MIGRATIONS
INTO EUROPE
Roman Empire, 5th century
0 750

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


Scale of miles

85
HUNS
INDIA, KUSHAN INVASION OF

him a general’s commission. Ruas’s sons Bleda Attila died in 453. His sons fought for his
and Attila renewed the treaty and fought for throne while subject tribes revolted. The rem-
Constantinople in campaigns against Persia. nants of the Huns retreated northeast of the
Growing tired of doing another’s fighting, Attila Danube, leaving rebelling tribes to their own
made war against the Eastern Romans. Between devices. The last of the Huns, under Irnac, trav-
441 and 443, he rampaged through the eled as far as the Volga, but they were defeated
Balkans and defeated a Roman army outside and absorbed by the Avars. The Huns proved to
Constantinople, but could not capture the city. be little more than plunderers, traveling from
Upon receiving an increase in tribute, he finally one ripe target to the next, never settling down
stopped. Attila killed his older brother to or building cities. They accomplished nothing
become sole leader of the Huns, and in 447 more than mass destruction, gaining a reputation
reopened his war against the Romans. Though as the “scourge of God” punishing a sinful
once again turned back from Constantinople, Roman Empire.
Attila managed to gain a threefold increase in See also Avars; Ostrogoths; Scythians; Vandals;
tribute and cession of the eastern bank of the Visigoths.
Danube. Theodosius’s successor stopped paying
References: Brion, Marcel, Attila: The Scourge of God
the tribute in 450, by which time the Huns were
(New York: Robert McBride & Co., 1929); Bury,
looking westward. J. B., The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians
Attila hoped to split the attention of the (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963); Thompson,
Western Roman Empire between himself and E. A., Romans and Barbarians (Madison:
the Vandal leader Gaiseric, who was laying siege University of Wisconsin Press, 1982).
in North Africa. Further, Attila was invited to
aid a Frankish chieftain in a succession struggle INDIA , KUSHAN
against his brother, so there seemed to be plenty 52 INVASION OF
of reasons to march on Gaul. He crossed
the Rhine north of modern-day Mainz with The arrival of the Yueh Chih, or Kushan, people
100,000–500,000 warriors, in addition to their in India was a result of their defeat at the hands
families, who carried supplies. With a variety of of Shih Huang-ti of the Ch’in dynasty in China.
auxiliaries, the Huns advanced along a 100-mile- Expelled from their traditional lands, the Kushan
wide front, destroying everything in their path migrated west and defeated the Scythians of cen-
except Paris. The Roman general Aetius formed tral Asia, who in turn attacked India at the time
an army of Franks, Germans, and Alans, but of the declining Mauryan Empire. The Scythians,
could muster no more than half Attila’s strength. or Sakas, carved out a kingdom of their own in
In mid-June the two armies fought at the site of the area around modern Afghanistan, including
modern-day Chalons, and Attila could not pre- parts of northern India. They were supplanted,
vail. He retreated eastward, and western Europe however, by the Kushans, who maintained con-
was saved from Asian domination. trol over the area of modern Turkistan. Late in
Attila turned south instead and attacked Italy. the second century B.C.E., the Kushans were at
He had demanded the hand of Honoria, the the borders of Bactria, but internecine squabbling
Western Roman Emperor’s sister, and been refused. divided them into five rival clans. Kujula
Northern Italy was ransacked, and refugees fled to Kadphises subdued the other four and began to
the marshlands, creating Venice. Aetius returned press gradually southward. Around 25 C.E., they
to face Attila, but the Huns were having problems. gained control of the territory of modern
One of Attila’s commanders had been defeated in Afghanistan and moved into the Kabul Valley by
Illyricum (northern Greece), and the Italian coun- about 50 C.E. Kujula led his people as far as the
tryside proved to be disease-ridden and without Indus River, while his son Wima occupied much
supplies. Attila met with Pope Leo I outside Rome of the Punjab. The third ruler, Kanishka, was
and, after an unrecorded discussion, turned the the greatest of them all. The dates of his reign are
Huns northward and left Italy. a matter of some speculation, but 78–103 is

86 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


INDIA, MUSLIM INVASION OF

generally accepted. Kanishka drove his armies INDIA , MUSLIM


eastward to capture Palitaputra (modern Patna), 53 INVASION OF
the capital city above the delta of the Ganges,
then back to the west to occupy Rajputana. At its As the forces of Islam spread the faith through
greatest extent, Kanishka’s empire stretched from the Middle East in the 700s, they gained a small
northern India to Parthian Persia to Turkistan. foothold in India by establishing a trading com-
After his capture of India, he spent much of his munity in Sind, where the Indus River empties
time fighting border wars with China. into the Arabian Sea. Not until about 1000 did
The Kushans played a key role in interna- Muslim conquerors return in earnest. At first,
tional relations in the first two centuries C.E. Afghan Muslims conducted raids into northern
because their position between the Roman India for no other reason than plunder, but they
Empire to the west and the Chinese to the east soon added forced conversion to their raiding.
made them valuable middlemen for the beginning Mahmud of Ghazni was the main perpetrator of
of the Silk Road linking the two worlds economi- this rapine, destroying as much Hindu and
cally and, to an extent, philosoph-ically. Both Buddhist culture as possible while carrying vast
Western and Eastern cultures blended in Kushan wealth out of the country. The cavalry tactics
India, but the Kushans, like most invaders of developed over the centuries by Turkic/Mongol
India, were absorbed by the local society. peoples served the Afghan invaders well, and few
Kanishka is known as a hero of Buddhism, spread- of the Indian kingdoms could resist; only the
ing the faith throughout his empire and introduc- military culture of Rajasthan gave the Muslims
ing it into China. It is also possible that serious competition. Over time, the Muslims
Christianity reached India at this time; legend has stayed in India rather than carrying off their
it that the apostle Thomas preached there. The plunder, and by 1200 they were in control of
perspective of history sees this mingling of cul- most of the northern part of India. Hindustan
tures as a great age for India and the world, but and the Punjab were incorporated into a Turco-
contemporary accounts (especially those written Afghan Empire, and the invaders established a
by Hindus) speak of the dark age of barbarian con- capital at Delhi, strategically located to confront
quest and the upsetting of traditional values. Still, the few passes giving access to Afghanistan and
the Buddhists did well, and the Kushan patronage acting as the gateway to the agricultural lands of
of the arts produced the greatest era of sculpture, the Ganges and Indus river valleys. In 1206 the
much of which has Hellenistic overtones. Delhi sultanate was formally established.
After Kanishka, the Kushan power began to The Muslims continued to raid the country-
fade. One of the Scythian satraps, Rudradaman, side to extend their political control, spread
broke away from Kushan dominance and carved Islam, and destroy the Hindu and Buddhist faiths.
out a kingdom of his own in the northeastern The population of northern India, though much
portion of India. Other subordinates also broke larger in number than the Muslims, could not
away. The rising power of the Sassanid dynasty find it in their nature to organize under one
in Persia dealt the Kushans a defeat around 250, leader to resist the invasion. The Muslims were
in which they lost their hold on their central and successful enough in their attempt to virtually
southwest Asian lands. Ultimately, the Kushan destroy Buddhism in India, the land of its birth,
kings ruled over progressively smaller territories by killing thousands of monks and destroying
until their total absorption by Indian culture. temples, monasteries, and universities. Hindu
See also Ch’in Dynasty; Mauryan Empire; Scythians.
temples suffered as well, because the Muslim ban
on portraying the human form in artwork meant
References: Chattopadhyay, Bhaskar, Kushana State the destruction of vast amounts of sculpture. As
and Indian Society (Calcutta: Punthi Pustak,
the sultanate grew more secure, however, the
1975); Kumar, Baldev, The Early Kusanas (New
Delhi: Sterling Publishers, 1973); Mukherjee, later sultans carried on less persecution, and the
Bratindra, The Rise and Fall of the Kushana Empire majority of Indians who practiced Hinduism sur-
(Calcutta: FirmaKLM, 1988). vived. They lived as second-class citizens in a

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 87


INDIA, MUSLIM INVASION OF

Muslim society, forced to pay the head tax all conquer and focused on internal improvements
non-Muslims everywhere had to pay. This bought and construction projects such as hospitals,
them the right to practice their faith, and once mosques, universities, dams, and bridges. He
the Muslims looked a bit more closely at the eased the tax burdens, but enforced the strict
tenets of Hinduism, they found it less objection- practice of Islam and made the Hindu population
able than first thought—its lesser deities could know they were second-class citizens. At his
almost be equated with the veneration of saints death, the sultanate began to break up.
in some Christian societies. The rise of the bakhti In the midst of internal dissension after
movement, teaching a universal message of Firuz’s death, the timing was ripe for another
divine love, fit neatly into the Sufi teachings of invasion. The Indians seemed to fight among
Islam, so the persecution lessened considerably. themselves the most bitterly when there was dan-
Once established, the Delhi sultanate lusted ger on the frontier. Tamurlane invaded with his
after the southern part of India, but like so many Turkic-Mongol forces in 1398 and destroyed the
other empires, it failed to make much of a dent city of Delhi. He left behind famine and disorder,
in the forbidding Deccan plateau or the warlike and the Delhi sultanate never fully recovered. An
Marathas who lived there. Perpetual attempts at attempt at resurrection was made under the lead-
subjugation, however, coupled with heavy taxa- ership of Sikander (1489–1517), and a period of
tion to pay for the military and a rising disunity intellectualism flourished. Hindu and Muslim
in Delhi, brought the sultanate into peril. Palace religious thought began to merge in mystic prac-
cabals and discontented peasants kept the lead- tices. Sikander’s successor, Ibrahim, was the last
ers from establishing a peaceful empire that sultan. While attempting to crush a rebellion in
could become profitable. Soldiers were often the northern territory of the Punjab, the local
imported Mamluk slave troops, talented at their governor asked an Afghan tribe for assistance;
profession but also eager for power; they fought this led to the invasion of Babur “the Tiger” and
the wars but also dealt in court intrigues. the establishment of the Moghul Empire.
The Muslim Empire faced its most severe chal- The role of the Delhi sultanate in the life of
lenge in the early 1300s when the Mongols made the everyday inhabitant of India is difficult to
their appearance on the northwest frontier. Sultan assess, as little primary source material comes
Ala-ud-din dealt the Mongols one of their rare from this era. It was difficult for the Hindus and
defeats and drove them back into Afghanistan. disastrous for the Buddhists, and the oppression
Ala-ud-din had already made a name for did not end with the rule of the sultan. Local
himself as an aggressive leader eager to attack the autocrats taxed the people for the sultan and
Deccan, and he had raised an agricultural tax of then taxed them again for their own courts, and
almost 50 percent to finance his campaigns. This these local rulers gave little decent government
gave him a ready army when the Mongol threat in return. The most long-term result of the occu-
appeared, but it provoked the already oppressed pation was the introduction of Islam into India,
Hindu farmers. When he died on a campaign in giving it a hold in some areas it would never
1316, he was little mourned. relinquish; variations on the faith are seen in
Ala-ud-din’s successors were the Tughluqs. groups such as the Sikhs. The Muslim rule
Muhammed ibn Tughluq came to the throne in engendered no loyalty, and therefore no popular
1325 and reintroduced the forced spread of Islam, support, when it was needed most—to face
even though he fell in love with and married a another foreign invader.
Hindu. He also tried to conquer the Deccan, with See also Tamurlane; Moghul Empire.
only slight success, but his taxes were also heavy;
further, from 1335 to 1342, northern India suf- References: Holt, E M., The Cambridge History of Islam,
2 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
fered a drought which killed a million people.
1970); Lane-Pool, Stanley, Medieval India under
More people rebelled. Muhammed died fighting a Muhammadan Rule (Calcutta: Susil Gupta, 1951);
rebellion in Sind, and he was succeeded by his Payne, Pierre, The Holy Sword (New York:
cousin Firuz (1351–1388), who gave up trying to Harper, 1959).

88 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


IRELAND, ENGLISH INVASION OF

IRELAND, ENGLISH English viceroy in Ireland. De Lacy was given


54 INVASION OF control over the territories of Waterford and
Wexford as well as the province of Meath.
Around 1159, after hearing reports of corruption Richard maintained control of Leinster.
and wrongdoing in the Irish Church, Pope The immediate effect of the invasion was that
Adrian IV gave consent to Henry II, king of the Irish countryside was ransacked by invaders,
England, to invade and conquer Ireland. The who built castles and stole land and livestock from
Irish Church had been corrupt for some 25 years Irish chieftains. The Norman-English began to
and, though reform efforts were in place (includ- intermarry with the locals, and adopted the Irish
ing the appointment of two new archbishops), language and laws. Distraught by the assimilation,
Ireland did not have the strong centralized gov- English kings passed laws prohibiting the use of
ernment needed to support a state church. Henry the Irish language, Irish laws, Irish clothing, etc.
decided against an invasion at that time, however, These efforts proved futile.
because of opposition from his mother. Initially the invasion seemed fruitful. The
The English invaded Ireland nine years later English managed to move into most of Ireland,
at the request of Dermot Macmurrough, king of excluding western and central Ulster. However,
Leinster in Ireland. Macmurrough was having a from the very beginning, their rule was challenged
problem with some Irish princes who had had him by Irish landholders, and over time the extent of
removed from his lands by sanction of the high English rule diminished. Throughout Henry’s reign
king of Ireland. Macmurrough went to Henry II for and that of his son John, skirmishes between the
help and, with Henry’s consent, obtained troops Irish and Norman-English were common. By the
from the Anglo-Norman nobility. The invaders time Henry died, Norman control existed only in
were foot soldiers of an English baron, Richard, sections of the coast, land along the Shannon
earl of Pembroke. In exchange for his military aid, River, land in Leinster, and parts of Meath and
Richard was promised Macmurrough’s daughter in Ulster. John’s reign did nothing to extend that con-
marriage and succession to the throne of Leinster. trol; in fact, his attitude toward his Irish subjects
The invasion began in 1168 and lasted further angered them and caused more rebellion.
approximately one year. The slings and stones Though Norman-style rule was diminished
used by the Irish resistance were no match for considerably, long-term effects of the invasion
the armored knights and archers of the Norman- are still visible. During John’s reign, the king-
style army. Within the year, Richard’s army had doms under English rule were divided into 12
seized Dublin. During this time, Richard married counties; those counties still exist in modern
Macmurrough’s daughter and, at Macmurrough’s Ireland. John’s main influence, though, was in
death, inherited the kingdom of Leinster. After the introduction of an English style of govern-
Dublin’s fall, Richard continued his campaign ment and the adoption of English law. Even
deeper into Ireland. today, effects of the invasion are evident in the
These successes made Henry fear that a problems between Ireland and England. A ram-
power-hungry Richard might use his newfound part used by the invaders still stands. Robert Kee
lands to rise up against England. He also worried comments, “The rampart sealed off the neck of a
that English nobles might divide the conquered promontory which the Normans were to use as a
territory into individual states independent of bridgehead. What a bridgehead into Irish history
English rule. Henry himself had stayed out of the it was to prove. Eight centuries of conflict were
conflict, leaving the fighting to Richard, but now to flow from it—a conflict that is still not over.”
he decided to enter the country and proclaim
himself lord of Ireland. He then extended English References: Finnegan, Richard, Ireland: The Challenge
of Conflict (Boulder: Westview Press, 1983); Kee,
rule to the territories of Waterford and Wexford,
Robert, Ireland: A History (New York: Little,
adding them to land Richard had already con- Brown, & Co., 1982); Orel, Harold, ed., Irish
quered. In the spring of 1172, Henry returned to History and Culture (Lawrence: University of
England, leaving in charge Hugo de Lacy, the first Kansas Press, 1976).

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 89


IRELAND, VIKING INVASIONS OF

IRELAND, VIKING to rise up in 901 and reclaim their land under the
55 INVASIONS OF leadership of Cearball of Leinster. Ireland experi-
enced peace—until 913, when the Vikings
Viking forays into Ireland began in 795 with the returned. In a four-year expedition, they retook the
raid on Lambay. Twenty-five raids were recorded island and ruled it until 1000, when Brian Boru,
between 795 and 840, conducted all along the king of Munster, defeated Sigtrygg Silkybeard.
northern coast of Ireland. These raids centered The immediate effects of the Viking occupa-
mostly on churches and monasteries because the tion were both good and bad. The slave trade
church prescribed the use of precious metals, became widespread throughout Ireland, but the
such as gold, for its liturgical vessels. Such places Irish were introduced to the superior boatmaking
were easy pickings owing to the monks’ inability and seamanship of the Vikings. Contacts with
to defend themselves. England were also strengthened during this time.
In 840 the character of Viking conquests Numerous Viking words found their way into the
changed. Thorgils, a Norse Viking, invaded and Irish language, including the words for trade,
conquered the whole of Ireland. From this point coin, and market. Excavations of parts of Dublin
on, Ireland was used primarily as a military base and other sites reveal a wealth of information
for expeditions to other places. Thorgils founded about the Vikings, and many examples of early
many garrisons that would become major cities: Irish art are preserved in Norwegian museums.
Dublin, Wexford, Cork, and Limerick. There Despite some holes in our knowledge, we know
was no major settling of Ireland by the Vikings, the Vikings had a long-term effect on the
unlike the colonizing taking place in England politics, culture, and history of Ireland. Because
and on the Continent. Soldiers came, served Ireland was used mainly as a fortress-base for
their time, and returned to Scandinavia. Also, other expeditions, the Viking heritage here was
instead of subjugating the people of Ireland, the unlike that in England, where widespread colo-
Vikings ruled in cooperation with the seven Irish nization occurred.
kingdoms of Connaught, Munster, Leinster,
References: Arbman, Olger, The Vikings (New York:
Meath, Ailech, Ulaidh, and Oriel. The Irish Frederick Praeger Publishers, 1961); Jones, Gwyn,
kings stayed kings, some working with their A History of the Vikings (New York: Oxford
Viking overlords, others opposing them. University Press, 1968, rev. 1984); Richter,
Thorgils was drowned in 845 by Mael Michael, Medieval Ireland (New York: St. Martin’s
Sechnaill, king of Meath. The Norse experienced Press, 1988).
constant conflicts for the next few years, contin-
uing into 850 when the Danes stepped in to take ITALY AND SICILY,
over. Called the Black Strangers, the Danish 56 NORMAN CONQUEST OF
Vikings raided Dublin and seized the Norse
stronghold of Carlingford in 851. In 853, the Contemporary sources dispute how soon and in
Norse and Danes were united under Olaf Huiti, what manner the Normans followed up their 999
the son of the Norse king. In 871 Olaf returned to C.E. foray into Italy. The one common agreement
Norway and was killed in battle, which left is that they came from Normandy in relatively
Ireland to his brother Ivar, lord of Limerick. small groups made up of younger men who stood
Olaf’s reign had been rife with petty wars and to inherit little if they stayed home; only by war-
shifting alliances. Upon assuming leadership, Ivar fare could they increase their fortunes, and for-
was dubbed “King of the Norsemen of all Ireland tunes could be made in Italy. The Normans first
and Britain.” This angered the Danish king acted as mercenaries for a variety of local powers,
Halfdan of Northumbria in England, who unsuc- in some cases fighting on opposite sides. Their
cessfully declared war on Ivar. military prowess proved sufficiently valuable that
These struggles, along with a reduction in they were able to obtain lands from their
reinforcements because of the settling of Iceland, employers and establish a presence that grew
weakened the Viking hold sufficiently for the Irish stronger until 1042, when southern Italy was

90 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


JAPAN, MONGOL INVASIONS OF

divided among them under vassalage to local nated warfare throughout the Middle Ages until
lords. From this setting, the sons of Tancred de its demise during the Hundred Years’ War. The
Hauteville—Robert Guiscard and Roger— longest lasting legacy, however, was the spread of
spread their influence. Norman architecture, though its description
By 1061 the Normans were strong enough to remains a point of conjecture. For a people
extend the will of the Roman church to Sicily, not far removed from their Viking heritage, sur-
which had been dominated for 200 years by the prisingly the Normans seem to have pioneered
Muslim Saracens. Internecine squabbling on the castle construction. Castles appeared throughout
island provided a good opportunity for Robert the Mediterranean, wherever the Normans
Guiscard and his able brother/lieutenant to ally went, but in the construction of churches they
with one party and insinuate themselves into an adapted styles found in their travels. Churches
influential position. Norman knights landed and monasteries in Sicily and Italy reflect
south of Messina, but their unfamiliarity with Greek and Muslim tile work and vaulted roof
maritime operations made the landings a piece- design, and no church building appears to be
meal effort. However, they arrived in strong “typical” Norman style. Indeed, the blending of
enough numbers to seize Messina and, allied Latin, Greek, Muslim, and western European
with Emir Ibn at-Timnah, marched inland. They cultures shows itself in all Norman artifacts in
failed to seize the enemy stronghold at Enna, in the Mediterranean. The Norman championship
the center of the island, but kept Messina as a of the Roman church, as well as Norman wars
base to stage future operations. against Byzantine forces and territories, aided in
The conquest of Sicily took 30 years, mainly the growing schism between eastern and western
under the direction of Roger Hauteville: Palermo Christianity. Finally, their warfare against
fell in 1072, the Saracen strongholds of Trapani Muslim Sicily was a foretaste of the Crusades of
and Taormina in 1077 and 1079, respectively, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
and Syracuse in 1085. The island was considered
See also Crusades; France, Viking Invasion of; Hundred
secure after the capture of Noto on the southeast Years’ War.
coast in 1091. The Sicilian conquest was notable
for the increasing use of sea power by Normans References: Brown, R. Allen, The Normans (New York:
(both in transport and siege-craft), the aura of a St. Martin’s Press, 1984); Finley, M. I., et al., A
History of Sicily (New York: Viking Penguin, 1987).
Holy War taken on by the campaign as time went
by, and the increasing close cooperation between
Norman soldiers and the papacy. By the time JAPAN, MONGOL
Sicily was falling, however, the first great wave of 57 INVASIONS OF
Hauteville conquerors was dying: Richard in
1078, Robert Guiscard in 1085, and Roger, the By the time of the Mongol invasion of Japan, the
“Great Count of Sicily,” in 1101. From this point Mongol leader, Kubilai Khan, was at the height
forward the Normans consolidated rather than of his power. The Mongol khans had conquered
conquered, ruling the Kingdom of the Two Russia, Poland, Hungary, and Bohemia to the
Sicilies until its incorporation into the Holy west, as well as China and Korea to the east. In
Roman Empire in 1194 under Henry VI. establishing himself in China, Kubilai had sub-
Some historians regard this conquest as the dued his most dangerous adversaries. He could
epitome of Norman accomplishment. The now turn his attention to Japan, the one country
Normans established a feudal society patterned that had eluded Mongol domination.
along the lines of western Europe. They intro- The struggles on the Asian continent had
duced a new arm to military affairs: the heavy very little effect on Japan. Its contact with the
cavalry. The armored knight on a heavy horse outside world was confined to very limited trade
proved overwhelming to the infantry and light and visits by Buddhist priests. At the time of
cavalry used by their Lombard, Byzantine, and the Mongol expedition, Japan was under the
Saracen opponents. This type of warrior domi- relatively new rule of the Hojo family. The

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 91


JAPAN, MONGOL INVASIONS OF

Mongol invasion would be the first test of that Kubilai Khan did not view the invasion as
family’s leadership. a defeat; he apparently believed that he had
In 1266, Kubilai Khan sent envoys to Japan instilled fear into Japanese hearts by displaying
requesting that tribute be paid to the Mongol the superior tactics of the Mongols. He imme-
Empire. The letter to the Japanese government diately sent envoys to Japan to summon the
emphasized the fact that the khan held no hos- emperor of Japan to Peking to surrender to
tility toward Japan; he merely wanted Japan to him. The Japanese leaders cut off the heads of
be considered a part of his circle of friendly trib- the Mongol envoys. Kubilai became more
utaries. The Japanese interpreted this as a determined than ever to conquer Japan.
Mongol attempt to subjugate them. The govern- A second invasion was delayed for seven
ment was divided on their course of action; some years because Kubilai had to subdue the last sup-
favored conciliation and delay, while others pre- porters of the Sung dynasty in southern China.
ferred a policy of contemptuous silence. After six By 1281, having taken care of his problems at
months, the Hojo regent Tokimune sent the home, he was ready to launch a campaign
Mongol envoys back without a written acknowl- against Japan. This time, however, the Japanese
edgment. Contemptuous silence won out. were better prepared to defend themselves. They
Undaunted, the khan sent further envoys to had built a long defensive wall along the coast of
Japan, but the results were the same. Hakata Bay and had trained in group-combat
Kubilai Khan began to prepare for war in techniques similar to those employed by the
earnest. He ordered the Koreans to step up their Mongols. As a result, Kubilai’s 140,000 troops
agricultural operations in order to supply his army were unable to penetrate the Japanese defenses
with food. Knowing that his men had no experi- and move inland. The Korean and Chinese fac-
ence as seamen, he enlisted the aid of the Koreans tions of the Mongol army more than likely had
to transport his army across the sea to Japan. no great desire to fight on, while entire families
In November 1274, 25,000 Mongol and of Japanese defenders volunteered to fight at the
15,000 Korean troops left from Korea in 900 front. The final blow to the Mongol invaders
ships manned by 8,000 Korean sailors. They came, once again, from nature. After 53 days of
began by attacking Tsushima and Iki, two fighting, a typhoon, the “divine wind”
islands situated between Korea and Japan. At (kamikaze), destroyed the Mongol fleet and
Tsushima, a force of no more than 200 samurai forced them to withdraw. Kubilai Khan made
held the Mongol forces at bay for a time by plans for a third invasion, but abandoned them
fighting to the death. An even smaller force in 1284 when he began to have problems in
repeated this feat at Iki. On 20 November, when Southeast Asia.
the Mongols reached the shores of northern Little damage was done to the Mongol
Kyushu, they were met by the troops of five Empire by the war. The Chinese contingent of
Kyushu chieftains. The Mongols possessed a the Mongol army bore the brunt of the loss;
superior tactical system. While the Japanese 12,000 of them were made slaves by the Japanese.
were trained to display their skills by engaging The Mongols lost their share of men and ships,
in single combat, the Mongols were trained to but surprisingly little else. Mongol pride was hurt,
work together as a team. If an individual samu- of course; Japan held the distinction of being the
rai approached a Mongol to do battle, he would only state in the Orient that did not pay tribute.
be surrounded and killed. The Mongols were Oddly, the Japanese victory did more harm
excellent horsemen and could easily defeat the than good to the Hojo rulers. When the
Japanese cavalry. Despite this, the Japanese Mongols first arrived, the court in Kyoto
mounted a fierce resistance to the invaders. The appealed to heaven for help. Throughout the
final blow to the Mongol army came from a empire, prayers were offered, liturgies chanted,
storm, which destroyed many of their ships and and incense burned in the temples. The priests
inflicted a loss of 13,200 men. They were forced took credit for the Japanese victory over
to abandon the operation and return to Korea. the Mongol invaders, even claiming that they

92 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


JUSTINIAN

were responsible for the kamikaze, which Justinian was born a commoner, but he had
the Japanese believed was generated by protec- an uncle in the Byzantine army who brought him
tive kame spirits against its enemies. Many of to the capital and assisted him in his military
the priests expected and received huge rewards career. When his uncle Justin achieved the
for their help in the campaign, thus creating position of emperor, Justinian served as his closest
resentment among the soldiers who had fought adviser, and later as regent. Upon Justin’s death,
so hard for very small payment. The victory Justinian acceded to the throne. He named his
over the Mongols brought no wealth to the vic- wife Theodora coemperor, a wise move because of
tors. The invading forces had left no land as her political acumen and strong faith in her hus-
spoils of war to be divided among the Bakufu, band and herself. Together they were a powerful
the military leaders who were the major team who took the Byzantine Empire to its great-
landowners, which lowered their prestige. Since est heights. Though brought up in the military,
the Bakufu had little trust in the Mongols, they Justinian’s expansion of the empire was directed
did not relax their precautions for many years to by two generals, Belisarius and Narses. Justinian
come against another invasion, putting a great and Theodora had the vision, and Belisarius and
financial burden on the Japanese government. Narses had the skill to accomplish the expansion.
Eventually these factors led to the downfall of The first order of business was to defend
the Hojo family. against Persian attacks from the east. As a junior
The kamikaze legend grew over the cen- commander, Belisarius distinguished himself in
turies, to be called upon again in the 1940s. action against the Persians and thus came to
Hoping for a manmade “divine wind” to save Justinian’s notice; he was named to the command
their empire, Japanese pilots used suicide tac- of all the armies in the east at age 27. In his first
tics during the U.S. invasion of the Philippines major command, he defeated a Persian army twice
in October 1944, continuing until the final the size of his outside the fortress of Daras. During
surrender almost a year later. peace talks, he learned of a flanking movement
through the desert against Antioch, the richest
See also Russia, Mongol Conquest of; Philippines, U.S.
Invasion of the.
city in the east. Belisarius quickly moved to block
that assault, and the Persians withdrew.
References: Curtin, Jeremiah, The Mongols: A History Impressed by his young commander’s skills,
(Westport, CT): Greenwood Press, 1972); Justinian ordered him back to Constantinople to
Kwanten, Luc, Imperial Nomads (Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1979); Mason,
lead an invasion of northern Africa. Justinian
R. H. P., and J. G. Caiger, History of Japan (New wanted to return this rich grain-producing area,
York: Free Press, 1972). which had been under the control of the Vandals
for the preceding century, to the empire. With
58 JUSTINIAN only 10,000 infantry and 5,000 cavalry,
Belisarius outmaneuvered the Vandals, capturing
After the Roman Empire split into halves fol- their capital at Carthage and defeating them in
lowing the reign of Constantine, the western battle outside the city gates at Tricameron.
half dealt continually with barbarian invasions Vandal power was thus destroyed, transferring
of Germanic and Gothic tribes. Ultimately, the the province to the Byzantine Empire.
area came under the nominal control of the king Justinian ordered Belisarius to Sicily and
of the Ostrogoths, Theodoric. He and his succes- sent a diversionary force along the Adriatic coast
sors established a relatively peaceful and prosper- to threaten northern Italy, both by their pres-
ous society that practiced the doctrine of Arian ence and by bribing the Franks to cooperate.
Christianity. In the east, however, this doctrine With Gothic attention diverted northward,
was viewed as a heresy to be destroyed, and Belisarius easily captured Sicily and invaded the
became one of the motives for conquest exer- southern end of the peninsula. He quickly cap-
cised by the emperor Justinian, who came to tured Naples, but the Gothic king Vitiges was
power in Constantinople in 527. more intent on defeating the Franks, which

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 93


JUSTINIAN

Justinian, noted for his codification of the law, ruled a reunited Roman Empire.

94 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


KHMER KINGDOM

allowed Belisarius the opportunity to capture lands Justinian brought into it, but the profession-
Rome. This caught Vitiges’s attention, and he al traditions of the army established in Justinian’s
made the Franks a better monetary offer than time kept it alive for another 800 years.
Justinian had. Vitiges then marched on Rome
See also Augustus, Caesar; Constantine, Emperor;
with 150,000 soldiers, but Belisarius, with a mere
Franks; Ostrogoths; Vandals.
10,000, held the strongly fortified city for a year.
When Vitiges withdrew toward his capital at References: Barker, John, Justinian and the Later Roman
Ravenna, Belisarius followed. He received rein- Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,
1966); Browning, Robert, Justinian and Theodora
forcements under the command of Narses, an
(London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1971);
older man with less military experience who Procopius, The Secret History of ]ustinian, trans.
nevertheless had Justinian’s confidence. The Richard Atwater (Ann Arbor: University of
two besieged Vitiges in Ravenna while Michigan Press, 1961).
Belisarius proceeded to consolidate the
remainder of Italy. The Franks again inter- 59 KHMER KINGDOM
vened on the Goths’ behalf, but overplundered
the countryside and had to withdraw. The earliest records, from the first century C.E.,
Belisarius was recalled to Constantinople to of the population of Southeast Asia living in
beat back another Persian threat. Though what is now Cambodia are of the Mon-Khmer
Belisarius did nothing to give his emperor cause people. The arrival of an Indian aristocrat and
for concern, he became so popular that Justinian his marriage to the daughter of a local chief mark
began to fear him as a potential rival. Justinian the beginning of the kingdom of Fu-nan, which
was afraid to give him a large army, and Belisarius the Chinese wrote about a century or so later. The
had to fight with undermanned forces. He per- greatest military leader of Fu-nan appears to have
formed more miracles with small forces, bluffing been Fan Shih-man, who extended his kingdom’s
the Persians away from a major assault on borders east to the South China Sea, south to the
Jerusalem and threatening their capital on the Gulf of Siam, and possibly west toward Burma.
Tigris by a series of light-cavalry raids. Belisarius Contemporary Chinese texts record the conquests
returned to Italy to reconquer the lands that had and power of Fan Shih-man, who is thought to
fallen to newly rebuilt Gothic forces. Again, he have died while on expedition to Burma. Control
did much conquering with few men, and was of the coastline along the South China Sea gave
again recalled because of Justinian’s paranoia. Fu-nan domination over the area’s maritime
Narses was given overall command in Italy, and trade, and his successor, Fan Chan, entered into
his victory there succeeded mainly in destroying diplomatic and economic relations with China
the country so thoroughly that it was centuries and India. These trade contacts continued
before much of the land was again useful. throughout the third century, gaining value as
Belisarius gave Justinian a reunited Roman China came under the Ch’in dynasty after 280.
Empire, directed from Constantinople rather than Apparently, Indian cultural influences made regu-
Rome. Justinian tried to hold the sundry cultures lar appearances in Fu-nan over the next two cen-
together as Caesar Augustus had, by codifying turies. The kings often had Indian names, their
laws to promise universal justice. Justinian’s Code writing is described as resembling northern Indian
was a masterpiece of legal order, but it failed to script, and trade with central Asia and even the
reach the variety of cultures that Augustus’s uni- Roman Empire was noted. The greatest of the
versal law had. By basing much of the law on Fu-nan kings was Jayavarman, whose 30-year reign
Orthodox Christian bases, he offended those ended in 514; he was recognized by the Chinese as
Christians who practiced other dogmas. Indeed, “General of the Pacified South, King of Fu-nan.”
they considered the law so overbearing that Jayavarman’s son was probably the last king
they embraced the rising power of Islam in the of Fu-nan, because the Chen-la are believed to
600s because it promised and delivered religious have conquered the kingdom after 539. Who the
tolerance. The Byzantine Empire soon lost the Chen-la were is a matter of some dispute, but

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 95


KHMER KINGDOM

they may have been vassals of Fu-nan who built a huge reservoir. Canal and reservoir con-
deposed their overlord. Rulers of the area at the struction for irrigation, as well as the building of
end of the sixth century still claimed descent temples and monasteries, remained royal projects
from the “universal monarch,” presumably the for generations. The next several monarchs
king of Fu-nan, but that may have resulted from devoted themselves to public and religious works;
Chen-la conquerors intermarrying with the royal not until the reign of Suryavarman (1010–1050)
family. In the 590s, the Chen-la leader did more expansion take place. During his reign,
Bhavavarman conquered the Mekong Delta to Khmer power extended into the Menam Valley
the Mun River in the north and to the Korat and to the west of the Great Lake, hitherto a
Plateau in the south. He and his brother wasteland. Also by his time, a resurgence in
Chitrasena seized the throne in Fu-nan, but Buddhism took place. His sons struggled against
whether as usurpers or restorers of the original internal revolts and attacks from the Cham tribe;
royal family is unclear. Chen-la is regarded as the the two sons joined the Chinese, however, in an
original kingdom of the Khmer people, the unsuccessful campaign against Dai-Viet.
inheritors of the land and power of Fu-nan. A new dynasty was established in 1080 by a
Bhavavarman’s grandson, Ishanavarman, Brahman who took the throne name of
completed the occupation of Fu-nan to roughly Jayavarman VI. His grandnephew, Suryavarman II,
the borders of present-day Cambodia. He estab- took the Khmer kingdom to its heights.
lished his capital at Ishanapura and pursued a He launched invasions of Dai-Viet in 1128, 1138,
policy of friendship toward his nearest neighbors, and 1150, conquering as far as the Red River delta.
the Champa. Consolidation of Khmer power He conquered Champa, holding it for four years,
throughout the region continued for another cen- and briefly occupied the land of the Mon kingdom.
tury, through the reign of Jayavarman I Contemporary Chinese sources state that the
(657–681). His death without an heir caused dis- Khmer kingdom stretched from Burma to the east
cord and a split in the country; Chinese records coast of the Malay Peninsula. Suryavarman II also
speak of a “Land Chen-la” and a “Water Chen-la,” constructed Southeast Asia’s most notable struc-
corresponding to inland and coastal principalities. tures at Angkor Wat, which became his mau-
The one continuing factor in this time period was soleum, overseen by the Hindu god Vishnu.
the widespread practice of Hinduism, for the Rebellions broke out after his death sometime after
Khmers brought the formerly popular practice of 1150, but events of the following century and a
Buddhism to an end. half are sparsely recorded. Not until the end of the
The period of discord attracted outside pres- thirteenth century do Chinese accounts describe a
sure, notably from the Malay Peninsula and Java. fading civilization, though the Khmer again
Aggressively pursuing commercial dominance of gained control over the Cham territories in the
Indonesia and Southeast Asia, Java seems to early 1200s. Later that century, a Mongol force
have established dominance in the two Chen-las entered the area, and records indicate that the
by the late eighth century. The reunification of Khmers paid tribute to the Chinese emperor
Chen-la came about in the early ninth century Kubilai Khan. After a series of conflicts with the
when Jayavarman II ousted the Javanese. His rise rising power of Siam, the Cambodian capital of
to power was confirmed by a religious ceremony Angkor fell to that country in 1431. Though the
naming him “Universal Monarch”; his posthu- Khmer recovered much of their strength and terri-
mous title was Parmeshvara, or “Supreme Lord,” tory by the middle of the sixteenth century, the
a title given to the Hindu god Shiva. He built a Siamese returned to defeat them. Only the arrival
number of cities and established a capital at of the Portuguese, who gave military assistance to
whose site Angkor was to be built. the Khmer king, enabled them to retain some
Jayavarman’s grandson Indravarman went power. From this point forward, too many internal
conquering during his reign (877–889), return- struggles and outside forces—the influences of
ing the Korat Plateau to the northwest to Khmer Portugal, Holland, and Islam—conspired to allow
control. He sponsored irrigation projects and the Khmer to be powerful again. Finally,

96 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


KOREA, MONGOL INVASION OF

France took control of all of Southeast Asia in the Japanese, and the Korean peasants virtually had to
mid-1800s, establishing a protectorate over starve themselves to feed the armies preparing for
Cambodia in 1863. the expedition. When they revolted, a combined
See also Ch’in Dynasty; Kubilai Khan.
Chinese and Korean army suppressed them. Even
though the invasions of Japan failed, the relations
References: Audric, John, Angkor and the Khmer between Korea and the Mongols grew stronger,
Empire (London: R. Hale, 1972); Briggs,
which meant that the Mongols’ influence
Lawrence, The Ancient Khmer Empire
(Philadelphia: The Philosophical Society, 1951); increased and the Koreans adopted Mongol forms
Coedes, G., The Making of South East Asia, trans. of government and culture. The peasants contin-
H. M. Wright (Berkeley: University of California ued to suffer, their torment increased by a coinci-
Press, 1966). dental wave of raids by Japanese pirates along the
entire coastline. The marauders, or Wako, so pil-
KOREA , MONGOL laged the coastal farms and shipping that the
60 INVASION OF peasants withdrew to the interior, and the coasts
became wastelands. Throughout the era of Yuan
The Mongol armies invaded China and took dominance, the peasants suffered continuously,
control of its northern provinces by 1234. As and slavery expanded. A feudal system of sorts was
they attacked the remains of the Sung dynasty in established that kept most people tied to an
the southern part of China, other Mongol forces estate, owned by a Mongol or a Korean supporter
invaded Korea. The Mongols had been raiding of the Yuan dynasty.
into Korea since 1231, periodically devastating The Mongol rule in Korea came to an end
the country. When the capital city of Kaesong when the Mongol rule in China ended. In the
was attacked, the ruling family (under King 1350s, power struggles within the Mongol ruling
Kojong) and the government (under the leader- family, coupled with rebellions, strained their
ship of the Ch’oe family) withdrew to an island ability to rule. Bandit uprisings harried the
off the coast, to which the land-bound Mongols Mongol administration, and the Red Turbans
could not follow. There, they established a new were the most dangerous. Korea was called upon
capital and, with taxes collected from the south- to provide troops to fight the Red Turbans, but
ern part of the peninsula, constructed palaces they were defeated. The Red Turbans followed
and pavilions. The government ignored the con- up their victory with attacks on Manchuria and
ditions on the mainland, where Mongols were Korea in 1359 and 1361. A Red Turban leader
killing and enslaving tens of thousands of people. declared himself head of a new dynasty, the
The government depended on prayers to Ming dynasty, and made war against the Yuan
Buddha to keep them safe on the island, but in dynasty from the Ming capital at Nanking.
1258 Prime Minister Ch’oe Ui was assassinated, Seeing an opportunity, the Korean king,
and the royal family decided to make peace with Kongmin Wang, killed the Mongol leaders in
the Mongols. The crown prince traveled to the his country and sent the army to reoccupy the
Mongol capital to apologize for the government’s northern portion of the peninsula. When the
resistance; he returned as vassal to the Mongol Mings established their authority, Korea rushed
government. In 1274, Ch’ungnyol Wang, mar- to recognize it and swear allegiance.
ried to a princess of the Mongol Yuan dynasty,
See also China, Mongol Conquest of; Japan, Mongol
ascended the throne and the two nations were Invasions of; Ming Dynasty.
united. The Koreans paid tribute to the Mongols
and in return were treated as members of the fam- References: Charol, Michael, The Mongol Empire; Its
ily, though Yuan officials were posted throughout Rise and Legacy (London: George Allen &
Unwyn, 1961); Hatada, Takahashi, A History of
the country to keep tabs on events. Peace was
Korea, trans. Warren Smith and Benjamin Hazard
bought at the price of independence. (Santa Barbara, CA: AB.C.E.-Clio, 1969);
The Yuan dynasty enlisted the aid of the Henthorn, William, Korea: The Mongol Invasions
Koreans in their attempted forays against the (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1963).

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 97


KUBILAI KHAN

61 KUBILAI KHAN Kubilai returned to his garden city of Shang-


tu, better known to Westerners as Xanadu. He
In the early thirteenth century, the steppe also returned to his campaign against the Sung,
tribes were united under the dynamic leader- who had violated the truce in his absence.
ship of Genghis Khan, who directed his people Kubilai blended traditional Mongol tactics with
to conquests establishing the largest empire in a new one: He depended on Chinese familiarity
history. That empire, however, was destined to with past Mongol cruelties to cities that resisted,
a rather short life. Though Genghis spelled out then offered peaceful terms to any that would
directions for succession, which his children submit willingly. That promise, coupled with
followed with little trouble, his grandchildren benevolent treatment of refugees, won the hearts
divided the empire beyond the hope of reunifi- of most of the Sung people, so that by 1276 the
cation. After the death of Ogadai, one of seven-year-old Sung emperor and his dowager
Genghis’s sons, Ogadai’s son Mangu ruled as the empress grandmother surrendered to him.
Great Khan, or Khakhan. Upon Mangu’s death, Kubilai had to continue campaigning against
there was a struggle among his brothers. The Sung supporters in the southeast, capturing
youngest (designated “Keeper of the Hearth” to Canton and waging a naval war against the final
rule over the Mongol homeland) was Arik holdouts, but with the submission of the emper-
Buka, who had the support of his brother Baiku or the war was won.
of the Golden Horde and his nephew Kaidu, Kubilai’s significance lies not in new mili-
who lived on the steppes to the north. tary developments, but in his political leader-
However, the next in line for the throne was ship. Many areas of Chinese life improved dur-
Kubilai. Arik Buka’s supporters rejected ing the new Yuan dynasty. Public works were of
Kubilai’s leadership because he had become too prime importance, and new roads and canals
Chinese and not sufficiently Mongol in his were constantly constructed while he was
actions, though emperor. Kubilai proved to be a benevolent mas-
Kubilai had been Mongol enough to lead the ter to the poverty-ridden peasantry, providing
armies of the steppes into southern China against the first public-assistance program in China and
the Sung Empire. Using the techniques devel- introducing the practice of stockpiling surplus
oped by Genghis and the siege engines adapted supplies in good years for redistribution during
from Chinese and Muslim forces, Kubilai proved lean times. He maintained the Chinese bureau-
as capable and successful as any Mongol general. cracy, yet kept the Mongols as a separate class in
He had seen the advantages of Chinese culture— society. He sponsored intellectual pursuits by
its wealth and scientific accomplishments—and ordering the printing of many books and the
he embraced them as adjuncts to the traditions construction of observatories for updating astro-
and military prowess of the Mongols. His interest nomic observations. The expansion of printing
in Chinese culture seemed a betrayal to the more brought Chinese drama to heights never before
conservative Mongols in the homelands. experienced, and spread its influence widely
In 1260, Kubilai made a quick truce with the over the population.
Sungs, then turned his forces northwest toward Kubilai was not, however, without his fail-
his younger brother’s base at Karakorum. Kubilai ings. He maintained a large military, the cost of
captured the city and held it against Arik Buka’s which was a severe burden on the taxpayers. He
counterattacks until, in 1264, the younger brother also sponsored two disastrous invasions of Japan,
submitted to the older’s leadership. Kubilai for- which cost money and thousands of Chinese
gave him and gave him lands of his own, but lives. In order to maintain the splendor of his
punished his brother’s advisers for urging the palaces, he collected vast sums of silver for his
revolt. Kubilai returned to China, never to see treasury, but introduced printed money to the
the Mongol capital of Karakorum again. His Chinese economy, overprinting it to the point of
nephew Kaidu refused to submit and spent the high inflation. Though he protected China from
next 30 years harassing China’s borders. the raids of his nephew Kaidu and unified the

98 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


LOMBARDS

country into a form it would basically hold to In the middle of the sixth century, the
present times, the costs to the peasant taxpayer Lombards established a new tribal organization
proved too much of a burden. Though called based on an aristocratic hierarchy. Dukes and
Kubilai the Wise, he laid the groundwork for the counts commanded clans organized into military
fall of his dynasty. He also oversaw, somewhat by units (fame), all serving under a king. With this
default, the breakup of the Mongol Empire. new organization, the Lombards, now in fear of
Birkai of Russia never acknowledged his the Avars, decided in the late 560s to migrate
supremacy and made his portion of the empire farther, to Italy. The long-running war between
independent; Hulagu, Kubilai’s brother, estab- the Ostrogoths and the Byzantine Empire had
lished an independent state of the Il-Khans in left a power vacuum in northern Italy, and the
Persia. Kaidu also maintained his own independ- Lombards were able to move in and take over
ence in the northern steppes. Thus, Kubilai was fairly easily. Under Alboin’s leadership, by 572
left with China, a nation that reached new they had conquered the entire northern penin-
heights under his leadership but which quickly sula to the Po River, and occasional districts in
overthrew his successors and reestablished southern and eastern Italy.
Chinese dominance in the Ming dynasty. Alboin was murdered shortly after the
Lombards’ arrival in Italy, and for the next few
See also Genghis Khan; Japan, Mongol Invasions of;
Middle East, Mongol Invasion of the; Ming
decades the tribe struggled internally while
Dynasty; Russia, Mongol Conquest of. they exploited the Italian people and country-
side. The Lombards established themselves as
References: Cohen, Daniel, Conquerors on Horseback the dominant force in northern Italy, but they
(Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970); Lamb,
Harold, The March of the Barbarians (New York:
adapted readily to the existing agricultural
Literary Guild, 1940); Rossabi, Morris, Khubilai framework in the area, believing that whatever
Khan: His Life and Times (Berkeley: University of the Romans had organized was the best format
California Press, 1987). for agricultural production. The tribal dukes
exercised the most power, with little or no cen-
62 LOMBARDS tral control. Only when threatened from out-
side, by the Franks, did the Lombards again
The Lombards were a tribe of northern form a united front. In 590, when the
Germany who came to recorded history during Lombards elected the duke of Turin, Agiluf, to
the later stages of the Roman Empire. The the kingship, he reconsolidated Lombard
Romans gave them their name: langobard, or power and established a capital at Pavia. King
“long beard.” Though known to fight occasion- Rothari, who ruled in the mid-600s, issued a
ally against either their neighbors or the legal code for his people along the lines of that
Romans, the Lombards tended to be peaceful, produced by Justinian in Constantinople. The
pastoral people. Through the fourth and fifth leading Lombard king was Liutprand
centuries, they began to migrate southward into (712–744), who further focused on the internal
the Danube River region known as Pannonia needs of his kingdom. Later in his reign he
(modern Austria). The Lombards fought for reinstituted the campaign against Byzantine
Byzantine Emperor Justinian in his campaigns power in Italy.
against the Ostrogoths in Italy and received The Lombard incursion into Italy frightened
favored status during his rule. His successors, the pope. At first, the Lombards practiced Arian
however, favored the Gepids, a neighboring hos- Christianity, which denied the equality of God
tile tribe. Fearing a war against the Gepids sup- and Jesus. Their military success, coupled with
ported by the Byzantines, the Lombards under their heretical views, posed a threat to orthodox
King Alboin allied themselves with a tribe Catholicism. Even though they converted to
newly arrived from central Asia, the Avars. orthodox views in the late seventh century, their
Together they were victorious and split Gepid power was a source of concern to the pope.
lands between them. When the Lombards under King Aistulf

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 99


MAGYARS

captured Ravenna in 751 and threatened Rome 63 MAGYARS


in 754, Pope Stephen II appealed to the Franks
for deliverance. Pepin the Short, first of the There are two rival claims as to the source of
Carolingian dynasty, marched to Italy and the Magyars. Legend has it that they were
defeated the Lombards in 754 and 756. Pepin descended from Nimrod, a descendant of
recaptured Ravenna and gave land to the Noah’s son Japheth, who left Babel after the
Church, creating the Papal States; in return, the construction of the Tower of Babel. Nimrod
pope anointed Pepin as king of the Franks and had two sons, Hunor and Magyar, who began
defender of Rome. the two great tribes of the Huns and the
Aistulf remained king of the Lombards, but Magyars. Following the direction of a magical
his successor, Desiderus, was defeated by another elk, they moved to the Caucasus, where the
Frank, Pepiris grandson Charlemagne, in 773. two tribes lived in peace. As time passed and
Charlemagne made himself king of the the tribes grew, the Magyars remained in the
Lombards and incorporated northern Italy into Caucasus and the Huns began a nomadic life
the Holy Roman Empire, thus bringing to an end that ultimately took them past the Volga into
the Lombards’ existence. Though their rule in Europe. Under the leadership of Attila, the
Italy was often harsh, the Lombards contributed Huns terrorized Europe. After Attila’s defeat
to the country’s heritage. Much of the legal sys- and death, his sons returned to the Caucasus
tem of the area descends from Lombard practice. and pleaded with the Magyars to return with
King Rothri, who reigned in the mid-600s, issued them to Europe where they could find new
a law code patterned along the lines of that com- lands and opportunity.
piled by Justinian in Constantinople. One of the Aside from the legend of a Middle Eastern
most important aspects of Rothri’s code was the origin, in reality the Magyars seem to have had
attempt to end the practice of vendetta. The per- Finn-Ugaric origins with traces of Turco-Tartar
sonal feud was to be replaced by monetary pay- elements. They had long practiced a nomadic
ment for damages, known as guidrigild, which lifestyle in central Asia and finally migrated
appears in later Scandinavian cultures as westward past the Ural, Volga, Don, and
weregild. The Lombards’ greatest effect, however, Dnieper rivers, and at last the Danube. In this
was indirect, in that they removed once and for movement, they had to successively fight and
all Byzantine power in Italy, thus ending any defeat other nomadic tribes, such as the
chance of Eastern Orthodoxy challenging papal Bulgars, Khazars, and Petchenegs. The pressure
authority in western Europe. In the eleventh of the Petchenegs and Bulgars finally drove
century, Lombardy played a major role in domi- them into Europe. As they entered eastern
nating the trade routes from the Mediterranean Europe, they encountered the power of the
into the continent, and the resulting wealth gave Byzantine Empire, which hired them as
them commercial and financial leadership that mercenaries and introduced them to
later translated into political power: They Christianity; likewise, German kings hired
formed the Lombard League, which resisted the them to aid in fighting the Slavs.
invasion of Frederick Barbarossa of Germany in By the ninth century C.E., the Magyars
1176. moved into central Europe under the leader-
ship of Arpad. They entered the Hungarian
See also Avars; Franks; Justinian; Ostrogoths.
plain with some 150,000 men, defeated the
References: Bona, Istvan, The Dawn of the Dark Ages: Slavs and Alans, settled, and used the area as a
The Gepids and the Lombards (Budapest: Corvina base for further raiding into German and
Press, 1976); Hallenbeck, Jan, Pavia and Rome: Italian lands. The Magyars became the
The Lombard Monarchy and the Papacy in the Eighth
permanent occupants of this region, and came
Century (Philadelphia: American Philosophical
Society, 1982); Paul the Deacon, History of the to be known as Hungarians. Under Arpad,
Langobards, trans. W D. Foulke (Philadelphia: Magyar soldiers ranged successfully into Italy as
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1974). far as Milan and Pavia in 899, finally leaving

100 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


MALI, EXPANSION OF

upon receiving sufficient bribes. The Magyars


fought in much the same style as the Huns, and
were precursors to the Mongol invasion of
Europe. Employing mostly light cavalry and
archers, they avoided close contact with their
enemies, harassing them into exhaustion and
then exploiting any openings. The heavy
cavalry developed in Europe at this time did
not succeed against the Magyars at first, but
the Europeans eventually adopted some of the
Eastern tactics and began to have more success.
By 907, Magyar interest in Germany forced
their rivals into defensive cooperation. Under the leadership of Arpad the
Luitpold of Bavaria allied with Ditmar, the Magyars conquered Hungary.
archbishop of Salzburg, but their efforts proved
futile when the Magyars defeated them at
Presburg. In the 920s the Magyars raided as far battle at Lechfeld, it might have become the
as the Champagne region of France, again into language of much of western Europe. For all
northern Italy, and as far as the Pyrenees. The their terrorism of the West, the Hungarians
Magyars created as much terror as the Vikings nevertheless defended western Europe from the
from the north, but the Germanic nobles soon Ottoman Turks as they fought to bring down
began to prevail. Henry the Fowler defeated the Byzantine Empire and expand the Muslim
the Magyars in 933 at Merseburg, inflicting faith into Europe.
36,000 casualties. He and his successors began
See also Bulgars; Byzantine Empire; Carolingian
fortifying the frontier, which lessened the fre-
Dynasty; Europe, Mongol Invasion of; Huns;
quency of the Magyar raids, and Bavarians Ottoman Empire.
began to raid Magyar lands. In 954, up to
100,000 Magyars attacked deep into Germany References: Bartha, Antal, Hungarian Society in the 9th
and France, taking advantage of the revolt of and I0th Centuries, trans. K. Baazs (Budapest:
Akademiai Kiado, 1975); Macartney, C. A., The
Lorraine against Otto the Great, Henry’s son. Magyars in the Ninth Century (Cambridge:
They made a huge pillaging sweep through Cambridge University Press, 1968); Vambery,
France and into northern Italy and back to Arminius, Hungary in Ancient, Medieval, and
the Danube Valley, but Otto defeated them Modern Times (Hallandale, FL: New World
the following year at Lechfeld; after that, the Books, 1972).
Magyars were on the decline.
At home in Hungary, they settled down to 64 MALI, EXPANSION OF
a more stable and civilized lifestyle under the
leadership of Duke Geyza in the 970s. By the beginning of the thirteenth century, the
Christianity replaced their Asiatic animistic large gold-producing nation of Ghana had lost
and totemic beliefs, and they began showing a its power. Islamic attack by the nomadic
toleration and acceptance of other cultures. Almoravids from the Sahara had devastated
King Stephen (997–1038) defended his home- Ghana’s main trading centers, and tribes previ-
land from takeover by the Holy Roman Empire ously under Ghana’s dominance began to exert
and acquired authority from the pope over a their independence. The Soso tribe was influen-
national church. Stephen oversaw the con- tial for a few decades, but ultimately they fell to
struction of monasteries and cathedrals, and for the growing power of Mali.
his efforts and example was later canonized. Sundiata, leader of the Malinke clan of
The Magyar language became, and remains, Mali, came to power in 1230. The Malinke
the official language of Hungary; but for the were originally pagan, but saw the economic

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 101


MEXICO, AZTEC CONQUEST OF

potential of Islam. Embracing the faith would a series of weaker kings and internal power strug-
not only give them equality with Arabic gles brought a lack of direction at the top, and
traders, but it would also lessen the chance of former vassals began to break away from the
being attacked by aggressive Muslims such as empire. In the 1400s, Berbers from the north
the Almoravids. Thus, Malian traders spread conquered the upper reaches of Mali’s empire,
Islam in their travels. Also, Sundiata and his and the trade centers of Timbuktu and Walata
successor mansas, or emperors, attempted to fell under nomadic control. Malian emperors lost
impose military dominance in order to main- their power to internal dissent and the rising
tain peace on their own terms, a peace that power of Songhay to the west.
would be beneficial to trade. The empire of
See also Ghana, Almoravid Invasion of Songhay,
Mali claimed descent from Muslim roots, as did Expansion of.
most of the West African nations that
embraced the religion. Most claimed descent References: Hiskett, M., and Nehemia Levtzion,
from white forebears, but Mali claimed Negroid Ancient Ghana and Mali (London: Methuen,
1973); Oliver, Roland, A Short History of Africa
descent: Bilali Bunama (Bilal ibn Rabah in (New York: New York University Press, 1962);
Arabic) was Muhammad’s first muezzin, and his Trimingham, John, A History of Islam in West
grandson supposedly settled in the territory that Africa (London: Oxford University Press, 1970).
became Mali, establishing power from the Niger
to the Sankarani River.
Sundiata was the earliest recorded leader, MEXICO, AZTEC
using military ability to bring area tribes under 65 CONQUEST OF
his direction and establish a capital city at Niani
on the Niger River. Niani was well placed for Much of Central America was dominated by the
defense and trade, amidst good farmland and Toltec peoples until their dissolution about
iron deposits. As the Mali came to control 1200 C.E. The power vacuum that followed coin-
territory previously dominated by Ghana, they cided with the arrival of nomadic tribes from the
grew in influence and replaced Ghana as the north. One tribe came to be known as Aztecs, or
main producer and distributor of gold. People from Aztlan. They drifted into the valley
A succession of leaders of irregular quality of central Mexico and became subject to
managed to maintain dominance in the area, whichever power was able to achieve temporary
but the strongest and best known, Mansa Musa, hegemony. The Aztecs ultimately settled on the
emerged in 1312. His 25-year tenure was widely western side of Lake Texcoco, where they adapt-
reported and praised by contemporary Muslim ed themselves to the already established practice
writers. He became famous for making the pil- of building “floating gardens” of built-up silt.
grimage to Mecca in 1324 and spending incred- They established the city of Tenochtitlan in the
ible amounts of gold along the way. He also mid-fourteenth century; a second city,
extended the power of the empire by bringing Tlatelolco, was built by a second Aztec faction.
the town of Timbuktu under Mali’s control, The two cities put themselves under the protec-
turning it into the major trade and intellectual tion of rival powers: Tenochtitlan under
center it would remain for generations. Mansa Culhuacan, Tlatelolco under the Tepanecs.
Musa was followed by Mansa Sulayman, who Through the later part of the fourteenth cen-
maintained strong contacts with powers as far tury, the Tepanecs dominated the valley, and
away as Morocco. expanded their power across the mountains to
Under the strong leadership of Sundiata and the west to encompass an area of perhaps 50,000
Musa, Mali extended its influence from the square kilometers. This consolidation was per-
Niger River in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in formed by the Tepanec king Tezozomoc, but after
the west. Its power was based on cooperation of his death in 1423, the various city-states began
vassal kings and chieftains rather than on mili- to rebel. Three powers—one of them the Aztecs
tary control. However, after Mansa Musa’s reign, of Tenochtitlan—joined in a Triple Alliance to

102 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


MIDDLE EAST, MONGOL INVASION OF THE

replace the Tepanecs. Despite the occasional dis- The constant need for sacrificial victims
agreement, the three worked fairly well together created a resentment among all the subject peo-
and dominated central Mexico for 90 years. ples, however, and when the Spaniards arrived,
From 1431 to 1465 they consolidated their hold they easily gained allies to assist in their attacks
over the former Tepanec domain, then began a on the Aztec Empire. Though the Aztecs were
period of expansion. The Aztecs became the in many ways more advanced than the
dominant partner in the triumvirate, but the Europeans, they lacked the necessary weaponry
three tribes collectively spread the empire from and resistance to foreign diseases to defeat their
the Atlantic to the Pacific and as far south as the invaders. They had created outstanding works of
modern-day border between Mexico and art and developed an extensive hieroglyphic
Guatemala. Only two tribes remained recalci- writing system, but their scientific knowledge
trant, and the Aztecs established garrisons along was limited. Even without the arrival of the
disputed borders. Though they occasionally Spaniards, it is questionable how much longer
warred with the Tlaxaltecs and the Tarascans, the tribes of Central America would have
they never subjugated them. accepted the military dominance and religious
The Aztecs led the expansion for a number practices of the Aztecs.
of reasons. Primarily, they wanted to expand
See also Cortes, Hernan; Western Hemisphere,
their trading routes and incorporate a larger tax Spanish Occupation of.
base among the conquered peoples. They also
fought for religious reasons. The Aztecs wor- References: Berdan, Frances, The Aztecs of Central
shipped, among others, the god of the sun, Mexico (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston,
1981); Canasco, David, Moctezuma’s Mexico
Huitzilopochtli. The Aztec religion taught that
(Niwot: University Press of Colorado, 1992);
history moved in cycles, the end of each marked Henderson, Keith, The Fall of the Aztec Empire
by the destruction of the sun. To keep healthy (Denver: Denver Museum of Natural History,
and shining, the god required sacrifices to eat, 1993).
and the Aztecs went conquering for sacrificial
offerings. The pyramids dominating the city of MIDDLE EAST, MONGOL
Tenochtitlan were large altars where prisoners of 66 INVASION OF THE
war were executed daily. On days of special cele-
bration, several thousand would be sacrificed. In 1219, the Mongols under Genghis Khan had
This need for offerings drove the Aztecs to con- spread their influence as far as the Caspian Sea.
quest, but did not encourage loyal subjects. The shah of Khwarezm offended the Great
Once in control of their empire, the Aztecs Khan by declining to extradite one of his gov-
expanded and beautified Tenochtitlan. The city ernors for the death of two Mongol merchants.
reached a population of perhaps 200,000, possibly His refusal provoked an invasion and the
one-fifth of the Aztec population; the total num- destruction of Khwarezm, and led to the
ber of subject peoples is estimated to have aug- Mongol onslaught of the Middle East. Four
mented the empire’s population to six million. The Mongol armies engaged in the punishment:
capital city was laid out in logical order with Genghis led one army that burned Bokhara,
straight streets and many canals, along which trade Samarkand, and Balkh; his son Juchi defeated
moved by boat. When Montezuma II came to the shah’s forces at Jand, reportedly killing
power in 1502, the Aztec empire was well estab- 160,000 men in the victory; another son,
lished, and he was responsible for much of the Jagatai, captured and sacked Otrar; yet another
city’s lavish architecture and decoration. Their sis- son, Tule, led 70,000 men through Khorasan
ter-city, Tlatelolco, which they took under their and pillaged everywhere he went. All the
control in 1475, became a commercial center with armies proceeded undefeated, capturing and
the largest market in Central America. The despoiling Merv, Nishapur, Rayy, and Herat.
Spaniards under Hernan Cortes estimated that Genghis returned to Mongolia, but the
60,000 people attended the market days. steppe horsemen stayed. After Genghis’s death,

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 103


MIDDLE EAST, MONGOL INVASION OF THE

his successor, Ogadai, sent 300,000 men to put battle. They took advantage of Hulagu’s with-
down a rebellion launched by Jalal ud-Din. drawal and marched toward Syria. Kit-Boga
Ogadai was victorious at Diarbekr in northern advanced to meet them and the two forces con-
Persia, and in the wake of their victory, the verged on the Plains of Esdraelon at Ain Jalut
Mongols proceeded to pillage Armenia, (Goliath’s Well). The outnumbered Mongols fell
Georgia, and Upper Mesopotamia. In 1234, to Baibars’s Mamluks, who used Mongol tactics
Genghis’s grandson Hulagu led a force into to defeat the invaders. Hulagu decided to turn
Iran to defeat the Assassins at Alamut, then around and avenge Kit-Boga’s death, but the
turned his men toward Baghdad. Though Golden Horde now presented a threat to his rear.
Hulagu was a Buddhist, his primary wife was a He marched into Russia instead, surprising his
Christian, and he carried on his grandfather’s kinsmen at the River Terek in the winter of
policy of religious toleration. Therefore, his 1262. The two forces fought each other almost to
attack on Baghdad was intent on conquest, not exhaustion, but neither was able to gain the
religious persecution. upper hand. Hulagu retreated to Persia and
Hulagu drew on the assistance of troops from hoped to rekindle his alliance with the
the Golden Horde to capture Baghdad. Caliph Crusaders, but his death in 1264 ended that
Al-Mustasim Billah refused to offer allegiance to plan. His son Abaka marched for Egypt in 1281,
Hulagu; he also failed to heed his generals’ warn- but was met in Syria and defeated by Kalawun,
ings to strengthen the city’s weakened walls and Baibars’s sucessor, at the battle of Horns. The
military. The caliph depended on his position to Mongols retreated across the Euphrates and
draw sufficient defensive manpower, but that pres- established the dynasty of the Il-khans.
tige had long ago faded. He was forced to choose Hulagu’s descendants ruled in Persia and
between the Mongols and the Mamluks, slave-sol- Mesopotamia until 1337. The greatest of his suc-
diers who had come to power in Egypt and whom cessors was Ghazan Khan, who broke with the
he had long scorned. Too late, he looked to his Great Khan Kubilai of China. He established the
city’s defenses; in 1258 the Mongols breached the capital of his independent state at Tabriz, where
walls and spent eight days sacking the city. he received envoys from as far away as Spain and
Baghdad lost most of its several hundred thousand England. He ruled wisely and well, stabilizing the
inhabitants, as well as its libraries, universities, currency, protecting the peasants, and building
mosques, and treasures. Never again would it the city into a showpiece that rivaled Baghdad.
serve as the intellectual capital of Islam. He built mosques (the Il-khans converted to
The destruction of Baghdad had a religious Islam in 1294), schools, an observatory, a library,
significance Hulagu never intended. On the one and a hospital, then set aside the tax revenue
hand, his Christian wife urged him to ally himself from certain pieces of land to finance these insti-
with the Crusaders based in Syria. On the other tutions. Travelers passing through Tabriz
hand, his relative Birkai, chief of the Golden (including Marco Polo) noted its magnificence,
Horde, had converted to Islam and refused to aid and some estimated its population at one mil-
him any longer; indeed, he offered aid to the lion. Ghazan’s brother Uljaitu followed as leader
Mamluks of Egypt in an Islamic coalition. With of the Il-khans and patron of the arts and sci-
Crusader assistance, Hulagu took Aleppo and ences. Literature, art, and architecture reached
Damascus and was aiming for Jerusalem when new heights during his reign. His successor, Abu
news came to him that changed the fate of the Sa’id, proved to be the last ruler of a short-lived
Middle East. The Great Khan Mangku had died, dynasty. After his death in 1335, factional fight-
and it was Hulagu’s duty to return to Mongolia. ing weakened the regime, making it easy prey for
Though advised to the contrary by his wife, gen- Tamurlane’s forces in 1381.
erals, and the Crusaders, Hulagu left for home. The Mongol invasion of the Middle East was
He left behind a contingent under Kit-Boga. relatively short, the actual fighting taking place
In Egypt, the new sultan, Kotuz, and his bril- over approximately four decades. It proved deci-
liant general, Baibars, had been preparing for sive in confirming the Muslims as the dominant

104 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


MIDDLE EAST, MUSLIM CONQUEST OF THE

influence in the region, because the Mongols and Abu-Bakr’s successor, Umar (Omar,
Crusaders never cooperated as fully as they might 634–644), captured Jerusalem. He then sent
have. Kit-Boga’s defeat at Goliath’s Well, though a forces in all directions to challenge both
relatively small battle, proved to be the Middle Constantinople’s power and that of the Sassanid
Eastern version of the Muslim defeat at Poitiers. dynasty of Persia. Again Khalid was successful,
Just as Christian Europe had held back the forces taking Damascus by treachery in 635 and occupy-
of Islam, so Muslim Egypt turned away the forces ing Emesa (modern Horns) by the end of that
that could have ended their hold on the Middle year. He ceded the city back to a 50,000-man
East, possibly driving them back to the deserts of Byzantine army the following spring, then outma-
Arabia and the Sahara. The Mongols exercised the neuvered and annihilated them in August 636.
well-known tactics of destruction and terror, The Byzantine forces, though twice the size of
killing hundreds of thousands of people and Khalid’s, had to deal with a hostile population
destroying much of Islam’s literature and scientific made angry by years of taxation and religious
writings, though the Il-khans strove to renew that persecution. Though not Muslim themselves, the
intellectual atmosphere during their short dynasty. people welcomed the invaders as liberators from
See also Genghis Khan; Russia, Mongol Conquest of;
the repression of Constantinople. This repression,
Tamurlane. coupled with the fact that the Byzantine Empire
had been fighting itself to exhaustion against the
References: Allsen, Thomas, Mongol Imperialism Sassanid Persians, made it easy prey.
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987);
Chambers, James, The Devil’s Horsemen (New
The Sassanids were just as disliked among
York: Atheneum, 1979); Lamb, Harold, The their subject peoples, and the Muslim invasion
March of the Barbarians (New York: Literary brought about that dynasty’s swift downfall.
Guild, 1940). They lost their first battle to Muslim invaders in
the autumn of 635, and within two years the
MIDDLE EAST, MUSLIM Muslim forces controlled the Persian capital at
67 CONQUEST OF THE Ctesiphon, then Mesopotamia and Irak. The
eastern Muslim forces under Said ibn Wakkas
Muhammad led his followers to control of the drove farther, taking the ancient Persian capital
cities of Mecca and Medina, which in turn dom- of Ecbatana in 641, controlling the Persian Gulf
inated the area known as the Hejaz, along by 645, and occupying Khorasanby in 652.
the Red Sea’s eastern coast. His charisma held At the same time, a third Muslim force, under
the faithful together, but upon his death, many Amr ibn al-As, captured Egypt. Amr defeated the
of the Arab tribes who had followed him proved Byzantine defenders at Heliopolis in 640 and
to be less than faithful. Without a clear succes- received Alexandria’s surrender to terms in
sor, the tribes fell back into their independent 642. To give themselves a buffer zone, the
raiding ways. When Abu-Bakr rose to the posi- Muslims spread through Cyrenaica along the
tion of caliph, the successor to Muhammad’s Mediterranean coast. Several decades later, they
political power, he embarked on a war to force pushed farther along the coast, capturing Carthage
the tribes back under one banner. Abu-Bakr in 695 and bringing to an end the last of Roman
knew that the ways of the Bedouin—raiding and influence in North Africa. Alliances with the
plunder—must be rechanneled because Islam local Berber tribes gave them the impetus to reach
forbade fighting among believers. Therefore, the Atlantic and turn north into Europe.
they must find nonbelievers to attack. These events occurred during the Umayyid
Abu-Bakr challenged the authority of the dynasty, which lasted until 750. The ultimate
Byzantine Empire in Palestine. He sent his best goal of the Muslims was not the plunder of non-
general, Khalid, on raiding parties that ultimately believers (though they certainly engaged in it),
joined together to defeat a larger Byzantine but the capture of Constantinople itself—a
force at Ajnadain between Jerusalem and Gaza on dream this dynasty, and others, would not live
30 July 634. to see. Umar’s successor, Uthman (Oth-man,

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 105


106
KINGDOM OF
THE FRANKS

ACQUITAINE
SPAIN
SPAIN ARAL

Danube R.
SEA

C
Rome

A
Cordoba

S
P
ITALY B LAC K S EA

IA
N
S
Constantinople
ALGERIA ARMENIA

E
ALGERIA

A
KHORASAN

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


SICILY
GREECE
ME
DI

Tigr
MIDDLE EAST, MUSLIM CONQUEST OF THE

TE

is
B RR

R.
E AN
BREB EA CYPRUS Damascus Eu
REB N ph Baghdad PERSIA
RE SE ra
SR A PALESTINE te
s INDIA
S R Basra
.
Alexandria Jerusalem Kuta
EGYPT
EGYPT

SPREAD OF ISLAM
Medina
Conquests of Muhammad ARABIA ARABIAN
.
R
622-632 R SEA
E

ile
N
D

Conquests, 632-661 Mecca


S
E

Conquests, 661-750
A

Byzantine Empire
0 1000
Scale of miles
MING DYNASTY

644–656), tried it first in 655. His early naval Shi’ites and Sunnis, claim authority from one or
success came to naught when he was assassinated another of the original converts or family mem-
a year later. After some factional struggles among bers. Occasional conquerors would pass through
the Muslim leadership, which included an the Middle East in centuries to come, but none
armistice while the question of succession was was able to dissuade the inhabitants from their
argued, the Umayyids returned under Muawiya in adopted religion. Islam’s homeland may not
668. He crossed into Thrace and attacked from always have been militarily secure, but no one
the landward side, but did not lay siege. An was able to shake the security of their faith.
attempt to forge the straits and control the See also Byzantine Empire; India, Muslim Invasion of;
Bosporus failed in 677; afterward, Constantinople Middle East, Mongol Invasion of the; Spain,
suffered only intermittent raiding, though the Muslim Conquest of; Tamurlane.
reach of the Byzantine Empire was much dimin- References: Armstrong, Karen, Holy War (New York:
ished. Caliph Walid tried again in 715, by which Macmillan, 1988); Koprulu, Mehmed Fuad, Islam
time Muslim armies had reached India and the in Turkey after the Turkish Invasion (Salt Lake City:
borders of China. He died in the attempt, and the University of Utah Press, 1993); Serjeant, R. B.,
next caliph, Suleiman, did not succeed either. Studies in Arabian History and Civilisation
(London: Variorum Reprints, 1981).
After a yearlong siege, the Muslims were defeated
by Byzantine naval forces at sea and by Bulgar
allies operating in the Balkans. That, and the 68 MING DYNASTY
threat of Franks arriving from farther west, con-
vinced Suleiman to withdraw. A storm wrecked Under the Yuan dynasty, the Mongols ruled
the remains of his fleet, and Muslim sea power China and established extensive contacts with
was destroyed; their troop losses are estimated at the West. Trade along the Silk Road was brisk,
170,000. The Byzantine Emperor Leo III saved and Christian monks traveled to spread their
eastern Europe from Muslim domination, and faith. They found a rich culture that the
after another victory in 739, regained control of Mongols had appropriated for themselves, but
western Asia Minor. This stand, coupled with the one that they never completely assimilated.
defeat of the Muslims at Tours in France in 732, After the death of the great Kubilai Khan in
kept Europe Christian. 1297, no other leader could match his ability,
For a few centuries, the Muslims consolidat- and the dynasty weakened. In the middle
ed their hold rather than extended it, other than 1300s, a group called the Red Turbans attacked
the occasional independent actions such as the the Mongols. That assault, coupled with
entry into India. In all their Middle East con- decades of mistreatment of the Chinese peas-
quests, they benefited from a weakening of their ants, led to a peasant rebellion that ultimately
rivals’ military power as well as the aid rendered overthrew the Mongols. The leader of this
by disgruntled subjects. The Muslims had a rep- rebellion and the first emperor of the newly
utation as conquerors of forcing their faith on established Ming dynasty was Chu Yuan-
the defeated, but this happened only occasional- chang, a former Buddhist novice.
ly. For the most part, Muslim rulers followed Chu established the capital of the new
Muhammad’s dictates to respect the rights of dynasty at Nanjing in 1368. Despite his early
other faiths. The levying of a tax on nonbeliev- Buddhist training, Chu was a ruthless emperor
ers, however, encouraged many of the poor to who strove to reestablish Chinese traditions in
convert and began the long history of Islamic the wake of Mongol rule. He also set about
faith in that part of the world. Also, the Arabic reestablishing China’s suzerainty over its neigh-
language became widely used, replacing the bors. Within 10 years, the Chinese court was
Koine Greek or Aramaic spoken for centuries. receiving tribute from Okinawa, Borneo, the
The Muslims fought among themselves for cen- Malay Peninsula, Java, and the Indian coast, and
turies over Muhammad’s true successor, and to had set up trade contacts with those countries as
this day various factions, most notably the well as Japan and the Middle East.

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 107


MING DYNASTY

The next Ming emperor of note was Yong Le. tional and navigational skills unmatched until the
He not only maintained China’s military position, arrival of the Portuguese in the 1500s.
but extended the empire’s strength to include a The Chinese military was used mainly to
powerful navy. Between 1405 and 1433, Admiral protect the borders and enforce the will of the
Zheng He, a eunuch of Muslim descent, led seven emperors upon their subjects. Chu persecuted
expeditions that reached as far as Persia, Arabia, the remaining Mongols in China and forced
and eastern Africa. With a fleet of 62 ships and as them to marry Chinese people rather than their
many as 28,000 men, they were a feared organiza- own, for he would not allow purely foreign
tion throughout the China Sea and the Indian groups to exist and create trouble from within.
Ocean. Their captains demonstrated organiza- After total control was established, arts and

MONGOLIA

METROPOLITAN
GOBI DESERT AREA PROVINCE

Peking
all Ta-tung
tW
ea Seoul
Gr

SHANSI KOREA
Ning-hsia
SHANTUNG
Gr
an
dC

Yellow R.
an
al

Yellow R.
SHENSI
Kaifeng NANKING
HONAN
Ya

Nanking
ng
tze

HanHR.
an R.
R.

Ya
ng Hangchow
Chengtu tze
R.
CHEKIANG
SZECHWAN
HUKWANG KIANGSI
Foochow
FUKIEN
KWEICHOU Amoy
YUNNAN TAIWAN
KWANGTUNG
Wes
tR .
Canton
KWANGSI

MING DYNASTY
VIETNAM CHINA
HAINAN
0 600
Scale of miles

108 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


OSTROGOTHS

culture once again began to flourish, financed by The Ostrogoths were among the first in
the income from the far-flung Chinese traders. Europe to feel the wrath of the Huns. By force or
The famous Ming porcelains were developed in circumstance, they fought alongside the Huns,
this era, and the construction of palaces in especially Attila, during the Hunnish invasion of
Nanjing, and later Beijing, reflected the Ming Gaul in 451. They were obliged to fight their
desire to reassert Chinese culture. Science and Visigothic kinsmen, who were allied with Rome,
technology had few advances, but literature and but after the Hun defeat at Chalons, the
philosophy experienced a renaissance. Ostrogoths exerted their independence. They
The later Ming rulers proved less and less agreed with the Roman Empire to settle into
capable. The growing power of the Jur-chen and Pannonia, an area roughly equivalent to parts of
Manchu tribes in the northeast threatened those modern Austria, Hungary, and Slovenia. While
frontiers, while peasant uprisings in the northwest settled here, the greatest of the Ostrogothic kings,
kept the army busy in that sector. A Japanese Theodoric, came to power. He allied his people
invasion of Korea in the 1590s brought Chinese with the Eastern Roman Empire, especially the
armies into Manchuria, where they were weak- emperor Zeno, and with Constantinople’s support,
ened in a victorious war that forced a Japanese the Ostrogoths invaded Italy in 488. The
withdrawal. The Manchus now had the impetus Ostrogoths defeated Odoacer, the first Germanic
to conquer Korea and, with their rear protected, ruler of Italy, in a number of battles. They finally
make war against the Ming. The cost of war could captured Odoacer’s capital at Ravenna, after
not be paid because the peasant taxpayers were in which Theodoric murdered him and took his place
revolt, so Ming power slipped. The final Ming as ruler of Italy.
emperor hanged himself in 1644, and the invaders Though he was not officially given the title
established the Ching (Manchu) dynasty. of Western Roman Emperor, Theodoric surely
exercised the power of an emperor. Under his
See also Ching (Manchu) Dynasty; Kubilai Khan.
rule of 33 years, the Gothic kingdom in Italy
References: Hucker, Charles, The Ming Dynasty: Its recovered much of its lost productivity and
Origins and Evolving Institutions (Ann Arbor: culture. Raised in captivity in Constantinople,
University of Michigan Press, 1978); Spence, Theodoric appreciated the finer points of Roman
Jonathan, ed., From Ming to Ching (New Haven, culture and brought Roman ways to his people.
CT Yale University Press, 1979); Tong, James,
Disorder under Heaven (Stanford, CA: Stanford
He practiced Arian Christianity, considered
University Press, 1991). heresy by both the Roman Church and the
Eastern Church, but he was tolerant of all beliefs
in his realm. Roman law was the basis of the
69 OSTROGOTHS Italian state, but traditional Gothic laws also
applied to Goths in Italy. Theodoric’s rule was
The Goths were a Germanic tribe who possibly peaceful and progressive, but his death in 526
came from Sweden in the early centuries C.E. By marked the beginning of the decline of the
the third century, they had come into contact Ostrogoths. The growing military power, ambi-
with the Roman Empire and often clashed with tion, and religious intolerance of Emperor
Roman armies on the northern and northeastern Justinian in Constantinople spelled doom for
frontiers. They arrived in the region of the lower Gothic peace. Eastern Empire armies under the
Danube River, and from there plundered command of Belisarius destroyed the Ostrogoths’
the Balkans and Greece. At the height of their power, which finally broke apart. They were
powers, they controlled the lands from the Black absorbed by other tribes who established power
Sea to the Baltic Sea. In about 370 C.E., the in northern Italy, mainly the Franks and
Goths split into two nations: The eastern Burgundians. They absorbed more Roman cul-
Ostrogoths were based in the Black Sea area into ture than they imparted characteristics of their
modern Ukraine and Byelorussia, while the own, so little of Gothic society remained after
western Visigoths inhabited the Danube Valley. their demise.

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 109


RUSSIA, ESTABLISHMENT AND EXPANSION OF

See also Huns; Justinian; Visigoths. established a state, others that they were merely a
References; Cunliffe, Barry, Rome and Her Empire
strong group of warrior chiefs under the leadership
(London: Constable, 1994 [1978]); Heather, of an overlord. The latter seems more likely.
Peter, Goths and Romans (Oxford: Clarendon, The matter of defense probably took the Rus
1991); Thompson, E. A., Romans and Barbarians from their original base at Novgorod to Kiev.
(Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982). The Chronicle relates that two of Rurik’s
subordinates, Askold and Dir, captured Kiev
RUSSIA , ESTABLISHMENT from Slavic tribes to expand both their defensive
70 AND EXPANSION OF perimeter and trade routes. It seems likely that,
in the wake of the collapse of the Khazars in the
Russia’s first political foundations lay deep in eleventh century and the arrival of the
myth. Vikings, or Varangians, had alternately Petchenegs from farther east, the Slavic tribes
traded with and plundered the area east of the came together under Rus leadership to provide a
Baltic coast since the middle 700s, occasionally more solid defensive stance. For three centuries
staying long enough to establish settlements and Kiev played the key role of defensive outpost and
exact tribute from local tribes. By the middle vital trading center on the route to
800s they were forced out of the area of the upper Constantinople. Through the 900s the Rus had a
Volga and Neva rivers by the Slavic tribes they trade agreement with Constantinople, but they
had once subdued. According to the traditions of also sent a number of military expeditions
the Russian Chronicle, the tribes fought among against Constantinople as well, maintaining the
themselves until they jointly agreed to bring in seemingly traditional Viking link between trade
an outside ruler. They asked the Swedish tribe of and plunder. In the meanwhile, the Rus domi-
Rus, or Rhos, to rule over the tribes and protect nated the Slavic tribes, forcing them either into
them from their enemies. The family of Rurik slavery or to the status of tributary, the main trib-
accepted and, with his two brothers, he moved ute being paid in kind or in Arabic coinage.
the Rus tribe to the Neva River area. He estab- Sometime in the tenth century, the Russians
lished himself in Novgorod in 862, placing his embraced the Eastern Orthodox faith; it
brothers in charge of Beloozero and Izborsk. was named the state religion by Vladimir I
When they died, Rurik took control over the (978–1015), who was later sanctified.
entire area, and his descendants ruled for gener- Throughout the tenth century, Kiev was the
ations. From them comes the title Russia. dominant city-state, if not the capital of a political
Being Vikings, the Rus continued their prac- entity. From there the “Grand Duke” held sway
tice of trading and plundering, at the same time over the other dukes, or governors, who usually
defending their new subjects from the Bulgars and were his younger relatives. Thus, what passed for a
the Khazars, who lived above the Caspian Sea Russian state was actually a large feudal arrange-
between the Volga and Dnieper rivers. At times ment based on the oldest male controlling Kiev
the Russians grew strong or bold enough to and the others granting him the highest status.
approach Constantinople, sometimes in peace Early in the eleventh century, feuding among
and other times as invaders. They made little successors brought about the end of Kiev’s preem-
progress in their military expeditions against the inent position. The Rus split into two more or less
Byzantine Empire, but they succeeded in carrying equal “states” along either side of the Dnieper,
on a profitable trade in their more peaceful then were rejoined in 1035 under Yaroslav I, who
endeavors. They also managed to successfully made war against the Finns, Poles, and
defend their territory from invaders, both the Petchenegs, and mounted the last (disastrous)
aggressive Khazars and the raiding Petchenegs, expedition against Constantinople. On his
and succeeded in completely driving the Bulgars deathbed, he willed the land of the Rus to his five
from their frontiers into eastern Europe. It sons and a grandson, directing them to aid one
remains debatable just how well the Russians were another and follow the lead of the eldest son in
organized at this time; some say that they had Kiev. Rather than continue the rule from Kiev as

110 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


RUSSIA, ESTABLISHMENT AND EXPANSION OF

RUSSIA BEFORE
MONGOL CONQUEST
1190 AD

Ob R.
UR
AL

Irtysh R.
N.
Dv
ina

MT
R.

NS

Tobol R.
.
Novgorod
Lake Ilmen
Pskov
Polotsk Suzdal
W. Tver
D vin
aR Vladimir
.
Smolensk

Ural R.
R.a
Volg

Kiev Dn
Dn iep
ies er
ter R.
R.

R.
Don

CRIMEA
C

Danube R.
A
S
P

B LAC K SEA
IA
N
S
E

Constantinople CAUCASUS MTNS.


A

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 111


RUSSIA, ESTABLISHMENT AND EXPANSION OF

EARLY MODERN RUSSIA


at accession of
Peter the Great
1689

Ob.
R.
UR

Irtysh R.
N.
Dv
ina

AL
R.

MT

Tobol. R.
NS
Novgorod

.
Pskov Lake Ilmen

W Kazan
.D
vin Moscow
aR
.

LITHUANIA

l R.
Ura
POLAND
R.

Dn Kiev
a

ies Dn
Volg

ter iep
R. er
R.
S
CK
S SA
CO .
DonR Astrakhan

CRIMEA
C

Danube R.
A
S
P

B LAC K S EA
IA
N
S

CAUCASUS MTNS.
E

Constantinople
A

112 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


RUSSIA, MONGOL CONQUEST OF

Yaroslav had hoped, the brothers took a series of Russian lands did the Russian princes reluctantly
actions to break away from Kiev’s domination. join with them to resist the Mongols, or Tartars
Over the next several decades the territories given (Tatars), as the Russians called them. In 1223 the
to the sons became separate entities, often at odds combined Russo-Cuman force was defeated at the
with one another. By 1097, they were held togeth- Kalka River along the northern shore of the Black
er by a loose confederation bound only by promis- Sea, but the Mongols did not follow up on their
es to defend their lands from outside threats. victory; instead, they joined with Genghis’s son
Yaroslav was the last of the strong Russian Jochi, and returned to report to their leader. The
leaders until the rise of Ivan the Great in the mid- invasion seemed like a bad dream to the Russians,
1400s. He was an effective ruler who codified who prayed that the Mongols would prove to be
Slavic law, built numerous churches, and spon- no more than passing raiders.
sored the translation of religious literature from After attacking and destroying the Bulgars at
Greek to Slavic. He also established ties with the junction of the Volga and Kama rivers in
western Europe by giving his daughter in marriage 1236, the Mongols returned to the trans-Volga
to King Henry I of France. Though the Rus had steppes. This time they came not as raiders but as
expanded from a Scandinavian tribe to an impor- invaders, because the entire tribe of Genghis’s heir
tant population stretching from the Baltic to the Batu migrated into the area. It is questionable
Black seas, Yaroslav’s legacy was the destruction of whether any Russian defensive measures could
the feudal system, turning the Russians’ somewhat have halted the Mongol onslaught, but it certain-
unified culture into one of squabbling brothers ly could not be stopped by the divided, squabbling
and cousins who failed to defend their homeland nobles who inhabited the Russian principalities.
from Petcheneg and Cuman nomadic raiders from The Mongols crossed the Volga in late 1237
the steppes and from the ultimate conquerors and entered the state of Riazan. They made their
from the east, the Mongols. way easily across the territory, capturing land and
See also Byzantine Empire; Russia, Mongol Conquest of.
burning cities. By 1239 they had defeated the
major noble in the area, Yuri of Vladimir, and
References: Carmichael, Joel, A History of Russia (New seemed to be taking aim at the city of Novgorod.
York: Hippocrene Books, 1990); Chirovsky,
Instead, they turned back onto their invasion
Nicholas, A History of the Russian Empire (New
York: Philosophical Library, 1973); Florinsky, path and moved southeast to the territory of the
Michael, Russia: A History and an Interpretation Cumans, whom they again defeated and now
(New York: Macmillan, 1947). drove into Hungary. With a secure flank on the
Black Sea, the Mongols drove on to Kiev, cap-
RUSSIA , MONGOL turing the city in December 1240. The Russian
71 CONQUEST OF princes would not cooperate with each other,
even with much of their land under foreign con-
During the time of Genghis Khan, his general trol, so Batu drove his forces into Poland and
Subedai rode westward in a reconnaissance force Hungary. He returned to Russia in 1241, possibly
to scout the steppes of southern Russia. Subedai on news of the death of Ogadai, the Great Khan
and Jebe Noyan, another general, roamed over who succeeded Genghis.
the vast plains west of the Volga, searching for Batu settled into Russia, creating what came
possible invasion routes and testing the mettle of to be known as the Khanate of the Golden Horde.
the inhabitants. Their main opponent was the He established the city of Sarai as his capital, and
Cumans, Turkic-Mongols who had moved to the for the next 200 years the Mongols dominated
area from central Asia some centuries before. The Russia. The princes of Russia became his vassals,
Cumans had established themselves as bandits and none could rule without Mongol permission.
and pillagers throughout the area north of the The settling of the Mongols into one place, how-
Black Sea, making themselves enemies of the ever, diminished their traditional warlike manner,
Russian principalities. Only after the Cumans had and they soon began to act more like the Russian
been sorely defeated and forced to retreat into nobles, arguing over succession and wealth. The

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 113


SCOTLAND, ENGLISH CONQUEST OF

Russian princes, bound by their oaths to provide Golden Horde split into two factions in the mid-
taxes for the Mongol overlords, soon got the job of dle 1400s, creating the Kazan Mongols along the
collecting it themselves; they jockeyed for favor in upper Volga and the Crimean Mongols around the
the Mongol court by promising higher tax rev- Black Sea. That split so dissipated the military
enue in return for political appointments. Of power of the Mongols that Russians under the
course, this meant more suffering for the peasants leadership of Muscovy finally defeated the
paying the taxes to keep their prince in the good Mongols and reestablished Russian independence.
graces of the Mongols. The Russians paid nominal
See also Genghis Khan; Middle East, Mongol Invasion
service to the Mongols, occasionally revolting but of the; Tamurlane.
always finding a Mongol army in response.
Between 1236 and 1462, the Mongols made 48 References: Chambers, James, The Devil’s Horsemen
military expeditions into Russian lands, either to (New York: Atheneum, 1979); Florinsky,
Michael, Russia: A History and an Interpretation, 2
put down rebellions or to aid one Russian faction vols. (Toronto: Collier-Macmillan Canada,
vying with another. In all that time, only once did 1947); Saunders, J. J., The History of the Mongol
the Russians score a major victory. Conquests (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1971).
In the mid-thirteenth century, the Golden
Horde assisted some of its Mongol brethren in an SCOTLAND, ENGLISH
assault on the Islamic Middle East. Genghis’s 72 CONQUEST OF
grandson Hulagu led his forces against the
Muslims in Mesopotamia, capturing and sacking Relations between the northern and southern
Baghdad in 1258. He killed most of the city’s neighbors of the island of Britain have always
inhabitants and destroyed its mosques and been tense. In 1138 and 1149, the king of
libraries, bringing to an end Baghdad’s reign as Scotland tried to gain land at English expense,
the intellectual capital of Islam. His treatment of but in failing to do so, lost the province of
the caliph, however, offended the Golden Northumbria to the English. The Scots tried to
Horde’s Muslim ruler, Birkai. He withdrew his regain the land under William the Lionhearted
support and, after Hulagu had allied himself with in 1165 by aiding a rebellion against Henry II.
the Crusader armies, Birkai offered an alliance to When that failed as well, William was forced to
the Mamluks defending Syria and Egypt. That sign the Treaty of Falaise, wherein Scotland
threat to Hulagu’s rear while facing Muslim swore loyalty to England. The Scots were released
forces under the brilliant general Baibars gave from that treaty in the reign of Richard I, who
Hulagu too many enemies. After the defeat of received in return 15,000 marks of silver, roughly
one of his contingents by the Mamluks, Hulagu equivalent to one-fifth of the annual English
retreated across the Euphrates and ended his royal revenue.
quest for Egypt and his ties to his cousin in Sarai. Relative peace reigned for a century, but in
Ultimately bringing the Golden Horde to its the 1280s the Scots began chafing at English
demise was the fate suffered by so many con- dominance. Alexander III of Scotland died in
querors: They lost their fighting edge by easy living 1286, leaving his daughter as heir to the throne.
and personal greed. They took advantage of their When she died childless, the line came to an end
position to profit from the Asian trade with and various claimants scrambled for the throne.
Europe, dealing in silks, carpets, and wine from Edward I of England stepped in to support the
Persia and China; furs from Russia; jewels from claim of John de Baliol, who was crowned in
India; and their own horses and leather goods. 1292. The country became divided: One group
After the Golden Horde broke from the control of of nobles recognized English suzerainty, while
Mongolia in the later part of the fourteenth centu- another group, supported by the common peo-
ry, they spent much of their time in court intrigues. ple, resented English interference. After meeting
Other, more vigorous nomads wreaked havoc on constant demands to provide soldiers for wars
the sedentary Mongols when Tamurlane’s invasion against France, Baliol succumbed to the popular
in 1395 destroyed the capital city of Sarai. The will in 1295 and allied Scotland with France,

114 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


SCOTLAND, ENGLISH CONQUEST OF

hoping to gain total Scottish independence. to the liking of the English than the Scots.
Again the Scots backed the losing side, and Scottish soldiers were ordered into combat in
England’s military occupied Scotland after the Europe during the Thirty Years’ War at
battle of Dunbar in 1296, annexing it to their Charles’s behest. He also alienated Parliament,
own domain. which overthrew him in a civil war, bringing
Soon Scottish forces under William Wallace Oliver Cromwell to power in London.
rose up against the English, winning at Stirling Cromwell exercised a tight rein on both
Bridge in 1297 but losing the following year at English and Scottish subjects, and he tem-
Falkirk; Wallace was ultimately betrayed to the porarily united Scotland and England under
enemy. Robert Bruce came to the throne in one government. After his death, however, the
1307 and amassed forces to break away from new monarch, Charles II (another Stuart),
England’s power. Edward I died en route to fight could not keep the two countries together.
him, and Robert was able to consolidate his In 1707 the Scots finally agreed to join with
power throughout Scotland by 1314. In that England. They had accepted the kingship of
year, Edward II marched north to defeat at William III of England, who reigned as William
Bannockburn, and Scotland was freed from II of Scotland, 19 years earlier. For some years
English overlordship. In 1328 Edward II of Scotland had suffered from severe weather and
England signed the Treaty of Northampton, poor harvests, causing thousands of deaths and
which recognized Scottish independence and perhaps finally breaking the will to independ-
Robert’s throne. ence. The two nations signed the Act of Union,
Within five years there were challenges to which allowed the Scots to maintain local laws
the Scottish throne. John Baliol challenged and church policies, as well as have members in
David Bruce, and defeated David at Halidon both houses in Parliament. The Scots also
Hill with the aid of England’s Edward III. Many received equal trading rights. Under one crown
Scots rejected John for dealing so freely with since 1603, the two countries now came under
the English, and two decades of unrest fol- one government.
lowed, with the French covertly aiding David’s Two fairly serious attempts were later made
supporters. David invaded England in 1346, to exert Scottish dominance. With the aid of
but lost and was taken captive; he was ran- France, two Stuarts tried to restore their line.
somed in 1357 and ascended the Scottish In 1715, the Jacobites failed to provide any suc-
throne, ruling until 1371. cesses for James Edward Stuart, and the death of
The Bruce line ran out rather quickly, end- Louis XIV in France ended any chance of worth-
ing with Robert’s grandson, and was followed while outside aid. In 1745, Prince Charles
by the Stuart line. The Scots fought among (“Bonny Prince Charlie”) again tried to raise the
themselves and against the English for decades. Stuart standard and drew a fairly large number of
In 1502, the two peoples tried to ease the ten- Scottish supporters, but their defeat at Culloden
sions between them through marriage, when in 1746 ended any further endeavors toward
James IV married Henry VII’s daughter restoring Catholic Scottish rule.
Margaret the following year. This laid the Though it seemed a joining of equals in
groundwork for the union of the two nations 1707, the English had almost always enjoyed
under one monarch, but not as the English had the dominant position. They had been able to
intended. When Elizabeth I died childless in hold Scottish royalty hostage from time to time.
1603, James VI of Scotland was the closest For example, the first James Stuart was held by
blood relative, and he ascended the throne of the British and sent to France; when he was
England, taking the name James I. Relations later released, he had to pay 40,000 pounds ster-
between the two nations grew somewhat clos- ling as the “cost of his education.” The English
er, but both operated separate governments. also had long drawn on Scottish manpower for
James’s son Charles I, however, returned the foreign wars, which weakened the ability of the
two peoples to hostility by taking stands more northerners to rebel and laid for the London

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 115


SCYTHIANS

government the foundation of control. Scottish some elements of their culture can be traced to
soldiers significantly influenced the history of Siberian tribes of the third millennium B.C.E.
the British Empire; a longstanding comment Centered in the steppes north of the Black Sea,
was, “There will always be an England (as long the Scythians built an empire with an equally
as you’ve got the Scots to do your fighting for strong military and economic base. They inher-
you).” Even today, the union has its critics, ited the territory from the Cimmerians and
and a Scottish secessionist movement occasion- ultimately ceded it in the third century B.C.E. to
ally tries to return the northern country to its the Sarmatians. All three cultures possibly
old status. were related; certainly they had many similari-
See also Thirty Years’ War.
ties. The Scythians fought the Cimmerians
for 30 years before conquering them and taking
References: Lee, Maurice, Road to Revolution: Scotland their land.
under Charles I (Urbana: University of Illinois
The Scythians were fierce warriors whose
Press, 1985); Levack, Brian, The Formation of the
British State (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987); organization in some ways presaged that of
McKenzie, W. M., Outline of Scottish History Genghis Khan. The king was the army’s leader,
(London: Adam & Charles Black, 1907). and they were always prepared for battle. Most
of their success came from their mastery of the
73 SCYTHIANS horse, and their enemies usually could not
match the Scythian mobility. The king provided
Most of the information available on the only food and clothing; all other pay came in
Scythians comes from the pen of Herodotus (of the form of booty, which the Scythian soldier
whom one must often be leery) and from mod- could share in return for the head of an
ern archaeology and anthropology. They were enemy. They wore bronze helmets of a Greek
an Indo-European tribe who made their way pattern and carried double-curved bows with
from central Asia into southern Russia in the trefoil arrows.
eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E., though At their greatest penetration into the
Middle East, the Scythians reached Egypt, but
mainly they were penned into the steppes by the
Persians. They fought the Persian king Darius I
in 513 B.C.E., and held off his invasion of south-
ern Russia. However, they could not hold off the
Sarmatians in the third century. The two peoples
had been clashing for decades along the Asia fron-
tier; the Scythian military finally was defeated,
but their economic legacy remained.
Though a minority, the Scythians ruled
a vast territory. Their location made them
middlemen for trade from Asia into eastern
Europe and the Middle East. Apparently they
were able businessmen, because the graves of
their aristocrats held artwork and weaponry of
gold and other precious metals. The graves also
held the dead man’s wife, household servants,
and horses. Two types of artwork were discov-
ered in their tombs: animal subjects, which they
made themselves, and Greek objects gained
through trade. Steppe art traditionally deals
with animal subjects, and the portrayal of two
Scythian horseman depicted on felt artifact. animals fighting was a popular theme. The

116 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


SONGHAY, EXPANSION OF

artwork was rarely large, for their nomadic 1473, but little inland progress was made against
ways never left them, and their imagery was the remains of Mali’s people. Not until 1492,
usually carved into easily transportable items when Sonni Ali died, did Songhay troops make
such as jewelry, weapons, and cups. The art- inroads into Mali’s countryside. Under the lead-
work in gold is regarded as excellent, and ership of Askia Muhammad al-Turi, founder of a
they also worked in wood, leather, bone, iron, new dynasty, an improved infantry became strong
and silver. The Scythians left a legacy of horse- enough to break away from the river fleet and
manship, great warriors, well-stocked tombs, strike inland. Askia Muhammad drove along the
and fine artwork. northern frontier of the old empire, defeating the
See also Genghis Khan.
last of Mali’s leaders and gaining vassals for him-
self. He dominated the old Ghanian empire and
References: Minns, Ellis, Scythians and Greeks took control of the gold trade that had made the
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1913); area rich and famous. Though kings of Mali
Rostovtzeff, M., Iranians and Greeks in Southern
Russia (New York: Russell & Russell, 1969);
remained in control of factions deep in the
Tompkins, Stuart, Russia through the Ages (New rugged countryside, they ultimately surrendered
York: Prentice-Hall, 1940). to reality and recognized Songhay’s control, pay-
ing them tribute. After Askia Muhammad was
overthrown by his son in 1528, a series of
SONGHAY, dynastic struggles ensued. Ultimately, his grand-
74 EXPANSION OF sons Ishaq and Dawud ruled successfully from the
1530s to the 1580s.
The Songhay tribe apparently began about 670 The Askia dynasty embraced Islam much
C.E. along the eastern banks of the Niger River, more strongly than did the Sonnis. Askia
where they established the two main population Muhammad imported Muslim scholars to Gao,
centers of Gao and Koukia. The leading family Timbuktu, and Jenne, and he continued to main-
was of Berber extraction, and their line ruled the tain Timbuktu as the intellectual center of west-
Songhay into the 1300s. In 1005, the current ern Africa. He used the vast wealth of the empire
king, Kossi, converted to Islam; about the same to support Muslim clerics and build mosques, but
time, Gao became the capital city and the the majority of the peoples he dominated
Songhay became a vassal to Mali. When Mali’s remained loyal to their local gods. Under Askia
Emperor Mansa Musa made his famous pilgrim- Dawud, the Songhay Empire reached its intellec-
age to Mecca in the 1320s, his return trip brought tual and economic zenith. Trade across the
him through Gao, where he took two royal sons Sahara became of greater importance than ever
back to his capital as hostages. One of the boys before, and Dawud supported the arts and sci-
escaped and returned to Songhay in 1335, taking ences with royal patronage.
the name Sonni, or savior. He established a new The Songhay ultimately fell to invaders from
dynasty and began the resistance to Mali that the north. After fighting upstart tribes in the
ultimately brought independence for his people. southern part of the empire as well as sending
The rise of the Sonni dynasty coincided with forces to engage Berbers in Morocco, the empire
the decline of Mali. When Mali’s power slipped was defeated by Moroccans with firearms. The
away in the late 1300s, the Songhay threw off empire broke up quickly in the wake of this
their vassalage, but did not come into their own defeat in 1591. In a matter of just a few years, the
until the latter half of the 1400s. King Sonni Ali, Songhay were reduced to their original holdings
the greatest ruler of his dynasty, brought Songhay around Gao.
to imperial power. He captured Timbuktu from See also Mali, Expansion of.
the nomads in 1468 and invaded Mali’s old
References: Levtsion, Nehemia, Ancient Ghana and
empire with a strong military force based on a Mali (London: Methuen, 1973); Trimingham,
river fleet operating on the Niger. The major John, The History of Islam in West Africa (London:
trading center of Jenne fell to Songhay forces in Oxford University Press, 1970).

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 117


SPAIN, MUSLIM CONQUEST OF

SPAIN, MUSLIM Abdul Aziz completed the conquest of Granada


75 CONQUEST OF and Murcia.
On the whole, the invaders met with little
One of the most distinctive invasions of history opposition. The sons of Witiza and the other
was that of the Moors upon the Iberian Peninsula. great Visigothic families, whether or not they
Its unusual aspect lay in the fact that it was a rel- converted to Islam, paid tribute in return for
atively peaceful invasion that permitted three dis- extensive domains. Freed from persecution, the
tinct cultures—Christians, Muslims, and Jews— Jews were eager allies, and the serfs gained a
to coexist and flourish. The Arab occupation of measure of freedom. Most of the population con-
Spain was not a preconceived plan of conquest; verted to Islam, and the converts, known as
the Arabs were able to convince the natives of the Muwallads, became active in the general Moorish
many local tribes to surrender to attractive offers, population. The unconverted, called Mozarabes,
which led to Arab control of three-fourths of suffered little discrimination and formed prosper-
Iberia for some 700 years. ous communities in the Muslim cities. Too few to
It began during the seventh century when the colonize the country, the Arabs formed the
Visigoth Empire in Spain suffered through a administrative and military cadres in the
period of instability and rebellions, instigated by Zaragoza region. The Berbers settled mainly in
the sons of Visigothic king Witiza. During Witiza’s the central and mountainous regions, which
reign (701–709), Arab forces of the caliphate had resembled their native Atlas Mountains and
conquered northern Morocco and laid siege to favored their anarchic tendencies.
Ceuta, the last Byzantine possession in the area. Viewed as a whole, the conquest was not a
Julian, the imperial governor of Ceuta, sent his great calamity. In the beginning there was a period
daughter Florinda to the court of Toledo to be of anarchy, but the Arab government soon
educated. Unfortunately, she caught the eye of repressed racial and tribal discord. In many
Witiza’s successor, Don Rodrigo, who dishonored respects the Arab conquest was beneficial. It
her. In retaliation, Julian ceded his control of the brought about an important social revolution and
Ceuta to the Arabs and incited the Arab viceroy put an end to many of the ills that had engulfed
in North Africa, Musa ibn Nasair, to attack Spain the country under the Visigoths. The power of the
and ally with Witiza’s rebellious sons. privileged classes, the clergy, and the nobility was
The Arab invasion began with a series of reduced and, by distributing confiscated lands to
excursions by Tarik ibn Zair, the governor of the population, a peasant proprietorship was
Tangier. Under orders from the viceroy, he established The conquest ameliorated the condi-
attacked across the Straits of Gibraltar in 710 with tion of the peasants; the Moors provided many of
a force of 7,000 men, mostly Berbers. Reinforced the Christian slaves and serfs with an easy path to
by an additional 5,000 men, Tarik moved to freedom. They brought Iberia a comparatively
Laguna de la Janda to await the arrival of Spanish advanced culture and new technologies, and
forces under Don Rodrigo. On 19 July, Don introduced economically important crops and
Rodrigo was defeated and killed. Witiza’s sons and new agricultural techniques. Moorish culture
supporters, who had withdrawn during the battle, influenced architectural styles and native music
now joined with Tarik and encouraged him to and dances, while ancient learning, preserved by
advance northward to seize Toledo and Cordoba. the Arabs, was reintroduced to this part of Europe.
In June 712, Musa crossed from Morocco with an
See also Visigoths.
army of 18,000 Arabs and captured Sevilla and
Merida. Dispatching his son Abdul Aziz to the References: Byng, Edward, The World of the Arabs
southwest, Musa joined forces with Tarik at (Plainview, NY: Books for Libraries, 1974);
Chejne, Anwar, Muslim Spain: Its History and
Talavera, then took up residence in Toledo. In
Culture (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota
714 he captured Zaragoza and, with Tarik, made Press, 1974); Click, Thomas, Islamic and Christian
an expedition into Leon and Galicia before Spain in the early Middle Ages (Princeton, NJ:
returning to Damascus. After occupying Portugal, Princeton University Press, 1979).

118 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


TAMURLANE

76 TAMURLANE arise into an independent state. In 1392 he began


the “Five Years Campaign,” during which he con-
Timur, which translates as “iron,” was born 8 quered Iran, then Baghdad, and moved northwest
April 1336 near the central Asian city of into the valley of the Don River north of the
Samarkand, into the Turkic-speaking Muslim Black Sea. Rather than attack the rising nation of
tribe of Barulas Mongols. Later, he became known Russia, he reattacked the remains of the Golden
as Timur-i-leng, or Timur the Lame (for an injury Horde, capturing and pillaging Sarai and
to his right leg sustained in a sheep-stealing raid); Astrakhan. Timur turned toward India in 1398.
Tamurlane is the westernized pronunciation. Like most of his campaigns, this was for loot
Timur was illiterate, but he had an active interest rather than conquest. He followed a force led by
in history. In later life he kept slaves to read to his grandson, who captured Multan across the
him and keep accounts of his campaigns. Indus River. After Timur joined his forces to his
By the age of 25, Timur had a following of grandson’s, they attacked Delhi and razed the
several hundred men, a force with which he city. In 1399 he was out of India and on the cam-
began his rise to power. He placed himself and paign trail for his last operation. Covering much
his men under the direction of the ruler of of the same ground as he had pillaged at the end
Moghulistan, Tughlug-Timur. For his loyalty, of the Five Years Campaign, he drove southward
Timur was soon promoted to regional governor through Georgia into eastern Turkey. He defeat-
of Samarkand. Upon Tughlug-Timur’s death, ed the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, after which he
Timur-i-leng took over as ruler of Transoxiana, invaded Syria and closed out the year 1400 with
the area east of the Aral Sea. He made the capture of Aleppo. The following season, he
Samarkand his capital, and over the years it ben- took Damascus, then once again captured and
efited from the booty of his conquests. looted Baghdad, murdering the inhabitants and
Timur built a powerful military force of cavalry, destroying the city. After taking Smyrna in 1403,
infantry, and engineers. His standard tactic was to he turned for home, where he stayed a short
absorb the enemy’s attack with his well-trained while before deciding to invade China, then
infantry, then use his cavalry to exploit the confu- under the Ming dynasty. Timur died on the road
sion. Like Napoleon in the nineteenth century, he to China on 18 February 1405. His son
depended on vanguards and flanking units for and grandson succeeded him, creating the
scouting and for screening his movements. He also Timurid dynasty, but they lacked Timur’s talent
had no hesitation in marching his men great dis- and drive, and the clan came to an end within a
tances. He believed that campaigning over a wide hundred years.
area and attacking in random directions kept rivals Timur the Lame goes down in history as a
from having time to establish themselves. He did masterful military leader who, unlike his forerun-
not really care to absorb the peoples he defeated; ner Genghis Khan, lacked the necessary ability
he just plundered them. He calculated that a to rule. He is remembered as a cruel conqueror
return campaign every few years would give an and for little else; hundreds of thousands of peo-
area time to recover economically without having ple died at his direction. His excesses in mis-
the opportunity to build up militarily. treating defeated soldiers (beheading, burying
In 1381, Timur moved south and west toward alive, etc.) made him a man to be feared, but
Herat in Afghanistan, then advanced into terri- never one to be respected. Only the expansion
tory covered by modern-day Iraq and Turkey. and beautification of Samarkand was a positive,
Having taken his fill of plunder there, he turned lasting contribution to society. His grandson,
northward in 1384 to campaign against the Ulugh Beg, studied astronomy and oversaw the
Mongol Golden Horde occupying Russia. For Timurid period of culture, but it was short-lived.
four years he fought against Tokhtamysh, leader Timur’s conquests had several side effects.
of the Golden Horde, defeating him and protect- His defeat of the Othman Turks in Anatolia hurt
ing his own northern frontier. This so weakened them, but did not keep them from rising to
the Golden Horde’s power that Russia was able to power. His campaigns past the Black Sea

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 119


T’ANG DYNASTY

destroyed the trading centers of the Venetians defense in depth, but also a mobile reserve that
and Genoese, which spurred them toward mar- could react to any crisis. This was China’s first
itime rather than overland trade routes, and as a standing professional army, and Taitsong became
result, they would dominate the Mediterranean a warrior-king, the first to do so voluntarily. He
as seamen. Because Timur bypassed Moscow, spent so much time on training and discipline
leaving the inhabitants unharmed while he that when his army went on their first campaign,
defeated the Mongol Golden Horde that domi- again against the Tartars, the Chinese were so
nated the region, the state of Russia was born. impressive that the nomads gave up without a
See also Genghis Khan; Napoleon Buonaparte;
fight. At this point he named himself khan of
Ottoman Empire; Russia, Establishment and the Tartars and took the power to regulate their
Expansion of; Russia, Mongol Conquest of. affairs. This action brought Chinese control into
the Gobi Desert and spread its influence even
References: Lamb, Harold, Tamurlane, the Earth Shaker
(New York: R. M. McBride, 1928); Manz, farther.
Beatrice, The Rise and Rule of Tamurlane Taitsong was as good an administrator as he
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989). was a military leader. He lowered taxes, instituted
a fair civil service, and set the example for his
77 T’ANG DYNASTY government to follow. As a Confucian, he believed
that it was necessary for a leader to promote the
With the dissolution of the Sui dynasty in the harmony of his people by personal excellence.
early 600s C.E., the T’ang, one of the rival fac- He was assisted in administration by his wife, a
tions struggling for power, finally rose to the top. woman as dedicated and wise as he. They both
The first in the T’ang line was Kaotsou. His son lived a simple life, without imperial fanfare. She
Lichiman was his chief general and did most of died in 636, leaving as her legacy a college and
the conquering for the T’ang. Lichiman captured the Imperial Library.
the capital city of Loyang and destroyed the Sui Taitsong cultivated Chinese relations with
palace to prove that their dynasty had indeed Tibet in 634. After initiating talks, the Sanpou,
come to an end; he then pensioned the Sui sur- the Tibetan head of state, requested a Chinese
vivors. Lichiman went on to establish control bride to seal their relationship. Taitsong refused,
over all of northern China and defeat a confed- and the Sanpou prepared for war. Taitsong’s
eration of Turkic tribes on the eastern frontier. superior army defeated the Tibetans at the west-
So successful was he that Kaotsou abdicated in ern border. Tibet became China’s vassal, and
620 so Lichiman could rule. On taking the Taitsong rewarded the Sanpou with a Chinese
throne from his father, Lichiman took the royal wife—his own daughter. The Tibetans began to
name Taitsong. adopt Chinese culture and abandon barbarism.
Taitsong continued to fight, pacifying the That same year, Chinese forces won another vic-
entire Chinese realm by 624. He captured the tory over Turkic tribes at Kashgar, which extended
king of the Tartars, forcing the barbarians to sue Chinese authority as far as eastern Turkistan, the
for peace. As usual, peace was fleeting, and greatest limit of national authority until the
Taitsong fought the nomads for years. In the first Mongols’ dynasty.
year of his reign, the Tartars attacked with Taitsong’s only reverse came in Korea. A
100,000 men and invaded almost to the capital usurper in the Korean palace refused to recognize
city. Taitsong turned them away almost single- the T’ang line and mistreated Taitsong’s ambas-
handedly. He met with the Tartars accompanied sadors. The Chinese responded to this insult by
only by a small escort, shaming them, and con- invading Korea in 646. The Korean usurper
vinced them to abide by the terms of the previ- decided he had better pay tribute rather than
ous peace and return home. face the invading army, but Taitsong refused his
Taitsong built a standing army of 900,000, gifts, deciding to teach the Korean a lesson. The
placing one-third of them along the frontier and Chinese massed 100,000 men and 500 boats for
two-thirds behind them, creating not only a a combined land-sea operation. Telling the

120 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


TURKIC NOMADS
Talas . PO-HAI
ns
Mt
an
Sh
n
ie
T'
Tun-huang Yellow R. Peking

Tarim Basin SILLA


Later Grand Canal

s.
n Mtn Loyang
nlu
Ku 1st Grand Canal
Ch’ang-an

TIBET
R. Hangchow
tze
ng
Ya

TANG EMPIRE NAN-CHAO


at its peak, 8th century

0 600

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


Scale of miles

121
T’ANG DYNASTY
TURKS

Korean people that he had no quarrel with them, After Empress Wu’s death in 705 at age 80, a
Taitsong proclaimed a war against the king only. succession of poor leaders followed. Border wars
However, the Korean people resisted, and after continued against the Tibetans in the west and
an easy start, the Chinese lost a quarter of their the Khitan Mongols in the north. In the middle
force in a siege at Anshu on the northwest coast, and later part of the eighth century, the Chinese
which they were unable to capture. Because win- depended more and more on Turkic mercenaries,
ter was coming and Taitsong’s forces were short who proved able soldiers for the Chinese; at the
of supplies, he retreated. Taitsong never went same time, Turkistan received Chinese aid to keep
back, and died in 649. the Muslims at bay. The constant warfare took its
When he saw his end approaching, toll on Chinese society. Early in the 700s, the
Taitsong wanted to leave a legacy for his suc- Chinese census numbered 52 million; by 764 the
cessors. He wrote the Golden Mirror, a text on population had dropped to 17 million. The T’ang
statecraft, for his son. Taitsong is regarded as dynasty stayed in power until 906, when the final
probably the finest of all Chinese emperors of emperor conceded power to one of his generals.
any dynasty, and among the best rulers any- At the height of the dynasty, the Tangs spread
where and anytime. As is usually the case, his from Korea to Turkistan to the Persian frontier
descendants did not measure up, starting with to the borders of Vietnam. They spread Chinese
his son, Kaotsong, who married one of his culture, maintained trade relations with the West,
father’s concubines, an extremely ambitious and acted as a bulwark against Muslim expansion.
woman who came to be known as Empress Wu. The dynasty contained 20 emperors (including
She was the power behind the throne, and one empress), but none as able as Taitsong, who
when Kaotsong died, she seized power openly, took them to their greatest heights.
one of the only women ever to do so in Chinese See also Vietnam, Chinese Conquest of.
history. She ruled with an iron hand and with
mixed success in foreign policy. Her armies lost References: Boulger, Demetrius, The History of China, 2
twice to Tibet in 670 and signed a truce to keep vols. (Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries, 1898);
Capon, Edmund, Tang China (London:
the Tibetans out of Chinese territory, then Macdonald Orbis, 1989); Wei, Cheng, Mirror to
broke the truce and as a result, the army was the Son of Heaven, ed. and trans. Howard Wechsler
virtually wiped out. From then on, she could do (New Haven, CT Yale University Press, 1974).
little more than defend the western frontier
from the occasional Tibetan invasion. 78 TURKS
Empress Wu had more luck in Korea. Chinese
forces fought there for 10 years, ultimately forcing The peoples known as Turks originated not in the
the Koreans to appeal to Japan for aid. Her forces Turkey of today, but in Turkistan in central Asia.
defeated the combined forces in four battles and In the middle of the sixth century C.E., they
destroyed the Japanese fleet. Though the Chinese formed themselves into a large tribal confedera-
established predominance, they had no long-term tion, then shortly thereafter split into eastern and
advantage. Empress Wu also received appeals western factions. The eastern Turkic tribes inter-
from India to assist in repelling invading Muslims, acted strongly with the Chinese, most notably
but she wisely refrained from sending her armies with the T’ang dynasty, and alternately aided or
so far afield. In 692 she directed her forces to were defeated by Chinese societies. The western
regain preeminence in Tibet, which they did, Turkic tribes, however, were better known as con-
though they had to continue fighting to maintain querors for their occupation of territory stretching
their position. Empress Wu’s greatest, and last, from the Oxus River to the Mediterranean Sea.
failure was in dealing with the threat of Khitan Their first major entry into Western history
Mongols in the north. She allied herself with a came through contact with Arabs spreading Islam
Turkic chief, Metcho, in 697, and armed his forces past Persia and toward central Asia. The pastoral
to aid her against the Mongols. Instead, Metcho Turks became exposed to the civilizations of
took the weapons and invaded China himself. Persia and the Byzantine Empire, and began a

122 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


TURKS

gradual conversion to Western religions, mainly not take the city to pillage it, but to return it to
but not exclusively Islam. Soon Turkic soldiers Sunni control from the less orthodox Shi’ites.
served in Muslim armies, either as volunteers or as The wedding of the Seljuk chief to the sister of
slave-soldiers, forerunners of the Mamluks or the the caliph (religious leader), and the Seljuk’s
janissaries of the Ottoman Empire. They soon resulting promotion to the position of sultan
became ghazis, or border warriors, hired by (temporal leader), established them as the premier
Muslim governments to protect the northeastern military and political force in the Middle East.
frontier. At this point the western Turks also split, Filled with religious zeal, the Seljuks con-
the eastern faction becoming the Ghaznavids and quered Armenia, the Levant, and moved into
the western becoming the Seljuks. Asia Minor. Malik Shah, the most successful
Seljuk military leader, scored a major victory over
The Ghaznavids Byzantine forces at Manzikert in 1071. Despite
their desire to reestablish the Sunni sect of Islam,
Most of the Turks embraced the more orthodox they did not undertake the forced conversions
Sunni branch of Islam, and they spread the faith practiced by the Ghaznavids in India. Though
as well as practiced it. Based in the city of Ghazna they made subjects of Christians and Jews, they
(some 150 kilometers southwest of modern did not persecute them; the Seljuks followed
Kabul, Afghanistan), in the tenth and eleventh Muhammad’s teachings of religious tolerance.
centuries the Ghaznavids spread their power and Once established in Asia Minor, they chose as
religion eastward into India. Their original hold- their capital city Konia, a site occupied since the
ings were a land grant given to them as a reward Hittites at the dawn of recorded history, which
for military services from the Samanid dynasty of became a center for culture and learning. The
Muslims. Under the leadership of Sebuktegin Turks did not create so much as they copied,
(977–997) and his son Mahmud (998–1030), the but their adoption of Persian and Arab knowledge
Ghaznavids conquered the area today covered by and art was extensive. Seljuk rulers exchanged
eastern Iran, Afghanistan, the Punjab, and past educators and religious leaders with
the Indus River into parts of India. Their most Constantinople, and seemed for a time to pursue
notable achievement was the introduction of the concept of finding a common belief for both
Islam into India, but their use of forced conver- Christian and Muslim to embrace. Such a noble
sions often made them more feared than wel- dream of religious cooperation was not to be. The
comed. They were defeated not by Indian resist- orthodoxy of the Sunni Seljuks frightened
ance, but by the Seljuks. Europeans, who rejected peaceful interaction for
militant Christianity and mounted the Crusades.
The Seljuks The enlightened rulers Ala-ed-din and Jelal-ed-
din, promoters of positive religious contact, had
Named for their first major leader, Seljuk or no effective counterparts in Europe. Though the
Selchuk, the western Turkic tribes also served Crusades brought about no lasting European pres-
Muslim governments. Their position on the ence in the Middle East and the Seljuks remained
Asian frontier attracted growing numbers of in power, they were doomed to destruction in the
Islamicized Turkic tribes, and soon the land grants same manner that brought them to power: hordes
ceded by the Muslims proved inadequate for the from central Asia, the Mongols of the thirteenth
needs of so many pastoral people. Their multiply- century. The Seljuks left behind a positive legacy,
ing numbers gave them an increased military for the most part. They spread Persian learning
strength as well as a growing need for grazing and culture, and established universities and reli-
lands. As the Muslim Buyid dynasty grew weak gious schools from the Mediterranean to the
and the Ghaznavids looked toward India, the Caspian. Their occupation of Asia Minor ulti-
Seljuks found conquest of the lands west of Persia mately weakened the Byzantine Empire to the
relatively simple. They defeated the Ghaznavids point that it fell to the successors of the Seljuk,
in 1040, and occupied Baghdad in 1055. They did the Ottoman Empire.

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 123


VANDALS

See also Byzantine Empire; Crusades; Tang Dynasty; Empire. They therefore went to Spain to regain
Ottoman Empire. control of the area for Rome and to carve out
References: Koprulu, Mehmet.The Seijuks of Anatolia, whatever good lands they could acquire for
trans. Gary Leiser (Salt Lake City: University of themselves, even if it meant making war against
Utah Press, 1992); Muller, Herbert, The Loom of people much like themselves. The four Vandalic
History (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958); tribes had spread quickly over much of central
Rice, Tamara, The Seljwlcs in Asia Minor (New
and western Iberia, and the Goths operated out
York: Praeger, 1961).
of the eastern part of the peninsula. After a failed
attempt to cross over to North Africa, the Goths
79 VANDALS made war against the Vandalic tribes. After a few
defeats, the Vandals appealed to Rome for pro-
The Vandals were one of the tribes who migrated tection; the emperor played one tribe against
from the area below the Baltic Sea during the late another by granting or denying favors. Imperial
Roman Empire. They were of the same racial aid went mainly to the Asdings and the
stock as the Goths, but traveled across Germany Suevians, so the Goths continued to fight the
more directly than did the Goths, who migrated at Silings and the Alans. The Silings were virtually
the same time but took a more southerly route exterminated, and the Alans, after losing their
before moving westward across Europe. Little is king, retreated westward to join the Asdings.
known of the Vandals’ early history, but they The ruler of the remainder came to be called
crossed into Germany about the time Rome was “King of the Vandals and the Alans.”
loosening its grip on the area in the mid-300s C.E. Once the Visigoths went about establishing
They were actually the leaders of a group of tribes, their own claims, the remaining Vandals were left
and were themselves divided into two groups, the to themselves. An argument soon arose between
Asdings and the Silings. They led and conquered the Vandals and the Sueves and, after a battle,
with the Sueves, another Germanic tribe, and the they parted company. The Sueves stayed in north-
Alans, who were a non-Germanic people driven west Iberia, and the Vandals and Alans moved to
into Europe by the advance of the Huns. the south. On the way, they fought and defeated a
The Vandal coalition moved across Roman force, and established themselves in the
Germany as the Western Goths (Visigoths) were province of Baetica. The Vandal king Gunderic
occupying northern Italy and Dacia, and the two raided into other areas of Spain and possibly across
fought each other. The Visigoths had the better the Mediterranean into Mauritania. His brother
of the encounter, and the Vandals seemed to dis- and successor, Gaiseric, saw the potential of the
appear for a time. In 406 they emerged again to farmland of North Africa, which had long been
lead their forces across the Rhine River. Their Rome’s primary food source. He was leader of the
passage into western Europe was bloody; the Vandals when chance called them to Africa.
Vandals pillaged through Gaul (areas covered by The general commanding the Roman forces
modern-day Belgium, Holland, and northern in Africa was Boniface, loyal to Rome and a
France), then turned south and cut a wide swath strong Christian. However, he took a second
of destruction to the Pyrenees. This territory offi- wife who was an Arian, and this placed him in
cially belonged to the Roman Empire, and the opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. He
emperor tried to convince his Visigothic refused to return to Rome to answer to the gov-
allies/mercenaries to save Gaul. By the time they ernment, and Boniface defeated the first army
turned to face the Vandal threat in 409, the that came after him. The second one defeated
tribes had moved into northern Spain. him, however, and Boniface fled to the Vandals.
Like the Goths, the Vandals were Arian He invited them to come to Africa; if they would
Christians. The two peoples were of the same fight alongside him, he would reward them with
heritage and spoke a similar language. The land. Boniface provided shipping, and 80,000
Goths had established themselves in Italy as people crossed the Mediterranean, 15,000 of
occasional allies to what remained of the Roman whom were fighting men.

124 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


VIETNAM, CHINESE CONQUEST OF

The Vandals proved to be unmerciful in their Ostrogoths, then of the Franks, came about more
treatment of the Mauritanian population. They easily because Rome could not support enough
killed and looted towns and churches, caring troops in the field. Roman power fell faster and
nothing for Catholic shrines or priests. Gaiseric German influence rose more quickly in Europe
proved an able military leader and a cunning because the Vandals, at Rome’s back door, split
diplomat. His treatment of Roman citizens the attention of the fading empire.
encouraged other groups who disliked Rome to
See also Huns; Ostrogoths; Visigoths.
join in the fray. Moors and Egyptian Donatists
attacked eastward along the Mediterranean shore, References: Bury, J. B., The Invasion of Europe by the
and other groups branded as heretics saw a chance Barbarians (New York: Russell & Russell, 1963);
Isadore of Seville, The History of the Goths, Vandals
to exact vengeance on their Roman oppressors.
and Suevi, trans. Guido Donini and Gordon Ford
Attempts to negotiate with Gaiseric proved futile. (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1970); Thompson, E. A.,
He not only fought the Roman armies sent against Romans and Barbarians: The Decline of the Western
him, but turned on Boniface as well and drove Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,
him back into Roman arms. In 430, the Vandals 1982).
invaded Numidia and besieged the city of Hippo,
home to St. Augustine, which held out for a year. VIETNAM, CHINESE
When Boniface joined with an army sent from 80 CONQUEST OF
Constantinople in 431, Gaiseric defeated them as
well, then turned back and captured Hippo. In 221 B.C.E. the Chou dynasty in China was
In Rome, internal power struggles kept the overthrown and replaced by the short-lived
government from any effective resistance to Ch’in dynasty. Though this was the first central-
Gaiseric. Finally the Visigoth General Aetius ized empire in China, it lasted but one genera-
was able to speak for Rome and convince the tion. However, it was a busy lifetime: All of
Vandals to stop fighting. In 435 they were ceded China was under one rule and Emperor Shih-
the Mauritanian provinces and part of Numidia huang-ti planned an expedition to conquer terri-
in return for acknowledging the overlordship of tory in the far south, called Yueh (pronounced
the Roman government. Gaiseric consolidated Viet in the south). He began planning the attack
his hold on northwestern Africa, but continued in 221 B.C.E., but was not able to launch it until
to consider his options. Basing himself in 218. The invasion was both political and eco-
Carthage, Gaiseric built a fleet and began raiding nomic; Shih-huang-ti hoped to spread Chinese
at sea. His forces raided Italy and occupied Sicily influence and to profit from that spread by
and Sardinia. The Vandals did not long survive accessing the ivory, rhino horn, tortoiseshell,
Gaiseric, however. Roman forces ultimately pearls, spices, aromatic woods, and exotic feath-
returned and reconquered the area, bringing the ers for which Chinese silk had long been traded.
Vandal tribe to an end. The Chinese already had merchants in place in
Though Vandal power lasted about a century, Yueh and were well aware of the area’s potential.
the tribe left behind little cultural heritage. Their The first invasion was fairly easy. The indige-
time in Spain was sufficiently brief that they had nous tribes retreated before the Chinese
no impact there, and even in North Africa, they advance, marshaling their forces until they could
built and contributed little. The effect of the outnumber the invaders. Chinese leader Chao
Vandal migrations and conquests was not small, T’o (Trieu Da) called for reinforcements, and the
however. By their very presence in North Africa, lower levels of Chinese society were plumbed for
controlling the grain-producing lands that had men. The early success was limited to the plains
fed Italy for centuries, the power of Rome around modern Canton; the Red River delta was
declined even faster. Without the logistical sup- left untouched for a while.
port of Africa, Roman forces could not aggres- Shih-huang-ti’s death in 209 B.C.E. brought
sively respond to threats in Europe, mostly in civil war, ending in the establishment of the
Gaul. The advances of the Huns and the Han dynasty in 202. While civil war raged in

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 125


VIETNAM, CHINESE CONQUEST OF

China, the governor in the south saw an oppor- provoked a rebellion in 34 C.E. by the Lo lords,
tunity to declare independence, but he was who feared a loss of power, but by 43 it was sup-
unsuccessful. He was replaced by the returning pressed through the efforts of one of China’s most
Chao T’o, who executed all officials still loyal to able generals, Ma Yuan (Ma Vien). This failed
the Ch’in and, in 207 B.C.E., assumed the title rebellion resulted in the further Sinification of the
King of Nan-yueh (Nam Viet). The Han administration in Chiao-chih as the Lo nobles lost
dynasty recognized him as king in return for his their position. From then on, Chiao-chih was
acknowledgment of Chinese suzerainty. In a treated not as a protectorate, but as a province of
later trade dispute, Chao T’o declared his inde- the empire.
pendence, and defeated the Chinese force sent China dominated the area for the next
against him. He forced the population living several centuries, making its culture increasingly
farther south, called the Lo (Lac) people, to rec- Chinese. Under the governorship of Shih Shieh
ognize his position. The Lo lived in a feudal (Si-hiep), traditional
society along the Red River delta and the Confucian studies were introduced and
coastal plains to the south. Even after Chao T’o Vietnamese students began to go to China to
made peace with China and again recognized take the civil service exams, which further solid-
their overlordship, this territory continued to ified Chinese culture and administration. Also
recognize his leadership. The area came to be during this time, the first Buddhist missionaries
designated a military district called Chiao-chih appeared in Chiao-chih, as did proponents of
(Giao-chi).The Lo princes remained vassals to Taoism and Confucianism.
Chao (Trieu) and his successors. When Nan- China ruled the area for almost a thousand
yueh broke from China in 112 B.C.E., it was years. Those years were mainly peaceful, though
invaded by the Han emperor Wu-ti. He was plagued by resistance from some of the hill tribes
quickly victorious and incorporated Nan-yueh who resented foreign occupation, and by the
into the Han Empire as a protectorate. He divid- Champa people farther south who occasionally
ed it into nine military districts; six of them took attempted to spread their influence into Chiao-
up the modern provinces of Kwangtung and chih. Periodic revolts of either local chieftains or
Kwangsi in China, and the remainder lay in recalcitrant governors proved unable to dislodge
what is now Vietnam. Despite the incorpora- Chinese authority, even when Chinese dynasties
tion, Wu-ti did not establish a Chinese adminis- changed. The successors to the Han, the T’ang
tration in Nan-yueh, but treated the military dynasty, reorganized the administration of the
districts as colonies with a minority Chinese area in the 600s, renaming the Chiao military
population. The local lords were confirmed in districts An-nan (An-nam), meaning “pacified
their positions under Chinese suzerainty, and south.” The name survives to the present day as
maritime trade with China opened up. a state in modern Vietnam.
Not until 1 C.E. did the Chinese begin to By the 800s, rebellions became more com-
impose their culture on the people of Chiao-chih. mon and the Chinese had to work to keep con-
Through the efforts of Governor Hsi Kuang (Tich trol. The growing aggressiveness of neighboring
Quang), who ruled from 1 to 25 C.E., the Chinese peoples like the Champa (in the neighborhood
language became more widely used. The influx of of Hue) and the Laos kept Chinese troops busy,
Chinese immigrants also aided in the Sinicizing and even seaborne Javanese raiders attacked
process; many of them were scholars and officials occasionally. The fall of the T’ang dynasty in
fleeing from the rule of the usurper Wang Mang 907, however, was the event that eventually
(9–25 C.E.). Schools were widely established at this brought Chinese control to an end. Local gover-
time, and Chinese inventions such as the metal nors and chieftains successively struggled for
plow were introduced to Chiao-chih society. Hsi control in the area while the disruption of poli-
Kuang also mandated Chinese clothing styles and tics in China kept any punitive expeditions from
marriage ceremonies, and trained a militia along being sent. In 968, Dinh Bo Linh proclaimed
Chinese lines and with Chinese weaponry. This himself emperor of the territory, which he

126 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


VISIGOTHS

renamed Dai Co Viet, and in 970 he received Visigoths occupying the land from the Dneister
recognition from the new Sung dynasty, as long River to the Baltic Sea, the Ostrogoths living
as he would swear to remain a Chinese vassal. east of them to the Black Sea.
The country that ultimately became In 376 the Goths found themselves threat-
Vietnam remained independent from China, ened by the migration of the Huns from central
though it often had to fight to repel successive Asia. The Ostrogoths fled westward to pressure
Chinese dynasties. Meanwhile the Chinese the Visigoths, who appealed to Valens for pro-
administrative structure was maintained, giving tection and aid. Valens agreed to allow them
Vietnam a centralized government stronger than across the Danube in return for surrendering
any in Southeast Asia. Strengthened by the their weapons and male children under military
nationalism that grew in repeated wars of age. Under the leadership of Fritigern and
defense against China, the government served as Alavius, the Visigoths agreed and gave up their
motivation for Vietnamese expansion south- boys, but resisted relinquishing their weapons.
ward. By the 1800s, they had conquered the The Romans abused the Visigoths and provoked
Champa and Khmer peoples along the east coast their retaliation after killing Alavius during a
of Indochina to establish basically the same bor- parley. Fritigern attacked and defeated Roman
ders that the country maintains today. Of all the forces at Marianopolis (in modern Bulgaria),
Southeast Asian cultures, only the Vietnamese then called on the Ostrogoths for assistance.
were strongly affected by the Chinese; the others Emperor Valens, fighting against the Persians,
were more influenced by India. Not long after secured a truce there and moved to protect
their consolidation, however, the Vietnamese his northeastern frontier. The Romans and
became the target of French colonization. the Ostrogoths fought an indecisive battle at the
mouth of the Danube in 377, after which the
See also Ch’in Dynasty; Han Dynasty; T’ang Dynasty;
Indochina, French Occupation of. Goths escaped and raised a general barbarian
revolt along the frontier. The Romans finally
References: Cannon, Terry, Vietnam: A Thousand Years began to regain control in the province of
of Struggle (San Francisco: People’s Press, 1969);
Coedes, G., The Making of Southeast Asia, trans.
Thrace by 378, but met defeat while launching
H. M. Wright (Berkeley: University of California an attack on the Gothic forces near Adrianople.
Press, 1969); Taylor, Keith, The Birth of Vietnam Spurning a request for peace talks, Valens
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983). attacked the Goths before reinforcements
arrived. The Gothic force of perhaps 200,000
81 VISIGOTHS warriors (roughly half Visigothic infantry and
half mixed barbarian cavalry) badly defeated
The Goths were a Teutonic tribe, probably orig- Valens, who died in the battle along with two-
inating in Scandinavia, who arrived in north- thirds of his 60,000 troops. The Visigothic king
eastern Europe in the third century C.E. Coupled Fritigern was in overall command.
with their countrymen, the Ostrogoths, the Valens’s successor, Theodosius I, learned from
Visigoths ravaged the lands of eastern Europe as his countryman’s defeat and, after rebuilding an
far as Asia Minor and Greece. The first serious army and restoring order in Thrace, defeated the
conflict between Goths and Romans occurred Goths and then invited them into his army. The
when a number of Gothic mercenaries aided the Visigoths served Theodosius, but upon his death
usurpation attempt of Procopius in in 395 they chose their own leader: Alaric. He
Constantinople in 366. Following Procopius’s had earlier raided Roman lands from across the
failed attempt and subsequent execution, the Danube, but was captured and incorporated into
Roman emperor Valens launched an attack on the Roman army. Upon his election as king,
the Goths across the Danube. After an inconclu- Alaric led the Visigoths through Thrace and
sive war, the two sides agreed on the Danube Greece. His only serious enemy was Stilicho, a
River as the boundary between their claims. Vandal general in Roman service who had served
About 370, the two Gothic groups separated, the Theodosius. The Visigoths remained relatively

THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES 127


VISIGOTHS

unbothered, however, because the Eastern ian tribes in Spain and was rewarded with a king-
Roman Emperor Arcadius ordered Stilicho to dom of his own in southern Gaul.
remain in Italy. After Alaric spent the mid-390s The Visigoths settled into lands ranging
ravaging Greece, he turned toward Italy. from the Rhone River into Spain. Their greatest
Visigothic forces marched through king was Euric, who established a law code based
Pannonia (along the eastern Adriatic coast) and on a mixture of Roman and Germanic legal tra-
crossed the Alps in October 401. He overran ditions. The one thing he could not do, however,
some of the northern provinces, but Stilicho’s was establish a hereditary line, for the nobility
delaying actions kept him in the north. During forbade it. The monarchy was elective, and there-
the winter, Stilicho ordered forces from Gaul to fore subject to too much political infighting. This
Italy and did some personal recruiting among lack of unity laid the Visigothic kingdom open to
German tribes. The resulting army attacked outside pressure, and in 507, Clovis, the founder
Alaric’s forces, who were besieging Milan. of the Merovingian dynasty of the Franks,
Alaric withdrew and marched south, looking for defeated Alaric II and acquired much of the land
Stilicho’s incompetent emperor, Honorius. north of the Pyrenees. Though the Visigoths
After two difficult battles in March and April managed to maintain their hold on Spain in
402, Alaric asked for negotiations and agreed to the face of pressure from the Vandals, they ulti-
leave Italy. Instead, he marched for Gaul, which mately fell to Muslim invasion. The last
was left unprotected. Stilicho learned of this Visigothic king, Roderic, was defeated and killed
maneuver and blocked him, defeating the in 711, and the remaining Visigothic tribe was
Visigoths at Verona. Alaric again withdrew and confined to the province of Asturias.
Honorius moved the imperial capital to The Visigoths played an important role in
Ravenna; behind its marshy outskirts, he felt the fall of the Roman Empire in the West. Like
safe from attack. Alaric decided to cooperate many of the barbarians who flooded the empire,
with Stilicho and was named master-general of they converted to the Arian view of Christianity
Illyricum. When in 408 Honorius ordered and thus often had troubles with the Roman
Stilicho murdered, the general’s followers Catholic Church, which viewed them as
appealed to Alaric to invade Italy; he did so heretics. As soldiers, they proved themselves so
gladly. After two attacks on Rome were called talented that the Roman army in the East, based
off (owing to successful Roman bribery), Alaric in Constantinople, reconfigured itself to adapt to
marched his forces to Rome. On 24 August 410, Gothic cavalry. They had little effect on the
Rome fell to foreign invaders for the first time in future course of European history, however,
a thousand years. Alaric marched south to because they spread themselves too thinly—from
invade Sicily, but died on the way. the Balkans to Spain—and were finally defeated
Under the leadership of Athaulf, the Visigoths and absorbed by more powerful enemies.
invaded Gaul in 412, supposedly to recover it for See also Franks; Huns; Ostrogoths.
Honorius. Athaulf accomplished the conquest by
References: Cunliffe, Barry, Rome and Her Empire
414 and was rewarded with marriage to Honorius’s
(London: Constable, 1994 [1978]); Heather,
half-sister. He followed Honorius’s direction to Peter, Goths and Romans (Oxford: Clarendon
reconquer Spain, but died in the process in 415. Press, 1991); Thompson, E. A., The Goths in Spain
His successor, Wallia, defeated a number of barbar- (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969).

128 THE DARK AND MIDDLE AGES


PART 4
THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION

82 Africa, Dutch Occupation in 99 Moghul Empire


83 Africa, Portuguese Occupation in 100 Netherlands, French Invasions of the
84 Australia, British Occupation of 101 North America, British Occupation of
85 Austria, Turkish Invasion of 102 North America, French Occupation of
86 Brazil, Portuguese Colonization of 103 Ottoman Empire
87 Caribbean, European Occupation of 104 Palatinate, French Invasion of The
88 Ceylon, Dutch Occupation of (War of the League of Augsburg)
89 Ceylon, Portuguese Occupation of 105 Portugal, Spanish Occupation of
90 Ching (Manchu) Dynasty 106 Russia, Swedish Invasion of
91 Cortes, Hernan (Great Northern War)
92 Cyprus, Ottoman Invasion of 107 Saxony, Prussian Invasion of
93 East Indies, Dutch Occupation of the (Seven Years’ War)

94 England, Spanish Invasion of 108 Silesia, Prussian Invasion of (War of


(Spanish Armada) the Ustrian Succession)
95 India, British Occupation of 109 Thirty Years’ War
96 India, French Occupation of 110 Uzbeks
97 Italy, Austrian Invasion of 111 Western Hemisphere, Spanish
(War of the Spanish Succession) Occupation of
98 Italy, French Invasions of 112 Zulus, Expansion of

129
AFRICA, DUTCH OCCUPATION IN

AFRICA , DUTCH local population, but the colony took root. The
82 OCCUPATION IN Castle of Good Hope was constructed between
1666 and 1679, and a second fort was built at
The Dutch first considered the idea of establish- Newlands. The nearby mountain was an ideal
ing trade with Africa even as they were fighting for location for vineyards, receiving the name
their lives against their overlord, Philip II of Spain. Wynberg, or Wine Mountain. Through the
Their first contact with the maritime routes to remainder of the century and into the 1700s,
Africa came from Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, the colony grew slowly, increasing with the immi-
who for seven years was the servant of the gration of political exiles from the Netherlands
archbishop of Goa, the Portuguese settlement on and interbreeding with the local population.
the western coast of India. Van Linschoten wrote The financial fortunes of Cape Town rose
detailed geographical descriptions of his travels for and fell with the Dutch competition with Great
the archbishop and published them as the Britain. Britain had failed to capture the colony
Itinerario. The information contained in this book during the Seven Years’ War, but the defeat of
proved valuable to the first Dutch sailors to Africa. Holland’s ally, France, left the colony exposed.
In 1595 the Dutch launched their first trading When Napoleon conquered the Netherlands,
expedition, which went to the Guinea coast near Britain took over the colony to keep it from
the mouth of the Niger River. They exchanged falling into Napoleon’s hands. When Napoleon
salt, wine, cloth, copper, flax, timber, and was defeated in 1815, Britain acquired South
wood products from all over Europe for the gold Africa (the Cape Colony). Though Britain had
and ivory for which the area was famous. Within political control, the Dutch settlers, or Boers,
three years, five fleets totaling 22 ships were trad- were slow to cooperate with the new owners, and
ing in African harbors. However, their first trad- ultimately warfare between the two broke out.
ing post was not established until 1617, when they The strongest heritage of modern-day Cape
concluded a treaty with a local chieftain on the Town is from the Dutch. The whitewashed walls,
island of Goree, among the Portuguese-held Cape spacious and lofty interiors, and massive furni-
Verde Islands. Twenty years later, the Dutch ture are all relics of the Dutch era. The Dutch
attacked Portuguese settlements, and by the early Reformed Church dominated the religious life of
1640s were masters of the Gold Coast. the Boer settlers, persuading them that they were
The major Dutch colonial venture in Africa a chosen people in a heathen land with divine
was not along the Gold Coast but at the conti- sanction to do whatever was necessary to master
nent’s southern extreme. After a shipwreck, sur- it. The Dutch dialect of Afrikaans remains one
vivors of the Haarlem discovered the potential of of the official languages of the country.
the land that would become South Africa. Their
See also East Indies, Dutch Occupation of the; Saxony,
descriptions of the area to the Dutch East India Prussian Invasion of (Seven Years’ War); South
Company convinced the Dutch to establish a Africa, British Occupation of.
base there, for they were in need of a shipping
resupply point for carrying on trade with India References: Collins, Robert, Europeans in Africa (New
York: Knopf, 1971); Heppie, Alexander, South
and the Spice Islands. The company built a fort Africa: A Political and Economic History (London:
near the southernmost tip of Africa, around Pall Mall Press, 1966); Israel, Jonathan, Dutch
which Cape Town grew up. Primacy in World Trade, 1585–1740 (Oxford:
The project to found Cape Town and the Clarendon Press, 1989).
accompanying fort was directed by Jan van
Riebeeck, who arrived on 6 April 1652. Van AFRICA , PORTUGUESE
Riebeeck quickly realized that the fort and town’s 83 OCCUPATION IN
survival required colonists to exploit the rich
agricultural region nearby. Therefore, in 1657 the The Portuguese did not intend to settle Africa,
company began granting land to retiring employ- only to sail around it. The Muslim Middle East
ees; within a year the colonists were enslaving the controlled the spice trade, and prices were high

130 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


AFRICA, PORTUGUESE OCCUPATION IN

for European consumers, so in the early 1400s inland up the Zambezi River, not to colonize but
the Portuguese established a new overseas trade to get closer to the gold supply. In 1569
route to compete with the Muslims. They also Portugal’s King Sebastian sent an expedition up
hoped to spread Christianity through the assis- the Zambezi to secure control of the gold mines,
tance of the legendary Prester John, a Christian dislodge the Swahili traders, and gain access for
king reportedly located somewhere in Africa. An Catholic missionaries. The thousand-man force
alliance with John would aid both in fighting the was almost completely destroyed by disease, and
Muslims (if necessary) and giving to Portugal had no luck in establishing permanent control.
sites for trading bases to the Spice Islands and The missionaries had little success in converting
the interior of Africa, where the Muslims also the area’s natives, and by the end of the eigh-
controlled the trans–Saharan gold trade. teenth century, most missions were abandoned.
The first expeditions down the northwest By 1836, Mozambique shifted its focus to slave
African coast began in the early 1440s. The trading as well.
Portuguese set up bases at Sao Tome, the Cape The Portuguese rarely controlled extensive
Verde Islands, the mouth of the Senegal River, landholdings, but their presence along the coast-
and Guinea. Each expedition traveled a bit far- lines had numerous long-term effects. Many of
ther south and brought back new information for the early settlers were convicts or other undesir-
the next voyage. By the 1480s, settlements ables banished from Portugal who intermarried
were set up in Angola. Vasco de Gama’s trip in with the locals and became Africanized. They
1497–1498 took the Portuguese around the Cape were probably more influential in spreading
of Good Hope, and soon afterward Mozambique, Catholicism through their marriages than the
on the Indian Ocean coast, was settled. From Church was through its missionaries. Large-scale
there Portuguese merchants had access to the Jesuit and Dominican missionary ventures
spice trade in the Indian Ocean. had little success in converting the local popula-
The early Portuguese settlements along the tions, most of whom remained true to their
western coasts attempted to access the gold and native religions or found more comfort in Islam.
ivory of the region, but the interests of the mer- The missionaries involved in the slave trade also
chants soon transferred almost exclusively to did little to promote willing conversions. Still,
slaves. The trading posts turned from their origi- what little European culture filtered into Africa
nal intentions of promoting local agriculture and through the Portuguese came through the efforts
trading goods to dealing with the already flour- of the Church. As the traditional venue for
ishing slave trade from the interior. Native pris- education, the missionaries ran the few
oners of war had long been owned as slaves or European-style schools in the Portuguese
sold to Arab merchants, but the Portuguese soon colonies. Little attempt was made to educate the
cornered the market. Through their bases (each mass of Africans; rather, the schools focused on
of which was part trading post and part fort), educating those few who were needed to assist
they dealt with local slavers, who provided an the Portuguese in exploiting their property.
almost unlimited supply. It was such a lucrative The Portuguese had the longest-lasting
business that it attracted almost every element of colonial experience in Africa, but the least
Portuguese colonial society, from the bureaucrats effect on the local populations. Because their
to the clergy. Slaves were taken by the primary goal was exploitation, the Portuguese
Portuguese administration in exchange for taxes, disseminated little culture or educat-
then sold abroad or used for local agricultural or ion. When the last Portuguese colony,
mining ventures operated by the Portuguese. Mozambique, gained its independence in
The Mozambique colony was originally used 1975, its population was mainly illiterate, dis-
as access to the Rhodesian gold fields and as the eased, and poverty-stricken. The colony of
major stopping point for ships sailing from Angola was no better; though blessed with rich
Europe to India. When the gold revenues did not mineral resources, its people lacked the educa-
meet expectations, the Portuguese moved farther tion and dedication necessary to use those

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 131


AUSTRALIA, BRITISH OCCUPATION OF

resources for the general good. The long-term William Dampier, who used his descriptive
Portuguese presence proved far more destruc- talents to advertise the country when he returned
tive than positive. to England, and was able to gain enough backing
See also Ceylon, Portuguese Occupation of.
to charter the Roebuck in 1699 for a more
intense exploration. It was largely a failure, but
References: Duffy, James, Portuguese Africa (Cambridge, he brought back enough information to keep
MA: Harvard University Press, 1968); Ferreira,
Eduardo, Portuguese Colonialism in Africa (Paris:
some interest alive in England. That interest was
UNESCO Press, 1974); Newitt, Marilyn, Portugal pursued by a tiny band of adventure-minded citi-
in Africa (London: Longman, 1981). zens; the interest of the British government was
still three-quarters of a century away.
AUSTRALIA , BRITISH The Royal Society commissioned another
84 OCCUPATION OF expedition, which sailed on the Earl of Pembroke
in 1769. The ship carried a group of astronomers
The continent of Australia became predominant- interested in viewing Venus as it crossed the face
ly British in heritage because the Dutch did not of the sun, an event best viewed deep in the
follow up their discovery. The Dutch East India Southern Hemisphere. Captain James Cook was
Company did not care to pursue the exploration chosen to command the ship, and given leave to
of the land they called New Holland, despite explore Australia while the astronomers
Governor Anthony van Damien’s assurances of explored the sky. Cook sailed along the coast in
the availability of gold and silver. The company the summer of 1770, mapping it and charting
preferred to focus on the established spice trade possible landing or colonization sites.
in the Indies, viewing the north and west coasts The exploration was well timed, because an
of Australia (all they had knowledge of) as a upsurge of crime in England, coupled with the
barren land. impending loss of colonies in North America,
The English first viewed Australia from the meant that the government had to find another
more inviting east coast. In 1688, a shipload of location for its criminals. The newly passed
buccaneers landed onshore. Among the crew was Enclosure Laws, which denied public land to

Aboriginies with spears attack Europeans in a touring boat in this 1830 drawing by Joseph Lycett.
(National Library of Australia PIC R5688 LoC MS SR)

132 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


AUSTRIA, TURKISH INVASION OF

poor farmers and shepherds, forced a number of harmed them. Unfortunately, the natives had no
countryfolk to the cities, where crime became an concept of private property and therefore could
even more pressing problem. not grasp the practice of claiming land or tres-
“Transportation” as punishment for crime pass. Thus, less enlightened settlers persecuted
was well established in English law: Some 50,000 them through greed or ignorance, and some his-
people had been sent to North America in the torians believe that the 1789 smallpox epidemic
60 years prior to the revolution. Australia began among the aborigines was started intentionally.
to look quite appealing as an alternative for the Contact with white society had a major impact
removal of undesirable elements. on them, and little of it for the better.
At the instigation of Sir Joseph Banks, By 1850 Australia was a burgeoning colony.
James Matra, and Sir George Young, the There was an expanding economy based on trade
Transportation Act of 1784 officially created the and manufacture, and 1851 brought a gold rush.
Australian colonies. Matra, who had sailed with Australia was eventually divided into six
Cook, proposed that the government investi- colonies, which federated in the 1880s. After
gate Australia as a site for a penal colony and many complaints to London concerning its local
also as a possible headquarters for trade with the needs, Australia was granted commonwealth
Spice Islands, China, and Japan. Three years status in 1901. It remains a member of the British
later, six vessels sailed from Portsmouth, reach- Commonwealth of Nations, and its English ties
ing Botany Bay on 26 January 1789; Captain took Australian soldiers to South Africa in the
(then Governor) Arthur Phillip led the expedi- Boer War; Europe and the Middle East in World
tion. He soon rejected Botany Bay, the primary War I; and North Africa in World War II.
location indicated by Cook as a colonization
References: Eddy, J. J., Britain and the Australian
site. Instead, the group established Port Jackson Colonies (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969); Frost,
at the site that ultimately became Sydney. Over Aian, Convicts and Empire (Oxford: Oxford
the next 40 years, other settlements would be University Press, 1980); Shaw, A. G. L., Convicts
founded at Norfolk Island, Melbourne, and and the Colonies (London: Faber & Faber, 1966).
Hobart. The first convict-settlers were appar-
ently little motivated, and the colony gained AUSTRIA , TURKISH
few free settlers in its early years. By 1820, the 85 INVASION OF
census named only 2,201 colonists as “free
immigrants”; the remainder were convicts who After the Ottoman Turks destroyed the remains
had either served their time or were still incar- of the Byzantine Empire by capturing
cerated. When land was granted as a retirement Constantinople in 1453, they had a strong hold
bonus to military officers and convict labor was on southeastern Europe and wanted to expand
made available free of charge, the country their power and their religion farther into
became more attractive. It took some time for Europe. The Turks were turned away after an
the colony to become more than a penal colony, unsuccessful siege of Belgrade in 1456, but Serbia
but in the nineteenth century, whaling, sealing, fell to them in 1459, a year after they captured
flax and cloth product ion, and sheepherding Athens with no resistance. Bosnia accepted
became important industries. The food supply Turkish dominance and Islam in 1463,
increased, as did livestock after breeding for the and Albania fell to them in 1479. Hungary, how-
Australian climate was perfected. ever, kept the Turks at bay into the sixteenth
The natives of Australia benefited little century. In 1514, Hungary declared a crusade
from their contact with the outside world. The against the Turks and called for troops. Massive
aborigines lived a Stone Age hunter-gatherer numbers of peasants responded; once armed,
lifestyle, and had little interest in the white set- however, they attacked the nobility instead. The
tlers. Governor Phillip’s original orders called for suppression of the revolt forced an even more
him to establish close and friendly relations with oppressive dominance over the peasantry and
the aborigines, and to punish anyone who left the country open to possible invasion. The

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 133


AUSTRIA, TURKISH INVASION OF

The Turkish camp surrounding Vienna, 1529. (National Library, Vienna)

134 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


AUSTRIA, TURKISH INVASION OF

Ottoman leader who staged the invasion was with a veteran army and an alliance with France.
Suleiman, called the Wise by his people, the He pillaged throughout the country until 1544,
Magnificent by the West. In 1521 he invaded when France abrogated the treaty. Suleiman
Hungary and captured Szabacs and Belgrade, again made peace with Ferdinand under the
then turned against the Knights of St. John in terms of their first agreement.
Rhodes, whose position threarened Muslim con- Ferdinand could not leave well enough
trol of the eastern Mediterranean; he secured the alone. He invaded Transylvania in 1551 and was
island on 1 January 1523. In 1525 Suleiman repulsed, but he managed to defeat a Turkish
received a request from Francis I of France, invit- counteroffensive. After desultory fighting, the
ing him to invade Hungary in order to weaken two leaders renewed their treaty in 1562 at the
the power of Habsburg Emperor Charles V. Peace of Prague. The Austrian Habsburgs were
Turkish forces marched in April 1526, and the at peace, but Suleiman was still engaged in a war
pope called for the Christian faithful to resist the with the Holy Roman Empire. When Emperor
Muslim invaders. Martin Luther persuaded his Maximilian ordered another attack on Hungary,
followers not to respond to this call, and even the 72-year-old Suleiman returned to Austria at
Charles declined to fight. Suleiman’s force of the head of a 100,000-man army. The Turks won
some 75,000 scored a difficult victory at Mohacs, a month-long siege of Szigeth, but Suleiman
and Christianity suffered a moral defeat as well. died just before the city fell, so the Turks
Suleiman made Hungary a tributary under the returned home.
control of Transylvanian John Zapolya. Upon Suleiman’s death, the Ottoman Empire
Zapolya consolidated his power in Hungary, came under the rule of Selim, known as the Sot.
but drew the attention of Ferdinand of Habsburg, After Selim’s navy was defeated at the battle of
who defeated him at Tokay. Zapolya appealed for Lepanto in 1571, Ottoman power began to
aid, and Suleiman marched in 1529, bringing decline. Fighting with Austrian and Holy Roman
80,000 soldiers; Zapolya provided 6,000. Buda Empire forces in the 1590s weakened the
fell after a five-day siege and, aided by a flotilla Ottoman hold on Hungary and Turkish posses-
on the Danube, the Turks approached Vienna in sions in the Balkans. The Thirty Years’ War
late September. They surrounded the city, and diverted European attention away from the
for three weeks bombarded and attempted to Balkans until the 1660s, when the Turks returned
mine the walls, but failed to breach them. to advance on Vienna under the leadership of
Suleiman withdrew in mid-October to go into Fazil Ahmed Koprulu Pasha. They were checked
winter quarters, but he was pursued by the at Neuhause in September 1663 and postponed
Austrians, who harassed him constantly and their attack until the following spring, by which
severely damaged his flotilla at Bratislava. time the Austrians were stronger and better pre-
Suleiman returned in force in 1532, but after pared. The battle of St. Gotthard Abbey was
inconclusive fighting he retreated. Pressed by fought as peace talks were being held, and the
Persia to his rear, Suleiman decided to make Turks were forced to retreat to Belgrade. The
peace in 1533 with Ferdinand of Habsburg, who Peace of Vasvar, signed in August 1664, called for
had to pay tribute to the Turks, but who gained a 20-year peace and ceded Transylvania to
control of about a third of Hungary. Ferdinand Turkey. After the 20-year truce, the Turks were
was granted, in Suleiman’s words, an eternal back in 1683. Hungary was in the process of
peace if he would but observe it. He did not. At rebelling against Austria, so the Austrians were
the urging of Charles V, Ferdinand joined other pressed by a number of enemies: the Hungarians,
European forces invading Turkish Hungary in Transylvanians, and Turks. Muhammad IV
1537. They were defeated and virtually destroyed arrived at Vienna in June with 150,000 men to
during their retreat. Suleiman led his army back besiege a city defended by a mere 15,000. The
into Hungary and annexed it to his empire. Turks had little siege artillery, but they managed
Ferdinand attacked at Pest in 1542 but was to breach the walls in a few places. They could
repulsed, and Suleiman entered Austria, armed not break through in strength, however, and

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 135


BRAZIL, PORTUGUESE COLONIZATION OF

Vienna was spared by the fortuitous arrival of without competition, and the Portuguese domi-
Pole Jan Sobiesky at the same time a German nated trade and exploration along the coasts of
force marched to help. A mixed Austrian- Africa and Asia. The only part of the Western
German-Polish force of 70,000 engaged the Turks Hemisphere ceded to Portugal by the treaty was
outside Vienna on 12 September. After a daylong an area several degrees of longitude from South
battle, the Turks fled, and the city was saved. America’s east coast into the interior.
When Sobiesky later pursued the Turks, he cap- Unlike Central America and Peru, Brazil
tured Grau and much of Hungary, which came had little to offer in the way of resources or labor.
under Habsburg control over the next five years. However, the Portuguese produced agricultural
Suleiman II made the last serious threat surplus when they introduced sugar cane from
toward Habsburg territories in 1690, but his the Caribbean and slaves from Africa. With
defeat at Szalankemen in 1691 and at Zenta in these assets, Brazil grew rich and, as more
1697 ended that endeavor. In January 1699 the colonists explored the interior, they discovered
two powers signed the Treaty of Karlowitz, which valuable metals. Portugal focused its colonization
ceded Hungary to Austria and left the Turks in efforts on Brazil because the populations of
control of Serbia. Africa and Asia resisted Portuguese attempts at
The defeat of the Turkish invasions served to settlement, though they gladly engaged in trade.
consolidate Habsburg control in central and As Portugal’s military and economic power
southeast Europe, but also stopped Islam from ebbed in the African and Asian markets, its
expanding past the Balkans. The Catholics and interest in the continuing success of Brazil grew.
Protestants had more than their share of strug- Portuguese colonists dominated the eco-
gles, but Christianity in one form or another nomic and political life of Brazil, but socially
would remain the religion of most of Europe. they were open-minded. While it was virtually
Hungary, under Habsburg rule, was later incor- impossible for a nonwhite to attain high political
porated into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but office, whites, natives, and blacks mingled freely
the ethnic struggles of the myriad populations of in society and culture. The Brazilian Portuguese
that region simmered under Habsburg control, were as brutal in their treatment of slaves as any
and to a great extent, continue to this day. owners anywhere, but they treated free blacks
with openness. Mixed-race marriages were com-
See also Byzantine Empire; Ottoman Empire; Thirty
Years’ War.
mon, and children of these unions were accepted
without social prejudice. Of all the imperial
References: Held, Joseph, Hunyadi: Legend and Reality experiences, only the British in New Zealand
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1985); approached the racial openness of Brazil. Perhaps
Kinross, Patrick, The Ottoman Centuries (New
York: Morrow, 1977); Spielman, John, The City
this was why Brazil did not chafe at Portuguese
and the Crown: Vienna and the Imperial Court, control; either they enjoyed the public equality
1600–1740 (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue or, by being denied education, had little knowl-
University Press, 1993). edge of nationalism. Even though large sums left
the country for tribute and taxes, the Brazilian
BRAZIL, PORTUGUESE upper classes remained loyal.
86 COLONIZATION OF Brazil gained independence almost by acci-
dent. The royal family fled Lisbon for Rio de
When the Portuguese explorer Cabral discov- Janeiro in 1808 when threatened by Napoleon’s
ered Brazil in 1500, it was fortuitous that this forces. Not only did they find a country richer
landmass was dedicated to Portuguese owner- and more populous than the one they had left,
ship. In 1494, at the direction of the pope, the but they also discovered many of the comforts
Spanish and Portuguese signed the Treaty of of home and a society that spoke their language,
Tordesillas, in which the world was divided in worshipped in the Catholic Church, and held
half for the two signatories to exploit. Spain many of their values. Because of the presence of
colonized most of the Western Hemisphere royalty, Rio de Janeiro became the capital of the

136 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


CARIBBEAN, EUROPEAN OCCUPATION OF

Portuguese Empire. In 1815, Brazil was declared References: Diffie, Bailey, A History of Colonial Brazil
a full sister kingdom, which opened the country (Malabar, FL: R. E. Krieger, 1987); Macaulay,
Neill, Dom Pedro (Durham, NC: Duke University
to foreign trade previously restricted to
Press, 1986); Prado, Caio, The Colonial Background
Portugal. Brazil grew even more wealthy as it of Modern Brazil (Berkeley: University of
established further contacts with the outside California Press, 1967).
world. This wealth, along with the spectacle of
lavish royal spending, the stronger authority of C ARIBBEAN, EUROPEAN
Portuguese courts and officials, and the more 87 OCCUPATION OF
direct exploitation of resources (little of which
benefited the native population), caused a When Christopher Columbus arrived in the
rebellious attitude. Rio grew more powerful at Caribbean in October 1492, he was the first
the expense of outlying provinces, which began European to sight the numerous islands of that
rebelling in 1817. sea, and he laid claim to many of them for Spain.
When Britain’s Duke of Wellington dis- The Spanish dominated the area for at least a
lodged French forces in 1811, the royal family century, but the islands changed hands periodi-
was free to return to Lisbon. King Juan VI liked cally through conquest or treaty. Wars in Europe
Rio, however, and he stayed until 1820. By then often brought about changes in ownership of
Portugal was chafing at being a virtual colony of Caribbean islands, and the use of these islands as
Brazil. The Portuguese at home resented the diplomatic bargaining chips did not stop until
extended presence of the British, the diminution the nineteenth century.
of the international trade they once enjoyed, and
the lack of Brazilian income, which stayed with The Bahamas
the royal family in Rio. Demands for a liberal
constitutional government brought King Juan The Bahamas were probably the first islands
back to Portugal in 1821, leaving his son Dom Columbus saw in the Western Hemisphere, but
Pedro as regent. The Portuguese government the site of his first landing is the subject of debate.
demanded a return to the old ways, with Portugal The island Columbus called San Salvador is
as the center of the empire and Brazil the colony, probably Samana Cay. The first established
but the Brazilians had little desire to part with colony was not Spanish, however, but British. A
their newly acquired rights and privileges. When century and a half after Columbus, the British
Dom Pedro agreed to become king of Brazil and settled the islands of Eleuthera and New
adopt a liberal constitution, the nation declared Providence. Though often attacked by the
its independence. Spanish, they remained under British control.
Brazil became officially independent in 1825 The Bahamas served as a base of operations for
when Lisbon recognized its status through the buccaneers who struck at the Spanish and any
diplomatic efforts of Great Britain. In return, other handy island or ship. At the turn of the
Brazil assumed a large debt that Portugal owed eighteenth century, the islands came under the
Britain and bought King Juan’s estates. Brazil direction of the American colony of Carolina,
also received British recognition and trade but the British Crown reassumed direct control in
treaties, but at the cost of abolishing the slave 1717. During the American Revolution, some of
trade. Dom Pedro, now Emperor Pedro, tried to the islands were held briefly by foreign powers:
maintain family control of both Portugal and The Americans occupied Nassau, and the
Brazil by having his daughter (from Brazil) marry Spanish were in control at war’s end. British rule
his brother (in Portugal), but he was unable to was restored by the Treaty of Paris, which ended
do so. Brazil remained a constitutional monarchy the revolution. The islands suffered economically
until the establishment of a republic in 1889. for decades when slavery was abolished, and
See also Western Hemisphere, Spanish Occupation of; again when a cholera epidemic ravaged the pop-
Napoleon Buonaparte; New Zealand, British ulation. Proximity to the United States, however,
Occupation of. proved profitable when the islands were used by

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 137


CARIBBEAN, EUROPEAN OCCUPATION OF

Confederate blockade runners during the Civil instituted a liberalized administration encourag-
War and by alcohol smugglers during the 1920s ing settlement and commerce. By 1817, the pop-
era of Prohibition. The British granted local ulation of the island had grown to half a million.
autonomy in 1964 and independence in 1973. Trade laws continued to be liberalized, but the
local administration grew more harsh. By the
Bermuda 1830s, the first independence movement formed
to rebel against the tyrannical rule of the
Like the Bahamas, Bermuda was first discovered captain-general, Miguel de Tacon. This revolt
by a Spaniard but settled by the British. Juan de and others that followed were suppressed, usually
Bermudez was shipwrecked on the islands in with great loss of life. In the early 1850s,
1503, but no settlement ensued for a century. In Spanish-American general Narciso Lopez
1612, while on his way to Virginia, the British plotted with U.S. officials in Europe to seize
sailor George Somers found himself shipwrecked Cuba for the United States, but the discovery
there as well. The islands bore his name for a of the plot and the execution of Lopez ended
time, and were under the direction of the colony the scheme.
of Virginia until 1684, when the Crown took The United States occasionally offered to
them over. With the introduction of African buy Cuba, but could never interest Spain in sell-
slaves and the importation of Portuguese laborers ing the island. Still, whenever the local popula-
from the Azores, the population grew. The tion rebelled, the United States took an interest
Bermuda Islands served as havens for and sheltered refugees. In 1873, in the midst of
Confederate blockade runners and, at the turn of the Ten Years’ War, the United States nearly
the twentieth century, as a holding location for involved itself when some U.S. citizens were
prisoners from the Boer War. British warships executed for gun-running, but a Spanish apology
were based there throughout the nineteenth and and payment of damages calmed the situation.
twentieth centuries, and the United States Not until the revolution of the 1890s, led by Jose
received 99-year leases for naval bases under the Marti, did the United States finally intervene.
lend-lease arrangement between the United Spain left a legacy of bitterness in Cuba, but also
States and Great Britain. a culture that is heavily Spanish in its religion,
language, and arts.
Cuba
French West Indies
Christopher Columbus made landfall at Cuba on
his first voyage and found the island inhabited The French joined the Spanish, English, Dutch,
by the Ciboney, a tribe related to the Arawak. and Danes in the Caribbean colonization game
He left some men behind, but the first colony in the seventeenth century, settling colonies on
was not established until 1511, when Diego a number of islands. None of these islands had
Velazquez founded the settlements of Baracoa, the production capacity of Haiti, or the official
Santiago, and Havana. Cuba was used mainly as notice, but some stayed in French hands
a supply base for expeditions to Florida and much longer. Only Guadaloupe and Martinique
Mexico. Only after the indigenous population (with five small islands nearby) survived as
died through disease and abuse did the island French colonies. Other islands the French had
become dedicated to agriculture, with labor pro- colonized, such as Grenada, St. Kitts, Dominica,
vided by African slaves. It was often the target of St. Martin, and St. Eustatius, were extremely
both pirate raids and more organized attacks by valuable as sugar producers in the eighteenth
the British or Dutch navies, but Cuba remained century and became pawns in European politics.
firmly in Spanish hands until the Seven Years’ Most were ceded to Great Britain when France
War, when the British captured Havana. When lost a number of conflicts on the Continent.
complete control of the island returned to Spain Still, they served as profitable markets for
after the Treaty of Paris of 1763, the Spanish American colonists, and played a role in the

138 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


CARIBBEAN, EUROPEAN OCCUPATION OF

growing conflict that led to the American Republic was created. The Dominicans argued
Revolution. France made the French West among themselves over whether to offer them-
Indies an overseas department in the Fourth selves to Spain or the United States; Spain
Republic in 1946. reestablished control in 1861, but left four years
later. The incessant political infighting and lack of
Hispaniola economic promise kept the Spanish from regret-
ting their decision.
First discovered and settled by the Spanish, the The United States came to the economic
island of Hispaniola was originally populated by rescue of a heavily indebted Dominican
an Arawak tribe, the main people (along with Republic in 1906, but rioting forced the estab-
the Caribs) of the region. Exploitation under lishment of a military government in 1916.
Spanish rule and the introduction of European Fighting in Haiti also led to U.S. Marines landing
disease soon made the Arawaks extinct. Thus, there in 1915. After the liberation of Haiti
the main population of the island came to be from the French and the Dominican Republic
slaves imported from Africa. Spain maintained from the Spanish, the United States became the
control over the entire island until 1697, when island’s major influence. The two sections of
the Peace of Ryswick (ending the War of the island, particularly the black and mixed-race
the League of Augsburg) transferred the populations, maintain strong cultural influences
western third of the island to the French, who from their original colonizers, and the use of the
established the colony of Saint-Domingue French and Spanish languages is widespread.
(now Haiti). The Spanish neighbor on the
remainder of the island was Santo Domingo, Jamaica
now the Dominican Republic.
The French invested in their section and it The original inhabitants of this island were
flourished, but Spain’s other, more profitable Arawak, and their word for “isle of springs” gives
islands kept their portion from growing. In fact, the island its name. Sighted by Columbus on his
the Spanish cared so little for their share of the second voyage to the hemisphere, Jamaica
island that they ceded it to France in 1795. received its Spanish colonists in 1509. As in
The following decade proved tumultuous. Hispaniola, the Arawak population was soon
Local General Toussaint L’Ouverture first freed completely wiped out and replaced by African
the slaves of Haiti, then aided the new French slaves. The island was attacked and captured by
republic in dislodging invading British troops, British forces under Sir William Penn in 1655;
and established local rule under his leadership. his original assignment from Oliver Cromwell
Napoleon sent forces to recapture the island; was to capture Santo Domingo, but that effort
they took L’Ouverture prisoner but at such a high failed. The middle 1600s was an active time in
cost in manpower that Napoleon abandoned the the Caribbean, with Spanish, English, and
colony. General Jean Jacques Dessalines declared Dutch forces attacking one another’s possessions,
the independence of Saint-Domingue in 1804, and many islands gaining and losing temporary
and renamed the new nation Haiti. masters. Jamaica, however, remained British by
After Dessalines’s assassination in 1806, the the Treaty of Madrid in 1670, in which the
island changed leadership regularly, and the east- British promised to halt piracy and the Spanish
ern section declared itself independent of Haiti. ceded control of the island.
The Spanish reoccupied Santo Domingo and in The British made Jamaica an economically
1814, after Napoleon’s defeat, instituted a harsh strong island, overseeing the production of
government. The abuse provoked a rebellion in cacao, sugar, and timber. Their success brought
1821 and a declaration of independence, but about an even greater demand for slaves, and
Santo Domingo was soon invaded and occupied by Jamaica became one of the world’s largest
Haiti. In 1843 Haitian rule was finally overthrown slave-trading markets. For 150 years slavery
and the independent nation of the Dominican was an integral part of Jamaican life, but in the

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 139


CARIBBEAN, EUROPEAN OCCUPATION OF

1830s the British government outlawed the de Lares in 1868 but, like all the others, it was
practice throughout their empire. Some suppressed. Spain granted the island local auton-
310,000 slaves were freed in 1838, and they omy in 1897, but lost possession to the United
immediately took over unclaimed land; the States in the Spanish-American War the follow-
production of the past decades dwindled almost ing year.
to a halt. Increased taxation and discriminatory
laws provoked an uprising by the black popula- The Virgin Islands
tion in 1865, but it was quickly and brutally
suppressed. The local autonomy enjoyed by the Like so many other Caribbean islands, this
island was removed, and Jamaica became a group, lying east of Puerto Rico, was first located
crown colony. by Columbus, who named them after St. Ursula
Jamaica is one of the most “British” of and other virgin martyrs. They were first settled
Caribbean islands because, even when it was not in 1648 by the Dutch, but one of the islands, St.
thriving economically, it was an important mili- Thomas, was settled by Denmark, which used
tary base for the Royal Navy. It has a parliamen- it as a base for the Danish West Indies Company.
tary government patterned after Great Britain’s, The company controlled the three islands of St.
and recognizes as head of state the British Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, which were
monarch, who has a governor-general resident bought by the Danish king in 1755. As on most
on the island. Power is exercised through a cabi- of the other islands, slavery was practiced, and
net headed by a prime minister, and the legal sugar was the main export.
code is based on English common law. St. Thomas was occupied by the British dur-
ing the Napoleonic Wars but restored to Denmark
Puerto Rico after 1815. Sugar continued as the main crop, but
the abolition of slavery in 1848 brought about a
The island of Puerto Rico was captured in 1509 decline in production. In 1867 the United States
by Ponce de Leon, who was named its first entered into negotiations to buy the Danish West
Spanish governor. The island was populated by Indies, and an agreement was reached in 1917.
the Borinqueno but, as happened so often, they The United States continues to govern the
were wiped out by abuse and disease. The islands, but since 1968 the people have been
Borinqueno were used as forced labor by the allowed to elect their own governor.
Spanish, but after their extermination, the African The remaining Virgin Islands belong to
slave trade brought replacement labor for the Great Britain, which acquired them from the
plantations and sugar mills. Pirates frequently Dutch in 1666. Once a popular pirate haven
raided the island, and the Spanish built a num- through the 1600s, today most of its visitors are
ber of forts that were stout enough to defeat an tourists, from whom the islands draw much of
attack in 1595 by the famous British pirates Sir their income. They also have a British-style
Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, the latter government, though the governor is appointed
of whom died of wounds received in the fight. from London.
The Dutch attacked the capital city of San Juan See also Palatinate, French Invasion of the (War of the
and burned it in 1625, and the British sacked League of Augsburg); Saxony, Prussian Invasion of
Arecibo in 1702. (Seven Years’ War); Western Hemisphere, Spanish
None of this was sufficient to remove Puerto Occupation of; Napoleon Buonaparte; Cuba, U.S.
Invasion of; South Africa, British Occupation of;
Rico from Spanish hands, and the island Latin America, U.S. Interventions in.
received positive treatment from the homeland:
Foreign trade was allowed in 1804, and the References: Claypole, William, Caribbean Story, 2 vols.
(San Juan, PR: Longman Caribbean, 1989);
Puerto Ricans were granted a seat in the Spanish
Hamshere, Cyril, The British in the Caribbean
Parliament in 1808. Nevertheless, the popula- (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press,
tion occasionally rebelled during the nineteenth 1972); Severin, Timothy, The Golden Antilles
century. The most serious uprising was the El Grito (New York: Knopf, 1970).

140 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


CEYLON, PORTUGUESE OCCUPATION OF

CEYLON, DUTCH See also Ceylon, Portuguese Occupation of.


88 OCCUPATION OF References: Beny, Roloff, Island Ceylon (London:
Thames & Hudson, 1970); Codrington, Humphrey,
Portugal’s fading mercantile power in the 1600s, A Short History of Ceylon (Freeport, NY: Books for
coupled with difficulties in cooperating with the Libraries, 1926); Tresidder, Argus, Ceylon: An
local population, provided an opening for the ris- Introduction to the Resplendent Land (Princeton, NJ:
ing power of the Netherlands in the affairs of Van Nos-trand, 1960).
Ceylon. Unlike the Portuguese, who wanted to
spread Catholicism as well as trade, the Dutch CEYLON, PORTUGUESE
were interested in trade only. They allied them- 89 OCCUPATION OF
selves with the mountain kingdom of Kandy to
fight the Portuguese, and in 1656 established For centuries the Muslims had trade connections
themselves as the dominant foreign power on with Ceylon, which created some friction when
the island. Through the Dutch East India the Portuguese arrived in 1505. The Iberians had
Company, a civil administration was established, been fighting to remove the Muslims from their
directed by a military governor. The Dutch homeland for several centuries, so there was no
introduced a civil service that, like the love lost between the two cultures. Portugal, the
Portuguese system, worked with the local gov- sole European trading power in Asia, did not
ernment in trade (especially cinnamon) and want economic competition from anyone. When
civil works such as fort and canal construction. Dom Laurenco de Almeida landed at Colombo,
The Dutch soon had troubles with their erst- he had to establish a Portuguese power base
while ally, Kandy. The Kandyans were a fiercely to protect national interests, so he began con-
independent monarchy, and they raided Dutch struction of a fort at the harbor town. The king
forts, for which they suffered Dutch retribution. of the lowland Sinhalese population, at the cap-
The Kandyan king Rajasinha II was the major ital city of Kotte, welcomed the Portuguese. He
irritant to the Dutch. He hated all whites, and was impressed by their guns and armor, and asked
mistreated any with whom he came in contact, their protection in return for an annual tribute to
whether prisoners or ambassadors. He constantly be paid in cinnamon. King Parakrama Bahu VIII
broke his agreements with the Dutch, and pun- hoped to use the Europeans to secure his position
ished any native who cooperated with them. against threats from the Tamil peoples in the
Unable to remove him from his mountain home, northern part of the island, the highland king of
the Dutch ultimately left the island’s interior to Kandy, and the Moors.
Rajasinha and confined themselves to the The Portuguese built forts along the western
coastal areas. coast of the island and soon dominated the
Ceylon was a profitable possession for the export market from Ceylon. The island’s traders
Dutch, but eventually the home government grew were ruled by a governor-general on the island of
less interested. When the Netherlands had to deal Goa, who directed their economic activities
with the rising power of France in the 1790s, they throughout Asia. Working with the existing
sold their Ceylonese interests to the British. power structure, the Portuguese eventually
During their time on the island, the Dutch expanded their trade dominance to political
established a new law code based on Dutch and control as well. By allying themselves with the
Roman law, much of which remains in effect successive kings of Kotte and protecting them
today. They maintained a fair administration, against the other powers on the island, they
and provided public services to the local popula- could dictate to the Sinhalese leaders. At one
tion. Other than the law codes, they had little point, the island was divided among three rival
long-term effect on the island. With no distinc- Sinhalese brothers. When a secret embassy to
tive architectural legacy and few remnants of Portugal in 1540 asked the government to bless
Dutch in the local language, they left behind less an infant heir to the throne of Kotte, the
of themselves than had the Portuguese. Portuguese did so, then sent troops and

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 141


CHING (MANCHU) DYNASTY

Franciscans to aid in the young king’s rule. This See also Ceylon, Dutch Occupation of.
event did much to consolidate Portugal’s hold on
References: Beny, Roloff, Island Ceylon (London:
the economy and the population. Thames & Hudson, 1970); Codrington,
The only serious threat to Portuguese Humphrey, A Short History of Ceylon (Freeport,
power was King Rajasinha I of the local king- NY: Books for Libraries, 1926); Tresidder, Argus,
dom of Sitawaka. Learning from the Ceylon: An Introduction to the Resplendent Land
Europeans, Rajasinha built an army furnished (Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1960).
with modern weapons, and then defeated
Portuguese troops, after which he laid siege to 90 CHING (MANCHU) DYNASTY
Colombo. He built a navy and harassed
Portuguese shipping. He also made war against In the early 1600s, the Nuchen tribe was a bur-
the other kings on the island and defeated geoning power in Manchuria, to the northeast of
them. At the height of his reign, which lasted the Chinese Ming dynasty. They came to promi-
from 1554 to 1593, Rajasinha controlled all of nence under the leadership of Nurhachi, who
Ceylon except Colombo and the kingdom of united them in 1616 and began to wage war
Jaffna on a small island off Ceylon’s north against Ming China. He constructed a strong
coast. Renouncing the dominant faith of fortress in his capital, Liaoyang, then began
Buddhism and becoming Hindu, he persecuted training his soldiers according to the Ming style.
Buddhist priests on Ceylon. However, he was He divided them into four commands, or “ban-
regarded as a national champion for defending ners,” which later formed the basis of the
the island from foreign invaders. Manchu political administration. In 1618,
During their struggle with Rajasinha, the Nurhachi led his forces to war, seizing a Ming
Portuguese earned the enmity of the Ceylonese stronghold at Fushun and defeating the punitive
by capturing a sacred relic, one of Buddha’s force sent to recapture it. To counter this inva-
teeth. The Tooth Relic was the island’s most sion, the Mings called on their traditional allies
sacred possession, and losing it to a foreign power in Korea for reinforcements.
was devastating, especially when the Portuguese Nurhachi drove southwest into China,
archbishop at Goa ordered it burned as a hea- capturing Mukden in 1621. He could advance
then talisman. This action, along with the resist- little farther, however, because the Ming army
ance of the islanders under Rajasinha, badly hurt introduced artillery provided by European
Portuguese chances of recovering their former Jesuits, and these weapons were the deciding
political or trade position. When the Dutch factor. Nurhachi gave up the assault on China
began to expand their international trade routes, for the moment, and turned west to attack
they were able to break into the Ceylon market Mongolia. When Nurhachi died in 1626, his
because of Portuguese weakness. son Abahai took over. In 1627, Abahai
Surprisingly, 150 years of Portuguese pres- launched an invasion of Korea to cover their
ence in Ceylon produced few lasting results. The rear for his proposed reinvasion of China. He
main effect was the introduction of Catholicism, forced the Koreans to recognize his sovereignty,
a faith followed to this day by a significant then returned in 1636 to conquer the peninsula.
minority of Ceylonese. Catholic priests sent to Repeated raids into China in the early 1630s
the island by the Portuguese usually acted on had proved fruitless, so Abahai began to develop
behalf of their converts against government per- an artillery arm for his forces.
secution, and thus made a favorable impact. In 1636, Abahai proclaimed the Ching
Their presence during the Portuguese domi- dynasty in Mukden, and the Nuchen-led
nance is regarded as the major reason Islam invaders came to be called the Manchus. Abahai
never took strong hold in southern India or took the regnal name of Ch’ung Teh. The
Ceylon. The Portuguese also introduced a num- Manchus expanded their power into the Amur
ber of new food crops, which the Ceylonese River basin in four expeditions lasting through
turned to the island’s benefit. 1644. Ch’ung Teh died in 1643, leaving the

142 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


MANCHU (QING) DYNASTY

Am
RUSSIA

ur
Limit of Manchu empire 1890

R.
"Treaty Ports" (country and date
of acquisition)
primary area of Boxer Uprising
OUTER MONGOLIA
0 600

Scale of miles MANCHURIA

INNER MONGOLIA
Niuzhuang
Yellow PEKING (Br. 1858)
R
SINKIANG (Huang .
He (BEIJING)
)
Tientsin
(Br. 1860)
Weihaiwei
(Br. 1898)
Tsingtao
Grand Canal
(Ger. 1898)
(taken by British
in Opium War 1842)
Suzhou
TIBET
Nanking (Jap. 1895)
(Fr. 1858) Shanghai
Chungking (Br. 1842)
(Br. 1890) Sashi
NEPAL (Jap. 1895)
(tributary 1792-1908) R.
tze

Yang Fuchow
Amoy
(Br. 1842)
(Br. 1842)
Longzhou Canton
(Br. 1842)
TAIWAN
(Fr. 1886)
BURMA (to Jap. 1895)
BRITISH INDIA Macao Hong Kong
(Port. 1555) (Br. 1841)

Qiongzhou

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


FRENCH (Br. 1858)
INDOCHINA

143
CHING (MANCHU) DYNASTY
CHING (MANCHU) DYNASTY

throne to his five-year-old son Shun Chih; the artillery, the Manchus crushed the main resist-
young emperor’s uncle Dorgon acted as regent. ance, led by Galdan of the Dzungars, in 1696.
With the addition of Mongol troops who desert- The Manchu expansion to the northwest
ed their own army to join his, and because of the came under the 60-year reign of Emperor K’ang-
widespread rebellions against Ming authority, hsi (1662–1722). To secure his hold on
Dorgon was able to take advantage of the falter- Mongolia, K’ang-hsi ordered forces to the
ing dynasty. A Ming general asked for coopera- Tibetan border. A dispute over the Dalai Lama
tion in suppressing a peasant rebellion, and the took Manchu troops into Tibet in 1705 to
Manchus aided him. The rebel leader Li Tzu- support their candidate against the opposition of
cheng seized Peking, but lost to the combined most Tibetans. The Dzungars intervened with
Ming-Manchu forces just south of the Great 6,000 men in 1716, capturing the capital, Lhasa,
Wall; the Manchurians occupied Peking, then and imprisoning the Dalai Lama. The Manchu
attacked south. The Ming emperor established a force sent to his rescue was ambushed and
capital at Nanking and challenged the advanc- destroyed. K’ang-hsi responded with two armies
ing Manchus, but lost to Dorgon in a seven-day in 1720, one of which reestablished control in
battle near Yangchow. After slaughtering the Tibet; the other invaded and subdued Dzungar
defeated army and the inhabitants of the area, lands. For the first time, the Mongols fought
Dorgon captured Nanking. From this point, the with muskets, but they were no match for the
Ming dynasty began to fade. Though claimants experience of the Manchus. K’ang-hsi installed a
to the throne resisted the Manchus for decades, more acceptable Dalai Lama, but he also
their internal rivalry allowed the Manchus to installed a Manchu garrison in Lhasa. Troubles
defeat them. with Tibetans and Dzungars continued through
Through 1647 the Manchus swept southward, the mid-eighteenth century.
capturing Fukien province and Canton. Dorgon Though successful on the frontiers, an unfore-
ran into some resistance from the last Ming seen source spelled the Manchus’ doom. The
emperor, Kuei Wang, but defeated him and Ching Dynasty had cooperated with the Dutch
consolidated control of southern China by 1651. and with Portuguese Jesuits, but the increasing
Manchu forces gained control of the south- presence of Europeans began to diminish their
western provinces by 1659, but had trouble from power. The Manchus had incorporated the Ming
the sea. The pirates of Cheng Ch’eng-kung, or bureaucracy upon their takeover and embraced the
Koxinga, championed the Mings and raided along Confucian philosophy upon which the bureau-
the coast of China, fighting both the Manchus cracy was based. This brought about an ultracon-
and the Dutch, who had trading posts in the area. servative view that stagnated progress in China at
The Manchus withdrew their population from the the same time that growing numbers of Europeans,
coast and established a barrier 10 miles inland; especially the British in the nineteenth century,
only Koxinga’s death allowed them to regain con- brought technology the Chinese could not rival.
trol. The Manchus later cooperated with the Demands for trade enforced by military might gave
Dutch to defeat the pirates, and the Manchus the British a foothold in China that encouraged
annexed Taiwan from them in 1683. other Europeans to demand and receive trade and
Meanwhile, the Russians pressed from the territorial concessions. The conservatism of the
northwest. After a number of campaigns in the imperial court brought about its fall in the early
1680s, the Ching emperor signed the Treaty of twentieth century.
Nerchinsk, which removed the Russians from The Manchus were a foreign invader who
the Amur River valley. The Manchus also had to established dominance in China, as did the
deal with aggressive nomadic tribes in Mongolia. Mongols under the Yuan dynasty. They kept a
Some tribes resisted the cession of suzerainty cultural separation between Manchurians and
granted the Manchus at the Congress of Dolonor Chinese, though they adopted most of the
in 1689, but Manchu military power ultimately Chinese traditions, economy, and technology.
prevailed. With 80,000 men supported by The Manchus forced their mode of dress on the

144 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


CORTES, HERNAN

Chinese, but for the most part they absorbed persuaded him to issue orders demanding that
more of Chinese ways than they altered the Cortes relinquish his command. When Cortes
lives of the common people. heard of Velazquez’s change of heart, he hastily
See also China, Mongol Conquest of; Ming Dynasty; ordered his men (who still believed him to be the
China, British Invasion of (Opium War). expedition’s authorized commander) to board
References: Hookham, Hilda, A Short History of China
ship and speedily set sail from Cuba. Cortes’s
(New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1970); Hsu, ships landed at Trinidad for provisions, and two
Immanuel, The Rise of Modern China (New York: messengers from Governor Velazquez brought
Oxford University Press, 1975); Twitchett, Denis, him orders to return to Cuba under arrest.
and John Fairbank, eds., The Cambridge History of Having invested virtually all of his personal
China, Vols. 9 and 10 (New York: Cambridge
financial resources in the venture, Cortes resent-
University Press, 1993).
fully defied the orders and headed for Mexico.
His heavy personal investment in the mission, as
91 CORTES, HERNAN well as his relationship with the governor of Cuba
(he had married Velazquez’s niece), perhaps
Hernan Cortes was born in Medellin, Spain. Like accounts for Cortes’s unflinching resolution to
many other Spaniards who set sail to the New complete his voyage and establish himself as ruler
World in the 1500s, he was a minor noble. Minor wherever he landed. Essentially a fugitive, he had
Spanish nobles of his era often became conquis- much to gain and little to lose as he headed for
tadors, for they were wealthy enough to travel to the Mexican coast.
unsettled lands but not rich enough to be assured When he landed in Mexico on Good Friday
of the future security of their family fortunes in in 1519 (in the area where present-day Veracruz
Spain. The prospect of attaining riches and fame is located), he learned that the area was ruled by
as the first settlers of a newly discovered land a vast empire extending throughout Mexico. His
recently claimed by the Spanish Crown appealed own force consisted of only about 600 men. Many
to many Spaniards of Cortes’s generation. were armed with steel swords or bows and arrows,
Cortes first distinguished himself in Cuba,
where he took part in the Spanish conquest of
that island in 1511. At the time of the invasion,
he was an officer under the command of Diego
Velazquez, who led the military expedition to
Cuba and became its governor.
In 1518 Velazquez authorized Cortes to
undertake a very important mission. The
Spaniards who had studied Columbus’s 1492
voyages to America believed there was a king-
dom close to Hispaniola that possessed vast
quantities of gold. Columbus, who conquered
much of the Caribbean and touched on the
mainland of America, claimed that the natives
of Hispaniola had revealed to him that such a
kingdom existed. Cortes was to sail west toward
the mainland of the Americas to search for this
rich kingdom. As Cortes prepared to sail west
with a military expedition, Velazquez, a highly
impulsive and temperamental man, abruptly
relieved him of his duties. Velazquez’s relatives
and cronies had pressured him to grant them the
privilege of undertaking the voyage, and they Hernan Cortés in an engraving by W. Holl.

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 145


CYPRUS, OTTOMAN INVASION OF

and only 13 carried guns. Cortes also had 14 can- Rome’s 350-year reign was a time of peace
nons and 16 cavalry horses. His soldiers were nat- and prosperity, the only major political upset
urally intimidated at the prospect of invading a coming with the division of the Empire into sec-
vast empire with such a paltry force, so Cortes tions and Cyprus coming under the aegis of
burned their ships to forestall any desertion. Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire.
Cortes bluntly stated his ambition to quickly During this period (395–649 C.E.) the inhabitants
enrich himself in Mexico, proclaiming, “I have were converted to Orthodox Christianity. This
come to win gold, not to plow the fields like a put them once again in the center of warring
peasant.” By 1520 he had his gold, for in the powers with the rise of Islam in the eighth cen-
summer of that year he became ruler of an tury. Christian and Muslim forces battled for con-
empire with some five million subjects. trol of the strategic island, with the Byzantines
Ultimately, the king of Spain richly reward- finally emerging victories in the tenth century.
ed him with lands in Spain and ordered him to Cyprus, however, began to attract European
return. He was granted the title of marquis, and attention with the start of the Crusades. Starting
lived quietly in Spain until his death in 1547. with the Third Crusade, Cyprus was controlled
by European Catholic forces, first those of
See also Mexico, Aztec Conquest of; Western
Hemisphere, Spanish Occupation of.
England’s Richard I, then those of the Knights
Templar and the Frankish Lusignan Dynasty. The
References: Innes, Hammond, The Conquistadors (New Templars, staunch Catholics that they were,
York: Knopf, 1969); Marks, Richard, Cortes: The incurred the wrath of the Cypriot Orthodox pop-
Great Adventurer and the Fate of Aztec Mexico
(New York: Knopf, 1993); White, John, Cortez
ulation, especially as the Templars exacted heavy
and the Fall of the Aztec Empire (New York: St. taxes over and above the religious disputes. After
Martin’s Press, 1971). a failed Cypriot rebellion in 1192, the Templars
decided that holding Cyprus was too demanding
CYPRUS, OTTOMAN in terms of both money and manpower, so they
92 INVASION OF tried to get Richard of England to take it back.
Richard agreed, putting the recently deposed
The island of Cyprus is perfectly located to be a Catholic King of Jerusalem, Guy de Lusignan, on
nexus of trade for the eastern Mediterranean the Cypriot throne.
Sea. Unfortunately for its inhabitants, that Whether the island was Catholic or
location has made it a desirable possession for as Orthodox made no difference to the Muslims,
long as ships have sailed the Mediterranean. who established the Ottoman Empire after over-
The earliest settlements date to 6000 B.C.E., but throwing the Byzantine Empire with their cap-
the origin of the inhabitants is unclear. In the ture of Constantinople in 1453. With the
Bronze Age, they were cattle and horse herders, Ottoman Turks controlling Anatolia, the eastern
and acquired literacy. The first known con- Mediterranean coastline, the island of Rhodes,
querors were the Hittites in the middle of the and Egypt, Cyprus was a thorn in their side.
second millennia B.C.E. Like the Greeks, the Unfortunately for the Cypriots, the European
Cypriots fell into a dark age when overcome by Christians were having a difficult time creating a
the Dorians, then found themselves occupied united front against Islam. Cyprus was attacked
by the Assyrians (from 709 B.C.E.), the by forces from Genoa, which captured the east-
Egyptians (from 570 B.C.E.), and the Persians ern port of Famagusta and held it for almost a
(from 545 B.C.E.). During the Persian occupa- century (1372–1464). In 1489, the last of the
tion, two kingdoms on the island, Kition and Lusignan monarchs, Catarina Cornaro, sold her
Salamis, became rivals, struggling for control throne to the powerful Renaissance trade center,
until 333 B.C.E., when the island was taken over Venice. As a middleman for trade coming
by the successors of Alexander the Great. They through Muslim territory, the Venetians were
ruled for almost three centuries before being very interested in holding Cyprus. Venetian
expelled by the Roman Empire. engineers arrived on the island to repair and

146 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


CYPRUS, OTTOMAN INVASION OF

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 147


CYPRUS, OTTOMAN INVASION OF

strengthen the defenses of the major cities of up with such force that 1,000 Turkish soldiers
Famagusta and Nicosia. At the same time, they were killed. The destruction was so great, and the
paid Constantinople an annual tribute in order rubble so high, the Turks withdrew to their siege
to stay in the Ottoman emperor’s good graces. lines. The standard cannonade and mining con-
By 1566, Emperor Selim II found Cyprus too tinued, and Turkish reinforcements continued to
strategically valuable to be in Christian hands. arrive while the Ottoman fleet blockaded
Not only were the island’s defenses being Famagusta. Finally, on 1 August, Bragadin asked
strengthened, but the stationing at Crete of a to negotiate. Although the initial terms were
fleet of 200 Spanish, Papal, and Venetian (the lenient, some dispute arose as to their implemen-
Holy League) ships was entirely too threatening. tation, whereupon Lala Mustapha, declaring the
Thus, Turkish troops arrived on the south coast truce to be over, gave his men free reign to pillage
of Cyprus on 1 July 1570. At this point the the city and kill the inhabitants.
Catholic-Orthodox hostility came into play. News of that slaughter finally motivated the
Unhappy with Venetian rule, the Cypriots did European powers who had stayed aloof through-
nothing to oppose the Turkish landings. The out the siege. The Holy League navy, which was
Ottoman army consisted of 50,000 infantry, docked in Crete, finally sailed and met the
2,500 cavalry, and 80 pieces of artillery. The Turkish fleet off the east coat of Greece. In one of
Venetians on the island withdrew into the the decisive battles of history, Lepanto, the
defenses of Nicosia and Famagusta, but their Ottoman fleet was badly beaten and Ottoman
forces were painfully inadequate, numbering naval power was never again projected into the
only 5,000 infantry and 500 cavalry. Owing to a western Mediterranean. It was not viewed as such
disagreement with political leaders in Nicosia, at the time, however. When the Ottoman and
militia commander Astore Baglione abandoned Holy League representatives met to discuss peace
the city for Famagusta, giving his allegiance and terms, “the Grand Vizier told the Venetian ambas-
manpower to its commander, Marcantonio sador, ‘by conquering Cyprus we have cut off one
Bragadin. Rather surprisingly, Nicosia held out of your arms, but by defeating our fleet you have
until 9 September. After the city’s fall, the bulk only shaved our beard. You cannot expect another
of the population swore loyalty to the Ottoman arm to grow to replace the cut one, whereas the
commander, Lala Mustapha. That loyalty, how- shaven beard always grows again and even more
ever, was not sworn by the defenders of the port abundantly. ”(Rogerson, Cyprus)
city of Famagusta. Lala Mustapha brought his However, the defeat at Lepanto, coupled
army to the city and began laying siege. with the 1683 defeat of the Turks at Vienna,
Through the winter of 1570–1571, the meant that Islam would not take a military hold
Turkish forces dug trenches and awaited rein- in Europe outside of the Balkans.
forcements, which arrived in April. At this point, The subsequent Ottoman occupation of
the siege began in earnest. As was the usual prac- Cyprus got off to a good start. The Orthodox
tice in sieges of that period, artillery fire against Church and population were allowed freedom of
the walls was constant, but mining under the worship, but the Catholics were forced to either
walls in order to bring about their collapse was convert to Islam or Orthodoxy, or leave the
also a normal endeavor. In this effort the Turks island. Peasants were given title to the land they
had some success, but each time a section of wall had traditionally worked for landlords, and some
collapsed, the defenders valiantly pushed back 30,000 Anatolians moved to the island, as com-
forces attempting to break through. The defend- pared to an existing population of some 150,000.
ers took a large portion of the decreasing supply The two religious and ethnic groups coexisted
of gunpowder and placed it at an important bas- peacefully, since they usually had a common
tion in the city’s south wall: If those inside could cause in opposing corrupt governors sent from
not hold that key position, they would deny it to Constantinople. The most powerful position in
the Turks. When Turkish attackers took the posi- Cyprus came to be that of archbishop, with the
tion on 9 July, the defenders did, indeed, blow it political blessing of the sultan. The archbishop

148 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


EAST INDIES, DUTCH OCCUPATION OF THE

ultimately became the tax collector, so the posi- Constitutional rule fell apart in 1963, followed
tion which had been held by greedy functionar- by a coup d’état in 1973 staged by Greek officers.
ies came to be much more equitable. He also That provoked a Turkish intervention to protect
had the power to appoint the head of the civil the ethnic Turks on the island and a resulting
service (dragoman). Thus, the Muslim Turks division of the island into two countries: the
technically controlled the island, but the Republic of Cyprus in the southern part of the
Orthodox Cypriots exercised de facto control. island, and the Turkish-dominated Republic of
The peaceful relationship began falling apart Northern Cyprus. An attempt at reconciliation
in 1818 when Archbishop Kyprianos joined a and unification came in 2004 when the Greeks
secret organization, the Philike Heraireia, which applied for membership in the European Union.
was planning a revolt in Greece against The vote to unify was passed in the Turkish
Ottoman rule. Kyprianos could not organize a Republic, but not the Greek section, which
militia to fight the Turkish garrison on the joined the EU without Turkish participation.
island, so he could only provide moral and finan-
cial support to the conspirators. When Greeks See also Hittites; Assyrians; Egypt, British occupation of;
and Cyprus, Turkish invasion of.
across the Ottoman Empire rose in revolt in
1821, Constantinople gave the governor on References: “Cyprus History,” <www.cypnet.co.uk/-
Cyprus orders to make sure the revolt did not ncyprus/root.html>, 2 January 2006; Rogerson,
take hold there. Thus, the governor arrested and Barnaby, Cyprus (Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot
executed the leading members of the Philike Press, 1994); Solstein, Eric, ed., Cyprus: A
Heraireia, including the archbishop. From that Country Study (Washington, DC: Government
Printing Office, 1993).
point forward, Greeks and Turks became enemies
on Cyprus. The local population not only want-
ed revenge, but became committed to political EAST INDIES, DUTCH
union with mainland Greece. 93 OCCUPATION OF THE
Relations between Greek and Turk settled
down somewhat in 1830 when the Greek rebel- In the late 1500s, the Dutch acted as middlemen
lion ended and Greece achieved independence. between the Portuguese bringing spices from Asia
The sultan supported some attempts at reform and the customers of Europe; Portugal handled
within the empire’s administration, but it was not the importation, Holland handled the distribu-
sufficiently widespread to make anyone happy. tion. The arrangement was mutually profitable
Trouble simmered beneath the surface and boiled until King Philip II of Spain, in an attempt to
over when Great Britain acquired a major share crush the power of Protestantism in Holland,
of the Suez Canal in Egypt in 1875. By then, the closed the port of Lisbon to Dutch shipping and
Ottoman Empire had already taken on its nick- distribution of the spices. Holland had no choice
name, the “sick man of Europe.” Thus, British but to bypass Portugal and establish its own con-
Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was able to tacts in Asia. By 1596, Dutch ships cruised the
convince Constantinople to cede the island to East Indies, or Spice Islands, looking for markets.
Britain in 1878. With a military and naval pres- Competition between Holland and Portugal
ence on the island, Britain could not only support meant increased prices for the Spice Islanders’
its position in Egypt, but also have a forward force products. Equally important, the Dutch were
to intervene to aid the Ottoman Empire from any uninterested in converting anyone to Catholicism
outside threat (primarily Russia). or any other religion. This pleased the Spice
Cyprus, therefore, was slowly absorbed into Islanders, most of whom were Muslim. The Dutch
the British Empire and given the status of colony signed agreements with local sultans and soon
in 1925. However, the old Greco-Turkish rival- began to force the Portuguese out of business.
ries remained. When, in 1960, the British left Portugal’s resources were stretched thin by main-
the island to a newly created Republic of Cyprus, taining government and trade relations from East
the two groups were soon at each others’ throats. Asia to Brazil, so they were unable to mount any

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 149


EAST INDIES, DUTCH OCCUPATION OF THE

serious opposition. They were soon out of the pic- relations as long as they could maintain a rela-
ture when the Dutch, with local assistance from tively peaceful atmosphere and keep the trade
the sultan of Jahore on Sumatra, laid siege in late flowing. Usually, the Dutch did not interfere in the
1640 to the major Portuguese trading center at politics of the area unless it directly affected their
Malacca, on the Malay Peninsula. When it fell income. Occasionally, a tribe would challenge
after six months, the Portuguese ceased being a Dutch power, as did the Bugis of Celebes in the
threat in the area. Though the Dutch had mild 1780s. The Bugis were mercenaries whose activi-
competition from England, the English were busy ties affected the rise and fall of sultanates in the
with North America and did not press the Dutch East Indies, and they gradually came to influence
in East Asia. the politics of many of the states of the area, much
Soon Holland established a monopoly on as the Mamluks of Egypt turned from warriors to
spices heading for Europe, and saw the potential rulers. The Bugis challenged the Dutch by laying
for making even more money controlling the siege to Malacca in 1784, attempting to exert con-
trade within Asia. Holland built settlements and trol over the area from Jahore on Sumatra. The
forts to protect its interests and carry on trade, six-month siege failed when the Dutch brought in
but had to stamp out local competition as well if reinforcements and defeated the Bugi naval con-
it were to dominate the Asian market. In 1618, tingent. After the Bugis were removed from the
the Dutch governor-general, Pieter Coen, estab- area, the Dutch signed an agreement with the sul-
lished the town of Batavia on the island of Java as tan of Jahore (now freed from Bugi control) that
the Dutch area headquarters. From here the gave Holland dominance on Sumatra.
Dutch controlled the Sunda Straits, the most pop- The cost of European wars in the 1790s
ular trading route through the islands. Throughout caused the most damage to the Dutch in the
the 1600s, the Dutch spread their contacts East Indies, but through the 1700s they had seen
through the area, and because of their monopoly, the power of the British East India Company
were able once again to lower their buying costs. rise in Asia. Britain’s major enterprise in Asia
Because the local producers either had to pay was Indian and Chinese tea, a market they dom-
Dutch prices or sell nothing, the Dutch grew very inated. By the late 1700s, the British were also
rich. Dutch ships patrolled the waters of the East looking toward Borneo, an East Indian island
Indies to keep out foreign ships. the Dutch had ignored as lacking trade poten-
The only trouble the Dutch had for decades tial, considering it merely a haven for pirates.
came from local powers who did not like the low Thus, when Napoleon conquered continental
prices the Dutch paid. Occasionally, the Dutch Europe, the British were establishing themselves
forced sultans to cooperate at gunpoint rather in the area, and suddenly the Dutch in the
than sell their wares to other Asian ships that Indies had no support from home. They lost
might venture to trade with Europeans. The Malacca to the British in 1795 through an
Dutch wanted to monopolize the tin exports agreement with the Dutch government-in-exile
from Perak, on the west coast of the Malay that Britain would occupy Dutch possessions
Peninsula. In 1652, when they tried to build a around the world (to deny them to Napoleon for
trading post that would control the purchasing the duration of hostilities). Though Malacca
in the area, the Perak forces destroyed it. The was returned to Holland in 1815, Britain
Dutch built a fort in 1670 to guard access to the regained the town in 1824.
country and fought the locals to keep the fort; The Dutch lost their preeminent trading
the sultan of Perak looked for other ways to ship position in the area, but the political control
and sell his tin, and the Dutch were never able to they had established from Batavia through
establish a monopoly on the product. various treaties with area sultans made them
Throughout the Dutch tenure as the domi- masters of the East Indian islands. Britain came
nant European power in the area, the local tribes to dominate Southeast Asian trade, but
struggled among themselves over matters of local Holland maintained the East Indies as colonies
interest. The Dutch had little concern in these until after World War II.

150 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


ENGLAND, SPANISH INVASION OF

See also Singapore, British Occupation of; Dutch East Catholicism altogether and created the Church
Indies, Japanese Invasion of. of England, or Anglican Church. Philip lost the
References: Hyma, Albert, A History of the Dutch in the
security he had enjoyed regarding England and,
Far East (Ann Arbor, MI: George Wair to make matters worse, in power was a monarch
Publishing Co., 1953); Ryan, N. J., A History of who supported Protestant movements in Europe.
Malaysia and Singapore (London: Oxford Thus, not only was the Catholic champion chal-
University Press, 1976); Vlekke, Bernard, The lenged, so was the Church itself.
Story of the Dutch East Indies (Cambridge, MA:
England in the 1500s was not a major power,
Harvard University Press, 1945).
but Elizabeth dreamed it might become one.
Power required a strong navy, which cost money,
ENGLAND, SPANISH and most of the real wealth was under Spanish
INVASION OF control. Unable to get the money at its source,
94 (SPANISH ARMADA) Elizabeth secretly commissioned privateers to raid
Spanish treasure convoys in the Atlantic. It was
The gold and silver of the New World brought more than Philip could stand. Not only was this
untold wealth to Spain, riches that the Spanish woman challenging his Church, she was stealing
kings translated into military power. King his money to do so. Thinking that he could con-
Charles I and King Philip II built armies not just trol England as he had done with Mary, Philip
for national purposes, but for religious reasons as proposed marriage to Elizabeth. She declined the
well. Strong Catholic rulers, they believed their offer. Philip considered England to be his because
nation was meant to exploit these newfound of his earlier marriage into the royal family, so he
riches because God smiled on them, and he felt he had no choice but to take direct action
smiled on them because they were good against Elizabeth. He would invade England and
Catholics. Therefore, they believed it was enforce his will on the country.
Spain’s duty to do God’s work, which meant not In the mid-1580s, Philip began bringing
only converting the inhabitants of the Americas, ships together in an invasion fleet. Men and sup-
but defending in Europe the one true Church plies were to be taken by 130 ships up the French
from attacks by Protestants, whom the pope coast to Flanders, where a 10,000-man force was
viewed as heretics. Philip sent his armies across currently fighting Dutch Protestants. This force
Europe to smite the heretics, and if Spain should would be ferried to England, and Elizabeth would
come to control some territory along the way, so be overthrown. The British army (such as it was)
much the better. The Protestant nation causing certainly had no reputation, and no naval force
Philip the most grief, however, was not so easy to could resist the largest fleet in the world, so
smite: England. Philip saw no reason why the most powerful
Since the early 1500s, the Catholic Church nation in the world should not be able to defeat
in Britain had been in a state of flux. British a second-rate country such as England. He
King Henry VIII rejected the pope’s authority assembled a force of mixed nationalites:
and made himself head of the church in England. Portuguese, Italian, and even Levantine ships
After his death, his daughter Mary (raised a and crews were in the Spanish Armada. The
strong Catholic by her mother) recognized the ships were placed under the command of the
pope’s authority and, to prove herself and her duke of Medina-Sidonia. The duke had never
country, married Philip of Spain. The Catholic been to sea, but he was of royal blood, and could
champion could thus focus on continental command the mixed force with that authority.
heretics and not worry about England—not for The lengthy time required to prepare the
five years, at least, for that was how long Mary armada allowed plenty of time for word to filter
ruled. Her death brought Elizabeth I to the to England. The English gathered 102 ships, a
throne, and Elizabeth was her father’s daughter. mixture of royal and privately owned vessels.
She not only rejected the pope’s power and made Command was given to Lord Howard of
herself head of the church, but she also removed Effingham who, like Medina-Sidonia, was not a

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 151


ENGLAND, SPANISH INVASION OF

The ill-fated Spanish Armada would ultimately lose 64 of its ships and over 10,000 men.

sailor but had sufficient royal authority. Luckily Calais, where Medina-Sidonia could resupply
for England, Howard was surrounded by experi- and send a message to the duke of Parma’s forces
enced captains such as Francis Drake, Martin in Flanders that he was on his way.
Frobisher, and John Hawkins, all of whom had The Spanish ships anchored in a tight cres-
made a name for themselves as privateers and cent formation. In the 1500s, the standard
were able to work together. method of fighting at sea was not long-range
The armada left Lisbon harbor on 29 May cannon fire until one ship surrendered or sank.
1588, but bad weather soon drove them into Instead, ships would sail alongside each other,
Corunna, on Spain’s northwest coast. Three and marines would do battle; whichever force of
weeks later they sailed for Flanders and rounded soldiers prevailed won the battle, and the defeat-
the French coast. By 19 July they had entered ed ship was taken as a prize, virtually undamaged.
the English Channel. Most of the English ships Therefore, a tight formation was the best method
were in port at Plymouth, and they rushed to of defense because the interior ships could not be
leave the harbor. It was a slow process against reached by an attacker. This standard defense,
adverse winds, but by 21 July they formed up however, doomed the Spaniards. Lord Howard
behind the armada and followed, looking for an took eight of his ships, filled them with gunpow-
opportunity. The westerly winds made it impos- der, armed all the cannon, and set them afire.
sible for the Spanish to turn and fight, so they The prevailing wind carried them directly into
continued up the Channel until they reached the midst of the armada, burning and exploding.

152 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


INDIA, BRITISH OCCUPATION OF

The previously disciplined Spanish fleet forces could not have withstood Spain’s
broke apart. Each commander was concerned invading army. The well-timed northwesterly
with his own ship as he tried to get away from breeze—the “Protestant Wind,” as it came to be
the other burning ships, for which he had no known—that blew the fire ships into the arma-
defense but to maneuver. The massed Spanish da saved England. The British Empire, if it ever
force disintegrated and, running for the open sea, came to exist, would have been seriously
ran into the waiting English fleet. The Spanish delayed, and the Spanish would have colonized
tried to continue their journey to link up with North America as well as the southern part of
their army, but Dutch rebels denied them land- the hemisphere.
ing and the English continued to harass them.
See also North America, British Occupation of;
With the way home blocked and the coastline Western Hemisphere, Spanish Occupation of;
hostile, the Spanish had no choice but to sail Britain, Nazi Invasion of (Battle of Britain).
home the long way, around Scotland and
Ireland. The English chased them until the for- References: Lewis, Michael, The Spanish Armada (New
York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1968); Martin, Colin,
mer’s supplies of food and powder ran low, then The Spanish Armada (New York: Norton, 1988);
they abandoned the armada to nature. Heavy Mattingly, Garrett, The Armada (Boston:
weather plagued the Spanish and caused ship- Houghton Mifflin, 1959).
wrecks from the Orkneys to the Shetlands, to
Ireland and Cornwall. The armada lost 64 ships INDIA , BRITISH
and 10,000 of its 30,000 men. 95 OCCUPATION OF
Like the Battle of Britain 350 years later, the
Spanish invasion attempt is important for its European sailors reached India in the 1500s,
failure. The year 1588 marked the high point of when the Moghul Empire was at its height. The
Spanish power. With so many ships destroyed, country’s riches attracted Portuguese merchants,
their stranglehold on the Atlantic began to slip. followed in later years by the Dutch, French, and
Though Spain continued to be a power for some British. The Portuguese lost the necessary sea
time to come, never again were the Spanish as power to maintain distant trading posts and the
fearsome. At the same time, the battle that cost Dutch concentrated more on the spice trade in
the English so little brought their fleet into the islands of Indonesia, which left France and
some prominence, and they could now ply the Britain as the main rivals for Indian trade.
Atlantic with more freedom. England had long France’s East India Company gained the first
lusted after Spain’s New World riches and could foothold, but lost its position on the subconti-
now freely plant colonies of its own. The British nent through military defeat in India and diplo-
could not go to Central and South America for matic exchanges of land as the result of wars in
gold and silver because Spain’s power there was Europe. The British became the main European
still impregnable, but colonies along the North power in India almost by default.
American coast began to sprout in the decades Britain established its first trading post in
following the armada’s defeat. The decrease in 1639 when it purchased a harbor from a south
Spanish power offset an increase in English Indian ruler; that acquisition, on India’s south-
strength; the British Empire would soon be in eastern coast, became the port of Madras. The
sight. Further, Elizabeth was able to continue British built fortifications and began buying up
her support of Protestant movements in Europe, the high-quality Indian cotton textiles. An
and the Dutch soon gained their independence attempt to enter the north Indian trade ran
from Spain’s rule. into the fading power of the Moghuls and the
To a great extent, the world as it is today growing power of the Bengalis, both of whom
dates from 28 July 1588. North America is pre- barely tolerated British merchants. With the
dominantly British in its heritage rather than construction of a fortified base on the Hooghly
Spanish. Had the armada succeeded, Elizabeth’s River, part of the Ganges Delta, the trading

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 153


INDIA, BRITISH OCCUPATION OF

AFGHANISTAN

Peshawar KASHMIR
ES

Rawalpindi
TRIB

PUNJAB
HAN

Lahore
GARHWAL
Ludhiana
PAT

PATIALA
P UR
AL
W
HA DELHI
K BA NE SIKKIM
H
A
Aligarh PA
IR Hathras L
A BHUTAN
PU Agra
R AJMER Cawnpore
Gwalior
Fatehpur
RAJPUTANA
BUN R BIHAR
HOLKAR D ELK EWA Dehri MANIPUR
CUTCH HAN
D BENGAL
BHOPAL BAGHELKHAND
Indore NAGPUR Barrackpore
BHOSLE Calcutta
KATHIAWAR GAIKWAR

BERAR
A
S
IS
B

Bombay
O
O

BASTAR
M

NIZAM
B

HYDERABAD
A
Y

BIJAPUR

MYSORE
BRITISH INDIA
A
S
IN 1857
R
D
M
A Under direct British rule
Hindu States
CO
C

Moslem States
HI
N

0 500
CEYLON
Scale
Scaleof
of miles
mles

154 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


INDIA, BRITISH OCCUPATION OF

center of Calcutta was born in 1690. To of the Moghuls encouraged other states to exert
attempt entry into western Indian markets, the their authority. Bengal attacked Calcutta in
British gained the defunct Portuguese port of 1756 and forced the British to evacuate. An
Surat, where the Tapti River empties into the avenging force from Madras under the leader-
Arabian Sea. All three ports were operated by ship of Robert Clive (who had defeated the
the British East India Company, which held Franco-Hyderabad alliance) recaptured the city
sole trading rights. and defeated the Bengali army at Plassey, giving
The British solidified their position in the the company control over Bengal. A victory
north in a rather odd fashion. The Moghul over a Bengali-led coalition in 1764 removed
emperors contracted out tax collection, and the any serious competition in northern India.
British gained the concession in the areas around The arrival of Warren Hastings as
Madras and Calcutta. When the Moghul Empire governor-general in the mid-1770s marked the
collapsed and factional fighting all over India establishment of Britain and the East India
ensued, the British kept collecting taxes and Company as the masters of India. By posing as
began to form military units to protect their trad- an Oriental-style absolute monarch, he com-
ing posts and routes. The mixture of European manded Indian respect. He enforced just and
and local troops became the basis of the Indian fair practices in law enforcement, taxation, and
army, which at first was a business venture rather the courts that had not been experienced in
than a governmental one. Because the British India since the days of Ashoka. These tactics
could maintain a measure of stability in an won him local support, and Hastings inter-
increasingly disrupted Indian society, their trad- vened in factional squabbles along the frontier,
ing posts began to attract Indian merchants both to extend company power and to divide
looking for a secure place to do business. Their and conquer the remaining recalcitrant states,
soldiers proved their ability to defeat bandits and notably Maratha in the northwest. Passage of
keep the peace, and various kings began to con- the India Act of 1784 in London cut into his
tract with the company. Military expertise in authority, and he resigned.
return for trading rights became standard East Hastings was followed by Lord Cornwallis.
India Company procedure, and it aided the He furthered the company policy of fair taxation
British merchants in gaining a major hold on the and extended company control to Mysore in the
markets of all parts of India. south. His successor, Richard Wellesley, sent
With control over Bengal, Madras, and British forces up the Ganges from Calcutta to
Calcutta, the British settled down to maintain- force the cooperation of the state of Oudh, and
ing order in the areas immediately around those the British gained control over the main trade
cities, which grew rapidly with Indian mer- route in India. Wellesley also entered into
chants and artisans looking for a peaceful place Ceylon, establishing a British presence there to
to do business. The East India Company gradu- take advantage of the harbor at Trincomalee and
ally began to act like a government, for the war- to “protect” the Dutch colony from Napoleon’s
ring states offered no justice in their courts or forces. After Napoleon’s defeat in Europe, all
taxation. British control extended in the 1750s French influence in India was removed.
via the Seven Years’ War, wherein an Anglo- Originally interested only in trade, the
French war in Europe had colonial side effects. British implemented fair business practices that
The French plotted with local powers to gain a attracted many Indians to British settlements.
military advantage, but the British defeat of the Rejection of the weak and rapacious local rulers
French and their ally of Hyderabad in the south left a power vacuum, which the East India
spelled the beginning of the end of French Company filled, originally to maintain safe
involvement in the region. The Anglo-French trade routes but ultimately to maintain order for
conflict was timely because the Moghul Empire, the entire population. The growing bureaucracy
already on its last legs, was battered even fur- solidified British authority and, by attracting
ther by invading Afghan armies. The downfall Indians to the burgeoning civil service, created

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 155


INDIA, FRENCH OCCUPATION OF

a partnership. While the British tradespeople References: Chamerlain, Muriel, Britain and India
benefited the most, many Indians profited as (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1974); Griffiths,
P., The British Impact on India (Hamden, CT:
well. The mass of Indians remained poor, but
Archon Books, 1965); Mason, Philip, A Matter of
the opportunity to live in peace and expect jus- Honour (London: Jonathan Cape, 1974).
tice made the British the favored choice over
the local kings, even if that meant outside dom- INDIA , FRENCH
ination. Along with Hindi and Urdu, English 96 OCCUPATION OF
became an accepted language and the path to
success in the British civil service and trading As with most of France’s international endeav-
circles. For 100 years the Indians lived peace- ors in the colonial period, the French looked
fully under British suzerainty, but in 1857 more for trade than empire. In 1664 the
revolted against the company, which was dis- Marquis de Colbert formed a government-
banded. The British government took over its sponsored company to exploit the Indian trade
operation. India remained the “jewel in the for French merchants rather than buy from the
crown” of the British Empire until India’s inde- British and Dutch. Colbert’s company inherit-
pendence in 1948. ed few assets from previous private attempts to
The relationship between the British and break into the Eastern trade; only Port
the Indians is somewhat strange. Many British Dauphin on the island of Madagascar was a
were fascinated by Indian culture and studied it French-controlled port of call. Still, previous
in depth. For the most part, the Indians were merchants had established some contacts upon
allowed to continue their cultural practices, but which the new company was able to expand.
slavery and suttee (the ritual immolation of The French effort had many of the aspects of a
wives with their dead husbands) were banned. government, most particularly the right to
The Indians also took on some British practices. enter into trade agreements and the right to
Not only did English become widely spoken, negotiate peace or declare war with non-
British pastimes like soccer and cricket became Europeans. The company had government-
Indian passions as well. Still, the British gener- appointed directors in Paris, but investment
ally did not mingle with the locals, and they was open to the public, who proved less than
tried to recreate some of England in India rather enthusiastic: Only about half the shares made
than “go native.” The British prejudice against available were publicly purchased. The venture
nonwhites showed itself in interpersonal rela- ran into hard times because of its inability to
tions, which kept the two races generally dis- compete with the established British and
tinct, but that did not usually affect the business Dutch traders and because of national rivalries
of running the country. As Kipling described the being fought out in Europe. By the time of rel-
attitude, the British believed they were “taking ative peace in 1713, the company was too deep
up the white man’s burden” to assist India. The in debt to survive. An attempt to revive it
Indians did not appreciate this viewpoint, but under John Law in 1719 fell apart in four years.
they valued the stability Britain brought, and The government again stepped in and ran it
responded by assisting the British Empire in its under the name Compagnie de Indes. The
wars, sending troops around the world to fight company was granted a monopoly over all
alongside Australians, New Zealanders, South international French colonial trade; again, the
Africans, and others. The British exit in 1948 directors were appointed by the crown and
revived some of the old tribal differences, but a acted as civil servants, which meant that the
tradition of democracy is well established. company did not have to pay them a salary and
all trade was profit.
See also Mauryan Empire; East Indies, Dutch Occupation
By 1723, the company was able to take
of the; India, French Occupation of; Moghul
Empire; Saxony, Prussian Invasion of (Seven Years’ advantage of earlier acquisitions, though
War); Southern United States, British Invasion of; Madagascar was abandoned in favor of Ile de
Ceylon, British Occupation of. France (Mauritius) and Bourbon Islands in the

156 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


ITALY, AUSTRIAN INVASION OF

Indian Ocean. Pondicherry was the French ITALY, AUSTRIAN INVASION OF


trade headquarters in India. The company built (WAR OF THE
“factories” (trading posts) along the Indian 97 SPANISH SUCCESSION)
coastline, and began to compete more success-
fully with the British and Dutch. The In 1700, Charles II of Spain died childless,
government provided all necessary naval sup- having named as heir his somewhat distant rel-
port, and the company hired soldiers to protect ative Philip of Anjou. Normally, the situation
their interests. All went well until 1763, when would not have created much of a problem, but
France and its allies in Europe lost the Seven Philip was the grandson of King Louis XIV of
Years’ War. The French governor-general in France, an absolute monarch who had made his
India, Dupleix, was unable to defeat the forces nation the most powerful in Europe and had
of the British East India Company and lost dominated European affairs for decades. If his
some factories as a result. France was able to grandson Philip, of the house of Bourbon, did
continue operating in India, and indeed, the not cede any future claim to the French throne,
profits were considerable, but the losses in ships then the potential for united Franco-Spanish
and the costs of war were too great for trade to power was too great for the remainder of
overcome. Rather than invest more govern- Europe to contemplate. One of France’s
ment money to keep the operation afloat, Paris traditional rivals, Austria, was ruled by
decided to remove the company’s monopoly Leopold I, who also held the position of Holy
status and turn the factories into colonies. Roman Emperor. He was a Habsburg (as
Independent merchants were able to profit Charles II had been) and believed that his sec-
in India, but not so well that all of France’s ond son, Charles, should inherit the Spanish
trade should pass through them. A new compa- throne. He therefore planned to fight for his
ny was begun in 1785 with a monopoly on son’s rights, and there was no shortage of
trade, but without the previous powers of gov- European countries willing to assist him to
ernment. It survived, but only because it restrain French power.
bought through British agents; the French had Louis provoked the war, as he had often
lost any contacts of their own. The British vic- done in the past, by invading the Netherlands
tory in the Seven Years’ War virtually guaran- and seizing fortifications along the frontier—
teed that their enterprise, the British East India moves he claimed were defensive. Leopold
Company, would dominate the India trade and claimed the Spanish Netherlands as his own, so
have the lion’s share of the subcontinent’s rich- the French attack was all the excuse he needed
es. With the political upheaval of the French to go to war. Not only did Leopold want his son
Revolution, the Compagnie de Indes became a on the Spanish throne, he hoped to expand
low priority for the Paris government. French Austrian territory in the process. His first move
trading posts existed, unfortified, through was to commit troops to Italy, much of which
1815, but in the wake of Napoleon’s defeat, the was under Spanish control, under his most able
British acquired all the French holdings. In commander, Eugene of Savoy. Eugene entered
the long run, France had little impact on India; northern Italy in 1701 and faced a superior
the subcontinent’s European influence came Franco-Spanish force, which he finally drove
almost totally from Great Britain. back into Mantua.
The other concerned European countries soon
See also Saxony, Prussian Invasion of (Seven Years’ entered into an alliance initiated by Great Britain,
War); Napoleon Buonaparte. whose King William III had recently finished a
war against Louis. Under William, Parliament
References: Mason, Philip, A Matter of Honour (London:
Jonathan Cape, 1974); Miles, William, Imperial
raised a large army to counter not only French
Burdens (Boulder, CO: L. Rienner Publishers, ambition, but also in response to Louis’ recogni-
1995); Sen, Siba Pada, The French in India tion of the young James III of the Scottish house of
(Calcutta: University of Calcutta Press, 1947). Stuart as king of England and Louis’ initiation of

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 157


ITALY, AUSTRIAN INVASION OF

WAR OF THE SPANISH SUCCESSION


Grand Alliance Grand Alliance
founders assoc. members
Grand Alliance SWEDEN
joining members France and allies

French/allied attacks

ENGLAND
UNITED
PROV.

1701SP. THE
NETH. EMPIRE

1704 AUSTRIAN
FRANCE BAVARIA POSSESSIONS

Hungarian
rebels
SPANISH
1703 SAVOY MILAN
PORTUGAL
TURKISH
SPAIN pro-Habsburg EMPIRE

SARDINIA

economic warfare against England. William died remainder Dutch and German. His Dutch allies
from an accident in 1701 and was succeeded by his troubled him the most, because their political
daughter Anne, who continued to support the leaders often overrode his decision to fight
conflict. The Grand Alliance attracted the when they would not allow him to commit
membership of England, Austria, Holland, Prussia, Dutch forces. As he invaded, forces of the
and most German principalities. Only Austria had empire threatened the French possession of
a direct interest in the succession; the others Strasbourg. Marlborough finally convinced the
joined to limit French expansion. Dutch to allow him to assault fortresses along
The British army was led by John the Rhine, which he captured by the autumn.
Churchill, the earl (later duke) of Marlborough, He hoped to link up with the Austrians, but the
one of the finest British generals of all time. He entrance of Bavaria on the French side threat-
commanded an allied force that invaded the ened such a connection. Maximilian, the elec-
Spanish Netherlands in June 1702; some tor of Bavaria, joined Louis on the promise of
12,000 of the 50,000 troops were British, the the throne of the Holy Roman Empire if

158 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


ITALY, AUSTRIAN INVASION OF

Austria were defeated. He was joined in May Little happened in 1707, but in 1708 the
1703 by a French force under General Claude French once again aimed toward the
de Villars, who urged an attack on Vienna, but Netherlands. Vendome had been given com-
Maximilian preferred to seize the Tyrol and mand of French forces, and he went on the
attempt a link with French forces in Italy, a offensive against Marlborough. The British com-
venture that failed. Through the later part of mander had planned to join Eugene, but before
the summer of 1703, Villars enjoyed success the juncture could take place, Marlborough
against Austrian forces and the German state of engaged the French at Oudenarde, winning
Baden, defeating them separately in the another victory on 11 July. Vendome turned him
Danube Valley. When his second suggestion for back at Ghent shortly afterward, but
an attack on Vienna was refused, Villars Marlborough captured the city in a winter cam-
resigned. French forces under Tallard also paign, and in January 1709 the French withdrew
enjoyed success along the middle Rhine. to defenses along their borders. Louis offered to
Meanwhile Marlborough was being frustrat- begin negotiations, but he refused to accept the
ed in the Netherlands, either by his hesitant allied peace terms, which he considered overly
Dutch allies or his French counterpart, Villeroi. harsh, and the war continued. Through the sum-
The success of the Franco-Bavarian forces drew mer of 1709, Marlborough and Eugene tried to
his attention in 1704, and Marlborough marched break through the French defensive line or force
to join his army with the forces of Eugene them out into the open field. When they began
in Austria, who had recently been recalled the siege of Mons, Louis ordered Villars to fight;
from Italy. After a series of maneuvers to defeat he marched to Malplaquet to threaten the allied
or baffle the French, Eugene and Marlborough rear. Marlborough turned to meet him there
joined forces in August in Bavaria. Together and the resulting battle on 11 September proved
their 56,000 men faced a 60,000-man force of inconclusive. The allies lost too many men to
French and Bavarians under French general follow up, but the French failed to relieve Mons,
Tallard and Maximilian. The resulting battle of which fell at the end of October.
Blenheim was a smashing allied victory; the In 1711, Marlborough was recalled by a new
defeated Bavarian forces withdrew, and English government, never to command again.
Maximilian’s dream of becoming emperor died Negotiations began soon thereafter and contin-
when his province was annexed by Austria. The ued throughout 1712. As talks proceeded,
battle also destroyed the myth of French invinci- Eugene wanted to continue fighting to gain
bility that Louis’ armies had held for years. leverage at the conference, but the Dutch were
Despite this turn of events, neither side overly cautious. The French, under Villars, seized
showed any inclination toward negotiations. The the initiative and recaptured some fortresses
year 1705 brought nothing but stalemate on all along the frontier, which gave the French bar-
fronts. That was broken on the Netherlands front gaining power. The Treaty of Utrecht was signed
in 1706, when Marlborough scored another 11 April 1713. Louis recognized the Protestant
victory over French forces at Ramillies, near succession in England and ceded some French
Namur. This enabled him to consolidate the property in the Americas to England. Philip of
Spanish Netherlands by October. In 1706 the Anjou was recognized as King Philip V of Spain,
main theater of war shifted back to Italy, where and Louis guaranteed that Spain and France
French general Vendome regained territory lost would remain separate. Louis also agreed to cede
earlier to Austria. This French success took the Spanish Netherlands as well as Spanish ter-
Eugene back to Italy to lead Austrian forces. In the ritory in Italy to the Austrian Habsburgs, but the
battle of Turin in September, Eugene defeated Holy Roman Emperor (now Charles VI) refused
Vendome’s replacement, the duke of Orleans, and to agree. He wanted both Austria and the
drove the French completely out of Italy. Austrian Spanish throne he had claimed at the beginning
dominance would be established there for more of the war, so he continued fighting. His lack of
than a century. success, however, forced him to sign the Treaty of

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 159


ITALY, FRENCH INVASIONS OF

Rastatt (as the emperor of Austria) and the royal houses and an ever-shifting set of alliances
Treaty of Baden (as Holy Roman Emperor), mak- among those royal houses and themselves.
ing peace with France. He took control of the During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, no
Netherlands and the ceded Italian provinces, but ruler held particularly strong ties to any other,
he refused to recognize Bourbon rule in Spain. and the armies of Italy were mercenary con-
The war accomplished the goal of the Grand dotierri who fought for anyone who paid their
Alliance by constraining French expansionism price, often shifting sides during battle for a
and maintaining a balance of power, although higher offer. The various warring condotierri
that shifted somewhat. Spain, long a declining bands knew one another well enough that the
power, lost the most: its Netherlands and Italian battles were often little more than pantomimes
holdings to Austria, and Gibraltar, Minorca, and of combat, the mercenary leaders deciding
its slave trade with the Western Hemisphere to among themselves who should win. Needless
England. France also ceded Newfoundland and bloodshed was avoided, but it created a soldiery
the Hudson Bay to England, thus beginning the that became both more professional and less tal-
French expulsion from North America. Though ented, which did not serve them well when
Louis succeeded in keeping his country from outside armies invaded.
being surrounded by Habsburgs again, France The French under Charles VIII entered Italy
had passed its prime. The English were becoming a number of times with an unstable set of allies
ascendant in the world through their dominance and enemies. Charles had a relatively strong
of maritime trade, and future French conflicts claim to the throne of Naples, but his entrance
with England too often proved futile. The cost of into Italian politics came by way of an invitation
the war severely damaged the French economy, from Ludovico Sforza, the duke of Milan. In
and the cession of overseas possessions did noth- 1494, Sforza found the Italian city-states of
ing to alleviate that loss. France was perhaps the Naples, Florence, and the Papal States arrayed
most grateful for the quarter-century of peace against him, so he called on Charles for assis-
that followed, for they could finally recover tance, promising him military aid and access to
from Louis’ constant warmaking. Louis XIV died his throne in Naples. It is a matter of some debate
in 1715, and no other monarch was able to exer- how eager Charles was to claim that throne, but
cise his absolute, “divine” rule. Though Louis it seems clear that he was eager for adventure, if
became the most significant figure of his age, nothing else. His father, Louis XI, had expanded
France’s power did not long outlast him. French territory by conquest and inheritance,
making France a strong military power, but he
See also North America, French Occupation of;
Palatinate, French Invasion of the (War of the
had always remained wary of getting involved in
League of Augsburg). Italian politics. Charles had no such qualms, and
he responded to Sforza’s invitation.
References: Hassel, Arthur, Louis XIV and the Zenith of His army of 25,000 (including some 8,000
French Monarchy (Freeport, NY: Books for
Swiss mercenaries) joined with Sforza to con-
Libraries, 1972); Kamen, Henry, The War of
Succession in Spain, 1700–15 (Bloomington: clude a quick and successful campaign. Within a
University of Indiana Press, 1969); Lossky, year, Charles had defeated the Florentines and
Andrew, Louis XIV and the French Monarchy (New forced them to cede the city of Pisa to him; he
Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1994). occupied the Papal States, and he easily occu-
pied the kingdom of Naples. He considered
ITALY, FRENCH launching a crusade against the Turks in
98 INVASIONS OF Constantinople or the Muslims of Jerusalem, but
the League of Venice—consisting of Venice, his
It may be impossible to find a more confusing set former ally Milan, the Holy Roman Empire
of political circumstances than that of under Maximilian, Spain, England, and Pope
Renaissance Italy. The peninsula was full of rival Alexander VI—joined together to threaten his
city-states with occasional links to European line of communications back to France. He

160 THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION


ITALY, FRENCH INVASIONS OF

marched north in 1495 and engaged a condot- the league allowed Venice to recover most of its
tieri force under Giovanni Francesco Gonzaga. lands. Yet another combination of combatants
On 6 July, they fought in the pass at Fornovo, was created in 1510 when the Papal States spon-
and the French artillery proved too effective and sored the Holy League to unite against the
aggressive for the Italians, who retreated after French and Maximilian’s German troops. Spain
losing almost 10 times as many men as did the joined in the league with Pope Julius II and
French. Charles decided to return to France Venice, but there was little fighting of conse-
rather than to Naples. quence until 1511, when a new French
Naples retained a French army, but its king, commander arrived: Gaston de Foix, 21-year-old
Ferrante, had familial ties to the house of Aragon duke of Nemours. He took the initiative and
in Spain. Spain sent forces to his aid in 1495, drove away a besieging force from Bologna, then
and took advantage of Charles’s departure. After turned northward against Venetian troops at
an initial loss, the Spanish General Fernandez de Brescia, besieging and capturing that city in
Cordoba fought a war of attrition against the February 1512. At a fierce battle at Ravenna,
French, wearing them out over a three-year peri- Gaston routed a Papal-Spanish force but was
od. When he left in 1498, the French had been killed in the pursuit, robbing the French of a
removed, but a civil war the following year potentially brilliant general.
brought them back to Naples. Just when matters seemed to be going well for
Charles’s son Louis XII returned to claim his France, Maximilian changed sides and withdrew
throne in 1499. His main ally was Pope his troops from the French army. Joining with
Alexander VI, who turned to him to counter the Swiss forces, Maximilian drove the French from
increasing power of Venice. Though Louis Italy. Prince Louis de La Tremoille led the French
entered into an agreement with Ferdinand of force back into Milan in 1513, but soon retreated
Aragon to divide the kingdom of Naples after losing a battle at Novara in June. The French
between them, he invaded Naples, thus provok- ignored Italy for a while when English forces
ing a war with Spain. Louis easily conquered under Henry VIII invaded France. Switzerland
Milan, and his larger force took over Naples as took a French bribe to stay out of the invasion,
Spanish ships occupied the harbor at Taranto and Henry VIII and Maximilian quarreled over
and blockaded the major French base at Barletta. strategy. All the members of the Holy League
At the battle of Cerignola on 26 April 1503, made peace with France in 1513 or 1514.
Spanish forces under Cordoba defeated a com- Not content to leave well enough alone,
bined Franco-Swiss force by breaking a cavalry Francis I of France now allied himself with
charge with harquebusiers, making it the first Venice and Henry of England against Spain,
battle in history decided by gunpowder small Milan, Florence, Switzerland, the pope, and the
arms. Cordoba quickly occupied Naples and Holy Roman Empire. Francis’s capture of Milan
spent the remainder of the year harassing was sufficient to break the alliance against him,
French forces. On 29 December 1503, Cordoba and he ended the war in possession of most of
launched a surprise attack at the Garigliano northern Italy. Five years later he was at war with
River and crushed the French, who were Charles I of Spain, soon to become Holy Roman
allowed to leave Italy by sea under terms con- Emperor as well. Francis’s invasion through the
cluded on 1 January. In 1505, Louis ceded his Pyrenees in 1521 sparked renewed fighting in
claims in Naples to Ferdinand. Italy. France was forced out of Italy by a defeat at
However, France was not through with Italy Milan, but marched back in 1523. Defeats in the
yet. Louis XII was back in 1508, allied this time spring of 1524 were followed by an abortive
with Maximilian, the Papal States, and Spain in invasion of France in the late summer. French
the League of Cambrai, formed to resist Venetian troops came right back in October 1524.
power. France scored a major victory at Francis’s army besieged Pavia, but was defeated
Agnadello in May 1509 and Venice lost much of by a relieving force in February 1525. Francis was
its territory to Spanish forces, but disunity within captured by the Spanish and taken to Madrid,

THE RENAISSANCE AND THE AGE OF EXPLORATION 161


MOGHUL EMPIRE

where he was forced to buy his freedom with a fragmented power of the Italian city-states. The
treaty abandoning all claims in Italy. Francis wars also established a long-lasting hostility
renounced the treaty as soon as he returned to between the royal houses of Valois of France and
Paris, and he was soon on the campaign trail Habsburg in Spain, especially after the
again. His war in Italy lasted until 1529, during Habsburgs succeeded to the throne of the Holy
which time French forces fared poorly. In the Roman Empire. The Austrian branch of the
Treaty of Cambrai in 1529, he once again sur- Habsburgs maintained a hostility with France
rendered any right to Italian claims. He spent until World War I, enmity that showed itself in
the next seven years reorganizing his army, and repeated power struggles. From a military point
invaded Italy in 1536. After a ceasefire, signed in of view, the war was the first postmedieval con-
1538, Francis did the unthinkable for a Christian flict showing the major use of wheeled artillery
European: He allied himself with Suleiman the and individual firearms in the form of harque-
Magnificent, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, who busiers and muskets. Fir