Friday, September 24, 2010
July 17th in History
180 – Twelve inhabitants of Scillium in North Africa are executed for being Christians. This is the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world, and unfortunately combines two of the intertwining threads of today's history, death and religion.
Quite unlike Corrigan who didn't attack anyone, instead of attacking the Muslims in control of the Holy Land, being too underfunded and undermanned to reasonably succeed at that, the expedition was persuaded to attack Christian Constantinople by sea. The assault sacked the city engaging in days of rampant raping, looting, pillaging and general destruction of their fellow Christians, including a massive desecration of the great church of Hagia Sophia and the destruction of one of the finest libraries in the western world, the magnificent Library of Constantinople. This was the final chapter in a long line of divisive acts on both sides leading to the Great Schism in Christianity between the western Christians, the "Latins", and the eastern Christians, 'the Greeks", dividing into what we call Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox branches of Christianity. Not to be confused with the later schism of the Reformation, creating the divisions we know as Protestant and Catholic. The Byzantine emperor Alexius III Angelus flees from his capital into exile. Anyone who ever, at any time, wishes to compare our modern middle eastern policies and military actions with the crusades would be wise to learn the history of those crusades. Actually, anyone wishing to have a perspective on our modern military and diplomatic decisions would be wise to brush up on the history of the Crusades.