Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Ottoman

How borders changed in Europe in the last 1,000 years?

Apparently, this video of the evolution of borders change in Europe in the last 1,000 years has been removed or deleted.

Probably from many inaccuracies denounced in the comments. This post is to relate the story as I know it, since I love history and know a great deal.

At the turn of the first millennial, Poland was the richest, most cohesive and united “catholic” kingdom in the eastern part of Europe. Poland checked Russia expansion and saved Vienna from the Ottoman siege, in the nick of time.  The large Ottoman army faced one of the worst climate handicap: It was unusually cold and rained for months on: the soldiers were ill fitted and had to march in the mud.

East Germany was a collection of Teutonic tribes and eventually it formed Prussia and expanded during Frederic “The Great” in the 18th century.

West Germany of before the fall of the Berlin Wall, was mostly small states shifting allegiance to either the Hapsburg Empire (Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the Netherlands) or France.

Napoleon Bonaparte was the catalyst in raising the patriotic spirit in West Germany when he forced recruits in the failed Great Army that invaded Russia in 1812, and the small states started mass uprising and used the current flag.

Bismark capitalized on this new patriotism and united all of current Germany and expanded to include Poland and the Alsace and Lorraine provinces in France and transformed Germany to become the second industrial country after the USA with the most powerful land army in Europe.

Crimea borders also changed: It is now attached to Russia.

Crimea was part of the Ottoman Empire. Catherine II of Russia expanded greatly her southern territory at the expense of Turkey.

The territory of the Tatars, called the Golden Horde, was captured by Ivan The Terrible as Tamerlane had weakened this Horde in the early 15th century and burned all their towns and cities along the Volga River (mainly current Ukraine).

Tamerlane is also the warrior who defeated the Ottoman Empire and delayed the fall of Constantinople by 50 years. In a sense, saving Renaissance Europe and permitting Russia to expand. His dynasty built the Mogul Empire in India.

Peter “The Great” of Russia finally managed to defeat the young and indomitable king of Sweden and expanded westward, annexed the 3 Baltic small States of Latvia, Lithuania… and built St. Peters-burg and expanded southward toward the Ottoman Empire but failed to retain what he captured.

France was united under Louis 11 who defeated the powerful and rich king of Burgundy Jean “Le Temeraire”. Burgundy included east of France, Belgium and part of Germany.

The English occupied the western part of France for over a century before Joan of Arc started the re-conquest in the 15th century.

Throughout the next 3 centuries, France was the dominant military power in land and had a powerful navy too. France expanded its colonies after 1870 toward West Africa and the Far East.

Cromwell of England focused his energy on building a powerful navy and annexed Scotland and Ireland. England became the main sea power until WWII and was the nemesis of Germany, which supplanted England as the major exporter oversea before WWI.

Italy was a collection of mini-states after 400 AC and was occupied, its rich cities sacked and Rome burned several times. Venice and Genoa were the main sea traders and were constantly at each other throats.

France occupied the northern part of Italy in several occasions and entered Rome. It was the devastation of Rome that permitted most of the artists, educated and architects of the Renaissance period to spread all over the other European cities and kingdoms and played the catalyst for reforms.

Napoleon Bonaparte occupied Italy before he was named First Consul in 1800 and defeated the Austrian armies in several battles and snatched Venice and part of current Croatia from the Hapsburg Empire.

England gave land concessions to Italy before WWI: England had decided to wage war against Germany (the second industrial nation after the USA) and was trying hard to rally countries against Germany.  England offered Italy to annex Albania, Libya and Ethiopia. As England allowed France to annex Morocco. Giving lands that it never had, such as Palestine to the Zionist Jews…

Prussia and Russia started to nibble on the Austrian Empire until its vanished after WWI.

Spain united in the 15th century and dislodged the last city of the “Arabic” Empire in Andalusia. The Pope of Rome divided the world into two parts for the new colonial powers of Spain and Portugal. Portugal had already colonized many regions in the Pacific Ocean and in South East Asia.

The ruin of the Spanish fleet “The Armada” in its attempt to invade England during Elizabeth I had weakened Phillip II of Spain who was the most powerful monarch in Europe in the 16th century.

It was mainly the Spanish fleet that checked and defeated the Ottoman navy that handicapped any further expansion of the Ottoman Empire into Europe.

The Ottoman Empire had already annexed all the regions around the Black Sea (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Crimea, Turkmenistan and Romania…)  and occupied Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and half of Hungary. Not counting all the Near East, Egypt, the Arabic Peninsula and the North African provinces

Watch as 1000 years of European borders change
loiter.co

Note: Vladimir Putin worked out the Crimea problem by attaching it to Russia instead of declaring Crimea an independent State.

Apparently, under Ottoman Empire treaty with Catherine the Great, if Crimea declares independence it returns to Turkey

Lions and lionesses along the Fertile Crescent ancient Empires 

Major civilizations built empires and cities along major rivers such as the Nile, Euphrates, Tiger, Indus (Pakistan), Ganges (India), and the Yellow River in China.

At the current rate of modernization and deforestations most of the aborigine tribes would disappear within a few decades.  Many civilizations have vanished but a few have managed to survive precariously so far.

The best approach to explaining the succession of civilizations and Empires in the Fertile Crescent that raided and conquered the Near East civilizations such as in Lebanon, Palestine and Syria (Phoenicia, Canaan, Aram) is the analogy of survival among the lions and lionesses.

As a young lion attains two years, after being chased out of the clan, prowls the region for lionesses to mate and establish clans of their own.  Old lions are attacked and displaced and the cubs are eaten and slaughtered by the new King to quickly attract the lioness in heat and then new progenitors are formed.  The lioness fights valiantly to preserve her cubs but ends up giving up.

Since a lion lives to be 10 years old, on average, while the lioness can outlive him by 7 years and diffuse many progenitors of her owns then the survival of these mammal carnivores is mainly due to the survival of the lionesses.  The lionesses chase and bring meat to the clan and care for the cubs.

Almost all the ancient civilizations in the Middle East, (the Nile River excluded because in Africa), were established along the Fertile Crescent of the main Rivers of Litany, Al Aassi, Euphrates and the Tiger (for example, the people inhabiting Lebanon, Syria, the southern part of Turkey, the Western part of Iran and Iraq).

The warrior Empires were Akkad, Babylon (Iraq), Assyria (Kurdestan of Iraq), Persia, Pharaonic Egypt, Hittite (Inland Turkey), Greece, Selucian, Roman, and later Byzantium, Sassanide, Arab (Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatemid), Seljuk, Crusaders, Mamelouks, and Ottomans.

The young male lions from emerging warrior Empires, during their conquests and expansion, reclaimed the civilized glory and achievements of the Near East people as their own proper.  The Near East people were constantly behaving like the lionesses: they first fight valiantly for their cubs, and when they inevitably fail against the young lions then they mate with the conquerors after the invaders had tried to kill all their progenitors.

The latest archeological discoveries located developed urban centers around the borders of Syria and Turkey that were 10,000 years old; it is these centers that later established the Sumer Kingdom in southern Iraq around 5,000 years ago.

A few citizens of City-States like Byblos, Sidon and Tyr and much later Carthage burned down their cities and then set fire on themselves to avoid servitude and surrender. While these young lions were strutting and showing off in the regions and adapting to the new civilizations, it was the constant duty of the lionesses to chase and bring the meat to the table and care for the household:  They fed and civilized the conquerors.

The Near East people were bringing the food to the tables and caring for the glamour and wants of the invaders whose sole job was to making war and killing on their war paths.

I read chapters from an Arabic book by Georges Masrou3a.  Masrouaa asked an archeologist about the Achmoun Temple in Sidon “Saida”, built around 550 BC and he replied that it was a Persian design from King Kourush I period.

Masrouaa then asked the archeologist why he claimed that it is Persian and the latter said because that is what the archeology archives claim to be.  Persia had no such Temple at Kourush’s time; even if the Persian King paid for it at the expense of the invaded people that should not be a basis to claim achievements of other civilizations.

This is the same story with the temples in Baalbak; the archeologists would claim that it was the work of the Romans since 200 BC but if this monument was of Roman style and glory then why the Romans failed to build something close to it in Rome or in Italy? 

We have the same contentions for the impressive horse track and humongous amphitheater in Tyr (500 by 200 meters) that was built before 500 BC according to Herodotus; if this amphitheater was the work and style of the Romans then why did the Roman wait another three centuries to build their Coliseum? The same goes to the Jerusalem Temple even though the architects, builders and foramens and craftsmen and master workers were from Tyre during King Hiram or “Ahiram”. 

Euclid, Zenon, Plotin, Tales, Homer, Pythagoras and scores of great thinkers were born and lived in our coastal City-States stretching from Palestine to Turkey such as Akka, Tyr, Sidon (called the eldest son of Canaan in the Bible), Beyrouth, Byblos, Ugarit, Antaqia, and so on and yet they were labeled as Greeks.  Is it simply because we were under Greek dominion that our famous thinkers should be Greeks, even if they didn’t enjoy the privileges of Greek Athens  City-State citizens? 

Scores of our famous people were labeled Romans simply because we were under Roman hegemony.  For example, the eminent legal masters, in the third century, Papinian and Olypian lived in Beyrouth (Beryt); Olympian is indeed the martyr of jurists because he adamantly refused to offer a legal opinion in favor of Emperor Caracala for the killing of his brother Jeita.

If this is the case then, why Jesus is to be simply a Jew and not Roman?  St. Paul was actually a Roman citizen that he inherited from his father and great father and yet Paul is said to be simply a Jew.  There is undoubtedly a systematic disinformation concerning the cultural heritage of the Near Eastern civilizations.

The Europeans purposely have chosen to start their civilization from Ancient Greek in 600 BC because they claimed Athens City-State to be democratic and they had to emulate the democratic system in Greek Athens.

Democracy was developed in the City-States of Byblos, Sidon, Tyr, Ugarit and Mary several centuries before Athens existed.  These City-States had democracy within their city limits as Athens and Rome emulated later on because communication and transport were limited and the administration of such a complex democratic system was not feasible at a larger magnitude at the time.   Thus, democracy was not translated to the colonies as Greek Athens also failed to do.

Theaters via their verbal communications in plays were the main medium for spreading democracy and the clashing of ideas of various opposition groups; plays created a citizen consciousness that is different from immediate civic consciousness of oratorical speeches.  The Near Eastern civilizations were ahead of Athens several centuries in theater plays; Athens got the attention because a few of its written literatures were preserved and translated.  For example, Aeschylus wrote over 90 works but only seven of his tragedies remained to prove the dynamics of Athens’ democratic system.

Although the City-States in the Levant developed commercial empires they never built theocratic warrior Empires because their citizens focused on civilized endeavors and opted in armed struggles to just defending their central Cities. Athens managed to defend its civilization outside its City limits and even asked the cooperation of other Greek City-States like Sparta and the famous Thebes that the Phoenicians had built centuries before Athens existed and which Alexander erased completely before launching his Asian campaign.

We can confirm that the Near East region was the bedrock of all the civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea in religion, philosophy, sciences, literature and arts.

Regardless of genetic sources, which are an amalgamation of many nations and which is not that important for the purpose of this article, anyone from current States in the Near East should take pride in their ancient civilizations and their original identity as the forefathers of contemporary modern democratic civilizations in Europe and the Greater Mediterranean Sea regions.

Note:   Currently, we still have the ethnic Saamis (Norway and Finland), Inuits (Siberia, Alaska, and Canada), Ainous (Japan), Indians (USA and Canada), Zapotec (Mexico), Mosquitos (Nicaragua), Quiches (Guatemala), Cunas (Panama), Yanomamis and Guaranis (Brazil), Galibis and Akawaios (Guyana), Paez ans Guambianos (Colombia), Waoranis (Equator), Amueshas (Peru), Chimanes (Bolivia), Araucans (Chili), Touaregs and Bororos (Sahel in Northern Africa), Tigres (Ethiopia and Somalia), Dinkas (Sudan), Masais (Kenya and Tanzania), Pygmees (Zaire), Sans or Bushmen (Namibia and Botswana), Kalingas (Philippines), Kachins and Rohingas (Myanmar or Birmani), Hmongs (Laos), Santals and Gonds (India), Punans (Malaysia), Uzbeks and Tadjiks (Afghanistan), Aborigines (Australia), Maoris (New Zealand), Papous (New Guinea).


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

September 2020
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