(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Crusades

“History repeats itself, “the first as tragedy, then as farce”*…

 

Brazil

The First Mass in Brazil, by Victor Meirelles, oil on canvas, 1860

 

On the day of Jair Bolsonaro‘s inauguration as president of Brazil, Felipe Martins, a political blogger close to the Bolsonaro family, tweeted his personal celebration of Bolsonaro’s victory: “The New Order is here. Everything is ours! Deus vult!

Observers would be forgiven for wondering why “Deus vult”—Latin for “God wills it,” a medieval battle cry associated with the First Crusade—is reappearing in 21st-century Brazil. In recent years, the “Deus vult” line has been appropriated by the far right in Europe and the United States, and has now become a slogan for the far right in Brazil. Indeed, Martins had already explicitly linked this battle cry to the Crusades when he tweeted on the day of the second round of elections, “The new Crusade is decreed. Deus vult!” On January 3rd, Bolsonaro named Martins as presidential special adviser for international affairs.

In Bolsonaro’s Brazil, the new government and far-right groups are propagandizing a fictional version of the European Middle Ages, insisting that the period was uniformly white, patriarchal, and Christian. This reactionary revisionism presents Brazil as Portugal’s highest achievement, emphasizing a historical continuity that casts white Brazilians as the true heirs to Europe. In this way, through a genetic view of history, the far right frames Brazilian history as essentially linked to Portugal’s own imaginarily pure medieval past…

In Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil, the new government and far-right groups are propagandizing a fictional version of the European Middle Ages to legitimize their reactionary agenda: “Why the Brazilian Far Right Loves the European Middle Ages.”

Pair with this piece on Bolsonaro’s first 53 days.

* Karl Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon

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As we resist (opportunistic) revisionism, we might recall that it was on this date in 303 that Roman emperor Diocletian orders the destruction of the Christian church in Nicomedia, beginning eight years of Diocletianic Persecution, the last and most severe persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire.

800px-Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113

“The Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer,” by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1883)

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230 years later, on this date in 532, Byzantine emperor Justinian I ordered the building of a new Orthodox Christian basilica in Constantinople – the temple that became the  Hagia Sophia.

220px-Hagia_Sophia_Mars_2013 source

 

Written by LW

February 23, 2019 at 1:01 am

Through Ancient Eyes…

 

In February 1862 the eldest son of Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales and future King Edward VII, embarked on a four-and-a-half month journey through the Middle East. The royal party followed what was on the face of it a conventional itinerary, sailing from Venice down the Dalmatian coast on the royal yacht Osborne to Alexandria, cruising up the Nile to Aswan to view the sites of ancient Egypt, crossing to Jaffa for a tour of the Holy Land, then returning to England via the Ionian islands and Constantinople.

Among the party—included at the last moment—was the photographer Francis Bedford, who in over 190 prints produced one of the earliest photographic records of the region. These sepia studies, soft-lit yet rich in detail, were achieved with a cumbrous caravan of lenses, tripods, chemicals, plates, and a portable darkroom. His subjects were mostly but not all the sites of ancient or biblical significance that Western visitors already favored: the ruined survivors of a stupendous past that they could half claim for themselves…

The full story– and more photos– at “When the Ruins Were New.”

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As we trek down memory lane, we might recall that it was on this date in 1099, after seven weeks of siege, that Christian forces of the First Crusade breached the walls of Jerusalem and began their massacre of the city’s Muslim and Jewish population.  The troubles began earlier in the 11th century, when Christians in Jerusalem came under increasing pressure from the city’s Islamic rulers– pressure that intensified when control of the holy city passed from the relatively tolerant Egyptians to the Seljuk Turks in 1071.  The troubles continue to this day.

Late medieval (14th or 15th century?) illustration of the capture of Jerusalem during the First Crusade

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Written by LW

July 14, 2013 at 1:01 am

The Face of War*…

 

Claire Felicie photographed the faces of 20 Dutch Marines before, during, and after their tour of duty in Afghanistan.  From first photo to third, only 12 months passed, but the extraordinary trials that her subjects experienced is written on their faces.

Read the story at Slate; see this series– “Here Are The Young Men” (after a Joy Division song)– and more of Felicie’s work on her site.

* Readers will know the title of this post as the title of a Salvador Dali painting…

The Face of War

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As we release the doves, we might recall that it was on this date in 1097, during the First Crusade, that  Robert II, Count of Flanders and Adhemar of Le Puy led their Christian troop in a charge across the fortified bridge over the Orontes River, 12 miles from Antioch, opening the way for their advancing army, and setting the stage for The Siege of Antioch, which began the next day and ended on June 2, 1098.

The Levant Crusades finally ended in 1291, as the last of the Christian military orders was evicted from the region, and the King of Egypt captured Acre.

The Siege of Antioch, as depicted in a 15th-century miniature painting

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Written by LW

October 20, 2012 at 1:01 am

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