Map of Eastern Mediterranean in 1450 CE

Map of Eastern Mediterranean in 1450 CE


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Map of Eastern Mediterranean in 1450 CE - History

Jewish massive settlement in Middle and Eastern Europe has been recorded since the end of the 11 th century. The first arriving Jews were merchants (dealing between east and the west) who were referred to as Radhanites. They were fluent in many languages, including Arabic, Persian, Greek, Spanish, "Franklish" and "Slav". One of them was Ibrahim Ibn Yacub, who authored the first known extensive article about Poland, took a journey from his hometown - Toledo - in (Moslem) Spain to the Holy (Christian) Roman Empire in 965 or 966 and then he went to the Slavonic countries.
The map below illustrates the migration waves of Jews into central Europe.

At the end of feudal disintegration in Central and Eastern Europe (occured in the 13 th and 14 th centuries) the rulers encouraged Jewish immigration. In the 14 th and 15 th centuries the Jews were mainly middlemen in trade between Poland, Hungary, Turkey and the Italian colonies on the Black Sea.

Jewish immigrants headed east to Poland during the reign of Casimir the Great, who encouraged Jewish settlement by extending royal protection to them. One of the first mentions about Jewish settlements was in Lwow about 1356. Other places are also mentioned in the second half of the 14 th century.

In the 15 th century Jews appeared in many cities in Great Poland, Little Poland, Kuyavia, Pomerania and Red Ruthenia. In the 1450's Polish towns gave shelter to Jewish refugees from Silesia which was then ruled by the Habsburgs.

Map of Jewish expulsions and resettlement areas in Europe

Welcoming of Sephardim Jews to Turkey in 1492 by Sultan Beyazit II. A painting by Mevlut Akyildiz.
It is believed that the destiny of our Turkels' forebears begins with the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. More than 300,000 "Sephardic" Jews spread out throughout the Mediterranean world, welcomed by the Ottoman Empire in 1492. Spain had been one of the centers of Jewish life at that time, a place where Jews had flourished for a thousand years (the first seven centuries under Moslem rule). Up to the 16th century most those expelled Jews settled in Italy, the Turkish Empire, North Africa, and the New World. The most fortunate of the expelled Jews succeeded in escaping to Turkey.

In 1495 Jews were ordered out of the center of Krakow and allowed to settle in the "Jewish town" of Kazimierz. In the same year, Alexander Jagiellon, following the example of Spanish rulers, banished the Jews from Lithuania. For several years they took shelter in Poland until they were allowed back to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1503. At that time Jews lived in about 85 towns in Poland. Their total number was around 18,000 in Poland and 6,000 in Lithuania, only 0.6 per cent of the total population of these two countries.

In the 16 th and the first half of the 17 th Jewish population grew consierably, up to 500,000 Jews in Poland, about five per cent of the total population of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. New arrivals were due to "Sephardic" Jews, who had been driven away from Spain and Portugal. There is a reason to believe (see the 17 th century legend) that the Turkels are "Sephardic" Jews, who arrvied from Spain/Potrugal to Poland via Turkey. Still we are not sure when exactly they arrived to the Eastern and Central Europe.

In the 16 th and 17 th centuries the Jews were required to defend the towns they lived in either by service or by monetary contributions. Sometimes Jews fought on both sides, leading to family tragedies. During Poland's wars with Sweden (1655-60), Russia (1654-67) and Turkey (1667-99) Jews provided recruits and participated in the city's defense. There are war stories about relevant places such as Buczacz, Trembowla (see also here) and Lwow (see also here).

In 1648 the Cossack uprising under Chmielnicki broke up. There was a breakthrough in the history of both the "Commonwealth" and Polish Jewry. The country was plunged into economic crisis due to the wars against the Ukraine, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and the Tartars, which Poland fought almost uninterruptedly between 1648 and 1717. As a result of Chmielnicki's revolt and wars against the Ukraine and Russia Jewish communities in the areas occupied by enemy troops were completely wiped out. Some Jews were murdered, some emigrated to central Poland and the rest left for Western Europe. The sharp drop of the Jewish population is estimated as to be 100,000-125,000 out of 500,000.

Folowing 1717 there was a rapid growth in the number of the Jewish population, up to about 750,000 Jews in 1766 (ref. tax census), which constituted 7% of the total population of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. About 29% of all Jews lived in ethnically Polish areas and 27% in regions with a predominantly Ukrainian population. The population census conducted in Poland in 1790-91 shows a further increase in the number of Jewish inhabitants, about 900,000.

The partition of Poland took place in 1772, among Russia, Prussia and Austria.
At that time there were about 171,850 Jews (6.5% of the total population) in Galicia. In 1775 the authorities granted tax exemptions to those individuals who settled on uncultivated land. This may explain the spread out of the "Turkel Tribe" to many Galician shtetls , around Krakow, Lemberg (Lwow) and Tarnopol. The same law forbade rabbis to wed those who had no permanent earnings. Consequently many poor Jews moved away from Galicia, mostly to the east.


The Pale of Settlement fingers point to places Turkels settled on the skirt of pale

It is important to elaborate that there were different regulations in the Prussian and Austrian partition zones. In the Prussian zone, according to the decree issued by Frederick II, the Jewish population was to be subordinated to the Prussian Jewish ordinance (General Judenreglement) of 17 April 1797. The right to permanent residence in towns was granted only to rich Jews and those engaged in trade. The poor Jews, the Bettel Juden, were ordered by Frederick II to be expelled from the country, and the Jewish self-government organizations were exclusively limited to religious affairs.

    During the initial period, the reign of Maria Theresa and the first years of rule of Joseph II, the separateness of the Jewish population from the rest of Galician society was retained and Jewish self-government was preserved, although the poorest Jews were expelled from the country. Those who remained were limited in their right to get married, removed from many sources of income and forced to pay high taxes. This might explain lack of records about the Turkels also intermarriage within the family. In the years 1782-3, the Jews in Austria were obliged to assume permanent family names.

    In 1791, the Russian Empress, Catherine the Great, established the Pale of Settlement and decreed that all Jewish inhabitants of her realm (with minor exceptions) must live within its borders and this restriction remained in force until 1917. During the Kosciuszko Insurrection and wars against Tsarist Russia in 1794 Jews supported the uprising either in auxiliary services or in arms.

Obviously many Jews refused to join the Tsarist Army, and this may conform with the 18 th century legend about the origin of the surname Turkel . Jews employed many methods to avoid induction including the use of false documents. Many young men simply ran away from their communities when their draft date approached. Jews were required to register all births, marriages etc. in the Synagogue to which they were assigned. After 1857 the records were kept by Crown Rabbis who were usually not the spiritual leaders of the respective communities.

The Emancipation of European Jewry

As late as the middle of the 19th century, Russian Government officials complained about the frequent change of family names among Russian Jews who lived in different communities under different surnames .

Basic changes in the situation of Galician Jewry took place after 1848. Some Jews were quite active in the revolutionary movement of the period, which resulted in a Polish-Jewish reconciliation and Jewish emancipation. In the years following 1859 the Austrian authorities began to gradually repeal legal restrictions. In 1867-68 all citizens, Jews included, were finally made equal in the eyes of the law.

Return to Bad Times

Map of pogroms and antisemitic acts of violence
in Russia and the Pale from 1871-1906

The difficult economic situation in Galicia caused violent actions (pogroms) against Jews, who due to the situation chose to emigrate elsewhere. Generally, Jews from Galicia sought work in other countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, sometimes in Vienna, and also in Hungary and the Balkan countries. Between 1881 and 1900 about 150,000 left elsewhere, and between 1900 and 1914 about 175,000 Jews from Galicia left for the United States of America. At the same time various Zionist movements emerged and a few of our Turkel folks made Alyiah to the Holy Land aka Eretz Israel. Like other Jews many members of the 'Turkel Tribe' immigrated to the USA.

At ths end of ths First World War Galicia was annexed to Poland. The Jews expected to have right for autonomy but the Polish government never yielded. Moreover the situation of the Jews was dramatically deteriorated. Their rights were quite limited compared to other nationals. Following 1924 the immigration to the USA was stalled. Jews looked for alternative ways to get out of Poland, in particular to Palestine, but the British Mandate denied entry of many. The fate of most of the Jews were doomed in the Holocaust during the Second World War. About Six Million Jews, half of them (3 millions) in Poland and about 450,000 Galician Jews were murdered. More than 90% of the Turkel families (those who remained in Poland/Galicia) lost their lives.

Here we return to our main quest to find out the common ancestors of the 'Turkel Tribe'. We pursuit genealogy, including legends and stories of these East European Jews.


Map of Eastern Mediterranean in 1450 CE - History

Le Alpi [The Alps] (1,917K) From Atlante Mondiale Hoepli di Geografia Moderna Fisica e Politica. Giovanni Roncagli, 1899.

Austria and Hungary 1911 (425K) "Distribution of Races in Austria-Hungary" From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Baltic Lands Circa 1000 A.D. - 1809 A.D. (12 Maps) From the Atlas to Freeman's Historical Geography, Edited by J.B. Bury, Longmans Green and Co. Third Edition 1903.

Belgium and Franco-German Frontier, 1918 (1342K) From Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921.

Belgium (1176K) From Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921.

Britannia [Ancient British Islands] (663K) From A Classical Atlas of Ancient Geography by Alexander G. Findlay. New York: Harper and Brothers 1849.

Britain About 410. (452K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Britain about 600 - Settlements of Angles, Saxons and Jutes (323K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

British Isles 802 (274K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

British Isles 1300 (363K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

British Isles Ecclesiastical Map (645K) Ecclesiastical Map of the British Isles in the Middle Ages. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

The British Isles, 1603-1688 (481K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

British Isles Physical Map (416K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

The Byzantine Empire in 1265 (273K) The Byzantine Empire, 1265-1355. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

The Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Turks in 1355 (269K) The Byzantine Empire, 1265-1355. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Central Europe Circa 980 A.D. - 1871 A.D. (13 Maps) From the Atlas to Freeman's Historical Geography, Edited by J.B. Bury, Longmans Green and Co. Third Edition 1903.

Central Europe, 919-1125 (843K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Central Europe about 1477 (827K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Central Europe - The Imperial Circles about 1512 (245K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Central Europe - Central Europe about 1547 (845K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Central Europe in 1812 (728K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Central Europe Road Maps 1951-1952 Series M405, 1:300,000, U.S. Army Map Service, 1951-1952.

Constantinople (157K) A Dictionary, Practical, Theoretical, and Historical of Commerce and Commercial Navigation, by J.R. M'Culloch. 1882.

Constantinople (671K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Constantinople (239K) "The Heart of Constantinople" from East and West Though Fifteen Centuries, Volume II, by G. F. Young. Published by Longmans, Green and Co. 1916.

Corsica 1894 (599K) "The Forests and Mines of Corsica" from the Scottish Geographical Magazine. Published by the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and edited by James Geikie and W.A. Taylor. Volume X, 1894.

Denmark (791K) From Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921.

D-Day Maps 1944 Secret maps prepared for the June 6, 1944 (D-day) invasion of the European continent through Normandy by Allied forces.

Distribution of Races in the Balkan Peninsula and Asia Minor (387K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Dr. Butler's Atlas of Ancient Geography by Samuel Butler Maps from Dr. Butler's Atlas of Ancient Geography by Samuel Butler, London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longman, 1851.

Dublin 1610 (306K) From Dublin Som Norsk by L.J. Vogt, H. Aschehoug and Co. 1896.

England after 886 (99K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

England in the Tenth Centry (89K) The Shires of England in the Tenth Century. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

England - Dominions of William the Conqueror about 1087 (249K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

England and France, 1455-1494 (440K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 19.

England and Wales in 1832/Industrial England since 1750 (1.10MB) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Reference Map of the European Provinces of the Roman Empire (910K) Insets: Gaul in the Time of Caesar. The Rhine Country in Roman Times. Country about the Lower Danube in Roman Times. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Germanic Migrations and Conquests, 150-1066 (465K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Europe - Growth of Frankish Power, 481-814 (196K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe - Development of Christianity, 590 to 1300 (676K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe - The Germanic Kingdoms and the East Roman Empire in 526 (391K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Europe and the East Roman Empire, 533-600 (391K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

The Califate in 750 (393K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Europe at the death of Charles the Great 814 (234K) From The Public Schools Historical Atlas edited by C. Colbeck, published by Longmans, Green, and Co. 1905.

Disruption of the Carolingian Empire, 843-888 (360K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

The Peoples of Europe about 900 (337K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Europe and the Byzantine Empire about 1000 (689K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Europe and the Mediterranean Lands about 1097 (725K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe 12th Century (452K) "Europe during the 12th Century The Age of the Crusades" with inset map "The Christian States in the East in 1142" from An Historical Atlas Containing a Chronological Series of One Hundred and Four Maps, at Successive Periods, from the Dawn of History to the Present Day by Robert H. Labberton, sixth edition, 1884.

Europe and the Mediterranean Lands about 1190 (667K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe - The Mediterranean Lands after 1204 (340K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe - The Growth of Russia in Europe, 1300-1796 (872K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe 1360 (425K) Europe about 1360. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe - The Great Schism 1378-1417 (351K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe [Crusades Era] (253K) "Era of the Crusades" from The Public Schools Historical Atlas edited by C. Colbeck, published by Longmans, Green, and Co. 1905.

Europe Medieaval Commerce (846K) "Medieaval Commerce (Europe)" [Insets: England Hanseatic League in Northern Germany]. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe during the 15th Century (288K) From The Public Schools Historical Atlas edited by C. Colbeck, published by Longmans, Green, and Co. 1905.

Europe 1560 (941K) Europe about 1560. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Europe 1560 (438K) The Religious Situation in Europe about 1560. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe 1618 (581K) The Religious Situation in Central Europe about 1618. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Europe in 1648 - Peace of Westphalia (452K) "Europe in 1648.-Peace of Westphalia showing especially (a,) The Possessions of the two branches of the house of Habsburg at the end of the Thirty Years War (purple). (b,) The possessions of the house of Hohenzollern, (union of Prussia with Brandeburg [blue.]). (c,) The Swedish Empire on both shores of the Baltic and in Northern Germany. (d,) The Danish Monarchy, Denmark, Norway, and Schonen. (e,) The British isles, with the battle-fields of the civil wars. (f,) France, with the battle-fields of the civil wars [red]. (g,) Germany with the battle-fields of the Thirty Years War. (h,) The republic of Poland in its greatest extent. (i,) The Western Boundary of Russia." From "An Historical Atlas Containing a Chronological Series of One Hundred and Four Maps, at Successive Periods, from the Dawn of History to the Present Day." by Robert H. Labberton. Sixth Edition. 1884.

Europe 1740 (786K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe 1786 (829K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Europe 1808 (516K) From The General Gazetteer or, Compendious Geographical Dictionary. Compiled by R. Brookes, Revised by W. Guthrie and E. Jones. Eighth Edition, Dublin, 1808.

Europe 1815 (294K) From The Public Schools Historical Atlas edited by C. Colbeck, published by Longmans, Green, and Co. 1905.

Europe 1911 (848K) "Europe at the Present Time" From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Firenze [Florence] 1913 (1,037K) From Baedeker's Northern Italy Handbook For Travellers by Karl Baedeker, Fourteenth Remodelled Edition 1913.

France about 1035 (329K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

France, 1154-1184 (497K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

France in 1328 (446K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

France in 1453 (344K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

France and England, 1455-1494 (373K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France - Extension of the French Frontiers, 1601-1766 (477K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France 1789 (269K) The Generalities or Intendancies. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France 1789 (275K) The "Gouvernements". From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France 1789(291K) Laws and Courts. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France 1789 (299K) The Salt Tax. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France 1789 and 1802 (292K) Ecclesiastical Map of France, 1789 and 1802. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France 1791 (301K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

France 1870 (1,183K) "Frankreich in seiner Politischen Gestaltung zu Anfang Dezember 1870" From Mittheilungen aus Justus Perthes' geographischer Anstalt. by Dr. A Petermann. 1871.

France (1429K) From Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921.

Genova [Genoa] 1913 (1,267K) From Baedeker's Northern Italy Handbook For Travellers by Karl Baedeker, Fourteenth Remodelled Edition 1913.

Germania [Ancient Germany] (843K) From A Classical Atlas of Ancient Geography by Alexander G. Findlay. New York: Harper and Brothers 1849.

The Germanic Kingdoms and the East Roman Empire 526-600 (859K) The Germanic Kingdoms and the East Roman Empire in 526. Europe and the East Roman Empire, 533-600. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Germany - The Wettin Lands, 1221-1485 (208K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

German States Before and since the French Revolution: I. Baden (598K) Insets: The County of Sponheim. Lordship of Gravenstein. Baden since 1801. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

German States Before and since the French Revolution: II. Wurtemberg (698K) Insets: County of Horburg and Lordship of Reichenweier. Principality-County of Montbeliard. Wurtemberg since 1495. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Germany and Italy 1803 (423K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Germany and Italy 1806 (314K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Germany, 1815-1871 (178K) The Unification of Germany. I. Rise of the German "Zollverein" (Customs-Union) up to 1834. II. The German "Zollverein" (Customs-Union) after 1834. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Germany, 1815-1871 (178K) The Unification of Germany. III. The North German Federation and the German Empire 1866-1871. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

German Empire 1917(722K) From The New Encyclopedic Atlas And Gazetteer Of The World, edited and revised by Francis J. Reynolds, P.F. Collier and Son - Publishers, New York, 1917 Edition.

Mycenean Greece and the Orient about 1450 B.C. (332K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911. Inset: Reference Map of the Nile Delta.

Greece 700 B.C.-600 B.C. (177K) Beginnings of Historic Greece. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Greece - The Athenian Empire at its Height (about 450 B.C.). (268K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Greece at the Beginning of the Peloponnesian War (431 B.C.). (307K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Greece under Theban Headship (362 B.C.). (175K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Greece - Reference Map of Ancient Greece. Northern Part (1MB) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Greece - Reference Map of Ancient Greece, Southern Part (825K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

[Greece] Hellas and Peloponneseus (452K) "Hellas and Peloponneseus showing (a,) The subdivisions of Hellas and Peloponneseus. (b,) The historical places and battle-fields." From "An Historical Atlas Containing a Chronological Series of One Hundred and Four Maps, at Successive Periods, from the Dawn of History to the Present Day." by Robert H. Labberton. Sixth Edition. 1884.

Ground Plan of a Monastery (St.Gall, Switzerland) (516K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Hispania [Ancient Spain] (612K) From A Classical Atlas of Ancient Geography by Alexander G. Findlay. New York: Harper and Brothers 1849.

Ireland 1808 (452K) From The General Gazetteer or, Compendious Geographical Dictionary. Compiled by R. Brookes, Revised by W. Guthrie and E. Jones. Eighth Edition, Dublin, 1808.

Ischl [Bad Ischl, Austria] 1911 (774K) From Karl Baedeker's Autriche-Hongrie, 13th Edition, Paris 1911.

Italia [Ancient Italy] (645K) From "A Classical Atlas, to Illustrate Ancient Geography Comprised in Twenty-Five maps, Showing the Various Divisions of the World as Known to the Ancients Composed from the Most Authentic Sources." by Alexander G. Findlay, F.R.G.S. 1849.

Reference Map of Ancient Italy, Northern Part (831K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Italy - Reference Map of Ancient Italy, Southern Part (629K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Italy - The Growth of Roman Power in Italy (337K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Italy - Italy about 1050 (247K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Italy about 1494 (774K) Insets: The Milanese under the Visconti, 1339-1402. The Republic of Florence, 1300-1494. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Northern Italy, 1796 (for the campaigns of 1796-1805) (389K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Italy and Germany 1803 (423K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Italy and Germany 1806 (314K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Italy (981K) From Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921.

Localities in Western Europe connected with American History (519K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

London 1200-1600 (248K) London Vicinity. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

London 1300 (237K) Plan of London. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

London - Houses of Parliment 1894 (225K) "Old Palace Yard" from Baedeker, Karl. Baedeker's London and Its Environs. Ninth Revised Edition. Leipsic, 1894.

London - Thames River 1882 (982K) "River Thames with the Docks from Woolwich to the Tower" from A Dictionary Practical, Theoretical, and Historical of Commerce and Commercial Navigation by J.R. M'Culloch. Longmans, Green and Co. London, 1882.

London - Westminster Abbey 1894 (341K) "Westminster Abbey" from Baedeker, Karl. Baedeker's London and Its Environs. Ninth Revised Edition. Leipsic, 1894.

London - Zoological Gardens 1894 (309K) "Zoological Gardens" from Baedeker, Karl. Baedeker's London and Its Environs. Ninth Revised Edition. Leipsic, 1894.

London Area - Windsor Castle 1894 (203K) "Windsor Castle" from Baedeker, Karl. Baedeker's London and Its Environs. Ninth Revised Edition. Leipsic, 1894.

The Macedonian Empire, 336-323 B.C. (560K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923. Insets: The Aetolian and Achaian Leagues. Plan of Tyre.

Medieval Manor (710K) "Mediaeval Manor" From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Medieval Universities (452K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Mediterranean Sea (387K) "The Eastern half of the Mediterranean Sea during the two centuries preceding the birth of Christ" from An Historical Atlas Containing a Chronological Series of One Hundred and Four Maps, at Successive Periods, from the Dawn of History to the Present Day" by Robert H. Labberton. Sixth Edition. 1884.

Milano [Milan] 1913 (782K) From Baedeker's Northern Italy Handbook For Travellers by Karl Baedeker, Fourteenth Remodelled Edition 1913.

Munich 1858 (676K) From A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Germany, Eighth Edition. London: John Murray. 1858.

The Netherlands 1559-1609 (645K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Nuremberg 1858 (764K) From A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Germany, Eighth Edition. London: John Murray. 1858.

Nuremberg 1939 (15MB) "Ubersichtsplan uber das Reichsparteitag-Geland" [Reich Party Congress Grounds / Nazi Party Rally Grounds] 1:15,000, July 1939.

The Ottoman Turks 1355 (269K) "The Byzantine Empire and the Ottoman Turks in 1355" The Byzantine Empire, 1265-1355. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

The Ottoman Empire, 1451-1481. Constantinople (671K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

The Ottoman Empire, 1481-1683 (581K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Ottoman Empire [1683-1923] (649K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Ottoman Empire since 1683 (387K) Insets: Southwestern Crimea, 1854. Plan of Sevastopol, 1854-1855. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Ottoman Empire in 1801 (548K) From The Ottoman Empire, 1801-1913 by William Miller. Published by Cambridge University Press, 1913.

Paris, Mediaeval (88K) "Mediaeval Paris" From Literary and Historical Atlas of Europe, by J.G. Bartholomew, 1912.

Paris, Environs of 1866 (645K) From A Handbook For Visitors To Paris, Second Edition. London: John Murray. 1866.

Paris, 1871 (784K) "Paris und Umgebung" From Mittheilungen aus Justus Perthes' geographischer Anstalt. by Dr. A Petermann. 1871.

Prague 1858 (719K) From A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Germany, Eighth Edition. London: John Murray. 1858.

Principal Seats of War in Europe, I. 1618-1660 (581K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Reference Map of Attica. Plan of Thermopylae, 480 B.C. (500K) Inset: Harbors of Athens. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Roman Britain About 410. (452K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Roman Empire 1st Century A.D. (387K) "The Roman Ascendency during the first Century A.D." from An Historical Atlas Containing a Chronological Series of One Hundred and Four Maps, at Successive Periods, from the Dawn of History to the Present Day by Robert H. Labberton, sixth edition, 1884.

Roman Empire - Eastern (353K) "Eastern Half of the Roman Empire" from East and West Though Fifteen Centuries, Volume II, by G. F. Young. Published by Longmans, Green and Co. 1916.

Rome - Plans of Imperial and Republican Rome (991K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923. Includes Plan of Athens.

The Roman Empire about 395 (827K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Rome in the Middle Ages (452K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Rural Deaneries (387K) Part of the bishopric of Winchester showing rural deaneries and religious houses during the Middle Ages. From Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Santorin Island [Greece] 1848 (1.63MB) "Santorin Island Ancient Thera Surveyed by Captain Thomas Graves F.R.G.S. H.M.S. Volage 1848" from The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, Volume 20, 1850 to accompany "Some Account of the Volcanic Group of Santorin or Thera, once called Calliste, or the Most Beautiful. By Lieut. E. M. Leycester, R.N."

Settlements of Angles, Saxons and Jutes in Britain about 600 (323K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Scotland 1808 (582K) From The General Gazetteer or, Compendious Geographical Dictionary. Compiled by R. Brookes, Revised by W. Guthrie and E. Jones. Eighth Edition, Dublin, 1808.

Scotland (1067K) From Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921.

Scottish Geographical Magazine Maps from the Scottish Geographical Magazine, Edinburgh University Press, Oxfordshire, UK: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

[Spain] Hispania (612K) From A Classical Atlas of Ancient Geography by Alexander G. Findlay. New York: Harper and Brothers 1849.

Spain, 910-1492 (832K) Spain in 910. Spain in 1037. Spain in 1150. Spain 1212-1492. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1926.

Spanish Kingdoms Circa 980 A.D. - 1556 A.D. (8 Maps) From the Atlas to Freeman's Historical Geography, Edited by J.B. Bury, Longmans Green and Co. Third Edition 1903.

Spain and Portugal 1917 (855K) From The New Encyclopedic Atlas & Gazetteer of the World, Edited & Revised by Frances J. Reynolds.

Spain and Portugal (833K) From Putnam's Handy Volume Atlas of the World. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York and London, 1921.

South East Europe Circa 900 A.D. - 1888 A.D. (16 Maps) From the Atlas to Freeman's Historical Geography, Edited by J.B. Bury, Longmans Green and Co. Third Edition 1903.

Sweden about 1658 (387K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

The Swiss Confederation, 1291-1513 (710K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Thames River 1882 (982K) "River Thames with the Docks from Woolwich to the Tower" from A Dictionary Practical, Theoretical, and Historical of Commerce and Commercial Navigation by J.R. M'Culloch. Longmans, Green and Co. London, 1882.

Torino [Turin] 1913 (765K) From Baedeker's Northern Italy Handbook For Travellers by Karl Baedeker, Fourteenth Remodelled Edition 1913.

Treaty Adjustments, 1814,1815 (516K) Inset: Fortresses along the French Frontier. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Treaty of the Pyrenees 1659 (194K) Treaty Adjustments, 1648-1660. Treaty of Pyrenees, 1659 Peace of Roeskilde-Oliva, 1658,1660. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Treaty of Westphalia 1648 (258K) Treaty Adjustments, 1648-1660. Treaty of Westphalia 1648. From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Vicinity of Troy. The Shores of the Propontis. Plan of Olympia (240K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1911.

Venetian Republic (619K) "Carte des Etats de la Republique de Venise" from Histoire de la Republique de Venise by P. Daru. Chez Firmin Didot, 1819.

Venetian Republic (575K) "Carte de L'Ancienne Venetie" from Histoire de la Republique de Venise by P. Daru. Chez Firmin Didot, 1819.

Venetian Republic (404K) "Carte des Provinces de Terre Ferme de la Republique de Venise" from Histoire de la Republique de Venise by P. Daru. Chez Firmin Didot, 1819.

Venezia [Venice] 1913 (808K) From Baedeker's Northern Italy Handbook For Travellers by Karl Baedeker, Fourteenth Remodelled Edition 1913.

Verona 1913 (612K) From Baedeker's Northern Italy Handbook For Travellers by Karl Baedeker, Fourteenth Remodelled Edition 1913.

Vienna 1858 (1.74MB) From A Handbook for Travellers in Southern Germany, Eighth Edition. London: John Murray. 1858.

Waterloo, Battle Plan (581K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

Waterloo Campaign, June 16-18, 1815 (516K) From The Historical Atlas by William R. Shepherd, 1923.

War in Maps, 1939-1940 Selected maps from "The War in Maps", Edited by Giselher Wirsing, New York, German Library of Information, 1941.

Western Empire Circa 843 A.D. - 887 A.D. (3 Maps) From the Atlas to Freeman's Historical Geography, Edited by J.B. Bury, Longmans Green and Co. Third Edition 1903.

World War I - Summary of Operations in the World War - Maps (92 Maps) American Battle Monuments Commission, 1944

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The Fertile Crescent is the boomerang-shaped region of the Middle East that was home to some of the earliest human civilizations. Also known as the “Cradle of Civilization,” this area was the birthplace of a number of technological innovations, including writing, the wheel, . read more

It’s often said that winners dictate history. Not so for the medieval holy wars called the Crusades. Muslim forces ultimately expelled the European Christians who invaded the eastern Mediterranean repeatedly in the 12th and 13th centuries—and thwarted their effort to regain . read more


Eastern Mediterranean summer temperatures since 730 CE from Mt. Smolikas tree-ring densities

The Mediterranean has been identified as particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet a high-resolution temperature reconstruction extending back into the Medieval Warm Period is still lacking. Here we present such a record from a high-elevation site on Mt. Smolikas in northern Greece, where some of Europe’s oldest trees provide evidence of warm season temperature variability back to 730 CE. The reconstruction is derived from 192 annually resolved, latewood density series from ancient living and relict Pinus heldreichii trees calibrating at r1911–2015 = 0.73 against regional July–September (JAS) temperatures. Although the recent 1985–2014 period was the warmest 30-year interval (JAS Twrt.1961–1990 = + 0.71 °C) since the eleventh century, temperatures during the ninth to tenth centuries were even warmer, including the warmest reconstructed 30-year period from 876–905 (+ 0.78 °C). These differences between warm periods are statistically insignificant though. Several distinct cold episodes punctuate the Little Ice Age, albeit the coldest 30-year period is centered during high medieval times from 997–1026 (− 1.63 °C). Comparison with reconstructions from the Alps and Scandinavia shows that a similar cold episode occurred in central Europe but was absent at northern latitudes. The reconstructions also reveal different millennial-scale temperature trends (NEur = − 0.73 °C/1000 years, CEur = − 0.13 °C, SEur = + 0.23 °C) potentially triggered by latitudinal changes in summer insolation due to orbital forcing. These features, the opposing millennial-scale temperature trends and the medieval multi-decadal cooling recorded in Central Europe and the Mediterranean, are not well captured in state-of-the-art climate model simulations.

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Conflicts with Christianity.

During the first several centuries of Muslim control over the Holy Land, Christian pilgrims were able to visit the sacred sites with relative freedom. Their overland route usually took them across southeastern Europe, through Hungarian territory, Greece, Anatolia (Turkey), and Syria. Those who traveled by sea landed in Egypt or directly in Palestine. The growing threat of the Muslim presence on the border of the Byzantine (Eastern Christian) Empire and the loss of Byzantine control over the Holy Land served as a pretext for the Christians initiating the Crusades, which were in part due to religious ideological differences (Pope Urban II characterized the First Crusade as the will of God), but not completely driven by a desire to eradicate Islam. The factor most likely responsible for the early successes of the Christian invasions of the Holy Land was the internal disorder among the various Muslim dynasties, several of which were on the brink of controlling the area. Since the concept of the "Crusades" is something that developed from a European mindset, Muslims did not write their history about the wars for the Holy Land in the same way as Christians. These conflicts are more or less seen as any other wars with an invading enemy (most particularly in this case the French or "Franks"). The idea of jihad, struggling or fighting to maintain excellence (or striving for an ideal society in which Islam might flourish), is present almost from the beginning of Muslim thought, but not in terms of physical battle as much as a spiritual and a collective duty expected of all Muslims. Emphasis was upon the "greater jihad," that is the struggle within oneself. The "lesser jihad" was connected to the idea of the physical struggles on the path to God. Endeavors connected to the "lesser jihad," such as mission effort, good works, building mosques, even ideas such as physically overcoming the enemies of the faith, would not become significant to Muslim theology and ideology until the twelfth century. Those who lived in the part of the Islamic world that was spreading the faith were, for example, linked to the ongoing missionary activity in the Dar al-harb (the abode of conquest or expansion). Throughout its early history, Islam did carry out large-scale military conquest, but the term jihad as specifically connected to holy war only began to appear much later, at the time of the Second Crusade (1146–1148), in response to the Christian military threats.


Middle East Map

Note: The Middle East is a loosely defined geographic region the countries listed are generally considered part of the Middle East. These Middle East countries are part of the Asian continent, with the exception of Egypt, which is part of Africa, and the northwestern part of Turkey (colored orange), which is part of the European landmass.

"The Middle East" is a term traditionally applied by western Europeans to the countries of SW Asia and NE Africa lying W of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Thus defined it includes Cyprus, the Asian part of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan, Iraq, Iran, the countries of the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait), and Egypt and Libya. The area was viewed as midway between Europe and East Asia (traditionally called theFar East). The term is sometimes used in a cultural sense to mean the group of lands in that part of the world predominantly Islamic in culture, thus including the remaining states of N Africa as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the 20th cent. the Middle East has been the scene of political turmoil and major warfare, including World War I, World War II, theArab-Israeli Wars, theIran-Iraq Warand thePersian Gulf Wars.


Climate in the eastern Mediterranean, and adjacent regions, during the past 6000 years – A review

The eastern Mediterranean, with its long archaeological and historical records, provides a unique opportunity to study human responses to climate variability. We review paleoclimate data and reconstructions from the region with a focus on the last 6000 years. We aim to provide an up-to-date source of information on climate variability and to outline present limitations and future opportunities. The review work is threefold: (1) literature review, (2) spatial and temporal analysis of proxy records, and (3) statistical estimation of uncertainties in present paleoclimate reconstructions (temperature, °C). On a regional scale the review reveals a wetter situation from 6000 to 5400 yrs BP (note: all ages in this paper are in calibrated years before present (i.e. before 1950), abbreviated yrs BP, unless otherwise stated). This is followed by a less wet period leading up to one of fully-developed aridity from c. 4600 yrs BP. There is a need for more high-resolution paleoclimate records, in order to (i) better understand regional patterns and trends versus local climate variability and to (ii) fill the gap of data from some regions, such as the Near East, Greece and Egypt. Further, we evaluate the regional occurrence of a proposed widespread climate event at 4200 yrs BP. This proposed climate anomaly has been used to explain profound changes in human societies at different locations in the region around this time. We suggest that although aridity was widespread around 4200 yrs BP in the eastern Mediterranean region, there is not enough evidence to support the notion of a climate event with rapidly drying conditions in this region.

Highlights

► A compilation of ∼200 papers provides the current knowledge of the climate history. ► Widespread aridity developed from around 4600 yrs BP in the E Mediterranean. ► Data do not support a rapid climate event around 4200 yrs BP in the E Mediterranean. ► Our review highlights the need to improve paleoclimate reconstructions in the region.


Map of Eastern Mediterranean in 1450 CE - History

A Quick Guide to the World History of Globalization Resource Links . Key Concepts . Vinnie's online reading

The many meanings of the word "globalization" have accumulated very rapidly, and recently, and the verb, "globalize" is first attested by the Merriam Webster Dictionary in 1944. In considering the history of globalization, some authors focus on events since 1492, but most scholars and theorists concentrate on the much more recent past.

But long before 1492, people began to link together disparate locations on the globe into extensive systems of communication, migration, and interconnections. This formation of systems of interaction between the global and the local has been a central driving force in world history. [for very, very long-term world system history, see Andre Gunder Frank and especially "the five thousand year world system: an interdisciplinary introduction," by Andre Gunder Frank and Barry K. Gills.]

Q: what is global? A: the expansive interconnectivity of localities -- spanning local sites of everyday social, economic, cultural, and political life -- a phenonmenon but also an spatial attribute -- so a global space or geography is a domain of connectivity spanning distances and linking localities to one another, which can be portrayed on maps by lines indicating routes of movement, migration, translation, communication, exchange, etc.
Q: what is globalization? A: the physical expansion of the geographical domain of the global -- that is, the increase in the scale and volume of global flows -- and the increasing impact of global forces of all kinds on local life. Moments and forces of expansion mark the major turning points and landmarks in the history of globalization

1. c.325 BCE: Chandragupta Maurya becomes a Buddhist and combines the expansive powers of a world religion, trade economy, and imperial armies for the first time. Alexander the Great sues for peace with Chandragupta in 325 at Gerosia, marking the eastward link among overland routes between the Mediterranean, Persia, India, and Central Asia.

2. c.1st centuries CE: the expansion of Buddhism in Asia -- makes its first major appearance in China under the Han dynasty, and consolidates cultural links across the Eurasian Steppe into India -- the foundation of the silk road.

3. 650-850: the expansion of Islam from the western Mediterranean to India

4. 960-1279: the Song Dynasty in China (and contemporary regimes in India) which produced the economic output, instruments (financial), technologies, and impetus for the medieval world economy that linked Europe and China by land and sea across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean.

5. 1100: The Rise of Genghis Khan and the integration of overland routes across Eurasia -- producing also a military revolution in technologies of war on horseback and of fighting from military fortifications.

6. 1300: the creation of the Ottoman Empire spanning Europe, North Africa, and Middle East, and connected politically overland with Safavids and dynasties in Central Asia and India -- creating the great imperial arch of integration that spawned a huge expansion of trade with Europe but ALSO raised the cost for trade in Asia for Europeans ---

a side effect of this was the movement of Genoese merchant wealth to Spain to search for a Western Sea route to the Indies

7. 1492 and 1498: Columbus and da Gama travel west and east to the Indies, inaugurating an age of European seaborne empires.

8. 1650: the expansion of the slave trade expanded was dramatic during the seventeenth century -- and it sustained the expansion of Atlantic Economy, giving birth to integrated economic/industrial systems across the Ocean -- with profits accumulating in Europe during the hey day of mercantalism and rise of the Englightenment. (estimates of slave trade population)

9. 1776/1789: US and French Revolutions mark the creation of modern state form based on alliances between military and business interests and on popular representation in aggressively nationalist governments -- which leads quickly to new imperial expansion under Napolean and in the Americas -- the economic interests of "the people" and the drive to acquire and consolidate assets for economic growth also lead to more militarized British, Dutch, and French imperial growth in Asia. These national empires expand during the industrial revolution, which also provokes class struggles and new ideas and movements of revolution within the national states and subsequently in their empires as well. The historical chronology of modernity coincides with the chronology of globalization from the eighteenth century.

10. 1885: Treaties of Berlin mark a diplomatic watershed in the age modern imperial expansion by European and American overseas empires, beginning the age of "high imperialism" with the legalization of the Partition of Africa, which also marks a foundation-point for the creation of international law. In the last decades of the 19th century, the global "white man's burden" became a subject of discussion. (Here is an old syllabus for an undergraduate course on "US Empire" with some useful links.)

11. 1929: the great depression hits all parts of the world at the same time -- in contrast to depression of late 19th century, but following rapid, simultaneous price rise in most of the world during the 1920s. Preceded by first event called World War and followed by first really global war across Atlantic and Pacific.

12. 1950: decolonization of European empires in Asia and Africa produces world of national states for the first time and world of legal-representative-economic institutions in the UN system and Bretton Woods.

--- perhaps 1989 and the end of the cold war and globalization of post-industrial capitalism which appears to be eroding the power of the national states is on a par with the watershed of the 1950s -- we'll see , Part II


Part II: globalization since the fourteenth century


1. The Segmented Trading World of Eurasia, circa 1350

By 1350, networks of trade which involved frequent movements of people, animals, goods, money, and micro-organisms ran from England to China, running down through France and Italy across the Mediterranean to the Levant and Egypt, and then over land across Central Asia (the Silk Road) and along sea lanes down the Red Sea, across the Indian Ocean, and through the Straits of Malacca to the China coast.

The Mongols had done the most to create a political framework for the overland network as attested by both Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo. The spread of Muslim trading communities from port to port along the littorals of the Indian Ocean created a world of sea trade there analogous to the world of land routes in Central Asia.

This was a world of commodities trades in which specialized groups of merchants concentrated their energies on bringing commodities from one port to another, and rarely did any single merchant network organize movements of goods across more than a few segments of the system. For instance, few Europeans ventured out of the European parts of the system and the most intense connections were among traders in the Arabian Sea or the Bay of Bengal or the South China Sea regions of the oceanic system.

The novelty of the physical integration of the trading system is indicated by the spread of the Black Death in Europe -- which was repeated in waves from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries -- because the plague traveled from inland Mongolia and China to Europe by land and sea, lurking in rodents that stowed away on ships, feeding on their food supplies. The epidemics in Europe indicated a relative lack of exposure to the plague bacillus before then -- and though some outbreaks are indicated along the coast and in China at the same time, it appears that plague was endemic to the Asian parts of the system.

The parts of the system depended upon one another and with increasing frequency travelers record movements across the whole system are recorded from 1300 onward, as by Ibn Battuta, Marco Polo, and others. Janet Abu Lughod argues plausibly that the so-called "rise of Europe" after 1500 followed a mysterious period of decline in the Chinese part of the system, and that in the 1300s, it was actually the vast expansion in production in China that was most responsible for the integration of the trading system -- because all roads led to China in the medieval trading world. The expansion of the Chinese economy in this period is well documented and included agriculture and industry -- and the Mongol regime in China was significant force in tying China into the world economy more forcefully.

Coercion and state power was critical in producing stable sites of trade and accumulation along routes of exchange and in protecting travelers on the long overland routes between sites. There does not seem to have been any significant military power at sea.

Exchange within the various regional parts of the system was connected by networks of trade to commercial activity within trade and power relations in other parts -- in a segmented system of connections, like pearls on a string -- and observers made it very clear that states took a keen interest in promoting and protecting trade, even as rulers also used force to extort revenues and coerce production here and there.

In South Asia, it should be noted, the Delhi Sultanate and Deccan states provided a system of power that connected the inland trading routes of Central Asia with the coastal towns of Bengal and the peninsula and thus to Indian Ocean trade for the first time.

Ibn Battuta as much as the Khaljis and Tughlaqs represent the nature of the agrarian environment in the fourteenth century, and though warriors did use force to collect taxes, there was also substantial commercial activity in farming communities over and above what would have been necessary to pay taxes. Agrarian commercialism inside regions of trading activity clearly supported increasing manufacturing and commercial activity -- and also a growth spurt in the rise of urbanization.

Ibn Battuta (1350) -- like Abu-l Fazl (1590) and Hamilton Buchanan (1800) -- viewed his world in commercial terms, and standing outside the state, he does not indicate that coercion was needed to generate agrarian commodities. At each stop in his journey, he observed everyday commercialism. "Bangala is a vast country, abounding in rice," he says, "and nowhere in the world have I seen any land where prices are lower than there." In Turkestan, "the horses . are very numerous and the price of them is negligible." He was pleased to see commercial security, as he did during eight months trekking from Goa to Quilon. "I have never seen a safer road than this," he wrote, "for they put to death anyone who steals a single nut, and if any fruit falls no one picks it up but the owner." He also noted that "most of the merchants from Fars and Yemen disembark" at Mangalore, where "pepper and ginger are exceedingly abundant." In 1357, John of Marignola, an emissary to China from Pope Benedict XII, also stopped at Quilon, which he described it as "the most famous city in the whole of India, where all the pepper in the world grows."1


2. The European Seaborne Empires, 1500-1750

a. Phase One: the militarization of the sea, 1500-1600

Vasco da Gama rounded Africa in 1498 and forced rulers in the ports in the Indian Ocean system to pay tribute and to allow settlements of Portuguese military seamen who engaged in trade, supported conversion, acquired local lands, and established a loose network of imperial authority over the sea lanes, taxing ships in transit in return for protection. The militarization of the sea lanes produced a competition for access to ports and for routes of safe transit that certainly did not reduce the overall volume of trade or the diversity of trading communities -- but it did channel more wealth into the hands of armed European competitors for control of the sea. The Indian Ocean became more like Central Asia in that all routes and sites became militarized as European competition accelerated over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as the Portuguese were joined by the Dutch, French, and British.

b. Phase Two: early modern world economy, 1600-1800

The commodities trades continued as before well into the seventeenth century, concentrating on local products from each region of the Eurasian system -- Chinese silk and porcelain, Sumatra spices, Malabar cinnamon and pepper, etc. -- but by the 1600s, the long distance trade was more deeply entrenched in the production process. An expansion of commercial production and commodities trades was supported by the arrival into Asia of precious metals from the New World, which came both from the East and West (the Atlantic and Pacific routes -- via Palestine and Iran, and also the Philippines and China).

Like the plague in the 1300s, new arrivals in Europe after 1500 signal the rise of a new kind of global system. In medieval Europe, there was no cotton cloth, and no cotton cloth was produced for export anywhere except in the coastal regions of the Indian Ocean. Europeans began not only to buy this cloth for export to Europe, but to commission cloth of specific types for specific markets, and to take loans from local bankers and engage in commodities trades within the Indian Ocean system so as to raise the value of the merchant capital that they could re-export to Europe.

By 1700, European capital invested in trading companies traveled regularly to Asia on ships insured and protected by European companies and governments, in order to secure goods produced on commission for sale and resale within Asian markets, with the goal of returning to Europe with cargo of sufficient value to generate substantial profits for investors. Circuits of capital thus moved along trade routes, across militarized sea lanes, and organized production of cloth for export in Asia. This Eurasian extension of the circuits of merchant capital did not only emanate from Europe it also included large expansions within Asia itself, not only among the merchants and bankers who financed the regional trade and facilitated European exports, but also along financiers who provided state revenues in the form of taxation. The connections between state revenue collection and commodities trades became very complex and the Europeans were surrounded by Asian "portfolio capitalists" (as they have been dubbed by Sanjay Subrahmanyam and Chris Bayly) who operated both in the so-called private and state sectors.

By 1700, also, competing European powers also controlled the Atlantic Economy and like cotton from Asia, sugar and tobacco from the Americas arrived in Europe as commodities within circuits of world capital accumulation (see Samir Amin, Accumulation on a World Scale ). The role of primitive accumulation was much greater in the Atlantic System, including the capture of native lands in the Americas, forced labor in the silver mines of Peru, the purchase of slaves captured in wars along the African coast, the forced transportation of slaves to the Americas, and the construction of the slave plantation economy in coastal Americas. The volume of the slave trade peaked around 1750.

By 1800, the Atlantic and Indian Ocean systems were connected to one another via the flow of currencies and commodities and by the operations of the British, French, and Dutch overseas companies -- all being controlled, owned, or "chartered" by their respective states. The 17-18th centuries were the age of mercantilism , in which state power depended directly on the sponsoring and control of merchant capital, and merchant capital expanded under the direct protection and subsidy of the state treasury. It has been argued that the expansion of "portfolio capitalists" in the Indian ocean reflected a similar kind of mercantilist trend in Asia during the eighteenth century.

Ottoman, Safavid, Mughal, and Ch'ing empires provided an overland system of economic integration and interconnection that was more expansive than any before. Asian capital, coercive power, and productive energies were dominant in determining economic trends in the Asian parts of the world economy. European activity has long received the bulk of the attention by historians concerned with the integration of the early modern world economy, but from Istanbul to Samarkhand, Cochin, Dhaka, Malacca, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo, they were not the most prominent players in most of the major sites of economic and political activity until the later nineteenth century. Europeans were dominant only in the Atlantic System in the early eighteenth century -- the hemispheres of the world economy remained, in this respect, very different.

3. The World Empires of Industrial Capitalism, 1750-1950.

a. Phase One: the formation of national economies

Basic eighteenth century economic conditions continued well into the nineteenth century, until the railway and steam ship began lower transportation costs significantly, and to create new circuits of capital accumulation that focused on sites of industrial production in Europe and the US. But important structural changes in the world economy began in the later decades of the eighteenth century.

First, European imperial control of the Americas was broken, first in the north and then the south. This accelerated the rise of capital and capitalists as a force in the reorganization of nationally defined states, whose professes purpose was the political representation of the interests of their constituent property owners and entrepreneurs. The independence movements in the Americas and revolutions in Haiti and France produced new kinds of national territoriality within the world economy, and states that strove for greater control of resources within their boundaries than any before. Adam Smith and Frederick Hegel were two important theorists of this transitional period -- both of whom took a universal few of national issues, and theorized a great transformation away from an age of kings and emperors toward an age ruled by peoples and nations.

Second, European imperial expansion shifted into Asia, where the use of military power by European national states for the protection of their national interests became a new force in the process of capital accumulation. Chartered companies were criticized by Adam Smith as a state-supported monopoly -- for the English East India Company had a monopoly on the sale of all commodities imported into England from the "East Indies," which included all the land east of Lebanon -- and this early version of the multi-national corporation expanded its power base in India with government support but without official permission. The British empire expanded without official policy sanction throughout most of the nineteenth century, as British troops went in simply to protect the operations of British nationals operating as merchants overseas.

The national state thus became both a mechanism for the control of territory within its own borders and for the expansion of national enterprise around the world. The US expanded over land and into Latin America by the expansion of the enterprise of its citizens and expansion of its military power, as the British empire expanded into Asia and then Africa -- along with the French and Dutch. In the discourse of nationalism, the "nation" and "empire" lived in their opposition to one another but "economic imperialism" was standard practice for economically expansive nation states, and "gun boat diplomacy" became a typical feature of economic transactions among hostile states.

The 1840s form a watershed in the institutionalization of a world regime of national expansion and international economic organization -- when the British navy forced open the interior of China to British merchant settlements with military victories waged during the Opium Wars to protect the right of British merchants to trade in opium in China and when the US Admiral Perry forced the Japanese to open their ports to American trade.

b. Phase Two: world circuits of industrial capital

The integration of separate, specialized world regions of agricultural and industrial production within a world economy of capital accumulation occurred during the nineteenth century. The industrial technologies of the factory, railway, telegraph, gattling gun, and steam ship facilitated this development but as important were the organizational technologies of modernity, which include state bureaucracy, land surveys, census operations, government statistics, national legal systems, and the like. The result was not only the creation of regions of the world with their own distinctive economic specializations, integrated into one world system of production but also the construction of a single world of rules and regulations for the operation of the system. This change did not happen over night, but it was clearly moving ahead at the start of the nineteenth century and well advanced by the end.

Institutional markers: (1) the abolition of the slave trade and (2) the rise of international protocols for the operation of national competition at a world scale, culminating in the treaties of Berlin that organized the partition of Africa in the 1880s.

Market indicators: (1) the South Sea Bubble and the crashes of the 1820s and 1830s, (2) the depression of 1880-1900 and its impact on Africa.

Regional Cases: (1) the US South, (2) the world cotton economy, (3) jute in Bengal.


According to later Arab writers, Nubia (along the Upper Nile) going into the 600s was "thickly populated with small agricultural villages." There were date palms, vineyards on the northern flood plain, cereals were cultivated farther south and throughout the region cattle were grazed. The historian Kevin Shillington writes,

It is clear that along the upper Nile there flourished a distinct Nubian Christian civilization that long outlived the seventh-century Arab invasion of Egypt . note40

The Nubians lived for long periods in peace and cooperation with Egypt, including returning to Egypt runaway slaves. They traded with Egypt, and some genetic diffusion with the Egyptians occurred. Between the ninth and twelfth centuries, Nubia became more Arabic and more Muslim. And blacks from Nubia filled the ranks of Egypt's military.

Egypt was ruled by Shia caliphs, the Fatimids, followed by the turmoil of the Christian crusades and rule by the Sunni hero Saladin and his heirs. In 1172 Christian Nubia joined Europe's Crusaders against by the Muslims. Saladin's army successfully counterattacked. Wikipedia describes Saladin and his heirs (the Ayyubids) dealing very aggressively with the Bedouin tribes of the nearby deserts, forcing them south into conflict with the Nubians. It describes the Bedouins as a destructive force.

In 1250 the Mameluks replaced Saladin's dynasty in Egypt, and the more aggressive Mameluks sent their armies into Nubia, diminishing Nubian populations and taking slaves. Nubia had split into two kingdoms, Makuria and Alwa. The last Christian king in Nubia, in Makuria, was defeated between 1312 and 1317. The Mameluks forced conversions. The Dongola cathedral was converted to a mosque.

In the 1400s, Muslim pastoralists penetrated farther south and westward toward Darfur. They intermarried with local Nubians and became "Africanized." By 1500 little Christianity was left in what had been Nubia.

Christianity and Islam in Ethiopia

In the 700s and 800s, Arab traders looking for opportunity moved southward into coastal towns such as Mogadishu, Merca and Brava. They participated in trade that traversed the Indian Ocean. Intermarriages with local blacks occurred. Arab tradesmen made themselves dominant in the region, and a few Arabs migrated along the coast, to the island of Pemba, which became partly Muslim by the 900s.

Since the 900s, people in and around the Ethiopian highlands had been benefiting from trade with port cities such as Adulis on the Red Sea, Zeila and Berbera on the Gulf of Aden, and Mogadishu, Merca and Brava on the shore of the Indian Ocean. Inland were Muslim and Christian communities, often neighboring each other. The Muslims had a strong sense of community and generally participated more in trade than the Christians. Trade was largely in Muslim hands. The Christians were under various chiefdoms. Many were farmers, and a few were prosperous and had slaves.

In the area was also a Jewish community, the Falashas, who spoke Ge'ez and knew no Hebrew. They were unfamiliar with the Talmuds that had been produced in West Asia, but they claimed to be descended from the ten tribes banished from Israel.

Around the year 1270, at Amhara, in the northern highlands of Ethiopia, a new Christian dynasty, the Solomonids, was founded by Yikunno-Amlak, a conqueror described as a king of kings – in other words an emperor. His dynasty was believed to be a continuation of the Christian kingdom that had been in Aksum centuries before. Yikunno-Amlak was to be described as descended from Solomon's son, Manelik and the Queen of Sheba. His Christian subjects believed that they were God's chosen people, that they were maintaining purity in Christian belief, and that they were members of a second Israel.

The Solomonids addressed the problem of monarchical succession by putting Yikunno-Amlak's male descendants in a mountain retreat guarded by several hundred warriors. There Yikunno-Amlak's descendants remained in isolation, studied their faith, wrote poetry and composed sacred music as they awaited selection as heir to the throne.

It was under Yikunno-Amlak's grandson Amda Seyon (1314-44) that the Solomonids gained military dominance in Ethiopia &ndash Solomonid rule stretching from Adulis in the north to Bali in the south. The success of Christians against Muslims in Ethiopia did not sit well with the Muslims of Egypt. In Ethiopia, Amda-Seyon became concerned about retributions against his fellow Christians in Egypt. He demanded freedom of worship and other civil rights for Christians in Egypt, and he was prepared to fight Egypt and to ally himself with Christian Europe to end Muslim supremacy in West Asia, but no such war took place. The Mameluks of Egypt remained interested primarily in events in the eastern Mediterranean. Christians in Egypt were becoming more outnumbered by Muslims, and this would continue into the 1400s, with the Muslim majority increasingly blaming Christians and other minorities for their troubles.

In the 1400s the power of the Solomonids in Ethiopia declined as various Muslim communities rebelled against it. Under the king Beide-Maryan (1468-78), the Solomonids suffered their first serious military defeat. And after 1478 the Solomonids were weakened by a conflict over succession &ndash their attempt to solve the problem of succession having failed. War between two Solomonid princes continued for several years. The Solomonid Empire went the way of other empires. Muslims took advantage of Solomonid weakness, declared a holy war, and the Solomonid Empire disintegrated in military weakness. A Solomonid king remained, a local king rather than a king of kings, but emperor in name just the same. The Solomonids would rise again, the last of them to be Haile Selassie in the 20th century.

Southeastern Africa

Below Mogadishu, Merca and Brava, Africa remained predominately black. There were hunters, fishermen, growers of sorghum, millet, rice, cucumbers, coconuts, sugar and bananas, and some were raising cattle. Some hunter-gatherers integrated with the cattle herders or agriculturists, into societies ruled by kings who believed or claimed to be divine, but they feared assassination if they became too oppressive.

Inland, about 180 miles from the eastern coast, on a plateau sparse in trees, was Zimbabwe, where Bantu speakers had been living sometime between the 5th and 10th centuries &ndash the Bantu speaking people having replaced the Sa (Bushmen) whom they had driven into the desert. The Bantu speakers had come in two waves, the last wave being a pastoral and agricultural people who built the stone structures that were to be known in the 20th century as the ruins of Zimbabwe, the oldest of which dated from the 700s.

Gold that was mined near Zimbabwe was taken to trading towns along the coast. So too were leopard skins, rhinoceros horn, ambergris, slaves and ivory &ndash the ivory of the African elephant more in demand than the harder ivory of the Indian elephant. Joining this trade was iron taken from deposits around the towns of Mombasa and Malindi. Traders on the eastern coast of Africa, many of them blacks, profited from a rise in trade with Asia, and from India the Africans imported silks, cottons and glassware.

From the 1100s, Arabs began arriving in greater number in this coastal area. In the 1200s Mombasa became staunchly Muslim, and a Muslim dynasty was established at Kilwa. By the mid-1200s, Kilwa controlled the trade from Sofala to its south, Sofala being a point of departure for gold from inland.

Meanwhile, economic activity in Zimbabwe was predominantly cattle raising, while the wealth of its king grew from trade in gold. With his wealth the king was able to maintain a powerful army and to extend his authority across a number of principalities &ndash a hundred miles to the west and to the Indian Ocean in the east. During the 1300s and into the 1400s Zimbabwe was the richest state on Africa's eastern coast, but it was also declining: Zimbabwe was losing its timber. Its lands were overgrazed and farmlands were eroding. Zimbabwe declined as a power, and it was abandoned around 1450. Successor states arose: Torwa to its west, Changamire just to its north, and Mutapa on the Zambezi River. Mutapa's economy was also based on cattle and wealth from the gold trade, and Mutapa expanded locally by military conquest.

Toward the end of the 1400s, Kilwa's preeminence on the east coast was fading in the usual manner: dynastic struggles sapped its strength. Kilwa was losing the trade in gold from Sofala to Mutapa.

Mutapa's gold trading attracted the Portuguese, who had begun sailing along Africa's eastern coast. Trade between Africans and Europeans was on the rise, in slaves as well as gold.

UNESCO, General History of Africa, Vol. V, (16th to 18th Century), edited by BA Ogot, 1992


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