Monday, July 22, 2019

Iraq and Italy Essay Example for Free

Iraq and Italy Essay Iraq has a long history of wars and invasions. The history of the land and its people goes back to more than 5000 years. Iraq has the worlds richest known archaeological sites. The ancient Mesopotamia and the first civilization appeared in the valleys of Iraq. Immigration of people from other parts of the world and invasions by powerful rulers never provided the stability needed by the country. The West Asia and Middle East region always remained vulnerable to foreign attacks and Iraq was no exception. Historical Background Iraqs geographical locations always made it a soft target for the foreign invaders. The lack of stone in the country had hindered the building of roads. As a result, most parts of Iraq were isolated from the main part of the country. The agricultural potential of its river valleys had attracted waves of ethnically diverse migration. Its true that the influx of people has enriched Iraqi culture. However, it also disrupted the countrys internal balance. The conflicts and wars have been a part of Iraqi history since the very beginning of its establishment. Situation in the Arabian region changed dramatically after Abu Bakr became the fist Caliph in 632 AD after the death of Muhammad. â€Å"The foundation of Islam in Iraq was laid down by Khalid Ibn Al Walid in 634 AD after a conflict with the local tribes. The Arabian conquest opened the beginning of conflicts, wars and invasion in Iraq that continued for centuries† (Lewis, 1997: 71). The most important event in Iraq came in the form of the Mongol invasion in 1250s that changed the landscape of the country to a great extent. The Mongol Invasion Mongol invasion was the most important even occurred in Iraq in the 13th century. â€Å"Genghis Khan was the most powerful ruler of the Mongol empire. Before dying in 1227 AD, he divided the Mongol empire between his four sons. His third son Ogotai was given the charge of the conquered lands of Persia and China. The Abbasid caliph Mustansir managed to foil Mongol invasion several times between 1226 AD and 1242 AD. However, after 1251, Mongols became united and more organized to launch renewed onslaughts on Iraq and Syria† (Simons, 1996: 171). â€Å"In 1257, Mongols led by Hulagu reached Hamadan. Hulagu sent an ultimatum to the caliph Mustasim in Baghdad to surrender before the Mongols. However, Mustasim refused to accede to any such demand and the large Mongol army reached Baghdad on 18 January 1258† (Simons, 1996: 171). The Mongols also began mobilizing the slave prisoners. The massive bombardment by Mongols destroyed the defense system in Baghdad. â€Å"Mongol forces comprised of Engineers who broke the irrigation dykes to flood the city. Many panic-stricken inhabitants were drowned in the flooded water† (Lewis, 1997: 82). Ultimately, Mustasim and his army surrendered before the Mongols. â€Å"The caliphs army was massacred on the plain. The inhabitants of the city were also hacked to death. Then the Mongol soldiers plundered the palaces, mosques and all other establishments in Baghdad. It was estimated that about eight hundred thousands men, women and children were killed in the mayhem. Mustasim and his sons were also killed. The Abbasid caliphate was completely eliminated by the Mongols. Hulagu made a pyramid of the skulls of Iraqs scholars, religious leaders and poets† (Simons, 1996: 172). All the glories of medieval Iraq were reduced to ruins. In the wake of the Mongol invasion, Iraq lost its commercial importance. Baghdad had been a center of trade for a long period. The invasion pushed Baghdad into political chaos and economic depression. The irrigation system of the country was destroyed by the Mongols, which badly hit the agriculture and food production. Iraq after the Mongol Invasion The Mongol invasion put a halt to the construction process undergoing in the country. â€Å"The Mongols applied tribute taxes on the local rulers that were very heavy. Those taxes hindered the economic development of the country for years. According to the account of William of Rubruck, the Franciscan monk, most skilled craftsmen and weavers were taken to Mongolia from Iraq and other parts of the Middle East† (Dawson, 1980: 101). The move had a positive impact on Mongolian economy. However, the craft and textile industry in Iraq were badly affected. Impact on the Islamic Culture The Mongol invasion left the Islamic culture in disarray. The Islamic world never managed to regain its lost glory. The six centuries of Islamic scholarly resources, culture and infrastructure were destroyed as the invaders burned libraries and demolished educational institutions. â€Å"The Mongolian rulers between 1258 and 1335 demolished mosques and built Buddhist temples in their place. At the end of 13th century, Gaykhatu attempted to introduce paper money. That virtually destroyed trade in the region† (Simons, 1996: 172). The Mongol invasion brought one positive result for the Islamic culture. Although the Mongols launched initial onslaughts on Islamic traditions, at a later stage, they adopted the culture into their empire. Islam became an official religion of the Mongolian empire towards the end of Mongol rule in Iraq. The rich culture and tradition of the Islamic world spread to Mongolia and other parts of the world during the Mongol rule. Italy, An Introduction History of Italy revolves around the great Roman civilization that was founded in the 9th century BC. For centuries, Italy has been hailed as the cradle of the Renaissance. It was the birthplace of the most intellectuals and talents of the early modern age. The revolutionary ideas that guided the people in different parts of the world were generated in Italy. Poets, writers and philosophers played an important role in enriching the culture of the country. Italy has produced some of the great personalities like Petrarch, Pico, Boccaccio, Sacchetti, Sercambi, Masuccio, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Italy in the 13th Century AD â€Å"The last great Roman emperor Frederick II clashed with the papacy to popularize his reform process. He represented the Staufen power and his main base was Sicily. His main objective was to restore imperial rights in Italy. The new Pope, Innocent IV, claimed that Rome is unsafe under Frederick II. He summoned a council in Lyons where the emperor was deposed. Frederick died in 1250† (Holme, 1992: 236). Even after the death of Frederick, his son Manfred continued to rule in Sicily and vociferously opposed the papal authority. He led the anti-papal movement in Italy. â€Å"Manfred was killed in the battle of Benevento in 1266. Fredericks grandson, Conradin continued to fight, but he too was killed in the battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268. With his death, the Staufen power in Italy came to an end† (Hyde, 1973: 110). The popes and papal curia have been the main power center in Italy. However, when other European counties established self-government, a similar movement took place in Italy. â€Å"The uprising taken place in 1143 invoked the Senate of Rome. The movement was endorsed by the papacy. In the late 12th Century, Popes won the right to appoint the Senators. They held the economic, political and spiritual power of the country† (Hyde, 1973: 115). The popes were always dependant on others military resources in order to execute their policies. The pope invited the French kings brother Charles to oppose Manfred in southern Italy. That laid the foundation of French-papal alliance that lasted for three generations. Sicily was very significant for the popes from the political perspective. The establishment of a foreign rule resulted in large-scale resentment among people and the political class. â€Å"The bloody revolution of the Sicilian Vespers in 1282 pushed the country into a fresh conflict. The Angevins were champions of the papal cause in Italy. The involvement of the Angevins and the Aragonese in Italys internal affairs was responsible for the immediate provocation for the majority of people† (Holme, 1992: 238). The papacy was the first European power to experience the sharp rise in the cost of warfare in the thirteenth century. Innocent III initiated the administrative reforms and the extension of papal control over the Church. The followers of the pope launched crusades against Christians who opposed the papal. The second half of the 13th century witnessed power struggle for the supremacy of the church. â€Å"When Boniface VIII became the pope after the resignation of Celestine V, he was the twelfth pope to be elected in forty years. Boniface was an Angevin candidate. He demonstrated his desire to fulfill personal and dynastic interests. Boniface launched a crusade against the Colonna family, who were his rivals. He did not maintain good terms with his natural allies and improved the relationship with the French king, Philip the Fair† (Hyde, 1973: 121). â€Å"Boniface VIII endorsed the first Jubilee or Holy Year in 1300. That brought a large number of visitors to the country and generated huge profits. The idea became very popular and Jubilees were held in Rome every 50 years until the end of 15th Century. Then the interval was reduced to 25 years† (Holme, 1992: 239).

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