Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Today In History: East is East and West is West...

...and on each other the twain shall beat.

On this date, August the 12th, in...

1099: The forces of the First Crusade, commanded by Godfrey of Bouillon, handed a stomping to the Islamic Fatimid army at Ascalon, bringing the First Crusade to a successful conclusion. The sequels usually didn't have such happy endings.

1121: Orthodox Georgian forces routed the Seljuk Turks at the Battle of Didgori.

1164: Nur ad-Din led his Islamic troops to a shattering defeat of the Crusader states of Tripoli and Antioch at Harim in Turkey, while the bulk of the other Crusader troops were off meddling in Egyptian affairs.

1480: In the wake of the capture of the fortress of Otranto, Ottoman Turks behead 800 captives for refusing to convert to Islam.

1499: The indecisive opening acts of the naval battle of First Lepanto, which ended as a Turkish victory over Catholic Venice some two weeks later. (Second Lepanto was also a Turkish victory, but both are largely forgotten in the West in favor of THE Battle of Lepanto some 71 years later, where the Ottomans got their Hummus spread by the Venetians.)

1687: Habsburg forces under Charles of Lorraine annihilate the Ottoman Mussulmen at Second Mohacs, marking the beginning of the end for Turkish dreams in Europe.


Given the history of the date, it makes you wonder what's shakin' over in that part of the world today...

8 comments:

Earl said...

Must be the alignment of the planets and the stars, or it is all part of unfinished business.

Zendo Deb said...

If you haven't, you might want to read "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis. (It is a fairly humorous time-travel story, though you might want to read "Doomsday Book" first - definitely not humorous.)

One of the things it covers is the importance of certain dates.

And it is a good read.

Legman688 said...

Minor bone of contention, the last battle of Lepanto was as much a Spanish shindig as anything, with a considerable assist from Don Juan of Austria, one of the more underrated and unfairly overlooked genius generals in Western history.

Brandon said...

What's happening in that part of the world today? The Russians are flipping bombs and sporting about in tanks all over Georgia in their latest attempt to recapture the glory of the Soviet Union (and all its old territory, of course).

Not exactly East meets West, but it's all I got.

DirtCrashr said...

Why did Constantinople get the works?
;-)

Cossack in a Kilt said...

Tam:

Umm, we are all aware that Mikhail Saakashvili explicitly models his tenure as president on David IV? The Builder?

Right, folks, it's all a coincidence, nothing to see here, keep moving.

Peace! (And check six.)

Regolith said...

Why did Constantinople get the works?

That's nobody's business but the Turks.

Joseph said...

Was Godfrey of Bouillon followed by subsequent commanders from Chicken Noodle or Split Pea?