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October, 2012

A painting by the Estonian artist Amandus Adamson depicting Vlad III, the Impaler of  ‪Wallachia in modern day Romania receiving an Ottoman envoy.  Vlad the Impaler born in Transylvania, Romania who’s personality later inspired the creation of Count Dracula the vampire, is seen here arguing with the envoy sent by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II requesting him to pay the state’s annual tax to the Ottomans.

Vlad III refused and executed the messengers of Mehmed II by nailing their turbans to their heads since they refused to take them off in his presence.  Vlad III was known for his cruelty towards his own people and opponents, he dinned while watching executions and often executed his enemies in a cruel, slow and inhumane manner; and that’s how the legend of Count Dracula eventually developed.

After a series of internal unrest the Ottomans assassinated him, presumably in 1476.

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A sketched illustration by Rembrandt Harmensz, depicting the renowned Muslim Historian and Philosopher Ibn Khaldun (lifetime: 1332 – 1406) pleading with Tamerlane the Mongolian ruler (reign: 1370 – 1450) to hault any possible attacks targeting the city and people of Damascus after the Mamluks retreated from the city upon the arrival of the Mongols.  Tamerlane did not head to Ibn Khaldun’s advice and destroyed the city.

He later marched to Turkey where he confronted and defeated the Ottomans who sheltered previous rulers who Tamerlane wanted.  The battle of Ankara resulted in the fall of Sultan Bayezid in captivity and the re-establishment of the Baylik States in Asia Minor thus resulting in the first and only Ottoman Civil War.  No other medieval ruler is despised by medieval and modern Arab Muslim historians like Tamerlane.

The sketch is found today at the Louvre in France.

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An illustration by the Boucicaut Master (Flemish or French) who’s real name is unknown from the 15th century depicting Mongolia’s Hulaku with the imprisoned last Abbasid Caliph in Baghadad Al-Musta’sim Billah as the Mongols escort him amongst their treasures!

 

Baghdad fell in 1258 to the Mongols following ill advise to the caliph which prompted him not to defend the city at full strength.  The caliph was later placed in a sack and horses trampled over him until he died on 20 February 1258.

 

Arab historians reported numerous massacres committed by the Mongols, including the destruction of the “House of Wisdom” library, which contained priceless books, documents and archives.  The remaining ruling family of the Abbasid dynasty later fled to Egypt under the Mamluks rule, others moved to Bastak south of modern day Iran.

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From the “Book of Games” produced during the reign of King Alfonso X of Castile (1252 – 1284), an illustration depicting a Christian Spaniard playing a game of Chess with a Muslim Moor.  Notice the Arabic sketched letters on the tent, which probably were produced by someone who does not read or write Arabic since the letters sketched together don’t mean a thing.  The “Book of Games” consists of illustrations of various games played during the 13th century.

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Meet General William Tecumseh Sherman, one of the American Union Army’s most relied upon generals during the American Civil War (1861 – 1865).  He led the Union Army in its decisive battles against the Confederates, marching through the states of Georgia and the two Carolinas.  His campaigns were decisive in the Union’s favor as he delivered major blows to the South.  His march through Georgia is remembered in an American civil war / folklore song entitled, “Marching through Georgia.”  The song is sung by many law enforcement bands worldwide, probably without knowing the background of the song.  He later took part in various wars against the Native Americans.  Sherman passed away on 14 February 1891.  The general was known for his toughness and power, from his looks you fear the idea of seeing him in person and looking him in the eyes.

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6 Oct 2012

György Kmety

György Kmety (Ismail Pasha) was a Hungarian military expert who joined the Ottoman army and was known as Ismail Pasha.  He’s pictured here in the series of Roger Fenton’s photographs taken during the Crimean War (1853 – 1856), in what is called as the world’s first modern war.  Kmety led many successful campaigns with the Ottomans and published books documenting his experiences.  He later retired and moved to London where he died in 1865.

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