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History Summarized: Christianity, Judaism, And The Muslim Conquest

Alright everybody…
Today I’m gonna talk about religion. (Stove bursts on fire, sounds of panic) Yeeah, I’m really not making this
easy on myself. If you haven’t seen my
previous three videos- -on Islam, Christianity and Judaism, I highly recommend you
give those a look first; To bask in that sweet delectable
historical context. And then swing back to
this video afterwards. Because I’ll be referencing a lot
of stuff that I- -cover in way more detail
over in those videos. The video that you’re watching right now
is part one of three. This one is about the broad history of the
Abrahamic religions- -insofar as they intermingled up to about
the eleventh century, and part two is all about the crusades. So uh, get hyped for that one, kiddos. Part three will look at developments
in religious philosophy- -during the Middle Ages and beyond, in an attempt to figure out a way
for us to all just get along. But before we get into all those
nice warm fuzzies- -we need to trudge through
several centuries of war; and before we do that we actually need- -another scoop of context to top our
delicious history sundae. So let’s jump in! The Hebrew people are on the scene for a
good millennium or two- -before Christianity rolls around; And it’s not for another six centuries
after them that we get Islam. So there’s some pretty hefty temporal
staggering going on here. In the early days of Christianity- -that is when simply being a Christian
was punishable by death- The Jews weren’t doing so great either, on account of having their second temple
destroyed by the Romans, and an attempted genocide by Hadrian
a century later. Y’know, usual stuff. Christians spent a decent amount of time
hiding from the Romans, and Jews were getting, let’s say,
“aggressively evicted” by the Romans, so uhh… wow, boo Rome. This continues on until Christianity- -becomes the hot new thing
all the emperors are doing. So peer pressure takes its course,
and as we’ve explained before; Christianity gracefully scoots its way
into the driver’s seat of Roman power. Mediterranean Judaism, however, is still
pretty solidly under the Roman heel. Except now, Rome has suddenly
become Jesus-land; so the ruling Christians, by virtue of
assuming the role of stompers-in-chief – – aka Roman emperors – now have an economic incentive to keep- -their oppressed Jewish population
very much oppressed. And as a result, Jews had it pretty rough
in the Mediterranean- -through the fall of the Empire
and even beyond, due to the time-honored
imperial tradition of: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. Fast-forward two-hundred years, and also
jump a few-hundred miles southeast, and Islam, as we’ve also
discussed elsewhere- -began as the religion of one
political entity: The Caliphate, and pretty much stayed that way for
a good few centuries. Now, an empire doesn’t just
come out of thin air; And the rapidly expanding
Rāshidun and Umayyad caliphates- -took their holdings predominantly from
the Persian and Byzantine empires. Those two were so busy with their own
personal little slap fight that- -the Islamic armies barely
had any trouble- -commandeering what is honestly a
cartoonishly huge amount of territory- -in just under a century. Sometimes you just get a little
carried away, y’know? The Caliphate definitely got on a few
European nations’ nerves, but as far as inter-faith religious
conflicts go, things were actually pretty tame. There was a non-negligible amount of
political strife in the early Caliphate- -that mostly stemmed from different
opinions on what- -Muhammad’s line of succession should be; And this later led to the Sunni/Shia divide. But I wouldn’t qualify these conflicts
as religious wars because they were: One, internal in nature, and
two, not motivated by hate. The Muslims had nothing explicitly against- -the Christians, Jews, or Zoroastrians
whom they conquered; and although they would kill you
on the battlefield for sure, they mostly made a point
to let all innocents be. And to be clear,
I’m docking a lot of points- -for the fact that this
was all a conquest. With battles and killing,
which is bad. But I’m at least giving props for- -taking care of the newfound subjects, in a way that not a lot
of other societies did. In the Caliphate, all of the Abrahamic
religions were treated- -more or less with respect, since from
the perspective of contemporary Islam, they were all worshiping the same god.
Just in different ways. Jews and Christians could hold office,
no-one got slaughtered; It was a good time! I mean, the Gothic Christians in early
medieval Europe- were probably pretty salty about
Islamic expansion, but, can you blame them?
Who wouldn’t be? So, to recap: As we enter the Middle Ages, Christians are miffed,
but enjoying their Europe. Muslims are having a ball
with their new backyard. And Jews, depending on which side of
the Mediterranean they’re in, are either doing badly,
or great. Good? Good. While we’re here, I should point out
what I think is the big demographic- -difference between
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam: Christianity by this point is a religion
of many nations, like France, England, Italy, and basically
everyone in Europe. Judaism, as I spent a lot of time
describing in it’s specific video- -is a religion of one Ethnic group;
A people; And the line between
the religion and the people- -gets a little bit blurred at times. And early Islam is a religion of just one,
or in later cases, a few nations. And ethnically was
predominantly Arabic, and- then later increasingly Persian
as time went on. This isn’t the most important distinction,
but I think it helps- -make some things clearer,
so there you go. Moving along. I’ll very quickly now breeze through the
next three centuries. Following a century of
rapid expansion under- -the Umayyad, and
later Abbasid Caliphates, the Muslims found themselves with the
same problem that- Alexander the Swell, and the
later Mongols had; When you go to far, too fast,
things tend to fracture. By the year 969, the Abbasid Caliphate had
splintered and/or been taken over- -by a handful of large and small entities. But as far as the
Mediterranean was concerned, the big player was the Egyptian-based
Fatimid Caliphate. The Abbasids and the later Fatimids
continued the long-lasting trend of- -extending tolerance and generous decrees
of religious freedom- -to Jews and Christians. And as I’ve said elsewhere,
non-Muslims regularly- -held high-ranking political offices. So for a good five-hundred years, things were pretty solid for
Jews and Christians- -living under Muslim rule; Despite the fact that they
generally weren’t in charge. Territorially, however, the Abbasid splintering
and Byzantine weakness- -Made things much easier for the
Seljuk Dynasty to swoop in after 1037- -and push up all the way to Anatolia. And by most standards, these guys were
also pretty chill about toleration. While Jews were still totally allowed
to practice their religion, in the 10th and 11th centuries and onwards
they were increasingly regarded- -as inferior to their Turko-Persian
neighbors and/or overlords. Meanwhile in Central Europe,
the Middle Ages have gone on being all- -Medieval Timesey, but honestly- it’s not particularly relevant to
this particular discussion. All you really need to know is that, on
the eve of The Crusades, the big players in Europe are basically: France, the innumerable Italian states,
and finally the not-Holy not-Roman Empire. Or uh, Germany. (for short) We’ve discussed this in other videos, but
it’s relevant, so I’ll recap it here: In the late eleventh century, the Seljuks
won a decisive battle- -against the Byzantines over at Manzikert,
on the eastern edge of Anatolia. Within eight short years they were sat
right on Constantinople’s doorstep. For the Byzantines, this was – – understandably – – Bloody terrifying! This later ultimately prompted
Pope Urban II to call for- -what became the First Crusade. So that’s it for this video,
but for the full story- -which you definitely want to hear- please, please, Please, check out the following video
on the Crusades themselves. As well as the third video in the series,
which will be on religious philosophy. Those will all be linked on-screen and
in the description when they’re available. Happy Crusading! (Music plays)
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6_KKLeRgbk

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