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Muslim successes and failures

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Aug 2010 at 23:39
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Well that is just another modern analogy that serves my argument.  You say "even today" when the fact is that Islamic societies of the period in question were far more toelrant and diverse than most of todays.

 
The point is, it is entirely dependent upon the time of which one is speaking. I doubt you would have had much fun living under Mohamet. There is a great difference between the golden age of which you are speaking and the time in which the possibly apocryphal but no less indicative dictum of the caliph Omar was uttered regarding the Library of Alexandria.
 
Quote This is the first mention I read of it.  But you angle your statement as though the later "Roman Empire" was some sort of willing contributor to the "Islamic Golden Age" when in fact it was individuals who were enticed by wealth as well as a desire to study unmolested who brought their intellects and books with them.  Your analogy with modern America resonates here again.

 
Not at all. I wasn't so much arguing that the Byzantines were willing contriubtors as I was pointing out the fact that the victorious Arabs copied the civilized aspects of the ancient societies with which they came into contact.
 
Quote Actually no, it was mostly through Venice.
 
I'd really love to know where you are deriving that. I already pointed out the humanist revival after the fall of Constantinople, but we may also look to the fact that during the Middle Ages a revamped Aristotelianism came to the West through Muslim intermediaries, and not through Venice. Venice was always an outlier, when it comes to the history of Italy. There was a great deal of trade that moved through, but philosophical ideas had to wait or find other channels. And if you would like to even begin to place it in the same category as Constantinople as a source of classical knowledge, I'd like to see some documentation that argued precisely that point.
 
After your last post, I think we understand each other with regard to the role of the Sassanids in trasmitting the heritage of the classical world. Not the first time either of us has been confused, and certainly not to be the last, eh? Tongue
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 05:42
We're actually talking about two different things.  Venice was the conduit for the Latinisation from Arab texts; and the majority of Greek, Indian and Persian knowledge passed to Europe via the Italian trading cities and especially Venice.

Regardless, we digress. In all seriousness, let's discuss the USPs of Byzantium as a candidate for Arab conquest in the 8th and 9th centuries.

So far we have:

+ Strategic location
+ Richest European city




Edited by Zagros - 06 Aug 2010 at 05:45
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 06:16
Aren't those two already enough to make Constantinopol an attractive target?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 06:25
Well it's all about relativity.  What more could it have added to Rey, Tus, Sepahan, Balkh, Samarkand Basra, Baghdad, Damascus, Alexandria, etc, etc.? 




Edited by Zagros - 06 Aug 2010 at 06:33
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 06:31
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Aren't those two already enough to make Constantinopol an attractive target?
 
No because compared to other places where Arabs were engaged in conquest Constantinople was poor and its strategic value null since they were not of any strategic threat to the Arab empire.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 06:56
Well, but's that's nonsense, cause Constaninopol was much more rich than all the other places where Arabs were involved in conquests, except perhaps India.
 
And just because of its location, it also always was a threat to the Arab empires. Later Byzantine campaigns e.g. John I Tzimiskes's and others and even the first crusade that moved through Anatolian Byzantine territory proved that it was a perfect base for the invaders into the Arab lands.
 
The Arabs couldn't conquer it because they utterly failed, their army had been decimated and their fleet complitely destroyed, they simply didn't want to go through this again and concluded that Constantinopole, although, a highly desirable but not realistic goal for their armies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 07:01
For those, who don't know why Arabs couldn't conquer Constantinopol, a basic summary is here:
 
 


Edited by Sarmat - 06 Aug 2010 at 07:03
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 07:51
Quote Well, but's that's nonsense, cause Constaninopol was much more rich than all the other places where Arabs were involved in conquests, except perhaps India.


Who told you that?  What are the metrics?

Quote And just because of its location, it also always was a threat to the Arab empires. Later Byzantine campaigns e.g. John I Tzimiskes's and others and even the first crusade that moved through Anatolian Byzantine territory proved that it was a perfect base for the invaders into the Arab lands.


Yes and how many centuries later was this than the period we are discussing? I have to point out again, you assume that the Arabs thought the same way as you.  What does the fact that the Crusaders faced little military resistance from that direction tell you?

Quote The Arabs couldn't conquer it because they utterly failed, their army had been decimated and their fleet complitely destroyed, they simply didn't want to go through this again and concluded that Constantinopole, although, a highly desirable but not realistic goal for their armies.


Two attempts utterly failed mostly because of bad luck and poor leadership.  I still buy AJ's initial comments over the hyperbole other people are coming out with and if the Arabs were so obsessed by Byzantium then I am sorry but there would simply have been more attempts than two which were almost a century apart, it's not like the Arabs lacked resources.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 08:09
Well, the point is that they not were lacking resources, but they simply were beaten.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 08:15
And they simply didn't make the effort again. Great, I am glad we are now repeating the things said two pages ago. 
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 08:18
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Quote Well, but's that's nonsense, cause Constaninopol was much more rich than all the other places where Arabs were involved in conquests, except perhaps India.


Who told you that?  What are the metrics?
 
Who told me that?
 
I thought, it's a common knowledge, you can check every encyclopedia...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 08:20
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:



Two attempts utterly failed mostly because of bad luck and poor leadership.  I still buy AJ's initial comments over the hyperbole other people are coming out with and if the Arabs were so obsessed by Byzantium then I am sorry but there would simply have been more attempts than two which were almost a century apart, it's not like the Arabs lacked resources.
 
Not sure, where exactly was the bad luck there? They couldn't penetrate the walls and their ships were burned by Greek fire.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 08:26
Great source: every encyclopaediaLOL  Let me go and check my copy now.
"There was glory in pissing, Corabb decided as he watched the stream curve out and make that familiar but unique sound as it hit the ground." So true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 08:27
Do it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 08:40
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:



Two attempts utterly failed mostly because of bad luck and poor leadership.  I still buy AJ's initial comments over the hyperbole other people are coming out with and if the Arabs were so obsessed by Byzantium then I am sorry but there would simply have been more attempts than two which were almost a century apart, it's not like the Arabs lacked resources.
 
Not sure, where exactly was the bad luck there? They couldn't penetrate the walls and their ships were burned by Greek fire.


Every encyclopaedia confirmed that they were decimated by plague and that a Caliph died during the campaign which delayed reinforcement.


Edited by Zagros - 06 Aug 2010 at 08:43
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 09:08
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Well, but's that's nonsense, cause Constaninopol was much more rich than all the other places where Arabs were involved in conquests, except perhaps India.
 
Did it sit on large swathes of agricultural lands that produced cash as well as basic crops? No.
 
Did it control the most important trade rout (or any trade rout for that matter) in medieval times? No.
 
Did it possess large setppe areas suitable for mass grazing? No.
 
Did it have a wealth of metallurgical material that no one else has and/or cheaper than anywhere else? No.
 
Enough said.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

And just because of its location, it also always was a threat to the Arab empires. Later Byzantine campaigns e.g. John I Tzimiskes's and others and even the first crusade that moved through Anatolian Byzantine territory proved that it was a perfect base for the invaders into the Arab lands.
 
There were no Arab empire during the time of John I nor were there any Arab ruled state (except Aleppo). In fact the Caliph didn't even control his own life back then.
 
From 660 untill c. 860 Byzantium posed no danger whatsoever on the Arab empire. All its islands were taken, almost everywhere including the environs of the capital was subject to devastating raids and they regularly with very few exceptions paid a huge amound of money and slaves as homage. The worst they could do was stir trouble in Armenia or make a few raids. They didn't cut trade routs, they didn't occupy rich agricultural lands nor captured any significant post during those years. After that things changed.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

The Arabs couldn't conquer it because they utterly failed, their army had been decimated and their fleet complitely destroyed, they simply didn't want to go through this again and concluded that Constantinopole, although, a highly desirable but not realistic goal for their armies.
 
The army and the navy recovered 5 years later and in even greater numbers. This operation was as I said done against vehement opposition. Yazid II and then Hisham had more men, money and ships plus they conquered far more lands in Anatolia than any of their predecessors yet they didn't even bother thinking of attacking the city because it wasn't worth it.
 
As for the "great" battle of Akroinon, other than having not found anything until now about this battle (and Arab sources mention defeats against Byzantines rather frequently even in successful campaigns) according to Byzantine sources this battle was not against the main force which was quite successful in its endevour, it was against its rearguard. (the battle was in Sept. I think, long after the summer season ended)
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 06 Aug 2010 at 09:12
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 11:08
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread but as the official Dragon of AE, I am in the mood to singe a few wings and feast on a couple of Georges! To be honest, if one is going to discuss the period of the late 7th century (let's use a convenient marker, the death of Herakleos in AD 641), one easily understands that the internal tensions associated with monothelitism as well as the fallout over Chalcedon [not to mention that emperor's own family problems] essentially negated all of the military achievements reached against the Sassanids in the years between AD 610-627. Even by the reign of Constans II, when the themes were consolidated in defensive posture, the Empire had given up all pretension of rule beyond the Anatolian plateau (one can see this division as the fracture line generated by internecine religious bickering that marked the 7th century), and that even these reaches were essentially military districts premising a defensive posture. One can witness the events of the succeeding century (e.g. the period of the Isaurians--and the supposed grand victory at Akroinon) in terms similar to the purported grandiosity of Tours. However, one must also keep in mind that events of AD 739-741 took place just at the moment of transition between the Umayyad and Abassid. Let us call it the closing of the Jihad State as explained by K. Y. Blankinship in an interesting book:
 
K. Y. Blankinship. The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd Al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads. Albany: SUNY Press, 1994.
 
What has to be understood, despite all of the talk about Constantinople as the "center of the world", is the simple fact that it was not and the integrity of the state more or less received the kiss of death during the iconoclastic controversy as far as Christian loyalties in Syria were concerned, which after the rupture with Egypt made Muslim rule over the old Roman East far more palatable and actually permitted the absorption of these regions into the Muslim world. One has also to understand that just about this time the West itself was dismissing Constantinople as well.
 
Of course, much of the writings here can be said to be jottings past each other...since Al Jassas writes with regard to Arab expansion while others choose to ignore the distinctions necessitated by the nature of this expansion, which was far more opportunistic and measured by the promise of good governance. Now this last might open a few eyes (or drop some jaws) but when you get right down to it it lies at the heart of the expansion in the Umayyad period.


Edited by drgonzaga - 06 Aug 2010 at 11:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 11:27
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Well, but's that's nonsense, cause Constaninopol was much more rich than all the other places where Arabs were involved in conquests, except perhaps India.
 
Did it sit on large swathes of agricultural lands that produced cash as well as basic crops? No.
 
Did it control the most important trade rout (or any trade rout for that matter) in medieval times? No.
 
Did it possess large setppe areas suitable for mass grazing? No.
 
Did it have a wealth of metallurgical material that no one else has and/or cheaper than anywhere else? No.
 
Enough said.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

And just because of its location, it also always was a threat to the Arab empires. Later Byzantine campaigns e.g. John I Tzimiskes's and others and even the first crusade that moved through Anatolian Byzantine territory proved that it was a perfect base for the invaders into the Arab lands.
 
There were no Arab empire during the time of John I nor were there any Arab ruled state (except Aleppo). In fact the Caliph didn't even control his own life back then.
 
From 660 untill c. 860 Byzantium posed no danger whatsoever on the Arab empire. All its islands were taken, almost everywhere including the environs of the capital was subject to devastating raids and they regularly with very few exceptions paid a huge amound of money and slaves as homage. The worst they could do was stir trouble in Armenia or make a few raids. They didn't cut trade routs, they didn't occupy rich agricultural lands nor captured any significant post during those years. After that things changed.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

The Arabs couldn't conquer it because they utterly failed, their army had been decimated and their fleet complitely destroyed, they simply didn't want to go through this again and concluded that Constantinopole, although, a highly desirable but not realistic goal for their armies.
 
The army and the navy recovered 5 years later and in even greater numbers. This operation was as I said done against vehement opposition. Yazid II and then Hisham had more men, money and ships plus they conquered far more lands in Anatolia than any of their predecessors yet they didn't even bother thinking of attacking the city because it wasn't worth it.
 
As for the "great" battle of Akroinon, other than having not found anything until now about this battle (and Arab sources mention defeats against Byzantines rather frequently even in successful campaigns) according to Byzantine sources this battle was not against the main force which was quite successful in its endevour, it was against its rearguard. (the battle was in Sept. I think, long after the summer season ended)
 
Al-Jassas
 
Sorry, but that sounds like an anti historical brainwash and denial of basic historical facts as if nobody could even dare to defeat "the great Arabs" and they would conquer everything, but if they wouldn't get tired beforehand.
 
"City wasn't worth it"
 
How the reachest and the most populous European city couldn't be worth of controlling? LOL
 
Come down to Earth from your "omnipotent Arabic Olympus"
 
What we know are, basically, two undeniable facts:
 
1. Arabs tried to conquer Constantinopole
2. Arabs were stunningly defeated and did not dare to make the same mistake again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 18:40
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread but as the official Dragon of AE, I am in the mood to singe a few wings and feast on a couple of Georges! To be honest, if one is going to discuss the period of the late 7th century (let's use a convenient marker, the death of Herakleos in AD 641), one easily understands that the internal tensions associated with monothelitism as well as the fallout over Chalcedon [not to mention that emperor's own family problems] essentially negated all of the military achievements reached against the Sassanids in the years between AD 610-627. Even by the reign of Constans II, when the themes were consolidated in defensive posture, the Empire had given up all pretension of rule beyond the Anatolian plateau (one can see this division as the fracture line generated by internecine religious bickering that marked the 7th century), and that even these reaches were essentially military districts premising a defensive posture. One can witness the events of the succeeding century (e.g. the period of the Isaurians--and the supposed grand victory at Akroinon) in terms similar to the purported grandiosity of Tours. However, one must also keep in mind that events of AD 739-741 took place just at the moment of transition between the Umayyad and Abassid. Let us call it the closing of the Jihad State as explained by K. Y. Blankinship in an interesting book:
 
K. Y. Blankinship. The End of the Jihad State: The Reign of Hisham Ibn 'Abd Al-Malik and the Collapse of the Umayyads. Albany: SUNY Press, 1994.
 
What has to be understood, despite all of the talk about Constantinople as the "center of the world", is the simple fact that it was not and the integrity of the state more or less received the kiss of death during the iconoclastic controversy as far as Christian loyalties in Syria were concerned, which after the rupture with Egypt made Muslim rule over the old Roman East far more palatable and actually permitted the absorption of these regions into the Muslim world. One has also to understand that just about this time the West itself was dismissing Constantinople as well.
 
Of course, much of the writings here can be said to be jottings past each other...since Al Jassas writes with regard to Arab expansion while others choose to ignore the distinctions necessitated by the nature of this expansion, which was far more opportunistic and measured by the promise of good governance. Now this last might open a few eyes (or drop some jaws) but when you get right down to it it lies at the heart of the expansion in the Umayyad period.


Thank you for an intelligent well informed and objective answer.


Edited by Zagros - 06 Aug 2010 at 18:41
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It's the tragedy of all fields of study that tie in with contemporary ideological conflicts how they tend to end up as pissing contests where stakes are such that neither side can afford to yield an inch to the other and thus it's no longer about uncovering historical developments but who can distort the facts the most to their advantage.
 
It's not reasonable to say the Arabs couldn't take Constantinople - if that was true they wouldn't have been in front of it with siege engines! Nor is it reasonable to say they didn't really care that much about taking it - these campaigns were colossal projects!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Aug 2010 at 20:29
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

It's the tragedy of all fields of study that tie in with contemporary ideological conflicts how they tend to end up as pissing contests where stakes are such that neither side can afford to yield an inch to the other and thus it's no longer about uncovering historical developments but who can distort the facts the most to their advantage.
 
It's not reasonable to say the Arabs couldn't take Constantinople - if that was true they wouldn't have been in front of it with siege engines! Nor is it reasonable to say they didn't really care that much about taking it - these campaigns were colossal projects!


That is true and it brings to mind another consideration.

It is said that Constantinople was the richest city in Europe.  Did anyone even bother to look into why that was the case?

The two Persian Empires before the Arabs saw fit to trade with Constantinople and all three of these controlled the silk road.  Constantinople was the middle man between East and West and its existence at peace times benefited the aforementioned.

Now, for me this sways the balance more towards why the Arabs saw it as a nice to have as opposed to a must have hence, they only made two attempts but were otherwise content with Constanople as a trade partner.  It was a status symbol since the additional riches brought by its conquest would simply equate largely to the margin that Greek traders enjoyed.

Indeed it was the fall of Constantinople and ceasing of silk route commodities that was the intitial conduit for major European powers to seek alternative routes to India.


Edited by Zagros - 06 Aug 2010 at 20:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 00:03
It makes sense to build cities at mercantile transit points, indeed quite a few cities have started as trading posts. If you funnel the stream of wealth chances are you will be able to skim it. Of course the same could be said for Persia - it was also a middle man between East and West.
 
We need to drop this "only two attempts" nonsense. The campaigns can individually be considered colossal undertakings, the fact that two attempts were made even though the first one failed speaks in favour of Constantiople's importance and to construe it as anything else is an exercise in wilful ignorance.
 
From what I have read the claim that Ottoman rule blocked European trade through the eastern Mediterranean is one of those clash of civilization-myths. Individual states, of course, had their vessels blocked during periods of warfare, but that's true anywhere. What Ottoman rule prevented was anyone else's control of the eastern trade, which is what the Portuguese were trying to force their way through.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 00:30
Not really true. Before the Ottoman conquest. A large large part of Eastern Mideterranean and Black Sea region was covered with Italian trade colonies which benefited greatly from the Silk road trade and basically contolled the Western part of it.
 
The Ottomans simply destroyed all these colonies and closed the whole enterprise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 01:20
Again, a sweeping generalization that while dressed prettily is nothing more than one of those famed trottoirs of History. When it came to money, the House of Osman was scarcely different than any bejeweled byzantine basileos. The Italians got their purses picked not by the Turks but by the Portuguese and if you look at the 16th century you will find that both Venetian and Turk were doing their best to restore the traditional routes undercut by those Atlantic upstarts. Heck, if you want to talk about Dago Dots in the eastern Mediterranean, you had best consider the same dots in the Western reaches and beyond. If you look at Venetian diplomatic correspondence of this period you will discover as much contempt for the pompous Porte as for the treacherous Tudors (at least there were no terrorizing riots against "Italians" at Istanbul in contrast to London!). So please, when it comes to trade the Ottomans did not build an equivalent of the Berlin Wall during their apogee. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 04:25

Trading posts in the East Mediterranean and Black Sea were controlled by Geonoeses not by Venetians.

And they were complitely kicked out of the region once the Ottomans assumed the control.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 05:18
Read Halil Inalcik's "an economic and social history of the Ottoman empire" about the subject of the silk road, trade and the Ottoman empire.
 
The author uses statistics from original Ottoman and Italian government document that proves that trade was never cut between Europe and the east, in fact what the Ottomans did was reduce the middle man by one empire (Mamelukes) which actually lead to a large increase in the volume of trade.
 
What really distroyed the silk road was the colonisation of America, the availibility of cheap linen clothes that were far more profitable than silk and much easier to clean (which is actually what spices were all about, they were the first deodorants) and of course the mercantile policies of western european countries.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 06:00
I still have trouble figuring why people would call all of this 'Muslim' conquests and failures. Or 'Christian' for that matter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bill Cosby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 06:35
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

I agree with Al Jassas, here.  They tried but then became disinterested after settling for almost all of Byzantium's North African and Middle Eastern territories, a much more worthwhile treasure than Constantinople itself, which was more of a status symbol for the would-be conquerors but one which they did without.


That sounds like just sour grapes----

They settled & perhaps even told themselves this was the best & Constantinople was nuthin, but the fact was they couldn't do much about it...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Aug 2010 at 06:53
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Read Halil Inalcik's "an economic and social history of the Ottoman empire" about the subject of the silk road, trade and the Ottoman empire.
 
The author uses statistics from original Ottoman and Italian government document that proves that trade was never cut between Europe and the east, in fact what the Ottomans did was reduce the middle man by one empire (Mamelukes) which actually lead to a large increase in the volume of trade.
 
What really distroyed the silk road was the colonisation of America, the availibility of cheap linen clothes that were far more profitable than silk and much easier to clean (which is actually what spices were all about, they were the first deodorants) and of course the mercantile policies of western european countries.
 
Al-Jassas
 
Of course, the trade never stopped. But the thing is that it wasn't controlled by Europeans any more. Before the Ottoman conquest Genoeses could conduct all the transactions themselves and even tax foreign merchants after the Ottoman conquest they lost all the control, they had to comply with all the requriements of Ottoman authorities, were taxed, payed customs duties and all their commodities were usually confiscated in times of crisis.
There simply were not any Italian trading settlements in the Ottoman Empire compare to what the situation was like during the Byzantine times.
In other words, the trade via the old routes became much less profitable for the Italian cities, at the same time, Portuguese controlled all the trade routes themselves through the well established system of military forts and trading posts throughout the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
That's one of the reasons why Portuguese won the competition.
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