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Muslim successes and failures

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote azimuth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2010 at 16:57
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Originally posted by azimuth azimuth wrote:

Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I still have trouble figuring why people would call all of this 'Muslim' conquests and failures. Or 'Christian' for that matter.

Because these conquests were carried by Muslims or christians and not by single ethnic group.


But why is that important? Why is it any more important than that the Turks conquered the Arabs or the 'Franks' conquered the 'Greeks'?

I think it gives you an indication of the interest of the person speaking or writing, for example if he is not a muslim and he is thinking about Islam and people who follow Islam then he will speak about most of the middle east and north africa as muslims. 

something like that.

and If it the person's interest was more into nationalisim then he will talk about languages like Arabs attacked the Persians.

as the starter of this thread seems to be European and one of the main hot topics in Europe now is Muslims presence in EU, Al Qaeda, Iraq, Iran, Palestinian/Israel, Pakistan, Shariea law and so one its No wonder to to categorize nations by their religion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2010 at 21:36
From the point of view of other persons, especially from other periods, other issues could overshaddow that of religion - or the internal divisions between say christians could. Or it could be conflict between ideologies in a more well-known sense. But at least for the later years divisions between at least western european nations seems to have lowered. That allows other issues to be seen more clearly. But of course there are other differences between peoples than religion. Perhaps the other here may start threads about those.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2010 at 23:00
Now that all has been brought to the reductio ad absurdo moment: the activities of Osama Ibn Ladin as the catalyst for which to" profile" a vast array of distinct societies, states, and historical moments into a belittling hodgepodge; then, pray tell when will we have a Tea Party Moment and blame all on the malevolent influence of the Pope in Rome! The refusal to actually confront the hard historical data so as to cherish what is essentially a black/white view of the world is neither informative nor educative. It seems that it is not only the "usual suspects" that are in a Jihad state of mind.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2010 at 14:46

Yes, which is why dealing with specific political constructs is always more precise and helpful as long as you are dealing with political history.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2010 at 18:40
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Now that all has been brought to the reductio ad absurdo moment: the activities of Osama Ibn Ladin as the catalyst for which to" profile" a vast array of distinct societies, states, and historical moments into a belittling hodgepodge; then, pray tell when will we have a Tea Party Moment and blame all on the malevolent influence of the Pope in Rome! The refusal to actually confront the hard historical data so as to cherish what is essentially a black/white view of the world is neither informative nor educative. It seems that it is not only the "usual suspects" that are in a Jihad state of mind.
Well, Is it not You who bring in Osama in this context? Who else has mentioned him?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Aug 2010 at 22:44
The only one that speaks of "Muslim Empires" and invokes the "caliphate", dear Fantasus is Ibn Ladin; hence, if anyone desires to speak of "muslim successes and failures" then he has adopted the weltanschauung of the Madhouse. So let us have no more proclamations of "innocence" in this regard. If an when you can produce the documentary record of the Muslim Empire in History, then you might partake of the fantasy and adopt the meaningless abstractions of banter and subterfuge that actually obscure realities and their consequences.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2010 at 09:30

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

The only one that speaks of "Muslim Empires" and invokes the "caliphate", dear Fantasus is Ibn Ladin; hence, if anyone desires to speak of "muslim successes and failures" then he has adopted the weltanschauung of the Madhouse. So let us have no more proclamations of "innocence" in this regard. If an when you can produce the documentary record of the Muslim Empire in History, then you might partake of the fantasy and adopt the meaningless abstractions of banter and subterfuge that actually obscure realities and their consequences.

Well I think have read or heard a few others ("common discussion",  not "Al Q" peoples) ) discussing both.

I bet if one goes through the litterature there is a lot of examples.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2010 at 20:14
What can be said of "lot of examples" (do a Bing search and see what pops up) is, even when being most charitable, it is little more than rhetorical claptrap by people with scant competence in History and historiography. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Aug 2010 at 20:41
I may conclude that according to You, every serious historian find it meaningless to speak of as much as one muslim succes the last 1400 years.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 03:40
First name a serious "serious" historian and then explain why Timur's sack of Baghdad can be described as a glorious Muslim success!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 10:00
You are still operating at the most superficial level here, fantasus. The issue has never been whether there were Muslims who achieved great things, the question is whether "Muslim successes and failures" is a workable category for historians in the first place, which drgonzaga among others has gone a long way to show isn't the case. You give me the impression you're not really catching on to the questions being raised though, which leads me to believe you don't have the necessary schooling to grasp the methodological perspective.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 13:18
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

You are still operating at the most superficial level here, fantasus. The issue has never been whether there were Muslims who achieved great things, the question is whether "Muslim successes and failures" is a workable category for historians in the first place, which drgonzaga among others has gone a long way to show isn't the case. You give me the impression you're not really catching on to the questions being raised though, which leads me to believe you don't have the necessary schooling to grasp the methodological perspective.
 
Perhaps I have not been aware of any "neccesary level" for participating in allempires debates? 
Then I will add, that if many people may find the topic "succes and failures" to give some meaning on a "common sense" level, this may be good for a start. I even think it may be good not to start at a too "academic" level, since that may make a more open discussion possible. Perhaps You and Dr. G. only find it sensible to discuss "successes" at a strictly individual level, but not for, say ideologies, beliefs or even states or "empires"?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 13:50
And no one is stopping you from participating I should hope? Don't respond to criticism as an insult and don't make it a matter of personal pride or you'll become unreceptive to improvement, rather see it as an opportunity to learn. Humility before knowledge is essential for growth.
 
Success as a concept can be discussed at any level, but when you are dealing with successes in political history you must operate with political units, otherwise it becomes pointless and before long 9/11 and the conquest of Spain have somehow found their way into the same category. Lumping historical phenomena together in a way that obscures their nature is not common sense - it's common nonsense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 13:54
There is no Muslim ideological success or failure beyong the expansion years (i.e. up until the Abassid Caliphate).  Anyone who then categorises successes and failures of subsequent Muslim states as "Muslim"  is then falling down at the first hurdle; such a category is flawed due to its detachment from reality.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 13:54
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

You are still operating at the most superficial level here, fantasus. The issue has never been whether there were Muslims who achieved great things, the question is whether "Muslim successes and failures" is a workable category for historians in the first place, which drgonzaga among others has gone a long way to show isn't the case. You give me the impression you're not really catching on to the questions being raised though, which leads me to believe you don't have the necessary schooling to grasp the methodological perspective.
 
Perhaps I have not been aware of any "neccesary level" for participating in allempires debates? 
Then I will add, that if many people may find the topic "succes and failures" to give some meaning on a "common sense" level, this may be good for a start. I even think it may be good not to start at a too "academic" level, since that may make a more open discussion possible. Perhaps You and Dr. G. only find it sensible to discuss "successes" at a strictly individual level, but not for, say ideologies, beliefs or even states or "empires"?
 
Common Sense should tell you, Fantasus that success and failure are experiences of the sensate. period! However, in discussing and presenting History, any proponent must respect not only the structure of methodology but the constructs for expression. Often, you find that people who engage in nebulous terminology do so for the purpose of hagiography because their intent is little more than indoctrination. That you wish to palaver on the premise of religion, then you have to recognize that such only succeeds (or encounters failure) in terms of individual acceptance or rejection. Earlier, I had asked a simple question: Cite a historian or a historical study whose analysis is premised upon religion as the sine qua non for explanation. In fact, it is now past the moment where common sense should indicate the topic as presented is a non-starter.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 16:38
I think it might have been a little better if the subject had referred to Islamic successes and failures, if successes or failures of religion are to be considered (if one can have religious successes and failures) and keep 'Muslim' successes and failures to mean successes and failures of Muslim individuals.
 
It doesn't clear up the confusion however, and won't until there is some possibility of general acceptance that the General Theory of Relativity was a Jewish success.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 18:56
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I think it might have been a little better if the subject had referred to Islamic successes and failures, if successes or failures of religion are to be considered (if one can have religious successes and failures) and keep 'Muslim' successes and failures to mean successes and failures of Muslim individuals.
 
It doesn't clear up the confusion however, and won't until there is some possibility of general acceptance that the General Theory of Relativity was a Jewish success.
I have never seen any good reason there should be anything but "accidental" relationship between jewish religion or "way of life"(if there is just one so) and theory of relativity. But if someone prove me wrong, and give evidence a particular "jewish" way if thinking led to that theory it may be a different matter. On the other hand why not say a religion or ideology that have thousands of millions believers have made some sort  of "succes"? That of course is not the same as saying it is "true", "sensible" or "beneficial" - or the opposite. One may say the crusades to the socalled "Holy Land" started as a limited succes, but ended up as a ("christian") failure. And so on. THen, after that, we may (Dr.G. and Reginmund in particular) come up with reservations and  modifications. To gain or not to gain new proselytes may be another way to see "succes" or "failure".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Aug 2010 at 20:20
My point was the vocabulary needs to be clarified and defined before sensible discussion can take place, not that sensible discusion of whatever it turns out to be isn't possible (though it might be).
 
Consider Trafalgar and the breaking of the four-minute mile barrier by Roger Bannister and the world cup final of 1966 (just to irritate the Germans among us Big smile ). All can be referred to as British successes, but in each case 'British success' means something different.
 
For there to be a success there needs to be a goal and a goalseeker, to whom the goal's achievement can be attributes. When you talk here about 'Muslim successes' you need to define what entity is seeking to achieve something, and is referred to by 'Muslim' (and justify the reference).  I'm putting more clumsily something close to what DrG said by referring to religions as not 'sensate', only substituting goal-seeking for sensate. I don't see how religions can be seen to have goals and therefore I don't see how they can have successes or failures.
 
From your comment on the Einstein reference I gather you don't accept ' Jewish success' as meaning 'success achieved by a Jew'. I assume therefore that you wouldn't class Dan Frost's points race win in the 1988 Olympics as a 'Danish success'.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2010 at 07:22
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

My point was the vocabulary needs to be clarified and defined before sensible discussion can take place, not that sensible discusion of whatever it turns out to be isn't possible (though it might be).
 
Consider Trafalgar and the breaking of the four-minute mile barrier by Roger Bannister and the world cup final of 1966 (just to irritate the Germans among us Big smile ). All can be referred to as British successes, but in each case 'British success' means something different.
 
For there to be a success there needs to be a goal and a goalseeker, to whom the goal's achievement can be attributes. When you talk here about 'Muslim successes' you need to define what entity is seeking to achieve something, and is referred to by 'Muslim' (and justify the reference).  I'm putting more clumsily something close to what DrG said by referring to religions as not 'sensate', only substituting goal-seeking for sensate. I don't see how religions can be seen to have goals and therefore I don't see how they can have successes or failures.
 
From your comment on the Einstein reference I gather you don't accept ' Jewish success' as meaning 'success achieved by a Jew'. I assume therefore that you wouldn't class Dan Frost's points race win in the 1988 Olympics as a 'Danish success'.
 I admit You have some good points and I even may agree on some of it.
But we should not forget that some sciences may contain ideas about "succes" above the individual level, especially biology and what is perhaps labeled "genetic succes" (or "fittness").
There is even an idea about "memes" ("mind entities or patterns with similarity to genes)?, being able to gain "succes" of their own. The Qu´ran or Bible are read throughout the world and may in that whay perhaps be regarded as "succeses" in a special sense?
And from a more subjective point of view the idea that muslims or christians, or any similar collective group can celebrate succeses or feel sorry for defeats or failures are not so far out.
Crucial battles and sieges involved the sentiments far beyond the directly evolved.
The Conquest of Jerusalem by the first Crusaders, its reconquest and the fall of Constantinople all were seen as victories or disaster far across Europe and probably more places.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2010 at 07:42

Perhaps I can have some sympathy for the critics of my initial posts, and the "headline" about muslim successes and failures.
On the other hand there are so many ideas - even often making their ways into book titles and public debates, there are as unprecise or even more (history may not necessarily be regarded as "exact science"). Think of "The West", "The Western World/civilisation", "The Islamic/Muslim World", "The Orient", "Arabic countries", "The Free World" , "Third World", etcetera, etcetera. From some point of view those works shoould perhaps all end up in the dustbins as "meaningless nonsense".
From my point of view there is a good chance some of it has value, and perhaps that further reading will show me what is the context and what could be meant. (by the way: is there any consensus about what exactly history is about? I may think there may be some greyzones even here. )
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2010 at 11:43
The problem is not with specific labels but with using the labels without relating spceific meanings to the label in the context intended.
 
So in a discussion of the modern Olympic Games, one might well define a 'Muslim success' as a gold medal earned by a Muslim individual or a team of Muslim individuals without raising any problems.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Panther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Aug 2010 at 23:55
@ Fantasus - If i am correct and there is a distinct possibility that i am wrong in my assumption, but i do  get the impression that what others are trying too say is to think in generalities has a possibility of leaving one open to the pitfall and traps of stereotyping?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2010 at 01:01
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:


Perhaps I can have some sympathy for the critics of my initial posts, and the "headline" about muslim successes and failures.
On the other hand there are so many ideas - even often making their ways into book titles and public debates, there are as unprecise or even more (history may not necessarily be regarded as "exact science"). Think of "The West", "The Western World/civilisation", "The Islamic/Muslim World", "The Orient", "Arabic countries", "The Free World" , "Third World", etcetera, etcetera. From some point of view those works shoould perhaps all end up in the dustbins as "meaningless nonsense".
From my point of view there is a good chance some of it has value, and perhaps that further reading will show me what is the context and what could be meant. (by the way: is there any consensus about what exactly history is about? I may think there may be some greyzones even here. )
 
I do believe Fantasus that you are confusing the jargon of Poli-Sci and the lust for labeling let loose by producers of texts for Education mavens as history and historical writing (e.g. historiography). Now before we all go Spenglerian, understand that these terms are essentially meaningless. One may pardon the poetic license of G. K. Chesterton in his poem Lepanto--how's this for a Christian viewpoint?
 
 White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
     And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
     There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
     It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
     It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
     For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
     They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
     They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
     And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
     And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
     The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
     The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
     From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
     And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.
 
But no historian speaks of the naval engagement of Lepanto off of the Greek coastline as either a Christian success or a Muslim failure! Likewise, an abstraction such as "Western Civilization" is essentially meaningless within a historical context for like it or not Islam is part of the common cultural heritage that shaped Mediterranean civilization.
 
Now as to the question as to "what exactly history is about" I can do no better than to underscore that it is explanatory and expository narrative the brings the past into contemporary understanding in terms of our present. However, it can only be done so by respecting the exigencies and identities of the past free of contemporary desiderata and prejudices. Although composed in the 19th century, Judgments on History and Historians  by Jacob Burckhardt [it is a compilation of his notes and lectures during the years 1865-1885] should give you very exact responses on just what is wrong with labels and nebulous descriptives drawn from the world of the "social scientists". The 1929 edition in later translations is on-line:
 
 
By the way, I heartily recommend the foreword prepared by Alberto R. Coll (1999) that is presented in the above cited source since it does address your uncertainty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2010 at 07:07
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:



 

 
But no historian speaks of the naval engagement of Lepanto off of the Greek coastline as either a Christian success or a Muslim failure! Likewise, an abstraction such as "Western Civilization" is essentially meaningless within a historical context for like it or not Islam is part of the common cultural heritage that shaped Mediterranean civilization.
 

What? a "Meditteranean Civilisation"? If we drop all such words as "meaningless" perhaps M.C. has to go the same way. So it is hard to take the full consequenses Dr.G.!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2010 at 11:38
Dr G had a lower case 'c'. You have an upper-case one. Makes a difference.

Edited by gcle2003 - 15 Aug 2010 at 11:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2010 at 14:08
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

Dr G had a lower case 'c'. You have an upper-case one. Makes a difference.
Not understood.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2010 at 11:38
Proper names have capital letters. Proper names are labels for specific entities. So writing 'Mediterranean Civilisation' implies the existence of something unique called the 'Mediterranean Civilisation'. 'Mediterranean Civilisations' would therefore make no sense: it would be like writing Mediterranean Seas', whereas writing 'Mediterranean Sea' is fine because there is only one delimited identifiable sea of that name.
 
Writing 'Mediterranean civilisation' merely means there have been civilised peoples around the Mediterranean Sea. It's quite natural to talk therefore of 'Mediterranean civilisations' or 'a Mediterranean civilisation', neither of which would make sense with a capital 'C'.
 
Moorish Spain was a Mediterranean civilisation. So was Attic Greece, so too Minoan Crete and the Roman Republic, among many others. All those one can point to and describe. However 'Mediterranean Civilisation' is a mental construct that doesn't seem to fit any visible entity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2010 at 17:46
A deep bow of respect to GCLE for the above post!Star 
Phong trần mài một lưỡi gươm, Những loài giá áo túi cơm sá gì
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WorldHistoria Master
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Seko- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2010 at 17:49
yeah it is pretty cool how our school marm regularly corrects our papers with red ink.

Humor aside, nice work gcle! A thoughtful read.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote keilysmith Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Aug 2010 at 11:55
Well I assume that your reference is in operation in the store Sudak in the Crimea, has been studied between 1365 and 1475th But the Crimean War is not the Eastern Mediterranean and look honestly subterfuge becomes tedious. After all Genoese were also in the western Mediterranean and to the extent desired by the local authorities as an infestation of lice! The point is that the operator has the devil in order to get a pair of ducats for the continuation of trade in the normal course until the policy has created his own hookers.
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